Friday, May 18, 2012

Saying Goodbye to Old Attractions

I've been thinking a lot lately about September 7, 1998.

On that day I skipped into the Magic Kingdom with my family. It was our August/early September annual trip and we enjoyed our ten days at Walt Disney World every year. This time, however, when we entered the Magic Kingdom there were protesters.

(STEPHEN M. DOWELL, ORLANDO SENTINEL / September 8, 1998)
"What are protesters doing in the Magic Kingdom?" I asked my mom at the innocent age of 12. "They are saying goodbye to Mr. Toad's Wild Ride," she responded. "Why are they closing Mr. Toad?" I thought. My little brother and I loved it! My brother and I always "fought" for the "driver's seat." It was such a fun attraction! It was tradition!

When Disney means more to you than a random vacation spot, attractions closing may be devastating. Disney World was never just a vacation to our family... it is our second home. I know a lot of my readers understand this sentiment. So when a part of your home is taken away it leaves you with an empty feeling.

There is also the "Walt factor." Walt Disney (along with the Imagineers) created Mr. Toad's Wild Ride for Disneyland. Every time a "Walt attraction" is removed or changed, Disney purists feel like there's a piece of Walt Disney taken away.

At the end of this month Disney fans will have to say goodbye to another iconic attraction. Thursday,  May 31, 2012 will be the last day to ride Snow White's Scary Adventures. While I understand how the protesters feel there is another side to this story. Because of the closing of Snow White's Scary Adventures we will have the opportunity to make new memories at the amazing new attractions that will encompass the fabulous new Fantasyland.

 Walt Disney understood that the parks would evolve over time:
“It’s something that will never be finished. Something that I can keep developing, keep plussing and adding to. It’s alive. It will be a live, breathing thing that will need change... I wanted something alive, something that could grow, something I could keep plussing with ideas; the Park is that. Not only can I add things, but even the trees will keep growing. The thing will get more beautiful each year. And as I find out what the public doesn’t like... I can change the Park, because it’s alive.”
As you say goodbye to a favorite attraction for the last time keep this in mind...

Hidden in the "Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh" is Mr. Toad handing the deed to the attraction to Owl from Winnie the Pooh. (Image from Disney-Pal.com)

Mr. Toad statue in the cemetery near the exit of the Haunted Mansion

... old friends are NEVER really leave us.

0 comments:

Post a Comment