Disney’s still really in fine form. Not perfect, but in fine form.
You get these wistful references to the glory days, which are kind what happens when people don’t recognize that their enjoyment of Carousel of Progress is due to nostalgia rather than due to any quality of the ride experience. It’s pretty bogus. The best work ever done at Walt Disney World was during the late 80s and 90s, when Disney-MGM and Animal Kingdom opened. The worst park, from a sheer quality perspective, is Epcot. On the other hand, it’s the worst park at WDW, which means I enjoy the heck out of it every time.
New stuff this trip!
Raglan Road is a new restaurant which looked cheesy in potential but wow, does it work out well. The food’s really good; traditional Irish cooking with spiffed up presentation and a lot of care taken with ingredients and such. I had this pork loin stuffed with sausage, plus mashed potatoes, and it was just so well done. Perfect harmony of tastes, mild but rich at the same time — loved it.
I did a lot more of Animal Kingdom than usual. The new Everest coaster is superb; not a high end coaster like Universal has across town, but the use of reverse is really good. I liked it a lot. I also saw a lot more of the theming in the Asia section of the park, and it’s an immaculate vista. I’ve read that the team responsible made a field trip to Nepal and the Himalayas, and it’s very easy to believe that.
I also hit Africa, although I skipped the rides. Again, great theming. It’s odd to see pretty depressing areas converted to shiny tourist places, mind you, but I appreciate it as an illusion of relocation to a nonexistent world, if that makes sense.
Disney-MGM is the same way; the theming is very dense, with a lot of detail. I compare this to Epcot, which has minimal theming in the Future World section and very… bursty theming in the World pavilions, I guess. The individual pavilions are buildings in the country’s styles, but for the most part, they don’t present an environment. They’re pavilions, not areas.
Speaking of Epcot, I did the American Adventure show for the first time. Eh. I don’t expect I’ll redo it; it’s cheesy and overwrought.
I continue to wish Disney would figure out Future World. There’s a rumor that Siemens will be sponsoring more of it, which might help, but man. It’s too spread out, and there’s too little to do — the original concept of sub-areas sponsored and invigorated by various companies has been too hard to maintain with shifting sponsorships.
Oh — Soarin’ is nice. Not great, but nice. It needs a narrative track, although the raw images of California are pretty awesome.
I spent a bus ride chatting with an older couple who’d just done a Disney Vacation Club open house. Nice people, but the interesting thing was that they said their guide claimed a new park (“fifth gate,” in Disney fanatic parlance) was on the way. They said he said he couldn’t say anything about it, but that it was gonna be under construction soon.
This seems unlikely — I can’t find a thing about it on the rumor sites — but hey, you never know. If there is a new park opening up in WDW, my bet is that it’ll be a thrill ride park similar to Universal’s Islands of Adventure; it’s the only thing in Orlando that you can’t find replicated inside WDW property.
Good trip. Can’t wait till next time, as usual.