Hi, everyone! Welcome to the best week ever! This week we’re starting with the 4th annual Car Masters Weekend at Downtown Disney. If you can believe it, I’d never attended this event before last year. Even then, we only caught it by accident during the last few hours. Since then, my hubby hasn’t stopped talking about it. This year we were there bright and early, an hour before the event officially opened. Doing so allowed me to get some photos without tons of people in the frame, but don’t be fooled, it was pretty busy even this early!
The event featured over 100 cars. My favorite were the classic vehicles, but there were lots of modern muscles cars featured, too. Many had signs declaring they weren’t street legal! That’s a little too fast for me, but it was fun to look. And looking was pretty much all you could do, as many cars had big signs demanding that you not touch the cars. I can understand why, but there were many disappointed kids who wanted to sit in the cars desperately! Just be aware if you’re taking your little one that very few cars are kid friendly. There were a few cars with signs declaring they were kid-friendly, and I think Disney should put them in a section together to make it easier for parents.
Of course, I went hunting the Disney themed cars. This Herbie the Love Bug even had a recording of his characteristic horn blowing. I didn’t see an owner anywhere in sight, which makes me wonder if this one belonged to Disney. (Most owners were standing immediately beside their cars. Some were lovely, but some were downright grumpy. It seems like they’d understand a car show at Disney would mean tons of kids wanting to touch their car.)
Here are a few cars with the lovely back drop of Disney Springs construction. All the way over the the right is one of many Mustangs that were on display. Maybe it’s just because my hubby likes them that I noticed, but it seemed like there were more Mustangs than anything else.
Of course, this was clearly the best Mustang! On the back window was a Monsters University full window vinyl sticker. Now they just need someone to make a Sulley one!
Almost as cool was getting to see this guy. I’ve never had the chance to meet Finn McMissile in the parks! Of course, Lightning McQueen and Mater were also on had to greet guests.
While I was excited to meet Finn McMissile, most of the crowd was there to see Chip Foose. Since I was there so early, I staked out a spot so I could get you excellent video of his first interview of the day. If you aren’t familiar with Chip, he’s a car designer and known for his TV show, Overhaulin’.
After the interview Chip was doing a three hour autograph session over at D Street. The line was very long, so we decided to skip it and check out the new soccer shop next door that one of our readers had asked about. (Thanks, Ludvig!)
Stepping inside, the shop is really small but packed to the gills with tons of jerseys. There were also a few TVs showing the World Cup. It seems like an odd addition to Downtown Disney. Why would people wait until they’re on vacation to buy this stuff? In any case, the shop is only temporary during the World Cup.
Leaving Downtown Disney I had to grab a shot of all the cranes for you guys. Can you believe it? Every time I’m there it seems like there’s even more construction equipment. I hope it’s helping them work faster because parking is a disaster! Unless we can get there first thing in the morning, I’ve pretty much given up on Downtown Disney until this parking structure opens.
Keeping with the soccer theme, I wanted to share the World Cup location that has been opened inside the old Odyssey Restaurant at Epcot. Unfortunately, we’ve been experiencing apocalyptic rain all week long. Despite making a couple of attempts, I couldn’t get there when it wasn’t pouring. So, here is GoPro footage of walking up to the restaurant in the rain!
Once inside, the building hasn’t changed from what you remember. They’ve moved conference tables in and about twenty recliners across the front of the restaurant. The place was packed, and everyone was really into the game!
Inside they also had some snacks for sale and various merchandise. The most expensive shirt I found on that wall was $140! I wonder if they’ve actually have sold any of these?
Walking back towards the front of the park, there’s a lot of construction going on along the rose garden and the former site of Tinkerbell’s Butterfly Garden. I haven’t heard any news about what might be changing in this area, but I’ll keep you guys updated as we hear.
Next, I hopped over to the Polynesian Resort to take a look at their construction progress. I hadn’t visited until now in hopes that the entire resort wouldn’t be behind construction walls. Unfortunately, I didn’t wait long enough, as the walls start before you can even get into the front door!
The former site of the Wyland Gallery isn’t even behind a wall, but rather canvas screening. It looks pretty awful. Check out how crumpled it is along the bottom.
Where the fountain used to be located, nicer looking walls have been added. It’s still tough to navigate around everything since the entire main building is plagued with construction.
Looking outside, windows are being installed on the new DVC structures over the water. They are going to absolutely kill the view of the fireworks from the beach. As much as I hate them for that, I still want to stay in one when they open!
Here’s the view from a boat looking back at the Polynesian Resort and all these DVC structures. I counted roughly fifteen of them lining the entire waterfront of the resort. Add in the crane, and the resort is looking pretty rough, but I bet it will be amazing when it opens! (Trader Sam’s, anyone?)
My last updates for this week come from Disney’s Hollywood Studios, where the first limited edition MagicBands were released. It seems like these must have been delayed, as I can’t imagine Disney purposely waiting to sell them until the last Star Wars Weekend. The bands were limited to 2,500 of each style and retailed for a whopping $30! The only added benefit beyond design is a custom greeting from the character when you use the band at the front gate. But I’ve heard it only works at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and not the other three parks.
Lastly, I finally made time to see Obi-Wan and Beyond, a show that is offered annually during Star Wars Weekends. This epic event features voice actor James Arnold Taylor and all the amazing voices in his head. Honestly, the show is worth the price of admission, and I highly recommend it if you ever find yourself at Star Wars Weekends. Here is just a little bit:
Can you believe he’s doing that all live? He’s amazing! That wraps up our news from last week. If you’re heading to Disney World next week, here’s a look at what you can expect:
Crowd Calendar: Summer crowds continue this week but we’re projecting it won’t be quite as bad as last week. However, there isn’t a day with crowds below 6. Keep those Touring Plans handy!
Weather: If this week is any indication, then be prepared for rain like it’s the end of the world! Normally rain in Central Florida means avoiding an afternoon shower, but it’s been very different lately. Rain has rolled in and stayed most of the day. Be prepared for very high temperatures and possible constant rain.
The Sounds Like Summer Concert Series continues at Epcot next week with nightly concerts at 5:30pm, 6:45pm and 8:00pm. I hoped to get video this week, but the rain cancelled every concert I tried to attend. If the weather cooperates you can expect to see coverage on this next week.
Trucks on the Town at Downtown Disney West Side will take place June 21 from 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. This event features local gourmet food trucks beyond the normal Disney bunch. I’m excited to see an event that appeals to locals! I hope it’s telling of things to come, and you know you you can count on me to tell you all about it!
Lastly, we’re hearing very dependable rumors that The American Idol Experience will be closing in early January 2015. If this is one of your favorites be sure to catch it before it’s gone forever!
Here’s my top tip for this week: Did you know that you can visit the Polynesian Resort, The Wilderness Lodge and Campground, and the Grand Floridian all by boat from the Magic Kingdom? If you even need a break in the middle of the day, these are great spots to relax but still take in more Disney magic. Plus you can’t beat a good sunset on the water!
Do you have any news I missed or any requests for coverage next week? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below, and thanks so much for reading! I’m wishing all of you the Best Week Ever, until next time!