Hi all. First of all, I just returned from a quick visit to WDW's DTD on my latest Quality Control Walk. I wanted to see with my own very eyes what has been done at World of Disney, specifically the newly re-styled Adventure Room, Princess Room, and Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. I really really wanted to come back with a positive perspective of these new chnages at DTD, but was sorely disappointed. Actually I was running to my car, with arms up in the air and screaming "MOMMY!! MOMMY!!" in horror.
WARNING! To those of you who are easily offended by criticism of WDW, this may not be your type of topic, so you may want to quit now and go on to the next thread. But if you don't mind some biting thoughts and food for the mind.. then proceed with caution.
Some quick thoughts before going to the obligatory photo spread... First up, the Princess Room in WoD. Only one way to describe it: Lifeless. What used to be a very colorful whimsical room in Alice in Wonderland theme has now been turned into a Princess Wasteland, with merchandise that is more fitting for Halloween and KB Toys for that matter, and nothing you would not find in almost every single store in the entire WDW property. What a waste of resources. Most upsetting to me was the very cheap, very Rainforest Cafe-like AA figure found in the middle of the room... Whatever happened to Imagineering's accomplishments in regards to AA technology here??? What an embarrasment of major proportions have we got here.
Then.. there is that Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique concept. Maybe a well intentioned idea, but really... gimme a break! Isn't it enough that we have outside vendors painting guests' faces in animal or demon motifs all over the property, but do we need a total makeover for little girls to be Princesses in their little minds??? Behold the innocence of children who will see this as an added fun thing to do while at WDW, but I wonder why parents would justify the price it will cost to make over little girls into Disney Princesses. Well... reality check here. Parents will do anything for their kids since they are inmmuned to judgement when their kids are concerned. However, let's face it. Not every little girl is made up to look like, or be Princess-like in one way or another. It's really disturbing for me that there could be some people who will find an element of ridicule with this service when a Princess makeover turns out to be in fact a bad idea after the makeover is done. I pray in God that Disney's makeover artists can accomplish what could be the impossible on some of these little gilrs. More disturbing is the added rules and prices that go with it...
The menu of styles include "Pop Princess", "Disney Diva", and "Fairy Tale Princess".. the latter being the best choice for your daughters since the earlier two styles look awful in the brochure I saw at the Boutique. Then the prices.... $35 for the "Coach Makeover" (probably this name is inspired by the cheap coach prop now sitting outside WoD's Princess Room entrance..) The Crown Makeover will cost you $45, and the all-out assault on your kid, the Castle Makeover will set you back at least $175.00 or MORE!!! This is before taxes!! Talk about your expensive Halloween treat!!
....and remember this: You will be charged a penalty fee if you do not cancel your appointment at least 24 hrs before your time is up, and also, adults are required to be there throughout the whole makeover process... for two reasons I guess: 1) to give stage moms some needed ego boost, and 2) in case the makeover begins to look like a bad idea and you have to stop it before further damage is done. Also please note: Makeover artist will NOT cut your child's hair at all, so whatever hair style you choose... you will have to make sure it looks good without a snip of hair on the floor. Doesn't it make you wonder if these so-called Makeover Artists got their training using one of those Makeup Barbie heads...?
Now on to the Adventure Room.. Hang some banners all over the ceiling, add some video games, some Pirate movie stuff, some gastly cheapo skelleton AA's and presto. You have the boys' Adventure Room. Frankly..the boys were shortchanged here. You know why? Because you can find the same garbage merchandise at Once Upon a Toy a mere 50 feet away in brighter, more enjoyable, less crammed surroundings. Based upon the look of the finished product...Disney is telling us that "boys are dull and boring". Then there is the Stitch prop outside the Adventure Room...which I thought was cute in it's easter costume... That is until I realized Stitch spits on guests down below.
Moving on to Pleasure Island... OMG!! The current state of PI is simply disastrous, but maybe for good reasons. Raglan Road was hopping with business and still looking quite nice since the building has some character, as opposed to the rest of DTD where every Disney operated store looks exactly the same. The rest of PI is deplorable. All shops there are closed, and most areas of the island including the PI stage, are closed and covered with construction walls... I sure hope this is a good sign of things to come. I personally would take great pleasure running a bulldozer around this complex. PI is right now skippable... a shell of it former self. Not that I thought PI was worth it since I have never really been a fan of this place since Eisner opened it to take on Rosey O'Grady's... a much better nighttime complex now history as well. I can only hope PI's current state is the beginning of newer and better things to come to DTD... I hope.
Here are some choice photos of my visit to DTD, PI and West Side... with more frank commentary and thoughts, so read the captions if you dare.