Disney After Mickey’s 90th
What Disney Lovers Can Look Forward to in the Next 90 Years
By Lauren Compasso
As the confetti settles from one of the biggest birthday celebrations to ever rock the Disney Parks, many fans are left wondering what the future holds for Walt Disney World. At a recent press event following Mickey Mouse’s birthday, tons of news was announced concerning everything from new shows, resorts and attractions, to expansions of entire lands in the parks, and even new transportation options between the parks and resorts. It seems as if almost every part of the Walt Disney World property will be “plussed” (Walt’s word for ‘made better’) in the near future, leaving nothing untouched. Now, I know what you’re thinking...but these announcements only cover the next few years. What about beyond that? Here’s my take on the recent flood of news Disney fans have been getting. Walt warned us about the future of his beloved parks from the very beginning. Many of us are very familiar with his famous words: “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” He knew that progress was the true hallmark of his work and in order to keep the magic alive, the parks would always be in a state of change. Let’s break down three main themes of progression that we can expect from the next 90 years: technology, expansion, and nostalgia.
Walt was obsessed with constantly improving his work by combining his fascination with cutting edge technology and imaginative design into his attractions.
One of the driving forces that has always carried change and progress through the Walt Disney World Resort is the introduction of new technology. Walt was obsessed with constantly improving his work by combining his fascination with cutting edge technology and imaginative design into his attractions. The parks have consistently delivered innovative ideas to guests, providing many people with experiences that they have never seen anywhere else. The integration of new technological advances is an inevitable part of the next 90 years, and beyond. The upcoming Tron Light Cycle attraction coming to Tomorrowland is a perfect example, although this ride does already exist in Shanghai Disney. The use of map projection technology that we have seen rise in popularity in recent years with animatronics and nighttime spectaculars will also continue to be perfected and improved upon for the future shows and attractions coming to the parks in new and exciting ways.
Another concept that I believe will shape the next 90 years of Disney is that of expansion. The Walt Disney World Resort spans about 43 square miles, where Disneyland Resort only spans 500 acres. When creating what was then nicknamed “The Florida Project”, Walt stated that Orlando gave them the blessing of size. When you look at how far the Disney company has grown since the first park opening over 60 years ago, you might think “where do we go from here?” In the past 25 years alone we have gained Blizzard Beach, Disney’s Animal Kingdom park, New Fantasyland, Pandora: The World Of Avatar, Toy Story Land, and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opening soon. In recent years, Disney has added almost 20 new hotels to the resort and is planning to add even more in the very near future. With all that growth, Walt Disney World still has so much room for expansion and with many guests begging for a “5th gate”, the possibilities on the horizon are endless. When can we expect the next big development at Walt Disney World? Unfortunately, we just don’t know yet. However, if you look back at how far we have come in the past, the future is closer than we think. It may just be a pipe dream for now, but I think it’s safe to say we could get that 5th park in the next 90 years.
Ever since audiences got a taste of what it was like to see their favorite classic films reimagined, this trend took off like wildfire.
Lastly, I want to mention one of the most prevalent topics that we have seen in recent years at Disney and that is the resurgence of nostalgia. What’s old is new again when it comes to Disney and this is most apparent when it comes to films and merchandise. The drastic increase in the popularity of the Disney from our childhood is undeniable. The first film to kick off this trend was the live action remake of Alice in Wonderland in 2010, with the wildly successful Maleficent following in 2014. Ever since audiences got a taste of what it was like to see their favorite classic films reimagined, this trend took off like wildfire. Disney has since slated seven live action remakes between now and 2020 starting with Mary Poppins Returns later this month. Some have criticized the Disney’ Company’s reliance on these live action films by claiming that they are mass produced money grabs resulting from a lack of new and fresh ideas. What many of those critics underestimate is the hunger Disney fans have for the nostalgia of their youth and the desire to relive it with their children of the new generation. It has served as a recipe for box office success keeping theatres full worldwide, and it doesn’t show signs of slowing down anytime soon.
So much of my favorite memories, my biggest joys, and the foundation of who I am today has been influenced by that indescribable quality of Disney magic. Walt was famously quoted as saying, “I hope that we never lose sight of one thing...that it all started with a mouse,” but I have always believed that we owe everything to Walt. Since the day the world was introduced to Mickey Mouse on November 18th, 1928, Walt’s passion for outgoing himself has laid the groundwork for 90 years of wonder, magic and fantasy. What better way to pay tribute to his trailblazing ideas and the happiness that Walt and Mickey created than to keep moving forward, staying curious, and believing in the impossible? If we follow in the footsteps of the past, the next 90 years will unfold into a bright and enchanting future.
Hiya pals! Allow me to introduce myself...my name is Lauren and I currently live in Charleston, SC but my real home is Walt Disney World. I became an Annual Passholder for the first time in 2018 and have fallen even more in love with the magic of the parks. I’ve been obsessed with Disney ever since I was a little girl watching Lion King and Little Mermaid on repeat practically every day of my childhood. I actually watched Lion King so much that I wore out the VHS twice! The pure fantasy of the all the music and movies has shaped who I am as an adult and I hope to share some of that passion with others!
To me, the most magical thing about Disney is how it brings people together; families and strangers alike. I've made so many new friends and loved ones through a shared obsession of Disney and for that reason, it will always have a special place in my heart. I guess you can say that making magical memories is my favorite thing to do! I can most commonly be found taking Instagram pictures while eating a Mickey bar and rushing to the next FastPass. I can also be easily spotted by the mouse ears on my head and I am shamelessly excitable around firework shows! You can get to know a little bit more about me and follow along with my Disney adventures by following my on Instagram @girlmeetswalt