You’ll have to excuse me as we rewind a little further back than I like to – all the way back to Wednesday February 3rd, 2016, in fact. But don’t you worry. There’s nothing happening at Epcot anyway.
Those of you taking advantage of lower taxi fares via Uber and Lyft will be happy to hear that Disney is much kinder to their drivers and passengers these days. Mears Mafia has historically enjoyed a monopoly inside the bubble, but a slew of complaints from “ride sharers” has eased many of the issues you might run into getting dropped off at a resort or theme park. A year ago, “I’m just dropping off” was often the ticket straight to a $17 parking fee. These days, the parking attendant should motion your operator’s vehicle towards the dropoff area. This barely readable sign to the left reads, “Guest Dropoff/Pick Up,” which is exactly what it sounds like. It’s just past where Mears will beg you to get in one of their overpriced vehicles.
Disney looks to be modifying the bag check/metal detector/pat down area.
I have not seen a plan for what this entails, but there is obviously a large wall up on our right and then another ahead past where bag check takes place.
It’s likely more of a permanent, stream-lined security solution. The walls in the main bag check area seemed to outline a straight, identifiable path.
We’re just a couple of weeks away from Flower and Garden, which means a lot of tilt, very little in focus, and very lengthy beer reviews. And there’s nothing you can do about it.
I had read that early February was a “low crowd time,” so I was pretty disgusted to find no fewer than let’s see here…it’s worse than I originally thought…THIRTEEN PEOPLE IN LINE AND PROBABLY THREE OR FOUR MORE THAN THAT INTENTIONALLY CROPPED OUT OF THE FRAME.
I wish I could hand deliver blog posts to you on the wdweasy boat piloted by DIS The.
Me last week updating “The easy Guide to Your First Walt Disney World Visit 2k16.”
This guy reading the only copy we’ve sold so far.
“Art imitates life or was it the other way around?” – Walt Disney
I wonder what’s worse – working in the printing press in whatever year this is? Like 1600? Or having to refresh disneyworld dot disney dot go dot com EIGHT TIMES JUST TO GET PAST THE STITCH ATE THE PAGE ERROR.
If it was good enough to get us to the moon then it’s good enough for My Disney Experience.
In case you’re wondering just how bad you have to be at literally everything else to become a Disney World blogger, somehow I can’t even function at a high enough capacity to just sit still and have a picture of my face taken. The same picture I’ve had taken 100 times before. So instead I decided it would be a good time to scratch my head or something so there’s just this disgusting looking picture of my arm where my head should be.
Plot twist: That isn’t even my arm.
You can always pull up a full wait times chart for each day of every month on the links to the left of the main site.
Once Flower and Garden starts this will be a lovely peacock or something.
It’s still walls, shuttered attractions, and garbage bags inside
At least you can still play Cars 2 on PS3. It’s the future, folks.
They could easily transport Pretzel Garden over here via the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
They’ve got the space. But do they have the will?
Baymax continues meeting guests in “Character Spot” across from “Character Spot,” which seems unnecessarily confusing.
I explain how the meet and greets work in this post.
The silent character from Big Hero 6 continues meeting from Park open through Park close and during Extra Magic Hours to waits that are typically 15 to 30 minutes. The lack of Hiro is unfortunate as guests don’t really have any way to interact with the marshmallow balloon otherwise. Your interaction will largely be the cast member telling you what you can’t do followed by a picture.
All additions must come with subtractions, of course. Princess Aurora will appear for the last time in the foreseeable future this Saturday.
Winnie the Pooh and Tigger in the UK are also out at the same time.
Chip and Dale will be just a memory.
The Inside Out meet is turning out to be a lot more Sadness than Joy.
Okay, everybody take a second to check your hands.
Are we good?
If you have literally one finger you can count the number of things going on in the Land Pavilion right now as Disney shuttered Circle of Life without any warning whatsoever earlier this week.
This picture, which is actually from Circle of Life, perfectly captures the essence of the attraction.
The closure does potentially make some sense. With Soarin’ closed, very few people bother with the hike up here. Disney was well aware of this going in. On day one, they reduced Sunshine Seasons’ hours to 9am-7pm, though they extended other attractions that historically closed at 7pm to 9pm. That ends this Sunday, when Living with the Land, Journey into Imagination, and Pixar Short Film Festival will all again close at 7pm. Phew, just in time for Presidents Day!
Replacing Circle of Life’s film isn’t really what the Walt Disney Company is about these days. I haven’t heard anything about production commencing on a new film, perhaps focusing on “The Lion Guard.” But that certainly doesn’t mean it’s not happening. Sitting and watching a short film in a theater kind of feels like a waste of time in one of the most expensive theme parks in the world. Logistically, it would make more sense if the space was used as bathrooms or an elevator.
Even when Soarin’ was operating, Epcot’s best all-around quick service was unpopular for dinner. Granted this picture was taken at 5:20pm, but still. I count eight people.
I was sitting on Living with the Land in the second to last row and for some reason they put the only other people on the boat behind me. I was minding my own business trying to refresh https://disneyworld.disney.go.com on my phone enough times to make the page load, when the gentleman behind me motioned for the girl he was with to put her own phone down and pay attention to the ride. She protested, saying, “That guy‘s on his phone.” The gentleman followed with, “I don’t care about him.” That seemed a little rude to me. She then proceeded to ask if it “was really raining.” I didn’t turn around to look, but I’m pretty sure she had that five inch thick Minnie Mouse iPhone case.
Disney spares no expense when it comes to the vegetable fern.
I feel like they should have put up a little refurbishment wall around the recently planted sunflowers.
Although it occurred to me that I couldn’t remember the last time I was rolling through here when something wasn’t mostly or seemingly full grown. Like those trees in the back. They would take a while to grow, wouldn’t they? At what point in their life are they planted? And at what point are they removed? And where do they go?
“To eat is to appropriate by destruction.” – Jean-Paul Sartre
You almost never see anybody in the Biotechnology Lab, but then if it’s a government thing then it’s not so surprising that they’re perpetually on paid vacation. This seems like as good of a place as any for cast to refresh Twitter.
Is marigold really where we’re at with this thing? You can get a six-pack of seeds for $1.98 at Lowe’s.
Speaking of six packs, St. Ambroise (Citrouille) Pumpkin is back at Canada Cart, maybe because it’s already October up north?
Braving the crowds up through World Showcase at 5:30pm.
It’s been a couple of years since I’ve done an in-depth look at each World Showcase Pavilion and I think revisiting that will be my next project. I like that each Pavilion offers shirts and apparel that are definitely Disney, but not necessarily dominated by Mickey and Minnie Mouse caricatures.
Those are still around too, of course.
Can’t really make out the words.
Few people venture into Morocco, which is probably a shame. The open-air-ish market and various cultural exhibits are some of the more unique and authentic experiences World Showcase has to offer.
Spice Road Table continues trying different things to get someone…anyone…to stop. This time it’s a new look to the oversized menu in front of the restaurant and promoting the “BEST VIEW OF ILLUMINATIONS: REFLECTIONS OF EARTH.”
The menu looked like this last month:
Maybe if they changed the font to comic sans.
Actually, when I was walking by back on January 30th, the outdoor portion was surprisingly popular at 8pm, so the note at the bottom might be helping. I should also mention that it’s not necessarily true.
It would have probably been smarter for the restaurant to be lower on the water with tables right up next to it. But even then, you have a variety of trees and islands blocking the view. And there’s a roof.
While the website makes fun of Spice Road at every opportunity, I will mention that I’ve enjoyed a couple of pleasant meals there. It’s a great afternoon spot for a drink and a snack in a relaxing atmosphere inside or out. I think part of their problem is the same as Skipper Canteen, where they’re trying to do something a little “different,” but realize if they actually skew in that direction too far that they’ll narrow their audience even further. So they go half way, making themselves unappealing to burger whiners, but not doing anything to get others away from something like Sanaa.
It probably also doesn’t help that Morocco’s quick service, Tangierine Cafe, is so good.
I was visiting with good friend of the site, sorcerersofthemagickingdomblog, who ordered the $11.99 Vegetable Platter. I think it’s a hidden gem on the menu, whether you order it as a deconstructed falafel wrap or as a way to get all of the sides plus the falafel, wrap, and hummus for the price of three similarly-sized sides.
I opted for the Lamb Wrap, which arrives with lamb shawarma, lettuce, onions, tomatoes, and tzatziki sauce wrapped up in a pita. It’s not unlike a Greek gyro. A few years ago, the wraps were plated deconstructed, but a cast member will now put it together for you. I recommend requesting a side of tzatziki when you pick up your food – I’m not sure if I just like a lot of it, but the wraps have always been a little dry in my opinion. The wrap is otherwise stuffed with lamb on the bottom and then the vegetables are piled on top of that, which may require some rearranging on your part or you’re liable to bite into a whole lot of vegetables at the start and then end up with a ball of lamb at the end. The flavors otherwise complement one another with the tzatziki helping to cut some of the sharpness from the onion, the lettuce providing a nice crunch with the soft pita, and the spices from the tender lamb highlighting each bite. Really very good.
The sides are currently the Tangierine Cafe Couscous and Marinated Olives, although they should be happy to substitute others should you have a preference. As it stands, the crumbly semolina mixed with a little red and green pepper, zucchini, red onion, raisins, chickpeas, and tangerine is nicely spiced with a little cinnamon. It ends up being a slightly sweet, fluffy dish. The marinated olives are about what you would expect.
It’s always fun to pop into Mitsukoshi Department Store in the Japan Pavilion to check out the thousands of items available.
Many of the snacks and food items are reasonably priced and not a whole lot more than you’d pay at the local grocery store. It might make sense to pick some things up to enjoy back at the room throughout your stay.
You can pick up a Ramune for less than a bottle of Sprite.
Fife & Drum in front of the United States Pavilion added a Hard Root Beer Float in addition to the bottle.
Wall to wall crowds towards Italy.
Germany’s caramel store is one of the better places to use snack credits, where you can pick up a large bag of caramel corn or caramel peanut apple for a credit. Those items would otherwise be $5.99 and $6.79, respectively.
It got late.
We actually took a lap around World Showcase and then doubled back for dinner at Tangierince. This is 7:40pm.
Disney continues trying to make Glow with the Show/Made with Magic a thing. Supposedly the ears interact with the World Showcase Pavilions by lighting up at certain points throughout. I’ve never actually seen anybody wear a pair at Epcot. This is the new design of the ears, which are supposed to be more comfortable, but they still aren’t collapsible. So they’re kind of a drag to lug around unless you want a heavy plastic battery hat on top of your head in the middle of the day.
This is the previous version.
The Star Wars fireworks are a lot of fun because they’re visible from the vast majority of areas around property. Here they are over Italy.
A shy Spaceship Earth.
Gran Fiesta Tour is always a fun ride to pop on and the recent addition of the Caballeros animatronics makes for a more lively finale:
There’s rarely much of a wait. Even if the line extends outside the queue, you’re looking at ten minutes tops.
You’ll often see me reference short waits at Test Track and Soarin’ (when it’s operating) in the final hour of operation. Waits only get shorter as it gets later in the evening. Here at 8:22pm, the posted wait is 20 minutes with single rider at 10. There was literally nobody visible in the standby line.
And literally nobody waiting in single rider.
It ended up being four minutes between the time we got in line and were past seat belt check and on our way. You can’t really beat that.
Only because nobody has ever taken a picture of it before:
It’s just about three weeks until Flower and Garden kicks off and about three months until things start really getting interesting.