The Ever Changing World of WDW by Jennifer Romano

In life, change is inevitable, and the same is true at Walt Disney World. Lately, there has been a great deal of change at the World, so I thought I would reflect back on some of those big changes and how they have impacted my touring. First, paper fastpasses are no longer offered at the parks, and I really do miss them. I enjoyed collecting them, and it was fun to run to a particular attraction at rope drop and snag a coveted fastpass. Yes, I know that the new system is probably more efficient, and it wastes far less paper. However, I really miss the strategy sessions during which we planned out fastpasses to get during the day.

Whenever we stay at a WDW hotel, we always take advantage of Extra Magic Hours. Long ago, castmembers used to hand out bracelets that said “extra magic hours”. Again, I used to collect those bracelets during our trip just to see how many I could end up wearing by the end of the week. It has been years since the bracelets were issued, but I still have some in my Disney collection. I also miss the WDW specific napkins that used to be offered in the parks. They often referenced whichever celebration was occurring for the year, and there were even holiday napkins. I have a few napkins from various restaurants too, like the Sci-Fi Dine In. Disney World still has cups and popcorn containers that are decorated for the seasons though, so I am glad that this type of paper ephemera still exists.

With regard to attractions, I really miss Snow White’s Scary Adventures. I know that I can go to Disneyland and ride it, but I always enjoyed journeying into the scary forest and facing the Evil Queen. Although it has been gone for a long time, I do miss 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea too. This was one of my favorite rides as a child, and it just gave such a mysterious look to that corner of Fantasyland. I also enjoyed the music, and the sense that you were really journeying deep into the ocean in order to go exploring. Now, New Fantasyland is beautiful, but I will always be nostalgic
for 20K. Not only are some attractions a thing of the past, but there are also parades that no longer exist. I really miss Spectromagic, and again, this might just be because I grew up with this parade. I loved the music and the whole look of the parade. I recently purchased the limited edition pin that contains a piece of the parade. The alarm sound on my iphone is actually Spectromagic!

As far as merchandise goes, WDW has done a great job bringing back some retro designs. However, I do miss the build your own Mouse-ear hat that was introduced at the Chapeau in the past few years. I built two different hats, and I covered them with patches. I also purchased these patches to sew onto other bags and hats. Patches must not be popular because they are impossible to find on property. In addition to these items, we used to collect small glass figurines that depicted Mickey Mouse and the current year. Sometimes, he was sitting on a suitcase with the year on the suitcase, and sometimes he was standing with a banner labeled with the year. We had several of the figurines from our yearly visits, but then they were no longer produced.

Even though I miss many things that are no longer present at WDW, I am definitely hopeful for the future. I am sure that the Imagineers are hard at work coming up with what the next big thing will be. New Fantasyland will soon be in full swing, and who knows what will happen next at Hollywood Studios or with Futureworld at Epcot? The new Festival of Fantasy parade at Magic Kingdom debuts very soon as well. Since I am a local, I have the chance to be at the center of the action, and that is so exciting! Until next time, have a magical day, and keep moving forward!

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