"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

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Refuting The Top 13 Reasons Not To Go To Disney, Part 2

So I'm happily looking at my Facebook newsfeed the other day and one of those "Sponsored" things is up there. It's from a site called Viral Travel (which sounds like a bad idea on the face of it) and is entitled 13 Reasons Not To Go To Disney. Of course I bite. Sue me. So its about what I expect, the same things we Disney fans fans from you non-Disney fans-- crowds,expense, capitalism, yadda yadda yadda. The thing is, many of these criticisms are true to a large extent, but avoidable. I hate to see people get spoiled on the Disney I love because they go about the whole experience unprepared logistically or mentally for the realities of the place. I figured just for kicks to take the 13 reasons one by one (or two by two) and try to explain why they don't keep ME from the Magic. This part two, part one is here.

12. There Is Constant Construction

You might see this as a positive, but Disney is always under construction. If you see a ride that looks way cool but it’s not complete, that means the kiddos will be bugging you to death to go back so you can endure even more Disney in the near future. Joy.

7. Rides Are Shut Down All The Time

Disney is careful about maintaining rides and keeping them safe, but the flip side is that your favorite ride might not even be open the whole time you’re at the park. Some rides seem to be especially prone to breaking, or always shut down when there’s even the slightest hint of rain. Of course this means you can go back again and hope the ride is open, or you could just go to the beach.

I've bundled these two complaints into one becuase they go hand-in-hand, I think. First off, the writer admits that new construction is really a good thing. I mean if a place that makes you wat to return is a bad thing, maybe stay-cations are more your cup of tea. The second issue, number seven on his list, is also true. In part. Let's look at construction and refurbishment in Disney Parks realistically.

Some "construction" is really upkeep or even seasonal decorating, like in the photo of the Cinderella Castle below being fixed up with Christmas lights during our last trip. Most decorating is done at night out of public view, but the castle is a big job and each year there will be times when it has cranes around it. While you may be disappointed you can't get the "perfect" castle photo on your trip during these times, there's always Photoshop, and besides, as my friend pointed out to me it's kinda cool to have photos of the decorations going up, not everyone gets to see that process.

Hanging Christmas Lights on The Castle

Upkeep is also a constant and closes some attractions and restaurants throughout the year. This can cause hassles if you're ill-prepared. Luckily, there are plenty of on-line resources to keep you up to date on what is going to be closed and when. The Walt Disney World site itself is the last word, but fan sites often have the info just as current and much easier to find all in one place. It's important to check this out, there WILL be rides you can't go on and/or shows you can't see due to refurbishment. Knowing before you go will save you much worse disappointment later, especially with little ones. The writer's contention that "some rides seem to be especially prone to breaking, or always shut down when there’s even the slightest hint of rain" is exaggerated at best. Do the attractions break down and have to close for short periods sometimes, sure, but it's far from common. And besides, there is SO MUCH to do at the Disney parks, that no one attraction is a game-breaker for us.

Actual new construction is also always going on. It's a GOOD thing, even a great thing. Every time you visit Disney there will be something you've never seen before, and often it will something spectacular. During our last visit, Disney was in the process of building a huge expansion of Fantasyland called, rather stupidly, New Fantasyland. I wonder if the creative team was on vacation when they dreamed that one up. Anyhow, it's kinda a big deal and while some of it was open when we were there, we had a ball peeking over and around barricades and walls to catch a glimpse of the Beast's Castle and the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. One of the big reasons I planned to get at least half a day in the Magic Kingdom during our upcoming weekend trip was to get a chance to check out the completed New Fantasyland.
New Fantasyland Under Construction

We don't sweat the refurbs, honestly, because we've been enough to see most everything and there's plenty else to do. We actually enjoy the construction both because it means new things on the way and simply for it's own sake. We like watching the Magic being created. We are such Disney Geeks we even took pictures of all the little Walt Disney quotes hanging on the construction barricades. Take some time to read them yourself when you visit, he is the reason this place is magic.



  1. I have quite a few pictures of the murals painted on the wall surround The Seven Dwarfs' Mine Train. They were truly spectacular in scope and detail when you consider they were painted on construction fencing that was doomed to be torn down in short period of time.

  2. Also, the constant construction, refurbishment and expansion are part of Walt's dream. He always meant the parks to be ever changing places. Places to discover new delights and adventures. One of the hallmarks of a Disney park is how clean and well they are. Unfortunately, this means that "frequent" closures are required to maintain that level freshness.

  3. I still remember the first time we went for my birthday. Space Mountain was supposed to reopen the day after we were there. Disappointing, but not a huge deal since we have been on it so many times. But as we walked by, we noticed it was open - turned out it was a very limited opening for test runs. On my birthday. Cause that's how Disney rolls.