Living with the Land hosts a real, live Florida snow… er, sandman!
Epcot has many must see attractions, ranging from the thrill of Soarin’ or Test Track to the educational but fascinating Circle-Vision film in China. It’s easy to rush about doing all of the larger attractions, and run right past the ones that aren’t as talked about. Today we’re going to look at some of the attractions that aren’t as easily spotted but simply shouldn’t be missed.
Epcot is split into two sections: Future World and the World Showcase. Most of the attractions with rides are concentrated in the Future World, but this doesn’t mean the World Showcase has nothing of interest. The World Showcase not only hosts tons of interesting shopping opportunities, it also has amazing people watching locations.
The Christmas season is my absolute favorite time of the year. Growing up, one of the little things I loved most was getting an Advent calendar and counting down the days until Santa would be coming down the chimney. As I grew older, I had to leave Advent calendars in the rear view mirror,* but I still miss that daily countdown building anticipation to the big day. So, we’re going to start a virtual Advent calendar here at TouringPlans. For 2014, we are going to countdown our favorite drinks at Walt Disney World and the Universal Orlando Resort.
Criteria: Drinks can be alcoholic or nonalcoholic. Drinks can come from any venue on property as well as the Disney Cruise Line. Bonus points awarded for atmosphere where drink is served. Any drink with glow cubes is immediately disqualified. Ready? Let’s go!
DAY TWENTY TWO: “Carl’s Combo” at Rose & Crown (Epcot)
A “Carl’s Combo” (half Bass Ale followed by half Bass Ale) at Rose & Crown. (photo by Brandon Glover)
One of our absolute favorite places to get a drink at Walt Disney World is at the Rose & Crown pub in Epcot’s World Showcase. With a terrific atmosphere and several of our favorite brews on tap, Rose & Crown is the perfect spot for a quick pint and an order of fish and chips. One of the things that separates World Showcase from any other environment in the Orlando theme parks is that the Cast Members are from the specific countries, giving guests authentic interactions with different cultures. While service at Rose & Crown is terrific across the board, bartender Carl is a standout and one of the most memorable CMs on property. With a warm smile, great conversation, and how-did-he-do-that bar tricks, Carl gives just about every guest a magical moment so we are nominating today’s drink in honor of him with Carl’s Combo. On the menu, you’ll find it listed as the Grand Imperial Pint, but longtime Rose & Crown guests know this half Bass Ale/half Stella Artois by its rightful name, Carl’s Combo.
This year, Epcot’s Hanukkah entertainment includes a storytelling show about the Festival of Lights, staged outside the American Adventure pavilion. This year’s Hanukkah show features new songs, and you can get a free “gelt” chocolate coin at the end!
There’s plenty to love about shopping at Epcot’s World Showcase. I can’t get enough of the cheery Japanese candy, friendly German Christmas ornaments, or cheeky British tee shirts. And then there are the World Showcase merchandise items that leave me scratching my head. These are the things that leave me thinking, “Who approved that addition to the merchandise list?” “What is the demographic profile of the typical buyer?” and “Has anyone actually ever purchased this item at Epcot before?”
So that you can be as perplexed as I am, here’s a tour of just a few of Epcot’s oddities.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with vanilla extract. I have several bottles in my pantry standing ready to be called into service for holiday baking. But who goes to a theme park and decides that’s what they’re going to bring home?
The fourth and final new World Showcase act quietly debuted this weekend in the United Kingdom pavilion at Epcot. The Celtic folk band hailing from Glasgow, Scotland, is called The Paul McKenna Band. Their music is very light and traditional, featuring a guitar, flute, drum, and violin.
The band can be found playing in the United Kingdom courtyard with show times at 11:00 a.m., 11:50 a.m., 12:45 p.m., 1:40 p.m., 2:35 p.m., 3:35 p.m. and 4:50 p.m.
Fans of The British Revolution need not fret, because that band will continue playing in the United Kingdom pavilion, as well.
Unfortunately, this new flag-waving act didn't fare any better in my estimation than it did in Daisy's. As a fan of drum and flag corps, I was really looking forward to this show. But while there were a few impressive tricks, overall I was deeply disappointed with this troupe's poor performance quality.
While the lead performer (who executes an amazing foot-juggling solo) was excellent, the rest of the group was sloppy, unenthusiastic, and shockingly unprofessional, chatting casually with each other during the show.
While the show I witnessed gathered and retained a slightly larger audience than when Daisy saw them, it seemed singnficantly smaller than what the Ziti Sisters used to attract. Without some serious improvements to show quality, I can't see it lasting very long.
Another act has officially debuted for Epcot’sWorld Showcase: a new Moroccan performance group called B’net Al Houwariyate. The group is an internationally-acclaimed ensemble of female performers, who play traditional instruments while dancing and performing songs that are based on Moroccan traditions. Musical styles include Berber chants, urban Marrakesh beats, and Andalucian rhythms.
B’net Al Houwariyate will appear on the stage located at the Morocco Pavilion on Sundays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Shows last for approximately 20 minutes and will take place at 1:00 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 3:15 p.m., 4:45 p.m., 5:45 p.m., 6:30 p.m., and 7:45 p.m.
The musical group replaces MO’ROCKIN, who could previously be found playing in the Morocco Pavilion.
This is the third act to debut in the shake up of World Showcase performers; the first act is known as the Canadian Lumberjack Show, debuting on October 5 at the Canada Pavilion, and the second was a flag throwing troupe called Sbandieratori Di Sansepolcro,who began performing on October 17 in the Italy Pavilion. The fourth and final act set to debut is a Celtic folk music ensemble for the United Kingdom Pavilion. There is no official debut date currently set for this performance troupe.
It’s Menu Monday! Today we are looking once again at packaged snacks that are available in Epcot’s World Showcase, and we have already visited Japan, Canada, United Kingdom, France, and Germany. Only a few stops remain on our snacking tour, so let’s check out what’s available as we explore today’s stop, China!
The World Showcase Players are just one of the popular shows that closed this week at Epcot (photo & video by Seth Kubersky).
As you’ve probably already heard, Walt Disney World has given the pink slip to several popular Epcot World Showcase shows, which held their final performances this week. I spent a stormy Tuesday afternoon catching up with a few of these old favorites with one final viewing, and wanted to share some video of these now-extinct Epcot World Showcase shows.
Off Kilter, the popular Canadian Celtic rockers, were unfortunately off duty during my visit. But I captured closing-week performances from three of their compatriots: Spirit of America Fife & Drum Corps, MO’ROCKIN, and World Showcase Players.
Welcome once again to Menu Monday, where we explore what packaged edibles Disney offers. We are traveling around the World Showcase, stopping in at each country to give an interesting and unusual (and hopefully tasty!) snack a try. We have already visited Japan, Canada, United Kingdom, and France. Today we are checking out what snacks are available in Germany. Before we get started heading around the Showcase, let’s remember the rules: