Thursday, February 3, 2011

Disney Refurbs...Friend or Foe?

Alright, picture it.

You've been planning for a Disney vacation for months...years, even.

You've been carefully picking the perfect hotel for your family, figuring out which Advanced Dining Reservations you should book for which days that would maximize your family's enjoyment, you've been agonizing over which parks you should visit on which days, and you've been pouring over as much research as you possibly can to help make sure that your family has the best vacation that you possibly can.

It's all set and it all looks so perfect.  Until that fateful day....

It's a day that always seems to come, but you never expect it to...

The day that Disney announces that a beloved attraction that your family enjoys and has their heart set on riding ends up being closed for a refurbishment during your trip.

Oh no!!!  This sucks!  Why does this have to happen on my vacation?!  I've paid all this money and now the vacation is ruined!  (Ok, this last one may be a little over dramatic, but trust me...I've seen it be said before.) 

Yep.  I've been there.  I've felt that bitter disappointment of knowing that one of my favorites will be closed.  Over the many years I've been a Disney fanatic, it's been very rare that absolutely everything that's on my "must do" list is open during my trips.

When I first started taking trips, I was one who got pretty upset that my vacation would be impacted negatively.  I hated the fact that I couldn't ride everything I wanted to.  It was the worst feeling.  (Looking back, I now think, how selfish of me!)

Even now, I still get a little sad when I find out something I wanted to ride on my upcoming vacation will be unavailable to me.

For example, this last trip, I was bummed to find out It's a Small World was closed for refurb while they rerouted the entrance and exit.  As corny as the attraction is to me, it is a Disney classic and a trip to the parks isn't usually complete without a trip on that boat singing along with creepy little dolls.

Another example and something on a more larger scale was when Space Mountain was closed for it's updates.   I missed riding Space immensely.  But, as disappointed as I may have felt in both cases, (because being disappointed that something you love is closed during your trip never truly goes away, no matter how many times you get to visit) I knew that in the end, everything would be ok.   

I think the one thing I've noticed as time has gone on, is that I've gained some perspective on refurbs in general.  Maybe it's partially related to the fact that I'm blessed to be able to often take multiple trips a year, however I have been able to realize that it really is ok if I miss experiencing something on a trip.  I promise you, it is not the end of the World!

I mean truthfully, you can't see everything in one trip anyway, right?  So, instead of you choosing not to visit the attraction this time, it's Disney that has made the decision for you that you're not going to get to experience the attraction on this trip.

Understand that things have to close to make them better in the long run and, yes, that really is ok.

Another tip to keep in mind is that there are other things that you love in the parks that you WILL get to experience on your trip.  And who knows, maybe by not having an old standby attraction available, you may end up experiencing something else that you may have never tried previously instead and fall in love with that, making that a new must do.

I will tell you that the number one thing that I think is most important to remember when you find out that a favorite attraction will be closed during your trip is that it WILL be there for the next trip, more often than not, better than ever.  (And trust me, if you're reading this blog, there more than likely will be a next trip!)

Lately I've noticed that it seems like we've been getting a rash of little refurbs here and there, over the past year and a half or so.  It could be a biggie like an attraction or a restaurant, or something as "tiny" as a facade or pavement or bridge.    I can honestly say I love seeing this kind of love and care being put into our parks.  I know that while having a scrim up or an attraction closed can sometimes impact your enjoyment of your vacation, just know that things are going to look better than new when the work is done.  Trust me, that makes it all worth it in the end.  These types of refurbs mean that someone cares...which makes me a very happy girl.  :)

I,  for one, appreciate all the work that Disney does to make their parks even better.  Matter of fact, I applaud them for it and hope that they continue to keep up the good work.

So what it that you think when you find out Disney is going to be refurbing something on your trip?  Are you mad or do you realize that it's just a part of making the parks better for the future?  How do you handle the news? Make sure to let me know in the comments!


K said...

The part that really bugs me is when they rehab Splash EVERY January. Our family goes just about every year... in January. So as a result it's ALWAYS closed for our trip. Last year was just a major bummer because I couldn't go on it at all! (Well.. the second two trips I couldn't go on it because I was pregnant, which was totally my fault, but still. Bummed nonetheless.)

Just seems that Disney could show January some love. I know they want to refurb it during the cold months, but how about February? My family can't be the only family that goes down every January (since it's the cheap DVC season!)

Unknown said...

Space Mountain has long been my favorite, both at DL and DW. I was truly devastated when I found out it would be down during our last trip. But, it actually became a fun thing. We ride the TTA a lot, and everytime we rode it on that trip, we would try to get pictures of the refurb (without standing up, of course). It became a quest and a running joke. We took pics of all the outside construction and the sad sign saying it was closed. The children still talk about this specific part of our trip. I think for us, focusing on our sadness, but making it into something else was really good. I never felt like it ruined our time and we have some great pics of the refurb. And now, in 7 short months I will get to ride the NEW Space Moutain.

vgsmom said...

I'm a little frustrated that I am planning what really may be a one time only trip for a family and they have three sons who are Star Wars nuts. We had to plan for Spring no Star Tours (which honestly, I can do without on any trip)but they are sure to be disappointed. Then...I dicovered that the Lego Store is in rehab, too. This really feels like two hits against these boys. I'm sure we will make great memories and all we be fine.....but.