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Florida Guide > Miscellaneous

Changes over 35 years - part 4

Having bought our villa we used to go there twice a year and had started noticing many more changes. Universal Studios had built and opened Island of Adventures and last year added Harry Potter World and this year, the train from Hogwarts School to Waterloo, joining up the two parks of Universal Studios and Island of Adventures. Meanwhile, Disney World was answering the threat by doing their own expansion work.

First to change was Downtown Disney. The boards were up around the nightclub area and it was under some kind of construction. Now of course we know that this was the start of an expansion that will rival Universals Board Walk. This new area, almost finished, is to be called Disney Springs and will again become unrecognisable. A very exciting new venture. There will be lakeside cafes and nightclubs, walkways round the like and bridges joining up the various parts of Downtown Disney.

Toon Town in Fantasy Land was demolished to make way for a larger extended Fantasy Land with Arial the Little Mermaid ride and the Cinderella restaurant “Come Dine with Us’ came along with a new area dedicated to circus themes. They have moved the carousel to this area and built a new Goofy roller coaster ride.

Winnie the Pooh has a new ride and we now have a much better Snow White ride. The Seven Dwarfs Diamond Mine. Back in 1979, our daughter was terrified of both these two rides. The Winnie the Pooh ride was nearly all set in the Wild Wood and Snow White’s ride was dominated by the Wicked Queen. (The same queen that scared me to death at the cinema in 1952)!

Now we can only afford the airfares to go once a year, so we stay much longer but still we are not bored and look forward to bringing our grand children to visit. Our first grandson came last year when he was 2, just like his mother, although the castle did not excite him, but meeting Winnie the Pooh did. It seems a shame that we have to line up for over an hour just to meet the characters now and pay for professional photos (although you can still take your own). A lot of the magic of turning a corner and bumping into your child’s favourite character has gone now. Shame.

So here we are in 2014 about to hit 2015. So many changes, so much more to see and do: Disney Springs, Harry Potter’s train ride and much to come I am sure.

I just love it - still.

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Page added on: 19 December 2014
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