Great Retro Future story on CBS Sunday Morning!
Very reminiscent of the stories we’ve seen before about the utopia we were supposed to live in.
Great Retro Future story on CBS Sunday Morning!
Very reminiscent of the stories we’ve seen before about the utopia we were supposed to live in.
This trip was the fastest ride in the wilderness!
Lunch was at the food kiosks for the Flower and Garden. I only tried some of them on my list.
I REALLY wanted to try the bun from China but I was way too full. I’m ashamed of myself.
After that, we watched Captain Eo. I have to say, they should publicize the 80′s montage you get as the pre-show. Facial hair is back in style!
Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid – I feel like the princess has that modern look to it with puffy lips, I’m just not into the style but the queue once you get way in there is fantastic.
Be Our Guest Restaurant - Definitely worth checking out as its a new experience. There are details about the menus online but lunch and dinner each offer a different experience. I personally thought the food at lunch was better than dinner.
After the new Fantasyland exploration (check out the details in the pavement by the way) and watching the sun set (its truly a different experience at night) we hit the rest of the park in rapid succession!
The only ride with the wait at the end of the night after midnight was Peter Pan’s Flight (10 minutes).
I’ve been missing my buddy Lilly so we stopped by to watch her scamper around for a bit then took off after one of the fellas on the other side of the enclosure did something super gross.
This was mostly a conference day and the facilities were very nice. While it was a privilege to meet some high ranking folks as pictured below, I would have liked to have had a Disney perspective on how I can do better in my career – Disney Institute like.
Cocktail time included the Tambu Lounge followed by the Top Of the World Lounge at BLT and we had the pleasure of artist Jason Tiki Tackett joining us!
We got to Hollywood Studios super early and they ended up opening the park early. It was my first time on Toy Story Mania and I think its worth the hype. The queue alone was amazing and made me want to go back to the hotel and play old board games.
After that we hit Tower of Terror for a walk-on experience. I followed that up with an average cupcake from Starring Rolls Cafe. I wasn’t that hungry so I wanted to get it to go but all they would do was put it in a bag. A cupcake in a bag when its already almost 80 degrees?! I ate what I could then bagged it.
After some conference time I finally got my Citrus Swirl. Pure heaven.
Another note, if your conference program says you will get a “VIP backstage look at Epcot” AVOID this unless you are into backstage. Magic was lost in this adventure.
We started out the final day with Tonga Toast before taking the monorail to EPCOT. This was a short trip that included Living with The Land and Spaceship Earth (after Base 21). I was super excited to check out the new Test Track and pulled a fast pass but was unable to use it because the ride broke down. Fricken Test Track.
After being pissy about my Test Track disappointment – I made things right with a smaller version of the No Way Jose at Beaches and Cream.
In all candor, we at Disney were not prepared for the enthusiasm for the Epcot concept we presented. Perhaps it was the popularity of the Walt Disney World Resort with the public, or the backstage tours where we emphasized all the innovative systems already in place. Perhaps it was the attitude and enthusiasm of all the Disney people they encountered, from Cast Members operating an attraction to corporate executives and Imagineering designers. Perhaps it was the legacy of Walt Disney, still the master communicator a decade and more after his passing. – Marty Sklar
EPCOT is a magical place. Its clean. It holds numerous experiences that educate, entertain, and frankly it just has NEAT stuff! Spaceship Earth – its just neat, one of the ultimate dark rides! I walk to the other side of the park and see a dude in a fez and then nearby, eat as many bowls of spaetzle as I want. Where else can you experience all this?
I didn’t go to EPCOT for the 30th celebration but I have been reading everyone else’s take on what happened in the D23 sessions. Inside The Magic reported that the panel titled Looking Back at Tomorrow ended with an extended look at Horizons and all three classic film endings were shared in pristine condition. I think my head would explode.
Likewise, there was a panel titled The Music of Epcot Center where they highlighted the big hits such as “Tomorrow’s Child” by Ron Ovadia and Peter Stougaard and the Horizon’s Music by George Wilkins. Of course there was also a nod, as there should be for the Sherman Brothers.
Later in the day, Marty Sklar had his own presentation where he talked about the original EPCOT logo. “The original logo was a symbol of unity, fellowship and harmony around the world,” he said. “The goal was to create a better tomorrow.” The original logo “was much better than the stupid one they’re using now.”
Another cool tidbit - “One of the reasons there’s so much space between Future World and the World Showcase lagoon is that we discovered a gigantic sink hole near where the Odyssey Restaurant is,” Marty said. “We couldn’t build anything on top of it.” Maybe there really was a sink hole under Horizons.
This anniversary has offered an opportunity for a great look back (similar to the 25th EPCOT Anniversary Gallery) and also inspired some great new art, and new merchandise and concepts from many artists reflecting the greatest parts of EPCOT. Some of this makes me wish for the old days – a live guide for The Land, Cranium Command, Communicore and no strange tent decorations outside Spaceship Earth. While I still feel like not having Horizons leaves a huge (sink) hole in the park, I hope that the future of future world invokes some of the same imagination and innovation that it once had.
I’m so excited about this I can’t WAIT! Who knew I could get even MORE excited about my next trip. The annual EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival will be featuring new food booths!
Items I am most looking forward to:
Check out these great videos from Disney and More. These are videos from 1971 where they showcase the layout of the WDW property and even talk about the hotel concepts that never came to fruition.
Disney’s Asia Resort (where the Grand Floridian is)
Disney’s Venetian Hotel (between Contemporary and the TTC)
Disney’s Persian Resort (North of the Contemporary)
And the Polynesian was going to have a coral reef where you could dive for pearls!
Testing for Disney’s NextGen program continues and we now have more information about the FastPass+ Program!
FastPass+ is different from the existing FASTPASS Program in that it will involve the use of RFID on your ticket (or Magic Band – see below) giving guests the chance to plan their itineraries ahead of time including access to their favorite attractions. This can be done in advance online or, should you need to make adjustments – in the park by using either a kiosk or the MyDisneyExperience App on your smart phone. You pick your arrival window (an hour long period) in which you intend to arrive at a particular attraction. This is instead of physically running to the attraction to pull the FASTPASS paper ticket and later return.
Attractions that historically have had a FASTPASS will be part of this program and Disney has been adding other attractions to this list such as the Haunted Mansion, It’s a Small World, and Spaceship Earth to name a few. In addition, the FastPass+ will also provide reserved seating for parades, shows, fireworks, and character meet and greets.
Let’s take a look at some of the key points in the terms and conditions as of 12/29/12.
Availability of a FastPass+ experience, the number of experiences you may select and arrival windows are limited and vary based on factors such as the theme park you are visiting, the attraction or entertainment experience, the time of year and the day of the week, and prior demand. In addition, the number of days for which you can hold FastPass+ selections at any given time is limited.
While its clear this is limited (in testing guests were given 4 attractions in a single park for a day) I am OK with this since personally, at the most I pick only 1-2 FASTPASSES per park anyhow. Also, I think many of us have faced the empty FASTPASS machine so this is a known limitation to the program that would need to continue. My only concern here is what if I want to “pull a FASTPASS” on EVERY day of my trip. Also, will Annual Pass holders or those staying at Deluxe Resorts get more days than those at an Economy Resort? With this program will there be more FASTPASSES available than there were with the paper tickets?
You may make FastPass+ selections for one park per day. You may only select and redeem a FastPass+ selection for a particular attraction, entertainment or restaurant experience once per day.
The part that concerns me is that it’s limited to one park per day. I’m a huge fan of the Park Hopper option and like the flexibility of choosing multiple parks (and therefore food options) in a day. When I think about it though, I might go to EPCOT everyday but that doesn’t mean I need a FastPass+ to enjoy every attraction. In practice, this might be a non-issue.
You may make FastPass+ selections for yourself, your Managed Friends, and your Connected Friends.
This is nice for planning the family trip and certainly beats the “QUICK GIVE ME ALL YOUR TICKETS SO I CAN RUN TO THE FASTPASS MACHINE AND GET THE PASSES!”
Your Connected Friends may also make FastPass+ selections for you or modify the selections you’ve made without notification to you. You can view the selections and modifications made by Connected Friends for you when you log in to your account and view your itinerary.
Note to my Dad – Make sure your Daughter-In-Law isn’t one of your connections or you WILL be scheduled for It’s a Small World. Lucky for you, the terms limit that you can’t repeat attractions. For example, if you have 4 FastPass+ options, you cannot repeat the same attraction at any time.
Magic Your Way ticket holders may make FastPass+ selections beginning 60 days prior to day of use. The selection window may vary for other admission tickets or passholders.
Make no mistake, my dining reservations for my next trip in April are already made but the thought of scheduling when I will ride Thunder Mountain doesn’t sit well with me. Personally, if my trip is planned to that level of detail, some of the magic is gone. Then again, I could see this being perfect for a family with younger people that only get to the park once every five years who want to make sure they see their key attractions.
Half of my Disney experience is the anticipation of going and the idea of planning like this certainly can add to the excitement. But does this mean that FASTPASSES will be all gone when we get closer to our trip? Will there be some reserved for the day of?
For starters, each attraction will need an RFID reader to read your chip and I must admit, this thing lights up so pretty, its magical.
You will go online or use a kiosk to make your selections as seen here:
Then you will get a confirmation via email and will also be able to refer to it in your “My Plans” section of the MyDisneyExperience app.
Of course, the FastPass+ is only one component of the NextGen project and use of RFID. The NextGen project will also support park entry, resort purchases, and room keys. Will this all happen on a park ticket? That’s no fun! Instead, we will use Magic Bands!
These are wristbands that will hold all the information needed to do park entry, resort purchases, FastPass+ etc.
The device is battery powered by a non-replaceable coin cell. The device also contains passive UHF and HF RFID tags in a wrist worn arm band that transmits a 2.4 GHz signal to an indoor wireless infrastructure.
Just think of all of the colors, personalization, characters etc. that Disney will be able to put on these. They will be keepsakes!
Of course this means new readers will be required at cash registers and that old turnstiles will need to be replaced (as much fun as having that turnstile smack you in the bottom is!).
As it stands, all four parks have these new RFID entrances set up for use in testing this new system and many resorts are adding in the new payment terminals.
Ultimately, I’m very much looking forward to how this will impact my eating. Quick Service restaurants are already using RFID technology. Will reservations at restaurants all be tied to RFID accounts? In other words, how difficult will it be for someone without a theme park ticket to book a meal?
Just when I thought I knew my neighbor! MESSENGER Finds New Evidence for Water Ice at Mercury’s Poles.
This beats the previous news from MESSENGER about a hidden mickey on Mercury.
It’s Kind of a Cute Story – a book about famed Imagineer Rolly Crump (works include Enchanted Tiki Room and the Haunted Mansion) is now available! I ordered my limited edition from Bamboo Forest Publishing but you can also get yours from Amazon (paperback or Kindle).
Ever wonder why in a downpour you can stand under Spaceship Earth and there is not waterfall of water?
Because hidden behind the 11,324 silver triangular-shaped tiles lies a unique drainage system–two gutters that surround the geosphere, one at the sphere’s equator and another below that. The outer sphere façade is held about 2-feet away from the inner core by aluminum hubs. The surface tiles are spaced an inch apart, permitting rainwater to flow through and into the submerged gutters. Both gutters collect the rainwater and channel it through Spaceship Earth’s support legs down below Future World, where it flows out and replenishes World Showcase Lagoon. – Chicago Tribune and Mouse Planet.
Disney has other examples of water conservation in action such as at the Disney Wilderness Preserve, the Disneyland World of Color , EPCOT’s Living with the Land, and displays at the Annual EPCOT Flower and Garden Festivals. Of course the Disney Corporation has a conservation statement as part of their operations.