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Walt Disney World Epcot Discussion Thread

P. 115: Ratatouille Opening Oct. 1 - Confirmed!

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Just because you don’t think it is good, it doesn’t mean the rest of the visiting majority agrees with your opinion. But I guess that’s the beauty of numbers... Everyone is entitled to their own opini

EPCOT is about one thing: making money for Disney. Does Guardians make money? *Glances at box office returns* Why, yes. Yes it does. Case closed.

I think “terrible” is a matter of perspective. Also understand that the person you’re debating this with has a long-proven admiration of Epcot in its classic form... Just look up Epcot’s 25th annivers

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Visited again today to see how they handle a crowd. We'll ignore the cluster at the security line as that should not be in place for go live. For the entrance, they had a line for each side of the "V". They had 2 cast members forming the lines with a roamer between the two. They were also explaining how to use the new entrance. At the actual mouse heads, they had 2 more people helping. Then at the entrance clearing they had 1 more person making sure everyone was legit. None of these guys looked like management or observers, so I'm assuming this is how they are looking to implement this. That's 6 people for 8 "turnstiles", so at least to begin, there won't be a decrease in jobs. The line keepers would only let 4 people go at a time (if your family was larger than 4, they'd let you all go). Once they cleared, they'd send 4 more. Using this setup, technically, the line would move 4 times faster (not counting stroller time or issues).

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  • 2 weeks later...

Earlier this week I stopped by Epcot to check out the holiday decorations for the Holidays around the World. A good deal has changed in the park since the Food & Wine Festival ended, and now the holidays are truly in full swing at the park.

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The RFID entry system has since been closed off for reconfiguration, opening briefly in different layouts several times in the last two weeks.

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The entrance planter now features several character topiaries.

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The flower art behind Spaceship Earth now features a holiday Mickey.

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The Hub's new tip board still looks great, and now features artwork from the Holidays around the World offering at the park's World Showcase.

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Joyful! returns to the Fountain of Nations stage for the holiday season.

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The stage is slightly modified to suit the gospel group and the show's theme.

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The Food & Wine Festival's cranberry bog has been replaced with more character topiaries.

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Mickey looks pretty great!

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I couldn't help but play with my new camera when I saw these rain-drenched poinsettias.

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They really did a nice job with the topiaries this year!

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A new sign has been added to the Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure station on the bridge to the World Showcase, probably to help let people know that they can take part in the offering.

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The main Christmas tree at the World Showcase gateway is huge!

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The Chateau Laurier hotel is currently under wraps for an extensive refurbishment.

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Storyteller stands have been set up around the World Showcase for country-specific performers to help tell the story of their native holiday. Here is Canada's stage.

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France's stage has some fabulous scenery behind it.

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This little seating area has been retained from the Food & Wine Festival for the rest of the season. It was host to the Belgium booth this year as well as last year.

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While Japan's quick service location continues to be refurbished, the Food & Wine Festival cart has been retained to help alleviate the need for quick service dining at the pavilion.

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It features an abbreviated version of the menu formerly found at the original quick service location.

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These walls have since been removed, but during my visit, the left side of the pavilion was essentially cut off from guest access.

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The location is set to open within the next few weeks.

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The interior looks refreshed.

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The lighting fixtures give the facility a more modern feel, which will definitely be a nice change.

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Santa's Village has returned to the American Adventure pavilion.

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The Candlelight Processional is still popular as ever.

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Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus are meeting guests at the pavilion.

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Kwanzaa is also represented as a holiday at the American Adventure pavilion.

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A story teller at work!

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As with the last few years, the Gingerbread House has returned to the Liberty Inn.

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And it is still awesome!

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The hot cocoa is great, but I've also had the gingerbread cookies and apple cider in the past.

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In case you were wondering...

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The house has unique details on each side.

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And all of it is made with sugar!

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The standby line for the Candlelight Processional ran all the way to the Isola at the Italy Pavilion.

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The holiday storyteller at work in the Italy pavilion.

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The Germany Pavilion's miniature village (you know, the home to 'Trains of the World' *wink*) is celebrating the holidays too.

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Germany's Food & Wine Festival section has also been retained for use further into the season.

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The storyteller stage in Germany is in this same area.

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A small area has been set up in Germany selling food and drinks as well as holiday souvenirs.

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They were selling Gluhwein along with beer as an alternate option.

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It's been a while since I've been this close to the Earth Globe.

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China's storyteller stage is tiny, but picturesque.

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Norway's storytelling has a bit of humor to it.

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Mexico's stage blends very well with the surrounding environment.

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Stitch has gotten into the holiday lights!

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And he bit off a section of the entrance sign!

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Donald is ready to go skating!

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Goofy is already way ahead of him!

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The Bambi topiary from last year's Flower & Garden Festival is also featured at the front of the park.

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Hi everyone, just thought would be of interest, especially as Robb and Ellissa love Epcot so much.

 

As you surely know, Test Track is scheduled to receive a major rehab next year that would include the complete renovation of the ride and its theme (without altering the track itself). As part of this future project, Test Track will start testing new technologies that may be incorporated in the attraction next year:

 

"We often test new concepts and technologies in our parks as part of our ongoing innovation process to make the entire Guest experience even better. As part of that effort, we will be testing a new technology at Epcot at Test Track, December 6-7. The technology we are testing may or may not end up as part of our park offerings."

 

Once again, sorry for copying the knowledge from another coaster site but, it seems to get the info long before anyone, I for one would be interested to see what they will be testing, sounds good to me!

 

The source was from here

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Went to Epcot last night to film the Holiday Illuminations show. To be honest, I'm not a big "show" or "Fireworks" person (just seen way too many fireworks shows in my life), but Illuminations is always a show I'll stop and watch...and on occasion, even wait for.

 

But the Holiday version.... OMFG!

 

You almost have to skip to the end of this video (forward to 13:10) and watch how the celebrate "peace on earth" with the most amount of explosions in the sky you'll ever see....and not be in the middle of a WAR! It's seriously impressive! Watch....

 

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^YES!! The Holiday version of Illuminations is always awesome! The new Years ever version is very similar but with even more fire power if I remember correctly, definitely check that out if you can! Great video Robb.

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Great report, Adam--but this is the creepiest holiday topiary I've ever seen. Stitch with Christmas-light teeth is nightmare fuel.

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Oh, what I wouldn't give for a year in Orlando to take in all of the awesome Disney seasonal events! Or to live 15 minutes from my favorite park!!

 

*looks for Civil Engineer openings in Orlando*

 

I think living there a year would be cool but I think it would start to lose some of the magic by visiting to often.

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^I agree, I lived in Orlando for a few years and didn't go to the parks nearly as often as I thought I would even with passes. The only thing that I really miss is new attraction openings and the seasonal events like HHN, Mickey's not So Scary, Seaworld's Christmas, and food and wine festival.

 

While I was working at Disney my wife had an EPCOT after 4pm pass that was perfect, if i still lived there I could probably get by with just that pass for a few years until Avatar and some of the other major expansions are open.

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I think you just have to balance it correctly. We live in a nice non-touristy area, but we can be in the 'touristy' area in 10 minutes and be at parks in 20 minutes. Robb has gone to the parks far more than I have. It's nice to have them as an option year round right down the street but not annoying me other times.

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^That's exactly right, and for the most part those seasonal event that I love are during non-tourist times for the most part which is usually the best (darn near the only) times to visit some of the parks. I guess working in the parks part of the time I lived in Orlando kind of burned me out a little bit too, after working a 40-60 hour week the last place you want to be on a day off is back in a park. But your right, for a local (who doesn't work in the parks) a good balance is definitely the key to not losing the magic.

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^Oh yeah, it's working in the park that killed you. When I was working at a park it ruined me from ALL parks. It's one of the reasons I won't ever go back to working at a park again even if it's behind the scenes.

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Once again I had the opportunity to revisit Epcot to check out the latest changes to the park... This time, I was visiting to try out the new Katsura Grill which opened a few weeks ago as the replacement of the former Katsura Grill quick service dining location in the Japan Pavilion.

 

Of the two items I tried, both were good. The first, the Okanami Yaki is best described as a vegetable pancake whose ingredients I couldn't figure out if I tried. Normally served with a hearty helping of mayo on top, I opted out of that because I'm not a fan of the condiment (though I don't hate it as much as Tyler). The other item, the Tonosama Combo was an updated version of the item offered on the old restaurant's menu, including a combination of teriyaki beef, chicken and (new to the combo) salmon. The combo is served with white rice and a small serving of steamed vegetables.

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No RFID turnstiles here!

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The interior of the Katsura Grill was revamped to take on a more modern feel, similar to that found in Tokyo Dining on the other side of the pavilion.

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It feels less like a pagoda and more like trendy Japanese establishment. Plus, the new lighting fixtures and seating arrangement make the building feel a lot bigger.

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Aside from the Curry Udon and the Teriyaki Salmon, this section of the menu is a carry over from the old Yakitori House menu.

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Tsukemen as well as the curry, Okonomi Yaki and the Chicken Cutlet Pan are all new.

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You can also get Matcha Roll Cake or specialty ice cream now.

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Of the three proteins in the combo, the salmon was the tastiest!

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Here is the Okonomi Yaki (sans mayo). It really is one huge vegetable pancake.

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Not sure how I ever missed this, but Mitsukoshi sells cans of Mitsuya Cider! Seriously my second favorite soda from Japan (behind the famed Fanta Melon)! Also in my bag of purchases was a package of strawberry jelly cubes and even more Mitsuya Cider!

 

Also, I was with friends that wanted to celebrate my birthday a few days early, hence the button.

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In case you didn't know, the holiday crowds are in town.

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Test Track's 90 minute wait had an extended queue for the Stand By line far outside of the entrance.

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Lines have been set up within the Mission Space for the eventual holiday crowds that will soon flood it.

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Yep. We did Mission Space!

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I don't remember these being here last time I rode...

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I pride myself in the fact that I actually saw the movie this was (and Gary Sinese were both) featured in.

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That being said, I'm guessing no one in this crowd ever saw Mission to Mars.

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Ready for Lunar Orbit Insertion.

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A portrait of a true hero.

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Sorry guys, couldn't contain myself.

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Looks like we got the Geonosis ending! Can't wait to visit the Death Star and see the Mighty Microscope tribute!

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STOLPort in the winter.

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Nobody move a muscle.

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I'm an astronaut now!

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Back at Test Track, four re-skinned cars are in circulation on the track.

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Looks a bit like Tron, right?

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"Welcome to the TRON Track!"

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"Rectify Two, Five and Seven."

"Seven?"

"Affirmative. Seven."

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"The Grid. I tried to picture clusters of information. What did they look like. With circuits like freeways…"

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Okay, back to being serious.

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Here's five.

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Seven? Yeah, seven.

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Haven't seen this one from me before.

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When I strike it rich, one of mansion's many bedrooms will be a replica of this room. No joke!

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Have a nice flight!

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I lived in Orlando for 1 year and loved it, I am hoping to get out of Cali and back to Orlando for good. I worked at WDW, but i worked in the resorts, all the Bay Lake resorts to be Specific. It was amazing, there is so much that goes on In WDW year round, that it never seemed to got old, I found my self in a park daily it felt like. I see how you would want to not visit parks that you work in, but i think working in the reports really helped me.

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The food at the new Japanese restaurant looks great--and really makes me miss Japan. I like the look of the "newly skinned" Test Track cars, too.

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