A brief visit to Epcot on the Saturday of Marathon Weekend. There is really nothing of any consequence in this update, so you’re welcome to skip it should you have more pressing matters. It’s otherwise 10:48am with nominal waits for the most part. Both Soarin’ and Test Track have 40 minute posted waits with legacy FASTPASS only out to 12:55pm – 1:55pm at both. Spaceship Earth has a 20 minute wait and it’s the only other attraction over 10 minutes. This website had Epcot as “tentatively recommended” with a note about how the morning marathon could delay transportation before 10am. TouringPlans had Epcot as the highest crowd level that day.
At Fountain View $bux, flan has replaced peppermint.
Over the holidays, Promenade Refreshments was serving cocoas, teas, and waffles. It’s now yet another outlet for the meatball sub that’s best skipped, particularly at Epcot, where a flurry of sort-of-authentic, mostly-deep-fried items await.
Promenade also picked up the Bacardi Mojito, which is a decent frozen beverage if you’re in the market. I think the Torontopolitan at the Canada Cart is a little more interesting, but the mojito is sweeter.
La Cava del Tequila inside the pyramid doesn’t open until noon, so if you’re looking for a margarita at a more reasonable hour like 11am, you’ll need to hit up La Cantina outside.This is their relatively new “Lime Pomegranate Frozen Tequila Mojito” for $11.50.
Referring to what is their regular Frozen Lime Margarita with a Pomegranate Liqueur Floater as a “Mojito” is probably a bit of a stretch. It’s possible that there is nothing mojito about it. This sucker also runs 25 cents more than if you simply purchased the Lime Margarita with said Liqueur Floater. Anyway, the smart money remains heading inside to La Cava. The frozen margaritas will suffice if you want to save about $6 and don’t want to wait in line inside. The wait for La Cava at 12:15pm looked to be at least 25 minutes and we ended up bailing. Outside, the Mango is smoother and creamier and the Lime has a more pronounced tequila flavor.
Cast members and their guests are still basically ineligible for FastPass+. We wanted Soarin’ FASTPASSes for around 4pm, so we walked all the way from Mexico to the Land Pavilion to pick up FASTPASSes like it’s 2004. Standby was 60 minutes.
FASTPASS out to just 3:55pm – 4:55pm.
Back up to Mexico.
Buoys on the water.
“The Frozen Ride” had a 5-minute posted wait. The Frozen Character Meet and Greet had a wait quoted as two to two-and-a-half hours. There is no magical time to get in line for Anna and Elsa that results in a short wait. They don’t start meeting until 11am and people head up there first thing in the morning. Arrive at 9am and you’re waiting two hours. Arrive at 10am and you’re waiting two hours, Arrive at 11am and you’re waiting two hours. Arrive at 12pm and you’re waiting two hours. You get the idea. The only way to potentially alleviate that wait is to get in line around 6:30pm, but you risk the line being cut off before you arrive. This is the reason characters almost never meet in pairs – the interaction time skyrockets. I figure if you’re going to wait 2.5 hours anyway, it might as well be from around 11am to around 1:30pm. Then everyone can enjoy the major Future World attractions first.
Africa Cool Post offers a couple wines in addition to the beer. King Estate Acrobat is a pretty decent pinot noir out of Oregon. A bottle runs $19. The J Vineyards Pinot Gris is a $14 bottle and the serving size is the same, so the smart money is on the noir.
Via Napoli is one of the most popular restaurants in the World Showcase and one of the harder reservations to snag. We did not have a reservation because the only ones available were 11:30am and 8:30pm. I asked at the podium at 1:25pm if they were taking walkups. They were and we were quoted a ten-minute wait. Our name was called two minutes later. It never hurts to ask.
These pictures are sort of lousy with the whole drink around the world thing going on. Disney has an updated text menu here:
I am not a $36 beer person and wine pricing at these kinds of places is rather absurd. The cocktails I’ve ordered here have also been on the weak (tasty?) side.
Napoli does offer one good value though: The $20 pitcher of sangria, which produced six nice size glasses. I’m assuming it’s some kind of cheap bottled sangria from Spain that they buy by the gallon, but it was refreshing without being too sweet, which is often the case.
This is a pretty lousy picture of the Mezzo Metro Quattro Formaggi, a delicious white pizza with mozzarella, parmesan, fontina, and provolone – $41. They are advertised as serving “3 – 5” but a pizza here will easily feed four hungry adults with the possibility of a slice or two or more leftover.
$41 for a pizza might initially sound like a rough price point, but we really are talking about enough food for four people to share. And not like the Cosmic Ray’s Chicken and Ribs combo is enough for two people to share. But actually enough for four people to share. I hope this is clear.
If I remember how ratios work, that comes out to $10.25 per person, which is just 25 cents more than a much lower quality quick service flatbread or pizza. A pitcher of sangria, a Moretti, two glasses of wine, and a Mezzo Metro came out to $86 with tax and we left just as full as we would have had we eaten most anywhere else. Biergarten lunch, which I also enjoy, would have been over $25 more and that doesn’t include any alcohol. Via Napoli remains highly recommended, though the service I’ve experienced has always been somewhere between lousy and indifferent.
Not quite a ghost town up here looking toward the Japan Pavilion, but these are some of the lowest crowds we’ll see in 2k14.
The Sake Bar outside the Japan Pavilion has a mostly new menu with a clearer look at what sakes are available and fewer cocktails. Compare the above with the old menu:
No more Amasake Mists and most of the Cocktails are no longer available.
I gave the $12.95 Sake Flight a shot.
Unlike the service you’ll likely receive in Italy, the Japanese cast members are among the nicest people that probably exist in the world. Your three sakes are placed on this helpful diagram with the cast member explaining a bit about each as they’re poured from the bottle. The sweetest sake is on the right and it was recommended to finish with that one.
The regular pour is about four ounces, so three 2oz samples around this price point is a decent value. The nigori is only about $7 for 750ml at the store, so I would shy away from ordering the larger cup for $7.98. The “Beautiful Boy” is around $22 and the Daiginjyo runs around $28, making them better values here. Anyway, it was fun to try each individually – the differences in flavors and smoothness are interesting and obvious.
Spice Road Table had soft opened that afternoon, but the website is planning to give them a few days to get their act together before trying it.
The early word has not been particularly positive as far as prices, quality, and portion size are concerned. At least among those that actually paid for their food when the restaurant was actually serving real guests. Demand has been low, with only a handful of tables occupied at any given time, including the hour leading up to IllumiNations. The fact that it isn’t on the Dining Plan and doesn’t (currently?) accept Tables in Wonderland isn’t helping.
A juice bar that doesn’t serve juice sits to the right of the new complex.
The “Slushies,” which have historically been some of the worst mixed drinks in World Showcase, have migrated over. Your 10 bucks buys you about three quarters of an ounce of Ron Carlos Caribbean Rum underneath the non-alcoholic sugar-bomb of a slush.
France has been offering a shot of vodka over their mixed drinks for a while now. $17 with tax.
A $13 Kir Royale may not be much better.
Fortunately, the Canada Cart is still offering Unibroue Trois Pistoles, La Fun Du Monde, and Cherry Ephemere.
The January and February Crowd Calendars were updated with the minor operating schedule changes. May should follow shortly along with the preview of the August Crowd Calendar.