We continue from the previous news update.
It turned out to be a pretty light news weekend, but I would guess Disney is banking on a little time passing to let the news of the blackened fish debuting at the Festival Favorites Holiday Kitchen ruminate. Bringing new fish to a Festival and instantly crowning it a Favorite isn’t the sort of bombshell you should be able to drop on someone without warning. There should be a law against it. It would be like McDonald’s coming out with a Classics menu featuring Steak Alfredo, Wonton Soup, and an ice cream machine that works. It’s just not what you would expect. It’s possible that the company will never make another announcement because nothing will ever be so huge. The only thing more positive would be Disney guaranteeing everyone who visits Hollywood Studios a good time, and that would cost several hundred million dollars per hour in bribes. Even at 25% capacity.
The only news we have to pass on is a newborn rhinoceros:
We continue from the previous update.
If you have a spare $150,000, know someone who can tolerate you, and aren’t married, then I have good news, because Disney is offering weddings once again. Based on what are either some very menacing clouds, or a batch of very bad Lightroom preset edits, Disney may also be using the photoshoot as a test for a Disney+ series to go up against Netflix’s “The Haunting of Hill House.” I don’t think anybody really knows what goes on beyond those strangely lit gates. We may soon find out.
It was around the first week in September when I was standing in front of Cinderella Castle in the early afternoon after basically walking on each attraction I had visited all morning. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train? Walked on twice without even having the opportunity to throw a single elbow. Peter Pan’s Flight? I counted three other people in the entire queue and I can count a lot higher than that. To at least ten. Space Mountain? Everyone had either fallen out of their rocketships and entered orbit or I was the only one already on the phone with my chiropractor as I crashed back into my front row seat for the seventh time in as many seconds. The joyful laughs and giddy woohoos entirely absent as I embarked on my mission alone in the dark. Frontierland? Exactly what the name suggests – just me, wide open spaces, and a quaint saloon with apple juice as the featured cocktail of the day.
The lower half of my face was not quite contorting into a smile, but the few people in the vicinity did get to enjoy the rare glow of my half-smirk, at least as they passed me on their way to their next walk-on attraction. Was touring really going to be this easy? Even without character meets to occupy the families and weird bloggers that just need a quick picture to prove they were there, stage shows to absorb the thousands of extra parkgoers ready for a break from the long lines and sun, and with most attractions running at severely limited capacities?
Editor’s Note: What you see below is sort of bad because we are still a day behind the news and the wait time analysis is pretty generic. But another thing I was doing took longer than I was expecting, so we will call this getting caught up for now and then with the next update, we’ll actually be caught up. More or less.
We have a date for the expected reopening of the first of the All-Star Resorts, which will be the All-Star Movies on February 9th, 2021. If memory serves, all of the rooms at the resort are now refurbished with the “clean” or “sterile” look that you see above, and with many more pictures in this post. Few things have been quite as divisive as the new look of many of Disney’s newly-refurbished resort rooms.
Mark Winters here, the developer of RideMax — a planning app designed to help folks spend less time in line at Walt Disney World and Disneyland.
Josh’s note: Mark and I go back seven or eight years, in large part because we both live in Orlando and frequent the Parks ourselves to see how things actually look on the ground, in addition to crunching all of the collected wait time data. We may see more easyWDW rolled into RideMax as the future unfolds. Stay tuned.
The backstory for this post is that I’ve been something of an “easyWDW fanboi” for a long time now. To me, Josh always seems to know how to balance his in-depth knowledge of the parks with just the right amount of “I don’t take myself too seriously” snark.
As an easyWDW fan, when Josh recently suggested that I create a RideMax plan for both of us to try out at Epcot, I was all over it!
With recent changes to crowd patterns due to all of the social-distancing standards, entertainment changes, and more, it’s been fascinating to see how much change has also come to “optimal touring strategies” as a result.
I’ve been doing RideMax for almost twenty(!) years now, and I’ve never seen plans like those it’s producing with no FastPass+, shorter hours, no nighttime entertainment, and so much else.
It makes ZERO sense to use a 2019 touring plan in 2020!
Josh will give the play-by-play of how our “RideMax day” at Epcot unfolded, but I thought it might be helpful to know what went into planning the day in the first place.
First, I’ll cover important tips for getting the most from RideMax during the planning phase, then I’ll give some advice for actually using those plans in the park — especially as it comes to adjusting on-the-fly for unforeseen events.
Let’s begin at the end with the RideMax plan we used for Epcot, which I’ve copied below, and which you can find in the RideMax app itself.
(Apple users can follow along by downloading the RideMax app from the iOS app store. The Android version is still in beta officially, mainly because we haven’t navigated the Google Play Store approval process just yet. In the meantime, you can install it here.)
Note that if you’re not ready to buy a RideMax membership, you can still login to the app as a guest, where you’ll find our plan listed as one of the free samples as of October, 2020.
With that housekeeping out of the way, here is the RideMax plan we used to tour Epcot, broken into several screen shots:
We’ll start the day at Frozen Ever After, then hang around World Showcase for a while.