Walt Disney World is constantly changing. Some changes are more visible than others, like the expansion we now call Fantasy Land at the Magic Kingdom. Some are smaller and mostly behind the scenes. Never the less, change is constant. Walt himself was quoted as saying, “”It’s something that will never be finished. Something that I can keep developing…and adding to.” Although he was referring to Disneyland at the time, I believe it would apply to all the Parks.
He also said, “In this volatile business of ours, we can ill afford to rest on our laurels, even to pause in retrospect. Times and conditions change so rapidly that we must keep our aim constantly focused on the future.” Change is the future. We may not always agree with the change but in the big picture, change drives us forward. And when it doesn’t? Well, let’s hope those in charge are willing to admit when change isn’t for the better and reevaluate.
Over the years many attractions have come and gone. The list is extensive; there are even web pages devoted to the topic. Some went without fan fare; while others have a fan base, like Mister Toad’s Wild Ride and Off Kilter, screaming to be heard. Some of the changes happened before I ever visited for the first time so I am not aware of what I lost; while other more recent changes have saddened me greatly. I never knew there was a daytime show in World Showcase Lagoon at EPCOT but I bet it was fun to see. I do however remember the Tapestry of Nations Parade and wish it would come back, even on a limited basis. I did ride the Skyway from Tomorrow Land to Fantasy Land on one visit to the Magic Kingdom. I even visited Discovery Island before it closed.
Each Guest has their favorite attractions and experiences. Some of which are must dos on every trip, until there is a change. And some new attractions quickly become must dos. I miss the underlying story of the Poachers on the safari ride in Animal Kingdom but enjoy the addition of the zebras and the addax. I really miss Mickey’s Toon Town although the attention to detail in the new décor is interesting and fun. And remember 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea? That can never be replaced. Some attractions are just timeless. New attractions are sometimes embraced with joy and enthusiasm by Guests. For example, Seven Dwarfs Mine ride seems to be quite popular. Try getting a Fast Pass! Others may not be as popular or may take time to get a following.
While many of us are repeat visitors, Guests that know what we want to see and do, others are visiting for the first time. These first time Guests may find some of the new attractions become their favorites. Fresh ideas and updates to attractions keep Guests coming while favorite attractions keep Guests coming back.
There is sentiment in things staying the same, nostalgia. We like to relive the past, return to our youth and maybe even share those memories with future generations. But there is excitement in new things, experiencing them for the first time, seeing new technology develop. Change pushes us forward. Memories ground us. A mix of both is the magic of Disney.