A mind-numbingly boring post is better than no post, right? I’m going to take a page out of the Jeweled Dragon Acrobats’ book and start very, very, very slowly (intermittently presenting myself for applause throughout) and then sometime next month I’ll start providing “quality content” again. Compared to this dribble, even a detailed look at the nutrition facts of a Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar will seem compelling. No, downright riveting. Speaking of which, I have a sample of Werther’s Caramel Corn from Karamell Kuche sitting here. Delicious, but 15 grams of saturated fat and 230 calories per ounce? Nice.
It has been several months since China has had proper live entertainment. It has been months (a year?) since Xi Sian left. While not a huge attraction in and of itself, something about eating egg rolls in a replica of one of China’s most mysterious buildings while listening to traditional harp music lent a bit of credibility to the Pavilion overall. The Dragon Legend Acrobats are also long gone. A replacement was supposed to be on tap, but it’s been at least six months since live entertainment was available. This week brings the new Jeweled Dragon Acrobats, a troop of of six Chinese acrobats ranging in age from 18-21 years.
But it wouldn’t be an Epcot walkabout without a picture of the line at Spaceship Earth upon arrival. We’re arriving at 6pm after a 17 minute delay on the Epcot monorail due to “technical difficulties.”
I thought maybe the “wait times board” looked a little bigger today, but I whipped out my handy protractor and it’s the same size.
Because of the delay, we’re in a bit of a hurry to get over to China. This week, the Jeweled Dragon Acrobats appear at 3:05pm, 4:15pm, 5:15pm, 6:15pm, and 7:15pm on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. They have several different acts and a lot of stunts they perform, so you could theoretically watch a several shows and see different stunts in each.
From Norway looking over into China.
Here we are looking at the acrobats’ stage from just outside Nine Dragons restaurant.
Zoomed out a bit.
The show starts with a bang. This galloping dragon comes out to present the acrobats.
The show began with this guy throwing a vase into the air and catching it repeatedly.
Presenting himself for applause after each successful catch.
Balancing the vase on his head.
A BIGGER VASE!!!!
At this point, he walked around the stage with the vase balanced on his head.
These babes are up next. To start, she sets herself up on this chair-thing and kicks these lily pad saucers in a circle with her feet.
Then kicking this log up into the air and catching it with her feet. I like how the performer in blue has his head down as if he’s praying that something doesn’t go wrong and the child in the stroller is taking it all in.
This is probably why. A table!!! Like the previous act, the third part is the most exciting. She was kicking this thing up in the air, catching it on different sides. I would say there are probably no more than 1 million Chinese girls that can do the same thing.
A large crowd has formed.
A brief baton-thing-twirler interlude before the box-man.
This is the box-man. He twirls this cube around his body for a few minutes.
If the whole acrobat thing doesn’t work out, this kid definitely has a future in changing lightbulbs or painting houses. He comes out walking this ladder around. Not particularly impressive…yet. I would imagine about 10 million Chinese boys can do the same thing.
Oh boy! I like anything that requires multiple spotters.
Yes! Yes! Yes!
Now this is impressive! The girls are being held up only by the guys on the ladder, which isn’t being held up by anything!!! Now get down from there!!
Overall, this has a lot of potential. I felt like the pacing was off with too much time introducing the “theme” of each act. In the case of the vase, all he did was throw it up in the air for a couple of minutes and then balance it on his head for a minute while walking around the stage. Not much payoff. The girl with the feet was obviously talented, but the first two parts of her act weren’t particularly compelling. And while the table was a step in the right direction, it wasn’t just “unbelievable” which is what people have come to expect from this sort of acrobat act. Considering they have many different stunts in their repertoire, I think they’ll whittle it down into a couple of shows with the best, most exciting stunts. With one show per hour in the afternoon and early evening, it’s relatively easy to catch them and they are a fun, energetic group that should only get better. I’m looking forward to future performances.
Each of the Acrobat shows is 20 minutes long, which means it’s 6:35pm. A lot of people around, but not nearly as many as the weekend. If you just look at the total number of people that enter Epcot over the course of the day, the evening Extra Magic Hours day is actually the third busiest day of the week during the Food and Wine Festival, with more people entering the Park on most Saturdays and Sundays. During most of the rest of the year, the day with evening Extra Magic Hours is the “most crowded.”
Billy Ocean’s final appearance of the Eat to the Beat Concert Series. Starship is up next.
Basically a full house for the 6:30pm show.
Over to Morocco. Really not that busy, though this image might make it look like it is.
Into Morocco. Looks busier because Mo’ Rockin is performing on the promenade.
Time for a break at the New Zealand booth. This is the Lamb Slider with Tomato Chutney ($5.00) that has been getting overwhelmingly positive reviews:
I wasn’t as smitten with this item as some people seem to be. For all intents and purposes, the lamb may as well have been ground beef. Perhaps that’s the goal? Certainly a mild flavor, moist, and tender. It reminded me a lot of the meatball sliders that are 3 for $5 at the Portobello Meatball Bar in Downtown Disney. As I pointed out, this is getting rave reviews, so it’s probably worth a taste.
It’s getting darker much earlier now. This is just after 7pm and the Promenade lights are on. By 7:30pm, it’s pretty well dark.
A blurry look back at Morocco.
Next up is the Kefta Pocket ($5.00) from Morocco. It’s billed as “Grilled Seasoned Beef in Pita Bread.”
The nondescript exterior gives way to some interesting flavors inside. It’s also on the larger side, as should be evident from the prominent placement of the fork. The thin pita is really just a means to get the beef-y goodness to your mouth in a half-classy way and it does its job well enough. It’s still a little on the fragile side, but you’ll probably do better if you aren’t trying to hold it open in one hand while taking pictures with the other. Overall, I enjoyed this item more than the Lamb Slider, though one thing that does irk me is when the beef is on one side and the vegetables are on the other. It takes a little rearranging or strategic bites unless you want to take turns eating beef and then onions. Overall, I felt like this had more complex flavors and textures than the lamb, though both have a distinct tomato flavor. I prefer the crunch from the lettuce and onion over the fairly bland “sandwich style” slider. Either (or both) is (are) a good choice though.
A blurry look at the United Kingdom Pavilion. United Kingdom – Canada is the busiest part of the World Showcase during the Food and Wine Festival, pretty much all day.
The monorail continues to operate until one hour after Park close. You may recall that Disney extended Magic Kingdom’s hours to 11pm at the last minute.
A new sign showing the 10pm close!
Just another day.