Walt Disney World Epcot Discussion Thread

P. 269 - Epcot is getting a makeover!
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Re: Walt Disney World Epcot Discussion Thread

Postby Wily J » Mon May 30, 2016 9:13 am

I'm not big at sit-down restaurants at Epcot simply because there is so many good options to sample, but I'd make an exception for this.

Everything looks awesome!

Thanks for taking the time to post the pics Robb.

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Re: Walt Disney World Epcot Discussion Thread

Postby Philrad71 » Mon May 30, 2016 9:42 am

These remind me of pizza that I had in Italy a few years ago where I ate it for lunch every day for a week at different restaurants in Siena, Venice and Florence and had only one that was not very good (Siena). They ALL look fantastic at this place though!

Not to get off track here, but if anyone is going to visit Italy, I recommend to stay away from the restaurants right in the major piazza's like Piazza del Duomo in Florence, or Piazza del Campo in Siena as they are made to cater to tourists (meaning food is over-priced and not very good). Find a nice, quiet family-owned place somewhere on an off-street and you won't be disappointed in your pizza.

Thanks for posting the photos as well as listing some cool facts, Robb...and those pizza ovens are too awesome!!
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Re: Walt Disney World Epcot Discussion Thread

Postby jedimaster1227 » Mon Jun 20, 2016 11:08 am

Today I had the chance to visit Epcot to try out the new Soarin' Around The World as well as the Royal Sommerhus at the Norway Pavilion, a new meet and greet for Anna and Elsa.

The original version of Soarin' (over California) closed on Thursday with the new version debuting on Friday. Soarin' has traded out the many beautiful landmarks of California for new international destinations including Sydney Harbor, the Great Wall of China, the pyramids of Egypt and the Taj Mahal. Despite this update coming primarily from the new Soarin' over the Horizon attraction in Shanghai Disneyland, each version has a different finale with Epcot's taking place over Spaceship Earth. This is a great evolution of an already iconic Disney attraction and while the destinations are new, the classic score has been re-orchestrated to match the locales which guests fly over. The ride now offers three unique scents but unfortunately (Horizons) fans of the L'Orange scent will be disappointed to find that the fresh smell of orange groves didn't find its way into the new internationally focused ride film.

Royal Sommerhus is the first of two new additions to the Norway pavilion, with Frozen Ever After (the successor to Maelstrom) opening later this week. The new addition to the left side of the Norway pavilion is surprisingly subtle when it comes to Frozen. The architecture is authentic to Norway and the interior of the cottage queue features almost no references to the namesake film. It is only until you enter the actual meet and greet parlor where Anna and Elsa are present that the experience clearly ties into Frozen (not even the music from the film is heavily referenced in the background loop) and even their photo backgrounds are tastefully toned down. Many Disney fans feared that Frozen coming to Epcot would take away from the authenticity of the Norway pavilion, but based on everything I experienced yesterday, I believe those fears were unfounded. The debut of Frozen Ever After will be the true deciding factor, but based on the side of the pavilion that already debuted, I don't think anyone has anything to worry about.

The final addition to note from the weekend was the introduction of a new exhibition inside of the China pavilion focused on the new Shanghai Disneyland Resort. Featuring many of the artwork and displays from the most recent D23 Expo, the low key presentation gives guests insight into the creative processes behind the new park and some of its most unique elements.
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Rope dropping Epcot will look like this for a long time if you're aiming to get on Soarin' Around The World first.
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The ride's marquee was updated to reflect the new title.
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Thankfully the gorgeous queue has been left intact with only the addition of a third corridor leading to the newly constructed Concourse C theater.
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The pre-pre-show video loop no longer lists flight destinations in the clouds, rather charting out your planned travel via an animated map.
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Ready for a surprise?
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Patrick Warburton as Chief Flight Attendant Patrick is still the host of Soarin' despite the new ride film!
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He sets such a perfect tone for the start of the ride so I was thrilled to see him stay on. The pre-show film was not altered in any way, nor was any new dialogue recorded to facilitate this portion of the classic attraction staying on.
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The ride film starts out Soarin' above the Matterhorn (not the Fantasyland side of it)...
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Ice is nice!
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Orca!
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Sydney Harbor...
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Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany, the inspiration for much of the design of Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Park and Hong Kong Disneyland.
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The pyramids of Egypt...
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The Taj Mahal...
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It wouldn't be a Disney attraction without Hidden Mickeys! This one can be found during the Monument Valley scene.
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Where Truman always wanted to go: Fiji!
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The Eiffel Tower looks great during this sequence!
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Each of the three Soarin' Around the World films (Soaring Over the Horizon at Shanghai Disneyland) features the same ride film with the exception of the finale, which is specific to the host resort of the ride. For Epcot, the finale flies over Spaceship Earth with fireworks...
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Subtle but not too subtle!
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And the fireworks mark the end of the ride...
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There's nothing not to love about the new Soarin' Around The World. It is an incredible evolution of a classic Disney attraction that pays great homage to what came before (pre-show, the memorable score and the fireworks finale) while introducing exciting new visuals and destinations not previously seen.
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Traveling around the world in 4.5 minutes can certainly make you work up an appetite--and the nearby Sunshine Seasons quick service options at The Land pavilion certainly satisfy! Bread Pudding French Toast, eggs, potatoes, bacon... And a Key Lime Tart because it is never too early for dessert (if you don't already know, I REALLY like food).
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Over at Turtle Talk with Crush, characters from Finding Dory have begun making appearances in the show.
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Turtle Pile!
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Destiny the whale shark now helps Dory to teach the audience how to speak whale.
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After Turtle Talk I went back over to Soarin' for a little experiment... The posted wait time for the ride was 45 minutes upon entry of the queue. This was the back of the line when we started. Now that the third theater has been added, it has been stated that the flow of the queue has been greatly increased...
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By the time we got on the ride, we had only been in line for 25 minutes despite the 45 minute posted wait time. While I can't guarantee the this will be the norm moving forward, it was clear that at least during my visit, the addition of the third theater has allowed the standby queue to load more consistently, shortening our overall wait time by nearly 20 minutes!
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Over at the Norway pavilion the Royal Sommerhus has opened!
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"Meet Anna and Elsa" is very subtly included at the bottom of the marquee to let guests know that this is Frozen related, but aside from that (as you'll see), this isn't very in-your-face when it comes to the popular film property.
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Authentic architecture really sets the mood out here...
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Little Disney details everywhere you look.
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The queue is very quaint and charming!
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Some of the construction wall artwork actually lives on in the form of tapestries that adorn the queue walls.
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The clock works!
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The first (subtle) trace of Frozen I could find in the cottage.
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More tapestries...
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This tapestry is a tribute to Maelstrom, the attraction that has since been replaced with Frozen Ever After. The border of the artwork on the tapestry is inspired by the unique chair backs of the benches in the ride's post-show film theater.
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Unique details all around!
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More art on the walls...
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A tapestry depicting Arendelle.
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A look inside of the meet and greet parlor...
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Anna has the port of Arendelle as her backdrop.
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Elsa's backdrop features a view of her ice castle on the side of the North Mountain.
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The meet and greet exits out into a small gift shop featuring a variety of Frozen themed merchandise options.
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The architecture here looks great!
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The restroom complex at the Norway pavilion was heavily refurbished in during the pavilion's Frozen-led facelift.

Fun fact: The restroom complex (particularly the building on the far right) has existed since before the Norway pavilion was constructed.
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An extended queue full of switchbacks is set up just opposite the entrance of the Royal Sommerhus as wait times are expected to be high for these two popular princesses.
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Some Nordic glyphs in the rockwork near the Royal Sommerhus.
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A look at the soon-to-open Frozen Ever After entrance area...
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The ride's entrance sign peeks out over the construction walls.
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The former Maelstrom entrance was given a
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Over in the China pavilion the Terra Cotta Warriors exhibit has been replaced with an exhibit about Shanghai Disneyland...
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Lots of great detail to be seen...
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These displays were previously featured at the D23 Expo's Walt Disney Parks & Resorts Pavilion.
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I look forward to meeting The Woolley next Summer.
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I'm interested to see how these stone formations translate in real life.
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Still interested to see if what we've seen of Q'araq matches more closely with this eventually...
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I love this stylized map of Camp Discovery!
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Based on the design I would've thought this was the Soarin' theater but it is nice to know that this is a flex-venue.
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Plenty of room to grow!
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A good ol' helping of Schofferhofer Grapefruit from Germany to round out the day! Never a bad choice, especially on a hot Florida afternoon like this one!
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Re: Walt Disney World Epcot Discussion Thread

Postby Hilltopper39 » Mon Jun 20, 2016 11:45 am

The new Meet n Greet in Norway looks great, can't wait to see the rest of the area open up tomorrow.

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Re: Walt Disney World Epcot Discussion Thread

Postby viking86 » Mon Jun 20, 2016 12:53 pm

Great report! The new area in the Norway pavilion looks great. I'm particularly impressed by the indoors queue for the meet'n greet, I think they absolutely nailed that part! On behalf of Norway I approve of this area!

I'm still trying to work out what's going on with the architecture in this place though. The yellow wooden part just looks so out of place. I don't know if it's related to the angle of the picture though, so I will withhold final judgement until the whole area is open and we can get a better look at it. But from this picture I'm a bit confused... :?r

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Re: Walt Disney World Epcot Discussion Thread

Postby BDG » Tue Jun 21, 2016 7:46 am

Hold on to your butts, here's the first Frozen Ever After on-ride. Excellent quality too.

Looks great! Beautiful animatronics.


Last edited by BDG on Tue Jun 21, 2016 8:52 am.
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Re: Walt Disney World Epcot Discussion Thread

Postby thrillrider » Tue Jun 21, 2016 8:46 am

And a 5 hours plus wait to boot. =)
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Re: Walt Disney World Epcot Discussion Thread

Postby bert425 » Tue Jun 21, 2016 9:47 am

looks FANTASTIC.

and love they kept the backwards portion. . works beautifully during that set piece with "Let it Go"
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Re: Walt Disney World Epcot Discussion Thread

Postby Moose » Tue Jun 21, 2016 9:54 am

It looks amazing, but not worth the wait it has right now!
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Re: Walt Disney World Epcot Discussion Thread

Postby PhantomPoster32 » Tue Jun 21, 2016 10:37 am

Here's a better video. Give some of the queue and it doesn't have the constant guest with the phone distracting you like the other video.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=m72hUu6eObE

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