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Walt Disney World Epcot Discussion Thread

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

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Ok let's think about this here. How can Disney make a personalized ride for one person when they are in a car with 5 other people? Will it be like a vote thing where majority rules? Something doesn't make sense.

 

^This.

 

My thoughts exactly.

My thoughts is that perhaps there might be a 6 person 'design bay 'or similar, and each person is tasked with designing on part of the car. One person picks tyres, another one colour, headlight design, propulsion source etc etc.

So it could end up being a 'design by committee' perhaps?

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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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So entirely new queue with interactive/next gen elements.

 

The ride itself remains nearly completely unchanged except for the cars being reskinned (as is needed to remove the old brands that gm has shuttered) and operational improvements.

 

New post show where you find out how well you did in the video game you played while in the queue.

 

New Chevy showroom (The smart money says this entire update was thought up so the GM branding could be removed because of the stigma attached to it and the fact that so many ancillary brands are gone. I see you- Hummer, Oldsmobile, Saturn, etc.).

 

 

 

While it's a very minor update, I'd be happy if they remove the "home-depot" style truss and signage at the entrance to the ride and keep some reference to seven and/or surprise tests in the pre show.

 

Chris " or maybe, they are updating so it the cars can travel at 100 mph again" Connolly

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^ I wouldn't be surprised if they updated the pre-show video as well as the in-ride narration and video elements to match. Maybe even incorporate some of the effects that are being used on Radiator Springs Racers. Wouldn't have to change the ride course, just theming elements.

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I'm always out of the loop (pun intended), so I have to ask; What effects are they including in Radiator Springs Racers that could possibly be implemented out on the test track?

Edited by Chroniq
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^ I think there's some sort of "mirror" effect that makes it look like the cars are getting customized paint jobs and tires or something. This is just me guessing, though.

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Wes- whether this turns out to be true or not, I'm impressed that you brought a completely new idea to the table. Sounds like a good idea and something that can be easily implemented in the new overlay.

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  • 2 weeks later...

After watching the special Rock the Night fireworks show at Disney's Hollywood Studios the other night, my friend and I went over to Epcot to enjoy the rest of the park's time open for the evening. I ended up coming back the following day, but during both visits, I found some new and notable things, as well as captured some more photos of some of Epcot's finest.

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The temporary Italy booth from the Food & Wine Festival has returned to the pavilion (after a brief stint at Disney's Hollywood Studios for the holidays) to help deal with the loss of Tutto Italia during the major refurbishment it receives over the next few months.

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Tutto Italia is undergoing a major refurbishment (the one it was supposed to receive when the Patina Group first took over the the restaurant from the former Alfredo's) to give it a new interior design and add a wine bar to building (which will be on this end of the restaurant).

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The construction wall runs all the way to the pizza window at Via Napoli.

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Walls have been ripped out and the interior gutted. One this is for sure--this won't look like Alfredo's when it returns.

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Artsy-ness...

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As a part of the refurbishment of the Katsura Grill, the fairly new merchandise building directly across from Mitsukoshi was repurposed as a sake bar.

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The Amasake Mist is a mix of sake, soda and flavorings to make a smoother drink for those that can't stomach sake straight up.

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Two new merchandise carts have been added directly to the right of the sake bar.

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It is like they knew TPR was watching!

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Mo Rockin' is still playing strong!

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The lower balcony of the France pavilion's waterfront area was open for the first time in a while, allowing for a great view of one of my favorite shows.

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I love taking fireworks photos!

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The following day, we returned to Epcot to walk the park and enjoy the atmosphere.

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A better look at the old entrance ripped open.

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The Via Napoli pizza window was open again with a limited menu.

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A look at the menu...

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We had other plans for dinner this evening... We wanted to eat at Via Napoli!

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Considering how nice it was outside, it was a pleasant surprise to be seating in the indoor/outdoor patio section of the restaurant.

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The Mezzo Metro Margherita Pizza was the perfect size for the three of us.

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After dinner, we had some frozen margaritas in Mexico!

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New signs in Future World were recently installed around the area, sporting a new look and color scheme that matches the recent changes of style (blue and green) to the two sides of Future World.

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They sure beat the whirligigs!

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A section of the entrance to the The Seas with Nemo & Friends was behind walls.

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Cuttlefish!

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He's sad he hasn't been featured in a SyFy movie yet.

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The Seas has always been one of my favorite places to just walk around and enjoy.

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A look at the "EAC" scene from outside.

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A not-so-hidden Mickey.

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April isn't too far off...

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Will you miss the old Test Track or are you eager to see the new version?

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Say goodbye to this logo, soon enough.

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I wonder if this will find a place somewhere in the new attraction.

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Some details I hadn't looked at in a while.

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Most Disney fans will die a little if the "2, 5 and 7" line isn't referenced somewhere in the new attraction.

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"Lai-Tow-Speed!!!"

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I actually got to ride in one of the "new" cars. As of right now, the changes are purely cosmetic. The screens were the same, and the audio still sounded rough in the car I was in, but I'm sure they'll fix this before the ride reopens in its new form.

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Only two of the "new" cars were on the track today, with a third sitting off to the side in the post-dispatch maintenance bay.

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The car showcase currently features the Chevy Volt as the feature vehicle.

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The future of Test Track is Chevrolet.

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  • 2 weeks later...

http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2012/02/habit-heroes-exhibit-debuts-at-innoventions-at-epcot/

 

A new interactive exhibit, Habit Heroes presented by Florida Blue and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, debuted at Innoventions at Epcot today.

 

This new experience encourages children of all ages to learn healthy lifestyle habits and become more active. Guests can join forces with Habit Heroes Will Power and Callie Stenics to fight off villains like Sweet Tooth and The Snacker.

 

Two Habit Heroes even made a special in-person appearance today for the kick-off of the exhibit.

 

Can’t make it to Epcot? Kids can visit http://www.HabitHeroes.com to create their own avatar and learn how to fight bad habits.

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Cast members were informed of the following yesterday. WDW Parks will be enforcing the one hour window on all Fast Passes

 

Disney's FASTPASS service return time reminder

02/08/2012

 

In order to provide the best experience possible for everyone at our theme parks, all Walt Disney World Guests will be expected to return within their Disney's FASTPASS return time window, effective March 7.

 

Disney's FASTPASS service plays an important role in our Guests' ability to enjoy their visit to one of our Walt Disney World theme parks, and our ability to provide this great service is dependent upon Guests returning during the designated window. The vast majority of our Guests are aware of their return times and arrive in the window printed on the Disney's FASTPASS ticket.

 

As more Guests choose to take advantage of this feature, we want to provide the same opportunity to everyone. By asking all Guests to return within the window printed on their pass, more Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy this great service.

 

This is not a change, but simply a reminder of our existing policy. All Cast Members are expected to adhere to this policy when visiting the parks as Guests.

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^Dislike. If the vast majority of guests return within the time window on the ticket, then why does the policy need to be changed? Furthermore, there are legitimate reasons why a guest could not make their scheduled window, like getting stuck in line for another attraction because it is broken down.

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^I agree, this might cause some problems but for certain attractions like Soarin and Toy Story Mania strict enforcement of the time slots might help a little (even though it's pretty difficult to thoroughly enforce it for one ride and not others). No matter how they operate the Fastpass system there are going to be advantages and disadvantages.

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I imagine that cast members will still have the discretion to allow guests in after the designated time.

 

There's definitely a difference between missing your window by a short amount of time due to another attraction/store/food venue taking more time than you thought vs. waiting until WAY after your window has passed simply because you know you can get away with it.

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While I understand the arguments for changing this, does it really NEED to be changed? It seems to me that most people are happy they can come back after the printed time - whether it be for reasons out of their control (ride breakdown, long line somewhere else, etc), or just because it's more convenient for them to come later ("We were on the opposite side of the park," "We wanted to ride at night," "I was hungry so I wanted to eat first before riding," etc.) I just feel like despite the problems that having an open-ended return time causes, most people would still prefer it. It's much less stressful knowing that you can still ride even if you miss your scheduled time. Now rather than just enjoying your time at the park going where you please, you're going to have to make a point to be in certain areas at certain times, and you'll have to constantly keep mental note of what Fastpasses you have and where you need to be when.

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^As was noted by a CM in the Magic Kingdom thread, the lax enforcement of FP times does cause operational issues after parades/shows/fireworks let out. FP lines get swamped, causing the standby lines to suffer. Great for the guests with FP, not so much for those in what they thought would be a shorter standby line.

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I'm not an attractions cast member, so I wasn't even aware that the return times were to be strictly enforced to begin with.

 

I forget exactly what happened that I learned about how Fastpasses were good until the end of the day. I think that a cast member told me about it one day that I went in as a guest and Space Mountain was down. They probably didn't even know that I was a cast member myself. But, I'm not sure if I'm remembering it correctly.

 

Being oblivious does have its advantages though.

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^As was noted by a CM in the Magic Kingdom thread, the lax enforcement of FP times does cause operational issues after parades/shows/fireworks let out. FP lines get swamped, causing the standby lines to suffer. Great for the guests with FP, not so much for those in what they thought would be a shorter standby line.

 

I've been in standby lines when this has happened, and I agree it sucks, but I still think it's worth it. I really enjoy not having to stress out about being certain places at certain times. I'm at the park to relax, so I don't want stress and a strict schedule. I don't want to have to worry about staying in certain areas of the park so that I'll be close-by when my Fastpass time comes up. I don't want to have to think, "Will I be free at this time? Or will I be at a parade, in another line, or eating?" before I get a Fastpass. I get that sometimes the current policy will work against guests, such as the examples you gave, but the benefit seems worth it to me. It has worked this way for years and most people seem generally happy with it. I feel like they're trying to fix something that isn't broken, and in doing so they may cause more inconvenience and problems for guests.

Edited by ILoveRides
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^I totally agree with you, as I am one of those people who knowingly uses as fast pass whenever it is convenient for me.

 

But I see the operational/throughput issues as well. I would imagine that there was a reason for management to issue this reminder to CM's, whether it be guest complaints or them noticing rides closing later than expected (read: costing them more $$) due to longer standby lines...

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Thinking about the problem a little more: Assuming parades, fireworks, and other shows that draw large amounts of people to a small area are the majority of the problem, I wonder if they could study guest usage patterns during these events and use the data to try to account for the increased Fastpass usage during these times. For example, if after a parade they find that approximately 100 extra people swarm the nearby Fastpass line, they could give out 100 less Fastpasses for the window right after the parade, thus helping to ease the problem a bit. This probably wouldn't be a perfect solution, but anticipating traffic patterns could certainly help ease the problem. (Note: I don't know if they already do this or not.)

Edited by ILoveRides
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I can see this 'reminder' being implemented at the Disneyland 'resort'.

 

I usually get a bunch of Disneyland fastpasses, and then visit DCA to use that fastpass system, only to return to Disneyland to use my fastpasses that were obtained earlier.

 

Like yesterday, I had a 5-6pm Star Tours fastpass, went over to DCA, then dinner, then went back to Star Tours at about 7:45pm.

 

 

If this policy is going to be strictly enforced in the future, I'm not going to be very happy.

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