Category Archives: Epcot
When the man whose name is also the name of your company indicated publicly that the company’s mission included constant growth, change, and progress you tend to be held to that standard. The fact that you’re charging an arm and a leg to visitors at your “Vacation Kingdom” also motivates mixing things up a bit. The Disney parks don’t always live up to this ideal and have certainly come under valid criticism because of it. But when you’ve got a large number of customers who are willing to visit over and over (like me) it indicates one of two things, or maybe a bit of both. A: They have actually provided a huge amount of experiences that stand up to lots of repeat business and have expanded over my lifetime from a single park with a few adjoining resorts to a mega complex with four theme parks, two water parks, close to twenty resort hotels, a huge entertainment and shopping complex, and a wide variety of other vacation options. B. With crowds continuing to be strong and earnings even stronger…maybe it doesn’t matter as much as it should.
Either way, they haven’t made me want to stop going yet. Not yet. We’ll see how that develops in the coming years though. In the meantime, I’m still finding myself capable of enjoying new things every time I visit. The above-pictured Mickey’s Premium Ice Cream Bar is something I haven’t sampled since I was a kid and there was just one theme park on property. Maybe I’ll make a point to remedy that on my newest trip to Walt Disney World which is coming in just two weeks. Let’s take a look at what is new for me and what is tried and true.
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As my Walt Disney World vacation approaches I continue hitting guideposts along the way. Today was a major one as my MagicBand arrived in the mail! Join me as I open it up and give it a look over!
Okay, I’ve got to warn you right up front. This is a trip planning video that has a pretty limited audience. If you’ve never spent time over-planning a trip to Walt Disney World what you see in this video will probably seem arcane and a little bewildering. If you’re one of those people who got annoyed with Lebeau’s 50 day countdown to his trip a few years ago, this post isn’t for you. There is no video of the beautiful parks. There are no bouncy sing-along songs. This is pure obsessive trip planning. Keep in mind that I actually trimmed more than four minutes from the original run time.
You’ve been warned.
Okay, so for the last week and a half or so I’ve been sharing videos detailing my recent trip to Walt Disney World with friends. It has been a fun project, and might be the kind of thing I’d like to try again in the future. There are definitely things I have to learn about how to make such a project better than I have this time around, and I’d probably strongly consider an upgrade in my overall equipment next time around. My own camera skills are still a little questionable too, with plenty of shaky and meandering examples to be found even in the final videos.
This last Daffy Does Disney video for my Autumn 2016 trip will just be a fun set of highlights with no story to tell or information to share. It will just be some fun shots from all four days of the trip, sometimes organized thematically and sometimes grouped relatively randomly. If you’ve been watching my videos up to this point you will have seen a lot of this already, but there will also be video and photos that I have not yet shared included, mostly from our Saturday night park hop over to the Magic Kingdom which was very rainy at first. Not long after the rain stopped and filming resumed, I ran out of data storage, cutting short any shooting for the rest of the night.
Hopefully this last little bit of fun is enjoyable for everybody. Thanks for humoring me in this new approach to reporting on my trips!
A quick word of warning…The Singing Around the World project is irretrievably silly and sophomoric ….and incomplete. Let it be known that I have no problem embarrassing my self and others and that I had planned to do even more of it! So now that you’ve been warned, let’s dig in!
I told you, didn’t I? Horrifyingly enough, the project was originally conceived as including pretty much every attraction that features a song prominently. In fact, if you know your Walt Disney World jingle history you know that at least one of the songs we sang here is no longer a part of its attraction. Why didn’t we follow through all the way? My travel companions were enthusiastic about the idea, but it really came down to a matter of having enough time. Getting the three targeted shoots done in Hollywood Studios wasn’t hard at all, and we got off to a strong start at Epcot the next day, but as I started to focus on my “Snacking Around the World” videos and the park started to fill up and stuffing our faces became a priority, I went ahead and let a few of the songs slide. Strong light for shooting video was also a concern as night fell and that really cut into the available time for shooting songs the next day in the Magic Kingdom, where we only had from 4pm until whenever it got dark. We just didn’t have enough hours to complete the project fully. With a planned dinner at Be Our Guest and multiple parades/fireworks/shows a priority for the evening I decided to just be happy with what I had…but not before pushing for one last shoot over in Tomorrowland. If you’ve already seen the above video then you know what I’m talking about.
Hopefully everyone watching the video will take it in the good humor it was intended and won’t expect too much from my performance or production values. If anybody feels cheated by the exclusion of “Grim Grinning Ghosts” or “It’s a Small World” or some other classic we didn’t manage to follow through on, well I challenge you to complete the whole project where I failed. I believe in you!
Over the past few days Daffy Does Disney has covered some specific stuff in Epcot, including the new version of Soarin’, snacking around World Showcase, and the new Frozen Forever ride that has taken up residence in the Norway pavilion there. Today’s video will be a little more general, and mostly meandering around Future World and its secondary attractions and pleasures. This includes a short look at part of a presentation with dolphins in the Seas pavilion which I’d never seen before. Walt Disney World truly does support multiple visits while retaining a few cards up its sleeves if you leave yourself open to them.
Join me and Elizabeth as we discuss the new “Frozen Forever” attraction in the Norway pavilion at Walt Disney World’s Epcot. You’ll notice that I’m still munching on my school bread, but hopefully that won’t put you off. The attraction has been controversial due to the fact that the movie Frozen doesn’t actually take place in Norway. We won’t really be addressing that in our review, but will keep the focus on the merits of the ride itself.
Thanks for watching!
Today’s installment of Daffy Does Disney is a super-sized one, because there was just too much material to cover in my usual five to seven minute time span. “Drinking Around the World” is a popular pastime at Epcot’s World Showcase and really amps up during the Food & Wine Festival, but I decided to snack around the world instead. You’ll see me trying sweet and savory food stuffs and specialty drinks from each of the eleven pavilions that make up the back half of the park and I’ll give you my thoughts on them. I avoided the Food & Wine kiosks because I wanted to improve my chances of trying something a person planning their own trip might see me eat and then be able to have when they got there. Once I’ve presented all twelve snacks, I’ll rank them based on my own enjoyment of them.
Get ready to be hungry!
One of the big openings this year at Florida’s Walt Disney World was an update to the very popular Soarin’ attraction in Epcot. The original version took place entirely in California and originated (naturally) in the Disney California Adventure park in Anaheim. The attraction’s film even ended over Disneyland, which was a little weird for guests experiencing it in Epcot on the other side of the country. The California landmarks never really bothered me, though and I tended to just think of them as very American locales that skewed Western. Despite some maintenance issues at Epcot that resulted in a grimy looking screen and image as the years wore on, Soarin’ had managed to continue to be one of the most popular attractions in the Florida parks on the strength of its enveloping sensory experience and its beautiful musical score.
So, how did the new version that displayed locations worldwide turn out? Watch the video above and find out how we felt about this newest version of a beloved ride.
Okay, so I’m about three weeks away from my next trip to Walt Disney World and I’m starting to get a little antsy to get the trip underway. If you’ve been reading along at home for a couple of years you know that I had the pleasure last summer of a three day trip across country to see Disneyland for the first time in 40 years. Obviously, that was a really great thing, but it also means that it will have been more than two calendar years since I spent any time in any of the Florida Disney parks by the time I leave for Orlando at the end of the month. I know, first world problems, right?
A trip of any kind will typically feature some stuff that you’re really looking forward to. Sometimes that’s because it’s something you’ve never tried before and you’re excited to give it a whirl and sometimes it’s an old standby that you just can’t get enough of. By way of working off some of my own impatience for the next few weeks to pass, I’ll be going over some of these things that I’ll be experiencing this time around. Join me after the break if you like!
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A few months ago, there was a crazy rumor that the brain trust at Disney had decided to retheme one of its signature theme park attractions, The Tower of Terror. Since its debut in 1994, the ride has tied in to the classic TV show, The Twilight Zone. But in an effort to save a few bucks on an intellectual property Disney doesn’t own as well as promoting a property it does, management was seriously considering ditching the existing theme for Guardians of the Galaxy – the popular Marvel franchise which has nothing whatsoever to do with a haunted hotel.
WDW1974, the insider who posted the original rumor, has provided an update. According to him, Orlando’s tower has been spared. The one in Anaheim may still become the home of a talking tree and gun-totting raccoon. But that’s a West Coast problem. Sorry, Disneylanders. That doesn’t mean Disney has given up on putting Star-Lord and Gamora in Orlando either.
Regular readers know that Daffy and I are regular visitors to Orlando theme parks. We’ve both logged a lot of hours at Walt Disney World and we can both claim to have visited Epcot in its glory days. When Epcot opened in 1982, the general public wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. It was a Disney theme park without cartoon characters. The front half of the park had enough of a sci-fi element to it (Ray Bradbury wrote the original script for Spaceship Earth) that Starlog Magazine covered the park in a feature that ran across three issues in 1983. Whether you remember the glory days of Epcot or you wish you had the chance to experience it yourself, welcome to EPCOT Center.
In the beginning, EPCOT was designed by Walt Disney as the “Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow”, a futurist’s dream, what was to be a showcase of ingenuity and innovation. The idea of an entire showcase metropolis to be built in the orange groves of Central Florida passed away along with Walt, but his vision remained, albeit tweaked.
With the Magic Kingdom having been a major success, plans for a followup park were set in motion. Imagineers were conflicted on the park’s unifying theme, however. Some wanted to solely exhibit the showcase of Tomorrow that Walt had pictured, others wanted a World’s Fair-style display of the world’s nations and cultures.