We return to Future World at Epcot for some construction updates and to check out what’s new at Sunshine Seasons.
I’ll run one more update focused on the Flower and Garden Festival to close out the month.
But if you’re in the mood now, I have about a hundred pictures from around the Festival in this post.
And for a fresh review of what’s new at Electric Umbrella, along with a lot more pictures around the Flower and Garden Festival, see this post.
Work continues on the future home of the Guardians of the Galaxy ride with cranes aiding in what will become a 12+ story show building that will house the indoor roller coaster.
From the side.
Roof work continues on the old Wonders of Life building and what had been used as the Festival Center for the Food/Wine/Flower/Garden Festivals. Last week, Disney Parks Blog announced that the new space restaurant that was unveiled at last year’s D23 event will be built on a plot of land in between Mission: SPACE and Test Track. There was no way that it was ever going to go inside here.
It seems like Disney is going to have to scale back the Food and Wine Festival seminars and paid events significantly if they’re going to house the Festival Center inside the Odyssey Building. Wonders of Life was big enough to hold four individual stages with seating for a few hundred, in addition to several expansive stores, the Ghirardelli exhibit, and more. For the Festival of the Arts, the Odyssey Building was big enough for one stage, a small store, and two small art exhibits. Flower and Garden currently sees no Festival Center space, which certainly affects sponsorship opportunities, in addition to the number of paid events they can put on.
At least the building itself doesn’t look to be going anywhere anytime soon. You’d think this side of Future World would be ripe for an attraction or two without a height requirement.
When I left this past Saturday morning, there was a 10% chance of rain. Then when I arrived and immediately felt a sprinkle, I checked my weather app to see that there was still a 10% chance of rain.
Today on “is it raining at Epcot” pic.twitter.com/84XTCKMk9f
— josh (@easywdw) May 12, 2018
It continued to rain for the next four and a half hours.
At least that Living with the Land FastPass+ came in handy as I scurried past at least 45 minutes worth of queue:
Amusingly, one of these large melons used to sit on the table that advertised the Behind the Seeds tour in front of the entrance to Soarin’. Some kid picked it up to take a selfie and in the process, dropped it on the ground, breaking it in half. The split melon sat on the table for some time before it was removed. A couple of days later, a replacement melon appeared, then disappeared again. The website will continue to update on the status of the melons.
Sunshine Seasons, located in between Soarin’ and Living with the Land, has had a long and confusing breakfast run, sometimes offering it hot, sometimes offering it cold, and sometimes not offering it at all. Above is the first of two menu screens.
You”ll find these items served from 9am until 11am and it all sounds pretty good. I don’t often take time to eat breakfast in the Parks because wait times tend to rise as it gets later in the morning, but I could see stopping here around 10:30am after experiencing Test Track, Mission: SPACE, and Living with the Land.
Here’s a quick look at Living with the Land wait times over the last month:
As we know, long lunchtime waits are common, going all the way up to 40+ minutes at 11:45am. It makes sense to use FastPass+ between about 10:30am and 2:30pm, probably as a 4th or 5th selection after using your initial three choices. Otherwise, try to visit after 5pm when waits are typically nonexistent if you can’t visit before 10am.
Back to the good stuff. Sunshine Seasons updated its menu last month, in turn changing the salmon preparation.
And it was fantastic.
The Asian Vegetable Noodle Salad is a new take. It’s a lot of tuna and I liked the spicy sauce with the soy, but I feel like these sorts of things suffer from too much wetness from the noodles, causing everything to become a little slimy. The Caesar Salad here is a sleeper hit with Oak-fired chicken served from the rotisserie here along with thick slices of parmesan.
The Stir-Fried Shrimp is another recent addition.
The dish doesn’t photograph well, but it’s a ton of shrimp along with the crunchy vegetables that are coated in a slightly sweet, flavorful sauce with a little bit of ginger, sesame, and pepper. The Asian entrees here are typically higher quality than what you’d find at Lotus Blossom Cafe in World Showcase.
The Vegan Korma is a little on the bland side, but it’s still a solid vegan dish.
The Turkey Club has also been updated.
Most of the food at Sunshine Seasons is pre-made, but the quality tends to be higher and waits to order are typically short or nonexistent. On the sandwiches, you can ask that one be made without a certain ingredient and as long as they’re still making them, they should be able to accommodate. That may be more true at 12pm than it is at 8pm.
The $11 “Barbecue Pork Sandwich with Maple Mustard Barbecue Sauce” is also a recent addition, replacing the Reuben.
And that’s what I ordered this time around.
It’s quite a bit of meat served out of a Le Creuset Cast-Iron Oven and delicately placed in between the untoasted bun that doesn’t do a great job of holding up against all of the sauce. I liked the sliced pork – most of Disney’s barbecue pork sandwiches are “pulled,” which is code for “served out of a food services bag.” That’s not the case here as the pork is sliced into reasonably thick pieces. I wasn’t personally a big fan of the sauce – the tangy, sour mustard flavor was overwhelming. I don’t mind a good Carolina BBQ sauce, but this wasn’t working for me. That said, you may enjoy it much more. It’s certainly a lot of sandwich. But the bread was inundated with sauce and started to fall apart about half way through and the coleslaw didn’t provide much flavor or crunch. Overall, it would be a very good choice at a lot of quick services property-wide, but those looking for pork should probably stick to the $14 Pork Loin also available here. That’s fantastic.
Also in the Land Pavilion, the Circle of Life signage has finally come down about three months after the closure of the attraction.
While it’s a terrible picture, the wall carpet remains intact and “The Land” sign is sharp.
My face after realizing that the average wait at Spaceship Earth over the last month has been higher than the average wait at Soarin’ Around the World. Five years ago that seems entirely unimaginable. The charts with the wait times can be found at the end of this post, which is otherwise about what’s going on around the Norway Pavilion.
A few more pictures on Spaceship Earth while we’re here:
Thanks to FastPass+, my wait was all of three minutes while those in standby waited closer to 45.
The rain couldn’t keep those with ponchos away from Journey into Imagination, which is sporting a 45-minute posted wait at 11:45am.
Here’s a look at wait times over the last month:
Saturdays, highlighted in red above, are easily the worst day of the week to visit Epcot. Wait times are typically higher on the weekends regardless of which Park you visit, but Epcot typically sees the brunt of it. You’ll also be dealing with a lot more Drinking Around the World t-shirts than you’d see on a weekday.
A few more pictures:
45 minutes in standby or two minutes with FastPass+.
That’s what’s going on around Future World.
We’ll get back up to World Showcase.
And maybe back over to Hollywood Studios.
If any of us can stand it.