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"My 2 Cents!"
article appeared in the
January 30, 2001, Issue #70 of ALL EARS® (ISSN: 1533-0753)
Things change. It happens every day. Perhaps it's that wisp of gray that appeared in your hair since the summer, or that full head of brown hair that replaced the wisp of gray following your last hair appointment. Maybe you've gone back to your favorite childhood sledding hill to find a 17 screen multiplex in its place.
Styles change, tastes change, stock trends change, in fact the whole world is changing daily, including the part with Walt Disney World on it.
Change in a place like WDW is never something that happens easily, because the park's fans are so very different.
To some, the rides should be "evergreen," or never-changing. An announcement of an attraction closure is akin to the death of a close friend who can never be replaced.
They hold dear the memories of their hair blowing in the wind high atop the Magic Kingdom in a Skyway bucket. They recall the smell of oranges in "Horizons" and the smile on a little purple dragon named "Figment" that sang "Imaaaaaaa-gination." Perhaps their eyes tear up with fond recollections of a majestic fleet of submarines that took them 20,000 leagues under the sea, or Model T's that sent them along on a wylde ride with Mr. Toad.
Those feelings are very understandable. For many, many years, those attractions were constant points in a sometimes scary world.
For some, change can't happen quickly enough. They stare at open spaces in the park looking for the first signs of the long-rumored "Fire Mountain" and agonize over the two-year wait for the opening of "Space." They look at what for some are beloved attractions and chant rehab, rehab! The news of the "soft opening" of almost anything sends them packing off to Mousedom.
Those feelings are also understandable. The world has become a faster place. Its inhabitants have adapted.
To me, one of the most wonderful things about Walt Disney World is that it IS a work in constant progress. It's kind of like a crisp winter sky with big puffy clouds. If you just glance at it..it looks the same. But if you can bear the cold and enjoy it for awhile, there's always something different.
Some changes are subtle and may be walked right by, or (in the case of the Epcot "sparkleys" that were added to the sidewalks several years ago) walked right over without even being seen.
Perhaps it's the addition of a buttefly-filled garden, or a new tune coming from unseen speakers.
Other things are huge changes, which are impossible to miss, like the opening of the majestic Animal Kingdom and later, it's addition of Asia.
Some changes aren't really changes in the park, but in how you view the park. At a leisurely pace you may for the first time notice all the fountains surrounding Pirates of the Caribbean and think, "Were these always here?"
This year, as always, will bring many changes to our favorite 40 square miles of Florida. There's the opportunity to have a nice Martini (one of Zamgwar's favorite attractions!) in the Iron Spike Room while sitting next to original railway cars from Walt's Carolwood backyard railroad, over at the new Wilderness Lodge Villas.
Animal Kingdom Lodge will open, along with what may be some of the most AMAZING views in all of Disney World. I'm sure the restaurants there will also serve some of the freshest meat in the parks! JUST KIDDING!
At some point Aladdin's Magic Carpets will be spinning high above a new Agrabah in Adventureland. Admit it now, you're gonna ride it! I sure am.
Chester and Hester's Dinorama! (the exclamation point is part of the name) will open in Animal Kingdom, drawing kiddies screaming "I want to ride the triceratops" to a midway that never was.
The 2000 that has adorned Spaceship Earth will be replaced by the glittering name Epcot. For better or worse an enormous Sorcerer's Hat will loom in front of The Great Movie Ride in MGM, celebrating 100 years of Disney. Dixie Landings hopefully will change in name only when it become the "Riverside" part of Port Orleans.
You'll be able to walk now to MGM and Epcot, from the Boardwalk Hotel. That's pretty cool I think!
There will be new reasons to sit on curbs with hearts beating with excitement. New favorite moments to bring a smile to your face, new songs to hum, new treats to taste, new friends to meet and new things to make you feel like a kid again. There always is.
The Mouse, just like all of us, is always changing.
And the best thing about changes? Every now and then, regardless how you feel about what's been done before, something really great comes along for someone.
Maybe your next trip, it will be for you.
That's My2Cnts. What's yours?
Office of Flux
The Zamgwar Institute
Editor's Note: This story/information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all current rates, information and other details before planning your trip.