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  1. #1

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    Things WDW parks and resorts do right/good things?

    And as a preface, I have not set foot on WDW property since 2007. And I absolutely understand and believe the posts about the decline in various areas as they come from reputable sources here and elsewhere across the web: value, maintenance, planning and reservations, modern era ride replacements/entertainment, small details, etc.

    But my question is (and not at all intended to discredit those who have had less than stellar experiences), what elements of the parks still really work? Favorite things, awesome food offerings, relaxing little spots, elements of rides, little known offerings? What do you love at WDW that keeps you coming back? Merely from the viewpoint of wanting to know what to seek out when I do return to Florida (which would likely be tied in with wanting to see Wizarding World and Halloween Horror Nights).

    So, tell me all about the good/awesome things!

  2. #2

    • Johnny and Me!
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    Re: Things WDW parks and resorts do right/good things?

    Some of my favorites:
    - The Peoplemover
    - Country Bear Jamboree
    - Carousel of Progress
    - Tom Sawyer Island (still has an open fort, unlike DL)
    - Watching the Electric Water Pageant
    - Riding the Monorail and boats to go to the parks
    - Renting a boat at Bay Lake
    - Sunshine Seasons (yum!)
    - The seating area in the Harbor House between Liberty Square and Fantasyland
    - The atmosphere of Epcot's Mexico pavilion
    - Exploring the pathways around the Tree of Life (although it appears they are closed temporarily)

  3. #3

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    Re: Things WDW parks and resorts do right/good things?

    -One major step in the right direction is the Fantasyland Expansion. Was there in April and even mostly behind walls with lots of construction still to go, it impresses: bigger and better than it looks in photos. As a whole, Fantasy Forest should be a stunning environment in perpetuity (greater than the sum of its parts; unlimited shelf life).

    -Splash Mtn has a new effect (new to me) where as every third log goes down the big drop, a water cannon (much bigger and louder than the typical splash) goes off. This is very fun/funny to watch from the bridge as unsuspecting riders get scared and soaked.

    -The One Man's Dream exhibit has some great WDI models on display.

    -I thought the new Haunted Mansion hitch-hiking ghosts were a nice improvement.

    -Many of Animal Kingdom's environments remain brilliantly-themed (Harambe, Anandapur, Discovery Island, Oasis). Fingers crossed the new safety-netting around the Tree of Life paths will be removed once the problem is sorted.

    -World Showcase still features some excellent live entertainment (e.g., Fife & Drum Corps in America, comedy troupe in UK).

  4. #4

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    Re: Things WDW parks and resorts do right/good things?

    The wide variety of dining options in the parks and different resort hotels. The Epcot Food & Wine Festival in particular is fantastic. I love going when the free Dining Plan is offered.

    The chance to stay in a nice Disney hotel (i.e. the moderate resorts) without breaking the bank (compared to the Grand Californian for example).

    I enjoyed just wandering the grounds when staying at Coronada Springs and Port Orleans French Quarter.

    The immersiveness that comes with all that land, the feeling you've left the real world behind that Disneyland can never quite match.

    The Peoplemover.

    Pretty much all of Epcot and Animal Kingdom.

    Although not always efficient, the variety of transportation options. Heading to Downtown Disney from French Quarter? Take a bus or a boat. The Magic Kingdom can be accessed by boat or Monorail.

    La Nouba.

    Watching the Halloween fireworks for free from the California Grill viewing platform, by strategically scheduling dinner. Watching any fireworks from there is worthwhile as well.
    My Micechat cruise trip report, Part 1:http://micechat.com/14795-disney-wonder/

  5. #5

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    Re: Things WDW parks and resorts do right/good things?

    They still do a great job of immersing you in another world, or time, or place. From the minute you step on Disney property, you feel like you're leaving the real world behind.

  6. #6

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    Re: Things WDW parks and resorts do right/good things?

    Having read the AL "Tired" post yesterday and sifting through all the responses, I feel it is important (for me at least) to respond to your question.

    I can't really compare now to the old 'glory' days of WDW because I only spent 2 days there as a 15 year old back in 1990. To me, EPCOT was beyond exciting as it was something so very different that my (old) home park, Disneyland.

    Now that I live in FL, I have been to WDW numerous times in the past 6 years. Here's a list of things that I appreciate about WDW. I won't compare it to DLR because that's been done to exhaustion.

    -- Cast Members. For the most part, all of the CMs I have had the pleasure of speaking to have been very helpful and fun to chat with. Some have really gone above and beyond and have just made all my visits to WDW that much more enjoyable. This includes groundkeepers at the resorts, mousekeeping, waiters, ride operators etc.. I have just noticed this across all job positions I have encountered while at WDW. Also, we have had some sweet moments from CMs when wearing celebrating pins at WDW, again with them going above and beyond.

    --I am really, really excited about all the images/video I have seen of the construction of FLE ( to include Storybook Circus). It is exciting to see that level of detail brought to MK, and it looks like it isn't being done 'on the cheap.' This change started with the new queue at Pooh. I love the theme'ing around Beast's castle and the LM ride. I am hopeful that the new Mine Train ride will be as fantastic as the images Disney has released. I am excited about seeing the new Dumbo in person. The lighting at nights looks fantastic, and I appreciate two spinners now that I have a toddler and will be doing the morning Dumbo run.

    --I perceive positive change happening in the parks. While I am sure it has to do with competition over at Universal, I feel like there is more attention to detail going on at WDW. Things are being refreshed (i.e. Main Street, Soarin', FLE, Italy Pavilion...) and there is more attention to detail. AL might joke about people like me getting excited over the return of the Orange Bird, but I feel (and am hopeful) that it signals a turn in the right direction.

    --The resorts are beautiful. Someone mentioned it above, but I wish to repeat. It is nice that you can stay on Disney property and that there are resorts in all price ranges. When I looked to stay at DLR a few years ago, I just couldn't justify the cost of staying onsite. For the price of a Good Neighbor hotel, I would have been able to stay at a nice moderate level hotel at WDW. (Ahh I am comparing, something I said I would not do!! haha). Their are resorts to suit all tastes. Now that I feel more comfortable renting from a DVC owner, I can also stay at a nice deluxe DVC resort for the cost of a moderate. There is definite value in staying onsite with the transportation and park parking included etc. I love that I can have full immersion in to all things Disney at WDW, and it feels more like a true vacation. I can take non park days, and still have plenty to do: DTD, mini golf, water activities etc.

    --People will say dining at WDW has gone downhill. I have nothing to compare it too because all I can remember is Alfredo's at EPCOT back in '90. I think that many of the restaurants offer exciting options. I feel many of the WS restaurants offer authentic options and feel menus have been improved in recent years. Yes, prices have gone up, but so has a trip to the local supermarket. Dining is a huge aspect of a trip to WDW (for me), and I feel Disney does it well. (Though I do feel they can do better with breakfast options. I am also glad to see SB coming to the parks. I won't have to hear DH complain about the Nescafe. hehe) I love being able to see Wishes from the California Grill at CR.

    --I love the variety of shows offered, to include parades and fireworks. I enjoy the seasonal offerings-- flower/garden and food and wine. I love that MK has a pirate free Tom Sawyer island, People Mover, and CBJ. It reminds me of my old memories of DL. Aside from disco Yeti, I absolutely love Everest and most of AK.

    -Entertainment in the WS at EPCOT is fantastic. I love all the musicians for each country (esp. Mexico, England, USA, and Canada), as well as the specialty acts at China and Japan (to name but a few.)

    **I can add to this list, but I got to run into a training** Might edit in a few hours with more stuff.
    Last edited by tofubeast; 05-09-2012 at 08:52 AM.

  7. #7

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    Re: Things WDW parks and resorts do right/good things?

    In spite of other closures, we still have classisc like the Carousel of Progress and the Country Bear Jamboree.
    There is a mind-bogglingly wide variety of good food to choose from.
    The resorts are themed down to the minutest level; you could spend a whole day just touring them for free.
    Meeting the international CM's at World showcase adds to the eexperience.
    The bus system may not be perfect, but it's always gotten me where I needed to go. For such a huge resort, that's nothing to sneeze at.

  8. #8

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    Re: Things WDW parks and resorts do right/good things?

    What awesome/good thing about Disney World?.....

    IT MAKES ME SMILE ALL DAY !!!

  9. #9

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    Re: Things WDW parks and resorts do right/good things?

    I am going in June for the first time in 6 years so I let you know then!
    BGood! It's not just my motto its my name!

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