Home » 5 Things That Get Old FAST at Walt Disney World

5 Things That Get Old FAST at Walt Disney World

Take it from me. You CAN love something too much at Walt Disney World. My fanaticism about Sci-Fi Dine-In, Kona Café, Spaceship Earth, Test Track car-making, and the entire fourth floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort is well-documented. I love all of these things so much that I could never tired of them.

That’s not true of everything there is to do at Walt Disney World, though. Some parts of a Disney trip can get monotonous. After you’ve done them a few times, you will find yourself avoiding them as much as possible. It’s the nature of the beast. Not everything in life has repeat value, and even the magical world of Disney isn’t immune to this problem. Here are five things at Disney that grow old fast.

The Monorail

!Por favor manténgase alejado de las puertas!

Whenever the subject of the Monorail comes up, a friend of mine who grew up in Central Florida almost reflexively quotes this bit of Spanish dialogue. It’s a simple request to stand clear of the Monorail doors, and the thought of it always brings a smile to my face. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who loves this mode of transportation more than me. I wrote this entire piece about it, after all.

Still, I’m aware of the reality of the situation. To a lot of people, the Monorail was something that they loved to ride as a child. Once they’d done it a few times and, you know, reached adulthood, the Monorail grew to represent something else, a means to an end. To them, it’s just a variation on an elevated train that eventually takes them to Magic Kingdom or Epcot, presuming that it doesn’t tear down along the way. And then there’s the smell…

The Monorail is still magical to many people, myself included. To others, it’s a symbol of a Tomorrowland that will never be. It’s also not as well maintained as something so iconic and integral to the perception of Disney theme parks should be.

Fireworks shows

All of the parks at Walt Disney World now include some form of nighttime entertainment show, and most of them include fireworks. When you watch each of these evening celebrations the first time, you’ll feel swept up in the proceedings, almost as if the spirit of Walt Disney is coursing through your veins.

Even though Wishes has since been replaced by Happily Ever After, I loved the old show so much that I’ll start singing the Wishes song without really knowing why. I say this to reinforce just how wonderfully orchestrated the nightly fireworks displays are, and how much they have impacted me over the years.

Still — and this may be something that’s only relatable to the most frequent Disney visitors and Florida residents – there does come a point when the fireworks no longer trigger a magical reaction. I had this epiphany on a recent night when my wife and I and another couple exited the World Showcase. They are Florida residents, and we are frequent visitors.

Image: DisneyThat point became crystal clear as we all suddenly realized that it was three minutes prior to the start of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. We were standing near the Japan Pavilion at the time and would have had a wonderful view of the award-winning exhibition. I asked if the other three people wanted to stop and watch. I received three emphatic “NO!” replies in less than a second…and we’d all had fun hanging out that night. We just weren’t interested in yet another viewing of the fireworks. Saturation is a factor with these shows, even my favorite, Fantasmic! Then again, I’d probably watch that one every day if Disney just added some lumbar support to their stadium seating there.

Cinderella’s Royal Table

Image: DisneyThe first time that you eat at Cinderella’s Royal Table, you feel like royalty. That’s not a cliché. Magic Kingdom is the most trafficked theme park in the world, and the entire park is centered on its hub, Cinderella Castle. When you get to eat in the heart of the castle, you feel like you’re the Disney elite.

Your first meal at Cinderella’s Royal Table is magical. There’s a velvet rope of sorts that prevents the little people at Magic Kingdom from going inside the restaurant, but YOU get to pass it. Then, you take what I can only describe as prom pictures with the titular princess before heading inside. At your meal, a plethora of other princesses come to your table and introduce themselves, and why shouldn’t they? You’re basically Disney royalty when you eat there!

Image: DisneyAlas, multiple visits to Cinderella’s Royal Table in a short period of time (i.e. not decades later) may give you a different impression. You’ve already done all of the photo ops and made small talk with the princesses before. You know the shtick by now, and you’ll never match that magical first time dining in the heart of the castle. Instead, what you’ll mainly notice in future visits is that the food is remarkably ordinary, but you’re still paying $80 per person for it. Cinderella’s Royal Table definitely has a shelf life of two visits or less. After that, it should be reserved for special occasions like anniversaries and birthdays.

It’s a Small World

I can feel many of you nodding emphatically at this one. It’s a Small World is the ride that united Walt Disney and Joan Crawford under the Pepsi corporate umbrella. It’s also the attraction that’s arguably most closely associated with Disney theme parks. And it’s also a ride that doubles as some sort of mental reconditioning program. You enter the little boat ride optimistic and happy. Then, each recitation of the same infernal lyric eats at your soul, devouring your spirit from within.

Okay, some of that may come across as hyperbolic. I’m honestly not even sure how much of it I mean. All I know is that whenever someone asks me if I’d ridden It’s a Small World yet that day, I feel myself collapse into a protective, near-fetal position as I dread the impending question. “Would you like to go on it with us?” There’s no polite way to say, “NO! PLEASE DON’T SUBJECT ME TO THAT SONG ONCE AGAIN! HAVEN’T I SUFFERED ENOUGH?!”

I admire It’s a Small World as one of the integral parts of theme park history. I enjoy the set designs and find the little boat ride quite relaxing. It’s just that song… I’ve heard it enough for one lifetime. Fifty lifetimes, really.

Park shows

Whether we’re discussing Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage, Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, Country Bears Jamboree, The Hall of Presidents, or live performances at the World Showcase, the issue is the same. The first few times that you watch each showing, you’ll find something that excites you about the production. The Hall of Presidents has amazing Audio-Animatronics that captivate with their authenticity. Beauty and the Beast distills the highlights of the film(s), well, beautifully. Country Bears Jamboree really is a hoot, and it’s timeless to boot. And the Indiana Jones show helps people appreciate the complexities of Hollywood stunt scenes, finally understanding just how much can go wrong.

Still, even the best of these shows, Festival of the Lion King, has a shelf life of a few performances before it gets stale. I’m not saying that it ever stops being impressive, just that the initial thrill dissipates over time. When that happens, you’ll stop making the show a part of every theme park visit but rather an infrequent activity that you view as retro-Disney. And the thought of that happening makes me melancholy. I’ll still always love you, Voyage of the Little Mermaid, but 25 years is a long time to keep something fresh.

So, that’s my list of five things at Disney that have grown old. Do you have any to add? If so, feel free to mention them in the comments.