Top Five Indications You Are a Hopeless Disney Fan

Well, I wouldn’t call myself hopeless. But others would! Since my first visit to Walt Disney World as an adult in 2006 I have been hooked on The Mouse. I don’t take it overboard (no, really) but I do enjoy the wholesome and oft-times folksy charm of the Disney brand.

But maybe you’re wondering if you are a hopeless Disney fan? If so, I think I can help you to answer that question. Here is my Top Five List of indications that you are indeed a hopeless Disney fan:

INDICATION FIVE

Your favorite movie is a Disney animated classic

From the Golden era to the modern renaissance to today’s instant classics everyone has a favorite Disney animated movie. But you: Your favorite movie of all time is a Disney animated movie! Citizen Kane? The Bodyguard? James Bond? Garbage compared to Bambi, Beauty and the Beast, and Big Hero 6 as far as you’re concerned!

INDICATION FOUR

Your house looks like a Disney Store

You say you just collect a few things here and there, but your house guests get a different impression when they enter room after room of Disney merchandise. To steal a bit from Jeff Foxworthy: When The Disney Store calls you when they run low on stock… you may be a hopeless Disney fan!

INDICATION THREE

You visit a Disney Park at least yearly

Walt Disney World. Disneyland. Disney’s California Adventure. If it’s in North America, you’ve been there! And if you’ve been to a Disney park abroad? Man, you really are a hopeless Disney fan!

INDICATION TWO

You have a Disney Blog

Oh my goodness! I just realized… I really am a hopeless Disney fan! Yes, in my case, it all started with a blog called Disleelandia back in 2009. I then wrote for other sites like Chip & Company, Disney Dose, the original Theme Park Press site, as well as numerous guest posts on other sites like My Dreams of Disney. I have contributed to The Magical Blogorail in addition to writing my own blog called Disney Nouns and lastly Cool Nouns. I now contribute to various blogs.

Hello. My name is Lee. I have a blogging problem.

INDICATION ONE

You read about being a hopeless Disney fan

Admit it: If you could have this ceiling fan in your house, you would! Admit it: You see Hidden Mickeys everywhere! Admit it: You know more about Walt Disney than you’re own grandfather! Admit it: You have more Disney t-shirts than plain ones! Admit it: You have worn Mickey Ears outside a Disney park! Admit it: If Disney became illegal, you’d buy it on the street! Just admit it: You are a hopeless Disney fan!

Top Five Things Disney Wouldn’t Do Today Due to Accountability

Things were much different in the 1950’s and even in the 1970’s when it came to acceptable practices. Construction projects were rushed to completion with minimal thought to safety. And nothing was off-limits for entertainment if it put a smile on the face of a paying customer!

We can’t judge Disney too harshly for any of the questionable things on this list as they were common practice in the past. But now in a world ruled by the PC Police and environmental concerns, there is no longer any room for the Top 5 things Disney wouldn’t do today:

NO-NO NUMBER FIVE

Radical Terraforming

Orange groves? We don’t need no stinking orange groves! Cut them down. Bulldoze the landscape. We have a theme park to build! This is very close to the mentality of the builders of Disneyland back in the 1950’s. It was better in the 1970’s when Walt Disney World was built, but things were still done that wouldn’t fly under today’s environmental rules and regulations.

Of course, all things were done within the current understandings of those days. It is good to see that Disney is in the forefront of modern environmental practices today!

NO-NO NUMBER FOUR

Paying Women Less

This could easily be Number One. But back in the early days of animation, no one was making a good living, and this lasted longer than you might think. Just read this informative post by Floyd Norman called There’s No Money in Animation for confirmation of that.

But if the average guy was having a hard time making ends meet, the average gal was practically working for charity! And women, or girls as they were called, were not allowed to be animators. Ink and Paint was the highest rung of the ladder for the ladies!

Times have changed with more female animators and Imagineers, but I think we still have a way to go.

NO-NO NUMBER THREE

Fast-tracking Attractions

Disneyland was built in just over a year. A single year! The entire park.  No wonder most of the rides were broken down at the end of Disneyland’s first day! It can take up to five years just to build a single attraction today.

Would you have wanted to trust your life to an opening-day attraction in Disneyland? Again, it’s good to see that Disney has slowed down and made safety and longevity the keys to every building project today.

NO-NO NUMBER TWO

Releasing Balloons

Doesn’t that look beautiful? How many balloons do you think are in the sky in the above picture? Now, how many birds do you think died because of choking on these same balloons when they finally deflated and landed on the ground?

For an eye-opening education into this problem, check out balloonsblow.org to have your mind blown and your view of such beautiful spectacles changed.

NO-NO NUMBER ONE

Foreign Waters in Small World Ride

What could possibly be wrong with doing this: Bringing actual untested water samples from some of the dirtiest rivers of the world and dumping them into a clean water source in the United States? This is just another example of money being able to do whatever it wants in the 1960’s.

Fortunately the samples were dumped into a closed water system that was likely highly chlorinated or otherwise treated. But still! Any number of foreign and dangerous parasites could have been released into the greater water sources of the park, and thusly, the US!

Being as you can’t take an apple across international borders today, I’m guessing that untested water samples would probably get you detained in Customs.

CONCLUSION

So what do you think of my list? Are you glad things are different today?

Disney’s Top Five Best Decisions of All Time

Recently I listed what I thought Disney’s Top Five Worst Decisions were and so in the interest of fairness I now present my Top 5 List of Disney’s best decisions:

BEST   DECISION   NUMBER   FIVE

Live-action Versions of Animated Classics

So although these aren’t my cup of tea the general Disney fan/public has embraced these ‘remakes’ with a passion! Cinderella did very well and the latest, The Jungle Book, also did a brisk business. And the upcoming Beauty and the Beast practically has people frothing at the mouth in anticipation.

While these are obvious attempts at recycling ideas and extending profits from established franchises, one can’t argue that they are beautifully done. My main complaint is that they haven’t strayed much from the original animated source material so there aren’t any surprises or new interpretations.

Maybe the live-action Beauty and the Beast will break out of this provincial approach and break new ground.

BEST   DECISION   NUMBER   FOUR

Promoting John Lasseter

I just love this guy! From his early antics on the Pixar DVD releases to his many appearances to promote new productions in both Pixar and Disney studios, you can just feel his enthusiasm for both animation and the Disney legacy.

With Walt gone and no more Disney family members stepping up to fill the void, Lasseter is the next best thing. That doesn’t sound too complimentary until you realize whose shoes he is basically filling!

I hope to see him grow with the company for many years to come, but do wonder just who could fill his shoes when the time comes for him to step down?

BEST   DECISION   NUMBER   THREE

World Showcase Ethnic Casting

The best part of World Showcase in Epcot at Walt Disney World is the Cast Member interaction. And the fact that each pavilion has CM’s from the actual country being presented is a brilliant stroke of casting!

And so many benefit! Young people from around the world get to have an experience that they will never forget. The guests get to meet them and learn first hand about the culture and activities of all eleven countries represented in World Showcase. And those of us who are not American get to visit the country of our origin (if represented) and unite with a fellow countryman.

It’s win-win all around and I hope Disney never abandons this decision!

BEST   DECISION   NUMBER   TWO

Acquiring Marvel/Lucas Film

    

As I stated in my post about the worst decisions Disney has made they should never have acquired Pixar. I feel it ruined the creativity of that company. But as it comes to Marvel Comics and Lucasfilm Ltd. I think Disney has only helped to grow these companies.

Largely by leaving them alone, Disney has given the people at Marvel full support to continue to develop the MU in a very interesting and profitable way. The acquisition of Lucasfilm Ltd. is too new to really tell how things are going to turn out, but if the first Star Wars film under the Disney banner is any indication, it’s not going to badly.

Maybe Disney has learned that putting up the money and just a little creative input is the way to acquisition success?

BEST   DECISION   NUMBER   ONE

Keeping Vintage Attractions

This is a highly debatable decision but I put it in the number one spot for a reason. Walt was all about nostalgia. And nothing sparks nostalgia like the original attractions that were in the parks when they opened. Or that came soon after.

Rides from the 1964/65 New York World’s Fair like The Carousel of Progress and It’s a Small World still interest park goers today just as they did in the past. And the fact that Disney fans mourn each time a beloved attraction is demolished confirms this as truth!

While other parks continue to focus on thrill rides Disney wisely nurtures its attraction heritage of dark rides and corny shows. Hey, if it works…

Conclusion: For every bad decision there is a good decision. And given the success of the multi-billion dollar business that is Disney, one would have to believe that the good decisions are outweighing the bad!

Disney’s Top Five Worst Decisions of All Time

No matter how good a company is they are bound to make a mistake or two along the way to success. In the case of Disney their mistakes seem to be amplified because of the intense scrutiny fans put the company under.

But every company has to honestly admit that some decisions just have no defense! So here is my Top 5 List of the worst decisions that Disney has made:

BAD   DECISION   NUMBER   FIVE

SEQUELS

Just make it stop. Direct-to-video sequels is how it all began and we can only thank whatever the power was that stopped these bombs from being theatrical releases! But in today’s world most sequels are theatrical releases, like Toy Story 2-4 and Cars 2 and Finding Dory and soon-to-be Frozen 2 (kill me the day before it opens!) and and and and and.

Funny Story: After the success of Zootopia and its plus-billion box office take one social media source speculated that finally Disney would see the value of original stories and create more. Know what I thought? Here comes Zootopia 2! This time Nick goes back to Bunnyburrow with Judy and we have the typical reverse situation as Nick is the fox-out-of-water character and must learn to adjust to doing things a different way. Do I have a future writing sequels or what?

Don’t believe me that this could happen? I predict Zootopia 3 in 2022.

BAD   DECISION   NUMBER   FOUR

ACQUIRING PIXAR

The original Brain Trust of Pixar came up with most of the first hit films for the company. And just about the time those ideas had been used up Disney acquired Pixar and things were never the same.

Pixar has shifted gears from wildly original films that touch our hearts to a long run of sequels that prove you can’t catch lightning in a bottle twice. With the exception of Inside Out most Disney/Pixar films have been disappointing. And there seems to be mostly sequels in the company’s future.

It was inevitable that Pixar would stumble at some point but it seems that the acquisition speeded that eventuality up considerably!

BAD   DECISION   NUMBER   THREE

REMOVING CAST MEMBERS FROM RIDES

Don’t worry, Disney has no plans to remove the Skippers from the Jungle Cruise. Or… do they? We’ve already lost the Cast Members from Living With the Land to be left with a recorded lecture and a computer-guided boat. This obvious cost-cutting measure could easily spread to more attractions!

I visited Disneyland and had the pleasure of riding the Storybook Canal boat for the first time with a Cast Member in costume giving us a lively and personal narration of the kingdoms we passed through. Unfortunately I spent the entire trip wondering what it would be like without our pilot. In the back of my mind I saw an accountant with a pink slip waiting back at the dock!

The Great Movie Ride and other attractions are all in the cross-hairs too. It could be only a matter of time before the only Cast Member you see is the one checking your lap bar.

BAD   DECISION   NUMBER   TWO

HOW D23 IS BEING HANDLED

At first it seemed like the perfect fan club for Disney fanatics and it did live up to that image for the first few years. But then came changes to the membership perks and magazine gifts.

The gilding completely fell off the lily when the majority of members started complaining about how the D23 Expo is handled. Unfair distribution of limited edition collectables and overcrowding are just two of the issues raised. Of course, that hasn’t stopped members from attending and renewing their subscriptions, so the problem isn’t at a critical stage… yet!

My worry here is that many Disney magazines and official fan clubs have failed and I just hope Disney has learned enough from those failures to listen to the complaints about this one and find a way to keep it alive!

BAD   DECISION   NUMBER   ONE

SHUTTING DOWN

I was in California at the El Capitan Theatre for the official kick-off of this excellent gaming system. It appeared to have all the earmarks of success and Disney gave it a big publicity push to get it started.

It had so many good features not the least of which was the beautiful and collectible play figures that were produced in series over the life of the game. The system made it to a 3.0 version before the word came down that Disney had had enough. But why scuttle such a wildly popular product?

The problem I see is that 2.0 figures couldn’t be played on 1.0 systems which changed my excitement to open disgust for Disney’s obvious money-grab ploy! And 3.0 figures can’t be played on 1.0 or 2.0 systems which means that not only would you have to shell out for new figures every year but also for new bases. I lost interest at this point. I think many others did as well and this probably led to a drop in sales which led to the real reason for the demise of Infinity: Money.

With billions of dollars being raked in from the movie division and the Marvel acquisition along with how well the parks are doing, surely Disney could have afforded to keep the Infinity brand going while changes were made to fix the declining monetary gains of the product. Disney needs to learn that sometimes short-term loses can be made into long-term gains!

CONCLUSION: Disney will continue to make bad decisions. Fans will continue to call them out on these bad decisions. Bloggers will continue to make Top 5 Lists to highlight the same bad decisions.

Magical Blogorail: Visiting Four Parks in Just One Day!

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Blue Loop. Today we are looking at strategies to tackle all four Walt Disney World parks in just one day!


SET   REALISTIC   GOALS

Can you visit every attraction and see every show in all four Walt Disney World parks in just one day? Um, no. Could you do it in a week? Still no. Could you do it in a month? OK, yes, probably in a month. But who can spend that much time at Disney at one go!

So let’s go back to the unrealistic premise of visiting all four parks in just one day and see what realistic goals we could set to achieve this:

GOAL   NUMBER   ONE

Take advantage of Extra Magic Hours

Check the park schedules to see which park is opening early and which park is opening late. Compare these times to the regular operating hours of the other parks on your day of choice to maximize your chances of visiting all four parks.

You may need to start a little earlier and be willing to put in a grueling day, and probably stay out past your usual bedtime. But you’re on vacation so… who needs sleep?

GOAL   NUMBER   TWO

Reduce traveling times

If possible, in line with Goal Number One, try to move from park to park in a circular pattern. If you start with The Magic Kingdom, then travel clockwise on the Resort Monorail line to the Transportation and Ticket Center, switch to the Epcot Monorail line and ride it to Epcot. Your next park will then be Disney’s Hollywood Studios which you can reach by boat from Epcot. Lastly, you will have to take a bus to arrive at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Of course, if you have a car, it may be quicker to drive between the parks. But keep in mind that traffic, far-away parking spaces, and tram delays could reduce your time in the parks.

Of course, you may need to go counter-clockwise if park times dictate that, but obviously you will want to avoid randomly bouncing from park to park like a ball in a pinball machine as this will eat away at your goal of visiting all four parks in just one day!

GOAL   NUMBER   THREE

Choose in advance what you will do in each park

Vacation Proverb: He who looks at everything experiences nothing. The Moral? Keep your head down and get’er done!

Assuming you can start your day at 9 am and have to end your day at 10 pm (possibly later) that would mean you will have approximately just three hours in each park with one hour (at least) being eaten up by travel.

So advance planning is a must! Ask yourself – What is the best thing about each park? Here are my suggestions:

The Magic Kingdom – Children’s Attractions/Shopping

Epcot – World Showcase

Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Thrill Rides

Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Kilimanjaro Safaris and Maharajah Jungle Trek

Your tastes may be different, so check out the attractions in each park and see what each park does best, in your opinion, and focus on only that during your visit to the park in question.

GOAL   NUMBER   FOUR

Don’t rush!

As mentioned in Goal Number Three, you will have only about three hours in each park. But to see what you want you can vary the amount of time spent in each park. This way, you won’t have to be like the White Rabbit, rushing from ride to attraction to park!

For example, following my suggestions in Goal Number Three, you may want to spend four hours in The Magic Kingdom (especially if you have children), the full three-hour allotment in Epcot, only two hours in Disney’s Hollywood Studios (as there are really only three main thrill rides available) and again the full three-hour allotment for Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Leaving DAK until last is also wise for if you are running out of time, as there is arguably less to see and do in this park.

GOAL   NUMBER   FIVE

Blow off the next day!

Relax! Don’t plan anything for the morning of the next day. Get up a little later, sleep-in…

… and then have a nice brunch. Chill at the Resort and hit the pool in the early afternoon. Plan a nice dinner at a themed restaurant (maybe a character affair) to make up for the rushed food options you had to endure during your park marathon.

I think if you follow these five realistic goals, you will be able to visit all four parks in just one day, and survive to tell about it! Of course, I use the term ‘survive’ loosely.

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For more strategies to tackle four parks in just one day, check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Blue | 4 Parks 1 Day Loop: