Farewell, Old Friend
|Is this the end?|
Nick was a senior in high school this year, and it is unlikely that the Obrin family excursions will ever be the same. And, Debbie has said to me "You know, there are other places to go besides Disney World". I find this highly unlikely.
Nonetheless, after years of indulgence, I fear this may have been my last trip to the World. At the very least, the days when we would go just about once every year are behind us.
|So, I feel like I am saying goodbye to an old friend. To say that this place was my home away from home does not do it justice. For a long time, these trips would be the highlight of my year. I would spend months in the planning and preparation, and then months working on the trip reports and the web pages. For a couple of the trips we (Debbie and I) even did an old fashioned photo album. This was one of my great hobbies and distractions--something to think about besides work and bills.|
|We went a lot, we really did. And I do not regret one single trip, even this last one. There was a touch of sadness this time around, whenever I would make a reservation "for the last time", or visit one of our favorite places "for the last time'. But, there were also things that we did on this trip that we had never done before, and I realized that after all those trips, we still had things we could have explored. This is a big place, and offers a staggering range of vistas and experiences.|
So, any other closing thoughts on the World?
|I honestly believe that Disney World is going through a little bit of a slump. The food prices have skyrocketed, while the service is not as stellar as it once was. But, I think that these are both just temporary setbacks. Prices are not going back down, of course, but if they stop going up so fast, the rest of the real world will catch up, and the great value will return. By and large, the food quality seems to have sagged a little bit as well, but I think this will prove temporary. It's just a shame that these things did not thrill me on this trip "one last time".|
|Some of the attractions have taken a hit on the chin as well. Everyone seems to have forgotten for now about Pirates and Imagination. But, a face lift and a little movie excitement might fix these soon. The new Spaceship Earth is kind of sappy compared to the last 2 incarnations. But, I'm sure they will get feedback about this, and hopefully rediscover their way.|
|There have, after all, been some recent fixes to long standing problems. They have gotten rid of the stupid hand over Spaceship Earth. And, the addition of some interactive exhibits under the ride is a welcome return to its heyday. And The Land has a terrific ride now.|
|The online dinner reservations are actually really slick. Then why am I nostalgic for the long phone calls I used to have when I would set up all my Priority Seatings at once?|
The recently announced major expansion of Fantasyland, and the announcement of a new film for Star Tours both indicate that the company remains committed to enhancing the guest experience.
|So, I believe that Disney World will come back to its former glory. I may not see it coming back, but am hopeful that it will.|
|But, the neat thing about looking back is that I can pick my favorite times (like when they still had the character experience at the Liberty Tree Inn at dinnertime) and memories (like when Nick was part of the show at the Polynesian Luau, or when he and I were in the PT boat show many years later at the Studios). I can even dwell on wonderful touches long gone, like the Skyride between Fantasyland and Tomorrowland.|
|So, goodbye, dear friend. I am a little misty eyed, but I am grateful that I was able to enjoy your excitement and magic so much and for so long. I have a ton of terrific memories.|
| End of Day 9|
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