2016 Disney World Christmas Holiday Merchandise

With just over a week until Halloween, it makes sense that Disney would release the first batch of Christmas merchandise for this year’s holiday season.

The Bambi collection stands out in particular:

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Review: HOLD THE PRESSES Electric Umbrella at Epcot Is Not A Bad Quick Service Option

Electric Umbrella Epcot Entrance

Many of us have probably not yet come to terms with the fact that come January 20th, 2017, we will be living in the United States of Russia under Chairman Trump with our nation’s new flag with just two stars flying high over the nation’s capitol in Helsinki. But I have what is perhaps more startling news: Electric Umbrella is not bad. Yes, the outlet that would have topped every “Worst Walt Disney World Quick Services” list back in 2007 serves up several entrees that are better than Sunshine Seasons, Tangierine Cafe, or whatever other counter service that you’ve heard is so spectacular.

And while the website, in its infinite smugness, will still scowl in the general direction of anyone circling World Showcase during the Food and Wine Festival with a carton full of Chicken Nuggets (looking at you Disney Food Blog), one thing is undeniably true: sometimes you just want a flippin’ theme park hamburger. After six hours of constant whining from dad, who was fed up with, “but Josh says….” long before the bus even pulled up to the Park. After three hours in line at Frozen Ever After only to find out that the ride has been down for two straight days. After waiting 75 minutes for Soarin’ Around the World only to find that the Eiffel Tower looks like it’s headed to the 2020 Summer Olympics to be used in the Pole Vault. After the 20 minutes that the $37 light up spinny thing lasted. I. Just. Want. A. Free. King. Ham. Bur. Ger. Topped with stuff that clearly does not belong on a hamburger. And a Heineken. Just don’t flip my meat.

Enter: Electric Umbrella.

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Frozen Ever After Fall 2016 Wait Times and Reliability Plus Royal Sommerhus Waits and a Soarin’ Update

Frozen Ever After, a ride that is perhaps enhanced even further when viewed on someone else’s phone held high above their head, opened in the Maelstrom space in the Norway Pavilion in Epcot back in mid-June. The website has posted a couple of updates since then regarding strategy and how to ride with the shortest waits along with some updates on downtime and how wait times have progressed over the last few months. For the initial strategy, see this post from back in June. At the end of the summer, I followed up with another post on how things had improved a bit since the initial opening and updated on FastPass+ availability. That post is available here.

As a quick refresher, Frozen was basically built on top of an already aging ride system that was historically somewhat unreliable. Like with the Test Track “reimagining,” they added technical elements that initially proved unreliable. So not only would Frozen go down if the boats couldn’t be pulled up the hill or got stuck on the track, but also if Elsa’s face was missing. But by the end of the summer, things were looking much rosier with relatively little downtime resulting in shorter standby waits.

Over the first four days of operation, the overall average wait was 156 minutes or just over two and a half hours.

For the entire period of June 21st through August 29th, the overall average wait dropped to 91 minutes, a chart for which you can see in its entirety here.

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Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie Review and France Pavilion Merchandise at Epcot

We continue our tour around World Showcase with a visit to the main quick service arm of the France Pavilion, after considering a review of the all-day menu and the current state of (Les) Chefs de France in this post.

For whatever reason, Les Halles is not an ordinary haunt for the website and as much as I am ashamed to admit it, it may well be an out of sight, out of mind sort of thing.

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Chefs de France All Day Menu Review at Epcot

One thing that I’ve struggled with for years, and something that I’m not ashamed to admit, is where to put “(Les) Chefs de France” in an alphabetical list of Epcot restaurants. On one hand, “Les” is clearly visible on the signage over the restaurant’s entrance as well as over the menus on display on both sides of the entrance. On the other hand, no “Les” appears on the “Experience the Tastes of France” sign closer to the front of this picture.

It’s Chefs de France on the front of the menu itself, sans Les, with the trademark symbol at the end of the name.

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