After that, we headed over to Carousel of Progress. While we were waiting for a show to start, we took some foolish photos of ourselves. You’re welcome, America!
Next up was something we’d been highly anticipating: Sunshine Tree Terrace!
I’ve long been aware of Orange Bird, thanks largely to a few Orange Bird collectibles my mom had while I was growing up. Awareness is about all I had–I have to admit that I didn’t feel the same connection to the character that a lot of fans felt, but being one who appreciates park-specific characters, I could understand the attachment some fans had to Orange Bird. We didn’t have the chance to order Citrus Swirls that evening (the machine was down), so I’ll share more of my thoughts on the significance of the Citrus Swirl and Orange Bird later.
With Sunshine Tree Terrace firing on all cylinders again, and the rest of the land looking better than ever, it seems that Adventureland is poised to become one of the best lands at Walt Disney World, with one glaring exception…
You all know what I’m talking about. Right in the middle of Adventureland, there’s…NO WHALING ATTRACTION! How can a land based upon adventure overlook the most obvious type of adventure known to man? Everyone knows that whalers are way cooler than pirates.
Okay, I wasn’t really alluding to a whaling attraction, but rather, the Magic Carpets of Aladdin.
Honestly, though, I think an epic, audio animatronics-heavy boat ride into a whaling community and onto the high seas could be as good as Pirates of the Caribbean. Disney may balk at the idea of glamorizing the slaughter of whales, but in some cases, whalers were native peoples who only killed whales as necessary to sustain themselves (using every part of the whale in so doing).
By contrast, what nice things can be said about pirates…that they didn’t always kill everyone in a village? I think most people give no second thought to the reprehensible acts of pirates based on Pirates of the Caribbean, because it presents a caricature of pirate life. It’s not going to convince any little kid to become a real pirate, nor does it have any nefarious motives. A whaling attraction could work the same way. I doubt it would cause a single whale to be killed. Chances are, if someone really wants to kill a whale, they’ve already made their mind up on that; a Disney attraction isn’t going to assist or prevent them in that quest.
As I see it, Disney’s only options are to build this hypothetical whaling attraction, or build an attraction based on the hit TV show, “ALF.” Those are really the only two viable options as far as “Potter Swatters” go.
After wandering around Adventureland for a bit and pontificating about the significance and intense need of a whaling attraction in Walt Disney World, we headed to Fantasyland for “it’s a small world.” After that, I headed back to watch the Main Street Electrical Parade while Sarah did other Fantasyland attractions. Saying she’s not a fan of the Main Street Electrical Parade would be putting it mildly. I hardly consider myself a fan, either, but night parades make for cool photography, so I tolerate it. Sorry, MSEP fans we might have offended. I’m sure it was cool 30 years ago, but the parade is beyond long in the tooth. At least it’s better than Captain EO, I guess.
Speaking of things past their prime…after Main Street Electrical Parade, we regrouped and geared up for our last ever ride on Snow White’s Scary Adventures…at Walt Disney World. I’m not much of a fan of this attraction to begin with, and the fact that a variant of it still exists at Disneyland made me not at all disappointed to be losing it. I don’t believe in technology just for the sake of technology, but Snow White’s Scary Adventures was just so dated that it’s just laughable.
We fans make a big deal about the Disney Difference and that sort of thing, yet many of us also cling to dated attractions for which we pine nostalgic. In many cases, these beliefs are diametrically opposed. There’s no “Disney Difference” in an attraction that, minus its intellectual property, is reminiscent of one found at a state fair. In some cases, this is somewhat forgivable because the attraction has a sense of whimsy or charm that makes it easy to overlook its antiquated nature. That works for Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, but it doesn’t work for Snow White.
Don’t get me wrong, I’d much rather have an attraction (even a lame one) than a meet and greet. However, I view this as trading Snow White’s Scary Adventures for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and that’s a trade I’ll make in an instant. I don’t really see how it can be viewed in any other light. Meet & greets were part of the original New Fantasyland plan; when that plan changed to add the Mine Train, the meet & greets moved to Snow White’s Scary Adventure. Meet & greets are part of the plan regardless, it’s just a matter of location. Plus, I think two Snow White-based attractions in Fantasyland might have been a bit much.
After this, we met Ben Hendel and his friend (whose name escapes me) in New Fantasyland, and wandered around, doing a few attractions along the way. I was pretty well running on empty at this point, so I have no idea what we talked about or what attractions we did. I know we did at least Haunted Mansion. I assume we talked about UFOs, whaling attractions, and Jurassic Park. Those are just guesses, but they’re awesome conversation topics, so why wouldn’t we have discussed them?
Ben and friend had to get up early for a breakfast the next morning, so we weren’t with them too long. After they departed, we headed back to Storybook Circus. Dumbo was Sarah’s new favorite ‘Gramin subject, so we just had to ride it a few more times. No olloclip has been announced for the iPhone 5 yet (she’s freaking out!), so Sarah is going to have to settle for this cheap knock-off to use during our October trip.
We followed Dumbo up with Space Mountain and the TTA once more, before taking a few photos around Tomorrowland and Main Street, and calling it a night. The next day would be a much needed “relax at the resort” day, which was really needed.
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