Disney has tried to incorporate a main symbol that is supposed to wow people in every park. In the Magic Kingdom it is the castle, in Epcot it is Spaceship Earth, in Animal Kingdom it is the Tree of Life, and in Disney Hollywood Studios it is the Wizard Hat.
Disney also incorporates attractions it hopes will do the same thing. Expedition Everest, Splash Mountain, and the Tower of Terror are good examples of those.
Some times Disney achieves their goal. Sometimes they fall flat on their face. Most people say that the castle provides the wow factor. Some people even break down and cry when they see it. I really wish I was kidding. Walk down Main Street USA and you’ll see them. The castle isn’t bad but I wouldn’t put it on top.
I thought I’d break down some of the wow factors in Disney World just for Kicks.
1 - Spaceship Earth at Night. This one easily tops my list. The way they light up Spaceship Earth is just amazing. This is the only one that really gives me chills.
2 - The Cinderella’s Castle an night during the Christmas season. Ok let me just say that I am not a fan of Christmas decorations. The main reason is that they tend to get in the way and they are EVERYWHERE! The only exception of when Disney doesn’t overdo it is with Cinderella’s Castle.
3 - The standard Cinderella’s Castle. This one is a classic. Most people who visit Disney take a picture of it every time they go to the Magic Kingdom.
4 - Spaceship Earth during the day. It’s big, it’s white, and it’s cool looking. To get the best wow factor ride the monorail for the TTC to Epcot.
5 - The Haunted Mansion – The attention to detail that went into the Haunted Mansion is mind boggling. You hear this attraction before you see it. The howling dog is a classic sound. The outside is a perfect fit for what should be a haunted mansion.
6 - Splash Mountain – By itself it shouldn’t rank this high. What really makes Splash Mountain a “wow” is how it’s built into the park. The two bridges from which you can view the shoot are places you could sit and just watch people scream their brains out. It doesn’t really get old.
7 - The Tree of Life – The Tree of Life is a unique “wow.” I think it’s the only one that gets more amazing the closer you get. From a distance it’s cool looking. As you get closer the details start to come out. You get a sense for its size and you start to make out the shape of the animals. When you’re on top of it you see the stunning detail of every animal. You could blow rolls of film just on the carvings. Well I guess you could if you have a film camera. Wow, who still owns a film camera?
8 - The Tower of Terror – The Tower of Terror isn’t really an awe inspiring building by itself. However, Take that building and put it at the end of a long flat street and add the sound of people screaming as you walk towards it…now you have something. I’ve taken some good pictures of the Tower. The best one was from the queue. There is a great spot that you can shoot the sign through the trees. To really push a picture of this over the edge, convert it to black and white. This and the Haunted Mansion look amazing in Black and White.
Those are just a few. However, you may notice that I did not mention the wizard hat. That’s because it’s never amazed me. I think the Chinese Theater was far more impressive than the hat. The hat has too much stuff around it. You can never get a good picture of it. Even if you did it really lacks what the other symbols have. Don’t ask me what “it” is. I just know it doesn’t have “it.”