Opinion: Pondering Pixar Place

So, as literally every other blog in the tri-county area has already noticed, Toy Story Land opened to guests this past weekend. I wasn’t there, but I saw the videos of the crowds and heard some of the remarks from the opening ceremony.

While, TSL is great and all, it got it’s third attraction by rerouting its queue area from the previously spartan Pixar Place to the new land… so now the aforementioned land is home to some restrooms and the back side of Toy Story Mania. Really? That seems like a pretty big waste of space for what is essentially the gateway to Star Wars Land… kind of like their so-called “Grand Avenue” but without anything remotely of interest.

Obviously, there are an infinite number of ways Disney can utilize this unimpressive corridor (in which only the right side is usable due to the left housing TGMR/Mickey’s Runaway Railroad). Rumors point to it being themed to either Monsters Inc. or The Incredibles, either works for me, though part of me wishes they’d bring back Streets of America to make a grand entrance to SWL.

If I were to venture a guess, I’d say Monstropolis as they can move their Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor attraction from Tomorrowland (where it never should have been in the first place) into one of the open buildings on the left with the old Toy Story Mania queue area being converted into a M&G for Mike and Sully (which used to be hidden on the far backside of Streets of America) with the rest simply being decorations (unless they want to do a show/additional M&Gs in the cul-de-sac

Personally, I suspect the newly announced “Lightning McQueen Racing Academy” show is a short-term test for a larger Cars Land type expansion from the back of Sunset Blvd to the area behind Animation Courtyard as a way to more evenly distribute guests coming to SWL (yes, I know any such expansion wouldn’t open for 1-2 years after SWL).

The only problem with this idea is it reduces the park to Pixar/Frozen/Star Wars. Granted, they’ll likely have to find new attractions to replace the various SW clip shows as well as the Launch Bay area itself (which, unlike some Park Watchers, I don’t see being sucked into some hypothetical Monstropolis/Metrocity [The Incredibles] or even my own Cars Land Idea). I think the current Ewok village near Indie is likely staying put for the foreseeable future.

Back to my original point, I don’t know what (if anything) they’ll do with Pixar Place. However, the possibilities are almost endless (I kinda like the idea of a Zootopia area), but I think we can all agree, the worst thing they can do with it is nothing…

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Rumors and Possibilities

Note: I am unable to take photos in the parks for the next few weeks due to a broken shoulder, a sprained leg… and a Silver Pass which prevents me from attending the entire month of July and part of August so I may post more of these in the interim. #sorry

 

Orlando Weekly is reporting on rumors of Monsters Inc. (replacing Rock & Roller Coaster), The Incredibles (redub of WEDway People Mover and possible reuse some of those scenes from The Incredible Tomorrowland Expo on the Tomorrowland Speeedway) and possibly Wall-E themed attractions coming to MK’s Tommorowland.

Theme Park Tourist is reporting on them building the (unnecessary) Mary Poppins dark ride ride that this reposted article from 2015 chastises them for not building, but I’m still kinda hoping for a Wall-E or The Rocketeer (or both if they ditched Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin AND moved Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor to the aforementioned Monstropolis area at DHS) at Tomorrowland, and Big Hero 6 in Epcot (which they SHOULD have rethemed Universe of Energy to: Hiro and Tadeshi explains energy and conservation).

While not mentioned in either article, I’d also like to see a Bolt and/or Zootopia attraction at DHS (they could put them in the same area if they wanted), a Moana themed ride/show in Adventure Land (I would’ve said The Jungle Book, but they already screwed that up once) and a Coco ride in Epcot (Mexico) and possibly an Inside/Out ride in the abandoned Wonders of Life pavilion (similar to Cranium Command).

 

BREAKING: Literally as I’m writing this post, I saw a notification rom Blog Mickey (and confirmed by Disney Parks Blog) that a new Cars theme show is opening next year at DHS called “Lightening McQueen’s Racing Academy” though no other information has been released yet.

Disney without photos (sorry)

June 20, 2018 – I know the doctor at ORMC told me to “stay off my feet and avoid moving my shoulder for the next three weeks” …but the Case Manager (to my knowledge is not a doctor) at Integrative Physical Therapy told me “the only way for this to heal is to aggressive physical therapy 3x a week – starting yesterday.” That timeline isn’t going to happen because my oldest brother is in town with his kids for the week.

She also said: “Heat is your ENEMY (good thing I live in Florida, huh). Heat expands your muscles – which increases the chances of them over stretching and not shrinking back down correctly.” However, after a half-day at DHS in which I could barely walk due to pain in my legs and couldn’t take any photos because I couldn’t steady my camera without use of my left arm. I defeatedly return to Sarasota Springs and spend an hour or so in the spa of their main pool area.

Literally, the second I walked in, all pain disappeared from my legs and shoulder. In fact, I looked over at one point after two minutes or so in the water and both arms were floating idly beside me. BOTH of them – right and left – with no pain. At all… until the second I left and tried going into the main pool and my arm immediately went back to being sore and immobile.

June 21, 2018 – Today is listed as a “pool day” on his SIL’s vacation planner, so mom and I spent 47 minutes traveling from Saratoga Springs to Animal Kingdom Lodge (as she insisted on using the boat to Disney Springs and picking up a bus to the resort from there), and then trying to figure out which pool they’re at… just so she can chastise for “taking too long” in the restroom (because literally anyone can hold their pants up and rebuckle their belt at the same time with only one usable hand) and just as we were leaving for the pool for real “no, wait. I need to refill my resort mug!”

Once we found we found my brother and his family (at the secondary pool at Kidani Village), I was able to carefully peel my shirt off and take off my shorts/belt (yes, I had a bathing suit under them) and find that circular patch of heaven… to be too crowded to fully move around in. It was hot enough and still made my pain disappear (however briefly) but since it was centrally located, it was a popular spot.

As soon as I get out, my mom she’s hungry so instead of going to the pool bar literally 250 feet away from our table, she has me get dressed and drags me out of the pool area and halfway around the building to go to The Mara… just to decide she doesn’t want quick service so she goes inside, refills her mug. We return to the pool, and I spend some quality time in the quieter spa on the main path into the main slide so, while it was not crowded, there was a constant stream of gawking kids passing me on their way to the slide clearly wondering why I was posed so awkwardly in the tiny pool.

A half-hour after I return, my mom decides I’m getting dressed again so we can eat at Boma (the buffet on the lower level) before taking a set of buses back to Saratoga Springs where the late-afternoon rain meant the pool (and spa) were CLOSED (though the rainbow coming out of Artists’ Palette was really pretty… it would be even prettier as a header photo for this blog… oh, right.).

WORST Friday ever

2pm – Realize I’m still wearing the same clothing I wore to bed last night so I hurriedly changed shirts and put on the nearest pair of shorts I could find before going down to check the mail. There is a medium-sized package from my mom and a dividend check that she forwarded to me.

2:45pm – I take the package up to my room, grab some change off the counter and go downstairs to wait for the trolley. I was hungry too. Maybe, I’d get something to eat on the way back…

3:15pm – Wait for trolley to leave, check that were no cars coming and got two feet away from the median when suddenly a navy-blue car came out of nowhere and struck an old, fat guy dressed identically to me. A few seconds I reach for my glasses under the aforementioned car, more worried about the checks not getting lost or damaged than the throbbing pain in my left shoulder or the bleeding from my left ankle.

3:35pm – Firefighters show up (they had a station literally 3 blocks away so, of course, they arrive first), and stand around while one guy takes my shirt off (that’s right, I’m surrounded by a dozen hunky firefighters and I’M the one taking my shirt off) and another probably older one barks: “this don’t look like no ‘crosswalk,’ so I reckon you deserved this” (no, really).

3:45pm – Paramedic van arrives, and I’m lifted onto the gurney and into the vehicle. As they are about to shut the door, the older firefighter sneers and says:

“Don’t worry, buddy, the cops will meet ya there, hahaha.”

Not only were both of the EMTs are younger than I am, but one casually mentioned that he’d only been on the job a few weeks and had to ask where everything was as we careened down the highway, every bump, stop and acceleration felt like bloody murder on my already hurting shoulder and it didn’t help the soreness from where the rookie hooked the IV into my right arm.

This wouldn’t have an issue if they had taken me to Dr. Phillips Medical center (which the rookie correctly stated was “less than 15 minutes out”) …but instead they drove me to Osceola Regional Medical Center (a roughly 30-minute drive in late-afternoon traffic) because as the older guy said:

“It looks like he’s some trauma or something from the collision. We should take him to Ozzy, they have a Shock-Trauma center there. It’s better to cover our asses NOW than get in trouble later if he needs a transfer.”

4:15pm – Arrive at ORMC and dropped off unceremoniously in a hallway in the back of the E.R where doctors and nurses rarely tread. It is also one of the last confirmed time stamps I had on my visit.

An hour or so passes and a woman with a clipboard, a name badge and a rambling cart with a laptop computer stopped next to my bed. I initially thought she was a nurse coming by to take my medical history. Nope, just my insurance information (I should have known better, actually).

However, a few minutes after she leaves, I’m met by another person with a badge, but, unlike my threatened encounter from earlier, the officer was generally calm and professional which was a huge help considering the level of pain I was in (remember, no doctor or nurse has come by to see me yet).

Roughly two hours later, a doctor FINALLY found my bed. He asked me about the accident than pushes and pulls my shoulder. I ask him to see if my ankle had stopped bleeding, so he reluctantly lifted my leg for two seconds, put it down. He turned to me, said “no,” and disappeared into the ether, never to be seen again…

Another hour passes and a cute girl in red scrubs with a faded “Rad-olo-y” badge comes by and wheels me 500 feet through the double doors and into the ancient, positively cavernous room with a monstrous X-ray machine that looked like an early boss battle from a video game. It was slow, loud and not particularly agile… kind of like me, and if I thought that realization hurt, they had to reposition my shoulder five or six times to get “good” shots.

So, after 40 loud, painful minutes, I’m rolled back into the ER and dropped back in the hallway where I eventually retrieved for a CT scan from a surprisingly modern, almost normal looking machine. The only real problem I had was that the guy working it pulled me off the bed with my LEFT hand. Thankfully, when he pulled me off six minutes later, it with my right and that was nowhere near as painful… as being wheeled out into the same lonely, depressing hallway.

8:45pm – A nurse comes by and offers to get me pain pills (finally). She returns 15 minutes later with a shot of Morphine (administered through my IV) and a single Motrin tablet. It wasn’t much, but it was a welcome start. Now, all I needed was some food, as the nurse disappeared into the ether…

Photos: Incredible Tomorrowland Expo

Opinion: Housing the Magic

Rumors are swirling around that Disney is planning to bring their popular “Mickey and the Magician” show over from Disneyland Paris when it (the show not the park) closes in September. Orlando Weekly gave three possible locations, all in DHS as that had the most amount of wasted space (and the only usable space for the show at MK being turned back into a parking lot).

 

Animation Courtyard: I don’t see them closing “Disney Jr Live on Stage” (which they say is being “refurbished” later this year), but they could conceivably close “The Little Mermaid” show (surprised they didn’t do that years ago) thinking the dark ride in MK was enough. Also, since the backstage area of “Mermaid” is big enough to accommodate large props and several human actors, this is the most likely of the suggested places.

Hollywood Blvd: Another suggestion, which they immediately dismissed, was to move the Frozen show out of the Hyperion Theatre to an undefined new location. Not going to happen, the show is far too popular for that. If the criminally underused theater that used to house “Sounds Dangerous with Drew Carey” and is now a Star Wars clip show was larger, I might put the M&TM show in there.

Sunset Blvd: The OW writer suggested they could enclose the Theater of the Stars venue to protect the screens used in the show from rain. Another idea is the opposite of what they did last year – house the M&TM show in Sunset Blvd during the morning/mid-afternoon (they can market it like “Fantasmic” for kids who can’t stay up late enough to see “Fantasmic”) and the B&TB show in the late afternoon to evening. The problem with this idea is it draws more people to that part of the park while “Fantasmic” is showing making the already crowded area more congested.

 

Two additional venues they hadn’t listed:

Animation Courtyard: Yes, I already listed two possible locations there, BUT there is a hidden theater at the back of Star Wars Launch bay (said theater coincidently houses another Star Wars clip show) that could easily be expanded once it comes time to retheme the area come 2019 (the article gave no timetable for the show’s move).

Fantasyland: This is the most obvious choice thematically for the show, but where would they put it?

If only there was a show with a similar theme (a character being sucked into the worlds of other Disney cartoons) that was modestly crowded, despite its central location, that could easily be switched out without a lot of fanfare.

Photos: The Boneyard at Animal Kingdom