Arendelle Construction Progress at Epcot, Say Goodbye to the Flower & Garden Festival

Liesle & I stopped into Epcot yesterday to catch a few of our favorite Flower & Garden dishes one last time before the Festival wraps up on Monday.

I’m heading out to Animal Kingdom this evening to catch the new nighttime happenings there, but before we start focusing more on that park in some upcoming posts, I thought it might be worth a quick, three-picture blurb showing construction progress around the Arendelle area at Epcot.

Remember, the new Frozen ride is scheduled to open there in less than a month.

Arendelle at Epcot - New Frozen area near Norway

Above is the scene with the camera peeking over the construction wall just past the Mexico area. For those who are familiar with this area, this is almost directly across the main pathway from the spot where Mariachi Cobre performs.

As you can see, things are moving along nicely on the exteriors here. The small meet and greet building just to the left of center is much more finished than it was in my previous post covering the Arendelle construction.

Arendelle at Epcot!

Here we are viewing the scene over the wall from the right-hand side of the previous image. (And yes, I did get some “looks” taking these pictures. All in the line of duty lol…)

I’ll actually be out at Disneyland when this area opens, so you can expect my next blog post covering this scene to be available after the new Frozen Ever After attraction has been open for a bit — probably mid-July.

It will be nice to have the new attraction open, but I’m expecting it will add to the complexity of an efficient Epcot tour, especially if Frozen, Test Track, and Soarin’ all remain “Tier One” on the FP+ list.

We’ll see.

Epcot Flower & Garden Festival 2016

With that, here’s wishing a final goodbye to the Flower & Garden Festival.

And next year, Disney, please consider upping the portion size on those shrimp tacos. Madame Leota will thank you!



More RideMax Roulette at the Magic Kingdom, Pecos Bill Cafe Southwest Burger Review

I headed out to the Magic Kingdom this morning for another round of RideMax Roulette. The catch is that I was primarily Periscoping the experience and didn’t have my regular camera with me, so the photos in this post will be somewhat, er… limited — both in quantity and quality.  :-)

Before I get too far, I should note that you can find my Periscope feed here, though Periscope deletes the videos after 24 hours, so you may not find this too helpful, unless you’d like to follow me for future broadcasts.

For those not schooled in the great RideMax Roulette tradition, this is basically where I use a random-number generator to give me a list of attractions, which I then plug into RideMax. The software then spits out a game plan to cover those attractions, which I take to the park.

For today’s round of RideMax Roulette, I basically had twelve attractions to cover. Here they are, in no particular order:

Continue reading More RideMax Roulette at the Magic Kingdom, Pecos…


Epcot’s Arendelle Construction Progress, Japan Children’s Day, L’Artisan des Glaces Ice Cream Review

Spaceship Earth - Epcot Walt Disney World

A relatively short post today, as Liesle & I stopped into Epcot this past Thursday, May 5th, for a quick tour around World Showcase. We also wanted to eat some of our favorite Flower & Garden dishes again before the festival wraps up at the end of the month.

As you can see in the picture above, we were greeted with beautiful weather — blue skies, not too hot. A great day, really.

We first stopped in front of the construction walls outside Norway, and I couldn’t resist pointing my camera over the wall to check on the progress.

The picture below is the result:

Continue reading Epcot’s Arendelle Construction Progress,…


Disney’s Animal Kingdom Changes Reflected in RideMax… Soon!

Disney's Animal Kingdom - Expedition Everest

As something of a personal note for Walt Disney World subscribers to RideMax, I’m sure you’ve noticed that we’re still listing the “old” park hours for Disney’s Animal Kingdom for dates beginning on May 27th, which marks the start of Disney’s new nighttime experiences available there, including the after-dark rides on Kilimanjaro Safaris.

I wanted to personally give some very focused attention to the behind-the-scenes-data that RideMax will be relying on for the new schedule, but came back to Orlando from a recent vacation more sick than I’ve been in a long time. Knowing that I’d want to be fully-coherent when putting the new wait time estimates together (or at least as coherent as I normally am), I decided to wait until I’m off the meds before I focus on these changes in earnest.

The good news (well, for me at least) is that I’m starting to feel better as we head into the weekend, and I do hope to get on the changes next week.

So, my apologies for the delay, and please stay tuned!

Note that I also plan to be in the park the evening of May 27th, both to look at the wait times up-close, as well as to personally experience Kilimanjaro Safaris (and hopefully the new Jungle Book show) after dark, so keep an eye on the blog here for pictures and updates on the new changes once everything has opened.

Even without Rivers of Light, these are still some exciting changes to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and I, for one, am glad to see them coming!



MyMagic+ App Enhancements in Action, Rivers of Light Construction Progress

My Disney Experience Enhancements - Magic Kingdom Walt Disney World

One big hassle with FastPass+ at Walt Disney World is that until this month, guests were only allowed to make three FP+ reservations on their own — you had to visit an in-park kiosk once you used those first three if you wanted to schedule additional FP+ experiences.

Well, Disney has just enhanced their iPhone and Android apps to allow guests to make their own fourth (and more) FastPass+ selections using a mobile device, rather than visiting an in-park kiosk. You have to make the additional reservations one at a time — and only after using your first three — but for those who end up using this feature, it holds some hope of cutting down on the hassle we saw in my previous post with insane lines at the FastPass+ kiosks during spring break.

I downloaded the new version of the app to my iPhone and gave the feature a whirl last Monday, April 11th. Before I begin, I will note that the week of April 11th saw much lower crowds than the week before, as the “Easter rush” had sort of died down a bit by then.

Continue reading MyMagic+ App Enhancements in Action, Rivers of…