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He’s Back!

Good news, everyone!

Under the cover of night, a ray of sunshine landed in Adventureland at Walt Disney World and the Florida Orange Bird reappeared at the Sunshine Tree Terrace, from which he had been absent for many years.

First, please watch:

So with the Orange Bird back and spiffed up, and Citrus Swirls back on tap, the Sunshine Tree Terrace is once more a must-stop destination for citrus-friendly visitors. What a change from a few months ago, when you could only get plain vanilla soft-serve and Cokes there! Hopefully this will reap dividends for the Mouse and management will realize that a differentiated slate of unique offerings throughout the parks benefit everyone in the long run. I can’t help but think those lines of people queued at the Sunshine Tree Terrace back up our argument: It’s possible to do things the right way and make money at the same time!

As we’ve talked about in the past, these small victories are always the result of hard work on the inside by people going out of their way to bring back little touches of the “real” Walt Disney World. After so many years of things being removed and lost without replacement, some of this texture is returning. So kudos to everyone involved! I can’t wait to see what’s next.

That begs a question – what would you like to see make a return to the parks next? What lost detail, snack, character or bit of atmosphere would you like back? Dreamfinder? Teriyaki burgers? The Penny Arcade? Let us know – and most importantly, let Disney know!

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12 comments to He’s Back!

  • V

    This is just more proof that Lou Mongello controls the world (or at least, the World).

  • I’m trying to stick with things that might actually happen. While I’d love to say Horizons, I don’t see any scenario where that could ever occur. So I’ll say these five:

    1. Dreamfinder, and more importantly, a better Journey to Imagination ride
    2. Wonders of Life (I’ll take anything in that building)
    3. The Spaceship Earth descent (this would be an fairly cheap way to sell it like a new attraction in a few years)
    4. Something actually in space at Space Mountain
    5. Animatronics that actually work at Splash Mountain

  • Sean O

    Horizons. I want Horizons.

    (If you can dream it…)

  • John Garrity

    Dreamfinder, Dreamfinder, Dreamfinder!

  • Reesie

    Your post a while ago was right. Disney’s making this new Fantasyland but instead of pouring more dough into it, they’ve really been adding little details to Adventureland. They didn’t have to, but they did. Will it make them money? Yes, because they’re a corporation.

    It seems some people still can’t grasp this. Thus, the complainers (message borders) out there make all of us look bad and ungrateful. I can’ believe people are upset about this. One guy even compared the character to Duffy. Not cool.

  • Beacon Joe

    Was just listening to our Podcast Ep 2 – and you were bemoaning the loss of the Citrus Swirl – definitely a victory there!

    There are so many attractions/restaurants/experiences I would like to see revived, but sticking with the MK I would say bringing back an overall “theme” to Tomorrowland – akin to the 75 and 94 iterations. A consistent Tomorrowland wouldn’t even involve bringing back old attractions, but would certainly invoke some sort of nostalgia. A scattered Tomorrowland that we have today (both in MK and DL) is the biggest dark mark in an otherwise near-flawless theme park design.

  • Dan

    It would be great if the Penny Arcade came back. Really anything that offers unique merchandise and moves away from the hundred different versions of the same store trend would be nice.

    The change around this scale that I’d really like to see is changing Epcot’s name back to EPCOT Center and bringing back the Future World Icons. At least that’s a start.

  • Well, I’d love to see Dreamfinder return in some form or other since Disney has been teasing the character for several years now. (I even voted with my wallet when a Dreamfinder pin showed up a while back.) And yes, we need an overall theme for Tomorrowland and more awe, less goofy Flash animation in the finale to Spaceship Earth. We also need an overall theme and more awe (and -uh- maybe some scientific accuracy), less carnival rides in the prehistoric section of Animal Kingdom.

    On a more pie-in-the-sky level, what if a new version of Horizons was built where the defunct Wonders of Life building now stands? (Any special events could happen in the Odyssey building or the giant hall between UK and Canada.) What if “The Adventurer’s Club” resurfaced as “The Paleontologist’s Club” in AK and took inspiration from the Cope/Marsh Bone Wars? What if we got an update on Universe of Energy that didn’t feel like a fever dream?

  • Being realistic, these are things I’d like to see return:

    - Dreamfinder, in a new version of Imagination.
    - An actual ending to Spaceship Earth, and the Irons narrative.
    - Alien Encounter
    - The Food and Fun card
    - The name Dixie Landings
    - The name MGM Studios
    - Something, anything, in the Wonders of Life pavillion
    - El Rio del Tiempo…at least the song!

    Being unrealistic, these are things I’d like to see return:

    - The old Tomorrowland theme
    - 20,000 Leagues Beneath the Sea
    - Horizons
    - the Skyway

    Being realistic, these are things I’d like to see gone:

    - The Dench narrative on SSE
    - All mention of Donald Duck, or the Three Caballeros, in Mexico
    - Free Dining

    Being unrealistic, these are things I’d like to see gone:

    - The hat
    - All things High School Musical
    - Duffy
    - The idiots in ECVs that run your ass down in the middle of the park because they are too stupid to be driving any sort of vehicle, anywhere, much less in a crowded area

  • Smaha

    Epcot:
    *Open up more interative play areas at Imagination
    *Restaurant in Future World
    *Relocate the photomosaic death monument away from SSE
    *More interactive cues like Soarin; less interactive cues like HM
    *Video kiosks for information/reservations
    *Standard closing hours pushed back to 11pm for all guests
    *India, Russia and Thailand (wishful thinking)

    AK:
    *More play, crafts and art opportunities for kids. What they have is great.
    *Water features/misters/coolers

    MK:
    *Continue the great work in Adventureland w/ Explorer’s Club or actual tiki lounge
    *Skyway
    *Penny arcade
    *Remove Tomorrowland stage and replace w/ landscaping/fountain/seating along with F&B
    *Innovative food options in Tomorrowland. “Food of the future” type stuff.

    Studios:
    *Tear it down

    General:
    *Elimination of the dining plan
    *More outside seating areas
    *Bring back the kiosks for downloads of all park background music, past and present
    *Vision for better stroller parking

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