Photos: Epcot Food & Wine 2017

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Random park updates

Sorry for not posting in a while, I evacuated the area with the storm. I only recently got back (my apartment was completely undamaged) so…

While work is quickly wrapping up on the upcoming Toy Story Line, Disney opened their new Baseline Tap House with little fanfare at Hollywood Studios today. Personally, I really hope there is more to this “Grand Avenue” than the photos of the area with the walls down as Irma approached seemed to imply.

Speaking of DHS, the park is getting a second holiday themed projection show this December. Why? Who knows, but if rumors are accurate they need something to replace MK’s outgoing “Jingle Cruise” and their boring drone show at Disney Springs (which is bringing back and expanding on their popular “Trail of Trees” in their former bus loop).

Meanwhile, Epcot is celebrating its 35 birthday by not only introducing special “one day only” commemorative food and merchandise, but by quietly beginning construction on the long-awaited Ratatouille ride from Disneyland Paris as well as their secretive plans for transforming the former Universe of Energy into a new Guardians of the Galaxy ride.

I’ve said before that GOTG probably isn’t the best idea in the world for Epcot, but I like that they’ve refreshed the old gallery at the Mexico pavilion to coincide with the  release of Pixar’s Coco – hopefully, their tired dated boat ride will get a similar refurbishment (it already has a partial Day of the Dead theme).

Photos: More Knoebels pics

I was forced up north by Hurricane Irma, and I found myself invited to a birthday party at Knoebels. Unfortunately, I was sick that day so I wasn’t able to get as many pictures as I’d like. However, I did get some decent pictures, just not as many as I’d like…

 

Opinion: Goodbye, Ellen and TGMR

So today, Sunday, August 13th, is the last day to ride both “The Great Movie Ride” (an opening day attraction) and “Ellen’s Energy Adventure” …to be replaced by a Mickey Mouse dark ride and Guardians of the Galaxy roller coaster respectively.

I’m open for change at Disney parks, but getting rid of either of these rides makes ZERO sense timing wise. September is the beginning of the Food & Wine Festival – the busiest time of year for Epcot, and the WORST possible time to close an attraction in the so-called “Future World.” Whereas, closing TGMR now is an even worse idea because that brings the park down to FOUR rides (Tower of Terror, Rock n’ Roller Coaster, Toy Story Mania and Star Tours).

I have no real deep emotional connection to either ride because the TCM update basically killed TGMR for me and Ellen’s ride was so laughably outdated that it burns any good will it may have accumulated in its notoriously bloated run time, and yet both of which could be easily fixed with half the effort or expense of starting fresh.

Seriously, how hard could it be to get Bill and Ellen back on that soundstage or if they really want something new retheme it to BH6 or Meet the Robinsons – anything but GOTG… and this link goes over some quick and easy fixes to TGMR.

I was hoping to spend this week trying to get some new shots of the new Grand Avenue section peeking up beyond the soon to be taken down construction walls… but, sadly, I can’t afford to stay on property right now as I’m still paying off my Knoebels trip (with a two day “layover” in Miami) from last month…

Opinion: Epcot updates from D23

Everyone else is talking about the new Guardians of the Galaxy (which I’d rather see in either Tomorrowland or DHS) and Tron rides, but I’m probably the only person on the internet excited about the recently announced restaurant at the newly expanded Mission Space attraction and the new upgraded film at the China pavilion (the French pavilion needs it more as their new ride will apparently be in a separate, newly constructed show building).

I love the Coral Reef Restaurant and The Skippers’ Canteen, but I really love the idea of dining on a space station overlooking Earth and the other planets. I can’t speak for the food, but if the other two are any indication, the prices will be “out of this world.”

GotG is being installed in the Universe of Energy pavilion which isn’t necessarily the best idea as there are better ways to update the tired “Ellen’s Energy Adventure” (closing August 13th) than turning it into a roller coaster and/or dark ride. My idea was to have Tadeshi educate Hiro about energy – this works for TWO reasons: 1) the characters are super popular at Epcot, and 2) they fit with the educational theme of the park. Bonus, 3) they could keep the dinosaurs! Kids love dinosaurs!

I’ve been calling for an import of the Ratatouille ride for years and while I’m super excited to finally ride it stateside, there’s not much new I can add at this point that I haven’t said 100x before either here or on any of the various Disney forums I subscribe to.