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10 Things We’d Totally Miss If Walt Disney World Didn’t Exist

Think back to your last visit to Disney World in Florida. Wasn’t it fabulous? And what was it about your experience at the most magical place on earth that made your trip so amazing? Was it your over-the-top resort hotel? Was it dinner at Cinderella’s Castle? Did you see a Broadway-style show at Animal Kingdom? Was it one of Mickey’s holiday parties? Every one of the nearly 50 million people who visited Disney World last year could probably list dozens of things that made his Disney experience one he’ll never forget. But here’s a terrible thought—what if there were no Disney World? What if we had each visited the parks, only to discover one day that they had disappeared—never to return again? Well, here’s hoping we never live in a world sans Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Resort hotels, but let’s look at 10 things we’d mourn the loss of, should we ever be faced with such a calamity.

10. Character encounters

If there were no Disney World, how would we ever realize our dreams of meeting our favorite Disney characters? There would be no picture frames on the mantle of the family with Mickey and no photos at the office of your daughters with Cinderella. There would be no asking Snow White for her recipe for gooseberry pie and no talking to Princess Aurora about the Three Good Fairies.  It would be a world with no Princess Fairytale Hall, no waiting in the queue to meet Gaston, no characters to meet ever. That is a world I don’t want to live in.

9. Disney Springs

No Disney World = no Disney Springs. Can you imagine not being able to hang out at The Edison? No Disney Springs would mean no Amphicars, no balloon rides at Characters in Flight, no Christmas Tree Trail in December, no huge chandelier at Morimoto Asia. I just can’t….

8. The Dole Whip

Oh, the agony! Despair and sorrow! What sadness, oh my soul! If there were no Disney World to visit in Florida, there would be no Dole Whip to eat in Florida. The idea of pineapple soft serve with a cult following would be nonsense. No choosing between a twist or straight-up pineapple. No Dole Whip, no choices, no Aloha Isle and no place called Adventureland.

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7. The classic attractions

In an existence without Disney World, we would have no insight into the genius of Walt Disney via his trademark classic attractions. An Enchanted Tiki what? Pirates of the where? (And bye-bye million-dollar Pirates of the whatever film franchise.) It’s a Small World? No it isn’t. And what on earth is a carousel of progress—ridiculous! Hopefully this terrible world minus the parks would still include a man named Mr. Disney, but alas, we would know very little about his ingenuity and creativity.

6. The World Showcase

With no Disney World to visit, there’d be no World Showcase at EPCOT. No around the world in 8 hours, no hopping from Mexico straight to Norway. There would be no wishing well in Germany and no chance of celebrating Oktoberfest in central Florida. There would be no way to get a taste of Japan for lunch, gelato in the afternoon and dinner in Morocco that night. Delta just doesn’t have the manpower for such a flight plan at this time.

5. The Star Wars experience

With no Hollywood Studios, the idea of an encounter with a Stormtrooper outside of your wildest dreams would be—well, just a dream. Disney’s Hollywood Studios has given Star Wars fans a proverbial mecca to visit. With no Disney World, there would be no daily March of the First Order, no Captain Phasma wielding her zealous power, no Darth Vader in the flesh, no fearing Kylo Ren face to face, no visiting with BB-8. And absolutely no flights aboard a StarSpeeder 1000 with a greenhorn C-3PO at the controls.

4. The nighttime spectaculars

I’m pretty sure Disney coined the term “nighttime spectacular,” so we can kiss that term good-bye if there’s no Disney World. There would be no fireworks over Cinderella Castle, no projections onto Cinderella Castle, no seeing into Mickey’s nightmare at Fantasmic!, no lotus flowers lighting up the rivers at Animal Kingdom, no seeing the story of Earth during Illuminations at EPCOT. In short, there would be nothing spectacular about nighttime.

3. Cinderella Castle

With no Magic Kingdom, there’d be no Cinderella Castle. There would be no more reservation races six months in advance for Cinderella’s Royal Table restaurant. We would never again see Mickey’s Friendship Faire because there would be no forecourt. No more $50,000 weddings at 8:00 a.m. in front of the castle (yeah, that’s currently a real thing!). There would be no more explaining why there are 27 towers, numbered 1 through 29 (it’s a long story). And billions upon billions of photographs would be devoid of the beloved backdrop.

2. Christmas at the parks

If Disney World forever disappeared, surely central Florida would see a mammoth dip in tourism in the months of November and December. There would be no castle draped in “ice,” and Santa Goofy would have to find another holiday occupation. Mickey would have no place to host his Very Merry Christmas Party—and even if he did, there’s no way it could be very merry. Or merry at all.

1. Disney World lingo

An existence minus Disney World would render us devoid of the need for Disney World lingo. There’d be no “Purple Wall,” no “Cast Members,” “no pin trading,” no “FastPass+,” no “riding the mountains,” no “MagicBand,” no “Extra Magic Hours” and no “PhotoPass,” “rope drop” or “utilidors.” Let us hope we never have to know what that would be like.

About Becky Burkett

I'm an enthusiastic writer who finds joy in random things like cold weather, snow, "I Love Lucy," "The Andy Griffith Show," journals full of blank paper, countdowns to Christmas, the month of December, "Toy Story," "Sleeping Beauty," my 4 kids, my 4 shih tsus, Disney Parks history, Imagineering and visiting the parks. I think Walt Disney is the standard against which genius should be measured. I love to write about Disney Parks, Disney history, all things Imagineering and PIXAR. I adore the colors, story and art direction of Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" (Team Make it Blue!), and "Toy Story" is life (minus "Toy Story 4"). I believe Walt Disney was so much more than an entertainment and theme park tycoon; I believe he was a savant with a vision for life and how it could be if happiness and kindness are strived for. I love Biergarten at EPCOT and 1900 Park Fare at Disney's Grand Floridian. You can find me croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room, chillin' on the PeopleMover or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. I'm always looking for Imagineers in the parks, and I'd rather meet Joe Rohde and Tony Baxter than anyone in Hollywood! Hey, if you dream it, you really can do it!