Walt Disney always said that things in the parks would continue to evolve and change as imagineers came up with new ideas and technologies. Well, this week saw a completed refurb and a few announcements of new enhancements at Walt Disney World.
First, Under The Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid recently completed a short refurbishment that saw enhancements to the scenes. Most notably, some added fish and the use of additional black lighting to bring out the glow of this dark ride. I can’t wait to see this one in person!
Walt Disney World announced two rides would be getting a little more space to help with crowds. These changes have been rumored for sometime, but we now know that a third track is being added to Toy Story Midway Mania at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This additional track will hopefully help shorten wait times in the stand-by line. We shall see!
And, at EPCOT, Soarin’ will have a third theater added to help swallow larger crowds. The new theater will have a new screen and an upgraded movie system. I am assuming that it will be going digital, but that hasn’t been confirmed at this point! Once this third theater opens, the other two will be upgraded with new screens and the upgraded movie system. A completion date hasn’t been released, but most guesses are in the fall of 2016.
Cinderella’s Royal Table reopened in THE Castle! I can’t wait to see the new pictures, but at this point, no word on any improvements to the menu. Stay tuned!
Fun day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios! My daughters and I went ahead of the rest of our party and got to ride Toy Story Midway Mania through the Stand-by Line before my wife, son, and mother-in-law joined us. And, since we were given Key to the World cards in addition to our MagicBands, I decided to see if I could score a set of Legacy Fastpasses for later. I was able to accomplish that task with no problems. The return time, however, was 7:20PM. I ended up giving those away to a friend via the LINES Chat and put a smile on a little girls face! A little magic goes a long way!
I did the walk-through of Tower of Terror, but wasn’t feeling my oats enough to make the ride portion. I know! I admit it I USED THE CHICKEN DOOR! But, I saved my breakfast in the process.
After our second ride on Toy Story using Fastpass+, my daughters and I headed to the Great Movie Ride to meet up with the WDW Today podcast group for a special Rocky Horror Picture Show style ride. The responses to the Cast Member script were funny, but it was really hard to get the timing down to make it work. And, while the wait was a lot longer than I had hoped it would be, it was incredibly fun! It was also nice to meet, in person, Matt Hochberg and Len Testa. I am hoping to meet up with them again on Saturday.
We grabbed a quick meal at The Studio Catering Company located off of the Streets of America next to the “Honey, I Shrunk The Kids” play area. The Buffalo Chicken Sandwich was not bad. I do think it could use a bit more buffalo flavor, but I dipped in some honey mustard and it was pretty good that way! Overall, nice location with lots of seating in the shade, and it’s close to Backlot Tour, Pixar Place and Light, Motor, Action.
And, speaking of Lights, Motor, Action! That was our next stop with the use of Fastpass+. And, this is my first real criticism of the FP+ system. If the Fastpass+ gives you a dedicated area that has better viewing, it is worth it, if only for that reason. However, this is NOT the case with LMA. We were at the far end of the stadium and had a support beam blocking nearly half of the view. So, I would not recommend Fastpass+ for this attraction. It really isn’t a necessary one, except during busy seasons.
Muppetvision 3D was a really cute show, and enjoyable! Not only is the theater air-conditioned, but the show itself is quite entertaining. This was our first time seeing the attraction, and I think it is one to visit on future visits!
Star Tours may be the most disappointing part of this vacation, so far. The first time, it was fun and I liked the sequence that I got to experience. However, a visit just before park closing gave me almost the same EXACT sequence. The only change was we had Yoda on the first flight, and Princess Leia on the second. I’m not convinced that there is much randomizing in this show! But, I will have to wait until my next visit.
Our featured meal for today was at 50s Prime Time Cafe. I have heard much said about this restaurant, and I have to say it was the most fun of the day! The Pot Roast lives up to its reputation! It was incredibly tender and the meal was full of flavors I remember from childhood when my mother would make it for Sunday dinner. My wife had the Flounder and raved about it, as well. The kids all enjoyed their meals, also. And, the Pumpkin Spice milkshake? Can you say ‘YUM’!
We did the walk-through part of “Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream”, but didn’t have time to see the movie as it was time for us to head to our first experience of Fantasmic! And, this show did not disappoint. The presentation was stunningly beautiful and the story was engaging! On our last visit, F! was closed for refurbishment, so we were really glad to get to see it this trip!
I closed my night out by making a quick visit to “The Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights”. Can you say ‘crowded’? It was packed! But, I managed to take a brief walk-around video. It’s not much, but it lets me know that I need to really plan better, should I choose to return another time. It is beautiful!
That pretty much rounds out our day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I have some thoughts on the whole MagicBand experience, but will expand on that later.
For now, it’s sleep and then a marathon visit to EPCOT and my first, ever, Candlelight Processional!
Until then, have a blessed and magical day, my friends!