Hey everyone. I don't really post on here much, but I do lurk from time to time. I'm half way through a fortnight here at Walt Disney World, and I must say, I've been out of the 'Disney geek' loop for about a year now, so I'm actually seeing the parks with the benefit of geek knowledge, and outsider-non-obsessed eyes. I don't really know the current opinions and views of everyone currently on WDW, but the last time I posted regularly it was generally accepted that WDW was poorly-ran, neglected and generally not the greatest place to vacation. If that opinion still stands now, I'd like to disagree.
- The first night, we went to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. Having only been to the Halloween party before, we were looking forward to a different spin. It was the last Party in the calendar, and was absolutely packed. Everywhere we went, people were having a fabulous time. The cookies and hot chocolate were delicious and very welcome. I made a particular effort to look for signs of maintenance neglect - dead lightbulbs, trash here and there - and found myself struggling. I have to say, I didn't find ONE dead lightbulb on an illuminated Main Street. As I said, I haven't posted here for a good year or so but last time I did, people were always complaining about shoddy light bulb upkeep. The castle was BREATHTAKING when lit up, and the Holiday Wishes were dramatic, spine-chilling and inspirational. Absolutely gorgeous.
- I had read about cutbacks on street entertainment. At the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and the Studios (by the way, I much prefer the new name, it's really grown on me and I love all the new signage) we saw several live street acts who captivated the crowd. So much for cost cutting in that area.
- Spaceship Earth is glorious on the outside and fantastic on the inside. A true facelift both in and out. Majorly impressed, as were everyone around me.
- Every time I return to DAK, my fondness for that park increases. Lush, mind-bogglingly detailed theming, and always heaving with guests, a true gem in the Disney park crown. Seriously. Having not been on Everest for two years, I had forgotten the length of theming in that ride! Whoa!
- General upkeep; I have seen SO MANY JANITORS patrolling the streets of all four parks - I seriously can't remember there being that many last time I was here. Maybe because it's Christmas, but the parks are spotless, and the cleaning staff are definitely visable.
- My only complaint seems to be the ridiculous wait times for rides such as Soarin', Everest and Toy Story Mania, a ride I have yet to go on since it had a 170 minute wait last night. That can't be helped, due to the mess FastPass creates (a feature in all Disney resorts, no?) and the avalanche of crowds for Christmas.
- A result of the economy, yes, not Disney's benevolence, but the massive savings in the shops are amazing!
So.. what's going on? Does anyone else think WDW is actually improving, God forbid? I'm only a week into my vacation and I'm seeing WDW through new eyes. I'm purposely making an effort to scrutinise the parks, while enjoying not obsessing over extremely minor details that go over the heads of 98% of guests - that is no insult or dig to any members of this board, as I was one of the Disney obsessives and there is NOTHING wrong with the adoration and respect people here show for the parks.
I dunno. I just feel that.. WDW isn't that bad. Merry Christmas everyone!