I was reading Sam Gennawey’s blog today at SamLand and he had an article talking about some of the details behind the idea for Camp Minnie-Mickey, and it made me stop and think how lacking this area is and how much it’s missing. Truth be told, I find the idea for Camp Minnie-Mickey to be a bit odd at a park that is supposed to be themed around animals. From what I’ve read, the idea for the camp theme came about at the last minute as a placeholder for the land that was intended to be utilized for Beastly Kingdom when the park was being built and the budget ran out. And while I would like to see them fully realize the area into something more along the lines of what was originally planned, I had a few more ideas about what could be done with the area under the existing theme.
I think if the camp theme were to be fully utilized there are several ways they could expand and greatly improve on it. I think back to my youth and experiences of going to camp and remember several things that I think the imagineers missed in creating their “camp”.
Picture if you will, as you come into the area there is a big chalk activity board that highlights the activities (attractions) taking place for the day just like you might see at camp.
Even though, the area is named for Minnie and Mickey, they are pretty absent from here for the most part, except for their appearances on the “trails” for meet and greets. Why don’t they create a camp show featuring Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Pluto, Chip & Dale, and their other friends? The Pocahontas stage show closed in Oct of 2008, and has sat vacant ever since. Why not use this theater to host a variety type show with the characters and some guests from the audience? It just seems this would be the perfect environment for some cheesy show (pardon the pun), like the kind you might have seen while away at summer camp.
This is a camp, right? So, shouldn’t there be cabins? Since Toontown is certain to be headed for the wrecking ball in the near future, why not take the concept for Mickey and Minnie’s houses at Magic Kingdom, and create something similar here in the camp. Build a real-looking camp with walk-thru cabins for the characters. There could be a guys cabin which would pretty much be a disaster similar to Mickey’s house, and would have clothes and sleeping bags strewn everywhere as well as other messes for Mickey, Goofy and Donald. Then there could be the girls cabin which would be clean and pristine kind of like Minnie’s house and girly of course for Minnie and Daisy. The place could be decorated inside and out with their crafts and artwork created from previous years. They could even bring over some of the artwork from the existing houses in Toontown. Another idea might be tents. Setup some tents for Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald with views of their stuff inside their tents. Of course Goofy and Donald’s tents would be somewhat of a mess.
Donald’s boat races. Almost every camp has some kind of water attraction, whether it’s a lake a pool or some other kind of water play area. I could visualize a medium thrill, racing water coaster type attraction somewhere in the area that would feature two side-by-side tracks with 4-person “boats” racing and ending up at the finish line with a splash. Not to mention the fact that Animal Kingdom could definitely benefit from another water ride to cool off guests in the hot Florida summer’s.
Goofy’s Zip-line. This is an idea for a thrill ride begging to be built. Most everybody is familiar with the zip line, but what about a ride that was based on this popular camp ride. It could be a lie down, forward facing type of roller coaster involving speed and height to simulate a zip line. Or, they could build a few actual lines that would allow guests to zoom down from a high point somewhere in the area like a tower, or even a hill/mountain added somewhere. This would be a popular attraction with long lines, so they would have to build several zip lines at varying heights to improve the flow. They could also build a dual purpose hill/mountain that would feature the aforementioned Donald’s boat races, as well as the zip lines. Alternatively, and not really a favored idea, they could build another spinner (Dumbo), but with riders lying down, in a forward facing position. I don’t really like this idea because it’s the type of ride you might see at your local fair/carnival, but then the same might be said for Astro Orbiter, Dumbo, Aladdin, etc.
Pooh’s Playful spot. The Fantasyland expansion is about to kick into high gear any day now, which will also mean the end of Pooh’s playground and meet and greet. I’m not crazy about this area because I don’t have any kids young enough to enjoy it at MK, but I understand the need and the attraction of it, so why not re-build it here at camp Minnie-Mickey?
Activity Hall. large camp dining facility featuring camp foods, sandwiches, burgers, ice cream, etc.
So, what do you think, is it starting to feel like camp yet?