This week’s special April 1st edition of the SATURDAY SIX takes a look at the Six Worst Attractions at Walt Disney World. Our All-Star Panel was exhausted after voting for the best attractions at Universal Orlando Resort and Walt Disney World, but we weren’t done with them yet. No, now it was time to look at the other side of the coin. What are the worst attractions at Walt Disney World? This exercise was a lot tougher than you think, because certain attractions jump to mind, but the more you think about it, the more others start to emerge. Did you know that the Leave a Legacy monuments are considered an attraction at WDW? Ellen’s Energy Adventure takes a lot of heat, but what about the #INCREDIBLESSuperDanceParty in Tomorrowland (and yes, that’s it’s actual name. It should get a vote just based on that.) This was going to be a true challenge so our all star, blue ribbon panel was made up of 40 members comprised of some of the most exceptional people in the theme park community (a full list is available at the end of the article.)
The numbers were crunched, and then re-crunched by the Saturday Six computers.
The Criteria: Each of the 40 experts voted on what they consider to be the six worst attractions at the Walt Disney World Resort. These attractions could be any ride, show, nighttime spectacular, or parade currently in Walt Disney World (including the water parks.) Each attraction listed would be awarded ONE point, except for the attraction that the voter ranked in his #1 spot – that received TWO points.
When the results were tabulated we then reached out to the great wise man of the theme parks, Jim Hill.
Jim Hill – When Derek invited me to take part in this particular Touringplans.com story, I have to admit that I wasn’t all that enthusiastic. Mostly because — after over three decades of interviewing the people who actually build & design the rides, shows and attractions for the Disney theme parks — I know for a fact that there isn’t an Imagineer on this planet who gets up in the morning and says “I want to create something crummy today. I want to do something that disappoints people.” Every ride, show and attractions starts out with the best possible intentions. It’s just that — between the “Blue Sky” phase and Opening Day — somehow that ride winds up going off the rails for reasons that are completely beyond WDI’s control. So to counter all of the snark found in today’s article, I thought I might try and give you a bit of background on each of the attractions that wound up on the “Worst” list:
We got 40 Disney experts. We got Jim Hill. We got the a list of the worst attractions at WDW. Who’s ready?!
The DEFINITIVE GUIDE to the SIX WORST ATTRACTIONS at Walt Disney World.
Len Testa (Co-Author to the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World and owns a Space Mountain Themed Kitchen) – Let’s start this off by saying that despite having absolutely no driving or mechanical talent of any kind, I can watch car shows like Lionel Richie: all night long. I’ve seen every episode of Top Gear, including the rare pre-James May Series 1. And I’ll watch Two Guys Garage for hours, even though there’s a better chance of a Chevy small block v8 falling on me than me rebuilding one.
So you’d think I’d love the extreme driving of the Lights, Motors, Action! show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, right? Well, no. To quote Mr. May, it’s rubbish. Why? How? Let me count the ways.
To be fair, it could be worse…
First, there’s the opening. It’s the best part of the entire show, and it’s two and a half minutes of excellent stunt driving, drifting, and automotive choreography. The problem is that this 150-second snippet shows virtually every key element of the production, which somehow continues for another half an hour. If LMA was CSI:Miami, you’d know in the opening credits that the butler did it, see how it was done, and then spend the next half hour watching everyone talk about the crime. Which you saw. In the credits. At the beginning.
Next, there’s the super-in-depth discussion of how each movie scene is set up, including multiple camera angles, cinematography, editing and special effects techniques. This may have been mildly interesting a decade ago, before every 8-year old in the audience had a GoPro, and a YouTube account. But today? Dear Lord, half the audience can edit videos on their cellphones. We get it. As philosopher S. Roy Hagar said in Das Beste aus zwei Welten: “That which is understood need not be discussed.”
And that leads into the third big problem with the show: the pace is slower than 60-weight motor oil in a Boston snowstorm. For every minute of action, there’s something like 3 or 4 minutes of talking. It’s like watching C-SPAN debate fuel economy regulations, without the tin-foil hat voicemails for entertainment.
But the show manages to get even worse by pandering to small boys via the Lightning McQueen segment. It’s obvious, dull, and vapid. You know what would be better? Putting cameras in the cars and letting the drivers talk while doing some stunts. Sure, you’d have to get drivers with personality, but I happen to know of a foursome that is seeking gainful employment. Might be worth a phone call.
JIM HILL (Jim Hill Media)- It’s important to understand that when the Imagineers originally proposed this outdoor arena show for the Walt Disney Studios Park at the Disneyland Resort Paris, it was supposed to celebrate the James Bond films. EX: The pre-show area was to have taken Guests through Q’s Lab. More to the point, this stunt show was to have featured Bond doing battle with some of the more memorable villains from this film franchise (i.e., Jaws, Oddjob). But when the Broccoli family wanted The Walt Disney Company to pay a ridiculous high fee in order to use the James Bond characters in a theme park setting, the Imagineers were forced to drop all of the hi-tech spy stuff that would have actually made this arena show entertaining and then go instead with a generic stunt driving show that wasn’t tied to any film franchise. So no Bond equals bland.
The turtles are popular now, but in the late ’80s and early ’90s they were a phenomenon. Cartoons, video games, movies, comic books, breakfast cereal, traveling stage shows, and enough merchandise that would make even Anna and Elsa jealous. Starting in 1990, TMNT performed a stage show in New York area of Disney-MGM, followed by a meet-and-greet. TMNT left Disney in ’96, but the Turtles have proven the test of time, connecting with each new generation of kids. While both Disney and Universal could score a coup by having the turtles in their parks, right now they can be seen at the Nickelodeon Hotel in Orlando
The heroes in a half shell with April O’Neil in the Streets of America. (photo by PopRewind)
Are you excited about the upcoming film, Tomorrowland? (How can you not be?! It looks fantastic.) Well, if you are anxious about the movie, which stars George Clooney, then you’ll need to make sure to catch the official sneak preview taking place at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland.
For those visiting Walt Disney World, you’ll need to head to Epcot and the Imagination Pavilion. I’m sorry to report that at least temporarily, fans of Captain EO, Hooter, Odie, Idie, and Fuzzball will not get to see the rag-tag band attempt to deliver a gift to The Supreme Leader. The preview for Tomorrowland will be taking place in the Imagination Theater, and will include in-theater effects. (Captain EO will see its last day of operation on April 9.)
Over on the west coast, at Disneyland, guests can go to Tomorrowland (good place for a preview about a movie named Tomorrowland) where they can catch the sneak peek replete with in-theater effects in the Tomorrowland Theater. In addition, in the Starcade, there will also be an exhibit available for guests to enjoy production art and props used in the movie.
The official sneak preview will begin in mid-April (no official date has been announced) and the preview will last approximately 15-20 minutes. Tomorrowland heads to theaters on May 22.
If you’ve never visited during this time of year you might not know about a special display at the Grand Floridian. For just a few special weeks, incredible hand painted candy eggs are put out on display in the lobby of the hotel. Each of these eggs weigh between 9 and 12 pounds and stand anywhere from 16 to 20 inches tall. It’s pretty incredible to see! Starting with this special egg that’s on display in the lobby at the villas:
Want to see more of this awesome Easter display? Be sure to click to read more!
Can you believe it? Easter is just a week and a half away! Wow has time flown.
With Easter upon us, I wanted to share a few things that those of you traveling down during the next couple of weeks may want to take advantage of!
First, for those visiting the Magic Kingdom, you’ll be able to meet Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny! The duo have hopped over to the Main Street U.S.A.’s Town Square Courtyard at the Bunny Lane Garden, located next to City Hall. They can be found meeting guests from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. and guests will receive a pre-autographed card before they exit. Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny will be at the Magic Kingdom through April 5.
As I’ve previously mentioned, at Epcot, they will be holding the popular Disney Egg-stravaganza Easter Egg Hunt. Guests will be able to explore World Showcase with a specially-themed map in hand, searching for decorative eggs themed to Disney Characters. They should then place the corresponding egg sticker on the map to represent that location. Maps and stickers may be purchased for $4.95 (plus tax) and when guests are finished, they may return the map to claim a surprise gift. The fun kicks off on March 27 and lasts through April 5.
While Epcot’sFlower and Garden Festival hasn’t yet caught up with the International Food and Wine fest in edible options, there are still more items to sample than any human stomach should attempt in a single day (trust us, we’ve tried). Therefore, I recently followed up my first visit to 2015 Flower and Garden Festival with another lap around World Showcase, this time in the opposite direction. The following photos show of some of my favorite Flower and Garden food finds from the western “hemisphere” of Epcot’s promenade, along with a closer look at a few of the floral arrangements we overlooked the first time around.
2015 Epcot Flower and Garden Food Finds
Let’s start with Urban Farm Eats, home to two of my favorite dishes at this year’s festival.
This article is the final installment in a series ranking counter service restaurants at each of the Disney Parks at Walt Disney World. In case you missed them, you can review each article regarding Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios.
One of Epcot’s most notable experiences is the unique dining options. So notable, in fact, that every Fall it plays host to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, a must try if you haven’t already experienced it. Epcot has simply dozens of restaurants, carts and kiosks to try little morsels of culture. Though many of these carts and kiosks are considered by Disney to be “counter service” most of them are stands, windows, or carts, allowing guests to grab a specialty food item and continue their journey around World Showcase. There are actually relative few “counter service” locations that offer multiple menu selections and ample seating on the same level as other counter service option in the other parks.
If you use the Disney App, or the Disney website and filter restaurants by “counter service” and “Epcot”, the results will yield 24 locations. However, upon further inspection, these 24 locations also include options like popcorn carts and coffee stands. For the purpose of this article, I’ll limit the term “counter service” to only include options that offer meals, and not merely snacks (though there is something to be said for “snacking around the world”). This brings the results down to eleven locations. So, let’s start our culinary adventure!
I am back from another great trip to Walt Disney World, and I have some news that I learned that you need to know for your upcoming trips. There are lots of great tidbits that I think are of great interest, so let’s dive right into the fun!
Over at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the fantastic macaw show, Winged Encounters – The Kingdom Takes Flight, will see a small change. The landing perch has been relocated in front of the Tree of Life. The show will continue to be performed at 9:15 a.m., 10:15 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.
Previous location of the Winged Encounters perch. And yes, the birds DO fly AT you!
The weather has been very overcast for the past week or so, but that didn’t make the view below any less sweet! This was my first time seeing the Studios hat free in fifteen years and I made a special trip just to see it. I vividly remember when I was a little girl that before the park would open Goofy would dance and play in front of the theater. I’d totally forgotten until I saw this again. I also remembered the Rocketeer “flying” from the roof with his jet pack. Anyone else remember these things? Let me know in the comments below! I’d love to reminisce with you.
Of course, since I was there I had to check out what else was new for you. Click to read more to see what other trouble we got into this week.
We’ve reached the conclusion of my Innovention-based game review series. To read about the Great Piggy Bank Adventure app, click here. For Habit Heroes and Sum of All Thrills, click here.
Today, we’ve got apps based off of the StormStruck and THINK exhibits. Let’s get this storm brewin’!
StormStruck: A Tale of Two Homes was first introduced April 16, 2012 in the iTunes App Store. It has had no updates since its release and requires iOS 3.1.3 or later. The app, presented by the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, Inc. (or FLASH), is compatible with the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. I had no issues when downloading the program on to my second generation iPad and iPhone 6.