This week’s SATURDAY SIX looks at Six Things We Wish Theme Park Fans Would Stop Complaining About. It’s hard to believe that in a land full of fantastical theme parks, luxurious hotels, and wonderful memories filled with pixie dust that people could have anything to complain about. But they do. In fact, after a thorough investigation the Saturday Six staff has compiled a list of 548,321 complaints, and that’s just in the Florida parks. Today we’re going to look at the six of most prevalent complaints and say “STAHP!”
If you thought Talking Mickey was a hit, wait till Barista Mickey makes his debut….
# 6 – “They are building too many Starbucks”
Out of nowhere, Starbucks has seemed to have taken over the theme park world in Florida. The first step in theme park world domination for the coffee brand? The beloved Main Street Bakery at the Magic Kingdom. Starbucks then moved over to Epcot and replaced the Fountain View Cafe, complete with a hidden Communicore logo to appease the hardcore fans. Two more Starbucks are coming to Downtown Disney, and it is rumored that locations will be opening up at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom, as well. Not to be outdone, the Starbucks location over at Universal’s CityWalk is moving from its second floor No-Man’s-Land location down onto the ground level, and Island of Adventure’s Arctic Express has been converted into a Starbucks, as well.
What’s going here? The answer is simple. People love Starbucks. Period. The Starbucks brand is strong enough that it can charge a premium price for a drink you can get almost anywhere else cheaper, and have people lining up for it. While the Main Street Bakery certainly wasn’t hurting for business before, it’s easy to see how successful the ones at Downtown Disney and Universal will be compared to what they are replacing. The new Starbucks locations are in prime real estate and will be all but printing money.
If these Starbucks locations were McDonald’s, you could make a case that there are better restaurants all over either property. If the locations were Dunkin’ Donuts you could make a case that there are better bakeries around. But no one at Disney or Universal is doing a better job than Starbucks at making good coffee and, as far as we know, the world didn’t end when the first Grande Latte went out.
New Year’s Eve is just three short weeks away, and those lucky enough to be at Walt Disney World during this time are in for some amazing treats! Here is an idea of some of the fun you can expect to see at Walt Disney World for New Year’s Eve.
Celebrate 2014 with a bang…literally…as the Magic Kingdom will show not one, but two fireworks spectaculars on two separate nights. On December 30 and 31, guests may take in Holiday Wishes: Celebrate The Season at 9 p.m. and then Fantasy in the Sky, which is scheduled for 11:50 p.m.
This year, World Showcase will feature a variety of DJs found situated throughout the different pavilions. Guests can dance in the New Year at the Future World Fountain Stage, near the Italy Stage, at the America Gardens Theatre, and by the United Kingdom Stage, among others. As we mentioned a few weeks back, many World Showcase restaurants are also offering special dining opportunities.
Two showings of IllumiNations will light up the sky on New Year’s Eve, ending with the Holiday Tag after the 6:30 p.m. show and the New Year’s Eve Countdown spectacular after the 11:40 p.m. show.
The inferno barge from Illuminations is out for repairs for an undetermined length of time. The show will be running without its signature plumes of fire and brimstone for at least a few weeks. Earliest estimates are saying late March, others are saying mid-April before its return.
The Earth Barge has finished its refurbishment and is back in the show at Epcot’s Illuminations. The quality of the globe is much improved and we can actually make out the images now. Video is from wdwmagic.com via youtube.
The massive Earth Barge from Illuminations Reflections of Earth is currently scheduled to start a refurbishment and LED-lighting system replacement on August 13th. This date has changed several times in the past, and the end date is currently unknown.
Illuminations will continue to be shown nightly at Epcot during it’s absence but in a modified and slightly shortened form.
We’ve previously reported that the Earth Globe was set to be absent from Illuminations: Reflections of earth at Epcot several times in the past year so that it could undergo upgrades and enhancements. We’ve gotten word that the newest date to try and bring it out of the show for the needed repairs will be at the end of the Food and Wine Festival. Will it happen? Who knows, but know that it could.
There have been strong rumors that the Earth Barge from Illuminations: Reflections of Earth will not be featured in the show from September 5th to September 23rd, 2007.
This refurbishment is said to improve the image quality on the globe and has been rumored to occur several times this year. Notably, guests have witnessed pyrotechnic testing for replacement effects during the globe’s main sequence in the show.
Dates could change or the project could be completely delayed again, in short, do not expect to see the Earth in Illuminations for most of September though. Rather, enjoy that you’re seeing Illuminations with more pyrotechnics then most people ever experience.
As an added benefit for guests of official Walt Disney World Resorts, Illuminations: Relfections of Earth (the nightly fireworks at Epcot) will be shown a second time on nights with Extra Magic Hours. The second show will occur at 11:30pm. The 9pm show will still occur for all guests of the park.
Epcot is currently scheduled to have EMH evenings on April 3, 5, 10, 12, 20, and 27.
After being removed because of an accidental detonation prior to show time many months ago, the air-launch fireworks system has returned to Illuminations: Reflections of Earth at Epcot.
The “ALF” system as it is know uses compressed air to launch a fireworks shell into the air and then a computer chip to detonate the shell. This works to create very precise and controlled explosions, moreso then the typical powder charge that would propell the shell from a launch tube. Below you can check out our video of the newly redesigned ALF system at work at Epcot, launching the opening comet from the American Adventure and meeting with a large explosion fired from the lagoon.
Previously, the system launched from the UK pavilion and required walkways to be shut down during its use for safety reasons. After the accident, the opening fireworks functioned on regular launch charges creating less accuracy in placement and the typical “thud” heard as they launched.