We’ll pop into Epcot on Bastille Day – Tuesday July 14th. It says it’s a Nikon picture spot so I don’t know what choice we have.
At 5:40pm, the Park “felt” uncrowded, despite the 125-minute wait at Soarin’, 80 minutes at Test Track, 55 minutes at Character Spot, and 30 minutes at Mission: SPACE Orange. Basically, if you don’t really want to do anything, then you’re in business. Which you might say sums up the FastPass+ era pretty succinctly. Let’s have a look at posted wait times over the course of the day with the 8am-9am morning Extra Magic Hour:
Because of the Extra Magic Hour, Epcot wasn’t recommended. Epcot was recommended just one day prior with the following waits:
The Character Spot (Meet Disney Pals) waits are kind of goofy, hitting 90 minutes for a period before then dropping to 5 minutes a short time later. It’s hard to say whether capacity was halved or a large group arrived either in standby or more probably, FastPass+. Otherwise, virtually without exception, peak waits are significantly lower and average waits are also lower on the recommended day even if you include the waits during the extra morning hour. But still, it’s not like you want to get in the standby line for Soarin’ in the heart of the afternoon here in the summer. But the recommended Parks will reliably result in lower crowds and shorter waits in every aspect of your day.
Perhaps the Park’s biggest news is that this air-conditioned corridor behind Character Spot is now outfitted with tables and chairs. I think they’ve already given up on the “D-zone” aspect, which is Disney-speak for “we’ll have a stand selling chips, beer, and an $11 pre-mixed cocktail.” Between 12pm and 7pm, you might instead head to Innoventions West, which is still open for the Disney Visa Meet and Greet. It’s at least a good backup option should you run into too many people here.
Promenade Refreshments recently received a new hot dog. Sure, it’s not the Tron coaster, but it’s something people:
Eating WDW has the only review of it that I’ve seen here if you’d like to check it out. Keep in mind that this location converts over to the Desserts/Champagne booth during the Food and Wine Festival beginning September 24th and will probably then transition to a “holiday-inspired” menu after that. So if you’re one of the three people thinking “OMG I HAVE TO HAVE THAT SAUSAGE,” you might want to make a trip out in the next nine-or-so weeks. Or I can order one and ship it to you.
In devastating beer news (and you may want to make sure you’re alone and/or seated for this one), Canada Cart is down to just La Fin Du Monde on draft at the moment. That’s down from Trois Pistoles and Apple Ephemere. Hopefully they are gearing up for some new additions during Food/Wine instead of bowing out to Moosehead. Historically, Canada Cart had added Unibroue for the Food/Wine Festival and then once it ran out, they went back to Labatt. But it’s been a couple of years now I think with three Unibroue beers on draft.
Relatively light crowds here throughout World Showcase, even if you’d be waiting over four hours if you could simultaneously wait for Soarin’, Test Track, and Character Spot right now.
Work has intensified at Arendelle™, where the Frozen ride and Meet and Greet are expected to open about half way through next year.
Hopefully Frozen 2 won’t take place in Morocco.
Known as “Le quatorze juillet (The 14th of July)” in France or “Bastille Day” here in the United States, “The National Holiday” is celebrated yearly in the World Showcase.
That usually just means French flags are hung around the Pavilion and if relations are good with the United Kingdom Pavilion next door, they let them borrow chalk for some chalk art. Things must not be on the up and up this year as I didn’t see any.
But it’s a nice excuse to see one of my favorite attractions, and one of the most under-appreciated in any WDW theme park, Impressions de France.
I admittedly do not make it over to France’s Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie all that often.
While the quick service expanded considerably when it reopened here back in December 2012, the ordering process has always struck me as convoluted and I can’t pronounce much of anything on the menu and there really isn’t an English-equivalent offered:
The menu hasn’t changed a ton since reopening now over 2.5 years ago. The Brie Aux Pommes is a somewhat new addition, as is the Tartine Aux Fromages. But the other four sandwiches and Nicoise salad have been around since opening, along with both quiches, the Croque Monsieur, Bisque de Homard, Fromages, Pissaladiere, and Baguette.
Most of the available items are described on monitors above.
The Canard-Duchene champagne is a departure from the Nicholas Feuillate previously available. The Kronenbourg hasn’t gone up in prince since reopening, while the orange juice is up over 50%.
That’s the Dinde BLT on both sides.
Lisa ordered the $8 Brie aux Pommes – Brie, Apples and Cranberries in Multi Grain Bread. It’s about a half dozen thin slices of apple along with about two ounces of brie and a cranberry spread on very fresh multigrain bread. The sandwich can be served cold or toasted and you can choose whether you prefer red or green apples. Lisa thoroughly enjoyed it toasted with the fruit complementing the creaminess of the cheese nicely. I’m not sure it’s a terrific value for the money, but it was more filling than you might expect and you could relatively easily cut it up to make a couple hearty snacks.
And a glass of champagne to celebrate July the 14th, of course.
I panicked and ordered the Poulet au Pistou – Chicken Breast with Cheese, Tomato, Red Onion and Pesto. The descriptions overhead sort of make you think one thing and then when you get up to the first case there are something like 20 items to choose from, some of which appear more than once. Then the single line breaks off into two separate lines toward each of the two registers. So you kind of stand there perusing while somebody else goes around you to look at other items and the completely indifferent cast members chit chat away until someone finally asks if you’ve been helped as you’re about to give up hope. At least that’s been my experience.
The interior shot is unattractive and has been censored for those with weaker stomachs. We had one of the friendlier cast members I’ve encountered here. He suggested adding some mayo and handed over two packets along with the toasted sandwich. It ended up being smart advice as the chicken was extremely dry when coupled with the hefty slices of bread. While the mayo did eliminate much of the dryness, it also neutralized the flavors from the cheese and chicken, leaving kind of a bland chicken pesto sandwich. Altogether, it was filling and “just fine,” but I don’t think I’d make it my one entree in World Showcase. This isn’t much different than a chicken sandwich that a million other places would sell you.
Boulangerie’s seating section is reliably crowded and kind of hectic. I usually prefer to sit outside near the ice cream shop if a table is available.
Next door at Les Vins de France, you have an opportunity to check out some Ratatouille World Showcase merchandise, in addition to bottles of wine for purchase and other things:
One wonders if we’ll ever see Bistrot Chez Remy on this side of the pond.
Overall, celebrating the Fête de la Fédération was satisfying, even with just a dry chicken sandwich to show for it. The smart money is probably on sticking to the various desserts or other portable snacks.
Other than a potential mega menu update next month, there’s literally nothing of interest going on at Epcot. I can’t even remember the last time a character moved from one place to another.