Thursday, January 21, 2016


   Disney's resorts and parks are always in a state of change.  Competition from other entertainment venues makes this a fact of life for the Disney fan.  I often hear complaining and griping about the changes, but usually, it turns out for the better (to me).

   I'm sitting here and thinking about how much the Disney Empire (Walt Disney World in particular) has changed.  This could be a long posting if I tried to dig all the way back, but I'm just thinking about things that have gone away since around 2009 or so, just a few things.  If you went to WDW today - for your very first visit - and hadn't really studied up on it's history etc.  You would not know what it's like to experience...

The crazy, disjointed, confusing, but fun boat ride at Epcot's Norway Pavilion.  It was short, but beloved by Disney Park's fans, probably because it was one of only 2 actual "rides" in Epcot's World Showcase.

It was a little exciting, very colorful, and really did have a feel of "adventure" to it.  It was closed and is in the process of being replaced with a ride based on the smash hit movie Frozen.  Many Dis-nerds are up in arms about the change.  And while I really loved Maelstrom, I'm betting on the new ride to be a hit... especially with my 2 Granddaughters!

Breathless was a speed boat that you could buy time and go for a spin around World Showcase Lagoon.
I would have loved to take a spin on the Breathless II

   You would not drive it, but the driver would take you for a speedy cruise. You could also book special cruises for the Illuminations fireworks spectacular on the lagoon.  I would have really liked to do it, but by the time I was ready to go for it... it was gone!

CAMP MINNIE MICKEY (Animal Kingdom): 

A whole "Land"?  Yup, but to be honest with you, I never really "got" it.  It was an area of Disney's Animal Kingdom with meet-and-greets, and the main attraction was the theater that housed the Festival of the Lion King show.  It was fun to walk through and see figurines of the characters fishing or hiking, but there really wasn't much to this "Land".
They never caught anything!

I always felt like it was just a placeholder for what was REALLY coming to Animal Kingdom, and I think the new Pandora: World of Avatar is that thing.

THE BACKLOT TOUR (Disney Hollywood Studios):

Future generations will probably never even know that at one time The Disney Hollywood Studios (or whatever it will be called by then) was an actual working "Studio".  Although it never took off as a major Production Studio, it was still used for movies & television, and was portrayed to visitors as such.  Even the name "Disney MGM Studios" made you feel that it was part of MGM's productions.  It was a fun idea many years ago, but the novelty slowly wore off and the same thing happened across town at Universal "Studios".  The tram tour in it's original form was a long and intricate tour, it gave visitors the feeling of going "behind the scenes" and seeing something special.  It was shortened, and eventually closed down for good.  The Backlot tour and the whole "Studio Idea" is gone, and Star Wars Land, and Toy Story Land will bring lots of glory back to the Disney Hollywood Studios.  The new generation will never know what they missed.

THE STAVE CHURCH (Epcot's Norway Pavilion):

This one is still there (in a way).  It was originally a mini Viking Museum - or at least that's what it was when we discovered it in 2010.  I never even thought to go inside and check it out, and when I did, I LOVED it!  Nothing fancy, not very big, in fact it was tiny!  But it was a really cool little gem that I looked forward to stepping inside and checking out every visit.  It was recently changed to a Frozen theme, and it's still nice, but I miss my Vikings!

These are just a few of the things that are now Disney history.  I'm looking forward to the new things that Disney Imagineering will bring in the years to come.  I am glad that I got to taste "Old WDW" though!

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