I've said it many ways in the past, and let me say it again: When the Disney suits screw up, they go and do it big.
The latest fiasco is the transformation of their once charming Polynesian Village Resort into a more generic Disney Vacation Club location. The suits began with the lobby, and now that it is open, everyone can see what a huge mistake the first step is. Gone is the warmth and charm that once characterized the area. Now, bland and generic and oh so ordinary describe it. (Photos are on the WDWMagic site.) Now, it seems the gorgeous waterfront will be ruined by bungalows. They may have been going for Papeete, but they have missed the mark. Again.
I remember seeing it for the first time in 1975 when it was fairly new and affordable, and I was absolutely in love with the place- the huge waterfall / grotto / garden at the lobby entrance. The lush mix of music, architecture, and greenery. The nightly luau. Not to mention the view of the Magic Kingdom from the shores of the beach. Or the Electrical Water Pageant. It's been a destination every trip since.
It's pretty popular to criticize Robert Iger and company for the way things are run. And for a large part, the fan complaints regarding Walt Disney World are 100% on the money. Sure, investments into the property are there or are coming. But it seems to fall short. The New Fantasyland looks beautiful but seems to lack substance. Certainly it lacks a groundbreaking attraction.
Perhaps Harry Potter's success at Universal / Islands of Adventure will change the tide. But, if you look at the once premier resort on the Florida property, it looks as if the boat has sailed.
Once the leader, now the follower. Settling for the mediocre, with "good enough" being the Florida resort company mantra- and a slew of guests too foolish to realize they've been taken for a ride- and not in an E Ticket sort of way.
(Art copyright The Walt Disney Company.)