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Everything posted by better_by_design

  1. OMG! We kept wondering how they’d top the Aquaduck, and here it is! I love that they’re leaning into more entertainment at dinner - Animators Palette was always a highlight, and I’m sure these will be mega popular too. The Marvel restaurant reminds me of the “Star Wars Takeover” on their themed cruise days. Really curious as to Hero Zone - like a more themed sports court? Family competition activities are a big win! And does this make it sound like there’s going to be two smaller movie screening rooms instead of one big theater? Ready to get on this ship ASAP!
  2. I mean, let’s be clear - the list of attractions here are absolutely place holders based purely on: a) the latest lands Disney is building outside California b) attractions that aren’t in California The only thing they’re asking here is for the right to actually plan on the existing land, but in a different way than they agreed to almost 30 years ago. No way this list of “inspiring attractions” should be considered as anything serious. I’m personally weirded out by the idea of DL and DCA “annexes” being built across giant bridges from the existing parks, instead of a 3rd gate on the giant parking lot down the street, but I’m sure Strategic Planning has some righteous spreadsheets showing that “this is the way”.
  3. Thanks for posting that - hadn't heard about this before. The scale is... little? But compared to what Merlin is charging for at shopping mall attractions, it's proportionately huge! Oh absolutely true - and like 5 ticket / pass levels to entice you to upgrade! And I'm glad that by the time this opens, my kid probably won't care? Who am I kidding, if we go to Legoland, I'll be forced to hear all the voices from this ruddy show all over again. Any parents who avoided the Pig Family trap, congratulations.
  4. I get why Merlin - and especially LEGO - would want Peppa to be a separate experience. The accounting alone for this, if they're looking to pay some % of revenue is going to be massively simpler as an upcharge/separate gate... let alone the completely separate theme. Any thoughts on where this is going to go physically? Whatever else you can say, Merlin isn't afraid to spend money in Florida for sure!
  5. Legoland Florida has a similar 10 minute time throttle on their Freestyle machines. And yes, it's a ridiculous lawsuit, but he's not technically wrong. Look a menu description change to remove the word "unlimited" or maybe an asterisk and some tiny type that no one will read. Progress!
  6. Eh, I wouldn't look too far into that, those slides are only 48" so a lot of kinds under the age of 10 can and will go on those especially the tornado slide, they'll fit the demographic just fine. Agreed - my 5 yo loves any slide he can get on. Notably Sesame Street was the most memorable part of his visit to SWO earlier this year - he still talks about the parade. I'm still kinda shocked about this, mainly because I hadn't even comprehended that they had a water park out there in the first place!
  7. YES! This exactly! My kiddo is way past Rollerskaters, but it'll be a couple more years before we get to 54", let alone him wanting to do 7 loops... but he is going to be super excited about Ice Breaker!
  8. Disney owns ESPN and ESPN does a lot of work with the NBA. So that part makes sense. And yes, that is Kareem! D-Wade, Mike Conley, one of the Lopez twins, Victor Olidipo, Aaron Gordon, and Adam SIlver were there as well from what I could tell in the pictures posted to various socials. Looked like a nice event. And a TON of other players attended... I follow the NBA (mostly my hometown team) and the "stars" of official media releases were all hanging out with other less famous NBA players as well. One example: Mike Conley was hanging out with Jeff Green and Brandan Wright at the Magic Kingdom. It's the NBA off-season still, so I'm sure there are lots of players getting their family vacation time in right now. And are there seriously people upset about this? Let's review advice I always tell my 5 year old: "It's OK if people like different things."
  9. Totally agree - not every attraction should be an E-ticket. This looks really cool, especially for the hordes of tiny Cars fans out there. And heck... it's air conditioned. If it had seats for the audience, I'd be all in! Love that it's right beside the two big draws on that end of the park - will provide some nice balance to RnRC and ToT.
  10. Well... that looks pretty darn cool. The controlled car turn is going to open up some pretty cool possibilities, very interesting! Thanks for posting!
  11. I'm convinced Cedar Fair is just using names of Pacific Rim jaegers for their new coasters now. I actually happen to like this one though! And this layout is far and away more original and better than I think anyone expected. I don't care how mediocre I thought Valravn was, Striker Eureka----I mean Yukon Striker looks incredible. I am very glad I wasn't the only one making the Pacific Rim Jaeger connection with this! (Also, ride looks great, love the name, good job, very exciting!)
  12. A&W Canada was bought out by local management at least 20 years ago - basically it kept being popular, when the US business went down the tubes. No idea why, exactly. I will say that the Canadian version is still popular - if you are only counting burger chains (and not Tim Hortons) it's safe to bet it's #2 behind McDonald's. And the Burger Family lives on! (Not to mention that Chubby Chicken got resurrected too)
  13. That Slinky Dog coaster toy is a "must buy" when we visit this fall for sure. Thanks for the report and pictures, the land looks great!
  14. I really appreciate the feedback - I need to check the "crowd calendars" for early October before we make decisions... I think we have an option of staying at one of the Universal Hotels (spousal convention is the occasion) so the early entry option may play a role too. Basically we have been pretty spoiled by off season Disney waterparks the last few years - with very low crowds and short (zero) lines for slides that all the hullabaloo about Volcano Bay seemed... exhausting?
  15. Robb, Thanks for the amazing trip reports - loving living vicariously through you guys! And love all the non-theme park stuff as much as the theme park stuff! PS: Amazed at the turnover of Disney Sea popcorn flavors since I went last! Crazy! Glad curry is still there!
  16. Have things settled in at Volcano Bay now? Have the crowds and all the crazy "you have nothing to do for 4 hours because you can't ride a slide without a reservation" been solved by reduced crowds, better operations, etcetera? Asking as the early returns from the opening season last year (as documented on this forum and others) sounded completely horrible. A couple more recent notes from folks sounded somewhat more rational. Asking as we are planning a family trip in October to Orlando and debating sticking to the Disney waterparks versus making a point to visit the new/shiny on one day. Very much appreciate any feedback and advice. Thanks!
  17. DCL rooms are notably larger than other cruise lines... and considering that most rooms have 3-4 people in them, that's important! The room design is really amazing in how it maximizes space and utility in what is still a small space. Similarly, the split bathrooms are a fantastic feature when you're getting the family ready - and having a bathtub is a huge luxury on a cruise ship - most cruise lines only have showers unless you go up to suites. It's obviously a big deal for families with kids, but my mom also loves baths over showers, so this was a huge deal to her as well. Along with the impressive food, free sodas and juice, the larger rooms are part of the reason that DCL prices are higher than most other mass market cruise lines... but it really is a "you get what you pay for" situation.
  18. YES!!! Exactly! We took our 3.5yo on a 3 day Disney cruise last year, and he really liked it, as did we. Service was phenomenal, and the waiters at dinner times were tremendous at keeping him engaged and happy. The room was big enough for the 3 of us, and well designed to maximize utility. The shows are the right length for littles, pools are a win, movies all day, etc etc. Only downside was him not being *quite* big enough for the Aquaduck. He was fine on Castaway Cay for the slides there, with a lifevest, as they plunge into fairly deep water. We liked it well enough that we booked literally the same itinerary again this year - he'll probably be more into the kids club areas now that he's had a year of PK under his belt, which another big potential plus for us. RCCL looks like they want our money in a couple years now though!
  19. Same question - this is the most interesting/original concept of the whole batch, hadn't heard anything about it, and then boom! With Toy Story Land presumably before Memorial Day 2018, and Star Wars 2019, I'm still kind of shocked they're throwing this in too... I wonder what kind of window they are going to give for promotional purposes, let alone park ops! And then all the other goodies... with vague timelines, and I'm left guessing where it all goes... Any clues on where the Star Wars hotel is going? I'd assume attached to the new land somehow? So Riviera is basically going behind France, which is kinda awesome thematically... looking forward to more details on the Skyliner, and how it ties into all this stuff. New Magic Kingdom Theater - going in backstage area on East Street? Or will they bulldoze one of the major Main Street buildings? And so the ol' Communicore is getting bulldozed to make more open space and trees and water???
  20. Thats what I was meaning - They'll know how busy the park is, and how many people have reservations - if these numbers are low enough, the system would just allow you to instantly ride surely - otherwise what would happen at park open when every ride is empty? I mean, this really comes down to how they police the ride entrances in general... if there's no standby line at all, then there pretty much has to be an employee guarding the line, seeing if the doohickey blinks green... who could also just waive people through if there's no/little queue, right? But it does get into the whole "seriously we don't do standby rides" mindset. As someone said earlier, it's a whole different approach to things, and if it's done well... great, people will adapt quickly. If not, it'll be fun to watch how the operations adapt!
  21. It's going to be really interesting to see how they launch the park - between the ticketing being bundled (at first at least) and the queue system... that's a lot of "new" to bring to market at once. Once operations start, I bet it's going to be interesting to monitor how first month policies change by the end of the year! Who knows what kinds of internal forecasts/expectations they have for the park... but I will say that if Robb is right (and obviously he probably is) about locals not being the market for Disney waterparks, I've got to assume that Universal is seeing that as their plan too... and so the bundled park/hotel guest is going to be the plan longer term. And hopefully they guest numbers just ramp as the hotel expansions come into the market, as the waterpark operations get smoother, and it all works out fine. Maybe Universal will also take a page from Disney's seasonal ticket pricing, and what Great Wolf Lodge does, and eventually just sell 1 day tickets during non-peak times.
  22. Appreciate the details on this - very cool looking stuff, and very different than the other blasters & water coasters I've been on. The saucers look awesome, here's hoping they ride well too!
  23. Given that they don't have a trackless dark ride yet, you have to think that's on the eventual attraction roadmap, right? And where's the 4D movie? I'm curious how much local popularity is playing in terms of which IP they're putting in - Pirates obviously is a HEAVY presence, Tron over "non film based Space Mountain" isn't much of a reach, but is it popular in China? What else is big / bigger there than here?
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