5. Introduction of more IP (Intellectual Property)
Walt Disney World started with rides based on original ideas and concepts, but today we see more emphasis on attractions being based on intellectual property (movies, television characters) that have shown proof of concept. We’ve seen hit movies become rides (a la Frozen), and we’ve even seen attractions become movies with the hugely successful Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, and to a much lesser extent, a movie and cartoon based on Tomorrowland, and another movie based on the Jungle Cruise, to name a few. Everyone loves a great character, and IP definitely makes the parks feel familiar to guests. IP also translates into big bucks, because IP can be placed on a shirt and made into a plush to be sold in the shops.
6. How We Experience Characters
Gone are the days of roaming characters at Walt Disney World, though if you search through photos from your childhood you may come across snapshots of your family meeting characters all over the park. The spontaneity of character sightings is very limited, and perhaps for that reason they have become a big draw for hard-ticketed parties and events, where you can often meet rare characters. They’re also the reason so many families reserve pricey character dining- for the simple experience of meeting several characters at once.
7. Overall Increase in Pre-Trip Planning
Perhaps the most over-arching change that we have seen over the years with Walt Disney World is the level of planning that is available, and some would say, required, to enjoy a magical vacation. From dining, to FastPasses, to special events, to princess and pirate makeovers, to tee times- there are so many things, experiences, meals, and events to reserve in advance. Way in advance.
Have you been a fan of historical changes, or are you a stickler for tradition? We’d love to hear the changes you are most anticipating or speculating about.