Nowadays it is pretty hard to miss the fact that Disney Parks are going through a bunch of updates and expansions. A lot of exciting new experiences are on their way and quite a few icons of a generation are also on their way out. There is no doubt that all of the new attractions will breathe a new life into their respective areas but there are still many areas that have been kind of forgotten. So today we’ll look at some areas that could use a lot of attention and would go a long way to updating Walt Disney World.
Updating Walt Disney World
”It is something that will never be finished. Something that I can keep developing and adding to.” – Walt Disney
This quote about Disneyland formed a philosophy for how the parks would continue to thrive. Walt knew that, unlike the feature films he made, his theme parks could adapt to audiences over time. For Walt Disney World, there seems to be a lot of this going on. Though I’m excited to see what will come of these projects, I can’t help but look to the lands and attractions I grew up with age poorly and turn into eyesores.
- Future World – I love Epcot and a large part of that is due to Future World. But much of it feels forgotten in time and far from the “future.” Some of the pavilions have remained somewhat relevant, while some remain trapped in the past. On the west side, an uninspiring Finding Nemo ride has taken over the educational journey of the Seas, while the “Imagination Institute” finds fewer and fewer dreams in the world. On the East side, Ellen’s Energy Adventure is stuck in the 90’s and the healthy list of attractions at the Wonders of Life were gutted then filled with Food and Wine. With the new Frozen Ever After poised to draw more families to the park, Epcot will have to address these areas sooner rather than later. The loss of sponsorships has made it hard to keep the future aspect going but Imagineering should be able to find a way to retool these areas. Updating Walt Disney World needs to start with updating their vision of the future.
- The Great Movie Ride – There have been plenty of rumors about this attraction being updated, but aside from a new narration and end film there really hasn’t been any action on it. With the big hat gone and two big lands coming, the sight of the Chinese theater will become more and more familiar to Walt Disney World guests again. While being a ride through history as well as having a live guide, it lacks the pacing of Spaceship Earth and enthusiasm of the Jungle Cruise. With two major film franchises about to dominate this park, it needs to become more relevant.
The Muppets – A key element in updating Walt Disney World is keeping up with the audiences your properties are building. Hollywood Studios is having no problem doing this with Star Wars, while the Muppets, who have an active television show and movie franchise, seem to be locked into an incarnation 20 years older than what audiences see on their screens. This may be the easiest fix on the list because it’s mostly a movie. Aside from that, it would be nice to see the surrounding area given more of a Muppets feel as they remodel for the new neighbors. There are rumors this may be already under way.
Adventureland – I list the whole land but I really just want to discuss two attractions. Swiss Family Treehouse can be nice to explore but it is an attraction that is completely inaccessible if you can’t go up and down multiple stairs. This eliminates anyone in a wheelchair, breathing problems, and knee/back issues from experiencing it at all. On top of that, the Swiss Family Robinson story is lost of many of the visitors. Unless a reboot is around the corner, the attraction needs a new theme at least. The second is Aladdin’s Magic Carpets, spinning away in the middle of the land. The ride style is not unique to the Magic Kingdom with two older ones currently running and the attraction looks plastic in the middle of a wonderfully themed land. This attraction could easily be taken out to open up the walkways in Adventureland.
Tomorrowland – Like Future World, this one can hard to keep relevant to it’s theming. Some of it is themed for science fiction, some of it is themed for human progress. Some of the mainstays require some desperate updating. The Carousel of Progress, which is great for a show and getting out of the heat, needs that final scene looking towards a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow again instead of a kind of beautiful ten years ago. The Peoplemover could use a little more to look at while you whip through some of the buildings and the Tomorrowland Speedway could use a little touch-up to look more futuristic. Buzz Lightyear is a fun ride but starting to show age. With Toy Story Land coming, it might be time for it to move over for something new. Stitch’s Great Escape needs to be scrapped and the space could be used to bring a proper science fiction show to the parks.
What are your ideas for updating Walt Disney World? Would you bring back old attractions for new audiences? Is there an original story to be told in place of an old movie ride? Let us know in the comments below!