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I Find It Surprising . . .

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I find it surprising that someone could visit Walt Disney World 41 times and not ride the Tea Cups or explore Tom Sawyer Island. Very surprising!

I mentioned in a previous blog that my wife Carol and I “hang out” at Tagrel.com It's our favourite Disney Fan community. A recent discussion thread on the Tagrel forums asked members to complete the question “Am I the only one who's never . . . “

My last two blog entries focused on all the things you can do at Walt Disney World outside the theme parks and I was simply boggled when I read some of the responses to the Tagrel question. There is a huge variety of things to do outside the parks but it really surprises me what some veteran Disney fans have skipped inside the parks! Most of us in the Tagrel community are not what you would call casual Disney fans. We are real diehard fans " we are the folks who put the merely fanatical fans to shame. That's why I find it so hard to imagine!

Consider Mark, who started the thread on Tagrel.com. He has made 19 visits to WDW and he's a Disney Vacation Club owner. Mark has never been to Tom Sawyer Island, never been to Rafiki's Planet Watch, never taken a trail ride at Fort Wilderness and never visited Downtown Disney's West Side.

Tom Sawyer Island - Fort Langhorn

Rafiki's Conservation Station

Fort Wilderness Trail Ride

Susan is also a DVC owner and has enjoyed a whopping 41 Walt Disney World vacations. As I mentioned earlier, Susan has never ridden the Tea Cups or crossed over to Tom Sawyer's Island. She has never played mini golf, never taken a trail ride at Fort Wilderness, never eaten in Cinderella Castle, never been to Raglan Road or the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theatre.

Fantasyland Tea Cups Ride

Tom Sawyer Island Floating Bridge

Raglan Road

Sci-Fi Dine-In Theatre

Naturally there are plenty of folks who have never done the thrill rides like The Tower of Terror, Mission Space or any of the roller coasters. That's understandable; some people don't tolerate the motion very well.

Plenty of folks have never had a Turkey Leg; I can understand that. I've tried one but they're not one of my favourite things.

But some of the answers remain astounding. There are avid Disney fans and frequent park visitors who have never had a Mickey Bar . . . yes; you read that correctly . . . they've NEVER HAD A MICKEY BAR!

Mickey Bar

A friend from New Jersey insists that the Mickey Bar is the fifth basic food group!

Mickey Bar the Fifth Food Group

Several others have never seen Fantasmic . . .

Fantasmic

. . . never had a Dole Whip. (I prefer the Pineapple Float)

Dole Whip

Pineapple Float

Others have never seen Flights of Wonder. It's an attraction we seldom miss; Carol and I consider it one of our “must-do's”. How can anyone pass it by?

Flights of Wonder

Of course, Carol and I are really no different; there are still plenty of things we have not done. We have covered the parks quite thoroughly but Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground is a different story. We have taken our motor home to “The Fort” eleven times and most times we stay for two weeks. In all those weeks at our favourite campground we have never seen a movie at Chip ‘n Dale's Campfire Sing-A-Long and we've never gone to Mickey's Backyard BBQ.

Chip and Dale Sign

BBQ Pavilion Sign

There are plenty of restaurants we have yet to enjoy and many attractions, both inside and outside the parks, which we haven't seen in a long, long time. Should we sit down, analyze the parks, make a list of things we have not done and then devise a plan so we can mark them all off the list? Or would that take the spontaneity and some of the fun out of our vacations?

Yeah, I think we'll stick with our spontaneous approach!

I guess the main thing that thread on Tagrel.com pointed out to me was the diversity of interests and tastes among Disney fans. We are all very unique individuals and different things appeal to each of us. This is a good thing! It adds variety and colour to our lives.

We are truly fortunate that Walt Disney World offers such a wide array of attractions to choose from; there will always be enough variety there to engage the child in all of us, despite our different tastes!

So, how about you? The question is, “Am I the only one who's never . . . ?“

How would you complete the question?

The previous post in this blog was Ama Ama: Aulani's Signature Dining Experience.

The next post in this blog is Mickey's Circus - 2012 Disney Trade Celebration.

Comments (38)

Mark Minto:

Once again, great job Gary.

BTW regarding this line; "Consider Mark, who started the thread on Tagrel.com. He has made 19 visits to WDW and he’s a Disney Vacation Club owner. Mark has never been to Tom Sawyer Island, never been to Rafiki’s Planet Watch, never taken a trail ride at Fort Wilderness and never visited Downtown Disney’s West Side." As of our trip last month I can now cross Rafiki's Planet Watch and visiting Downtown Disney's West Side off of my "never done that" list.

I still haven't been to Tom Sawyer Island or done a trail ride at Fort Wilderness. There were two other things on my never done that list which weren't included in the thread that got taken off too. We have now rode Cinderella's Golden Carousel and played mini golf at Fantasia Gardens.

Joe Hanson:

A great article Gary!

We still have a number of things we have not done at WDW and, like you, will take them as they come. It's much more fun that way.

Thanks again for a great read.

Mia W.:

Great article! I have a large number of things I could fill in the blank with... but for the turkey legs, I have an excuse, I'm a vegetarian! I'll go with "seen Flights of Wonder?" I intend to fix that on my next trip, though; this is a show I would have loved as a kid so I don't know what's kept me from seeing it so far.

"Should we sit down, analyze the parks, make a list of things we have not done and then devise a plan so we can mark them all off the list? Or would that take the spontaneity and some of the fun out of our vacations?"

I... uh... do this... OK, I don't devise a plan, but I keep a regularly-updated list of things I've never tried at WDW, which I print out and bring to the parks! I focus on in-park attractions (in the broad sense, including shows, exhibits, meet and greets, etc.), but I also include special food items, restaurants, hotels, hotel-based experiences, etc. I try to work in a few of these on our visits to keep us from just doing the same favorites. (Otherwise I'd be on ToT 10 times a day, and my fiance's stomach just can't take that!) Surprisingly, our forays into unknown territory have resulted in good times across the board.

Christine:

What a great post!

I am a former cast member, and after that, I had FL resident season passes for years. I have never done the Country Bear Jamboree. I have not ridden Primeval Whirl, and I have done neither the Sing Along, nor the BBQ at Fort Wilderness. The list of restaurants I haven't made it to is far too long for my liking.

Thanks for a great article!

Blake:

Been eleven times and have never done Hall of Presidents or Flights of Wonder... we always plan on it but for whatever reason never get around to it. Also the Electrical Water Pageant, always wanted to see that. An excuse to go back!

Mel:

I have to admit that even though I like "moderate" thrill rides I've never been on Space Mountain, I've also never done the Hall of Presidents (although as a UK citizen maybe that one can be forgiven) and I've never seen the Beauty and the Beast show. On my last visit I saw the Festival of the Lion King for the first time, and regretted that I hadn't seen it sooner. There are countless places I haven't eaten, but that's more down to finances than anything else.
By the way, did you *have* to show the pinapple float picture? Now I really really want one ;)

Steve Smith:

The majority of people in the world (as opposed to the "World") could pose the rhetorical question, "Am I the only one who has never been to Florida?" A lot of people consider themselves lucky to been to have spent a single day at the Magic Kingdom.

I have been fortunate enough to have visited W.D.W. six times; both with my family and, now as a widower and empty-nester, going solo; and hope to so again.

I know that there is much that I have not and never will experience there, while there things I have done repeatedly (on one trip, my then teenage daughter and I rode Splash Mountain 4 or 5 times in a row).

I have enough experience that I no longer feel the need (or for that matter, have the energy) to be an attraction commando (for you gentle readers that delight in being attraction commandos, go for it!!!) and enjoy simply wandering about and soaking up that unique and glorious Disney vibe. This is not to say that I would pass up a chance to ride Splash Mountain (or Soarin', or . . .) again if the opportunity presented itself.

So I now side with you, Gary, and will stick with the spontaneous approach. To paraphrase the late, great David E. Davis, Jr.: Freedom and pixie dust!

Cindy Nagel:

I think this is exactly why people keep going back to WDW time and time again . There is always something I have not seen, tasted or experienced at the World and that's what keeps me wanting to go back!!!

Al:

I've been a cast member for 8 years and have never had a mickey bar... I didn't know that was blasphemous! Ha!

I've also never actually watched Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade (have desperately tried to avoid getting stuck behind it while getting to the safari, exit, etc. though!), or the Pixar & Pals parade at the Studios (or any of the street entertainment at the Studios for that matter), or stopped to actually watch most of the entertainment in World Showcase.

Sandy Behe aka Twirlergirl:

Well "Cruiser" you got me to thinking, this on a Sunday morning is remarkable in itself; what should be on my Disney bucket list? As DVC owners since 1997 with 20+ visits under my belt, a member since the beginning at TAGREL.COM what have I missed?

Actual a lot, it depends on who I am sharing my vacation with; this includes my Disney fanatic husband Dave; family members, hometown friends, my VMK friends (yes I still keep in touch with many of them) or my TAGREL friends. Each group has its own touring priorities & must do's. The latest is the grandkids with a whole new set of must DO's that leaves little time for my private list.

After a few seconds of thought I came up with a start my list. I have yet to make it to the Food & Wine festival, something I've want to do for a long time. Many of my friends have asked me repeatedly to come to "Mickey's Not so Scary Halloween Party" but my teaching commitments just haven't let this happen yet but soon. I've wanted to see all the Santa Clauses / Holiday Stories in EPCOT during the holidays; still missing a few. Now there are the rides, Alan's Magic Carpet, Tower of Terror, Mission Space, the Race Cars, the Rockets and Space Mountain to name a few. I may never cross off all of these but sure would like to try.

We have an upcoming visit in December, a birthday celebration trip since our birthdays in late November are a few days apart. So all the reservations are made, it's time to make that bucket list. I think I'll start with AK, so many things skipped due to lack of time. One thing for sure, topping any "Must DO" is visiting with my Disney friends.

Thanks Gary for your excellent blog article. I'll be looking for those missed opportunities to add to my Disney Birthday Adventure. It will be a fresh approach to my touring plan.

Erin:

I have to say, I went to WDW five times before finally riding Pirates of the Carribean. I think what has been done or not done at WDW depends on your interests and the interests of the people you are with. My daughter was such a princess fanatic, we spent a lot of time chasing the princesses, doing princess meals, autograph sessions, etc... And she LOVES Maelstrom. I think we've ridden that about 50 times. However, something that I have been wanting to do and have not gotten the chance, is the Rock n Roll Rollercoaster and Space Mountain.

Gaylin:

There are only 2 reasons not to try a Mickey Premium Bar - diabetes or lactose intolerance!

I haven't done horseback riding at Fort Wilderness but have done both the Segway Backtrails tour and the outside movie night!

I have done Country Bear Jamboree (once was enough). The teacups I will go on as long as I can holding the wheel in the middle so the spinning is minimum!

Now I need to get back there for the new Fantasyland.

Nora:

I've been to WDW like a million times, starting back in 1974. I've never done many of the things mentioned here. Never been to Tom Sawyer Island, but I do hope to remedy that soon. Never been on the Tea Cups, but that's because they spin and I would most likely get sick. I'm not much into snacks, so I've never had a Mickey Bar either. I've had a Dole Whip, but didn't like it (see snack comment above).

Not a fan of thrill rides, so I doubt I will ever ride Everest, or Tower of Terror, or any other of the thrill rides. I have been on Space Mountain at least twice, and did NOT enjoy it.

Rafiki's Planet is one of my favorite spots at Disney's Animal Kingdom. If they get rid of that to put in Avatar Land, I think I'm suing Disney!

I've seen Fantasmic twice, and I really, really don't like it. Why have I seen it twice then? It was part of a dessert party event during Reunion, that's why. Both times it included a private showing of the Osborne Lights, so it was well worth it.

Every time my local friends find out I'm going off to WDW "again", I always tell them there is SO much I have yet to see and experience there, I could go every other month for the next 20 years and still there will be things I haven't seen or experienced.

Here, of course, I'm preaching to the choir! :)

Casey:

I have been to DW 4 times but only 2 as a family and getting ready to make that 3 as a family. There are so many things I/we have not done I can not even begin to count.

We are marking one off our list this coming trip and going to the Halloween party at MK. I am so ready to go. I guess we will just have to keep going in order to try and gradually mark many more off our list :) I could think of worse things!

Lisa Berton:

Phew! I didn't get called out for not doing Disney...things.

Ha! I'm still never getting on Expedition Everest.

Andrew:

We've been several hundred (yes hundred) times and still find things we have not done all the time. Disney World is an amazing place!

We still vacation there every year, and held annual passes for years when we lived in the area. So much more to still see and do - like horse back riding!

Wendy Crober:

Hi Gary,

I've never done the Hall of Presidents, Ellen's Energy Adventure, Reflections of China (I don't like the 360 degree theatres - I watched the Canadian one and felt sick) and the American Adventure. I find my sins are more in not noticing some of the details because I can be in rush mode - Jack Spence's articles always point out details I've missed.

There are also numerous restaurants that we still have to try but it's hard to give up favourites so we try a few new ones each trip while still keeping some favourite meals!
I agree with many others that there are always new attractions to justify another trip but we really don't even require justification, it's a given that's where we'll go.

Wendy

Jennifer Butler:

I've been to Disney at least 15 times that I can remember, and I've never been into the American Pavillion in Epcot, or seen Hall of Presidents. But I do hope to see the American Pavillion in 3 weeks when we go.

I've done the horseback riding at Ft Wilderness, and done the Chip-n-Dale sing a long and movie. It took me 4 visits to finally find the Christmas Shoppe in MK, and we didn't get around to riding Test Track until 2009!

There is just so much to do, it's impossible to see and do it all.

Kelly Z.:

I have been to Disney 8 times. I have never had a Dole Whip. I always intend to get one because i hear the rave reviews online... an opportunity just never presents itself, or the stand is closed. i will continue to use this as an excuse to keep going back. lol!

Annette Melancon:

We've been 6 times and have never done several things...astro orbiter, liberty square riverboat, swiss family treehouse, films in world showcase, the list goes on and on.

Hopefully, in may 2013 we'll do some of those that we've neglected.

Vicki:

Am i the only one who's......never had their picture taken with any character?.... EVER?

Larry:

I had my first Dole Whip last spring 2011 (at the insistence of the father of my son's friends) and I'm sorry I waited so long.

I haven't been on the teacups (I like them) because neither my wife nor my son handle the spinning and I don't like going alone or with strangers. I haven't gone miniature golfing although my son and I always say we will the next time.

I've never been to Ft. Wilderness, much less done anything there. We don't go to WDW as frequently as others and so we like to do those things that we KNOW we must do before we leave. And so we run out of time.

One thing we do try to do: stay at a different resort each time to get a different "flavor."

Joni:

MNSSHP
Rock n Rollercoaster
Expedition Everest
or a Dole whip ( partial to citrus Swirls :p )

And I have been over 100 times.
You can really go over and over and still never see it all.

Kathy K:

I'm a local, lived in the Tampa area all my life, been to WDW more times than I can count...and I don't recall having a Mickey bar. I think it's probably just an oversight though, not a conscious choice. :0)

Never been anywhere near Fort Wilderness, although my hub and I honeymooned at Wildnerness Lodge (yeah, I know, totally not the same, right!).

I'm not a thrill rider, so RNR Coaster and ToT are OOTQ (out of the question!). Ditto Expedition Everest. I have done all three Mountains, but Big Thunder is the only one I'll go on again. Test Track, Mission Space (green!) are fine - I'm OK with speed, just don't like drops!!!!

How about this one: never done the Astro Orbiter (or whatever they call that thing on top of the People Mover now). Doesn't look too bad, just not something that's ever popped onto my must-do list.

In the past year I did Winnie the Pooh and Aladdin's Magic Carpets for the first time b/c I have a 2-year-old. I'm sure there will be some new things added because of him...maybe even a Mickey bar!

Matt:

My wife and I have been 6 times and We've never done Tom Sawyer's Island or been on the riverboat.

The list goes on and on of things we haven't done.

There's just so much to do and to little time to do it!!

Carlos Garcia:

Hi... I'm Carlos and I'm from Chile... September will be my 15th visit to WDW

Love the article...

Swiss Family Treehouse (I don't know why)
The American Adventure (nobody has recommended to me, yet)

And that be just it. I Hope to do both this year.

Kelly Skopp:

Great article...My thirteen year old (already 10 trips under his belt) and I (Mom is old so we don't count trips anymore) always drive away from Disney talking about the things we have still missed.

Tom Sawyer Island is the one he has most wanted to remedy, but somehow it always gets bypassed. Thrill rides are new to his list so we have just ridden Expedition Everest for the first time,although we have spent an entire day riding only the Kilimajaro Safari. Little brother is a Tower of Terror fan (we have ridden thirteen times in a row) but, we have never seen the Beauty and the Beast show.

Someone once said to me "how do you go to WDW so often, there is just not enough to do." Are you kidding - we always depart, even after a twelve day stay, wishing for more and already planning our next trip!

Jen:

Thanks again for a wonderful article. I was fornutate to only to the World and I am hoping that despite health and finances I will get to go again. There are plenty of things that I have not done but on my list of must do's I did almost all of them the first time around. I would love to further explore Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom--particularly since they added to fantasyland.

Thanks for the wonderful articles and insight to all things disney.

Thanks

Megan:

I will be making my 6th visit to Disney World in just a couple of weeks and one thing I've made sure to do was make a list of things I hadn't done. Riding the train and going to the Carousel of Progress at the Magic Kingdom are on this list as well as taking a trip to the Boardwalk, riding Kali River Rapids (I don't particularly care for wet rides)and watching Finding Nemo at Animal Kingdom and checking out the 360 movies and American Adventure at Epcot.

I always try to do at least a couple things that I hadn't done before. I'm hoping that the light crowd levels will help to get all of that in as well as all of the other things that are must-dos for my family. And if not, there's always next time!!!

Barbara Gizzi:

I too have been to WDW at least a hundred times since my first visit in 1973. But have never been on Goofy's Roller Coaster. Have been to MM BBQ and HoopDeeDoo Revue but no horseback riding at Fort Wilderness or even horse and carriage ride at PO Riverside.

Have never seen movie at Canada in EPCOT or been on Test Track. (word to the wise - Ride Test Track now before a note from your doctor is required. Just saying...). Have been to House of Blues Gospel Brunch but not DisneyQuest. Not even once.

On every trip, I find something different, interesting and new. I no longer do the quick walk but mostly stroll along. And have found the benches to be much more than just scenery. They are a good place to sit with a Mickey Bar or Dole Whip in hand and watch the rest of the World go by.

Great article. It's nice to know I'm in good company with those who haven't seen or done everything either.

Sandy Huling:

Excellent article, Gary!

With more than 35 trips to WDW (and not even being a DVC owner), it's hard to think of things that I have never done. There are a few, though.

I've never done Fantasmic, but will someday. I've never done Stitch, Monsters, Inc. or Mission Space by choice. Nor will I ever have a turkey leg.

But I am thankful for all of you who don't do TOT and EE allowing me to ride over and over and over again! :)

Kim Olivas:

We're Annual Passholders and live on the Space Coast...we go out to Disney at least once a month.

A couple of months ago we were discussing what we hadn't been on. We decided everyone in the family had to pick something for someone else to do at Disney. It could be at any park. We got my son to do Haunted Mansion that way and we still have to get my husband on the Astro Glider (but I would like to do it at night).

We finally saw all of the movies at Epcot...it's one way to stay out of the summer downpours. Once we saw them, we were glad we did. France was our favorite to our surprise.

There is still so much to see and do.

Jessica Strohl:

I could not agree with you more and I believe that is the beauty of Disney. There are always new and upcoming attractions and with so many options there are many over looked attractions too. I am a former cast member and had many opportunities to explore the lair of Disney and always passed on "kiddie" rides. But now that I have a child of my own, I am able to check them off my bucket list. Slowly but surely I am conquering them. :)

Michelle:

I have been to WDW at least 25 times; however, I have missed numerous things such as: Astro orbiter, all the EPCOT pavilion shows, carousel of progress, the Halloween party, enchanted tiki room, and others. This trip in November will take care of most of these. Good luck to everyone crossing things off your Disney bucket list.

Robert:

One of the reasons I am always sure to "plan in" (amidst the spontanaeity!) atrractions we've not seen is that they do occasionally get changed or are removed outright. Dream Flight, Kitchen Kabaret, etc. etc., may be gone, but are not forgotten, and I would have regretted not seeing them.

See everything at least once - you may not get the chance next time!

Jess:

I love trying new things or retrying things that I haven't done in years whenever we visit... Thinking about it I've covered a lot of ground in the 6 visits I've made!

I think most of the things I have missed would be in and around the resorts but I'm very slowly getting to them. I only stayed on property for the first time (aside from when I was 2) for our Honeymoon so it's only been a couple of visits that I have had easy access to such things. The only time I had ventured into the resorts prior was for certain restaurants.

Now with a little one on the way I am especially excited to stay at Fort Wilderness - my husband's favorite Disney memories revolve around camping in Disney World so I really want to go and experience it with our child :)

Also I think sometimes there are things that I haven't done that I may be not missing out on... hahaha For instance, my Mom dragged us into The American Adventure when I was 14 and I couldn't stand it. Well, this year I thought - its been 10 years, maybe I'll have more of an appreciation this time around. I should have listned to my 14 year old self. hahahaha I would not have missed it one bit. Of course some people LOVE it. I know some of my favorite things about Disney are completely boring to others so certainly no judgements here - sometimes were drawn to the things we know we will enjoy though :)

OH and a tip: I've NEVER gone to WDW during peak season, nor do I ever plan on it. I am 100% positive that this has allowed me to experience so much more than many others are able to on each and every visit. I highly recommend risking a little rain (to me a WDW poncho is just another one of those Disney experiences!) or wearing a sweater for one or two visits with low crowd records! If you plan it right the waterparks are still open and what have you.

Heather :

I live in Orlando now and there are still things at Disney that I haven't done. I just recently took my first ride on Aladdin's Flying Carpets. Most of the things I haven't done are tours or experiences. I haven't eaten at Hollywood and Vine or the Garden Grill.

Phil Vickers:

I used to be an EPCOT cast member and have visited all the parks numerous times...but I still have never been in the Hall of Presidents.

I am never sure why..the show has only just started. We have fast passes for something else. I am too tired and can spot an ice cream cart...whatever the reason I have never ventured in there.

It has almost become a ritual to avoid it!! Go figure!!

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 9, 2012 8:04 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Ama Ama: Aulani's Signature Dining Experience.

The next post in this blog is Mickey's Circus - 2012 Disney Trade Celebration.

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