Unsolicited Advice for Disney Parks Future
Disney, I am offering FREE, Unsolicited Advice for Disney Parks Future. As stated in my prior posts, What Disney Parks Got Right in 2015 and Where Disney Parks Went Wrong in 2016, I really believe that Disneyland has been exceeding expectations, but Walt Disney World has been slipping. The future appears bright with the upcoming additions of Avatarland in Animal Kingdom, Toy Story Land and Star Wars Land in Hollywood Studios, and the newly purchased land in Anaheim for expansion of Disneyland. Please do not sit back and relax, though. “The magic is in the details.”
Walt Disney World
- Do not close anything! Magic Kingdom is by far the best park at WDW with the addition of New Fantasyland. Please do not diminish it. Even though Stitch’s Great Escape stinks, I am sure some people like it, and it draws crowds out of the streets.
- Work on a quality replacement for Stitch, but do not close Stitch until you are ready to start construction. I can see something like a Big Hero 6 themed adventure with an interactive science fair fitting into Tomorrowland.
- Learn crowd control techniques from Disneyland. They do a much better job of politely keeping people moving into and out of the parks during parades, fireworks, and other crowded times.
- Do not oversell your parties: Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. If you are going to charge big bucks for “exclusive” events, then they should actually feel exclusive with smaller crowds and shorter waits.
Epcot needs help!
- Do not close anything else! Epcot needs MORE and is the only US Disney Park that has not had a recent update/expansion.
- Do not shorten the experience of Soarin’ when switching to Soarin’ the World. This is one of Epcot’s best experiences. Keep it that way.
- Leave Patrick Warburton’s hilarious intro to Soarin’. You cannot do better!
- Re-open Innoventions West with science and education focused attractions. Epcot is the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, not a super meet-and-greet park. Innoventions is at the heart of this concept. Teach us. Inspire us. Entertain us. There are many exciting things happening in science: commercial space travel, gene therapy, cloning of extinct creatures (mammals), and more.
- Epcot needs more countries!! Give us Brazil or Russia or Australia or India or…someplace! For frequent visitors like DVC and Annual Pass holders, this is especially important.
- Until Toy Story Land and Star Wars Land opens, Hollywood Studios is a shell of a park, not worth a full day ticket. Opening Toy Story Land and Star Wars Land attractions as soon as they are complete, instead of waiting until the entire land is complete will help build excitement and make it more worth our while to visit.
- Closing anything else would be ridiculous and guarantee that the Universal Parks would pass Hollywood Studios in attendance.
- Re-open the Animation Academy in a different a new location (possibly the theater) in Hollywood Studios or move it to Epcot Innoventions or maybe even Magic Kingdom. Disneyland has the Animation Academy as does the Disney Cruise Line and Aulani. Walt Disney World should have it, too. It is a great activity for the whole family, and each family member leaves with a personal souvenir (their drawing).
- The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights was loved by WDW regulars and we are upset (especially my wife who still cries when she hears any music that was played there) that it has been axed. Do not shelve it forever. Re-open it in Disney Springs. We NEVER visit Disney Springs. The Spectacle of Dancing Lights would absolutely draw us to Disney Springs at least one night during our annual Christmas stay. It would attract many more families coming to Disney Springs who would shop and eat. It would be a win for all.
- I see great hope in Animal Kingdom becoming a a full day park with the soon- to-open night-time safari and water-light show on Discovery River. I would suggest also that you keep some of the other attractions open into the night also; Expedition Everest and Dinoland USA would provide more to do in the evening.
- Do not close anything! When Avatarland opens with new rides, restaurants, and shops, fight the temptation. Trust me. More is better.
- Disneyland is great, but landlocked. Purchasing more land for expansion was huge. Disneyland is already small compared with Magic Kingdom. Please fight the urge to close anything while going through the expansion. It is rumored that Toon Town will close. While the most expendable, it would still be a shame to see it go.
- Tomorrowland is the weakest “land” at the park. In this circumstance, I suggest you refer to Magic Kingdom. Redoing Innoventions with something like the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor would help.
Disney’s California Adventure
- The refurbishment of Grizzly Peaks was excellent. Hollywood Land and A Bug’s Land could both use an overhaul, too. Just like with Grizzly Peaks, a more cohesive theming, feel, and flow would improve the experience.
- Expansion is always a good idea!
Disney, I hope that you take notice of my free, Unsolicited Advice for Disney Parks Future. Check out our prior, related posts What Disney Parks Got Right in 2015 and Where Disney Parks Went Wrong in 2015 for more information.
If anyone has more advice that you would like passed onto Disney, please write them in the comments section below.