Back to the daily grind that this website is known for.
Here we are at the main entrance. As per usual, there is a line up of eight or ten people at each turnstile over here on the left.
Over here the lines appear to be shorter with just two or three people at each turnstile. But if you look even further down, those turnstiles ahead are open with absolutely no one in line.
Here we are zoomed in with the cast members clearly(?) marked. It might pay to walk a few extra steps. Not literally pay. What I mean is you might save a minute.
Can’t wait! It looks like one of those boxes where you would put your assistant in and then slice her in half. Magic, I mean. A magic trick.
You can make dining reservations in person at Guest Relations should you have the inclination. Decent availability considering it’s around 2pm on a Sunday.
Popping over to Innoventions East to see what Habit Heroes is all about. It’s been under construction for months. I want to say a solid eight or nine months, if not more than that.
Habit Heroes is located right across from Sum of All Thrills. This picture was taken from the Habit Heroes queue.
Presented by Florida Blue and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield. Seems a little redundant.
I realize this website occasionally takes a negative opinion of things and I want to assure you that it isn’t my intention to “go negative” on a regular basis. I realize that few people want to visit a Disney World planning site and listen to a bunch of whining about how this or that is “bad.” I guess my hope is that the negativity will just make the things that I gush about positively have more impact. With that said, Habit Heroes is a bit of a mess.
The exterior queue is covered in comics that introduce you to the “villains.”
One of which is “Lead Bottom.” He is very fat and lazy, but in a “cartoon-y” way that maybe “people” won’t take offense to.
Another of the villains is this much skinnier “control freak” who watches too much television. Which makes him a freak.
I feel like this attraction is against everything Walt Disney Company stands for.
The warning before entering. If it said, “you will be dancing in a dark room full of strangers,” they might actually convince some people to skip it.
After waiting for a bit in the external queue, you’ll stand here in front of Will Power’s Gymnasium (Get it? Will Power? The power of will? Never mind). I want to say that 12 people can be taken in each group and a new group is admitted every few minutes. I’ll return to see if things are running any smoother and take note of the particulars. I only waited about five minutes to enter the Gymnasium.
It’s a neat little area. We aren’t exactly “transported” to the gym, but we get a feel for the alley and the gym’s entrance. For some reason you hear the sound of helicopters overhead.
We’re introduced to the gym briefly in an introductory video. Neat theming on the “pull down screen” here.
Then we’re introduced to “Will Power” on the left and “Callie Stenics” on the right. I have some better pictures of Will, but the silhouette of his crotch isn’t suitable for a family friendly website like this one.
Luckily the video is cropped after the first few seconds at waist level. I don’t think that’s coincidental.
I guess the use of tanning beds isn’t a bad habit? Isn’t it illegal for minors in several states or something? Anyway, who are we to judge other people, right? Jerks.
This room is nicely themed. There isn’t really any gym equipment to speak of, but we have some trophies, photos, and a scale. Once the video concludes, the cast member standing in the room with you will hand each person a colored bracelet and you’ll continue to the next area.
This is where things start to get a little iffy. In this room, each person stands in front of one of these stations. Then you’re told to raise your arms and you’re assigned into groups based on the color of your wristband. Then you’re told to run around the room and press buttons according to your wristband color whenever you see something fall from the sky on the screens above. That doesn’t make any sense, right? The other problem is that the room is so vast and so dark that it’s difficult to hear the cast member explaining what you’re supposed to do. And after the cast member is done explaining, Callie and Will arrive on screen and tell you to do something else. The screens are also so high that it’s difficult to look up and see what’s going on above you while making sure you don’t meet one of your new best friends head on. Finally, the activity isn’t scored, so you have no idea how well your team did or didn’t do.
In the next room, you’ll be positioned in front of these shooting gizmos that look similar to the ones found on Toy Story Midway Mania. Only instead of playing fun Toy Story themed mini-games in a moving contraption, you’ll be shooting carrots and broccoli at junk food in hopes of making it disappear.
You can see we have a lot of junk food on screen. The problem again here is that the instructions aren’t particularly clear. At the time, I had no idea what I was supposed to be doing. Also like before, no scores are tabulated so you won’t know how well you did. Finally, while the screen is bright and colorful, it isn’t all that interactive. A lot of the “bad stuff” doesn’t disappear as it should or doesn’t react to your flying carrots or broccoli.
Another look at the guns. Amusingly, they are equipped with a button that you can press in case you’re too lazy to pull the draw string.
In the next room, each person stands on their own circle in front of another screen.
In front of us, we have “Lead Belly” on screen. He is a villain. I am not sure if it’s because he’s overweight or he is actually a terrible person that commits crimes. Considering his arms and legs are relatively thin, we might assume he has mitigating health concerns that have caused him to gain weight. Corticosteroids, perhaps. But this isn’t an episode of “House” so we’ll just let it go.
Will and Callie join him on screen to lead a dance that lasts a couple of minutes. Sorry about the wardrobe malfunction on Will. Hopefully that doesn’t set off your browser’s decency filters. After hopping around awkwardly with a bunch of other people that also can’t dance, Lead Belly will run through that brick wall and scamper off. Because you know, three minutes of exercise is all it takes to cure obesity.
Back out front are these “imaging scanners” that aren’t quite ready for prime time.
Despite my obvious negativity, the whole thing isn’t necessarily a colossal waste of time. If you’ve got some extra time in the afternoon, it wouldn’t be a bad choice. Since it’s right across from Sum of All Thrills, it would also be a nice activity for the younger/shorter children in your group that aren’t ready to ride that attraction. All together, expect Habit Heroes to take 15 to 20 minutes.
Construction continues on Vision House, the replacement for the House of Innoventions in Innoventions East. It is slated for an official opening on April 22nd.
Popping over to Test Track, which has a 30 minute standby wait at about 2:40pm.
With FASTPASSes about two and a half hours out. As we look toward FASTPASS window enforcement coming on March 7th, these later return times might not be so bad. As you may remember, beginning March 7th you’ll need to return within the FASTPASS window to use your FASTPASSes. You can return up to five minutes before and up to 15 minutes after, so the actual window in this instance is 5:10pm to 6:30pm. That would give you enough time to take a little break or move up through part of World Showcase.
Over to Mouse Gear where the walkway over to the Fountain is blocked off. They’re working on the Flower and Garden Festival.
In Mouse Gear, where we have a few more items sporting this picture that seems to be on everything. In this case, a puzzle.
And Popcorn Tins.
A little rich for my blood, but considering this thing is 2,760.00 calories, it isn’t necessarily a bad value per heart palpitation. Remember Habit Heroes guys?
A couple Monorail shirts that we haven’t taken a look at before:
Popular within a certain demographic.
A ton of Epcot Center and Epcot 2012 merchandise has come in over the last couple weeks:
Epcot wait times around 3pm. My guess is the Mission: Space – Orange is over exaggerated a bit, but everything else is about what we could expect for this time of day.
Checking in on the Soarin’ entrance, which is crowded as usual. A lot of people waiting to use their FASTPASSes. Just wait for this summer when Test Track is closed for refurbishment. My guess is Disney will almost be paying guests to ride Journey into Imagination instead. Over at Sunshine Seasons, the LCD monitors have been replaced.
Ariel was out meeting guests with Dracula for a brief time in the afternoon. I wouldn’t bet on seeing them again.
You can see the cast members looking on creepily in a long line. It’s training-time-of-year. Technically speaking, that’s Prince Eric with her. It’s cold so he’s rocking the cape. Well, I might add.
It was cold over the weekend here in Florida, but highs are back up to the low 80s. If you’re ever walking around Walt Disney World when it’s raining or cold and some smug kid in a polyester polo whispers, “Welcome to Florida” to you, it’s probably me.
Up through Mexico. Not a lot is going on around here until the Flower and Garden Festival starts up next month.
The Akershus Royal Banquet Hall lunch and dinner menus for no reason in particular:
With tax, lunch will run you $41.53/adult and dinner runs $46.85, if you can believe that.
The majestic Chinese gardens with an obnoxious red arrow over the top of it. Mulan may meet up here if the Dragon Acrobats are performing/performing soon/just performed.
Interestingly, her lines are longer up here than when she it meeting down on the promenade.
I think she is about as Chinese as I am, which is to say, “not very.”
Her meet times are listed on the promenade and in the Times Guide. Wait times are ordinarily less than 15 minutes, but can occasionally spike as a Reflections of China film gets out.
Race you to the top?
Popping over to the Fife and Drum Tavern out in front of the United States Pavilion.
You may remember this image pointing out the Mickey Shaped Pretzel from last month. Ignore those arrows for now and instead focus on the Frozen Red Stag Lemonade.
And a little more perspective from my Twitter feed:
It’s a pretty small cup. If you’re unfamiliar with Jim Beam Red Stag – don’t worry. I am very familiar. It’s basically Jim Beam bourbon infused with cherry syrup. If you’ve had any of the other cherry bourbons, it’s very similar to that. Evan Williams makes one that’s a little cheaper. Anyway, this was pretty good. The sourness of the frozen lemonade actually complimented the rich sweetness of the bourbon well. It had a definite “cherry bourbon” taste without what some might consider to be the unpleasant “burn” associated with sipping bourbon straight. One might argue the cherry flavoring takes a bit of the edge off the bourbon. If I were looking for one drink in Epcot, this probably wouldn’t be it. But if you’re looking for something cold around the United States, this would be a nice choice. And it’s a little manlier than those $10 Grey Goose Slushes down in France. Overall, it’s recommended.
I see a lot of weird stuff at Walt Disney World, but this was one of the weirdest. They are shooting a music video in front of the Pagoda or something.
Looks like there’s an opening in these huge crowds. Better move over to Morocco.
Aladdin and Jasmine were in their “it’s snowing in Agrabah” outfits. They flirt with each other more often than they meet with waiting children, so it’s a very authentic Meet and Greet.
Yorkshire County Fish Shop has been my “go to” spot for quick, hot, relatively inexpensive food for years.
But the portion size seemed to get smaller and smaller. Each of these strips of fish is just a few bites and the fry portion isn’t particularly large either. They might be able to get away with small fish if they load you up on less expensive fries, but that isn’t the case here either. It just was not a lot of food for $8.19. These pictures are from August.
But the fish is much longer and thicker now. This is obviously a different angle than the previous picture, but I can assure you it isn’t a camera trick and the container isn’t simply smaller. The portion size is larger and the fish is still its hot, greasy self. My only complaint is those Heinz Tartar Sauce packets are impossible to open, especially after picking a piece of fish up. Thanks to friend-of-the-site Deb for the tip on the new fish.
Pricing is the same.
Popping over to Beach Club to see if they have received their resort specific merchandise yet. You may recall that we saw a big haul over at the Yacht Club and BoardWalk Inn. I’m not sure what the delay is on the Beach Club stuff.
A new wave of flowers installed since we were here over Christmas.
See anything? There isn’t. Maybe by March?
Beautiful views almost make up for it though. With the Yacht Club a couple of minutes to our right, the BoardWalk a few minutes across the way, and Epcot five-or-so minutes to the left, it’s an excellent location.
A rare look sort of up close at a swimming pool. It was so cold that few people were swimming. I took advantage by taking off all my clothes and swimming a few laps.
Back over to Epcot – now in the Toy Soldier shop in the United Kingdom Pavilion where Winnie the Pooh and Tigger greet guests. You may recall that they had been meeting out at the International Gateway over the last month or so. The area has reopened and the characters now meet on the opposite side with Christopher Robin’s bedroom as the backdrop. It’s a neat area and a fun Meet and Greet – a serious improvement over the previous setup. Because of it’s somewhat remote/not obvious location, waits are rarely longer than ten or fifteen minutes.
Anyone want to get wet?
Over here at the Art of Disney Store, the 40th anniversary merchandise is still widely available.
Along with the train merchandise we’ve taken a look at previously.
And a wide variety of art in many different styles.
Something for everyone…….with a couple hundred dollars in their pocket.
A little out there.
There is a very obvious not-family-friendly-website-joke I could make here, but I’ll refrain considering where this post went previously.
And these light box things.
Don’t buy one unless you’re prepared to buy 100.
Or a Coal Miner Train:
Or a Spirit Ship:
We’ve been in here a lot. The store is located on the right as you pass Spaceship Earth and is one of the more interesting shops you can visit.
It will continue.