Today, our series countdown to the 50th Anniversary of The Most Magical Place on Earth continues with Diane of the Five-Star-rated Etsy shop MouseFanEars and Walt Disney World 2004. So get your magical memory fix while you still can!!
Hi Disney Fans and thanks for joining me on my trip back to 2004. It was a great year at Walt Disney World, not only because there was so much going on but my family had briefly moved to Orlando for 4 months that year. My husband got at a contract job at Universal Studios and it was a great opportunity to be near Disney. Magically, he worked and I took the kids to the Disney Parks. LOL
Walt Disney World 2004
Another really big happening (for us!) was that another of the Disney Vacation Club Resorts opened in May 17, 2004. Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa was themed after the 1880’s upstate New York resort area (horse racing). It would their biggest DVC resort yet, with 1,260 rooms it is almost double the size of its neighbor Old Key West Resort. Also it sits on the original site of the Disney Institute.
In my mind, two really great attractions also opened in 2004, Stitch’s Great Escape opens in Tomorrowland. (Located at the former site of ExtraTERRORestrial.
In addition, Turtle Talk with Crush! Opened in The Living Seas at Epcot.
Walt Disney World Maintenance
Interestingly, a March 30, 2004, article in The Orlando Sentinel, then-Walt Disney World president Al Weiss gave some insight into how the parks are maintained.
- More than 5,000 cast members are dedicated to maintenance and engineering, including 750 horticulturists and 600 painters.
- Disney spends more than $100 million every year on maintenance at the Magic Kingdom. In 2003, $6 million was spent on renovating The Crystal Palace restaurant. 90 percent of guests say that the upkeep and cleanliness of the Magic Kingdom are excellent or very good.
- The streets in the parks are steam cleaned every night.
- There are Cast Members permanently assigned to painting the antique carousel horses; they use genuine gold leaf.
- There is a tree farm on site so that when a mature tree needs to be replaced, a thirty-year-old tree will be available to replace it.
One Saturday we decided to head to the beach and the locals told us that the cruise ships would pass by this very spot. And sure enough the Disney Magic passed right by us.
As you can tell, Diane is a true Disney fan (@MouseFanDiane)! She is mom to two grown children and, be still my heart, she is still married to “the most wonderful guy in the world.”
Tomorrow we welcome writer Ashley of Disney Diva in Training, as she takes us to Walt Disney World in 2005.