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  1. #1

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    What were they thinking

    Ok just got back from WDW was my first trip. I will do a trip report later but this has been nagging me the whole trip and maybe by the tone of the questions you can figure out my impression of WDW

    1) Magic kingdom- Why the hell do you have to take the tram get off then get on the monrail or ferryboat to get to the magic kingdom??Every other park you got off tram and walked into park.

    2) why are the parks so far away from each other? IS there a good reason. Why couldn't it be like disneyland and California side??

    trip report will come probably tomorrow and it will be interesting

  2. #2

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    Re: What were they thinking

    One of the problems that happened with the design of Disneyland was that Uncle Walt couldn't purchase the land around his dream park. It was snatched up by hoteliers (naturally) and the place became seedy. He detested how their signs would poke up and over the berm and would destroy the virtual reality he tried so hard to create.

    Time passes and a plan was made to make sure that such 'intrusions' would not compromise the newer parks.

    That explains why you park and are so removed from your car, that last bastion of the real world you brought with you before you reach the Magic Kingdom.

    As for the parks themselves? Think of it--by having them so far apart, you HAVE to stay at their hotels, right in the midst of it. All of your dollar bills go to THEM and no one else. Sure, you can rent a car--but a car might mean you drive off to Universal Studios or some other locale in Orlando. But, with such huge real estate, and expenses at an all time high, it might be cheaper for you to rely on them. They have a bus system, only available to you.

    And you'll never leave, muhwhohahahaahaha!

    I know, I sound negative, but the size of the parks never really bothered me, but the plan did.

    I hope that makes sense.

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  3. #3

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    Re: What were they thinking

    1) Magic kingdom- Why the hell do you have to take the tram get off then get on the monrail or ferryboat to get to the magic kingdom??Every other park you got off tram and walked into park.
    All part of the theme of entering the "Magic Kingdom". Part of the appeal was that you would leave civilization and drive for a while before finally reaching the Magic Kingdom. However just getting out of a car and walking to a gate isn't very magical, so the idea behind it is that you leave your car and then you embark on your journey which takes you from our world into the Magic Kingdom.

    Remember that Walt's idea of the Kingdom was that it should slowly reveal, and each reveal should be like a changing transition into a movie. So you arrive and you can see the train station and a bit of the castle from the distance, but thats it. So then you either take the futuristic monorail or a nice, slow, relaxing ferry ride to the entrance of the kingdom. Once you enter, you still only really see the train station, then you pass underneath the sign that says you're leaving the world of reality and entering the world of fantasy. Once you emerge on the other side main street starts to slowly come into view and then finally, Cinderella's Castle is revealed in all her beauty.



    2) why are the parks so far away from each other? IS there a good reason. Why couldn't it be like disneyland and California side??
    So that each one has room to breathe without visual intrusions from the others. At least thats the way it used to be. Now, we have visual intrusions all over the place, especially in Epcot. But that was the original reason. Each was their own distinct location and they were meant to be totally separate from each other and have their own room to easily grow, expand, and not interfere with each other.

  4. #4

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    Re: What were they thinking

    Quote Originally Posted by canadamouse View Post
    1) Magic kingdom- Why the hell do you have to take the tram get off then get on the monrail or ferryboat to get to the magic kingdom??Every other park you got off tram and walked into park.
    It's idiotic but here, the design slightly favors the hotels' "resort" designation, seems to be more at play. Or else, it was an excuse to charge more for a lovely view of the MK. But screw those who do not pay to stay there along the shores of that lagoon, hence, the trip of shame to/from the MK and parking lot... on a monorail that is always waiting for traffic clearance.

    2) why are the parks so far away from each other? IS there a good reason. Why couldn't it be like disneyland and California side??
    Poor planning, plain and simple... but alas!! those forests around WDW property are pretty, and as such, they can charge more for staying there on property...no matter you are riding a bus as common as those in any given city... See a trend here?

    trip report will come probably tomorrow and it will be interesting
    We'll let you know if it isn't.

  5. #5

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    Re: What were they thinking

    It's unfortunate the "magic" of the design of WDW is lost on some people. I'm not trying to be mean at all - don't get me wrong. It's just sad (to me as a designer) that people are so "hurry up and get there/instant gratification" that they can't appreciate the thought Walt put into the entire arrival sequence at the Magic Kingdom.

    1) When the park opened, you had to literally drive miles from the highway to even get to the toll plaza. Stage 1.

    2) Park the car and board the tram, leaving your car (real world) behind. Stage 2.

    3) Arrive at the TTC. Keep in mind, the original plan was to have this be the HUB for the entire resort. As we all know, it didn't turn out that way. Determine if you'd like to take a ferry boat or "futuristic" monorail to your destination. Stage 3.

    4) Arrive at the park and enter through the turnstiles. You're still technically "outside" of the park at this point. Stage 4.

    5) Walk under the train tracks/station and enter Main Street USA. How many of you have noticed how low the "tunnels" are to walk through into the park? This is a compression/release technique used all over the resort. The idea is that the experience of entering the park is that much better because you've physically been exposed to a small, dark, compressed space. So, when you emerge onto the square, you feel free and go "ooohhh, ahhhhh" inside (or sometimes out loud). Stage 5.

    6) Also, I'm not sure how many people have consciously realized you are forced to enter the park off-center from the castle. Again, this is completely intentional. So, you are "released" into the park and had one "oohhhh, ahhhhh" experience so far. But, you still can't see the castle. You have to walk around the square and turn onto Main Street before you are faced head on with the castle. That's the "final" moment of arrival to the park. Stage 6.

    So, as you can see, the entire arrival sequence was painstakingly thought out to enhance your experience and the "specialness" of the park. This is what makes Disney so different from your run of the mill theme/amusement park.

    I forget the exact year, but buses from the other resorts never arrived at the Magic Kingdom main entrance either. The buses all went to the TTC. But, guests complained so much, they added the bus depot to the actual park. But, this was actually a recent edition in the history of WDW.

    edit: TDLFAN - bitter much? Believe it or not, it wasn't designed to be a "class system". It was designed to be a beautiful experience. The horrific bus system was never in the original plan. It was all supposed to be monorails, boats, etc...
    -Tim

  6. #6

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    Re: What were they thinking

    The trip to the MK and the travel time between theme parks can be annoying, but greatly adds to the atmosphere and "magic", at least for me. I can accept the trade-off.

    If they only had Monorail transportation between all the theme parks, it would be much nicer.

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    Re: What were they thinking

    Quote Originally Posted by halltd View Post
    edit: TDLFAN - bitter much? Believe it or not, it wasn't designed to be a "class system". It was designed to be a beautiful experience. The horrific bus system was never in the original plan. It was all supposed to be monorails, boats, etc...
    A "class system"? You mean just like Fastpass wasn't designed to be?
    But as for being bitter, well.. you tell me, since you seem to be the expert.
    However, I have to agree with you on one thing. People are in a hurry which is why I skipped most of your post, until my name stood out in the box. And since the original purpose of the TTC was to be a hub for the whole resort as you claim, then the purpose of it is now equally obsolete, therefore the questions asked by the original poster, which are valid. So to give this person an opinion or perspective unique to me, I wrote what I feel is the only reason the TTC still stands today. But you know.. if I am bitter, it's not because of the travel time it takes to get from the main parking lot to the MK or the travel time between parks, which is rather long at times. My comments come from the fact that Disney is now capitalizing on that lovely lagoon to charge more money for the view to guests in those rooms overlooking the lagoon and also because the means of transportation around the lagoon are as common as taking the bus thru downtown USA or the ferry boat across any lake in the states. They are nothing special and they never ran on a timely manner, like many transport systems in major cities do more efficiently. Remember... guests depend on Disney's transport to get them there quickly and effciently, and these options are not meant to be "park rides", yet the management seem to operate them as such.

    In summary, NO, I am not bothered by the lagoon being there in the way of guests going to the MK. Many here enjoy arriving or leaving the park that way. I just wish Disney was a bit more visionary and expeditious moving folks around.

  8. #8

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    Re: What were they thinking

    One should also remember that when the Magic Kingdom was being built it was supposed to be the only park there. The rest of Disney World was supposed to be EPCOT (the city, not the park), the Industrial Park of the Future, and the International Airport of the Future. All of the recreation activities for visiting guests were to be located up and around the Magic Kingdom, with the more practical activities taking place to the south. The parking lot was sort of the last outpost of the real world. I believe at one time the idea of all guests (including those staying at the Polynesian or Contemporary) were to park in the one central parking lot, thus allowing the escape to be whole, was toyed with. All of that moving was to be done leisurely.

    There is another function of having you start off so far from the Magic Kingdom, to hide the utilidors. The guest area of the Magic Kingdom is elevated by fourteen feet. The distance between the park and everything else allows for the difference in elevation to go mostly unnoticed.

    EPCOT Center was built vaguely on the site proposed by Walt Disney for EPCOT. When the World Showcase was planned as being a separate entity, it was actually going to be located near the Transportation and Ticket Center.


    The distant, as was stated, has to do with the independent realms of each park. At one time the Contemporary Resort was only visible from Tomorrowland (Exposition Hall is a full size building so that guests on in Town Square cannot see the Tower). Eisner threw sidelines aside with the Swan and Dolphin (said they wouldn't be an issue). When it came for the Tower of Terror to be built, and it was realized it would visible from EPCOT Center, the error had been learned. That is why the Tower of Terror is designed to blend in with the Morocco Pavilion.

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    Re: What were they thinking

    Quote Originally Posted by TDLFAN View Post
    A "class system"? You mean just like Fastpass wasn't designed to be?
    I know I'm going off topic but I just don't understand this. I can appreciate people not liking FP for it's effects (Standby wait times, crowding in walkways, etc.) but I don't see how it makes it a class system or provides an 'entitlement' (another word I see alot of people using when discussing FP).

    FP is free for everyone and everyone has an equal opportunity to use it. The only FP benefits that I believe does create a class system is the AAA unlimited FP for resort guests at DL (Do they still offer this?)

    I love FP and make the most out of it every trip.



    Back to the original post...

    We have another family travelling with us to WDW next week and the first time we go to MK we will drive to the TTC and go through the entire process, it is a must do for a first time visit. After that we will probably use resort transportation since it drops you right up front. This is my 5th trip and I still love the ferry boat ride to MK on the first day. Now if people would also leave their cell phones back at the car and just enjoy the day we would really be making progress
    Maybe you folks can tell me though. Does gettin' two womenfolk mean you're the winner or the loser?
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  10. #10

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    Re: What were they thinking

    Quote Originally Posted by canadamouse View Post
    2) why are the parks so far away from each other? IS there a good reason. Why couldn't it be like disneyland and California side??
    Shocking isn't it? I just went on my first trip in October and knew to expect a lot of walking but wasn't expecting the 20 minute trips between everything. But sounds like you had a car so consider yourself better off than those of us who had to bus it

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    Re: What were they thinking

    yes, the parks are far apart partly b/c of infrastructure. MK still sticks to it's original plan for the most part. look at EPCOT concepts and the roads. notice how a trip the MK on the original roads has NO traffic lights?

    yes, atmosphere and encroachment on themes has a lot to with things too.

    I doubt it's so much so you HAVE to stay at their hotels. A lot of the roads were built before the ideas of having 20+ hotels were born.

    ALso,as you can see by looking at RDID information made accessible to the public, a lot of the land at WDW is either protected or would be crazy expensive to build on b/c it's almost all swamps. they build where construction costs will be cheaper and where the property lies within it's infrastructure.

    parks close together or far apart, neither are bad...just different.

  12. #12

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    Re: What were they thinking

    Folks, PLEASE refrain from personal attacks - or responding to them for that matter. If you see a member attacking another member, please report the post and consider giving negative reputation for it.

    While we encourage you to express your opinions about the parks, we do not want you to do same about your fellow MiceChatters. If you have a problem with another user, report the post or contact a Moderator.

    Derailing a thread with personal attacks and rebuttals is not what this board is about!!!

    Thank you for your help!

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    Re: What were they thinking

    I apologize. I didn't really mean it as a personal attack, but I can see how it came across like that. The whole arrival design to the MK is very special to me, so I get emotional when people attack it as a greed thing. But, I stated why I feel it is so special, so I'll leave it at that. Again, sorry for the personal issue in my post.
    -Tim

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    Re: What were they thinking

    Quote Originally Posted by Roo719 View Post
    One of the problems that happened with the design of Disneyland was that Uncle Walt couldn't purchase the land around his dream park. It was snatched up by hoteliers (naturally) and the place became seedy. He detested how their signs would poke up and over the berm and would destroy the virtual reality he tried so hard to create.
    This is the one thing that imo Walt got totally wrong. The Anaheim Resort area is now quite nice, thanks to the WDC working with the city of Anaheim to clean it up. Now that Gardenwalk is going in, the resort area will be even nicer.

    Walt may have been a dreamer, but his ideas of the future settled on the futuristic year of 1986. It is now 2008 and more and more land is being developed each year. I read an article in National Geographic last year about Orlando and saw a map comparing the populated areas in 1971 and in 2007. It appears that the city of Orlando is quickly growing towards WDW's northeast border.

    It seems to me that it is a lot easier to clean up urban blight around a small area such as the DLR as compared to warding off the encroachment of a large city expanding toward you as it appears to be happening with WDW.

    Walt had many blue sky ideas. But in this case I think this is one thing where he got it wrong. I understand his intentions but in a world of overpopulation it would seem even more land should have been purchased.

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    Re: What were they thinking

    I happen to like the fact that the parks are spread out and not next to each other as DL/DCA are.

    Yes, it means having to take some sort of resort transport system if you're going to park-hop, but I take this as a time to relax my feet from a long day of walking.


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