Posts Tagged ‘Soarin’’

Seth Kubersky’s Best Week Ever January 7, 2016: Epcot Holiday Hangover

by on January 7, 2016

Welcome to the first Best Week Ever of 2016! I hope that you all had a wonderful New Year’s Eve celebration, and didn’t suffer too badly for it the next day. As it turns out, Walt Disney World itself requires a little “hair of the dog” to recover from the previous week’s capacity crowds. Peak season may have passed, but the Epcot holiday hangover lingers on…

My first Epcot visit of 2016 occurred 4 days into the new year, but the aftermath of holiday crowds — and the flood of cars that had to be parked on every available surface, including the lawn — was still in evidence as I approached the park.

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Trivia Tuesday: Epcot Attractions + Video

by on December 22, 2015

Photo - TouringPlansIt’s my favorite day of the week, so let’s gear up for another Trivia Tuesday!

Today, it’s all about Epcot!

I would love to hear any ideas you have for future Trivia Tuesdays. Let me know in the comments what suggestions you have!

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Disney Park Strengths and Weaknesses: Epcot

by on November 12, 2015

epcot4Are you a Disney Park critic? I know, it’s hard to be critical of anything Disney (at least I think so), but even I have to admit that I’ve experienced a few things that some parks don’t do as well as others. Of course, there’s also a number of things that each park does very well! Today, I’m breaking down Disney Park Strengths and Weaknesses beginning with one of my personal favorite parks: Epcot.

Epcot has a very interesting history. What few guests know is that Epcot was one of Walt’s main focuses when it came to his Florida Project and that the park we know today wasn’t exactly what he had in mind. Epcot, formerly known as EPCOT Center, stands for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow and was intended to be a real, working community with an innovative design to serve as a model for future cities. When Walt passed away, the vision for Epcot gradually turned into a park that celebrated both the future and the world. That is why Epcot is composed of two different sections: Future World and World Showcase.

So let’s start with Epcot’s strengths, shall we…

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Soarin at Epcot to See Lengthy Refurbishment

by on October 19, 2015

©Rikki Niblett

©Rikki Niblett

The rumors had been floating around for a while, and Disney has confirmed it.

Soarin’ at Epcot will be closed for a very lengthy refurbishment for the first half of 2016. The refurbishment of the popular attraction found in The Land Pavilion will be closed starting on January 4, 2016, and will reopen sometime during the summer of 2016. No official reopening date has been announced, nor do we know the exact extent of the work that is to be completed.

Currently, a third theater is under construction. This refurbishment is connected to that work. It is also unclear whether Soarin’ Around The World will be ready to debut when the refurbishment work is completed. However, one would expect that it would debut at or around that reopening time. I will keep you posted as more information gets released about this refurbishment.

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Soarin’ Around The World Headed to Epcot and Disney California Adventure

by on August 15, 2015

Current version of Soarin' ©Disney

Current version of Soarin’ ©Disney

It looks like the rumors were indeed true! It was announced at the D23 Expo today that Soarin’ Around the World will be headed to not only Epcot, but also to Disney California Adventure.

The attraction will take guests on a journey to far-flung lands and fly above some of the world’s most unique natural landscapes and man-made wonders. Some of the destinations will include the Great Wall of China and Monument Valley.

Disney California Adventure’s Soarin’, which debuted when the park opened in 2001, just saw an upgrade to digital projectors during the transformation of its land from Condor Flats to Grizzly Peak Airfield. In addition, over at Epcot, a third theater is currently being constructed, augmenting the two that have been there since the attraction opened in May 2005. Both upgrades are being done to prepare for the new film.

Soarin’ Around the World is expected to debut in 2016 in both parks.

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Two Popular Attractions at Walt Disney World to Receive Expansions

by on March 5, 2015

Soarin-Toy Story ManiaIf you’ve been paying attention to the rumor mill lately, you’ll likely have heard about the supposed expansions for two major attractions at Walt Disney World. One was for Soarin’ and one was for Toy Story Midway Mania! It seems as if those rumors were indeed true, because today, Disney officially announced both of those expansions were coming to fruition.

At Epcot, Soarin’ will be adding a third theater; currently there are two theaters in use with the popular attraction. In addition to the extra theater, there will be updates to the screens, as well as the projection system. (Let’s hope this means we will finally stop Soarin’ with big random spots floating on the screen.)

Over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the extremely popular Toy Story Midway Mania! will also see an addition in the form of an extra track. If you’ve been to the park lately, you’ll notice that the Soundstage 1 (the recent former location of both Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post and Darth’s Mall) has walls around it, which was done in preparation of the expansion.

Both of these expansions are in an effort to increase guest throughput, as both are extremely popular with very long waits most days and FastPass+ reservations often difficult to obtain, especially if you are trying to get one on the day you are visiting the park.

These expansions are expected to be completed by late 2016 and as of right now, both attractions are currently open for guests to enjoy with no refurbishment dates announced.

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What To Do The Night Before Your Disney Alaska Cruise

by on October 7, 2014

Canada PlaceJust in case you haven’t been following along, let me take a moment to catch you up! Fellow TouringPlans Blogger Erin Foster and I went on an amazing Disney Alaska Cruise this summer with our families. We had an incredible time aboard the Disney Wonder and in Alaska experiencing some fantastic Port Adventures like dog sledding, the White Pass and Yukon Railroad, and viewing the Misty Fjords National Monument by float plane.

Before we set off on our exciting voyage, we each spent the night in Vancouver; Erin and her family at the Fairmont Vancouver Airport and my family at the Fairmont Waterfront. My family arrived early on the day before our Disney Alaska Cruise so we had some time to check out Vancouver. Please read on to find out all about our adventures exploring Canada Place, walking the Sea Wall and touring Gastown!

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Favorite Park Series: Disney’s Epcot

by on August 3, 2014

Hello again! Welcome to Epcot. If you haven’t read my highlights on Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom, please do so now.

Epcot scenery

Take in the beautiful scenery.

*Twiddles thumbs. Checks Twitter. Reads a blog post.*

Done? Okay, let’s ‘soar’ right in!

Memorable Moments

Pick your mode of transportation! Soarin’ is a popular ride that allows you to hang-glide over California, feeling the wind in your face whilst smelling the fragrance of zesty orange trees. (Fun Fact: The first model for Soarin’ was made out of an erector set!) Once you land on solid ground, hop in a Chevy at Test Track. Strap yourself in and brace yourself for the ride of your life! Put on your space suit, join the NASA team and shoot for the stars as you travel to Mars in your rocket via Mission: Space. To ease back into Earth’s gravity, swim underwater to the ‘clamobile’ where The Seas with Nemo & Friends take you “under the sea.” Finally, use those feet and travel indoors to Innoventions where you’ll find interactive and educational games the whole family will enjoy.

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Observations from Epcot: July 30, 2014

by on August 2, 2014

observations from Epcot

Take a stroll around Epcot with us without having to leave your air-conditioning! (Photos by Seth Kubersky)

Following my Frozen-filled visit to Disney’s Hollywood Studios last week, I found myself back at Walt Disney World a few days later for some observations from Epcot. As a child, EPCOT (as it will always be capitalized in my heart) was my favorite WDW park, and the massive Beard/Abrams coffee table book on the park’s creation remains among my most prized possessions. As everyone knows, Epcot’s attractions (especially in Future World) have been radically overhauled over the past 2 decades, and now I rarely visit the park except during the fantastic Food & Wine or Flower & Garden festivals.

My first mid-summer Epcot experience in several seasons started on a sweet note, as I snagged a parking spot along the center aisle; there is nothing worse than having to walk a football field’s length just to get to the tram.

Spending a lot of time at Universal Orlando lately, I’ve been frustrated by how slow their entry procedures are, even after new ticket scanners were recently installed. In contrast, the turnstile-free entry at Disney’s parks has become my favorite element of MyMagic+. Scanning a MagicBand usually seems swifter than swiping a barcode, and the finger scanners at Disney are still far faster and more reliable than Universal’s new biometric readers.

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Time Traveling: Soarin’

by on January 6, 2014

S0241027

Current balloons on display in The Land pavilion

The last time we went time traveling I teased at the end about one of my all time favorite attractions, and now it’s time to make good on that promise! Today, we’re talking about the land where Soarin’ sits at Epcot. One housekeeping note: a lot of this is written from my own (entirely too sentimental) memories. If you remember it differently, please let me know in the comments below – I’d love to hear from everyone.

If you went back in time between 1994 and 2004, you’d have no reason to be sad about Soarin’ taking over this space. Food Rocks is the show you’d find, and I can honestly say that even at a young age I understood I was seeing a cheap overlay at Disney. The transition time to install this show was only a couple months, and all of the animatronics felt flat. Even our host, “Fud Wrapper,” looked like he was made from cheap, nylon material. In this show Fud was our guide through the food groups and avoiding excess in a concert performed entirely by audio-animatronics. The only problem was that every song was a popular song with words replaced to fit the food group. Think of an entire show written in the style of Weird Al Yankovic… just not funny. It was one of the first attractions to close after I moved to Orlando, and I was thrilled to see it go! However, if you weren’t able to visit during this time, the show is well documented on YouTube, so you have to watch it. I’m very curious if lots of people will disagree with me on this show. Much like The Enchanted Tiki Room (Under New Management), I might just be firmly on one side of a generation gap. I’ll always love the original Enchanted Tiki Room, and I’ll always love the show that Food Rocks replaced.

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