The website would take a moment to introduce two very important additions to the easywdw.com syndicate.
The first is Steven Miller, a master’s graduate in Data Science, and someone who is far too intelligent to have had to work with me over the last six months. Steven is the brains behind the backend portion of the wait times charts and set up the mechanisms, databases, scripts, and more that allow us to store and access the data so easily. I can grab one of those wait times charts for any day of the week and for any attractions I want in about 30 seconds. Once we finish up with one project, I send him out on what I’m certain is another boondoggle, and he always comes through with a solution. Should you be looking for someone with a background in Data Science and Analytics, I would not hesitate to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He’s a really great guy and will work with you to get your project completed.
The website has also hired Alex Westcott as its first correspondent. You’ll know it’s him in the Parks because he will introduce himself with, “Hi, I’m Alex Westcott,” in Michael Eisner’s voice, whereas I always deny who I am, despite it being very obvious that it’s me. As an experienced photographer, former cast member, and actual Disney expert, he’ll be taking over for some of the picture-taking that I don’t have the time for, particularly with the whole one-park-per-day thing. There’s also the fact that I would much rather be at home. When they’re Alex’s pictures, I’ll make a note at the top and bottom of the posts. Alex is also a designer, and you can check out his work, most of which is theme-park-related, on RedBubble here.
The pictures in the following post are mostly Alex’s with one of mine occasionally thrown in from the vault to add a little past context.
You can pull up the previous version of this post here.
The Taste of Epcot International Food and Wine Festival 2020, which started on July 15th, now has an official end date of November 22nd, 2020.
A reduced version of the Festival of the Holidays will take over on November 27th, so Epcot will not be lonely for long. I wrote about half of the booth reviews for the Taste of Festival, but the thought of having to face Italy again gave me more pause than usual. I also write the reviews in Italian, and my Italian is not very good, though the one nice thing about it is that you can avoid having to learn any positive words when it comes to the booth reviews. “Non è morto,” roughly translated to, “didn’t die,” is about as close as I’ve gotten in the past couple of years.
The lone Wolfgang Puck Express at Disney Springs has apparently closed permanently as of about two weeks ago. Nobody actually noticed that it was closed for about ten days. Living alone as a complete recluse myself, it would take 6-8 weeks, or approximately the amount of time it takes to receive that infrared roasting ShamWow from the late night television infomercial, until someone might notice something nefarious happened to me. Not that that is necessarily an invitation to come get rid of me. *wink wink* I’m just saying you could probably get away with it.
I had to go pretty far back in the archive just to find a picture of the front of the building. There were approximately six exact turns that you had to make in quick succession in order to get over to this corner. The roundabout walkway made more sense in the Downtown Disney days (swoon), when you actually had to set out to find something to eat that didn’t come with a 45-minute wait to be seated. Or eat at Portobello where there was never a wait (shudder).
Since Disney Springs became Disney Springs, and added ~400 new dining establishments, I think the only people that really bothered to try to get over to wherever here is were those headed to that restroom on the left before arriving at the quick service. One wrong turn and you’d be more liable to end up at Universal than somewhere back at the Springs, and that’s where the trouble really starts. Nobody in this picture, or the person so exquisitely capturing the scene, is destined for the Express at this time. Poor Wolfgang Express was in such an awkward location that when it did operate, it was the one instance where they didn’t choose me last at kickball. Hey, you take any win over an inanimate object you can get. A second Wolfgang Puck Express used to be attached to the old Wolfgang Puck Café where Jaleo now takes up residence in a building that’s supposed to resemble an artichoke. Of all the things to be replaced by, I think an artichoke building would be on the offensive side of the spectrum. But at least it’s not a rutabaga, the scourge of the urban foraging world.
We pick up our morning at Disney’s Animal Kingdom after a bit of a rocky start in Pandora. You can pull up Part One for our arrival experience to Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey here. Part Two followed here with a much easier time visiting the Asia and DinoLand attractions.
So far, this is how our day has shaped up:
- An 8:25am arrival at the toll plaza with the parking lot opening at 8:30am, which is standard for a day with a 9am open. There were about 20 vehicles there before us. Disney buses enter on the other side, and I think the fact that so many guests arrived from the Disney resorts before the parking lot opened was a major factor in why we were behind so many people to start the day. Part One covers that.
- Avatar – Flight of Passage – 9:01am – 10:06am
- Na’vi River Journey – 10:08am – 10:49am
- Kali River Rapids – 11:06am – 11:33am
- Expedition Everest: 11:42am – 11:57am
- TriceraTop Spin: 12:06pm – 12:13pm
- DINOSAUR: 12:16pm – 12:35pm
That leaves Kilimanjaro Safaris as the only ride that we haven’t experienced. It should be easy enough to get over there either now or after lunch.
It’s been about three months since the first Walt Disney World theme parks reopened to guests on July 11th, 2020. A lot has changed since then, as crowds and wait times have steadily increased, so I thought we would take a look back at what used to be true along with the current climate.
Our chart of daily average wait times at each Park’s key attractions offers insight into what crowds and wait times are like from day to day and week to week. Here’s the chart for Disney’s Animal Kingdom:
The chart provides a daily average in each box, a weekly average in the far right column, and shows us how long waits are on average for each day of the week along the bottom row. That can help us identify specific days of the week that are routinely less crowded.
Here’s the same information in a line chart, which may make the weekly increases more obvious: