We head out to Epcot on a Tuesday with evening Extra Magic Hours.
Above is a chart showing the overall average wait time for each day so far in June across ten Epcot attractions. The Park hosts evening Extra Magic Hours on Tuesdays and those days are highlighted in orange. Thursdays with a morning Extra Magic Hour attached are highlighted in a color that seems to resemble yellow. For years, the advice was to avoid the Park hosting Extra Magic Hours because Disney resort guests just couldn’t help themselves from heading there in droves because they felt like it was Disney’s way of telling them where to go each day, even if they had no intention of taking advantage of the EMH.
In the FastPass+ era, it has become far less important to choose which day you visit a specific Park based on whether it’s hosting Extra Magic Hours or because it’s a certain day of the week that’s “always less busy.” When you have 100% of the available FastPass+ experiences being distributed for the majority of the attractions during each time slot every day, the same small amount of capacity is given to standby regardless of whether you’re visiting Epcot when there’s 28,000 people in the Park or 33,000 people in the Park.
Complicating things further, when Disney is expecting higher attendance, they ramp up staffing and capacity, which can actually decrease wait times and increase FastPass+ availability. We’ve all been to the grocery store during a peak time when it’s busy, but the wait to check out is nominal because eight registers are operating. We’ve probably all been to that same grocery store when it’s less busy during an off-peak time, only to wait longer to check out because only two registers are operating. Your day at a Disney theme park isn’t that much different. If you’re the 1,000th person in line at Space Mountain and both sides of the ride are operating, then you’re going to wait less than if you’re the 750th person in line and only one side is operating. So even if you could somehow guarantee that you’re visiting on a day with lower attendance, it could very well slow you down more than visiting on a day with much higher attendance. The trick is to visit on a day with lower-than-expected attendance, when capacity is ramped up, but the people don’t materialize. Of course, you can’t really do that until you know what staffing is going to look like, which isn’t typically available more than two weeks out.
We drop by Disney Springs on the morning of June 17, 2018 for something that isn’t a 2,500 word French Toast review.
Though if you did miss said review, you might want to check out Maria & Enzo’s brunch, which I think will prove to be the best of the Sunday morning meals at Disney Springs. Endless Mimosas and Bellinis for $15 plus all the large shrimp you can eat. Say no more. Okay, please, 2,500 more words about French Toast would be great.
We continue our walk around World Showcase at Epcot with a review of Restaurant Marrakesh, the unheralded table service eatery in the back of the Morocco Pavilion.
For a much broader look at what’s happening around Morocco, including a look at the cultural exhibit, menus, and merchandise, see this post. If you missed Japan, here’s a fresh review of Teppan Edo, along with a look inside Mitsukoshi Department Store here. A general update of everything else going on around the Japan Pavilion, including the construction of a new restaurant, is available in this post.
Restaurant Marrakesh is my second favorite Epcot restaurant to visit for lunch when I’m in the mood to sit down and relax a bit, don’t have a reservation, and don’t want to spend an inordinate amount of money on a forgettable meal. Below is look at both the lunch and dinner menus – I’ve added the dinner price next to the lunch price for the sake of comparison:
Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante opened back in January of this year in The Landing section of Disney Springs across from STK.
Brunch debuted here back on Easter Sunday and has continued being served each Sunday since, though the current buffet/entree hybrid service is a major departure from what was initially offered. Originally, the meal was buffet-only with a made-to-order omelet station, carving station with NY strip steak, and a number of entree-esque choices like braised chicken breast, lasagna, and stuffed meatballs, in addition to about 15 charcuterie selections and a number of salads and antipasti. Currently, brunch service is similar to the setup at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, where there’s a buffet of cold dishes to enjoy in front of the hot entrees being delivered to the table. These pictures are from June 17, 2018, so it should be a fresh look at what you can currently expect to see.
Our walk around Disney’s Art of Animation Resort continues with an update covering what’s going on outside Landscape of Flavors. In Part 1, we took a good look at the quick service and what it’s currently offering, including a detailed review of a very large meatball.
The Disney Skyliner will make a stop at a station in between Pop Century and Art of Animation, which is a smart move considering Pop has 2,880 guest rooms and Art of Animation has 1,120 family suites and 864 standard rooms. That means there’s more guest rooms in just the Little Mermaid section of Art of Animation than there are in the entire Polynesian Village Resort near Magic Kingdom. Perhaps they should have just picked up and airdropped the current monorail system over here and forgotten about the whole gondola thing. The yuppies staying at the Poly can walk.