I had no idea what to expect. The enthusiasm Iris had wasn’t rubbing off on me because, really, I had no idea what to expect. Not to say I wasn’t excited for the trip, but without knowing what I was going into I didn’t feel the same thrill she obviously did.
To me Disney was Sunday evenings and “The Wonderful World of Disney”. It was family movies, cartoons, and park’s full of little kids. Princesses and Princes and wise cracking sidekicks. It was co-workers going for a week all relaxed and coming back stressed out with stories of massive lines and long waits.
So when we returned home I was surprised that every memory was awesome.
There is an obvious policy for all of the Disney parks. They have a level of detail for everything that is a little hard to describe, but the best example is Dinoland USA at the Animal Kingdom park. We entered this area at the end of our third day just to see it; there were no rides we wanted to do. As we came in I was struck at just how cheap it looked, all the rides and attractions reminded me of a travelling carnival setup in a parking lot at a mall. It looked temporary and I half expected to hear diesel generators and air compressors powering the rides. I happened to look down and see a painted parking grid with drains for rainfall when it dawned on me. They had intended for me to feel like I was at a country fair, that was the whole point. All the detail from the large scale layout to the patched asphalt and worn out lines had convinced me that this part of Disney was done on the cheap.
Disney is also all about waiting in lines, but they know this so there are extra little details to keep you occupied, to distract you from how long you are actually waiting. On the second day we did a number of rides late in the evening and I felt a little sad as we bypassed the line and missed the little things. Crazy I know, but I actually would have liked a little wait to take it all in. Or maybe I was just needing time to psych myself up. I’m not sure.
I’m going to get all techy here, so feel free to skip this paragraph. Disney has a smartphone app with maps and wait times among other things. They realized people are coming from around the world and won’t have data available so they blanketed the parks in free wifi. As we were checking in to our resort we were told this and the telecom geek in me immediately started looking for wifi nodes. I assumed that covering entire parks would make them easily noticeable, but I was completely wrong. The only time I saw one was when we were in line for an attraction and I happened to be looking up as someone was taking a picture with flash. The shadowed spot above me had a wifi setup hidden in the dark. Disney is so intent in putting you in the moment they make everything that isn’t relevant hidden.
Before the trip Iris was telling me about a theory her Dad had when they went to Disneyland. At first during their trip they didn’t see anyone emptying the garbage cans. His thought was that maybe there were garbage chutes under each can that led to an underground processing center. She told me that they staked out a can and waited until someone quietly slipped in and emptied it during a lull in the crowd.
What I’m trying to say is that Disney parks are flawless. Every little detail was thought out, every little extra was put in, and everything was taken care of by staff that actually wanted to do it. It was amazing, and just like the resort check-in staff said it would be, it was going to be a truly Magical Time.