Adventures in Wally, er, Disneyworld

The last time I was at Disneyworld, I was too small to ride Space Mountain. All it took to assuage the crying that ensued was a Mickey-shaped ice cream bar. When my little sister and I asked my dad what his favorite ride had been, he said it was the monorail that took us back to the hotel. His answer explains why I haven’t been there in a while.
Luckily, I have a friend that completed Disney’s internship program and now works as a campus recruiter, so I was able to visit the parks this past weekend for free with her family! I had a fabulous time running from ride to ride, watching the shows and parades and sleeping like a baby at the end of the day. Not much seems to have changed over at Disneyworld, and this is both a good and bad thing. Here are some of my humble observations from the weekend:
  • I think it’s great that Disney has always tried to incorporate different cultures into their attractions; a few of my favorites from the recent trip were Epcot’s Food & Wine festival (selling tapas and wine samples for each of the “countries” at Epcot) and the Lion King show at the Animal Kingdom park. But maybe it’s time to update “It’s a Small World,” which neatly places each race of robot child into their respective continents.
  • I love that Captain Jack Sparrow (a hilariously much more realistic robot than the originals) is now incorporated into the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. However, adding Iago (annoying parrot from Aladdin) to the Tiki Room was clearly a mistake.
  • Unless you’re a corn dog enthusiast, there aren’t a lot of dining options in the park. This is especially true for people like me who try to eat somewhat healthy. The lack of nutritional options was very surprising considering Disney’s extremely family-friendly culture. Even walking around the parks for days couldn’t counteract the amount of fat in oneof their $6 hamburgers! But I have to give them some credit — you can now bring your own foods into the park, which is definitely a plus.
  • Interns at Disney take classes on Disney corporate culture, and how I would love to sit in on one! How they get their employees (and most customers) to stay so chipper is mind boggling!
  • Though most of the newer attractions are chock full of shameless advertisements, many of them have educational value. Definitely something to remember when I’m one of those “uncool” moms 🙂

Now, as for the strange picture above: the ride “Spaceship Earth” (inside the Epcot ball) takes your picture during the ride (judging by my mugshot, I didn’t see it coming). The coolest thing, though, is after the ride is over you’re led into an interactive room where you can e-mail these postcards to yourself. How cool is that?

 

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