It’s Sunday, which must mean it’s Epcot-day. Yes, definitely Epcot-day. We’ve been here a lot recently, so I apologize if I’m boring you. I promise we’ll be back at Animal Kingdom later this week. If it’s still there. I’m assuming it is.
I heard there was a wild roller coaster in here and the ball rotates about the axis? Can anyone confirm? Okay, so it’s really a slow-moving omnimover ride through the history of communication. Buzzkill.
Test Track at 30 minutes at 1:09pm.
A look back at Future World from World Showcase.
Duffy isn’t exactly catching on. You can meet him with a 5 to 10 minute wait pretty much all day at the base of World Showcase on the way to Mexico. I bought a pair of “Duffy Ears” last week and it was the first pair Gateway Gifts had ever sold.
Heading up through Mexico on our way to China. Via Norway. Only at Epcot.
Here I am laughing at the poor people eating at La Cantina de San Angel, one of my least favorite quick service locations. Then I remember I’m headed up to Lotus Blossom Cafe, my least favorite quick service. I begin to whimper a little.
China Pavilion. Nine Dragons, China’s table service restaurant, looks out over the promenade to the left.
A seemingly pleasant-looking building, but we know better. Lotus Blossom Cafe is one of the worst quick service locations on Disney World property and always has been. On AllEars, it’s the second-worst rated quick service or restaurant at Epcot, behind only Electric Umbrella: http://land.allears.net/reviewpost/showcat.php?cat=34, which this site also isn’t crazy about. Why such bad reviews? Well, there are a lot of reasons. Food. Service. Selection. Quality. The cast members are ruder than you’ll find in any other Pavilion, hands down. In their defense, it may very well have to do with the language barrier.
The menu outside Lotus Blossom.
Once you enter Lotus Blossom, you’ll have several cast members manning the cash registers yelling “Menu!!!!!” They’ll hold up a laminated copy of the menu that’s the same as what’s listed outside and above the cash registers (as pictured above). The laminated menu doesn’t include prices, so it isn’t very useful anyway. In addition, the menu above the cash registers that lists the prices isn’t static. The screens change inexplicably, which is probably the reason why the cast members are trying to force the laminated version on you anyway. As you try to decide which flavor of ice cream to buy or which beer you want, the screen may very well change to appetizers or soft drinks. But the menus don’t cycle through all the options, so you still have to look at multiple screens. It doesn’t make a lot of sense.
This is the Shrimp Fried Rice With Pork Egg Roll ($8.49). One of the perks of being an amateur Disney World blogger (and trust me, they are numerous, even if none are currently coming to mind – ask around though), is taking the opportunity to sit down to meals that we both know are going to be terrible. To be fair, the food isn’t actually that bad, it’s just not that good. I feel like it actually looks better than it is. The rice is devoid of flavor, the egg roll was frozen at some point, and it’s a smaller portion than it appears to be. And those are its good points.
The seating section is mostly picnic tables and tables for two. Temperatures were high today (as they are most of the year), so it was hot because it’s still outside. There are fans, but they don’t help much.
You may recall that all World Showcase Pavilions occupy the same amount of real estate from left to right, but have differing depths. China is one of the deeper Pavilions, as you can see. There is a lot back here.
The House of Good Fortune (formerly Yong Feng Shangdian) reopened in April after a refurbishment that lasted about two months. You’ll find it near the back of the Pavilion.
Leave it up to the Chinese to future-proof their t-shirts. Looks like this one is good through 2026 and really, 2037.
A lot of stuff.
The funny thing about the House of Good Fortune is that it’s difficult to separate the Made in China stuff from the Made in China stuff. That is, you can look at the merchandise from say, Japan, and check to see if it’s actually made in Japan. Or in Morocco, you can look for merchandise that’s actually made in Morocco. In China, it’s all made in China. Very authentic.
Weapons, just in case. Luckily I don’t have children, as I would imagine it would be very traumatizing to be my son or daughter. If I did, I would purchase one of these swords, much to the child’s delight I’m sure, and then instruct them that it would be used only if they were being bad.
I’m sure Buddha would be amused by the commercialism surrounding his likeness.
I had a roommate in college who burned incense, which of course was “against the rules.” As you can probably imagine, it’s very difficult to burn incense “on the down low” and your poor narrator would come back to a room that reeked of whatever the flavor of the month happened to be. It seems like incense would be relatively difficult to transport and I would imagine Pop Century wouldn’t be all too pleased if you decided to light it up in your room. But for two bucks, I guess you can buy it and the kids can hit each other with the sticks or something.
Here’s the Made in China stuff. Talk about stressful to transport. I would be holding on to this thing for dear life.
Don’t worry – not everything is expensive. These trinkets are a few dollars each.
Surprise, surprise – Reflections of China will let you out right in front of the store.
Some of the most beautiful architecture you’ll find in the World Showcase.
A look at the outdoor merchandise cart.
John Muir’s favorite spot at Epcot. Well, maybe not. He probably would have preferred the swamp. It’s pretty though.
A beautiful replica of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest. One might argue that it should be renamed the Hall of Prayer for Better Food in the China Pavilion, but I digress.
The Circle Vision 3D Theater that currently plays “Reflections of China” is inside. There’s a large seating section and a countdown timer that indicates how much time you have before the next show starts.
While you wait, you can check out the exhibit inside the Temple of Heaven, which is attached to the seating section for Reflections of China.
There’s no reason to hurry into the theater. There’s plenty of room.
The 360 Degree Circle Vision film is played on screens that surround the theater. It’s standing room only, but nicely air-conditioned and dark. I’ve always enjoyed Reflections. It’s the same film that debuted in 2003, so it’s a little dated, but they did a decent job of “future proofing it” and it continues to look great. Always wanted to go to China. Maybe someday.
Reflections is 14 minutes long, then it’s out to the gift shop(s).
One last shop out on the promenade.
The Joy of Tea stand. It’s usually a quicker way to get a beer than the Lotus Blossom Cafe and they also have an assortment of other alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. The Lucky Combo looks good – I’ve never had it before. Next time.
One last look at China. You can see the Nine Dragons table service restaurant in the distance and Mulan appears throughout the day right underneath the arch.
Anyone still with me? Headed up to Germany.
The Kabuki Cafe Stand seems to be less popular than the previous Kaki Gori cart/stand. It’s pushed back a bit off the promenade and may not be the most welcoming building Disney has ever built.
Japan will be walled off like this until the middle of November. You can sort of see the Taiko Drummers who continue to play throughout the refurb.
Another look at the temporary Japan quick service. A better look at Japan from last week: https://www.easywdw.com/uncategorized/epcot-walkabout-august-14-2011-sommerfest-review-germany-pavilion-yakitori-house-refurbishment/
This is Serveur Amusant, a two person balancing act performed throughout the day in the France Pavilion. It’s a lot of fun.
The popular Off-Kilter band playing in Canada.
There had been some amusing forum posts (not on this site’s forum, mind you) that “Canada is completely walled off” and “something big might be coming.” I can assure that neither of these things are true. There are a couple walls up on the second floor of Canada, where nothing is anyway, but it shouldn’t adversely affect your trip into Canada in any meaningful way. Expect these walls to be up through the middle of December to make way for…………..wait for it………………..painting.
The route to O’ Canada is down next to the entrance to Le Cellier.
Might as well pop in while we’re here. Canada also has a nice timer that counts down to the start of the next show. Unfortunately, there isn’t much to do down here. Check easywdw.com for updates maybe. While we’re here, I’ll tell you my fourth favorite Disney World joke. Reflections of China makes you want to visit China and O’ Canada…also makes you want to visit China. LOL!!!! I call “O’ Canada,” “Martin Short Video” because it’s really more about Martin Short than Canada, but it’s worth seeing if you’ve got an extra 15 minutes. Just hope you don’t arrive just after they close the doors for the previous show or you’ll be in for a wait. The setup is the same as Reflections of China, otherwise.
Congrats if you made it through all that. I think you could have flown to Florida, done the Walkabout yourself, and flown home in the time it would have taken to read it.