As we all anxiously await the reopening of the most magical place on earth, many of us have spent considerable time indoors. I, for example, live in a small apartment in the city with my wife. (I am convinced that she believes each person she speaks to on the phone is hard of hearing, such that she shouts into the phone at maximum volume.) [Note: his wife is editing this post and thinks he’s the pot calling the kettle black…]
As a result, I have spent a good deal of time pondering other places where this period of isolation might be more fun. Then I got to thinking, “Wouldn’t it be neat to live in a Walt Disney World attraction?” So many of the attractions are marvelously themed and have intriguing backstories such that we, as riders, feel as if we are really there. It’s not hard to imagine actually living in the fictional worlds that these attractions create.
Before we get to my top five, there are a few ground rules. First, attractions count but lands or pavilions do not. (So, Frozen Ever After is fair game while the Norway pavilion is not.) Second, scenes from films do not count (such as the Eiffel Tower scene in Impressions de France or any of the scenes from Soarin’). Third, an attraction includes all of its scenes (no need to choose between the briar patch and the laughin’ place in Splash Mountain, for example).
So, here are the top five places that I would choose to live if I could live in an attraction. There were some tough ones to cut, but that’s what makes a top five list fun.
5. Tower of Terror
We begin our stay in a hotel—how fitting! But this is not just any hotel; it’s the Hollywood Tower Hotel. What better place to live in an attraction than “amid the glitz and the glitter” in a palatial 1930s Hollywood hotel? The lobby of this hotel is opulently decorated with ornate designs and detailed furnishings that simply scream luxury. One can only imagine that the guestrooms would be similarly furnished. Personally, I would go for a top floor room with windows that look out onto the rest of Hollywood Studios. Maybe I would be able to enjoy that view a bit more fully without plummeting to the depths of the elevator shaft a few seconds later.
Of course, like any good resort, the Hollywood Tower Hotel is more than just a place to sleep. As the signs in the queue point out, the HTH features a rose garden, band pavilion, and arboretum. Hungry? No problem! I certainly would love to try the multi-course dinner in the Sunset Room (though I probably would have to pass on the turtle soup…). In short, the HTH is a luxury destination in its own right that pairs an exquisite design with recreation and dining options. I would gladly check in as a guest, but I think I would take the stairs instead of those problematic elevators.
4. Living with the Land
For those looking for a little more of a homey feel, Living with the Land is just the place. The multi-floor farmhouse is set in a quiet, rural area which is perfect for a low key stay. Whether you sit out on the front porch or pass the time on that delightful swing hanging from the tree in the front yard, you will certainly enjoy some rest and relaxation here. For dog lovers like me, the pup on the front porch is just an added bonus!
Of course, there is more to enjoy here than just the farmhouse. Living with the Land features other idyllic settings, too. With just a short walk (or boat ride), you can enjoy a peaceful waterfall or spend some time with the local buffalo. Beyond that, the freshly grown produce in the attached greenhouses will ensure that no visitor goes hungry. If I live in this attraction, maybe I would even learn a thing or two about gardening. Once the parks reopen, I really want to at least go on the Behind the Seeds tour again if they won’t just let me move in.
3. Carousel of Progress
Continuing our residential theme, Carousel of Progress offers numerous different homes to stay in. Whether you’re looking for the charm of a turn-of-the-century home or the conveniences of a more modern home (including a voice activated oven), Carousel of Progress has it all. Personally, I probably would spend most of my time in the second scene (featuring the 1920s), though the place might need to be rewired to avoid blowing a fuse every five minutes. Even so, with the fully stocked refrigerator and with Rover lying nearby on the floor, it seems like a pretty cozy place to me. Plus, I’m a big fan of the attire in that scene (no, not the Fourth of July costumes). Call me a sucker for those blue-torso-white-collar shirts.
The third scene (featuring the 1940s) is also one of my favorites. A spacious kitchen (with a breakfast nook!), a newly remodeled rumpus room, and even that preposterous exercise machine all make for a pleasant spot to stay the night. The beauty of Carousel of Progress, of course, is that you don’t need to pick a particular decade to stay in. You can experience them all with just a short ride around the theatre!
2. Pirates of the Caribbean
Our next destination is less of a residence and more of a town, though there are of course homes within that town. There are few places more nostalgic than Pirates of the Caribbean. For those of us who miss the smell of the Pirates water, what better way is there to enjoy that scent than to live right along the waterway? Pirates, of course, features a bustling Caribbean town. Forgot your toothbrush at home? No problem! Just pick one up at the auction (along with some chickens).
Looking for a way to pass the time? Try your hand at a game of chess with the resident skeletons in Castillo del Morro. Of course, you could always just run around the attraction looking for treasure or maybe even get the keys from that dog. I would happily spend the night here, but preferably before the whole town is set ablaze by the pirates.
1. Gran Fiesta Tour
Our last stop on this imaginary journey is in Mexico. Any attraction where you get to pass the time with Donald Duck is definitely at the top of my list. Better yet, you get to experience firsthand the whimsy and wonder of a local Mexican fiesta. Lively music, a leisurely boat ride, and a Donald Duck piñata provide all sorts of entertainment to keep you occupied. For those that need to get some work done, Gran Fiesta Tour has you covered—corporate buildings abound toward the end of the boat ride, so you can head into the office to send out that email or hold that quiet meeting away from the hustle and bustle of the party.
Of course, the best part of staying here would be scurrying about with José Carioca and Panchito to find everyone’s favorite duck. Along the way, you take in some of the famous sights from Mexico and may even get to join in a rendition of that awfully catchy tune. Gran Fiesta Tour offers a nonstop celebration in the perpetual twilight of Mexico. I could easily spend a few nights here! ¡Viva Donald!
Would you live in an attraction if you had the chance? Which one? Let me know in the comments below! In the meantime, check out how you can get some Magic on your Monitor, here!