Reasons to Return #1: Experience the Movies

One of the many questions us Walt Disney World geeks get is why are you going back?  Apart from the simple answer, “because it’s the most magical place on earth!” I am usually left speechless because I do not know where to begin.  There are so many reasons to go back again and again so I have decided to make this into a reoccurring series on my blog called “Reasons to e”  In this series I plan to cover my reasons and hopefully the reasons of other geeks like me for returning to Walt Disney World over and over.  So, in no particular order, here it goes…

Reason #1: Experience the Movies

Besides geeking out with all things Walt Disney World, another hobby of mine is watching movies.  I am not alone when it comes to this love for movies. People around the world have an ongoing, perhaps growing, interest in movies.  There certainly are many elements to the cinematic art of story telling which can captivate audiences such as a good plot, clever scripts, great actors/actresses, detailed sets, and well matched soundtracks. Apart from the artistic aspect of movies, some might also just enjoy the simple pleasure of being whisked away from everyday life to take part in a story one would never have the chance to be a part of otherwise.

I believe people get a special feeling when they get to have a unique experience they think would never or rarely happen.  The unique experience then becomes a meaningful memory to them and they will recall and retell they story over and over throughout their life.  I am sure you have already recalled one of your own.  Have you not?

One thing that makes Walt Disney World such an easy destination to return to is its ability to create so many unique experiences for so many people.  Would you consider being in a movie a unique experience?  I would and though I may not have the looks or talent to make it into a movie it’s okay, I can just go to Walt Disney World!  That’s right, Walt Disney World offers an in-movie experience throughout its parks you cannot experience anywhere else.

There is no better place for me to start than with the place that started it all: The Magic Kingdom.  Most guests have no idea of the transportation that occurs as they enter the Magic Kingdom.  It is here that guests go from attending a movie to being in the movie themselves.  Once you present your ticket, you then enter into the lobby of the theater where you will find the “red carpet” made of bricks.  After passing through the lobby you will enter into the dark tunnel underneath the train station acting as the theater’s hallway with posters of “coming presentations” on either side.  These “coming presentations” are actually posters of the attractions you will experience in the park such as The Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean.  As you reach the end of the dark “hallway” the train station tunnel begins to slowly reveal the feature presentation just as a theater curtain might.  Once you pass completely through the tunnel the scent of popcorn overtakes you and you are no longer in a movie theater; you are in the movie itself!

Once inside the parks you are immersed into a cinematic experience everywhere you go from attractions to the restaurants.  Disney goes to great lengths to create this experience for its guests.  The attention to detail Disney uses in its parks is unparalleled to any other theme park in the world.

A movie relies heavily on its Haunted Mansion facadesets to make its story realistic to its viewers.  Painting backgrounds on a piece of plywood can often be the demise of a movie’s credibility so realistic sets are essential.  Disney feels the same way and has maintained the level of excellence Walt established within his company years ago.

Haunted Mansion building

One example of this is the facade of The Haunted Mansion.  As you approach the attraction you cannot help but believe you are about to step foot into an actual run down colonial mansion but after the ride you just can’t help but wonder how they fit that entire ride into that mansion.   Despite the building that houses the ride being about ten times larger than the mansion itself, you will never see any trace of it while in the parks.  I could go on about facades, hiding buildings, and the details put into the “sets” at WDW but I must move on.  Another article perhaps…

A great sound track can really contribute to the plot of a movie and enhance the viewer’s experience.  Disney, a veteran movie producing company, obviously knows the importance of music within a theatrical presentation.  Because Disney’s parks were created to be a theatrical experience they make it a point to constantly surround guests with a soundtrack that is themed with the particular time and place the guest is located within their cinematic journey.  I am not just talking about rides and shows.  Here is a challenge for your next trip to WDW: See how many places you can find where you cannot hear any music playing at all.

What good is a movie without a clever story?  Is not the whole point of a movie to tell a story?  I don’t think too many people would disagree that Walt Disney was an excellent story teller.  Walt’s story-telling abilities extended beyond the big screen to his theme parks.  When Walt first conceived the idea for his first theme park his wife voiced concern about creating another amusement park.  Walt himself did not even fancy amusement parks therefore he dreamt up a place where people of all ages could enjoy themselves.  He obviously understood people’s love for a good story so when attractions were developed for the parks, if it was not based off of an existing story a story was created for it.  The stories can be found in the details of the sets, and architecture, through props, scripts, music, sound effects and even smells.  One of the greatest and most elaborate stories created for the Disney parks is the story of The Haunted Mansion.  I will not go into it but if you want to just take a gander at the extent of this story jump over to  Disney has proven its ability to tell a quality story by inspiring movies by its attractions.  How many theme parks can say that?

The ability of movies to take me away from my everyday life and transport me to a time, place, and story I could never be a part of is so intriguing and satisfying to me and knowing I can go to Walt Disney World and experience the movies rather than just watching them will keep me going back!

This has been a very basic cover of one of the reasons I will continue to visit Walt Disney World.  I will be honest that it was kind of torturous for me not to go into ridiculous detail and include so many more subjects but I will cover many of them in the future.  I want to give the proper attention to the subjects I want to cover and avoid overwhelming you at the same time.  Plus I want to leave some of it to you to discover!

Shameless Plug

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2 Responses to Reasons to Return #1: Experience the Movies

  1. Pingback: 10 Phrases NOT to Use Around a WDW Fanatic | Magical World of Walt

  2. Mitch O'Brien says:

    Great article. It’s easy to see your love of the Disney Dream as a whole. I wish I lived closer as to experience Disney as often as you and your readers do. Keep up the great work!

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