The last time I visited Walt Disney World was around ten years ago. I was in Orlando last month, and was curious to see how the Disney Magic was performing in these recession-hit times.
In the end the crowds said it all. I started at Epcot which demonstrated quite convincingly that queuing was still very much part of the game. A quick look at the Circle of Life, and then the brief waterway trip to view the experiment in Hydroponics; and which, as you would expect, is quite impressive. I had debated personally whether to take the private tour as it was an area in which I was genuinely interested. Maybe next time.
My plan was to lunch at the Mexican pavilion after I had a swift look at the display. It went according to plan, and most time was spent viewing artifacts, including some attractive toys which truly fascinated me.
The next two pavilions were China and Japan. They were short visits, keeping to time with me utilising all the benefits of my ‘One Day Pass/Hopper’ which made it possible for me to ‘hop’ to more than one theme park in one day.
Next came the Animal Kingdom; and I was rather surprised by the crowds. This I saw for the first time, and I had to admit that the concept was admirable, even though the execution was not always perfect. The Wildlife presentation worked quite well, and probably was the best way to present animals to the public, without mimicking an ordinary zoo. Running out of time, as the shadows approached, I knew I had only enough time for one more park.
My final stop was the Magic kingdom. Since I regard this as the ‘Jewel in Disney’s Crown’, I was here to observe how much of the magic was still alive. And indeed it was. Even in the late afternoon it was absolutely crowded, with long queues everywhere. Waiting time averaged from fifteen minutes to a full hour. Obviously, I chose the easy options, and was able to get into places in less than fifteen minutes. Stops like ‘Space Mountain’, which needed a whopping fifty minutes, I avoided.
My plan was to leave by nine, but was persuaded to stay for the Disney Parade. And yes, this was quite different, nothing like I expected it to be. The presentation of Disney folklore, all spruced in electic lights parading down Main Street, was definitely an unbeatable combination. Was very glad I stayed.
The Disney Magic survives, although it remains expensive. The presence of the crowds is still proof that people are prepared to pay to be entertained. The Magic Kingdom is also extending, and by the time your next visit comes along you will be greeted by new shows to top those which you have already seen. Definitely worth a visit, if youhave the money.