Walt Disney World followers are an opinionated bunch. Ask any Disney fan what their favourite attraction is and also you’ll obtain a ton of various solutions — and don’t even get us began on the Eating Plan debate. However sure issues at Disney get much more consideration and credit score than they deserve. Whether or not it’s a scorching new attraction or land, a nostalgic favourite, or simply one other overpriced cash seize, these are my prime 5 overrated issues at Disney:
Pandora at Nighttime
No, I’m not saying Pandora – The World of Avatar is overrated. In reality, it’s one of many best-themed lands in all of Walt Disney World. Nighttime at Pandora is overrated.
We’ve all seen the pictures plastered everywhere in the Disney website and in brochures, and we’ve marveled on the colourful pictures captured by our favourite Instagrammers. The reality is, most of those pictures have been shot with knowledgeable digital camera, set for an extended publicity time, after which extremely developed to make the colours pop.
Going to Pandora at evening is a little bit of an underwhelming expertise. The land doesn’t “glow” such as you’d count on or as its pictures suggest. It depends on black lights and a ton of glow paint in an try to create a bioluminescent land that transports friends hundreds of thousands of miles away. As an alternative, it feels extra like a Spencer’s Items or a cheesy 90s basement bed room. With Disney’s quickly enhancing know-how, I’m stunned they haven’t carried out extra projections across the land to make the colours pop a bit extra. It’s a poorly lit land and feels as if it wants a second coat of paint.
I don’t imply to low cost Pandora. It actually is an excellent land, however I did discover myself considering “Is that this it?” upon getting into at evening. There’s extra to the land than simply the paint, although. In skilled wrestling, there’s a time period referred to as “kayfabe.” Kayfabe is the portrayal of staged occasions in wrestling. It’s the wrestlers’ and writers’ means to maintain a storyline going in order that it feels real. Again within the golden days of wrestling, The Undertaker stayed in character regardless of the place he went — whether or not within the ring or on the airport. He by no means broke kayfabe. Nothing and nobody in Pandora breaks kayfabe. There’s no signal of Mickey or Disney in Pandora. Solid members are in a position to let you know in regards to the land’s historical past and about its completely different vegetation. That’s what makes Pandora actually distinctive. The story and its portrayal is what makes Pandora actually shine.
Toy Story Land
This one pains me to put in writing. Perhaps it’s as a result of I really like Toy Story and had such excessive expectations for the land that I’m so judgmental. Sure, the land has a extremely cool theme. I really like the usage of outsized, nostalgic toys to make friends really feel as if they’ve been shrunken down and are roaming round Andy’s yard, however there have been a couple of issues that I merely couldn’t overlook.
With Pandora, Toy Story Land, and shortly Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, it appears an increasing number of that Disney is following the identical sample for including new lands. The present blueprint appears to be two sights, a restaurant, and over-the-top theming. (I do know TSL has three sights, however I’m not counting Toy Story Mania right here.) Disney obtained it proper with Pandora. Avatar Flight of Passage is one of the best journey I’ve ever skilled and deserves all of the reward it receives. However, Slinky Canine Sprint is enjoyable and suits the theme, however is a reasonably fundamental curler coaster. Alien Swirling Saucers appears like an afterthought. It’s a recycled tacky carnival journey that’s been themed to suit the land.
Above all, Toy Story Land is a logistical nightmare. For starters, it has a technique out and in. Perhaps that’ll change as soon as the development is finished, however for now, it doesn’t really feel very nicely thought out. The land has a photograph alternative with the Woody statue welcoming you into the land and so they had Buzz Lightyear taking pictures proper on the entrance. All this, plus the queue for the Slinky Canine Coaster usually extending via the doorway, makes it extraordinarily congested.
There’s a photograph alternative with Woody and Jessie, and that line usually extends into the exit for Toy Story Mania. Woody’s Lunch Field is a enjoyable, very first rate spot to eat breakfast or lunch — if you will discover a seat. Surprisingly, the land doesn’t have a real brick merchandise store (although I’m unsure the place they’d match it), which I imagine is an actual missed alternative for the cult favourite. Disney does an amazing job at making friends really feel shrunken down and claustrophobic on the similar time.
Na’vi River Journey
Pandora opened in 2017 with two sights: Na’vi River Journey and Avatar Flight of Passage. Each sights instantly turned tier-1 FastPass+ sights, which means that friends must select one (you possibly can’t select each when making preliminary reservations).
As with something new at Disney, each sights had been essentially the most troublesome alternatives to safe. Flights of Passage rapidly earned its popularity because the “finest journey at Disney.” It’s a must-do on each Disney fan’s listing, due to its immersive expertise, intricate theming, and groundbreaking know-how.
Imagineers actually outdid themselves with each sights. Na’vi River Journey options lifelike animatronics, one thing by no means seen or completed earlier than. However on the finish of the day, Na’vi River Journey is an underwhelming, low-thrill boat journey with little or no storytelling and immersion. And nonetheless, friends wait over three hours simply to expertise it.
If it’s your first journey to Disney or thrill rides aren’t your factor, then I’d positively look into making an attempt it, however the thought of utilizing a FastPass+ choice for Na’vi River Journey over Flights of Passage is preposterous and I actually wouldn’t wait over two hours to journey it.
In the event you’ve been to Disney up to now two years, you’ve most likely seen no less than one crimson polka dot Chevrolet Traverse driving round property. Lovable, aren’t they? As a solution to compete with Uber, Disney partnered with Lyft to create Minnie Vans (get it?). Operated similar to each different on-demand transportation firm, friends are in a position to request a journey wherever on property for $25 per journey. Disney not too long ago began providing the service to and from Orlando Worldwide Airport for a staggering $150 every approach.
Look, the Minnie Vans are a enjoyable expertise. We at all times request one after we’re with Disney newbies and so they can’t assist however smile after they see it pull up. When you’re inside, although, it’s like some other journey request service. There’s no Disney expertise contained in the automobile, apart from the motive force who is generally a “Disney skilled” and can usually play your favourite Disney tunes.
An Uber or common Lyft from Disney to MCO ought to price below $50. Most journeys round property will run you between $10-$15 with tip. Minnie Vans generally is a enjoyable solution to stay within the Disney bubble, however are extraordinarily overpriced and overrated.
The Polynesian Village Resort
Staying on the Polynesian was at all times on our bucket listing. Some individuals love the Grand Floridian, and a few will make the case for the Modern, however the Polynesian at all times had a particular place in our hearts.
Situated on Magic Kingdom’s monorail line, the Polynesian has a tropical theme with a South Pacific aptitude. Its historical past, theming, and shut proximity to Magic Kingdom make it one of many most-popular resorts at Disney — and one of the vital costly.
Total, I just like the kitschy decor of the Polynesian. The Polynesian has not too long ago undergone a sequence of updates and renovations, and plenty of rooms have been up to date; nevertheless, the resort nonetheless feels a bit too darkish and outdated.
In contrast to most of the different Deluxe Resorts, friends rooms are separated from the primary foyer. The structure of the Polynesian Resort options one lengthy Ceremonial Home the place the primary foyer, eating places, and its monorail cease are situated. The Ceremonial Home is surrounded by “longhouses” which home the guestrooms. In consequence, visitor need to stroll outdoors with a purpose to get from their room to the foyer, eating places, and monorail cease, which might be particularly making an attempt throughout inclement climate.
I hate discussing value, as a result of the identical could be stated for any Deluxe Resort. The value you pay to remain at a Deluxe Resort is just not in keeping with the facilities provided. You’re usually paying a premium for the resort’s location. For the worth, I’d a lot slightly keep at one of many Epcot resorts, the place you’re inside strolling distance of two Disney World parks. The Polynesian is a brief monorail or boat journey from Magic Kingdom, and friends can simply stroll over to the Ticket and Transportation Middle to get to Epcot, however getting round is actually not as handy because the Epcot-area resorts. On prime of this, I imagine the worth of the monorail resorts will take a success as soon as the Skyliner is up and working.
The Polynesian actually presents a nostalgic expertise. As one of many authentic on-site resorts, many friends grew up staying there as children — and now, their children will develop up having stayed there. It’s a Disney icon, little question, however I’ve a tough time justifying its lofty price ticket when you may pay rather less to remain at BoardWalk, the Yacht Membership, or Seaside Membership and be inside strolling distance of two completely different parks, not need to go outdoors to seize a fast chew to eat or get to Disney transportation, and keep in up to date rooms with tons of pure mild.