Posts Tagged ‘Epcot’

Celebrate Earth Day at Epcot

by on April 20, 2016

©Rikki Niblett

©Rikki Niblett

Earth Day is on April 22, and while most of the focus is always on the events that will occur at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Epcot also gets in on the Earth Day fun.

This year, Earth Day will be celebrated during the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival all weekend long, from April 22-24.

Guests will be able to participate in numerous activities to celebrate the day including:

  • The Jungle Book Matching Activity at The Jungle Book Sand SculptureGuests will be able to play a matching game in which they match species that were featured in The Jungle Book to a fun fact about the animals.
  • Butterfly Citizen Science at Pollinator Garden – Here, Guests will have the opportunity to be a part of a science project by collecting data that will then in turn help conservation and horticulture teams learn about  native Floridian butterflies and their plant preference.
  • Meet Captain Ron at The Seas with Nemo & Friends – No…you won’t be able to meet Kurt Russell as a salty seafarer. Instead, you’ll meet a beagle named Captain Ron who helps conservation experts by sniffing out turtle egg nests to help protect them. Captain Ron and his trainer Pepe Peruyero will have appearances at 10:30 a.m, 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of Earth Day weekend. The duo will also give a short presentation about their work, and will be available for photos.
  • At the Festival Center  Guests can catch horticulture and wildlife experts leading seminars about aquaponics, making your property wildlife-friendly and how to grow new plants from the plants you already have.
  • Participate in a National Park Foundation map activity
  • At 11:00 a.m. each day during Earth Day weekend, you can get an up-close look at a nest with a purple martin expert, presented by the The Florida Audubon.
  • Guests can enjoy the Leap for Wildlife at National Wildlife Federation Garden
  • Guests can discover their footprint at The Nature Conservancy Garden

It seems like a great weekend is in store for those looking to celebrate Earth Day at Epcot this weekend!

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Frozen Ever After to Debut at Epcot in June

by on April 20, 2016

For those who have been waiting anxiously to get to experience the upcoming Frozen attraction at Epcot, you will only have to wait a little bit longer.

While a set date has not officially been announced, Frozen Ever After will debut in the Norway Pavilion at Epcot this June.

The attraction’s timeline will occur after the film takes place, taking guests on a boat tour through Arendelle during a “Winter in Summer” celebration. Queen Elsa who has embraced will create a winter-in-summer day and during the adventure Queen Elsa, Princess Anna, Kristoff, Olaf, trolls and Marshmallow join Guests on their boat journey through the frozen willow forest, past Troll Valley and up to the North Mountain to Elsa’s ice palace, returning to the Bay of Arendelle. During the attraction, Guests will even be able to witness Elsa’s ice magic and experience incredible AudioAnamatronics.

©Disney

©Disney

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Soarin’ Around the World to Debut at Epcot and Disney California Adventure in June

by on April 20, 2016

Soarin' Around the World

©Disney

Guests will finally be able to see the world on Soarin’ at both Epcot and Disney California Adventure.

Beginning on June 17, Soarin’ Around the World will debut giving Guests a glimpse of the Great Wall of China, Sydney Harbor in Australia, and the Matterhorn in Switzerland. The ride will immerse Guests in a multi-sensory experience with sights, sounds, and smells.

The soundtrack of the attraction will see a bit of a change that fits with the new destinations, but will still be based on the current version. There will also be a surprise ending for Guests to experience.

Here is a preview of what Guests will be able to expect with the new film:

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Best (and Worst) Attractions to Get Stuck On

by on April 6, 2016

Thankfully, I had the good sense to bring some reading material along just in case I got stuck

Thankfully, I had the good sense to bring some reading material along just in case I got stuck

It happens. You’re right in the middle of an attraction, and everything just grinds to a halt.  Sometimes you’re down for a few seconds, sometimes it’s several minutes, and sometimes you actually have to be evacuated from the ride.  I was talking with someone in line on a recent trip, and he relayed a story where he spent an hour at the crest of the big drop on Splash Mountain before eventually having to walk off of the attraction without experiencing its climax.  To me, that seems like a pretty awful way to spend an afternoon, and it got me to thinking — what are the best and worst attractions at Walt Disney World to find yourself so stuck that you actually have to exit the ride using your feet? This article attempts to answer this pressing quandary that I suspect most of you had never bothered to contemplate before.

Here are the parameters of the challenge: you’ll be in the midst of the ride, and then at either the most or least optimal moment, the ride will stop moving, although the effects and show elements other than motion will continue to work. You’ll thereafter spend 30 minutes plus whatever time it take to get you rescued in that spot, and then you’ll either be ushered out by Cast Members, or extracted from the ride if necessary. Shows that you could just stand up and leave do not count (i.e., you cannot get “stuck” at Hall of Presidents). Also, you should assume that any momentum-based ride (e.g. roller coasters) is going to come to a natural resting place, such that you won’t be stuck upside down or in the middle of a steep hill.

So, without further ado, let’s go!

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What I Wish I Knew Before My Trip to Epcot

by on April 5, 2016

Spaceship Earth!

Spaceship Earth!

If you are planning your very first visit to Walt Disney World, and you’re like me, you’ve probably done your Disney homework on the parks and resorts. I’m sure you have lists of what attractions you want to see, what characters you want to meet, and I bet you even made those dining reservations the day you booked your trip, right? Still, despite all your planning and newly accumulated park knowledge, it’s still easy to make those Disney World Rookie mistakes. My goal today is to let you in on some tips and info that I wish I had known before my park visits to help your first time trip to Walt Disney World run a little more smoothly. I’ve already covered What I Wish I Knew Before My Trip to the Magic Kingdom; and so for today, I’m tackling What I Wish I Knew Before My Trip to Epcot!

Epcot Map

The length of World Showcase is what I wish I knew before my trip to Epcot!

Two Parks in One

Epcot is one park, but it has two very different sections: Future World and the World Showcase. Future World was originally intended to educate visitors about the world and to be a showplace for new technology. However, Future World has suffered some criticism in recent years as many of its buildings sit empty and seems to be more representative of the past than the future. Still, Future World is home to some of the park’s most popular attractions such as Soarin’, Test Track, and the iconic Spaceship Earth. Epcot’s other section, World Showcase, sits towards the rear of the park and encircles the World Showcase Lagoon. This part of Epcot features eleven pavilions themed after different countries from around the world, as well as one for the United States.

What’s really awesome about World Showcase is that Imagineers went to great lengths to make each pavilion and its design both historically and culturally accurate, so you feel as if you’re in another country and also getting a sense of its history at the same time. Also, I absolutely love eating at the different World Showcase restaurants and shopping for souvenirs from around the world.

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Get Ready to Rock Out With the Sounds Like Summer Concert Series

by on April 1, 2016

©Rikki Niblett

©Rikki Niblett

Each year, during the summer, Epcot holds the ridiculously fun Sounds Like Summer Concert Series. The concerts feature tribute bands that perform your favorite artists hits and let me tell you, watching these concerts is almost like experiencing the real thing.

The concerts take place nightly from June 5 through July 23 and feature tributes to bands like the Eagles, the Bee Gees and Journey.

The full lineup includes:

June 5-11: Don’t Look Back – A Tribute to Boston

June 12-18: Hotel California – A Salute to the Eagles

June 19-24: Rumours – A Fleetwood Mac Tribute Band

June 25-July 1: Simply Tina – A Tribute to Tina Turner

July 2-9: Stayin’ Alive – A Tribute to the Bee Gees

July 10-16: Bruce in the USA – A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen

July 17-23: DSB – A Tribute to Journey

Do keep in mind that entertainment is subject to change.

These fun concerts take place at Epcot’s America Gardens Theatre, which is found at the American Adventure Pavilion. Show times are 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m. daily and shows are included with your Epcot admission.

So get be prepared to shake your booty and make sure you stop to enjoy the Sounds Like Summer concert series during your summer vacations this year!

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Joy and Sadness from Inside Out to Begin Meeting Guests This Weekend

by on April 1, 2016

©Rikki Niblett

©Rikki Niblett

If you’re excited about being able to meet Joy and Sadness from the hit Pixar film, Inside Out, you’ll be able to beginning this weekend! Joy and Sadness will be found at the Epcot Character Spot beginning Sunday, April 3.

The duo will be found in the same Epcot Character Spot space at Baymax from Big Hero 6. (As a reminder, Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy will continue to meet in the original Epcot Character Spot across the Innoventions breezeway.) Joy and Sadness will be found at the end of their own separate queue. Keep in mind that FastPass will not be available for this meet and greet option.

The meet and greet will take Guests into Headquarters. On the way to Headquarters, you’ll journey through Riley’s long-term memory, catching a glimpse of her Islands of Personality before joining Joy and Sadness at the console.

Who else is excited to meet these two?

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Walt Disney World Newsworthy Notes – 3/25/16

by on March 25, 2016

Spring is here and the busy Spring Break season is upon us! That means we have a few news notes that I need to share with you all to make your upcoming trips better. Here are the details you should be aware of, especially if you’re traveling to Walt Disney World this weekend:

 

  • Looking for an Easter-inspired cupcake at Disney’s Hollywood Studios? You’re in luck! Guests can pick up a white chocolate raspberry Thumper specialty cupcake at the following locations through April 14:
    • ABC Commissary
    • Backlot Express
    • Catalina Eddie’s
    • Fairfax Fare
    • Rosie’s All-American Café
    • Starring Rolls Café
    • Trolley Car Café
  • Guests who would like to play Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure at Epcot will now have the option to use their own smartphone. Guests may still opt to receive a F.O.N.E. or Field Operative Notification Equipment to help maneuver through their mission as well, if they choose, but for the first time, Guests will have the option.

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Disney Haiku Challenge

by on March 11, 2016

"Disney Haiku"

“Disney Haiku” (yes, that’s really what it says)

I’m not sure why exactly, but I’ve always found haiku to be a fun little creative outlet. My law school roommate and I would often sit in the back of our Estates & Trusts lectures and compose absurd haiku as a way to pass the time. This might explain why neither of us do estates and trusts as a part of our practice, by the way, but that’s a discussion for another day.  

Anyway, as a reminder for those of you that have not encountered it since elementary school, haiku is a form of short Japanese poetry that follows a particular format: a traditional haiku is 17 syllables in three phrases that follow a 5-7-5 pattern.*  In other words, the first phrase is 5 syllables, the second is 7, and the final phrase is 5 syllables.  To the extent that it requires you to wedge your thoughts into a small number of words and still convey something worth reading, you can almost think of it as an ancient version of Twitter (minus the abbreviations, emoticons and vitriol).  Alas, I digress.

Haiku have traditionally been used to convey very Zen-like observations regarding the serenity of the natural world.  Accordingly, the juxtaposition of this simple, beautiful form of poetry and its traditional use, and different subject matter — like the decidedly un-serene and not-particularly-natural Disney Parks — can lead to some wonderfully absurd results.  Soooo, here’s a challenge for all of you — come up with some Disney park haiku and share them in the comments below.

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runDisney’s Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend Sees Major Changes

by on March 11, 2016

Wine and Dine Half Marathon

©Rikki Niblett

Last year, was my first year running the Wine and Dine (Half) Half Marathon. It was an interesting experience (especially since they halved the race due to weather, so I only had to run 7 miles, instead of 13), but what makes it more interesting is that it was also the last time, it appears that this race would be run at night.

You see, today, Disney has announced that they have made some major changes to the Wine and Dine Half Marathon weekend. The first change being that the Wine and Dine Half Marathon will now be run in the morning, just like the other runDisney races currently are. The Wine and Dine will now take place on Sunday, November 6.

But I know what you’re thinking…what about the after race party that took place following the race? Well, the good news is that the Post Race Party will take place Sunday evening for those who ran the Half Marathon at the Epcot to celebrate the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, with the evening finishing with exclusive runner access during the later hours. After experiencing the Wine and Dine, I can say that this is a good change because after running last year, with how late it was by the time I finished, I wanted nothing more than to just go to sleep; I had zero energy to head back into Epcot to party. It will be nice for those running to actually be able to ENJOY the party.

But wait! That’s not all! Those aren’t the only changes occurring with this race weekend!  The popular holiday-themed 5K called Mickey’s Holiday 5k, will now be moving to Friday morning, November 4. In addition, the weekend will now include the first-ever Disney Wine & Dine 10K on Saturday, November 5 with Chef Remy as the host.

Of course, with a 10K added to the Half Marathon Weekend, this also means that Wine and Dine Weekend is now a Challenge Weekend. For those who run both the 10K and the Half, you will therefore be participating in Lumiere’s Two Course Challenge where runners will receive two inaugural finisher medals as well as the half marathon medal!

This race weekend just got even better! I know I’m excited!

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