Friday, December 17, 2010

The Tomorrowland of...Tomorrow - Part 1

As most of us know, Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom is undergoing a major facelift and expansion.  New attractions, new restaurants, and in some cases some new theming and story.  However, if I had my way I would like to see some of that attention given to it's neighbor...Tomorrowland.

Tomorrowland has always been a challenge to the Imagineering team.  Technology is growing in leaps and bounds in this current Information Age.  Any Tomorrowland that is based on future technology is destined to become outdated before the paint is dry.  These days, Tomorrowland has slowly become a cross of Pixar Place - Part Deux and the Great Stitch Homage.  I don't have the level of opposition to the incorporation of Pixar characters in the parks as some do.  However, I think it should only be done when and where it makes sense.  As for Stitch, to so heavily include such a polarizing character seems risky at best.  I don't hate Stitich...but at the same time I feel he is WAY overdone in Tomorrowland.

So...what would I do with Tomorrowland?  This has been something I've long pondered.  This post will kick off a series of proposals for Tomorrowland and it's attractions.  We'll take a look at what will stay...what will receive some minor "tweaking"...and what will be scrapped and replaced all together.  As always, you are encouraged to join in by throwing out your own proposals!!!

OK...where to start?!?!  Today...let's talk about the things I would leave either untouched...or do some "minor" modifications to.  Let's start with the general theme of the land.  Personally I love the current theme.  Sort of a Jetsons style vision of the future and of community.  Tomorrowland, to me, is sort of a sci-fi spaceport...where travelers from all galaxies cross paths.  Sort of (WARNING:  Star Wars Nerd Alert) Mos Eisley ... without the scum and villiany.  I LOVE the signs referring to the Sleepless Knights of the Milky Way...and the Tomorrowland Chamber of Commerece.  I would absolutely insist that the references stay..and, if anything, they are expanded on.

The Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover is also a keeper.  In fact..I'd expand it.  I would keep the current "Blue Line" as is (maybe update or revert the narration so it "sells" the theme).  It would more or less serve as the scenic route around Tomorrowland.  I would then tap into the previous narration that referred to other lines to create an additonal line that would serve as a mode of transportation through Tomorrowland.  Let's go with the "Red Line".  The Red Line would have have 3 near the entrance to Tomorrowland near the hub.  One at Rockettower Plaza, where riders could transfer to the Blue Line.  And a third near Fantasyland...just past the Tomorrowland Speedway.  Much like the Walt Disney Railroad, riders could hop on at any station and either use it to get to another station...or just ride it roundtrip.

Moving on to the big daddy of Tomorrowland....Space Mountain.  Obviously...Space Mountain is a keeper.  However, I'd like to see the changes done that everyone was hoping for during the last referb.  More or less to see it brought up to the level of it's counterpart in Disneyland.  I'm all for sister attractions in different Disney Parks having the differences that make it its own.  However, with Space Mountain the Disneyland version is so much better than it's WDW counterpart that it's almost embarrassing.  It's time to bridge that difference, while maybe leaving enough uniqueness to offer guests who visit both a slightly different experience.

Another Tomorrowland icon, Astro Orbiter, would also stay relatively as is.  Athough, I wouldn't mind upping the thrill level a tad...maybe have it go higher or slightly faster....but for the most part, it should remain unchanged.

One of the toughest decisions I was faced with was what to do with the Tomorrowland Speedway.  Honestly...I was seriously tempted to scrap it.  If this is some sort of spaceport city...or some futuristic version of a metropolitan area...would we really still be riding around in automobiles?  Doubtful.  But this attraction is a classic that dates back to the opening of Disneyland in 1955.  Because of that, I have a hard time doing away with it.  Maybe if we can change the vehicles up to give them some sort of futuristic feel.  I'd say something like a Tron lightcycle, but considering these vehicles go about 2 MPH, that might not quite work the way it should.

Finally...Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress  This is another classic attraction that I would live in place...however with an update.  I could ramble on about what I'd do with it, but you're better off checking out the Betamouse Podcast ... Episode #14.  The whole episode focuses on how Team Betamouse would update the final scene of the attraction.  If you haven't heard it...go check it out!!!

In separate future posts we'll discuss the fates of Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor, and Stitch's Great Escape.  Stay tuned for that.  But for now, weigh in with your proposals by leaving your comments.  Thanks again for stopping by!!!!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Something To Be Thankful For

Welcome back.  Hope you members of the board enjoyed your week off for the Thanksgiving holiday.  I know I certainly did.  It being Thanksgiving and all, it gave me ample cause to sit back and reflect on the things about Walt Disney World that I'm most thankful for.

Most briefings that come out of the Fantasyland Boardroom have been about what I'd change about The World.  Often I'm concerned it sounds like my laundry list of improvements may be taken as a negative...that I'm knocking Walt Disney World or the company in general.  Quite frankly, nothing could be further from the truth.  Walt Disney World is my "happy place".  It's where I go, either physically or mentally, when I just need to get away from the grind of reality.  Over the years I've spent countless hours spending time in The World, planning for the next big trip, listening to podcasts, listening to WDW music, reading WDW blogs....absorbing anything and everything related to this magical place.

So in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I want to discuss a handful of the things about Walt Disney World that I'm thankful for.  In fact, let's make that the Top 10 things I'm thankful for.  In the words of Peter Pan "heeeerrreee we goooooooo":

10) Rock N' Roller Coaster - I've never exactly been a thrill seeker.  Rock N' Roller Coaster was the first coaster I ever attempted that went upside down.  I was 23 years old and on my honeymoon.  My beautiful new bride insisted that we go on it (she's much more of the adventurous one).  I still remember trying to hide my nervousness throughout the queue...hoping to fool my wife into believing she'd married a real tough guy (I don't think it worked).  The thought of Aerosmith definitely helped piqued my eagerness...but it never covered up the fact that this ride would go upside down.  Turns out...I LOVED it.  And it's still to this day my wife's favorite ride.  Therefore it will always have a special place in my heart.

9) The use of water - OK...this may sound like a stretch.  But I just love what Disney does with water.  Whether it be the attractions that take place on water (see #8)....or the Disney water features (Bay Lake, the Sassagoula River, etc.) that add so much to the landscape of Walt Disney World, as well as provide alternate means of travel.  Even the fun ways they include water as a way to cool guests off in the hot Florida summer.  If WDW is the Academy Award Winner for Best Picture, water deserves a nod for Best Supporting Actor (or Actress...either way).

8) Splash Mountain - No other attraction in the world (not just Walt Disney World) does such a masterful job of marrying story and thrills.  This is the prime example of what Disney does.  From start to finish the attraction follows a story.  Even the 52 foot drop is part of the's not just "thrown in" for fun.  That's what should be expected of EVERY attraction!!!

7) The resorts - Growing up in Seattle, Disneyland was "my" Disney Park.  We made the 2000 mile trek once every three or so years.  To this day I have NEVER stayed at a Disneyland hotel.  And, in fact, on my first trip to WDW as a senior in high school we also stayed off property (Holiday Inn Sunspree).  There is absolutely nothing wrong with the off-property hotels I've stayed at.  But when I finally had the opportunity to stay on-property on my honeymoon, my mind was blown.  Disney resorts are more than hotels...they are attractions in their own right.  That same attention to detail that is found in the Parks can be found at each of these resorts...which is something that you just can't find at a Holiday Inn or Ramada.  And that was the main driver for my family to eventually become Disney Vacation Club members.

6) Big Thunder Mountain - I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite ride.  But Big Thunder has consistently been one of my favorites since as far back as I can remember.  It's kinda like that old toy you've had forever. Each birthday you may get something newer and flashier...but you'll always have a special place in your heart for that one old toy.  That toy for me is Big Thunder Mountain.

5) Theming - This is stating the obvious, but theming is what makes Disney....Disney.  Only Disney seems to have mastered the ability to completely transport you to distant lands....whether it be in the past, present, or future....or even worlds of fantasy and imagination.  When you walk down Main Street, you're in turn-of-the-century America...and then BOOM.... just like that you are seamlessly transported to a futuristic land of tomorrow.  Every detail is tended to to sell the "illusion"...and it works to perfection.

4) World Showcase - As I mentioned in a previous briefing, I LOVE World Showcase.  It is my favorite part of any Disney Park.  So much to discover....hidden nooks and crannies in every pavilion.  So much to experience, whether it be new cuisine and beverages or just details about other cultures and countries.  I just cannot get enough World Showcase.  I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in this.

3)  The Cast Members - They are truly what sets Walt Disney World apart from, not only any other vacation destination, but from any other consumer business in general.  Any company is going to have it's all star employees.  But WDW has them by thousands.  Nearly every one of the tens of thousands of cast members are focused on providing each guest with a vacation chalked full of magical moments and memories.

2)  The Music - This relates back to the previously mentioned theming...but I just can't get enough Disney Park audio.  Each piece of music supports the theme of the land or attraction it can be found in perfectly.  So much so, simply putting my headphones on at work and cuing up some International Gateway tunes...or some Main Street Entrance music instantly takes me away from whatever mundane task I was previously absorbed by.  For those couple minutes the outside world is dead to me and I'm surrounded by the sounds and feelings that can only be provided by Disney.
1) Quality Time - I'm going to sound like a Disney marketing video here for a moment....but one minute spent in The World with family and/or friends seems like it is worth two hours anywhere else.  The time spent sharing experiences with the ones you love just can't be accurately described in words.  It's just a feeling.  And it just seems with Walt Disney World, you are guaranteed that quality time on EVERY trip.  And that's why we keep going back.  It's a sure bet!!!

I've no doubt missed plenty of big things here.  It's not as easy as it sounds to come up with JUST ten things.  So help me out here...what'd I miss?  What about The World are YOU thankful for?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Dining ... to Die For

One of my favorite Disney dining experiences can be found NOT at Walt Disney World...but rather, on the other coast ...  at Disneyland.  It would be none other than the Blue Bayou restaurant in New Orleans Square.  More the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction.  I spent many a visit to Disneyland as a kid hoping and praying my parents would take us to dinner there.  I had to wait MANY years later when my beautiful wife treated me to dinner here for my birthday.

For those of you that have never been to Disneyland or have never heard of the Blue Bayou ... the restaurant, as I mentioned, is actually inside Pirates of the Caribbean.  Guests enjoy their meal "outdoors" alongside the Louisiana bayou that leads passing boats to a certain Carribbean adventure.  The "skies" are lit by starlight and fireflies as guests hear crickets chirping in the background.  The menu is full of Cajun and Creole style offerings.

There are so many things I love about this restaurant.  I love the fact that the setting, the theming, and the menu all work together to support a unique dining experience.  The sights...the sounds...the flavors...all working in unison.  THAT'S what Disney dining should be about.

The other thing that I absolutely love....the thing that really draws many guests in the fact that you get to dine right in the middle of a classic Disney attraction.  You essentially become part of the attraction....YOU help set the theme for the guests just beginning their Pirates journey.

Walt Disney World does have a couple restaurants that flirt with this concept.  The first one that comes to mind is the San Angel Inn, inside the Mexico Pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase.  It sits near the Gran Fiesta Tour and has a beautiful Mexican backdrop.  And much like the Blue Bayou, it offers the ambiance of starlight dining no matter what time of day. my fails to match what the Blue Bayou offers.  Maybe because Gran Fiesta Tour isn't quite the classic attraction that Pirates of the Caribbean is.

Another option (again in Epcot, though this time in Future World) is Coral Reef....inside The Seas with Nemo and Friends pavilion.  But...while you are surrounded by an aquarium, you aren't exactly IN the attraction.  And, you could also make the case for Cinderella's Royal Table in the castle.

So...the question I pose is, what attraction would also double as a great table service meal option?  Here's my pitch (which is bound to turn some off)....  The Haunted Mansion.  Yes...this may be a bit of a stretch (no pun intended)....but here's what I have in mind.  Expand the Ballroom and offer a signature dining experience.  Maybe...Master Gracey's Feast?!?!  The story would be that you've been invited to the mansion for an "other worldly" dinner party.  Little would you know that the 999 inhabitants of the mansion would also be making an appearance.

I would enhance many of the "scenes" in the order to prevent diners from seeing the same ghosts perform the same actions over and over and over again.  In addition to the haunts that currently reside within the mansion, other guests would serve as ghosts.  This would need a little help from modern (or future) technology.  I picture some sort of seamless (and invisible) two-way mirror between the guests riding the attraction and the guests dining in the Ballroom.  This two-way mirror causes guests one side of the mirror to appear faded and "ghostly" to guests on the other side of the mirror.  So the diners appear to be ghosts themselves to the attraction riders...and vice versa....all in addition to both sets of guests seeing the haunts that permanently inhabit the Haunted Mansion.

The servers would have to be some of the finest Cast Members in WDW... much like many of the current Haunted Mansion cast members.  Each member of the wait staff would need to speak with the monotone creepiness that they are so well known for.  The hosts and hostess would have to be almost Lurch (from the Addams Family) like.  The food would mirror that of a "typical" upper class feast of Colonial times.

The capacity would have to be somewhat limited....(think Le Cellier).  If the Ballroom would expanded by too much, it would take away from the existing attraction.  So it would have to be done in a manner that complimented it.  That remains the whole point....this needs to enhance the current attraction...not reduce it.

So...what are your thoughts on combining dining with attractions?  What attraction do YOU think would best incorporate a restaurant?

Friday, November 12, 2010

DVC Atlantis?

Rumors have been abundant lately regarding the next Disney Vacation Club property to be announced for Walt Disney World.  A recent post on highlighted information suggesting a potential California-themed resort.  There have been other rumors flying around about the resurrection of the previously planned Buffalo Junction resort, which was discussed in a great post on the Progress City USA site.  Regardless of what the theme is, it does seem that a WDW DVC resort will be announced in the not-too-distant-future (or...maybe like Bay Lake will just be built and then announced once it is almost complete).

So knowing that construction of a new DVC property is most likely on the horizon, let's discuss what the theme SHOULD be.  I don't want to knock the themes that have been churned out via the rumor mill...but to be honest they just don't thrill me.  Granted, details are limited (and even the ones that exist are hypothetical)...but I haven't heard anything yet that has me itching to add on.

And that's the whole goal, right?!?!  Get potential owners excited enough to plop down tens of thousands of dollars.  Animal Kingdom Lodge created that excitement....Bay Lake Tower created that excitement....but a California resort does not, in my opinion, create excitement.  If I wanted to stay at a California themed resort near a Disney park, I'd go to the Grand Californian at Disneyland Resort (yes...I get that the proposed resort at WDW will be different than that of the Grand Californian...but still).

So what is another option for a DVC theme?  The theme should be one that recreates an experience that will be unique to the average guest.  An experience that takes the guest away to another world...either real or imagined.  Each resort at Walt Disney World is its own attraction.  Sure...some are executed better than others...but for this newest DVC I want us to think big!!!  So what do I propose?  Nothing less than the Lost City of Atlantis....

First off, I want to acknowledge that yes, I know, an Atlantis Resort already exists in The Bahamas.  While I have been to Nassau, I haven't actually been to the resort itself.  I almost considered bypassing this proposal simply based on that resorts existence.  However, I think we can all agree...Disney does things in a way that no other company does.  It is safe to say that Atlantis DVC would be a completely different experience than Atlantis in The Bahamas.

With that out of the way, let's move on.  The Lost City of Atlantis....Villas?!?!  Needless to say, water will be a major theme here.  Obviously the resort cannot ACTUALLY be underwater.  But the theme needs to be thick enough that that "minor detail" doesn't matter to the guest.  The exterior grounds would be made up of various "ruins" and larger than life coral.  These structures would serve two would be to set the scene of an ancient, underwater civilization.  The other would be to guide and direct the multitude of waterfalls that would flow down from the resort building itself, on to (and off of) these ruin and coral structures, and then through the surrounding grounds.  If done in just the right manner it would give the illusion that the resort was surrounded and engulfed by water.

The rooms would continue to drive home the "submerged" experience for the guest.  By using the same "virtual porthole" technology that is being installed on the new Disney Cruise Line ships, each room would have a "window" out into the surrounding seas.  This window would allow guests to gaze out at the sea life as if they, too, were residents of the ocean deep.  In addition to schools of exotic fish, sharks, and dolphins...perhaps even the occasional mermaid would swim by.

It would only be natural to build in some sort of aquarium into the resort...perhaps on the main level.  This aquarium would have to appear seamless with it surroundings.  I could see this being incorporated with the swimming pool.  Perhaps the sides of the main pool would be clear...and shared with the aquarium.  So guests would feel like they were swimming next to the fish (despite being separated by industrial strength plexiglass like material).  The pool would also, naturally, be fed by the surrounding waterfalls.

Other tidbits that would be worked into the resort:
  • A seafood restaurant that would serve meals "farmed from the resorts surroundings" (not really...but it's all part of the story). 
  • Sailor Stories:  Much how other resorts (Animal Kingdom Lodge, for example) have some sort of campfire storytelling in the evening..."sailors" could tell the tale of well as other "fish tales".
  • I did consider working in aspects and characters from the Disney animated feature Atlantis: The Lost Empire.  But by Disney standards the movie was hardly a "classic".  So it is probably best left alone, with the exception of maybe some Atlantis merchandise in the shops.

As I mentioned before...this is "dreaming big".  The cost to build and maintain such a resort would make this a tough sell from a business standpoint.  But isn't that what Walt Disney was all about?  Isn't he the one who challeged his team to build a "mountain" in the middle of Anaheim, California way back in the 1950s?  Shouldn't this company continue to take on even greater challeges?  I believe so. 

In future posts, we'll discuss other potential resort themes.  But what do you think? What would you build into our Atlantis?  Or would you go a completely different direction?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Monorail Expansion: The Right Track

If you were to poll the average, "hardcore" Walt Disney World fan (your Annual Pass-holders, DVC members, etc.) on the top 5 things that make up their WDW Wish List...I think a vast majority (75 percent, maybe?!?!) would include monorail expansion.  The topic has long been the source of rumors, raised expectations, and eventually disappointment.  To many, the monorail is the unofficial mode of transportation for Disney theme parks.  These vehicles are, without a doubt, an attraction in their own right.

So what routes should be considered when discussing monorail expansion?  Here are the 2 that jump to mind for me:

  • Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC)-Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park-Animal Kingdom Lodge -  This route makes quite a bit of sense to me.  First off, Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park is the only WDW theme park of the four that is serviced exclusively by bus transportation.  Similarly, Animal Kingdom Lodge is the only Deluxe Resort that relies solely on bus transportation (as far as Disney mass transit options are concerned).  These two popular destinations are also viewed as 2 of the more "out there" locations on WDW property.  Now, much of that is intentional due to their theming.  Which is where my hesitation for adding this route comes in.  It would have to be done in way that respects their commitment to the wildlife reserve look and feel.  However, if anyone could pull this off, it would be Walt Disney Imagineering.
  • Epcot-Caribbean Beach Resort-Pop Century Resort-All Star Resorts - To date, the monorail has exclusively catered to Deluxe Resorts.  The case could convincingly be made that that should remain the case.  For the rates a guest must pay to stay at these resorts, additional perks aren't just welcomed...they are expected.  And convenient and unique transportation is one of those perks.  But at its roots, the monorail is a mass transit system.  And if you want to truly maximize this system, you need to expand it in a way that will allow the greatest number of guests to take advantage of the service it offers.  This loop would open up the monorail to over 10,000 more rooms total.  Obviously, the right amount of planning would need to go into this expansion to ensure the monorail could handle that sort of load increase.  However, it has to be more efficient that the current bus system being offered to these locations.  More adventurous guests could even transfer twice, and end up at the Magic Kingdom.  Perhaps not as quick as a bus ride to the original Disney World park...but considerably more fun.

These are just 2 options out of countless combinations that could be dreamed up.  What route would you like to see added?  Or do you think the monorail system is fine as it is?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Work of Art: The Art of Animation Resort

A couple months back, Disney's Art of Animation Resort was announced.  The resort will feature family suites that will be themed to one of four classic Disney/Pixar movies.  The movies represented will include:  The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Finding Nemo, and Cars.

The resort will be categorized as a "value" resort.  The addition of value family suites has great appeal and is a welcome addition to Walt Disney World's family of resorts.  And paying tribute to the company's roots by highlighting animation is a move I can also get behind.

However, while I am a fan of all 4 of these movies, they wouldn't necessarily have been the 4 films I would have selected.  My first thought was, while Disney has been in the animated feature film business for over 70 years the movies being used for inspiration only represent the past 21 years.  I get the marketing angle behind this...these are the films that today's families are most familiar with.  But I think most families are (or at least should be) familiar with many of the classics from the earlier part of last century.

So...what would be my criteria for selecting which movies should inspire this new resort?  First off, I agree that the films need to be some of the more popular from the Disney library.  As much as I love Oliver and Company, I don't know that it has left a big enough footprint in Disney's animation history (at least compared with some of the "major" classics) to warrant a starring role at WDW's newest resort.  Plus, from a business standpoint certain films will better support the selling of merchandise.  I wouldn't make a decision solely based on that, but it is a nice "tie-breaker".

Secondly, the setting of the movie needs to be able to provide an immersive experience for guests of the resort.  Granted, you could make the case for pretty much any Disney classic as each build a wonderful world for fantasy and escapism.  But I believe some films' settings lend themselves to an even higher level guest experience.

Finally, and I've mentioned this earlier, I would like the collection of films selected to represent wider range of the company's animation history.  I know this is tough to do with only 4 films....but I think an effort has to be made.

So here we go....the 4 movies that you would see at the Art of Animation Resort if I was WDW CEO....

  • Alice In Wonderland - How great would it be to stay in Wonderland on vacation?  Perhaps a recreational area with a croquet course (Queen of Hearts style) and a hedge maze.  A garden of talking flowers would be another area for guests to explore.  And somewhere (maybe coming out of the main check-in building) there has to be a giant door where guest can walk through it's keyhole "mouth".  In certain corners of the resort a disappearing Cheshire Cat should greet and talk to guests as they pass by.  And one of the buildings could maybe be themed to the White Rabbit's house, with Alice's arms and legs coming out the sides.

  • Peter Pan - This was the first movie that popped into my head.  I can't think of a better setting for a resort than Neverland.  In fact, you could even make the case that the whole resort could be Peter Pan themed.  A pirate ship...tree houses...Skull Rock....plenty of areas for the family, young and old alike, to explore.  The pool could be themed as Mermaid Lagoon.  Disney Imagineering could even use some sort of LED lighting or some other technology (along with some sound effects) to give the illusion of Tinker Bell flitting around the buildings.  So that as your family is wandering the premises, every now and then you hear and see Tink fly-by.

  • The Little Mermaid - Okay...I know Disney already selected this one.  So this may seem like a cop out choice for me.  But I do love the idea of theming one of the areas of the resort as being "Under the Sea".  Finding Nemo (also selected by Disney) could fill that role...however, all things being equal I'll take the strictly Disney title.  Plus, from a historical perspective this film represents the reemergence of the Walt Disney Company as the animation power house.

  • Toy Story - It helps that there are 3 movies to draw inspiration from.  The building could be themed as Andy's house, with each guest room themed as some part of his house.  Everything could be scaled to make the guest feel as if they are one of Andy's toys.  Different outdoor areas of this corner of the resort could be themed as Andy's yard...Sid's yard...or the Sunnyside Daycare playground.  If it didn't already exist at Hollywood Studios, I'd even say we could put in Pizza Planet as the food court. 

So there are my selections....what about you?  What films would you like to see at the Art of Animation Resort?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Soarin' In a New Direction

In previous Fantasyland Boardroom briefings we've proposed adding new lands and upgrading attractions that are in desperate need of attention.  Today, however, we're taking on an attraction that is currently one of the most popular in all of Walt Disney World....Soarin...*audible gasp*.  That's attraction that still registers some of the longest wait times on property.  It's a bold move, I know....but it is one I feel pretty passionate about.

It's not that I don't think Soarin' isn't a great attraction as it is.  I just feel it was a bit lazy to take a California Adventure attraction and jam it into The Land at Epcot.  It makes sense in California Adventure.  It will take some serious convincing for you to get me to buy into the fact it belongs in The Land.  Now, I love the technology and concept of the attraction.  But I think that same concept could have been executed in a way that better supported the current theme of The Land...and Epcot in general.

So here's the pitch.  A new "movie" for Soarin'.  But instead of being all about the beauty and recreation of California, it is all about the natural bounty of the United States of America as a whole.  We will be taken on a nationwide tour of the hotbeds of American agriculture.

We'd begin our flight in upper regions of the United the Bering Sea off the coast of Alaska.  Below us we'd see fishing vessels battle the violent seas while its crew hauled in the latest catch.  Think of it as Disney World's version of Deadliest Catch.

Next we'd soar over the vast apple orchards of beautiful central Washington (the state...not the District of Columbia).  We would get a glimpse of the picking crews hard at work.  From there we would head south to the vineyards of California, allowing us to maintain the Napa Valley scene from the current version of the ride....which would both pay homage to the original and be consistent with our theme.

Our journey would gradually take us east.  A fly over of Texas would allow us a view of the Lone Star State's  cattle ranches.  Now...we don't need a documentary style, behind-the-scenes look a slaughter houses or anything.  More of a romanticised, City Slickers overhead shot of real life cowboys tending to their herds.

Our next couple destinations would be over the farming states of the Midwest.  For instance we'd float majestically overhead as the wheat fields of Kansas are being harvested.  We'd soar past the corn fields of Iowa.  We'd zoom by the dairy farms of Wisconsin.

The final leg of our adventure would highlight such contributors of agriculture as the cotton fields of Mississippi, Georgia's peaches, and the orange groves of Florida.  Taking a cue from the original Soarin' our flight would conclude at Walt Disney World....coasting into Epcot at night (perhaps appropriately during the Food and Wine Festival) while Illuminations lights up the sky.  We could even take it a step further and touch down in The Land pavilion...where you will disembark from your whirlwind trip through heart of American agriculture.

One more thing I would like is retain the original score in some capacity.  Whether it is keeping it entirely as is...or incorporating much of it into a new version that hints at some originality, yet is heavily inspired by its predecessor.  In some way, shape, or form, that music needs to be there.

So that's my pitch for a revamped Soarin'.  What's yours?  Would you leave it as is?  Do something different with it?  We'd love to hear your suggestions!!!