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  1. #1

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    Smile Looking at the World with fresh eyes

    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!
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  2. #2

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    Re: Looking at the World with fresh eyes

    I thought everything was fantastic as a whole when we went in Feb 08. Clean parks, friendly CM's, rides weren't breaking down, etc. We had such a great time, that we're going back end of Jan! Glad that you're enjoying yourself, that's what WDW is all about!

  3. #3

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    Re: Looking at the World with fresh eyes

    You got balls to spend time at WDW at this the peak busy time

    Glad you're enjoying yourself and the parks are treating you well
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  4. #4

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    Re: Looking at the World with fresh eyes

    I am glad that you are having a wonderful time. I was at WDW last year, but that was earlier in December, and I had a great time. I rode rides,but my main objective was to enjoy the holiday stuff, and there was enough of that to keep me busy for just about week.

    Glad to see you posting, and enjoy the rest of your vacation.

  5. #5

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    Re: Looking at the World with fresh eyes

    Quote Originally Posted by flynnibus View Post
    You got balls to spend time at WDW at this the peak busy time
    Yes he does, and he's got more balls by not telling me he was in town this week as he still owes me dinner at WDW for the past.... like 5 yrs?
    Personally, after reading the topic's headline, I thought he was going to declare himself a mormon.

  6. #6

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    Re: Looking at the World with fresh eyes

    Quote Originally Posted by TDLFAN View Post
    Yes he does, and he's got more balls by not telling me he was in town this week as he still owes me dinner at WDW for the past.... like 5 yrs?
    Personally, after reading the topic's headline, I thought he was going to declare himself a mormon.
    Oh no, don't be silly.

    I waited at the San Angel Inn for two hours tonight, but you never showed up. I had to eat the chips and salsa all by myself!
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  7. #7

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    Re: Looking at the World with fresh eyes

    Glad you had a good time! Hopefully my next trip will be as good as yours.


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  8. #8

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    Re: Looking at the World with fresh eyes

    I have a few concerns with your review.

    1) Most of your pros are seasonal offerings, including entertainment, that are not available to everyone all year 'round. Those street entertainment cuts are coming, but they wouldn't happen in this busiest of seasons. So I sort of wonder what kind of street entertainment guests will see in about 2 weeks.

    2) Most of the rest is simple opinion with not so much substance. You liked Spaceship Earth but didn't really go into if you thought it was any better/worse than what was there before. I'm a little curious as to the status of the basis of comparison here. (Not that I'm saying it's impossible to like the refurbbed SSE, I'd just like to hear a little more there.)

    3) Call me crazy, but I think it being Christmas time has a wee bit more to do with the ridiculous wait times than FastPass does. Y'know, the whole tons of people in the parks, crowds maxed out, rides pushed way beyond full capacity when there aren't enough of them in any park to really handle huge crowds, etc, that kind of thing? I'm wrong of course because FastPass is responsible for every long wait time ever seen, and even when it's not, it is, but I just think maybe time of year, crowds, & lack of capacity might have something to do with all that too.

    "Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom." -- James 3:13

  9. #9

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    Re: Looking at the World with fresh eyes

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedway View Post
    Oh no, don't be silly.

    I waited at the San Angel Inn for two hours tonight, but you never showed up. I had to eat the chips and salsa all by myself!
    It would have helped if you had told me you were waiting for me. But then again, do I want to be near a man who eats mexican food and may explode afterwards? I think not.
    Besides, you do not consider yourself a Disney "geek" anymore... so why should I bother?

  10. #10

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    Re: Looking at the World with fresh eyes

    Quote Originally Posted by PeoplemoverMatt View Post
    1) Most of your pros are seasonal offerings, including entertainment, that are not available to everyone all year 'round. Those street entertainment cuts are coming, but they wouldn't happen in this busiest of seasons. So I sort of wonder what kind of street entertainment guests will see in about 2 weeks.
    Valid point. However, as selfish as it may seem, if going at Christmas time means that I get to see Main Street illuminated with millions of glowing light bulbs with not a dead one in sight, I don't care about the rest of the year. No, that's silly, I do care about the rest of the year, very much so, but if maintenance is this brilliant at Christmas, fantastic. I agree, it should be year round though. As for street entertainment, that is a shame. I agree, it's more than likely it is heavily influenced by Christmas visiting numbers.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeoplemoverMatt View Post
    2) Most of the rest is simple opinion with not so much substance. You liked Spaceship Earth but didn't really go into if you thought it was any better/worse than what was there before. I'm a little curious as to the status of the basis of comparison here. (Not that I'm saying it's impossible to like the refurbbed SSE, I'd just like to hear a little more there.)
    I see what you are saying, but am I not allowed to just state my opinion? Of course, I can back it up. I thought the fluidity of the AAs in Spaceship Earth was a definite improvement, I cannot remember them being that smooth and static. I loved the new Judi Dench narration, but that's because I personally admire Judi Dench. The contemporary signage and graphic design in both logos and the interactive video screens were a nice touch, and I feel that the money spent on the attraction, giving it interactivity and making it more relevant to today's guests definitely helped it succeed in being more accessible to the visitors of 2008. It was a nice experience to see the fruits of obviously a lot of money being spent.

    3) Call me crazy, but I think it being Christmas time has a wee bit more to do with the ridiculous wait times than FastPass does. Y'know, the whole tons of people in the parks, crowds maxed out, rides pushed way beyond full capacity when there aren't enough of them in any park to really handle huge crowds, etc, that kind of thing? I'm wrong of course because FastPass is responsible for every long wait time ever seen, and even when it's not, it is, but I just think maybe time of year, crowds, & lack of capacity might have something to do with all that too. [/quote]

    Another valid point. I completely agree.
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  11. #11

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    Re: Looking at the World with fresh eyes

    Quote Originally Posted by TDLFAN View Post
    It would have helped if you had told me you were waiting for me. But then again, do I want to be near a man who eats mexican food and may explode afterwards? I think not.
    Besides, you do not consider yourself a Disney "geek" anymore... so why should I bother?
    Aww, am I not allowed back into the fold!?
    BACKPACKING REALNESS

    DISNEY TRIPS
    October 2000 - Walt Disney World Resort
    October 2001 - Walt Disney World Resort
    April 2002 - Disneyland Resort Paris
    October 2003 - Walt Disney World Resort
    October 2004 - Walt Disney World Resort
    October 2005 - Walt Disney World Resort
    October 2007 - Walt Disney World Resort
    December 2008 - Walt Disney World Resort
    July 2009 - Disneyland Resort Paris
    July 2011 - Disneyland Resort California
    July 2012-13 - UK Cultural Representative Cast Member at Epcot
    February 2013 - Disneyland Resort California
    February 2013 -Tokyo Disney Resort

    (VERY OLD!)
    TRIP REPORTS


  12. #12

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    Re: Looking at the World with fresh eyes

    I guess it'd be redundant for me, at this point, to state that I think that the "fresh eyes" mentality is the best way to go about it, but I feel compelled to add my own two cents. After all, once you've made the decision to pay that much money for something, you might as well do your best to enjoy it. As long as it's not taking actual effort to ignore the shortcomings that the so-called obsessives complain about, of course.

    I suppose it's possible that there are those that actually enjoy complaining as much, if not more, than the act of enjoying WDW in its intended fashion, but I like to give people the benefit of the doubt.

    However, claiming that the parks are actually improving when the others seem to have fairly hard evidence to the contrary might be taking the point too far. The point is, the best reason to enjoy the parks is because you want to, not because of (or in spite of) the opinions of others.

    As always, just my two cents. At any rate, it's always nice to see a positive thread topic!

  13. #13

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    Re: Looking at the World with fresh eyes

    Fishy and I make three trips a year to Disney World. We always have a great time. LOVE it there.

    That isn't to say that there aren't things that tick us off about how certain things are handled/run. But over all, we have always found WDW to be a great value for the money. Perhaps even more so than Disneyland in California.

    Many of the hotel/resorts within WDW are fantastic. We like the variety of the parks. Downtown Disney is a nice diversion. So much to do in so little time. Always something new and exciting for us to explore.

    Of course there are huge problems with WDW as well (which wouldn't necessarily bother the casual or once-in-a-lifetime guest): EPCOT is stale, The Magic Kingdom needs some TLC and a new E-Ticket, the Studios is a park in transition and it is hard to spend more than half a day there, Animal Kingdom is a fantastic park which is just a couple major attractions away from being one of the best parks in Florida.

    I don't think that there are many people on MiceChat who would say that WDW isn't worth a visit. It is one of the best places to vacation in the world. But that doesn't mean that folks should pretend that problems don't exist. Ignore a problem and it doesn't go away. In fact, with a company like Disney, they tend to fix the problems that get them them the most negative press and not bother with the things people don't seem to notice.

    Enjoy the rest of your trip Speedway! Wish we were there to join you.

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  14. #14

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    Re: Looking at the World with fresh eyes

    Quote Originally Posted by PeoplemoverMatt
    2) Most of the rest is simple opinion with not so much substance.
    Quote Originally Posted by Speedway
    I see what you are saying, but am I not allowed to just state my opinion? Of course, I can back it up. I thought the fluidity of the AAs in Spaceship Earth was a definite improvement, I cannot remember them being that smooth and static. I loved the new Judi Dench narration, but that's because I personally admire Judi Dench. The contemporary signage and graphic design in both logos and the interactive video screens were a nice touch, and I feel that the money spent on the attraction, giving it interactivity and making it more relevant to today's guests definitely helped it succeed in being more accessible to the visitors of 2008. It was a nice experience to see the fruits of obviously a lot of money being spent.
    I didn't mean it like that. I just heard an intriguing opinion and wanted to know what was behind that is all, and I got it. I have places where I agree & disagree with your impressions, but, I see how you came to where you came to so I'm good.

    "Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom." -- James 3:13

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