An open letter to Bob Chapek, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts .....
First, allow me to congratulate you on the resounding success of this year's D23 Convention. The Parks and Resorts division staged a coup, winning the whole of the internet this past weekend with a series of exciting announcements and previews of all the wonderful things to come to our most favorite places on Earth. We hope you take some time to celebrate with your staff of talented Imagineers who are making dreams become reality for all of us: you've earned a glass of champagne or three! Cheers!
After the confetti is swept away, the karaoke machine packed up, the bartender sufficiently-tipped, though, I would implore you to consider the following request:
I WANT TO POOP IN SPACE.
There, Bob, I said it. It's the elephant in our room here at WDW Loo Review's home office, and it's high-time you and I acknowledge it.
I mean, I also want to urinate in grand intergalactic style as well, but, given the oft-lengthier time requirement for going #2, we definitely want you to prioritize defecation over draining the bladder.
Why the emphatic call for an out-of-this world evacuation experience, you ask? Well, Bob, with the exception of the much-beloved Tangled restrooms in Magic Kingdom, WDW's efforts to "theme" its myriad restrooms have fallen flat. And we can't have that, not anymore, not with the loo competition nipping at your heels.
Let's look at Animal Kingdom's recent Pandora addition. What a marvelous location! Joe Rhode and team labored intensively to take us to another world. Earth flora is seamlessly integrated into Pandoran plant life, Flight of Passage affords us the chance to saddle-up and see the planet's sites and even Windtraders takes us to a rookery where every child whose parents have half a Benjamin to spare will delight in their own banshee perched atop his/her shoulder. Yes, Pandora is a truly immersive experience -- as is much of Disney World -- and we love it!
And yet, Bob, look at this:
Now, don't get us wrong: this is a nice restroom. It's clean, modern and satisfactorily serves our needs when nature calls.
But, Bob, when did Walter Elias Disney ever settle for mere satisfactory?
Nothing about this loo screams Pandora. Nothing. This loo could be picked up and plopped down anywhere and nobody would ever know its origins were in Animal Kingdom's newest area. In a land where so much attention was paid to detail, we here at the blog are shocked that so little was paid to Pandora's restrooms.
Now, we understand many will contend that all they need is a hole and some running water to service their needs, and we certainly won't argue. That said, many other details were included in the construction of Pandora that most wouldn't consider necessary; yet, they all add to the immersive experience of the area. Why not extend that immersion to the restrooms as well?
Listen, I want to give you fair warning: I'm about to commit heresy. That's right, Bob, I'm going to say the "U" word -- Universal (and yes, I do kiss my mama with this mouth). Have you ever visited The Wizarding World of Harry Potter? You know, that section of Universal that prompted WDW to up its game a few years ago?
Bob, if you've never before used this loo, you have to pay it a visit. As far as restrooms go, it's fairly standard ... with one exception: Moaning Myrtle's spectral voice offers commentary to this loo's visitors. It's such a simple little thing, really; but Myrtle's inclusion speaks volumes to Universal's efforts to completely immerse park-goers from every.single.angle. It's one of those cool touches users always remember from their visit to TWWHP, and you can bet they will want to use this loo the next time they visit!
Alas, I digress: back to this whole pooping in space thing. Why space? Let's take a look at some of the big D23 announcements: huge updates on Star Wars Land (er, Galaxy's Edge -- sorry), the construction of a super-immersive Star Wars resort, the addition of a dining-in-space-themed restaurant to Epcot's Future World! To be honest, most of the cool stuff you've got up your sleeve for WDW (and, to a lesser extent, Disneyland) involves an intergalactic theme.
How about that proposed Star Wars hotel, where every window offers a starscape vista? Wouldn't it be awesome to have a similar view -- perhaps from a porthole -- in the restroom? Oh, and the toilet could be space-age as well, with lights, buttons, beeps and boops. These thrones should be fitting for a Jedi Master! I imagine looking out that porthole, exclaiming, "That's no moon. It's a space station!"
And Galaxy's Edge? Look, let's get really creative here. I'd better not see the usual male/female silhouettes on the restroom door signs there. Let's have loo signs featuring Wookies, Rodians, Ithorians. I want urinals so tall that only Chewie could use them, or ones so near the floor they'd be suitable for the smallest of Ewoks. Let's fill these restrooms with the sounds of a busy spaceport: alien dialects and languages, the distant sounds of ships launching, droids communicating, cantina music wafting in-and-out of hearing range.
Oh, and don't get me started about using the Millennium Falcon's head! We know we're going to get the opportunity to pilot Solo's most prized possession. Give us the chance to use its loo as well! Let's make sure there's some prop Wookie grooming products on the vanity or a prop drain de-clogger for pesky Chewbacca hairs! I want to hear Han and Chewie arguing in muffled tones from the Falcon's cockpit as my bowels make the jump to lightspeed!
And listen, Bob, these are just stream-of-consciousness ideas coming from my brain to the keyboard. With your deep bench of well-experienced Imagineers and with a few days of brain-storming, think of how many better ideas you'll be able to bring to life! The stars are truly the limit when it comes to offering a fully-themed restroom experience to Disney Parks and Resorts guests. All it takes is a willingness to dig just a little deeper and acknowledge a firm commitment to immerse us ALL.THE.WAY.
Oh, and Bob, we totally know you can do it. You've got plenty of faith, trust and pixie dust on your side. We're your biggest fans, and I know you won't let us down!
It's about time for me to wrap-up this letter. Thank you, Bob, for taking the time to read it. I plan to be the first in line for the loo at Galaxy's Edge in 2019, and I hope to shake your hand at the grand opening (don't worry, I'll wash up first).
Loo Review Matt
P.S. -- I almost forgot Toy Story Land! You can theme the restrooms of Toy Story Land as well; but, I'd better not find a snake in my boot whilst using the commode.