Disneyworld Day 6: Epcot

  • We needed to be at Epcot for 10:15am at the latest due to a valuable Fastpass, so we gave ourselves over an hour. As it turned out, there was a runDisney half-marathon ending around 9:45am, which snarled up the traffic and blocked off the ticket entry gates. It’s great that Disney organises running events and delays are bound to happen. That said, there was poor queue management (no signs about the new entry queue location) and little to no communication about the massive delays.
  • Disney are fully capable of emailing guests when disruption is expected. If a ride becomes unavailable during your Fastpass reservation time (e.g. it breaks), they’ll email you with a replacement Fastpass for other rides. So if they know that there’ll be big delays on a certain day, why let guests book tickets during that disruption? Or why not email them when the disruption turns out to be bigger? I realise that within a complex organisation, these are not simple things to set up; but for a company so focused on delivering happiness to guests, I’m surprised they let people stew in line for so long. I know a fair few people missed their reservations because of the delay.
  • As it turns out, so did we. Fortunately for us, Frozen Ever After was broken at this time so we were emailed a replacement Fastpass anyway.
  • Finally, I’d note that our bus driver told us, “Hey, you should know that a half-marathon is on and Epcot will be super busy and slow to get into. So maybe you should go to another park instead.” Really useful information – if only she’d told everyone this before we got on the bus, rather than five minutes out of Epcot.
  • Partly due to the big queues, Frozen Ever After only had a 25 minute wait when we got into the park, so we chose to just line up instead. It has a neat waiting area filled with cute details and looks remarkably like a town square. The ride itself had incredibly good animatronics that (I assume) used internal projection mapping on a deformable surface. At some point these things will start walking around… As for the story, it was a standard recap of the movie, which was a little disappointing, but probably what the kids want.

Mission: SPACE was fine. After all the warnings of motion-sickness, we opted for the gentler ‘Green’ mission around Earth rather than the supposedly vomit-inducing ‘Red’ mission to Mars. While our mission was perfectly sedate, I can absolutely see how the confined spaces and viewports could lead to motion-sickness.

  • We used our ‘free’ Fastpass on Test Track, which was also fine. Creating a custom car was a pleasant enough diversion but I don’t come to Disney to mess about with touchscreens (well, except for the one on my phone). Nice high-speed car, I guess, although the Chevrolet sponsorship was just ridiculous:

  • We went on Soarin’ again. It’s much better when you’re sitting in the centre.
  • Journey into Imagination with Figment was bad and just didn’t make any sense. It wasn’t even that imaginative.
  • Katsura Grill for lunch. It’s decent and has a nice quiet seating area.
  • Of course, the Japan Pavilion not only has the best shop full of interesting things, but also a fascinating and well-curated exhibition gallery. Well worth a visit.

  • The American Adventure was a great opportunity for a nap. Other than lots of animatronics zooming up and down, I don’t think I missed much.
  • I laughed when I saw a traditional artisanal laser cutter in a German Pavilion shop, used for making personalised wooden picture frames. Disney are hot on personalisation and I’m impressed how well they’ve been able to do it at scale.
  • France Circlevision was good, and even better, has seats.
  • Spaceship Earth again. Still neat.

  • Katsura Grill for dinner once more.
  • IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth was a great fireworks show providing you don’t compare it to Happily Ever after at the Magic Kingdom, in which case it’s merely OK. Despite the gravelly-voiced announcer telling us we were about to experience an incredible story… there was no story. Come on, Disney! I was expecting some obvious thing where the tiny floating Earth had pictures of green, then descended into war/industry, and finally blossomed back into green when all the nations of Earth came together. But no such thing happened.

  • Tomorrow: Animal Kingdom

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