by Brian Bennett
we get into other email, I have a whole bunch of reader responses
to previous "Notes From the World" questions and
Hey Brian! First of all I wrote
to you a couple of months ago about upgrading my AP to a
PAP and you said that I would have no trouble. You were
correct and had no problems. Now you are probably wondering
why am I writing to you if there was no problems. I'll tell
you that it has to do with what was posted in your update
today (5/28) and Stephanie's comments.
Everything she says has no basis
in reality. Conditions there were not "deplorable"
there wasn't any "paint peeling" anywhere! Splash
Mountain's walls were not covered in gum and I certainly
didn't see any trash floating around It's a Small World.
I think that you were the victim
of a "trollish" poster because of the way they
described women walking around in bikini tops. Last time
I checked Disney was in Florida and it is known to get hot
down there from time to time! :) Sorry but I didn't see
any women in bras running around there, believe me I would
tell you if I did!
The cast members were wonderful as
always and any tour groups I encountered were actually well
behaved. I was there a week before "Stephanie"
was (May 10-18) and have a hard time believing that things
could have gone down hill that fast.
On a plus note I did get engaged
so the "magic" was there for me the whole time.
I hope you don't take what this woman
has to say seriously and let in affect your next trip. I
was also hoping that enough people will write to you and
let you know that what Stephanie says is not the case. Who
knows....maybe I'll show up in your update section again!
My fiancée got a kick out of seeing me "published"
so to speak. She's also written you a note as well.
Thanks again for your response last
time and hopefully I've helped to shed a less negative light
then Stephanie explained to you!
and Colleen shares:
Hi Brian, First of all I just wanted
to say thank you for all your efforts and planning material,
which has helped us on numerous occasions. That said, I
wanted to address the negative comments made by Stephanie
in today's letter column.
My Fiancé and I are avid Disney fanatics
and read MousePlanet and several other sites and message
boards on pretty much a daily basis. We heard so much "mad
mad mad and bad bad bad and sad sad sad", that I was
half expecting things to not be the same at WDW when we
were there May 10-19th this month.
Boy, was I in for a surprise. We
noticed no peeling paint, falling apart buildings, trash
on the street, or unruly groups. And worst of all, (get
this!) the CMs were FRIENDLY! The only time I noticed trash
on the ground was when a small child spilled some popcorn,
and less than a minute later a CM was ready with a broom
and a smile to clean it up. And I'm not saying there weren't
groups there, just the groups when we were there didn't
seem that bad. The "Zazus" and the "Pumbas"
had their little team shirts and colored flags, and seemed
well- behaved. Disney World seemed to us just as magical
as ever and I would not hesitate to go back.
The reason I wrote this is not to
discredit or say anyone was untruthful in their negative
comments. I just wanted to share our good experience which
will maybe give these people hope to go back.
and Cynthia wrote about her experiences:
Hi, Brian. Thought I would mention,
I too was at WDW May 18 – 23, and though I agree with Stephanie
that the Magic Kingdom was crowded and less tidy than one
would expect (especially in Tomorrowland) when we were there
the night of May 18, we were impressed with how clean all
of the rest of the parks were. The Magic Kingdom was almost
spotless when we returned on May 20th and 23rd. So hopefully
Stephanie’s experience was an unfortunate anomaly at an
unexpectedly busy park. I never did see any pealing paint
or wallpaper – a few of the line management rails were chipped,
but other than that we thought the park was really fresh
– we particularly enjoyed how lively Splash Mountain felt!
On another topic, Tina
I just wanted to comment
on what Adam wrote regarding the 11PM fireworks at MK when
the park closed at 6PM. My family was at WDW 4/22/02 - 4/26/02;
on 4/23/, 4/24 & 4/25 the MK closed at 6PM. On the evening
of 4/23 my husband and I were dining at the Contemporary
(CA Grille) discussing our disappointment about the MK being
closed at 6PM. Our server informed us that there was a huge
software company holding a convention all week at WDW and
they had "rented" out the MK from 7:00pm until
midnight for their employees, consultants and their families.
This was to go on the entire week we were there. Suddenly
our disappointment turned to rage. We definitely feel cheated.
I think that Adam experienced the same situation we did.
I definitely do not think the fireworks were to make up
for the early closing. The MK was open that night, just
not for Disney Resort guests in general.
Dan shared this tidbit:
Hey, Brian. In a recent letter Ron
said, "For people going to the Magic Kingdom, if you
don't have any bags, strollers etc. you don't have to go
through the bag check line. There is a spot between the
check in tables where you can walk right in. This was not
the case at the Studios or Epcot."
While Ron is correct about the gap
in the tables at the MK, he is incorrect about Epcot and
the Studios. There they have placed the bag check tables
closer to the turnstiles, but it is very easy to skip around
people who are getting their bags checked and walk up to
the turnstile. It may feel a bit like cutting in line, but
I've had no problem with it.
Thanks as always!
On several topics,
Brian, you wrote: "On the special
viewing area for Illuminations, WDW seems to change the
rules on that frequently. Right now, I know that AAA members
are eligible for the viewing area if they book their vacation
package through AAA. Also, Disney Club members are
eligible, too, but note that this is not a documented Disney
Club perk (so it may be rescinded at any time). In any case,
only 40 people are permitted in the area. So if you're a
Disney Club member or a AAA member that booked through AAA
Travel and want to take advantage of this you should stop
by at guest relations as early as possible in the day to
Brian! Disney Club guests do not
have a special viewing area for IllumiNations!!!! Annual
Passholders still have the viewing area -- it is across
the street from Italy. All they have to do is check in at
Guest Relations, the AP Lounge or just show up at the area!
There is no fee for using the transportation
system at the present time, but only holders of Disney resort
IDs or park hopper passes are eligible to use the transportation.
Disney does not check the id's or tickets for Disney transport
anymore, since there are just to many guests now!
Also, there is no longer a bus from
the TTC to Downtown Disney. all connections have to be done
via a resort or via Disney/MGM Studios (only after 3:00pm
and there is no return bus to the Studios.) SO, it would
be wise to drive to Downtown Disney unless you're staying
at a WDW resort. Also, the same
is true for the water parks.
The guest who was upset about the
lack of boat transportation from Epcot to the Studios --
boats stop running form the studios one hour after park
close. The recommended (by Disney) route is by bus,
so there is a bus running to the Studios until Epcot is
clear. The boats are designed to shuttle the Epcot resort
guests from the parks to the resorts. Day visitors should
probably avoid using the boats just because it takes so
long to get from point A to
Also, is there still no word on that
announcement you mentioned a few weeks ago?
and I wrote back:
I was told, by the two cast members at the Italy viewing
area (back in April of last year) that Disney Club members
can request permission at guest relations earlier in the
day, that this is not a documented Disney Club perk, and
that only 40 people are permitted in the area. Perhaps
you're not familiar with the policy because it isn't documented
or perhaps the Disney folks have already rescinded the policy.
Maybe another reader has some experiences to share?
I know that your comments about transportation fees and
ID checks is completely true, but I refuse to suggest that
guests do things that Disney doesn't want them to do (and
in fact, have stated policies that say they can not do...
even if WDW isn't enforcing those policies.) Folks can do
whatever they wish to do, of course, but I don't think it's
right for me to suggest or push it.
Thanks for the other clarifications on transport issues.
I'm disappointed about the lack of an announcement. I shouldn't
have jumped on that one without better information.
Hi Brian, I read your reply to Leslie
concerning attractions staying open until closing time (she
asked specifically about during Fantasmic!). As you say,
there are some exceptions, so I would emphasize READ THE
We were there in early May and booked
a Fantasmic dinner package, and planned to use the 7:00
to 8:00 hour after dinner to do either the tram tour or
Disney Animation (neither of which we'd gotten to earlier).
But we were very disappointed to find both had closed at
7:00! We had consulted the schedule for the show times but
totally missed the closing times for these attractions.
Several other attractions closed at 7:00 as well. If we
had realized this we would have skipped the dinner package,
or at least planned differently.
Of course it will be totally different
for Leslie in June. But remember - Don't assume, check the
to which I responded:
You're point is right on target. The schedules change throughout
the year (and even from one week to another), depending
on demand, so guests should assume NOTHING.
on the same issue,
Michelle shares this information:
Hi Brian, thanks for the "Developing
a daily game plan" section that discussed daily crowd
patterns in WDW parks. It was very informative.
I wanted to make a quick comment
in reference to an email you received asking if attractions
ran during Illuminations. When we visited in November, a
CM told us Test Track would be running through 10:00 when
Illuminations ended even though the park closed at 9:00.
I don't know if that's still the case now though.
Thanks again! Your site has been
so much help to me and our family in planning our 3 trips
to the World!
and I answered:
Thanks Michelle. Test Track, when it's operating
well, is often kept open later when demand warrants. Thanks
for the reminder!
back to our regular email...
| Leslie writes: Brian,
Here I am bugging you again ! On Mark Goldhaber's trip report
(posted today, May 28) he mentions a 1-day after 3:00 pass.
Is this available to anyone or just available to those attending
a conference ? I've never seen mention of this before but it
would be perfect on our upcoming trip. I had gotten five-day
park hoppers from AAA ( we're not really interested in the water
parks) and then our trip got extended. I hate to pay for a one-day
one-park for the afternoon/evening that we arrive, but, I don't
know if I can be in Orlando and NOT go to a park. Any answers
or advice would be most welcome (as always !). We leave next
week so, even I can't come up with too many more questions for
you before then!! :)
Partial day passes are available, on a very limited basis,
to convention and special (corporate) event attendees. They
are not made available to the general public.
| Glenn writes: Hi
Brian, in a previous Notes From the World you answered this
"Julie asks: Dear Brian, I found
your website and thought I would email you. You seem to
have a lot of good information. Maybe you can help me. My
husband and I had purchased into this (Disney Vacation)
club three years ago and it has been wonderful for us and
our family. The only problem is this year, my husband and
I are stationed in Okinawa, Japan, with the United States
Marine Corps, and are unable to use our points before they
expire at the end of June. We would like to offer them to
another member, either for an exchange when we need points
in 2003, or for a small fee.
"The Disney Vacation Club customer
service, of course were no help, and we did not know where
to go to find this information. When we purchased this vacation
plan, our selling agent stated people in the club did this
all the time.
"I am sorry to have taken up
your time but any information would be helpful."
And you answered:
"Julie, there is a site out
in the ether at http://www.disboards.com/ that has a board
for member trading of points. I can't comment -- either
good or bad -- on the board and how it works as I've never
used it, but it's one place to start."
I have tried to use this service several
times in the past and have not been impressed. The first time,
we were living in Australia for an extended stay on business
and had points to offer. Needless to say, I was bombarded
with email from people who wanted the points for free, or
for next to nothing. I was even trying to be fair, figuring
out a rough cost for the room over a 7 night stay and averaging
out the costs, (roughly $8-9 per point) and discounting them
significantly to about $4 per point. In the end, we just gave
them to friends. (I figure that if I am going to give them
away for free, I will give them to somebody I know)
The second time we needed an extra
point for a Saturday night stay. We were low on points, and
looked to purchase the number of points needed. The problem
in this case, was that everybody selling did the same analysis
that I did, but did no discounting. The problem with this
of course, is that points for Saturday night are significantly
more expensive than for a weekday. This meant that simply
paying cash ended up being much cheaper.
My advice for Julie, if the points
are still available, is to look into an exchange with a timeshare
in Japan, or to simply allow a friend or family member to
enjoy them. If she does use the board, expect a lot of emails
from people expecting something for free.
|Thanks for the note, Glenn. As I'd stated in my
answer to Julie, I've never used an exchange board, so I appreciate
| Al writes: Brian,
Just returned from Disneyworld in Orlando, had a good time but...
Disney does not serve butter anymore at their food outlets.
Butter was replaced by butterine a blend of butter and margarine
packaged to look like butter patties in foil. Most of the employees
that we talked to were unaware of this and the ones that knew
smiled and shrugged their shoulders. If you desire the whole
sad and humorous episodes that I had you can contact me.
|Thanks for the note, Al.
If you would be willing to share the "whole sad and
humorous episodes" I'd love to hear them. :) (Editor's
Note: Al never responded.)
|Bob writes: Brian,
I was checking out eBay today and saw something so shocking
I just had to let all the WDW Disney planning sites I know.
There was an auction for the Cinderella breakfast! Some opportunistic
moron was selling a priority seating confirmation#! This person
paid absolutely nothing and is trying to make a buck off it.
What makes it worse is people were bidding on it. As of today,
the auction has 6 bids and is now selling for $31.
I don't know who is more deplorable
the person selling a number or the dummies bidding on it.
There has to be a way Disney can put a stop to this kind of
thing. I'm planning on taking my nephew to WDW in January
and I'd hate not to get priority seating because of something
Thanks for letting me vent.
|My original answer to Bob was:
"Bob, The way that Disney can put a stop to it is
to required photo ID at check in for priority seatings.
That way, all priority seatings would have to be made specifically
for the party that will use them. It wouldn't eliminate
all graft in this area, but it would be a big step."
Of course, since then Disney has announced their own solution
to this black market problem which I reported on a couple
of weeks ago:
A major change will be made
to the priority seating policy for the character breakfast
at Cinderella's Royal Table. As of June 9, 2002, a
credit card deposit (the card will actually be charged)
of $10.00 / adult and $5.00 / child will be required at
the time that the priority seating is made. After
the priority seating is booked, no changes can be made to
the name on the booking. If necessary, priority seatings
may be cancelled without penalty (i.e. the deposit will
be refunded) if the cancellation is done at least twenty-four
hours before the priority seating time.
So, it turns out that I was right as part of the policy change
was designed to ensure that no changes be made to the name
on the booking. Effectively, that wipes out the possibility
of anyone bending the rules to get a highly-prized priority
|Lee writes: We're
interested in the vacation club. Have been around the site and
seen the basics offered there. Are points currently available
for Old Key West? If so, is the $65 price per point still in
effect? If not, what is available and what's the price? Can
you send (email or snail mail) information including financing
info, availability, scheduling vacations, etc. Would also like
to see the fine print.
MousePlanet is not affiliated with the Disney Vacation Club.
The only way to buy into the DVC is through the Club directly
(contact info is on this
page) or through a real estate reseller (more reseller
information can be found
Points are sold out for Old Key West. Currently, sales are
being concentrated on the new Beach Club Villas Resort at
a price near $72/point, if I remember correctly.
|Mike writes: Dear
Brian, I read your site everyday and have really learned a great
deal for planning our September trip.
Have you ever been to WDW during the
end of September? If so, did it rain everyday that you were
there? Our trip is the last week of September and we were
curious to learn how others trips were that time of the year.
My second question is when will the
discounts for September become available. I have not seen
any past August 24, 2002.
I've been to WDW in September many times. In general, unless
a hurricane or tropical storm hits during your visit, you'll
likely have some rain on some days, but not every day. I've
had late Summer trips when it rained every day (like the year
that hurricane Hugo hit, during our honeymoon no less, and
when Andrew hit a handful of years later) and other late Summer
trips with nothing but gorgeous weather.
Disney's Central Reservations Office (CRO) is tight-lipped
about when the last Summer / early Fall discounts will be
announced. They really want folks to book for the months coming
up soon first, before they give incentives to folks to delay
their vacations by offering those discounts. My suggestion
is to keep calling CRO, perhaps once a week or so, until you
get the answers you're looking for.
|Robert asks: We have
searched through various WDW sights but have seen nothing in
regards to Orlando by train. We live in Toronto, Canada and
would like to travel by train. We have a seven year old and
an eleven year old and would appreciate information on scheduling,
pricing and any other info you may offer in this regard. Hoping
to book our vacation in mid August. We have two weeks including
I have only limited (and fairly dated) information on train
travel to Orlando. Amtrak runs the well-known "Auto Train"
down the East Coast, and that is the most popular way to use
the rails to get to WDW.
link to a page I have that can at least give you some
Brian, your site has proved invaluable for my husband and me
as we plan our trip to Disney World (June 4-11, 2002). When
we were married last year my husband and I were both 22 and
didn’t have the finances to go on a honeymoon trip to Orlando,
so we opted for hiking the Rockies instead (we live in North
West Canada). We have now saved up all year and are taking the
Disney World trip to celebrate our first anniversary. Due to
financial constraints, we are staying off-property near International
Drive, but our hotel offers free shuttle service to all major
parks. We have 5-day park hopper plus tickets, as well as 3-day
2-park Universal Orlando tickets. Do you have any suggestions
of special events we might incorporate into our vacation to
commemorate our 1st anniversary/honeymoon?
I hate to bother you with a second
question, but do you have any experience with getting around
(to and from the theme parks) from off property without using
a rental car? Our main mode of transportation at home is walking,
and we are quite accustomed to trekking long distances, but
we have found no information about pedestrian traffic routes
in Orlando. Obviously, we would waste much of our day walking
to Disney World, but Universal Orlando is only 1 mile from
our hotel. It seems most people who have written trip reports
do rent a car, so the information on the subject of using
hotel shuttles, public transportation, and walking seems quite
limited. My husband and I, both being under 25, have been
quoted nothing but exorbitant rates for rental car services
and we cannot afford the additional expense. Would you be
so kind as to offer some information and insight about transportation
options for offsite guests?
I have truly enjoyed exploring your
site and am very impressed by the depth of information to
be found here. I have been a MousePlanet addict since we booked
our flight to Orlando. Keep up the excellent work. Thank you
so much for fielding my questions. I appreciate your prompt
and knowledgeable responses.
I'm glad that you've found MousePlanet to be helpful! :)
There aren't any Disney-sponsored "special events"
that I'm aware of during the early part of June. For
an anniversary trip, though, a special meal (dinner at Cinderella's
Royal Table, for example) would be a fun thing to do. Some
of WDW's hotels have excellent restaurants for special meals,
too, but since you're staying offsite getting to and from
those places would be a bit more difficult. Other restaurants
in the WDW parks (where you can enjoy a more romantic meal)
include: Chefs de France, Bistro de Paris, Marrakesh, Coral
Reef, and the Hollywood Brown Derby.
The best suggestion I can give you about travel from offsite
to WDW (or Universal) is to call the hotel where you're staying
and get confirmation that they have a park shuttle. Many (but
NOT ALL) local hotels and motels provide a shuttle... so make
sure that you're staying where there is such a service! (You
may have to pay a fee for this service, but it's likely to
be much less expensive than using taxis (although that's another
alternative). Unfortunately, the greater Orlando area is not
well-known for it's public transportation, so I wouldn't plan
on that as a good solution.)
|Patty asks: Dear
Brian, We are headed to WDW in July (I know, a real busy time
to go) and I've been reading everything possible about it but
I haven't been able to get much information about bringing children
with disabilities. Do you have any information about this? My
son has Cerebral Palsy -- he can walk with the aids of orthotics
but I know that he is going to get tired the first 20 minutes
of walking. Someone had said that they have jogger strollers
for older children (not infants) but I haven't been able to
verify that information. I guess the next best thing would be
to get a wheelchair but are there enough to go around or do
people swipe those too?
You can see pictures of the strollers that are available
for rent on this
page. I don't know the age/weight of your son, but the
strollers are designed for older kids (not really for infants)
anyway. The jogging strollers are only available at the Studios.
page is really oriented towards adults with disabilities,
but some of the information there may be helpful.
|A MousePlanet reader
writes: Hi Brian, I'm coming to WDW in July with a nine
year old and a two year old. My two year old is not old enough
for the kids programs, but all the premium resorts have a check
in the babysitting column. Do the resorts themselves offer babysitting
services, or do I need to contact an outside daycare?
|What the WDW brochures are probably talking about
when they have a "check mark" for baby sitting services
is that they have kids
clubs where you can drop off your children for a few hours
in the evenings. A two-year-old, though, is too young for such
a service as you already pointed out.
There are several options for in-room babysitting that you
could use, though. All About Kids ((407) 812-9300), Fairy
Godmothers ((407) 277-3724), Kid's Night Out ((407) 827-5444),
and Kindercare ((407) 827–5444) all offer this service. Kindercare
also has an on-site facility that provides "day care"
I've personally never used such an in-room service. I don't
know what kind of employee qualifications, screening, or other
safe-guards are in place to ensure that good care is provided.
|Lisa asks: Good Morning
Brian. I am writing to ask a question about the parks. My family
and I are going to Disney this Thursday and I have had a bad
flair up of my Rheumatoid Arthritis and am wondering how to
get access to handicap privileges without renting a wheelchair.
I could have my doctor write something about it. I have the
arthritis in my hands, legs and hips and think that the standing
in lines will be harder on me then the actual walking. Normally
I do not use this illness ever as an excuse but I am afraid
I need to figure something out this time for our trip. I do
not want to be in a wheelchair. Thank you for your time.
page has information that may be helpful. You can get
a medical pass that can help provide access to some attractions,
but the wheelchair idea might be worth considering. You'll
be doing a LOT of walking around the parks.
By the way, that page has information on some companies that
rent electric vehicles, too, so that may be of help.
|Johnny writes: Brian,
Love your column on MousePlanet.com! I'm hearing rumors about
a Halloween event in WDW this year sometime in the month of
October. I'm curious to know if it will be anything like Disneyland's
30th anniversary event for their Haunted Mansion (doesn't WDW's
HM turn 30 this year?) or if the powers that be plan to do the
Nightmare Before Christmas overlay that they did at Disneyland
last year. Any info would be MUCH appreciated!
You can read more about Mickey's
Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. The party is NOT the same
as the Disneyland events that have been held. It's actually
an annual event that is really a Halloween party, NOT a special
haunted mansion event.
There are rumors about a "Nightmare" treatment
for the WDW haunted mansion, like what's been done at Disneyland
recently, but there's no confirmation of that.
|Kim writes: Hi, Brian!
I've completed another trip report which is attached in a Microsoft
Word document... I want to let you know that I continue to enjoy
the trips reports that you make available. Your reader feedback
columns are a wonderful addition too.
I was so sorry to hear your last trip
was not at the level as previous trips. It was good of you
to be honest but objective with all of us. As I mention in
my report, we didn't have a bad experience. I think you will
find WDW a better place when you return this December.
My next visit will be to Disneyland
and I wish there was something similar to your reader feedback
column and Deb's WDWIG for Disneyland. Al's DIG is useful,
although I feel the tone is sometimes pessimistic (SSHH don't
tell I said that), but gives more information about the status
of the parks rather than planning a visit. If there is an
area on MousePlanet or another website that I'm missing please
let me know.
Take care and keep up the good work.
Thanks so much for sending me your report, Kim! I really
appreciate that you took the time to write and send it to
me. (Editor's Note: and that goes for all trip report
authors! Thanks so very much!)
Regarding trip planning info for Disneyland, I'd suggest
you check out my section of MousePlanet on that topic: Disneyland
Trip Planning Guide.
I think you'll find it helpful. :)
|Steven writes: Dear
Brian, "It's a long story and even longer when I tell it."
On a recent trip (April 2002) my son celebrated his birthday
at the parks.
After stopping at City Hall to get
a birthday sticker, he was immediately accosted by a pin laden-lanyard
wearing CM who offered him a pin of his choice. Thus began
a serious addiction to pin trading for my young man.
My son is a huge INDY fan and so spent
the rest of the day looking for INDY pins. Unfortunately he
couldn't find one at any of the pin stations in all of the
parks. We asked everyone and still couldn't find any INDY
pins. At MGM the CM's and manager of one of the pin stations
called everyone and physically went out on a scavenger hunt
for INDY pins. They were quite surprised they couldn't find
any INDY pins but promised to send my son an INDY pin if he
would give them our address. Which we did. This was on day
four of a seven day trip.
Every day after that we kept a look
out for INDY pins but never saw any until the last minute
of the last day as we were leaving the MK and saying our farewells
basking in the castle kiss. My son saw an INDY pin on a CM
and made the trade. Thereby saving a very special trip.
Yesterday a letter came in the mail
from Disneyworld addressed to my son. We had all but forgotten
about the "great pin hunt" but the CM's at MGM did
not. In the package were three different INDY pins with a
very nice letter.
Who do I write to ensure these CM's
are recognized for their truly outstanding efforts at creating
a magic moment 1000 miles from the park and almost a month
later. Thanks and please keep up the wonderful work that you
|Thanks for the great note, Steven. :)
What I would suggest is that you write to:
WDW Guest Communications
Post Office Box 10040
Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830
Your letter should include as much detail (names of CMs,
dates when the situation occurred, etc.) as possible.
|Joanne asks: Where
is the info on the Disney Cruise line?
has written several Disney Cruise Line articles in her column.
Also, there are several trip
reports on DCL vacations that you may want to check out.
|Ashley writes: Hello,
my name is Ashley and I am a junior in high school. I am doing
a research paper for school. My topic is.....Is Disney World
the way Walt Disney wanted it to be (family place) or is it
just a money making business. I was wondering if you would take
a few minutes to just give me your opinion on the subject. It
would really big a big help for my paper. Thanks.
Wow... your question really raises more issues than just
what you mentioned as your topic.
Walt Disney envisioned "Disneyworld" (as it was
then called, the "Walt" was added by his brother
Roy only after Walt had Died), to be two things. First, it
was always intended to be an East coast version of Disneyland.
Second, it was intended to be a living, working city. EPCOT
(Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow), you may recall,
was originally envisioned to be an actual city... and the
legislation approved by the Florida State Legislature was
written with that goal in mind.
I'd like to recommend a few books that you may find helpful
(Editor's Note: all links go to Amazon.com):
to the Mouse, by Dr. Richard Fogelsong
Disney: An American Original, by Bob Thomas
a Company : Roy O. Disney and the Creation of an Entertainment
Empire, by Bob Thomas.
In Progress, by Michael D. Eisner.
The first book, "Married to the Mouse," is an excellent
resource on the historical background of how Walt Disney World
came to be as far as the local Florida history goes. Of course,
the biography by Thomas provides the background from the perspective
of Walt Disney -- why he wanted to build his "Disneyworld"
and his EPCOT. The biography of Roy Disney, Walt's older brother
-- and his partner in building the company, provides the history
of WDW from the time that Walt died until it opened in 1971.
Finally, the book by Eisner, who is the current chairman of
the Walt Disney Company, gives his opinions about the company
and what turned it around from almost being bankrupt in the
mid-1980's to becoming one of the most powerful entertainment
companies in the world.
Now, having said that, I never did answer your question,
did I? :) So, here goes...
Did Walt Disney World's EPCOT turn out to be a living, working
city? No, it didn't. But Epcot -- the park -- has turned out
to be one of the most successful theme parks in history. Millions
of people enjoy it every year. In just the last few years,
the Florida "new town" of Celebration, developed
by the Walt Disney Company, has lived up to much of the original
promise of the EPCOT concept as it truly is a living, working
However, I think that Walter Elias Disney was first and foremost
a showman. He loved to create things that people enjoyed and
that entertained them. He wanted people to laugh at the jokes
in his animated shorts (Mickey Mouse, the Silly Symphonies,
etc.) -- he wanted people to be moved at his animated features...
when Snow White fell into her deep sleep, when Bambi's mother
was shot, when Geppetto found Pinocchio lying in the pool
of water after their fight with Monstro the whale... -- he
wanted people to be happy together when they visited Disneyland.
Do people enjoy Walt Disney World? They certainly do. Are
people entertained when they visit there? They certainly are.
Do people enjoy being together with family and friends when
they visit Walt Disney World? Of course they do! Those questions,
I think, would have made up Mr. Disney's litmus test, and
I think Walt Disney World, as it exists in the year 2002,
passes that test with flying colors.
Well, I hope you enjoyed the reader feedback
for the WDW Trip Planning Guide! Feed free to send more questions
or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Brian Bennett's Disney Trip Planner
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always gotten email about the WDW Trip Planning Guide, but since we added
form to the site several months ago, the number of questions has increased
dramatically! I do my best to answer each and every question personally,
but I've noticed that a lot of the questions are asked again and again.
The question that one person asks might very well be the question that
someone else is wondering about. Thus this page!
reader email and feedback every once in a while, because the question
someone else asks might be the same one you're thinking about yourself!