"Around here, however, we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things...and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."
---Walter Elias Disney

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Always Changing, Always Something New

People tend to roll their eyes at those of us who visit Disney regularly. They wonder, I think, why we don't get bored going to the same place year after year.These people are missing out on one of the greatest things about the Disney parks -- the fact that they are always evolving and changing. Like I wrote about trying to capture in my personal life in a previous post, they Keep Moving Forward. So, as an example of what I mean, here are just some of the changes to old things we look forward to seeing and some of the new things we've never tried.

Some changes are just cosmetic, but as much as we love taking pictures in the parks, these things are exciting for us. The castle in the Magic Kingdom, as iconic as it is, almost always has something new going on. It's been covered in what looked like birthday cake frosting, which was horrid, and it's been decorated with golden statues of characters from decades of Disney films, which was really cool. It gets lights at Christmas and this time we will get to see those going up. There will be a crane involved, so our castle pics will have that in them sometimes, but it's still something we're looking forward to seeing because it's new and different. In Epcot we will be seeing the big golf ball of Spaceship Earth without its accompanying Mickey hand and wand. It's been a long time since we visited Epcot, so we are as happy about Spaceship Earth being "plain" as we are about the castle being decorated.

The biggest change coming to Disney World is the New Fantasyland expansion.Most of it won't be open yet when we are there, so peeking over the walls at the construction is pretty high on my list of things to do at the Magic Kingdom. The New Fantasyland required the demolition of the old Mickey's Toontown Fair, which is a bit sad, but not a heart breaker. We liked Toontown and captured one of my favorite Disney pictures of my son at the Donald Duck themed water play area there. But the new Fantasyland will feature a new water play area based on a circus theme, AND it will be open when we go next week! Wish me luck, I'm going to attempt to make the boy go in and try to capture an updated version of this shot. I'm hoping he won't be "too cool" for that. Again, changes I guess.

There is a whole litany of rides and shows we either haven't seen at all or our son hasn't seen or we've just skipped for far too long. We always seemed to rush past the Swiss Family Treehouse, Tom Sawyer's Island and the Liberty Belle riverboat. Not this time, we have eight days in the parks and plenty of time to explore all the nooks and crannies. We've skipped the Carousel of Progress for years, but after reading a lot about Walt Disney and his ideas about moving forward as a society into a brighter future, I really want to see it this time. During our last visit to Epcot, we skipped Soarin' because it had a long line and we had no idea what it was. We skipped Universe of Energy because the dinosaurs would have scared the boy half to death. This time they are on the list. Captain Eo is back and I'm dragging the family in just to revel in the pure 80s awfulness. We plan to explore the World Showcase much more thoroughly now that John is old enough to appreciate it and is really looking forward to it. It's been just as long since we visited Animal Kingdom and we have lots to try there as well. Kali River Rapids, Expedition Everest and Dinosaur are must do's on this trip. Our friend Jen has told us we NEED to see the Nemo show, so that's a priority. Actually, we look forward to stopping to take in about all the shows we can, having a new appreciation for the inner workings of stage productions from our work on Wizard of Oz this summer. Hollywood Studio's production of Beauty and the Beast is very high on the lovely Miss Lisa's list. Also at the Studios, Star tourrs was closed for a refurb last time we visited, so we can't wait to get in again and see what's new. We missed the Indian Jones show as well, so we will catch that, and we still need to experience the cowboy side of The Great Movie Ride.

We are spending the week at the Caribbean Beach Resort, someplace we've never even seen let alone stayed. It's a huge resort with tons to explore, and we'll take the time to see it all.

So, yes, we've been to Walt Disney World three times in the last four years and we are going again. But there is no way we will be bored or feel like we've been there done that. In the Magical World of Disney, it's always a Big Bright Beautiful Tomorrow, and that's just the way we like it.

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