Not a whole lot to this one either. I wish there was more drama to bring in the big traffic numbers!
Arriving at 6:40pm, Spaceship Earth continues to be a walk-on.
Prior to Test Track’s closure, there had been some concern that it would put additional pressure on Mission: Space due to its proximity to Test Track. The assumption being that people would arrive at Test Track, throw up their arms after they realized it was being “renewed” and huff over to Mission: Space as a substitute. That doesn’t appear to be true. Without Test Track, fewer people even venture over to that side of Future World and wait times are even lower than before. 5 minutes at Green and 10 minutes at Orange is the shortest posted wait you’ll see. FASTPASSes are still plentiful with return times that are 35 to 40 minutes in the future.
The Universe of Energy Pavilion in Innoventions East across from Test Track.
Another attractive building.
Along with Innoventions East/West, Journey into Imagination with Figment, and Captain EO, the Universe of Energy closes at 7pm. That means you’ll be admitted into the building through 7pm to board the last ride vehicles of the evening. I entered the building around 6:50pm.
Sliding doors. So next level. I can’t imagine being here when that extended queue(?) off to the right is necessary. Ellen’s Energy Adventure is virtually always a walk-on thanks to a high capacity and pretty low popularity. Funny how that always seems to be how it works! If only Toy Story Midway Mania could push through 2,5000 people an hour like Big Thunder Mountain Railroad instead of the 900 or so it does now.
The attraction begins with a brief eight minute video preshow featuring Ellen DeGeneres (as Ellen), Bill Nye (as Bill Nye), Jamie Lee Curtis (as Judy), and Alex Trebek (as Alex Trebek). There are some seats along the back here and then guests are expected to fill in the standing room only section in the middle of the theater. Guests usually stream in throughout the preshow.
The screens are large enough and high enough that those sitting in the back should be able to see over the heads of those standing in front, unless the attraction is extremely crowded. Which is rare.
At least Ellen is still relevant and looks relatively the same. This video is going on 16 years old.
There are two doors from the preshow area to the vehicle loading zone. One on each side of this podium.
Door two. There isn’t much of an advantage to either.
In the loading zone, you’ll find three sets of vehicles. The best seats are the front row of the middle car, but it probably isn’t necessary to get these seats. Most of the attraction takes place on video monitors high in the air so that everyone has a good vantage point. If you find yourself in the vehicles on the left or right, try to sit as close to the center as possible. If the kids might be scared of the dinosaurs, seat them on the inside of the row. If you want to be front and center, line up right in front of the door and hurry in to snag your spots.
It’s actually six total vehicles, each of which holds about 100 people.
I was the only person sitting in about six rows around me. I’m that popular.
Looking ahead, these curtains will give way to more movie screens.
Prehistoric times don’t seem so bad. Sunny…blue…
It can always be worse. This film lasts another 6 minutes.
Then you’ll proceed through the original dinorama.
Ellen’s Energy Adventure is much, much tamer than DINOSAUR over at Animal Kingdom. The vehicles gently glide through the dioramas and the dinosaurs don’t move much at all. There aren’t any startling moments. Still, the attraction is dark and there’s no way to exit midway. This seated portion lasts about 40 minutes, so keep that in mind if you have a squirmy one because it’s going to feel like 40 hours.
Moving through into the next area. The dinosaur animatronic part is only about seven minutes long. The rest is videos.
I’m trying to get my head around image editing among the 42,319.4 other things I have going on right now.
This is the original.
Just chillin’. For about 16 years now.
The water feature. Ellen appears in animatronic form on the left in between the scene above with the dinosaurs and this geyser.
After this, it’s another 15 minutes of video. It’s not as creepy as it looks here.
Underwater power. There is one shark on screen during this part!
Nuclear power. Luckily it’s still controversial as stated in the film!
Power of we’re all gonna die!
Sean Connery: We meet again, Trebek. I noticed you weren’t able to sit down during the break. What’s wrong sweetie, did you have a date last night?
Alex Trebek: Thank you, Mr. Connery. Now let’s take a look at the categories for Double Jeopardy. They are: Potent Potables, Drummers Named Ringo, States that Begin with Californ, Richard Nixon, The Number After Two, Famous Kareem Abdul-Jabbars, and finally, Don’t Do Anything.
I won’t ruin the end.
Ellen’s Energy Adventure isn’t going to be a “must do” for most people, particularly if you only have one day at Epcot or it’s your first trip. The whole process takes about 45 minutes. It is an excellent way to get off your feet in air-conditioned darkness during the afternoon heat or one of Florida’s famous downpours. Otherwise, it’s a perfectly pleasant, entertaining diversion. Visit sometime in the late morning, afternoon, or evening. There’s no hurry to get here in the morning and I’ll tackle you myself if you visit before 10am.
Where’s Kevin Yee at? You can’t really tell, but the sliding doors at Electric Umbrella aren’t shutting all the way. There’s a little crack between them! TRIP ADVISORY! If you would like to experience Electric Umbrella in the way it was originally designed, you may want to delay or cancel your vacation entirely. SHUT IT DOWN!
A few shirts that seemed new:
Can’t they find something nice to say about Donald? Nice bow tie maybe?
Some good looking nondescript jackets.
Just a little logo.
And nothing on the back. They come in blue and orange as pictured.
Disney is selling these ridiculous “Men’s Lounge Pants.” I call them party pants. Perhaps even more wacky than the designs is the fact that the inseam is like 36″ long. At 6’2″, I’m a relatively tall drink of water, but they’re too long for me to wear. Not the best pictures. The lighting was really weird:
Coming to an outlet near you.
I received a “tweet” asking if the adult Hawaiian shirts we saw a few days ago came in kids’ sizes. I’m happy to report that they do! For $29.95.
And baby sizes for that matter. Also $29.95.
Some other kids’ items in the vicinity:
Similar to what’s available for adults.
Some new (mostly, I think) Perry items:
Just as long as the others.
The bag is the cream of the crop. We’ve gone from virtually no Phineas and Ferb merchandise to seeing it everywhere. It fills an entire section of Mouse Gear.
The Pixie Hallow Fairy Garden seems to close at 7pm.
These kind-of-new signs are something to get excited for!
“The Fountain’s” under appreciated cousin, the Imagination Pavilion Fountain. I was messing around with the in-camera HDR function.
The Imagination Pavilion. A great use of space, right?
The Fountain is pretty though.
It really pops at night.
The Hotel Frontenac in the Canada Pavilion. Le Cellier sits underneath. Whenever I see someone trying to walk up to get a table for four at Le Cellier for 8 or 8:30pm, I always think of that scene from American Psycho when Patrick Bateman calls Dorsia for an 8pm reservation and the gentleman on the other end laughs hysterically. Sorry if that’s an obscure reference.
UK Pavilion shots for no reason:
At about 8:35pm, it’s pretty dark.
One last fountain shot.
Dinner tonight is again at Sunshine Seasons in the Land Pavilion. I’ve been warning you away from the Asian food for some time, though we’ve never actually taken a close look at it. The reason being….it’s not very good.
The entrees are kept hot in large batches so you can get an idea about what you’re ordering.
They were out of the Vegetable Fried Rice so our choices are the vegetable stir fry noodles or Jasmine rice (not pictured). I would guess the Tofu Noodle Bowl is just the tofu pictured here on top of the vegetable stir fry noodles.
I went with the Mongolian Beef with Vegetable Stir Fry Noodles ($10.49). It’s a large portion that feels hefty when held. This dish has actually changed a lot over the years. There was a time when it came with thicker noodles on top of rice on the side with the broccoli separate from the beef. There was a time when it was “Ginger Mongolian Beef.” There was a time when you could order two smaller portions of two varieties instead of one larger portion. The current iteration is the best I’ve tasted, but it’s still overly bland. There should be at least a bit of a kick in a dish called Mongolian Beef, but I feel like Disney is wary of returns for a dish that’s too spicy. So it’s dumbed down to the point where it’s more sweet than spicy. That said, the dish was prepared well. You get a lot of beef and the vegetables were still hot and crispy, even after sitting out for what I would guess was a while. The noodles weren’t as good. I couldn’t tell you exactly what flavor was overpowering it. It seemed like a mixture of salt and lemon. I would have preferred the vegetable fried rice (I think) instead. Overall, this was better than it has been in the past, but I wouldn’t recommend it unless you’re really in the mood for Asian. If you’re looking for Asian in Epcot, I did enjoy this more than Lotus Blossom Cafe in the China Pavilion. But if you’re looking for one Asian meal at Walt Disney World, I would stick with Yak & Yeti over at Animal Kingdom. Both the quick service arm and restaurant are better than the options at Epcot.
A walk around Magic Kingdom from this past Sunday on tap along with the November 2012 crowd calendar analysis.