Archive for August, 2007

All’s quiet elsewhere?

by on August 31, 2007

You may have noticed recently that many of our updates focus on Epcot with occasional blurbs about Magic Kingdom, MGM, and Animal Kingdom. It’s not that the other theme parks are dormant, rather that they are currently focusing on backstage upgrades (elevator maintenance in Magic Kingdom’s Utilidors) and minor renovations (repaving for better ADA accessability in Animal Kingdom).

Rest assured that if anything really exciting happens (which it should soon with the holidays coming and Toy Story Mania opening in the spring at MGM) we will be right there taking notes and snapping photos for your enjoyment.

No Mitsukoshi in October

by on August 31, 2007

Several guests have recently reported being contact by Disney Dining to reschedule their dinner plans at Epcot as the Mitsukoshi restaurant will not open as previously scheduled and is delayed until after October. As compensation, diners are being offered what equates to their choice of Epcot eatery (regardless of whether or not reservations were previously available) and a ticket to an Illuminations dessert reception on the night of their scheduled dinner.

Beach Club Villas refurb?

by on August 31, 2007

We’ve recently heard rumors from the staff that the rooms at the Beach Club Villas will be renovated in the near future. Work is said to include replacing the carpets and linens as well as upgrading them to proper deluxe resort status with amenities like flatscreen TVs.

New ECV’s being rolled out

by on August 31, 2007

A new fleet of ECV’s (electronic convenience vehicles – or scooters) have begun to appear at Walt Disney World theme parks. The snazzy new rides are currently available for rental at Epcot, but should appear in the other parks shortly.

Towering UnDVC

by on August 31, 2007

A tower crane has recently been installed near the Contemporary Resort for the “completely and entirely not a DVC because it’s really our best kept secret – shhh!” building. Tower cranes assemble themselves to rise to heights higher then possible with other cranes – like skyscrapers, 15 story crescent shaped DVC buildings, and other such large structures.

Work also continues inside the resort on the new temporary quick service grab-n-go location on the 4th floor as well as the new Fantasia gift shop and remodeling of the check-in desk.

Sweet Success

by on August 31, 2007

The Fountain View restaurant in Epcot has been trying a new menu offering ice cream cones, sundaes, shakes, and floats as noted in our previous updates. The location has proven very successful in this format, and though nothing is finalized, the operating hours have been extended to 12:30 to 8:30pm for the shop. Now you can have a cone from high noon to twilight.

Nemo rethinks his parking situation

by on August 31, 2007

Construction has recently begun on a project to install a large stroller parking lot near the Seas with Nemo and Friends pavilion. The lot will be somewhat hidden from view and foot traffic behind the current Nemo photo spot. It should also provide additional stroller parking for the Land and Soarin due to it’s proximity. Future World West should feel much less cluttered in the near future.

Epcot Futurscaping

by on August 31, 2007

If you visit Epcot anytime soon, you’ll probably notice that the main entrance feels different, even if you can’t quite put your finger on the exact changes.

Of course the Wand is gone, but Disney is also generally rethinking the areas surrounding Spaceship Earth. Noticeably, the large box-shaped trees with twinkle lights have been removed around the base of Spaceship Earth. While it does add a greater sense of height for the structure, our sources say that Disney has felt these trees were problematic since the beginning. Apparently, this particular species takes poorly to being shaped and the stress is detrimental to both the tree’s health and appearance. Thus, they are now replaced with sturdy palms. Other foliage around the area is getting trimmed and replaced as well.

Additionally, work has begun on rerouting guest traffic for better flow through security and the turnstiles. Two security canopies has been installed in the plaza on the left of the entrance area near what is intended to be the parking tram unloading area. Theoretically, the parking tram should unload at that spacious location and then proceed to the area underneath the monorail station to pickup new guests. This currently only occurs during peak periods, but the new security checkpoint may reinstate the process.

When finished, the new security checkpoints should alleviate the problems that Epcot has had with bag checks slowing down entry through the turnstiles. Additional signage and railings are scheduled to be installed around the main entrance as well.

Illuminations without the Earth?

by on August 29, 2007

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.

Velcro – amazing and futuristic?

by on August 29, 2007

In an interesting turn of events, Disney has filed permits to install a display about Velcro in Innoventions West, presumably to replace the (now disposed) Too Small to See exhibit.