Just a quick update in front of a slightly longer update.
You may remember our pretty ridiculous experience this past Monday where I couldn’t get anyone to actually admit that the Land Pavilion and Character Spot would be open from 9pm to 10pm without having to do a little badgering. I’m happy(?) to report that Disney has changed their tune and cast members are now instructed to inform guests that the Land Pavilion and Character Spot will be operating through 10pm when prompted. They may also offer the information up when the situation arises. I stood taking pictures of the fountain outside the Imagination Pavilion for several minutes around 8pm and heard the cast member informing multiple guests that while the Imagination Pavilion was closed, that the Land Pavilion would be open through 10pm. I don’t expect this change in rhetoric to send a ton of people over to the Land Pavilion after IllumiNations concludes. In fact, I only counted about 75 people entering the Land Pavilion between 9:15pm and 9:35pm, which would be the time that most people passed through Future World on their way to the main entrance/exit. Should Disney decide to advertise the extra hour in the Times Guide, we may see heavier crowds after IllumiNations ends. We should know if that will happen on Saturday when the new Times Guides are uploaded. Management isn’t expected to make a decision on whether they’ll publicize the extra hour until a week from this Sunday.
So the situation in front of Test Track keeps improving! We now have the only two cast members who drive Chevys parking in front of Test Track. Or Chevrolet is trying to sell cars. Or something. The a cappella group continues to perform intermittently through about 5:30pm. If somehow you missed their performance, see this. I should be there during the day on Sunday and will record as much of the performance as possible. I’ve been practicing laughing and holding the camera steady. Actually, I named the camera “The Tom Bricker.” So I just say “Steady Tom, steady.”
The fact that Disney continues to list Test Track’s wait time as “RENEWAL” continues to bug me. What’s the point? Do they think Steve is less likely to murder an a cappella singer if he thinks Test Track is closed for “renewal” rather than refurbishment?
While the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad refurbishment over at Magic Kingdom might not have as much of an effect on crowd flow as Test Track’s, it clearly states that the attraction is under refurbishment by stating that it’s “under refurbishment.” Because it’s under refurbishment.
Worse, the wait times boards outside the Land Pavilion and outside of Test Track insinuate that FASTPASSes for Test Track were at one time available by listing that they were “all distributed.” If by “all distributed” you mean there were zero FASTPASSes to distribute, then I’ve distributed all of my billions of dollars to hungry penguins.
So it’s 9:04pm at Soarin’.
It’s still operating.
There’s still no one here. You could walk into the preshow video area.
No one coming. No one exiting Soarin’ from 9pm to 9:10pm even looked back to see if they could get in line again. They just left.
No one at Living with the Land. No one at Circle of Life.
No one at Character Spot to the point where Mickey and Pluto were hanging out together with no guests in sight.
So if you’re visiting Epcot in the coming days, you absolutely want to stay through 10pm and visit the Land Pavilion or Character Spot. I’ve never seen Character Spot this deserted and Soarin’ is busier by 8:50am virtually every morning. Should Disney begin to publicize the opening, we may see larger crowds. I’ll be back to check in on 9pm – 10pm crowds throughout the Test Track refurbishment, especially if the change is noted on the Times Guide.