It occurred to me that I should stop editing pictures and actually write something for once. We’re rewinding a bit again to the evening of August 20th, where we visited Epcot in the afternoon. So I guess relevance has left the room once again. But rest assured there are more updates in the future. We have a plethora of new menu items to check out. There’s an outing to Wilderness Lodge with drinks and appetizers at Territory Lounge. A quick look at a few things at Epcot and Animal Kingdom. As usual, you can keep up with me in the forums or via Twitter. Twitter is mostly nonsense, but there are things like the new Chicken and Vegetable Pasta Salad at Pizzafari, the moon over Epcot this last night (the 26th, for Neil), a Wilderness Lodge picture, etc.
In Hollywood Studios Update 2 and Halloween Merchandise, we’ll check out the new menu at ABC Commissary (no more Chicken Curry!), try the new Commissary Couscous, Quinoa, & Arugula Salad Topped with Salmon (I didn’t make that up!), check out some of this year’s Halloween merchandise, pop on Great Movie Ride for no reason, and whatever else.
Upon leaving Epcot at 6:46pm, waits were still minimal, as can be expected on a Monday when Epcot is the most recommended Park.
This tree is being refurbished for your future enjoyment. Things don’t get more exciting if you have something else to do today.
Disney is continuing to run this promotion where you get a $35 discount if you add both Park Hopper and Water Park Fun & More to your ticket. That may be an attractive choice if you’re planning to add No Expiration to your tickets along with Water Park Fun & More. Remember that your No Expiration ticket is valid until you use both your major theme park entitlements and Water Park Fun & More entitlements. In other words, you could use your 10-Day No Expiration theme park ticket over the course of three years (a three day trip, a four day trip, and a three day trip) and visit only one water park each time. You could then use that No Expiration ticket in the future and still have seven Water Park Fun & More entitlements to use at Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach, DisneyQuest, Wide World of Sports, Fantasia Gardens Mini-Golf, or Winter Summerland Mini-Golf. Or adding the other option at a 61.4% discount may be attractive if you’re considering one of the two options.
As one might expect from its not-recommended status, the Studios is getting busier with evening Extra Magic Hours attached. Over at Epcot, you’ve got a few people arriving for dinner and IllumiNations, but nothing like this.
Wait times aren’t abysmal at 7:17pm compared to earlier in the month, but we have the very last of the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster FASTPASSes available at a time later than most families want to be riding (and would make it difficult/impossible to get to that 10pm Fantasmic). But you could FASTPASS Tower of Terror easily with the 7:45pm return time and visit Star Tours and Great Movie Ride in the interim. We’re going to be returning to Hollywood Studios on Friday August 24th, where the Studios is the most recommended Park and wait times are going to be basically nonexistent anywhere other than Toy Story at the same time of night. We marched right into the preshow for Rock’n’ Roller Coaster at 7:06pm on the 24th for example and there were exactly 0.0 (zero point zero, not exactly one panda) people in line in the Single Rider.
With a return to average size crowds, it isn’t crazy along Sunset Boulevard, but you can see the hordes off in the distance as you get closer to Fantasmic, Tower of Terror, and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.
Disney has a new line of Castle merchandise out.
Plates and mugs.
A larger giclee (limited to 95, $395 a pop) or a smaller print.
A scarf and vase. And there’s also a ladies t-shirt and pillow available if you really want to go to town. These items are available at the Studios’ Animation Gallery , Epcot’s Art of Disney Store (two of the pictures above are from over there due to better lighting), and whatever that store is called on Main Street across from the Emporium with all the expensive stuff. It’s probably available somewhere in Animal Kingdom too.
And for those looking for the it’s a small world and SHAG Magic Kingdom 40th anniversary merchandise, there doesn’t seem to be a shortage of either.
I was originally pretty stoked about these vintage cups, until I saw one and realized they hold maybe half a glass of scotch and run $17.95 a pop. That’s probably why they still have some.
For all you TGM fans, it’s Tour Guide Minnie.
If you ever have the pleasure of seeing Sorcerer Mickey move about, he sort of floats along. Haters gonna hate. Wreck-It Ralph is “rumored” to supplant Winnie the Pooh inside the Animation Building to promote his new movie at the end of October.
We’re still inside the Animation Building in Animation Courtyard. This is a standalone Fix-It Felix Jr. arcade game.
As a reminder about how to get in here. I enjoy the Magic of Disney Animation Tour, possibly more than most. Once you finish the tour, which rarely has a wait longer than it takes for the next tour to begin, you’ll be conveniently let out in the room we’re going to take a look at next.
Wreck-It Ralph art has replaced Merida. Larger: http://i.minus.com/iw3MCHvjfZ275.jpg.
A few more:
So the premise of Wreck-It Ralph is that the characters inside the video games are real (animated) people. That means Ralph has to get up and go to work being the villain of the the game he has been assigned, “Fix-It Felix Jr” every day. To win the game, the player knocks Ralph off the top of a building. So poor Ralph splatters across the pavement all day, every day. He finally gets tired of this and decides to be a “good guy,” embarking on a mission across many different genres of video games. “Sugar Rush” is one of those games and the art is pictured above. Larger: http://i.minus.com/irfCVHV24OqJj.jpg.
I’m just saying I would buy this game. And considering how terrible most Disney video games based on movies are, they would probably be better off releasing Sugar Rush.
Hero’s Duty is another game. Larger: http://i.minus.com/i2ixNEjTkb2no.jpg.
At 7:36pm, these people are waiting for the 8:15pm Little Mermaid show. 40 minutes is pretty rough.
The Prince Caspian exhibit building is now painted blue as Disney readies an “interactive” Pirates of the Caribbean exhibit. It can’t be any worse than Prince Caspian.
At Toy Story Mania, the wait time is probably over exaggerated, but still close to a 60 to 70 minute wait.
The Toy Story characters continue to see the longest waits. They continue meeting through Park close. Remember that unlike attractions, character lines shut down when the cast member working the entrance thinks enough people are in line to take them through 10pm. In other words, you could get in line for Toy Story Mania at 9:55pm and ride without any problem. But you’d probably need to be at the Toy Story characters by 9:30pm to guarantee admittance and closer to 9:15pm would be better if you don’t want to risk being disappointed. That should also give you enough time to hop in line for Toy Story afterward or scramble over to the 10pm Fantasmic.
Not sure why this bank is here.
Totally the best use of space for a theme park with exactly six rides.
Probably a temporary line out the door for Muppet Vision 3D.
Even with a 20 minute posted wait at Star Tours, the actual wait is probably closer to ten unless they’re running a limited number of simulators. It’s about 7:50pm, so we have Fantasmic pulling away a ton of people from the attractions, especially those far away from the Fantasmic theater.
Just messing around with the camera around Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular:
This truck sits out in front of the theater.
And is actually a pretty cleverly themed drink stand. Those are Coca Cola bottles in the bucket.
Intermission at Dinosaur Gertie’s, an ice cream shop that isn’t often open this late.
As you’re looking at the Indiana Jones entrance, this scene is located down an alley to the left. There’s usually no one over here, but it’s a fun photo op. It’s actually really well done and I found myself forgetting that it was (probably) safe to touch the “barbed wire.”
The theming continues on top of Indiana Jones shop.
Forget the yeti frozen in time, the bumblebees that don’t spin, and the napkins that bear no logo. This 30+ minute wait for dinner outside Hollywood & Vine, which would run you $30+/adult plus tip, is the saddest thing I’ve ever seen at Disney World. Oh, and the neon lights on the left side are out.
Min & Bill’s Dockside Diner was recently added to the list of possible Fantasmic Dining Package options, though it looks like Disney has removed that choice. It wasn’t actually possible to book Min & Bill’s, but it was listed as a possible restaurant. You may remember last year that Disney tested a “Picnic Package” here, that I wrote about in this post. The preemptive addition of Min & Bill’s to the Dining Package list may be an indication that the Package will return. If it does, we can hope that Disney figures out a better way to admit people into the reserved seating section. And maybe some better food.
On the merchandise front, bags are all the rage these days:
Most of the canvas ones are produced by “loungefly” and run $49.99 in the Parks or $64.95 on their website. Discount!
Wait times should remain pretty steady through 11pm. It’s 7:58pm now.
While we have one family exiting.
There’s a lot more arriving.
For anyone keeping track, Pop Century and Art of Animation still have separate bus stops right next to each other.
That wraps it up. Not a whole lot going on, but it’s nice to know that it’s still there.