We pick things up from Part One, where we got reacquainted with what to expect from the rope drop opening experience from the main entrance, given the current state of construction and the introduction of the Disney Skyliner. With Test Track down for refurbishment until late February, the only rope drop priority in Future World is Soarin’, which we also experienced in the first part of this series with just a short 3-minute wait. We’re now heading to Living with the Land.
While not historically a priority, the Chiquita-sponsored boat ride typically posts a peak wait of 50 minutes around noon, with an average wait of an even 30 minutes between 11am and 1pm. From Part One, you might remember that all of Living with the Land’s FastPass+ inventory was gone for the entire rest of the day around 10am, which means the maximum number of people with priority access will be returning to the meandering greenhouse boat ride during the majority of the day, in turn reducing the number of standby riders who are able to ride per hour.
Luckily, at 9:20am, I’ll be able to basically walk right on.
But you might be surprised by how full this queue is going to be come 11am. If for some reason you can’t ride early, or find a suitable FastPass+, then waits are typically under ten minutes again after 4pm. Keep in mind that the ride typically closes at 7pm, except on days with evening Extra Magic Hours, when Living with the Land runs through Park close and then during the evening EMH.
That’s a fun opportunity to experience the attraction at night, when the greenhouse areas look much different in the dark. Sunset is around 6pm here in Orlando at the end of January, so you could still experience the ride after dark closer to 7pm. Come March 8th and continuing through much of the fall, your only shot at seeing the Living with the Land’s greenhouses after dark is on days with evening Extra Magic Hours, which are typically Tuesdays.
I arrived at 9:20am and was on-board at 9:21am:
I was back out front at 9:37am, for a total experience time of 18 minutes. Soarin’ is posting a 40-minute wait at the same time, which doesn’t seem too bad, though it would be up to 80 minutes by 10:30am.
Awesome Planet is the name of the film that opened in place of the Circle of Life earlier this month. It doesn’t make much sense from a touring efficiency perspective to see the film this early, but if the next show is beginning in the next minute or two, then you might take the 10-or-so minutes that it takes to watch it if you have interest and aren’t planning on returning to the Pavilion. Unless you have business on this side of Future World later, the Land Pavilion is out of the way, particularly with the hike up and down to the Pavilion’s entrance.
On the other hand, you might elect to eat lunch or dinner at Sunshine Seasons, or be returning to re-ride Soarin’ or Living with the Land with FastPass+. If that’s the case, then you’ll want to put Awesome Planet off until then, as you’ll always be able to get into the next show, and wait times at the other Future World attractions are only going to go up as it gets later in the morning. Awesome Planet somehow runs through 9pm for the foreseeable future, so there’s no hurry to get over here.
I just missed the previous Awesome Planet show, which meant it was going to take about 15 minutes for the next one to begin, plus the length of the show, in order to see it now.
I elected to skip it in favor of making the trek back up to the Pavilion later in the day.
There’s quite a few people taking advantage of breakfast at Sunshine Seasons. The quick service would also be your best bet for a quick cup of coffee early in the morning. The Temporary Starbucks is basically in World Showcase and is undersized, particularly when it’s cooler out and demand is higher. You can easily wait 20 or more minutes to order and pick up your beverage at Starbucks, versus a total transaction time of around a minute here.
I’m heading down towards The Seas Pavilion.
The Seas with Nemo’s wait times rise faster and peak higher than Journey into Imagination with Figment, which is why we’re headed in that direction instead of over to the Imagination Pavilion.
It’s also much more likely that Turtle Talk with Crush will fill to capacity than the Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival.
The posted wait For Nemo was already up to 25 minutes, which seemed unlikely given the fact that we’re making good time.
But we are dealing with the FastPass+ allocation issue with Test Track down. Its closure means that about 10,000 FastPass+ experiences are gone from the day’s overall inventory. After the best FastPass+ experiences are picked up, people are going to book whatever else is available. That may very well be The Seas with Nemo and Friends, as we have a half dozen people, and at least one dog, already returning with FP+ before 10am.
I arrived at 9:44am.
And this is not a 25-minute wait.
In fact, it probably won’t even be a 5-minute wait.
And there go a half dozen empty shells.
My actual wait was about a minute.
And I was standing outside Turtle Talk at 9:53am, or just nine minutes after initially getting in line for Nemo.
I checked in on Turtle Talk, and based on the small number of people waiting, deduced that I had just missed the previous show here like at Awesome Planet.
But that turned out to not be the case, and it was only about five minutes from showtime. You can always ask the cast member out front how many minutes it will be until the next show. It’s their favorite question, other than being asked if what is clearly not a ride is a ride. For example, you can stand out in front of the giant marquee that reads “Turtle Talk with Crush,” and ask, “Is whatever this thing is called a ride?” When they say, “No, it’s a show,” you can follow that up with, “Okay, but is it like a ride though? Like do you go anywhere on it?”
After Turtle Talk the Show concluded at 10:13am, I peeked over the wall to check on the Nemo queue, which was beginning to fill.
That probably has a lot to do with the fact that you can’t see the end of the FastPass+ return queue in this picture.
But here I am in the back of it. With more people returning with FastPass+ earlier in the day, it just makes our quick movements in the morning that much more important. If I arrived at the Park later, and waited an extra half hour for Soarin’, then we’d be arriving at Nemo now instead of 45 minutes ago, and waiting a lot longer because we’d now be behind all of these people with FP+. Does it make a whole lot of sense to use FastPass at The Seas with Nemo and Friends at 10:15am circa 2008? No. Does it make sense to use FastPass+ at The Seas with Nemo and Friends at 10:15am circa 2020? Well…..yes, if other people are going to have to select it because there’s nothing else available and the standby wait is going to be 35 minutes.
Having now explored the ocean over the span of one show and one ride, I’m heading over to the Imagination Pavilion, for one show and one ride.
It looks like the usual number of people are heading in and out of the Land Pavilion. We won’t want to return to Awesome Planet until we know that we’ve exhausted our opportunities to experience the other attractions in standby with shorter waits.
With MouseGear closed for refurbishment, you’d have to think that Epcot’s merchandise sales are way down.
You’ll notice that a lot of these merchandise kiosks are popping up, probably in a meaningless effort to boost sales ever so slightly.
I was a little surprised to see the line for Journey into Imagination with Figment stretching outside.
It’s not even 10:30am.
But here we are.
Imagine if Spaceship Earth was also closed for refurbishment alongside Test Track – another ~18,000 FastPass+ experiences per day would evaporate with it. And we’d really be in trouble as those 18,000 people would be looking to book FastPass+ somewhere that is actually available. That would likely be Journey into Imagination with Figment.
Since I had some extra time standing there, I went ahead and checked FastPass+ availability at 10:29am:
And even for one person, there is no availability for Figment until after 2pm, which means all of the slots for this time period have filled. Living with the Land only has two return times available all day, and they’re all the way out to 5:25pm or later. And this is for one person. A larger group would see even less availability.
I got in line for Figment at 10:19am.
And was on-board at 10:36am, for a wait of about 17 minutes.
Considering I started outside, that didn’t seem too bad:
Figment ended up taking 26 minutes, which is about 16 minutes longer than the ride takes with FastPass+. Considering there weren’t any FP+ available, the wait was pretty tolerable, and riding now in standby means I won’t be forced to return later after refreshing the very limited FP+ availability for an extended period of time.
The wait for Wreck-It Ralph and Venellope looked to be about 25 minutes.
Joy looked to be about 15 minutes at the same time, which is just after 10:45am.
I checked on Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival next. The timer on the right counts down to showtime. Five minutes doesn’t sound too bad.
You’ll remember that Mickey now greets in the lobby. The wait looks to be about ten minutes.
The large size of the crowd seems to indicate that waits elsewhere are probably getting a little too long for most people.
Otherwise, they’d be somewhere else.
The Short Film Festival is another attraction that won’t make or break your trip, but it is a nice opportunity to sit back and relax.
Away from the people.
Journey into Imagination’s line looked a little longer after the show than when we got in it. You’re also going to have more people with FastPass+ actually show up and use their priority boarding access. My estimation is that a pretty decent portion of the FastPass+ experiences with windows that begin at 10am or earlier for the Tier 2 attractions are “throwaways” that people don’t end up using, whether that’s intentional or not. With more people arriving with FP+ priority later in the afternoon, actual standby waits will rise, even given the same number of people waiting in standby. The FastPass+ ratio is never in favor of the standby rider.
What was Innoventions West, or Communicore West, or Club Cool, or Fountain View Starbucks, or whatever the building was called over there in the distance is now completely dismantled.
We can take a moment to enjoy some fresh looks at some of the walls over here.
Our path to Future World East isn’t impeded too much since the walkway over into the center of Future World is still open around to the right.
But that’s what’s left of that.
The walls aren’t too intrusive on the walk up to World Showcase by the Imagination Pavilion. The new bathrooms and Temporary Starbucks take up most of the space at the end of the line. We’ll trek back up there shortly.
A wall does block the view of a couple of the kiosks that will probably be used for the Flower and Garden Festival. The monorail is just about to pass over the walled-off area.
There’s one of the Festival kiosks as seen from the upper level of the Imagination Pavilion.
So far, my day has gone quite well, as I head over to Future Word East for the only operating attraction on that side, in Mission: SPACE.
- Soarin’ Around the World: 8:57 – 9:18am
- Living with the Land: 9:19am – 9:37am
- The Seas with Nemo: 9:44am – 9:53am
- Journey into Imagination with Figment: 10:18am – 10:45am
- Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival: 10:47am – 11:19am
Other than waiting about 15 minutes longer than I would have liked at Figment, everything else is going about as well as it could have, which is nice given the elevated crowds.
As we’ll recall, there is no way to walk through Future World next to where the Fountain of Nations would have sat. We have to keep heading forward and around MouseGear, which is also closed for refurbishment. The Figment paint-by-numbers mural has moved over here. If you’d like to participate, at no additional cost to you, you’ll be awarded a paint brush along with a dab of paint and you can go over and paint in a few squares. This wall with the mural attached is actually the second in the area. The original wall, with the first Festival mural still up, sits behind it. It’s some sort of wall inception.
The wall, closing off this walkway completely, went up just a couple of days ago.
The bypass on the Future World East side will walk you by a playground.
To the right, you’ll see the purple martin bird houses.
Of course, there isn’t a whole lot on this side of the Park at the moment.
Test Track remains closed through most of February.
Some additional walls have gone up around the entrance. The Space 220 Restaurant down to the left looks about the same as it did during our last visit as well. And it will probably continue to look like a green circular building for the next 20+ years.
Here’s a look back at where we came from with Cool Wash straight ahead and the eventual return of Taste Track coming in on the right, where the walls are currently located on that side.
Here we are a little closer to Cool Wash. The path up through World Showcase is to the left, and the path through Future World would be around to the right.
“Taste Track Burgers and Fries” will land here in February to coincide with the closing of Electric Umbrella.
“Eats at the Epcot Experience” inside of the old Odyssey Building will open/expand on February 2nd. It should serve Cheese and Pepperoni Flatbreads, Chicken Nuggets, a Chicken Salad, and a Turkey Sandwich, along with its current lineup of snacks, including Mickey Pretzels and Popcorn. It seems incredibly unlikely that anything served here would be worth going out of your way to eat, but I will still try it all.
On the plus side, there is quite a bit of seating available in the Epcot Experience, which is what you’ll currently find inside the Odyssey.
We’ll take another quick look at the walls around here. As you can see, you can walk up to World Showcase towards Norway on the Test Track side, so it “feels” like it would be a more direct path to rope drop Frozen Ever After from the main entrance over here. You might remember that cast members were originally sending everyone to the right.
The path up to World Showcase is located up closer to Test Track. The path through Future World is straight ahead, past these bathrooms that are still closed.
Temporary MouseGear is ahead on the right, with the path over to the middle of Future World going around to the left.
Daisy moves around outdoors in Future World East, with waits that are typically under ten minutes. Most often, she meets to the right of Temporary MouseGear, either in the grass or over by these shrubs. Look for her from 9:30am to 12:30pm and 3:10pm to 4:30pm.
The Living Statues have moved over here with construction walls sitting on top of where they used to harass guests.
We’re heading to Mission: SPACE to use our first FastPass+ of the day, but we’ll start our walk over with Electric Umbrella on the right, and the wall lining Future World on the left. With MouseGear closed, and the potential that most of the interior will be demolished, we can’t get over there at all without going around.
It’s now 11:42am and crowds have picked up, especially considering it’s a Saturday with the local contingent arriving for the first Saturday of the Festival of the Arts that doesn’t fall on a holiday weekend. Amusingly, I think last weekend would have been less crowded.
Walls are even out in front of Mission: Space, with the likelihood that this has something to do with the entrance over to Space 220. The 220 probably refers to the number of days late that the restaurant is opening.
My first FastPass+ of the day is for Mission: SPACE, with an official return window of 10:35am to 11:35am. With the grace period of 5-minutes before the window opens and up to 15 minutes after, the “real” return window is 10:30am to 11:50am. After taking an extended number of wall pictures, I arrived at 11:44am, to a 25-minute wait for the Green Earth Mission, and a 30-minute wait for the Orange Mars Mission. The Orange Mars Mission will always post a longer wait so that you don’t feel pressured into riding the more intense version.
My head was already spinning from all of the construction walls, and this strange-looking orb thing didn’t seem to be helping the situation, so I opted for the Green Team for only the second or third time.
Mission: SPACE is actually the hardest Tier 2 FastPass+ to acquire, which makes sense since it has the longest average posted wait of the Tier 2 selections, and the capacity is much lower than Spaceship Earth, the second-best Tier 2 FastPass+ to acquire.
Here at 11:47am, the line for the Orange Team stretches outside, indicating a wait that could be 30 to 60+ minutes depending on the number of people who arrive with FastPass+, and how many simulators are currently operating for the Orange and Green missions.
The number of people waiting for the Green Earth Mission was about a third of those waiting for Orange.
As a single rider with FastPass+…
I’ll blaze into the next pre-show.
With FastPass+, I was standing in front of my simulator at 11:51am, or just about six minutes after getting in line. If I wasn’t a single rider, you’d want to add another five minutes to account for having to wait for the next pre-show.
At the exit, you may notice that whatever this Space Command game is called has been made much smaller.
It’s hard to see, but there are a lot more seats up there for lounging instead of playing.
Overall, Mission: SPACE took 21 minutes with FastPass+, which is seven or right minutes below average. I’d budget 30 to 35 minutes with FastPass+ in the Orange Team.
In the next part, we’ll head over to Spaceship Earth to use FastPass+ there, and check out the new films in the Land Pavilion, Canada, and France, among other things.