Right around this time last year, I whipped up my WDW-inspired wish list for Santa and out of the five things I wished for, I kind of got one if you squint and look it at from far away. (I wanted to tour the parks with my husband alone, instead I toured the parks with my husband and a near empty park because of a downpour in June.)
Oh well, you can’t win them all. Santa is just one man as they say.
But since I’m a fan of traditions, I thought I’d try my hand at it yet again. (For the record, I was [mostly] a very good girl this year.)
1. Let’s start with a grand vision. A planetarium. Both Future World (Epcot) and Tomorrowland (Magic Kingdom) need a little rejuvenation. I should WANT to spend time in both of these lands. I would love to see edutainment brought to either of these spots with a fun planetarium show with a celebrity voice of the company’s choice. (I would love for it to be Tim Allen but hey, that’s just me.) It would be a perfect place to keep guests out of the way for about twenty minutes or so (less traffic!) and also be a spot to cool down in the summer and take a load off during any crazy trip.
2. Over the past year, Beers and Ears has become one of my favorite websites to read. I love their reviews of the beers in the theme parks, and even their own personal recommendations and experiences in brewing at home. More and more, I crave better beer in the world. Now, it’s not bad. There are quite a few places I like to grab a drink (go figure, ESPN Club) but I would love to see WDW embrace more pumpkin beers during the fall, and maybe switch over to some winter ales (example: Anderson Valley Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale). Disney needs to do a better job of tapping into the craft beer world, and incorporating other brews into the park. Everyone gets a little tired of Bass at some point.
3. Last year, I pleaded my case for more Walter in the theme parks, and here I am to say it again. It’s such a missed opportunity to under utilize a character that embodies the geek in all of us. The MuppetVision section of Hollywood Studios could use a little new life breathed into it anyway. I’m not saying bring in a new film because that is one classic I cannot let go of, but a little bit of Walter will go a long way. I’m really hoping he’ll be a focal point in the new Muppet movie (scheduled for a December release) and who knows, maybe he’ll be the star of their marketing campaign. But Hollywood Studios needs to do a better job of fusing together the history of the Muppets with the current revival of the crew. I believe the key is Walter.
4. I’m going to dream big again. But thanks to all of George Taylor‘s book recommendations on Communicore Weekly this year, my Disney library has grown. (I have sadly not made a dent in most of the books I have bought either.) I would love to see a real Disney bookstore in one of the parks, packed to the nines with publications about the theme park, memoirs of actors associated with the company, guide books, comic collections, and more. The Writer’s Shop in Hollywood Studios used to be a cozy little haven for me to search (and find!) books sometimes, but over the years, it’s become less about the books and more about the kitchen supplies. (Sadface.) Maybe we can even incorporate that ladder that Belle slides on… I always wanted to try out one of those.
5. Now here’s a doozy for you. How about a new attraction that is (gasp!) based on an original idea, and not a movie that just came out or a TV show. As much as I love synergy, I would hate for the people in imagineering to have their brains turn to mush because they are not able to dig a little deeper into their imaginations. (Hey, things get tedious… it happens.) It’s no breaking story that there are some parts of WDW that could use a little sparkle, a little TLC (ahem, Future World, Camp Minnie Mickey, Tomorrowland, maybe even DisneyQuest). The problem with new ideas is that they are more likely to fail when compared to hanging on to a popular character or series that people will most likely love no matter what. But you know… you never learn if you don’t fail. I would at least like to see the effort made.
Stars, beer, Walter, books, and imagination… totally doable, right?
What are your holiday wishes for the Disney theme parks?