In honor of the Player awards being handed out this week in the Disney-ABC affiliated NBA, where the expression “heart and soul of the team” is often used, we thought we would look at what contributes to making a theme park better. Specifically identifying the “Heart and Soul of each Walt Disney World park.
Considering there can be many definitions of the heart or the soul of any organization, for this exercise we will qualify the “Heart” as the one thing in the park that gives a warmest feelings to its guests. The “Soul” will be defined mostly as what give the wonder and amazement.
Starting with Kyle’s picks for the Heart and Soul of each park:
Without a doubt for me the Heart of the Magic Kingdom is Main Street USA. Main Street sets the tone for the park being the bustling, thriving and friendly town. After all in the Trolly show on Main Street they tell you it’s the heart beat of America.
The soul of the park is Fantasyland. Here you can find the ideals that the Disney universe was built on. From Walt’s dream of families enjoying the park together to every kid’s dream of living in their favorite movie.
The Heart of Epcot is World Showcase here Walt’s dream of the constant Worlds Fair lives on everyday.
The Soul of the park is Illuminations. This may seem odd however if you pay attention to the show, it is all about the evolution of Earth from creation to unity of all countries embodying the technology used to put the show on.
The Heart of the Studios is Hollywood Boulevard. Just like the Magic Kingdom this sets the theme for the day. Hollywood Boulevard embodies the feel of an idealistic Hollywood that never was. With its Streemousephere characters and its Hollywood spoofs in the details.
The Soul is the Great Movie. This is what started the park. Originally Hollywood Studios was just supposed to be a part of Epcot between the Land Pavilion and the Imagination Pavilion. When they realized that they couldn’t fit everything in a Great Movie Ride style attraction, the park was born.
The Heart of Animal Kingdom is the Tree Of Life. Here the icon of the park stands for all to see long before you enter the park and almost anywhere in the park. A closer look at the tree will reveal carvings of many creatures great and small. You can easily spend hours looking at the tree and look at all the animals some of which are hidden in plain sight that merge with other animals.
The Soul of the park is without a doubt Kilimanjaro Safari. This attraction is everything Animal Kingdom stands with the viewing of the animals in their as natural as possible surroundings and the message on conservation throughout your safari experience.
Magic Kingdom. For the “Heart” of MK, we should look directly in the center of the park. Fantasyland continues to be the spot in the park where our entire family simply lights up with a smile. From a spin on the carrousel to a ride through the London sky in Peter Pan’s Flight, just being in this area brings back so many great heartfelt memories.
The “Soul” of Magic Kingdom, in my opinion, is the Frontierland-Adventureland area..where you can take in the two mountains after emerging from the depths of the Pirates of the Carribean atmosphere. One after another, this trio of attraction gets everyone’s excitement level up.
Heart: World Showcase is the area that the spirits are lifted just walking around the pavilions. The ability to imagine yourselves in the different countries is plain fun.
Soul: Soarin’ is the attraction that gives everyone in our family the most wonder and amazement. Whether gliding over California or flying around the world’s most famous icons we leave each experience with that wow feeling.
Heart: this one is probably going to change..as my gut says that Toy Story land is the area our families will enjoy just wandering around. For now I think it is the walk over to Star Tours and Muppets courtyard. We can spend a good hour back there.
Soul: going with end of Sunset boulevard as you approach the Tower of Terror. Again I believe Star Wars Experience will eventually be the area that makes your head pop.
Heart: Kilimanjaro Safari. You can include most of the Africa section of the park around it..but it is the expanse of the outback covered in the safari that would bring the simple smiles to any family with young children…that last for 30 minutes from embarking on the ride.
Soul: this one may be changing to the awe inspired by the Flight of passage and valley of Mo’ar inside Pandora..but for now I’ll say that discovery island featuring the Tree of Life is such a majestic creation that it draws the most attention in a “how did they do that” manner..
So that’s our current take on the areas that are the “Heart and Soul” of each park. If you have any comments hit us up with them on Facebook or Twitter.