OK, I’m a nostalgic kind of person. When I think of Walt Disney World, it’s not Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster or Soarin’ that come to mind. For me, what keeps me coming back are the classic attractions and shows. Especially the shows that transport me to my youth when I would visit with my parents back in the day. The Enchanted Tiki Room, Country Bear Jamboree and Carousel of Progress are do-not-miss shows every time I visit. However, as I have visited WDW over the past 10 years with my now wife and more recently with our 3 children, they haven’t shared my love of these attractions.
But I can’t say that I blame them. For when we have visited these attractions in the past, there was not much to get excited about. As you know if you have been visiting WDW for any period of time, these three attractions in particular aren’t quite as popular as they used to be. With the advent of the 3 mountain coasters (now four!) and bigger and better interactive experiences, these shows became afterthoughts relatively quickly to the average guest and families that only have limited time to hit the headliners. So when I would corral my family into these classic shows, due to nearly empty theaters, all of their attention was drawn to the loud clicking of tiki birds, not very synchronized singing bears and outdated decor from the last scene of Carousel of Progress.
However, after my last two visits in the past 12 months, I’ve noticed something has changed. For the positive. And dare I say, it’s thanks to FastPass+. Yes, I said thanks to FastPass+. I’ll wait for the groaning to stop.
One of Disney’s objectives with FastPass+ is to distribute crowds more evenly through the parks and attractions. By limiting early booking of FastPass+ headliner attractions, Disney has forced not only rookies, but veteran visitors to explore and experience more “B and C level” attractions. Just as it used to be when everyone had a ticket book and were naturally dispersed throughout the park to use all of their A, B, C and D tickets. So on my last two visits, March and October, both relatively slow periods, I’ve noticed a great change in these classic shows. Not only are the theaters more full, but the bigger crowds are bringing energy back to the show!
When crowds are evenly dispersed throughout the park, everyone has more space. More personal space makes it easier to leave your cares at the turnstile and immerse yourself in the themed environment. I’m very happy to report, Country Bear Jamboree is once again a foot-stomping, hand-clapping variety show that has guests laughing at the good jokes and groaning at the bad ones. The Enchanted Tiki Room and Carousel of Progress have guests singing along and fully buying into the experience.
So next time you’re in Magic Kingdom let’s all sing like the birdies sing, clap your hands and stomp your feet, and let’s cheer up Sarah by singing our song, come on, everybody…There very well might be a great big, beautiful tomorrow. Even with FastPass+.