Monday, January 13, 1997

Week of 01/13/1997

Disney Pet Peeves
- by David Matthews 2

Before Christmas I was the only person in my family who never ever went to Disney World. My parents went a few years ago. My sister went twice. In all those times I was the one who ended up staying at home to watch the house. So my parents decided to change that this time and take me to Disney World the day after our Christmas visit to my sister in Key West. "Merry Christmas," I was told.

Now, in all honesty I’d have to say I had an overall blast at Disney World. I came back home happy and relaxed and ready to hit the work that awaited me. The people at the Swan and Dolphin hotels were first rate. Fair warning for people - if you’re going, don’t scrimp on the money! Bring your credit card and don’t be afraid to use it!

Having said that, however, I found there were a few things that took away from some of that enjoyment that should be standard for any Disney theme park. These are in no order of importance, and of course not everything on it is the fault of Disney.

Water - I wondered why the sale of bottled water was one of the most valuable commodities in the whole Disney park until I took a sip of water from the drinking fountain. The water tasted like sulfur! No wonder why Disney was able to get away with selling bottled water at $2 a pop! And it wasn’t just in the parks, but also in the hotel too. It would be somewhat of an embarrassment for Disney to have to spend all the money putting up a first-class establishment only to have piped in water that tastes horrible.

The Lines - With the exception of being at the Swan and Dolphin, EVERYTHING had a line to it. You wait in line to get to the park. You wait in line to get IN the park. You wait in line at all the restaurants. You wait in line to get inside all the exhibits and rides. You even have to wait in line to get OUT of the park. About the only place that didn’t have a line was the bathroom - and that’s because everyone spent all their time waiting in other lines!

"Turbulent Experience" - Excuse me Disney folks, but do you think you could find yet ANOTHER theme "ride" that straps us down in flight chairs and shakes us up like soda cans while giving us another theatrical presentation designed to make us sicker than a roller coaster? Huh? How about another ride that gives out instructions that sound identical to the ones airline hostesses give when you’re about to go on a flight? Do you think that’s possible? I’m sorry, but the better Disney rides didn’t involve being herded into small cars, banged about on all sides by the seats and the people next to me, and left wanting to chuck the $20 lunch I ate.

People and Strollers - Now THIS was one part I didn’t care for. I realize that both Disneyland and Disney World are internationally known and are an attraction to people of all ages. But I also know I couldn’t move two steps without a family of ten or twenty cutting in front of me with strollers! I am, by in large, a patient man, but to have every parent with stroller who think they have the right of way cut in front of me taxed even MY limits! Excuse me Mr. and Mrs. Bradford, I realize that eight is no longer enough for you, but somewhere in your major family reunion tour you could remember that having a stroller (or two, or three, or four..) is NOT an excuse for getting in people’s way?

Lastly I would like to say three things to the folks at Walt Disney World. First, Happy 25th Anniversary. Second, EXPAND, don’t just add more features and rides. Give the people some breathing room so they can really enjoy the experience of being there instead of having to see everything though herded lines! And third - thank you for the time I did spend there.

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