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The World Report
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by Stephen Halpin (archives)
January 4, 2002
Steve looks back at the Best and Worse of 2001

A couple of weeks ago ToonKirby emailed me about the number of articles that I had posted here on Laughingplace.com around Thanksgiving. After some friendly banter I threatened to start posting lists like the 25 best restrooms at WDW or the 100 best guide maps of WDW. Since it’s the time of the year that everyone starts writing lists of 2001, I thought I would join the throng and write my top 10 Best and Worst list for Walt Disney World in 2001. This list includes things that shaped WDW for the better or worse. Of course after I have had my say you will all post on the discussion boards all the things I missed. Have a Happy and Safe New Years. Enjoy and I will see you in the World in 2002!

Worst of 2001

10. Is it Port Orleans. Dixie Landings, Riverside or French Quarter? After almost 10 years of operation Disney decided to change the names of the Port Orleans and Dixie Landings Resorts. They are now Port Orleans Riverside and Port Orleans French Quarter. Why? No one knows for sure. Disney said it was to consolidate things into one resort with two areas. Others say it was in response to the politically incorrect name of the resort. Who knows for sure, but it was silly and I will always call them by their original names.

9. 100 Years of Magic? What about 30 Years of Magic? With the 100 Years of Magic Celebration going on most people missed the fact that WDW is 30 years old this year. With the exception of a little 30 year merchandise hidden away around the property, Disney missed a great chance to remind the world that the World had reached this milestone.

8. Haven’t We Seen This Somewhere Before? Tapestry of Dreams Hey I know, lets take a nice parade and cut out some of the music, change the floats with no thought to imagination, and remove the heart from the original! And then lets market it as a new parade! Yuck.

Spin.jpg (25303 bytes)
TriceraTops Spin

7. Round and Round We Go: TriceraTops Spin and The Magic Carpets of Aladdin (not to mention Carnival Games):  While the addition of two spinner rides (one at the Animal Kingdom, the other at Magic Kingdom) aren’t bad unto themselves, the fear is that this is the direction that Disney will take in the future with attractions. And I still can’t get past the idea that it is ok to put tacky carnival games in a Disney park because the area is supposedly themed tacky. Hmmmm. Watch out when the fifth theme park in Florida is themed after a Six Flags Park -"Disney’s Six Flags Over Disney".

6. And What Time Does the Park Open Today? Disney ran afoul of many a guest when, without any warning, it changed the operating hours of its parks. Guests were lined up outside parks that didn’t open until an hour or more later and then closed an hour or more early. A big Guest Relations mess. The problem continued while Disney made park hours decisions on a seemingly daily basis. While we have sympathy towards all tourist destinations after September 11, out of all the theme parks in Central Florida the one that set the standard looked like the amateur in it’s handling of the changes.

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