Is Disney World one of the wonders of the world?

By | Category: Travel rumblings
image of castle at Disney World

Disney World. Should it be a wonder of the world?

Almost every year along comes a survey that shows Britons are less than knowledgeable about major tourist attractions. Another has come along courtesy of holiday comparison website,

Only 6% of people were able to identify all seven modern wonders, with large proportions of Brits missing Christ the Redeemer in Rio, Brazil (60%) and Petra in Jordan. (67%.) When asked about how many wonders they think they had correctly identified, 15% of Brits thought they had spotted 10 out of the 21 wonders and only 3% thought they had named all 21. Only 12% of Britons were able to select all seven ancient wonders of the world.

More than half (54%) mistakenly thought Stonehenge was one of the wonders and 32% of Brits thought the Empire State Building was on the list as did 40% who thought the USA’s Statue of Liberty was included. 8% of the nation named Disney World Florida as a modern wonder of the world.

It made me think. Why isn’t Stonehenge one of the wonders of the world? With Petra or the Egyptian pyramids the stone didn’t have to be quarried hundreds of miles away and then hauled to its final resting place? All were astonishing engineering feats but are they any more significant than the vision of Walt Disney who saw not Floridian swamps that still existed in the Orlando-Kissimmee area when he flew over it in the early 1960’s but a potential tourist attraction which, today, draws more visitors than any other attraction in the world?

image of Stonehenge

Stonehenge – not a wonder?

Why should Britons – or any other people – be expected to recognise that the harbour in Rio de Janeiro is one of the seven natural wonders of the world? How often do the seven natural wonders get mentioned or taught in schools? Where are we expected to know that there are even seven natural wonders?

One of the advantages of those books that list five hundred things to see, watch or visit before you die is that they widen the range and include many that are just as evocative; just as absorbing and just as magnificent. One person’s view of a wonder of the world need not be another’s.

So I don’t think we need be perturbed by the results of this survey. What it means to me is that “seven” is too little a number to encapsulate the whole world. It would be too little a number to cover the wonders of just one of our counties!


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