Extraordinary Magic in Everyday Life
One of the primary functions of Walt Disney World® is to be a transportive experience. Whether in the middle of an African savannah or out on the Mighty Mississippi, there are an innumerable amount of destinations that the Imagineers take their guests to within this property. Some of those locales, like the ones just mentioned, exist in real life in some way, even if their fantasy is amplified here. Others, though, derive their roots from cinema, and getting to transport ourselves into that realm we’ve only before seen on a screen is quite exciting.
There are two levels of this. The first is being transported to a location. Take, for example, Be Our Guest Restaurant. Once you step through those castle doors, you have been transported into that fairytale location. The detail is magnificent, as is the multi-sensory moment happening before your eyes as you take in the setting before you. However, you are simply in the location of that classic story. You are not necessarily in the middle of the story itself unfolding. There’s a difference, and today’s we’re going to look at three attractions that take the guest directly into that literal scene, from least immersive to most immersive.
The Magic Carpets of Aladdin. I’ve taken quite a liking to this little attraction the past few years; it certainly isn’t the skippable detour it used to always be for me. The architecture helps set the mood wonderfully, as does Genie’s funny safety spiel (which I won’t spoil here). But getting into that transportive factor, this attraction more or less recreates the “A Whole New World” sequence from Aladdin. Of course, that’s the general idea that is pretty obvious to anyone, but I don’t think the weight of it really sinks in until you stop to think about it. Granted, there will need to be plenty of imagination in place to spur the illusion on (which is why this one is listed first), but getting the chance to be part of that famous sequence is pretty darn cool (especially at nighttime, and if “A Whole New World” is the song your ride gets for the attraction’s rotating playlist).
The Great Movie Ride. In a ride all about the movies, you can expect to go just there: the movies. Particularly in the the scenes highlighting Mary Poppins and The Wizard of Oz, the songs, lines, and characters we love from those films are fleshing out their signature scenes right in front of us. The tour guide admittedly takes a bit of the transportive mindset away (though is overall a great, necessary inclusion for the core idea of the attraction), but by the time all is said and done, we’ve had ourselves a whirlwind of a ride.
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. This one just gets it right. As the ride vehicle ducks indoors to visit the seven dwarfs in action, we are: 1.) visiting that famous place, 2.) seeing its most prominent scene happen, and 3.) not just witnessing that scene, but actually feeling like we’re part of it, swaying our mine train back and forth. The music also helps tremendously. Both times I have experienced this attraction, an ear-to-ear smile shone across my face as I rocked along with the dwarfs and even found myself singing with them. It’s one of those special Disney moments that is completely and utterly wonderful.
How about you? What are your favorite WDW moments that take you right into your favorite stories?
(Images © Disney.)
Blake studies Electronic Media and Film at Appalachian State University. He enjoys making his family of six watch the parade in Frontierland and then sprint to Main Street in time to see it again. You can find him on Twitter @olddirtyblake or at BlakeOnline.com.