As Disney fans we are highly critical of many decisions that are made that might change the place that we hold so dear, Walt Disney World. We react and overreact to announcements of change as if it were a personal attack on us. Over the years that I have been active in the Disney online community I have seen fierce debate and anger break out over things that after a few years dissipate into nothing. I remember quite a hubbub over the closing of Snow White’s Scary Adventures when New Fantasyland was being constructed at Magic Kingdom. We now have a new Snow White themed attraction (Seven Dwarfs Mine Train) that we can enjoy and a much needed revamped meet and greet for princesses (Princess Fairytale Hall). Now a few years after its closure, I rarely hear anyone saying that their experience in the park is at all hampered by the loss of the attraction. There have been situations where something was changed and Disney decided to keep the change permanent while other times Disney has realized that they should go back to the original. An example of this was during “Summer Nightastic” at Walt Disney World in 2010 when there was a special “Summer Nightastic Fireworks Spectacular” as well as the return of the “Main Street Electrical Parade” at Magic Kingdom. The popularity of the “Main Street Electrical Parade’s” return led to it staying as the permanent night time parade at Magic Kingdom replacing “SpectroMagic”. The fireworks did not fare as well and “Wishes!” was returned after the event’s end. I think that this shows that the powers that be at Walt Disney World truly have the guest experience in mind when they make these decisions. I’m sure that guest feedback was a factor when making these decisions.
What we as Disney fans also need to understand is that we love visiting Walt Disney World for a reason. We have built a trust through the years and each time we visit Walt Disney World that trust is either strengthened or lessened. With consistent amazing experiences that trust grows. It is possible that some decisions are made that we are not happy about. For whatever reason, this decision has an effect on our experience and might lead to a little instability in that trust. I understand then how with each new announcement of change or new addition to the parks we overanalyze the impact that this may have on our enjoyment. It is human nature to fear change. We love Walt Disney World because of the way that it once was. The way that we first saw and experienced it. For that reason any change to that environment could, in our minds, ruin the entire experience. Because of this we hear an announcement and we take to social media and plead our case for how this decision is the worst possible thing that Disney could do. We ramble on forever on forums or on Facebook about how we are right and Disney is wrong and how we do not understand how we could possibly still enjoy the parks with this change. Time passes and we see what Disney has kept under its “Mickey Ear” hat and we are amazed with the result. It all comes back to trust. We put our faith, and money, in Disney to provide us a “magical” vacation full of memories that will last a lifetime. We hold very dear our traditions and memories of Walt Disney World.
I will say that no matter how slow we are to come around we do eventually come around and see the possibilities that change can offer. MyMagic+ had a rough go of it when first announced and even through testing but I think we are finally coming around to see the way that it enhances the guest experience. We are no longer up at arms about alcohol being served at the Be Our Guest restaurant at Magic Kingdom. We see that Disney handled it in a way that did not take away from the experience. The past few years, however, Walt Disney World has really been pushing their luck with the die-hard fans. They are removing the fountain in the lobby at the Polynesian Resort. Gasp! They announced that they are going to replace beloved musical acts from World Showcase at EPCOT. What! Frozen inspired attraction will be replacing Maelstrom in the Norway Pavilion at EPCOT. You have got to be kidding! They might as well announce next week that they will no longer be serving Dole Whips or Tonga Toast. Disney fans probably wouldn’t be surprised by much these days but if that ever happened I’m afraid there may be riots. A lot of energy is spent each time an announcement is made to argue why the decision was incorrect before even being patient and seeing if the change may turn out to be for the better.
My suggestion to all of us is to remember that there are many aspects of the decision making process that we are unable to see. Something changing may be for the best so that we can keep enjoying Walt Disney World for years to come. If we made decisions for the company it would more than likely go broke and cease to exist within a decade. Remember that we trust these individuals to use all of the information that they have to make the best decisions possible so that we can continue to make memories. Those memories may not include all of the things that you have been able to do in the past but I trust that they are adding new experiences to make new memories. To be honest how many pictures of the same things can you continue to take? There needs to be something new to experience and many times bringing in something new means the end of something old. Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end. So while I think that it is important for us to give feedback to Disney and to have open discussions about changes that have been announced, I believe that it is also important to embrace change. Change is inevitable. The more we fight for the past the less we are enjoying the present. Go with the flow I say!
What is something that you may have overreacted to when you first heard and now have realized that it was for the better? I will start by saying that I was not thrilled about Dumbo moving from the heart of Fantasyland to another location. Now that Fantasyland is complete and I see the way that Storybook Circus is set up I can’t imagine Dumbo being anywhere else.