We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.
According to statisticbrain.com, while almost half of all Americans “frequently make New Year’s Resolutions,” only 8% of us are successful in achieving them. This is undoubtedly because our resolutions are most often pretty mundane and not much fun to keep: eat less sugar, work out more, get more sleep, stop procrastinating, and so forth. I thought it would be interesting to make some resolutions I would actually look forward to implementing, so I came up with the following list (admittedly focused on Magic Kingdom, although not on purpose). I may not be able to follow through on all of them, but it will be a lot of fun trying! I’ll report back on how it goes:
Stay in the Magic Kingdom park after the Wishes Nighttime Spectacular fireworks show. I have heard and read many accounts by Disney fans who have experienced this, and they all say everyone should do it at least once. Apparently it provides an entirely different perspective on Main Street and Cinderella Castle, especially, by hanging around until almost everyone else is gone. I may need help from some strong coffee to make this happen.
Visit Talking Mickey at the Town Square Theatre. I am a little embarrassed to admit I haven’t done this yet. After hearing several friends comment on how remarkable the technology behind this is (along with people’s reactions to it), I’ve got to see it for myself. Hopefully I won’t embarrass the kids, but if Mickey calls one of us by name or mentions our hometown, all bets are off.
Finish Neal Gabler’s Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination. I’m one of those people who can’t walk past “One Man’s Dream” in Disney’s Hollywood Studios without going inside. Connections between Walt’s life and early work, the “staying power” of his ideas and approach to entertainment, and the evidence of his influence that still shows up today, are a large part of what makes Disney interesting. I started this book a year or so ago, but am only about halfway through. In my defense, it’s massive—over 600 pages—but I’m almost to the first chapter on Disneyland and can’t wait to dive back in.
Review the Disney podcasts I listen to on a regular basis. Don’t judge: you’ve likely done it, yourself. You find a podcast you really like, listen to it for a few months and conveniently ignore the podcaster’s more-than-reasonable request at the end of every episode to simply leave a review on iTunes so others can get a better idea of what the show is like. I’ve listened to Lou Mongello’s great WDW Radio podcast for several years now (mostly on my hour-long drive home from work), but it’s the only one I’ve actually taken the time to review. It only takes a few minutes, and when you compare the simple act of leaving a review to all the work that goes into creating a quality podcast week after week, it’s not much to ask. This year I will do that for Ken Pellman and Lynn Barron (The Sweep Spot), Len Testa and Jim Hill (The Unofficial Guide’s Disney Dish), and all the podcasters who make my time in traffic a little less painful.
Eat at Liberty Tree Tavern. Although we have tried almost all the restaurants in Magic Kingdom, my family and I have never eaten at Liberty Tree. It hasn’t been avoided on purpose, and the fact that it was an “opening day” eatery makes it even more difficult to explain why we have never given it a try. This is the year to change that, and I can’t wait to compare the “Johnny Appleseed Bread Pudding” to the other outstanding versions served at Trail’s End and Sunshine Seasons. (It’s a sacrifice, but someone needs to do it in the name of research.)
Visit all 4 Walt Disney World parks in one day. To some extent, I am not a fan of park-hopping. Traveling between parks cuts down on the amount of time you can spend enjoying each one, and especially if there is anything beyond a moderate crowd to deal with you’re likely to spend almost as much time getting through Security and the tap-stiles as you do enjoying attractions. That said, I have for several years now been curious about what it would be like to visit Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom (in chronological order, of course, based on the opening dates) all in the same day, and ride at least one attraction in each park. I know I won’t get a certificate or medal for it but maybe one day Disney will have a First-Visit style pin that says something like “Ultimate Park-Hopper.”
Find the best cheeseburger in all of Walt Disney World. I know there are many articles and reviews out there about this topic (my favorite is Tom Bricker’s at the Disney Tourist Blog), but a lot has changed lately on the burger front at WDW, especially with the introduction of new options for beef-lovers at Disney Springs. In the past, the Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Café was--to my palate, anyway--head and shoulders above the rest largely due to the toppings bar, but with all the new competitors it may be time to crown a new winner. I might even develop a rubric to help quantify things.
Although my list of resolutions won’t help me lose weight, get healthier, or promote world peace, I’ll bet my success rate will be far better than average. Do you have one or more Disney resolutions you can’t wait to act on? If so, please share them using the comment form below and let us know how it turns out!