the happiest place on earth?

Naturally, scant days after I chose to give up on it and go for the Marble Physics, Inertia is now shipping and has an overview video. But I have no regrets. It can join a very long list of cool modules that I don’t have and I’m fine with accepting that reality. And I fully expect MP will be a lot of fun anyhow.

This sounds awful:

Disney’s Pay-to-Skip-Lines System Launches: 10 Crucial Discoveries from the Reactions

What a way to ruin what should be a fun experience.

I have fond childhood memories of WDW and Epcot Center in Orlando. My family used to go a couple of times a year, thanks to stacked discounts (AAA, Florida resident, special events for families of government employees) — usually day trips but occasionally with a 1-night stay in a nearby motel. And often those discounts happened when crowds were smaller anyway.

There were no phone apps in the 70s to early 90s of course; we just waited in line like everyone else. For wildly popular rides we either waited or skipped ’em, and that was that. (Although there were a few times when we brought my grandma, rented a wheelchair for her because no way was she going to walk a few miles in the Florida sun — and that also got us line-skipping privileges in many cases. On the other hand, this meant having to push a wheelchair up and down the park’s completely artificial hills, and through crowds of people who mainly don’t pay attention to their surroundings.)

I’m trying to imagine spending half an hour fiddling with a buggy phone app in order to pay $15 a person (on top of the already exorbitant Disney ticket prices now) for the privilege of skipping half an hour of waiting in line IF you show up at the scheduled time, instead of just… going around enjoying things.

Ugh, I sound old-fashioned don’t I? Honestly, as much as I’d like to do the new Star Wars stuff, if I had the opportunity to visit a Disney park now I’m not sure I would bother. It’s a lot costlier, I am a lot more cynical than I was back then, have less patience for crowds (even before COVID), and most of the rides are slightly amusing (and air-conditioned) at best. And even back in the day I was dismayed when they would “update” rides to tie them in to more recent properties (or because their sponsor went kaput or the technology just seemed old).

So, uh, favorite Disney rides, from then?

  • Space Mountain. I was too chicken as a younger kid, and that kind of worked to our advantage because the lines were long. But once peer pressure got me on it once, I loved it. Great atmosphere, ironically.
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. A bit tame for a coaster, but really smooth and still quite fun. For more intense coasters, there was Busch Gardens in Tampa.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean. (Note that I did not ride it post-movie update.)
  • The Haunted Mansion. Obviously.
  • If You Had Wings, which had a catchy song and a sense of humor. After Eastern folded and it became “If You Could Fly” that was a step down; when it became Delta Dreamflight it was just garbage.
  • Mission To Mars, before it got replaced by Alien Encounter which was just super cheesy. I mean, it was always cheesy, but the 70s-era effects did not get better in its 90s update, while the disbelief became too much to suspend.
  • At EPCOT: Spaceship Earth, World of Motion, Journey Into Imagination, Maelstrom (Norway). More geeky I suppose, but hey. The interactive art/music toys in Imagination were super fun and the stupid catchy Imagination song still runs through my head sometimes, decades later.