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Normally at this time of year, I write a retrospective piece looking back at the year in Disney, but for personal reasons, I’ve decided now is the time to look forward, not back. Instead of recollections, I’m writing prescriptions.These are the things I believe will help Walt Disney World continue to compete for the hearts and wallets of their fans while fending off challenges from other entertainment options both near (Universal Orlando) and far (changing TV viewing habits at home, for instance)

I’ll try and limit myself to one or two recommendations each and something that can at least get started in 2014. I don’t intend each prescription to solve every woe, but it will at least make a significant difference in one or two major problem areas.

Magic Kingdom
The oldest theme park in Central Florida is showing its age more and more and suffers from serious stagnation in both attractions and entertainment (translation: a serious capacity issue). There is something they can do quickly to make a dent. As part of an overall project to update Tomorrowland, I prescribe for the park an indoor air-conditioned high-capacity theater capable of hosting shows similar to the Hyperion Theater at California Adventure. With multiple shows a day, this adds a lot of capacity, gives guests a place to cool off in the heat and humidity, and allows for a showcase for Disney’s latest animated musicals (Rapunzel Stage show anyone?). This is also something that could be accomplished quickly and with minimal in park disruption by setting the theater outside the berm. Additional revenue can be raised by hosting events in the space, something the Magic Kingdom is currently lacking.

EPCOT
This park has the highest capacity of all four parks. It has two wonderful festivals and an enjoyable Christmas overlay. These are wonderful for what they do to attract guests. However, the mission and vision of EPCOT has been ignored for too long, and many areas of the park are in serious need of rejuvenation. Let’s tackle the two sections of the park separately.

Do you feel that? It feels…sticky and humid, or as us Floridians call it, the indication of the return to summer weather. Do you know what else that means? Water Parks! One of the best things about Florida is the abundance of water parks in Orlando and across the state. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are some great water parks not on Disney property, (Try Adventure Island, Wet N’ Wild or Aquatica!), but Disney Water Parks are piece de resistance. Two highly themed worlds that transport you into a world of liquid goodness. Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon are wonderful additions to the Walt Disney World Resort that should NOT be ignored while you are on a vacation to the area. Here is a brief synopsis of the two parks “back stories” (Those imagineers…always wanted to tell a story!).

Typhoon Lagoon is how it is now after a (shockingly) typhoon ripped though a tropical paradise… well… used to be a tropical paradise. Boats, Cargo, everything was thrown all over the area, creating the rides and landmarks seen throughout the park. For example, Miss Tilly is the name of the shrimp boat atop Mount Mayday. (P.S. Remember, every half an hour, Miss Tilly shoots a 50 foot water geyser!) It opened in 1989.

Blizzard Beach has a more detailed story behind its creation. On this tiny sliver of the Disney property, a freak snowstorm hit. This, of course, launched the creation of Florida’s first ski resort. Amazingly, (That was sarcasm) the snow melted. The entrepreneurs had no idea what to do with themselves, until they saw an alligator (The park’s mascot, Ice Gator) sliding down one of the old slopes. They decided to turn the area into a water park…the smarter choice. The park opened in 1995.

Typhoon Lagoon has the world’s largest wave pool, while Blizzard Beach has the world’s tallest and fastest water slide. Typhoon Lagoon has a free to swim in Shark Reef, while Blizzard Beach has a really cool ski lift. They both have their own unique style.