We’re headed back out to Epcot to check on the Land Pavilion after 9pm. You may remember from the original post back on April 16th that the Land Pavilion continues to operate until 10pm along with Character Spot. The first night was particularly amusing because management basically instructed cast members to lie to guests’ faces about whether or not they’d be able to watch Circle of Life at 9:45pm. The “real answer” was “yes.” The supplied answer was “If you come back after 9pm, you might be able to get on the rides.”
We returned again on April 19th, where cast members were at least allowed to let guests know that the Land Pavilion would be operating through 10pm when pressed. There was still no mention of the extended close on the Times Guide.
It was a similar story on May 12th, when there was still no mention of the 10pm closure on the Times Guide, though the sign at Character Spot noted that the real close at that particular attraction was 10pm. Few people noticed that.
From mid-April through about two weeks ago, Soarin’ wasn’t offering FASTPASSes from 9pm to 10pm. Soarin’ wait times were also ten minutes or less from 9pm – 10pm and the Land Pavilion was basically a ghost town. For a solid six weeks, you could have ridden Soarin’ with empty seats all around you because so few people knew you could even ride.
Disney now distributes FASTPASSes at Soarin’ for the 9pm – 10pm timeframe and notes the 10pm closure at Soarin’, Living with the Land, and Circle of Life on the Epcot Times Guide. It’s still not particularly obvious as it’s only one line under Attractions – Special Hours. Nonetheless, the 9pm – 10pm FASTPASS returners have caused standby wait times to be considerably longer, though we won’t see waits longer than about 25 minutes, which includes the initial wait, the time it takes to watch the preshow, and the time it takes to load the ride. Living with the Land continues to operate virtually empty from 8pm through 10pm. Circle of Life sees maybe 30 people from 9pm to 10pm. Character Spot lines also continue to be short. Come 9:40pm, only one or two groups are waiting.
The current state of the Test Track refurbishment. I had erroneously mentioned that the Agent P World Showcase Adventure wouldn’t open until the 24th. With training beginning today, we should see it open much sooner than that, though the 24th may still end up being the “official” opening date. It’s early still, but it’s going to be tough to get Test Track open by December and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if it gets pushed back. There’s some good news to start us off right, right?
The other side. Sorry it’s bright, ISO 6400 =[
After waiting about three minutes, I was on Spaceship Earth. The “Rome is burning” scent is as strong as ever.
The temperature inside Spaceship Earth was still on the warm side, but nowhere near as hot as it had been a few weeks ago, where it seemed like the air-conditioning was completely off. It was hotter inside the ride than it was outside.
Working a never-ending crossword puzzle. Six across is Cronkite.
Looking forward to renting the 35mm F1.4L lens.
At first I was like.
And then I was pretty much just like that.
I am not really much of a Spaceship Earth historian as I was nine years old when Jeremy Irons replaced Walter Cronkite as the narrator. Supposedly a bunch of stuff isn’t working or the descent looks terrible or the newsboy doesn’t say what he used to say or whatever else. I’m honestly too dense to notice these sorts of things. If you have something in particular on Spaceship Earth that you’d like me to look out for or videotape, feel free to post a comment saying so.
Wait times at 8:17pm with most of the Future World attractions closed for the day. Other wait times are about what we can expect from this time of day when Epcot is recommended.
Test Track on the ground. The Test Track All Star a capella group perseveres! Honestly didn’t think they were going to make it this long.
Oh my goshhhhhhhh these tank tops are the cutest!
Would you look at that!
They come in packs of two so you get one blue and one pink tank.
I hope they come in adult sizes!!
Phineas and Ferb merchandise has moved further inside the store, but it’s still located in one of the most prominent locations in Mouse Gear. Amusingly, Phineas and Ferb seem to be much less popular now that they have a million different souvies (kill me) for sale.
Brave merchandise has invaded Epcot.
With the yellow/green plastic, it reminds me a lot of Shrek’s wife.
The sleeves are longer than most of the other dresses, yes? Definitely suitable for Florida.
No clue if these are new, but they’re awfully cute! The Mickey-hand-one is $11.95.
Agent P work.
I can’t believe I forgot to take a picture from the sky! Oh well, the walls should be down by the end of the week.
At 8:34pm, the posted wait time is 35 minutes. Note the 9am – 10pm operating hours. The 10pm closure here is still not listed on the Times Guide.
That looks to be in the 20 minute range. Since you get to meet Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, and Donald, even a 20 minute wait isn’t bad. Over at Magic Kingdom, you can expect to wait about 20 minutes for Goofy at the front of the Park and that’s in the blazing sun. This meet is continuous and air-conditioned. Not a bad deal.
Heading up to the Land Pavilion to check on crowds and have dinner at Sunshine Seasons.
At 8:38pm, the Land Pavilion isn’t too busy.
With a total of probably 17 people on Living with the Land, if that.
Don’t judge me, I was hungry! This is the Togarashi Seared Tuna Noodle Salad, Chicken Pot Pie Soup, and a FOUNTAIN BEVERAGE. You’re looking at $18.40 worth.
I don’t know why I didn’t remove the plasticware pre-picture either. No one ever said I was good at this. I am not a connoisseur of seared tuna. In fact, this is my first known experience. It was refreshingly chilled. The noodles were just what I was hoping they’d be with a slight peanut taste. The tuna appeared to be cooked perfectly with a well-spiced crust around it. Despite the salad name, there isn’t a whole lot of salad-stuff involved. We have a nice little onion/carrot/cucumber topping, but it’s really more of a noodle bowl without the bowl than it is a salad. Overall, this was a nice change of pace and an excellent choice if you’re in the market. It’s a great example of why Sunshine Seasons is heralded as the top theme park quick service on property. Much fresher, seemingly healthier food than you’ll find anywhere else at Epcot.
To give you an idea on cup sizing.
The Chicken Pot Pie Soup ($4.49) was good, but not necessarily an excellent value at $4.49. I’d take the Clam Chowder or Chili over at Columbia Harbour House any day. It was hearty, but I’m not sure it was much better than your garden variety Progresso or Campbell’s Select. It’s full of what you’d probably expect – chicken, celery, and carrots. I’m not telling you that you shouldn’t order it, but it doesn’t come with my “Yes, order the soup” recommendation like the soups over at Columbia Harbour House. Fine, but nothing special.
While I was eating dinner prior to 9pm, the posted wait time at Soarin’ was 60 minutes. Here at 9:03pm, the posted wait has dropped to 25 minutes.
Remember that Soarin’ is an easy line to actually gauge yourself. If it looks too long, you can simply turn around and exit in the same direction. The walkway is that wide.
Including the preshow, it’ll be about 20 minutes from here until you board.
The posted wait has dropped an additional 10 minutes.
At 9:10pm, no one is arriving from IllumiNations yet.
Four minutes later.
The posted wait time has dropped to 5 minutes, which is really too low. It’s hard to say whether dropping the wait time to 5 minutes is a “conspiracy” to get everyone that arrives from IllumiNations to get in line. But the walk/wait until the preshow actually begins is probably around 15 minutes at the moment, if not a bit higher.
At 9:18pm, people begin arriving from IllumiNations.
Unlike before, the majority of them have FASTPASSes and will take priority over those in the standby line.
A 5 minute bump in wait times.
More people arriving at 9:25pm. I didn’t count, but it seemed like about 300 people streamed in after IllumiNations. I’ll try to count next time to the nearest one tenth of a person.
Two minutes later, the incoming crowds died down as most everyone leaving IllumiNations and heading to the Land Pavilion had arrived.
Another 5 minute bump in the posted wait.
By 9:34pm, everyone from IllumiNations should have arrived.
From here, you’re looking at a 30 minute total wait/ride time. The good news is that there shouldn’t be more than a handful of FASTPASS users arriving between now and 10pm, so the standby wait is shorter than it would have been 20 minutes ago given a similar length of line.
At 9:36pm, the standby wait is bumped up to 20 minutes, which is the time it would take you to arrive at the preshow video if you got in line now.
No one incoming at this point.
Virtually no one rode Living with the Land to the point where they’re just holding boats here. Remember, it’s a lot of fun in the dark!
You could watch Circle of Life by yourself.
At 9:44pm, there’s just one group waiting to head into Character Spot.
Along with Mouse Gear and the Art of Disney Store, the Camera Center and Gateway Gifts also operate until at least 10pm should you be looking for any end-of-the-night merchandise.
Waiting to cram into the Monorail. Hoping this isn’t the transportation system of tomorrow.
So what does it mean? The Land Pavilion isn’t the picnic that it was in April or most of May, mostly due to people using FASTPASSes at Soarin’ with return times after 9pm. That pushes standby waits up to 30 minutes at 9:30pm when waits are longest. If you’re willing to give up seeing IllumiNations that night, you can do very well if you arrive at Soarin’ around 8:45pm. You should be able to ride once and then get in line again before people begin showing up at 9:20pm. If you are seeing IllumiNations and have plans to head to the Land Pavilion after, I would ride Living with the Land first. Around 9:50pm, get in line for Soarin’. Remember, you can get in line for any of the attractions right up until 10pm.
If you’re planning to do Soarin -> Living with the Land -> Character Spot, then you’re probably not going to have time to watch IllumiNations. There simply isn’t enough time. You’ll have time for two of the three. You might be able to do Character Spot, then Living with the Land, then Soarin’, but you’re going to be pushing it unless you scamper to Character Spot from IllumiNations very quickly.
Without IllumiNations, you should be able to get in line for Soarin’ around 8:45pm with a total wait/ride time of around 30 minutes. That’s not bad considering it takes about 20 minutes with FASTPASS. Then head to Living with the Land and then over to Character Spot around 9:40pm. If you’re planning to do either Character Spot or Living with the Land along with Soarin’, I wouldn’t get in line for Soarin’ first after 9:20pm. It can be difficult to gauge exactly how long it’s going to take and you run the risk of disembarking close to or after 10pm, when it will be too late to visit another attractions. By doing Living with the Land or Character Spot first, you guarantee that you’ll be able to get in line for Soarin after, when lines are shorter anyway.