Walt Disney often said that “Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.” And just like Disneyland, Walt Disney World is often in a state of flux.
We love most of those changes, some….not so much. So we thought that we would put a list of things that we sincerely miss about Walt Disney World.
10 – Riding In The Front of the Monorail
There was once a day when guests were allowed to sit with the pilots of the monorails. These were offered on a first-come/first-serve basis, and a pilot gave out “co-pilot licenses” at the end of the journey. Unfortunately, front cab riding was suspended after a fatal accident on July 5, 2009.
Check out this video from WDWNewsToday
9 – Trams Without Doors
We are all about safety, but doors on the trams that deliver guests from the parking lots to the front gates of each theme park seem to be a little overkill. When they debuted at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in 2010, they caused a bit of a stir, but over time, guests have come to accept it. We miss the old trams…and being able to ride one WITHOUT the safety spiel at EVERY STOP!
8 – Epcot Center
We love Epcot. We would have loved to see Walt Disney’s version of Epcot, but alas… Epcot, seems to have had multiple personalities. Formerly EPCOT Center (1982-1994) as well as Epcot 94 in 1994 and Epcot 95 for a brief time in 1995, the name seemed to prophesy things to come…but we will get to that point later.
Call us rebels, but we STILL call it Epcot Center… FYI, we also still call it MGM Studios.
7 – Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
I love the Wind in The Willows. It’s a classic book turned into a classic Walt Disney cartoon, turned into a classic Walt Disney World attraction. (Ok, actually a classic Disneyland attraction brought to Walt Disney World, but you get the idea…)
Sadly, I never had the pleasure to experience the classic WDW attraction. My only Toad Adventure has been via Disneyland visits. But every time I ride The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh, my heart aches a little when I see Mr. Toad handing over the deed to Mr. Owl.
Despite the ride’s popularity and “toad-in” protests, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride closed on September 7, 1998 and was replaced with The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.
Check out these amazing videos from Park Hopper on YouTube
Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride (Track 1) Magic Kingdom
Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride (Track 2) Magic Kingdom
6 – Tomorrowland Was About The Vision of Tomorrow
When Walt Disney opened Tomorrowland in Disneyland, he and his Imagineers wanted it to be a land dedicated to the future and what tomorrow could be. Due to time and budget concerns, when Disneyland opened Tomorrowland was unfinished and more of a showcase of product placement and branding.
Much like its Disneyland counter-part, when Tomorrowland opened in the Magic Kingdom in 1971, it was not ready to open either. And after several refurbishments, subtractions, and additions, in many ways, it still isn’t. In its current iteration, Tomorrowland is an homage to science-fiction pulps and comics from the early 20th Century.
In my (Parkhopper John’s) opinion, Tomorrowland, as much as I love it, seems sad and depressing, nothing like the grand vision of Walt Disney’s Imagination.
5 – Not Having To Line Up to Greet a Character
When you visit any Disney park nowadays, you know that there will be ample opportunities to meet and greet your favorite Disney characters. All you have to do is find out where they meet and get in the appropriate line. I hate lines.
Back in the day you once were able to meet any number of Disney characters as they just “happened” to be walking around. There are still instances of this happening at Disneyland, but I guess that Walt Disney World is too large to allow characters to walk around “willy-nilly”. I miss that.
4 - Epcot Was A Carnival of Advanced Technology
When I was younger, I had the opportunity to visit Walt Disney World with my dad. Our first stop was the Magic Kingdom…I was EXTREMELY disappointed. All I wanted was to get to Epcot Center*. It was where the latest, and greatest technology was showcased and you were actually ALLOWED to play with it!
As a budding computer-geek-in-training, Epcot Center was mecca for a younger person in love with the idea of computer technology, advanced tele-communications, and what the future would hold.
Today Epcot is shall of its former self. FutureWorld, Communicore, The Living Seas, Horizons…it made the mind explode with excitement and possibility. I miss those days. If we couldn’t get the entire vision of what Walt Disney wanted, it would be only fitting to keep Epcot at the fore-front of technology that the public can dream about.
Check out this video from ProgressCityUSA on Youtube:
3 – Dreamfinder
Dreamfinder the lovable character created by Walt Disney Imagineering for the Epcot’s Journey Into Imagination also brought us Figment, his creation. I never got the chance to meet Dreamfinder in the parks, but I was able to meet him more recently at D23 Expo. No disrespect to the Imagineers, but the current incarnation of Journey Into Imagination (with Figment) is not what it once was.
The current rumor that Journey Into Imagination may return, ala Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, is refreshing and I still hold out hope that it will be returned to its former glory. My other hope/desire/dream is that Dreamfiner will make his way back to the Imagination Pavilion as well.
2 – Not Having a Sorcerer Mickey Hat a Disney’s Hollywood Studios
In the Disney Community, this question sparks impassioned debate… Do like the Sorcerer Mickey Hat? When it comes to the Sorcerer Mickey Hat, most people fall into one of two camps: PRO or AGAINST.
Back when Disney’s Hollywood Studios used to be known as Disney’s MGM Studios, there was a beautiful main street area that led guests to the Great Movie Ride designed to look like Grauman’s Chinese Theater from Hollywood.
Before shot from StartedByAMouse:
But now, we have a less than inspiring Sorcerer Mickey Hat. Nothing against the hat…but could it have been placed somewhere else??
For the record…we prefer NO HAT.. Let the debating begin.
1 – Paper FastPasses
This is a recent change that has come about by the addition of MagicBands and the new RFID technology. Not too long ago, when you wanted to get a FastPass for an attraction, you could go to the FastPass line, and get a paper FastPass.
Now, with the new MagicBand technology, you log into your MyDisney Experience App, or visit one of the FastPass kiosks, and then schedule your attractions…if they are available.
I love the idea of the MagicBand technology, but in practice, it’s disconnected. The old way was fair across the board…you went to the attraction and got your passes, but now there is another system in play that is set up to favor the resort guests, not day guests or passholders.
I understand the reasoning behind this, and I do appreciate what Disney is trying to do. But it’s disheartening to think that you always have to plan ahead to ride a ride, or if you are lucky, there will be a FastPass available through the app or one of the kiosks stationed around the parks.
Maybe it’s just me, but I preferred it the way it was.
These are my Top Thing We Miss…what are yours?
What do you miss from Walt Disney World?
*See Point Number 8 – Epcot will ALWAYS be Epcot Center.