I noticed I haven't written or posted about my favorite subject in a while, and my last few have been long and technical. So, I decided to relax and have fun with this post. Have you noticed how many listicles there are out there about our favorite parks? Yet they all seem to hit the same subjects, favorite things to do, favorite places to eat, favorite rides, annoying people, ways to save money. It's the same things over and over. So I decided to generate a list of stuff you could could post about, to give us all some new fun stuff to read. Please steal
The flowers and trees, birds and the bees.
Tell us about where to find different ones, how they maintain them, any secrets you know. For instance, do you know where you can find a flower clock in Disney World? How many different kinds do they use for Mickey's smiling mug in front of the Train Station? Were you there when they installed the plants around Epcot's World Showcase Lagoon? I think a guide to the current year's Flower and Garden Show's topiary's would be useful. Maybe include a map and show us where they are all located. Wouldn't it be fun to take the map with you to the park and check them off?
The animals in WDW get forgotten amidst the excitement of the rides and shows. But some folks like my niece are really into the animals. We see so little written about the animals of Animal Kingdom these days. I'm excited to see Pandora go up too (even though I was initially against the idea), but I go there also to see the gorillas and lions and weird lizards. There's a bird show, but do people realize there are also many parrots, parakeets, flamingos and other exotic birds along the paths winding through the park? What a great photo opportunity. How do they keep us safe from those lions we saw sunning themselves on our last Kilimanjaro Safari ride? How did they pick which animals should be featured? What animals used to be there, but aren't any more? Oh my goodness, there are so many directions to go with this that people are just ignoring. Somebody out there knows all about those animals, and you aren't sharing with the rest of us. We'll listen. Tell us!
Construction Secrets and Trivia
The Epcot central attraction is the geodesic dome called, Spaceship Earth. It is covered with hundreds of triangular panels of a silvery white material. You are a true Disney Fanatic if you can name that material. (The answer is at the end of this listicle.) There are many innovations in building design, materials, and construction in use at the various parks. If you have any knowledge of these, you could create a fascinating piece for geeks like the Two Grumpy People team. You could tell us about how the underground tunnels were built and how they keep them from flooding, or tell us what you learned about the special locks in use at the canals. We love that kind of geeky stuff.
You can use WDW to demonstrate anything from advertising to chemistry. And if you have some special expertise, please, please do! Oh man, could you teach us a lot in a way we'd really pay attention? Are you a specialist in the textiles field? Tell us how the specialty cloths used in costumes and decorations are woven, dyed, printed, and chosen. Are you a construction insider or in the moving business? Tell us how they get those really big things up there and how they make sure they are safe. A licensed boat pilot? How do you keep all those boats and ferries from running into each other? Is laying all the bricks in the American Experience more or less challenging than the brickwork elsewhere in the parks? If you're a bricklayer or stonemason, I'm sure you've lots of cool stuff to tell us. You're the expert, you tell us.
Point Out Seemingly Unimportant Details
Don't do the ones everyone else has covered. Two Grumpy People did a video called Top Ten Things to Spot That Are Not. We've talked about animatronics that people don't notice, dinosaurs and dragons throughout the parks, sprinklers and fountains to cool off in, and lots of other things that have caught our imagination. Odds are, if it's something you've taken an interest in, someone else will too. Everyone knows where Rockin Roller Coaster is. But do you know where to find a living vine in Animal Kingdom? A Facebook page I recently ran into keeps lists of the restrooms and rates them. Pick something that interests you for no good reason. You can bet if you're interested, you could interest at least one other person.
Let the supporting cast shine!
Pick a character, from Smee to Jack and Gus Gus, who doesn't usually get their fair share of attention. Tell us what's to like about them, and give us the lowdown on every place we can find them, or something about them, in the park. There are a hundred of articles online on how to find the princesses. There are dozens talking about favorite characters like Nemo and Aladdin. But where do you find Abu, Tick Tock, or Mushu?
It isn't all about the character meet and greets or parades and shows either. How about where there are cool, even unexpected references to characters we love. By now, surely everyone knows that Mickey, Donald, and Goofy appear on the wall in the Indiana Jones sequence in the Great Movie Ride. But did you know there's an unexpected appearance of one of your favorite characters in the line for Star Wars? Ok, you knew that too. What about a reference to Roger Rabbit in an unexpected location on Hollywood and Vine? Oh, you knew that too. Well then, you're such an expert, tell me one I don't know. No, really, please tell me one I don't know. It's a blast hearing about one I missed.
Make it a game.
Instead of just telling us where all the wind veins in Walt Disney World are located, post photos with clues and tell us what we should look for. Don't reveal the answer until the end. Here's one. Do you know where this one is located? I'll put the answer at the end of this article.
I kept the first one easy. If you want to play more, click here to go to 2 Grumpy People.
Pick a subject and make it anything besides hidden Mickey's. We love our hidden Mickeys, but we don't need another article on where they all are. Heck, half the fun is finding them ourselves. Let's start new game traditions. Create a trivia quiz. Show us your best detail photos and see if we can place them. Give us hints to where something is located and let us figure it out. Remember playing "I spy" as a kid? That stuff is still fun if you make it about Walt Disney World.
Make It Up
Really get into the details. Two Grumpy People has a playlist with nothing but Attractions We Want, from Fern Gully, to The Brave Little Toaster.
Maybe you'd like to suggest a new eating place that serves chicken and waffles. Maybe we could create a new scare feature to replace Stitch's Great Escape. Are you more a water park aficionado? I bet you could design the ultimate water park if you put your imagination to work. We've all daydreamed about that one great ride, or show, or feature that the park planners just never seem to think of. Put it out there, you never know. Maybe someone's lurking, just waiting for a great idea like yours.
Create a Mystery
It can be a real story we've likely not heard before, or get really imaginative and make up your own Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Lead us through the park or an attraction as you give us the clues. You could make a video. Get super interactive and leave us clues to follow on our own next trip.
Stamp Your Passport
Are you from a country other than the USA? Give us the outsider's perspective. What seemed weird, interesting, confounding, or funny when viewed through the eyes of someone from say, Zimbabwe, or Australia, or maybe China. If you're a Yankee with a passport, maybe tell us about that time you went to Japan's park, or France's. Compare them for us. And please, don't forget the pictures!
Pass It On
And last, if you've done it all, and read it all, and wish there were more great WDW content, why not make your own list of ideas for the rest of us? I'd love a suggestion. And don't forget to share it with us on Facebook. How else will we get to read your brilliant writing?
Spaceship Earth is covered with triangle shaped tiles made of a revolutionary material called, Alucobond.
DeVine is a costumed character on stilts. She makes an appearance along the less traveled pathway between Africa and Asia, or on the bridge between Chester and Hester's and Asia in Animal Kingdom.
The bat shaped wind vein is, of course, atop the Haunted Mansion in Magic Kingdom.