June 5th, 2008

bigBrian, DisneyWorld, WDW, Walt

to Tree on not to tree? Magic Kindoms Hub

some subjects seem to occur to many Disney fans at the same time,
often we are reminded as a group of long gone attraction by some current
event that evokes a memory of it for many of us all at the same time, like
recently when Spaceship Earths decent was described before it's unveiling
as having an interactive touch screen feature many folks I heard from
(on their podcasts and on message boards) seemed to be reminded of Horizons,
but other subjects that are not triggered by current events come up more
sporadically, for instance, several months ago on the Laughing Place message
boards I saw a post about the trees in the Hub at the Magic Kingdom, and
I ended up writing a long post with a bunch of links to pictures I had taken
of that hub over the years. one of the issues brought up in that post was the
amount of seating in the hub, so that first post concentrated on that to some
extent. Later a similar thread came up on the DisneyWorldTrivia.com forums
in that case their forums actually allow pictures integrated into the post so
it was a great opportunity to re-work that post with the images built right
in instead of being only available as links (the LP forums are text only).
Last week the whole thing came full circle for me when I was catching up with
a new blogger who is a long time Disney fan who has graciously contributed to
my site Greg Maletic (who designed and created some great retro-WDW style
attraction posters and let me link to them on my site) wrote a nice article
on this subject too, and get this his blog is on Laughing Place.com, and he
seemed to have not known of either of these previous threads, but on his own
came to the same conclusion as to why it has changed the way it has as I did
in my post which i'm once again re-adapting here.

As to the seating issue since the seats before were built into the
planters all the way around the planters AND the planting ares were bigger,
then obviously even if you put benches ALL the way around the planter there's
going to be less seating now because the perimeter is smaller. So you can
still get a seat you just have to stake it out sooner, and having MORE
standing space (and less obstructed views) in front of the castle increases
viewing space ALL DAY LONG, for stage shows, parades, and fireworks, so it
really does seem like it was probably a good idea.

before the new design (overview from upper deck of omnibus):

castle hub may 1998

note that the path to the center is so narrow that no benches are put on
the path to the center of the hub, there are benches built into the center
of the hub around the statue of Walt, these still exist, here's another
view of those (this picture includes my first wife, so It's not one I
reference very often):

Castle Cake

I also have a photo that show sometimes they DID actually put benches
along that narrow path (with my current wife from our honeymoon in 2002):

hub benches october 2002

there are also benches built into the exterior and interior circles of the
planters around the hub, those are the ones that have gone away, here's a view
that shows those older built-in benches :

hub benches May 1998

Here are some "after" pictures of the hub, the benches built
into the interior and exterior of the planters surrounding the hub are
gone (except at the inner circle around the partners statue), though the other
type of benches are seemingly quite abundant in these photos:

hub Dec 2006

hub Dec 2006

hub December 2006 PM