Friday, October 24, 2014

Change is the Only Constant at Disney World and That Includes Epcot

As a frequent visitor to the Disney World theme parks in Florida, I can say that I have seen a fair amount of change over the years.  Rides and attractions have evolved or been replaced, and while I'm okay with some of the new things, I don't necessarily feel something is better or worse than before.  I'm pretty sure the whole of the parks are not built exclusively for me.

So when it was announced the Maelstrom ride in the Norway pavilion in Epcot was closing to give way to a "Frozen" themed attraction, I was okay with it.  Don't get me wrong, I liked Maelstrom and I was one of the few people who stayed for the movie at the end (not all the time though).  I grew up with the ride, and it getting replaced is another piece of the park I fell in love with changing.

However, I felt the same way about Horizons, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, Mike Fink's Keel Boats. Tomorrowland Skyway, and countless other attractions.  I don't necessarily think that changing the Norway ride violates Walt Disney's dream for Epcot, because like Mouse Planet points out the Epcot we know and love today is nothing like what the first Imagineer wanted.  Take a spin on Tomorrowland Transit Authority, or the Peoplemover they are calling it, and check out what Walt really expected of his Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow.

Yes, right now there is a lot of "Frozen" related things in the parks right now.  More than a billion dollars in box office gross will do that to the parks, but eventually the extra Elsa and Anna things in Hollywood Studios will make way for something else and the Norway ride could be the lasting presence of the sisters in the parks.  Seriously though, how cool would it be to see Elsa walk out and freeze the castle in Magic Kingdom during the holiday run?

Many changes at the parks are subtle, but some are so major they defy understanding.  Could a different Disney movie be adapted at just about every Epcot pavilion?  Yes, it could happen.  Will it?  That's tough to say.

The point is that change is a constant at Disney, because it has to be.  If it was the same park year after year, I wouldn't have to go back.  At least as often as I do anyway.  There are parts of all the parks that need to be updated, changed, or flat out redone.  Part of the fun is seeing what the folks behind the stage come up with, and the rest of the fun is experiencing it.

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