Posts Tagged by epcot center

Kill, Refurb, Marry: Epcot Pre-Shows

Kill-Marry-RefurbThese months are sure going by fast because once again it’s time for another Kill, Refurb, Marry!  This months topic is Epcot Pre-Shows. When I first heard of this topic, the first thing that popped in my head was the pre-show from The Living Seas.  You know, when it rained and rained and rained…the deluge…followed by a trip on the hydrolators, oh how I would like to marry that pre-show! Sadly it has been permanently killed so I had to come up with some other options.  Here we goooooo….

Kill – Test Track

OK…I know what you’re going to say…Sarah, this was just refurbed…what?!  Well, I just don’t like it!

Test-Track-Pre-Show

Honestly, I just don’t understand the new theme at Test Track.  I wasn’t sure what I was doing when I was building my car…none of it made sense.  There were no instructions and the whole thing felt very rushed.  Then when on the attraction, it was like Cars met Tron and we were being taken on some sort of trippy ride that just doesn’t make any sense!  Why is that MAC truck covered in neon?? Where are we going??  Ok screw the pre-show…this whole attraction just needs a redo

Refurb – Soarin’

Let me start by saying that I love the pre-show at Soarin’  I mean how can you not love Puddy?! However, it just feels more like loading instructions rather than a full on pre-show.  What if it could be more…

The queue for Soarin’ has been known to push the 2 hour mark.  Yes, they have added some interactive games in there, but for the most part that is the more boring queue EVER.  Why not expand on the story?  Make a mini-film for guests to watch about the crew and maybe some silly mishaps they encounter along the way.  Laughter is the best way to forget about you boredom of standing among giant white walls for hours…am I right??

Marry – Ellen’s Energy Adventure

This is by far the best pre-show in all of Epcot…hands down.

Ok, it might be a bit dated (Alex Trebek still had a moustache!), but the humor is still very relevant.  Also, I think this might be one situation where the pre-show is better than the attraction itself.  We all know the jokes about Universe of Energy Ellen’s Energy Adventure…it’s where you go to get a rest from the heat and take a mid-day nap.  I have to agree that the attraction is a bit of a snoozer and I have taken my fair share of naps there.  However I am always alert and often laughing out loud during the pre-show.  STUPID JUDY!

So those are my choices…what about you?  Which Epcot Pre-Shows would you Kill, Refurb & Marry??

Make sure to visit This Happy Place BlogMouse on the Mind and all of the other great blogs participating in Kill, Refurb, Marry today!

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The Inaugural Glass Slipper Challenge Part I – Disney Enchanted 10K

GSC-Enchanted-10K

When your flight gets indefinitely delayed the afternoon before you are about to take on a back to back race challenge, the panic begins to set in.  Will I make it?  Will I have to forego my registration for the first race?  Most importantly…will my vacation be cut short?!?

I found myself in this exact predicament on the Friday before I was about to take on the Glass Slipper Challenge during Princess Half Marathon Weekend.  A thick fog had rolled into White Plains, NY and no planes were landing or taking off from our tiny little airport.  Our plane was diverted to Syracuse and we were patiently waiting for the fog to clear so it could come pick us up and take us to warmer climates.  Sigh…  After about 5 hours of waiting at the airport and frantic texts to Amanda who was waiting patiently to pick us up in Orlando, B and I finally got on the plane and headed south.

By the time we landed, grabbed a bite to eat, got to our hotel, unpacked and settled in, it was about 11:30 pm…MUCH later than I would’ve liked given that my alarm was set to go off at 3:30 am the next morning for the Enchanted 10K.  Luckily we had thought ahead and I had Amanda pick up my race packet earlier that day…phew!

We wearily rolled out of bed, got dressed in record time and headed over to Epcot for day 1 of the Glass Slipper Challenge.  Because we didn’t have time to stop at the store the night before, I didn’t have any food to fuel up with that morning and I was starving.  Thankfully there were food trucks!  I grabbed a banana and was good to go…I don’t know how that egg and cheese bagel would’ve sat during a 10K!

01 Enchanted 10K

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02 Enchanted 10K

We arrived very close to the start time so after inhaling the banana and making a quick pit stop, we headed into our corral.  I have to admit, I wasn’t feeling great about this race.  I had hoped to be better rested, but things don’t always go as planned.  So we decided that we were going to tackle the Inaugural Enchanted 10K with smiles on our faces no matter what!

All of a sudden, our corral was moving, fireworks were going off and the race had begun!

05 Enchanted 10K

The first half of the course was boooooooring.  These are always the most difficult miles for me as I get moving and all I kept thinking about was how I couldn’t wait to get into World Showcase.  However we did see Elsa from Frozen soon we left the starting line…

06 Enchanted 10K

And the sight of  thousands of runners pouring out of the Epcot toll booths was pretty cool…

07 Enchanted 10K

But that was about it until…

08 Enchanted 10K

Yay!  World Showcase Lagoon!  Can you see the humidity in the air?  Yowza

From here on, the race was a blast!  There were sights to see and characters everywhere.

09 Enchanted 10K

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I even snuck in a photo with my favorite character Marie without standing in line!  Amanda has all the tricks 😉

A quick tour around the Boardwalk and Crescent Lake made for very tempting pit stops…

013 Enchanted 10K

I said hi to a few friends, including my girl Cindy, in front of the Beach Club before heading back into Epcot and back out into the parking lot for the big finish.

014 Enchanted 10K

And like that we were done!  It started sprinkling very soon after we crossed the finish line, so we grabbed our medals and made a bee line for the car.

015 Enchanted 10K

This was my first 10K at Walt Disney World and I really do love the distance.  I’m so glad that they have added this to many of the race weekends.  It’s challenging and can be completed fairly quickly, but there really needs to be some sort of entertainment added to Epcot Center Drive…that long stretch was painfully boring.  Plus with the shorter distance, you still have a fair amount of energy left over to get some good park touring in after the race.  I headed over to Animal Kingdom for a few hours to say hi to some animals and get in some fun character time.

Sarah-Chip-and-Dale-Enchanted-10K

Sarah-Rafiki-Enchanted-10K

Later that day we headed to the Osceola County Fair to support Amanda’s daughter at the steer auction.  It was actually a really fun experience for this Northeast city girl!  The big bonus was that I got to hold her 2 week old goat!!  I look like a crazy person…

Sarah-Goat-Enchanted-10K

After the fair we went to Splitsville for dinner where the service was severely lacking, but the food was good.  We also stopped in the new Fit2Run store in Downtown Disney for some KT Tape.  That place is nice…definitely check it out next time you are in the area.

Day 1 of the Glass Slipper Challenge complete!  We headed to bed fairly early to get ready for day 2…my 3rd Princess Half Marathon!

Disclosure: I was invited to attend the entire weekend as media.  My hotel expenses were provided by Disney.  As always, all opinions are 100% my own and I am 100% obsessed with runDisney events.

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New to Me: Epcot’s World Showcase

World Showcase

Well we made it through Future World and now it’s time to move to the back of the park to World Showcase.  But before we do, I have to say that I received a TON of comments, tweets, FB messages and texts about great meals that were recently had at Coral Reef!  I am so excited to hear that and can’t wait to eat there this weekend.  (Yes, I will be in WDW this weekend…let me know if you want to say hi!)

So World Showcase…home of my FAVORITE event, the Epcot Food & Wine Festival!  It is also probably my favorite place to grab a beer and just sit on a bench.  This is a regular occurrence for Amanda and I.  But as with most of WDW, there are still quite a few things I haven’t done here.  They mainly consist of films and restaurants.  Let’s move clockwise around the lagoon…

School Bread

I actually haven’t eaten at any of the Norwegian establishments, but I think the fact that I haven’t tried the beloved School Bread is probably the most significant.  If you’re not familiar with this Disney cult classic, it is available at the Kringla Bakeri og Cafe in the Norway pavilion.  It is a sweet roll filled with vanilla custard and topped with icing and toasted coconut.  This sounds right up my alley, so I’m really not sure why I haven’t tried this yet…it’s a mystery!  But now that I know I have an egg sensitivity, it doesn’t look like I’ll be trying this anytime soon because of the custard.  Fail.

Reflections of China

China

As I’ve said before, I’m not a huge fan of films in WDW and this is particularly true when you have to stand for the film.  I get that the Circle-Vision 360 films aren’t conducive to sitting, but after walking around Epcot the last thing I want to do is stand for a 13-minute film.  I’ve heard this is a breathtaking film and I think I would actually enjoy it since I don’t think I will ever see China in my life (that’s a seriously long flight!).  I think the key to seeing this will be to make it one of the first things I do, so I won’t be so tired from walking around all day.  Yeah…that’s the ticket!

Biergarten Restaurant

Biergarten

I’ve been in this restaurant a few times for runDisney meetups, but I’ve never actually eaten here.  Again surprising since my heritage is half German and knowing that so many people rave about it.  I also love sausage and sauerkraut  so what gives??  Well a few things.

1. I only like buffets for breakfast…strange, but true.  There is something about lunch and dinner buffets that just really don’t appeal to me.  Plus, I never feel like I eat enough to make it worth the price for me.

2. B doesn’t like anything about the menu here.  He hates all things pickled, despises cabbage and beets, and really isn’t a fan of sausage.  Why did I marry him you ask?  Well he is pretty awesome in most other things.  😉  So because he doesn’t like the food, it’s never really on my radar.

3. The entertainment just isn’t for me.  When it comes to music, I turn to my Irish heritage for that.  Yodeling…no thanks.

O Canada!

Canada

Well, the reasons I haven’t seen this are the same as Reflections of China.  Film + Standing = No.  I actually almost went to see this over Wine & Dine Weekend, but we just missed it and I didn’t want to wait 18-minutes for the next one.  I’ve heard Martin Short is actually really funny and again the film is gorgeous.  Plan for this weekend…Canada first, China second…go!

Le Cellier Steakhouse

Gasp!  I know!  The most beloved restaurant by Disneyphiles everywhere and this foodie hasn’t been there!  To be honest, when restaurants are that hyped up, I tend to avoid them.  Don’t get me wrong, the food looks great here, but I just don’t want to be on the phone 180 days out making ADRs.  Now that it’s been bumped up to 2 table service credits on the Dining Plan, I hear that it’s easier to get a reservation so hopefully I’ll be able to give it a try soon.  I recently popped my head in to get a look at the restaurant and was surprised by how small it is, which is what probably attributes to the difficulty of getting in.

What attractions and restaurants are new to YOU in World Showcase at Epcot??  

What are your thoughts on films where you have to stand??

New to Me: Epcot’s Future World

Future World

Epcot is probably my favorite park.  I spent so much time here in the EPCOT Center days that I used to be able to recite Journey Into Imagination (the original!) from memory!  Now as an adult, Future World has a retro feel that I love, but it will still never life up to the days of Horizons and World of Motion.  Sigh…

So if it’s my favorite park, how are there things I’ve missed in Future World?!  Well I think it’s because some the attractions can often be overlooked because they are tucked away and when it comes to dining, I always head into World Showcase.  Here are some things that are still New To Me in Future World.

Circle of Life

I don’t think I’ve ever even stepped foot in this theater!  I’ve heard this is a great film, but I am generally not one for films (which you will see when we get to World Showcase!) and head to the unique attractions.  Living with the Land is one of my all time favs, go I generally head straight there when I’m in The Land pavilion.  The last time I was in there, my friend Amanda even tried to get me to go in and I just brushed it off.  This is definitely on the to do list…I mean how can you not love Timon and Pumba?!

Behind the Seeds Tour

Behind the Seeds

Speaking of Living with the Land, did you know you can actually walk around the gardens?!  Well, you have to have a guide with you, but how cool is that?!  This tour is something I’ve been wanting to do for years, but never seem to make the time.  I love fresh vegetables and I find their gardening techniques fascinating, so this is a no brainer for me.  And with the $18 price tag…hello?!?  This is on my priority list for my next trip.

Garden Grill Restaurant

And to round out things that are New to Me in The Land pavilion, Garden Grill Restaurant.  There are 3 things about this restaurant that don’t appeal to me:

1. Family Style Dining.  I’m never a fan of this (well excect for a big breakfast skillet at Whispering Canyon Cafe) as there is generally something I don’t want and it seems like a waste of food because there is always a TON leftover.

2. The Rotating Dining Room.  I know it doesn’t spin super fast, but just the thought of moving during my meal doesn’t sit well with me.

3. The Cuisine.  With a name like Garden Grill, I would expect local, farm fresh cuisine.  But what is on the menu is more like classic, home-style cooking.  There is nothing wrong with that and if I was going somewhere like Liberty Square Tavern in the Magic Kingdom, I would expect that, but not here.  There is so much more they could do with the menu to make it innovative and really showcase all of the wonderful local produce!

Sum of All Thrills

Another attraction that I’ve been really wanting to do for the past few years, but always forget about!  I think this is due to it’s location.  I very rarely walk through Innoventions, so I never think of it.  I think a sign outside would really help!  I’ve done the roller coaster simulator at Disney Quest and loved that…this seems like it would be kicking that up a few notches.  Maybe I’ll set a reminder for myself to do this next time so I don’t forget!

Coral Reef Restaurant

This restaurant has always intrigued me, but the lackluster reviews have always kept me away.  A little secret you may not know about me is that I wanted to be a Marine Biologist when I was younger.  I realized early on that it probably wasn’t the right career path for me, but I still have a love of all aquatic life.  I could stare into the aquarium at The Seas all day.  So dining at Coral Reef seems really cool, I just haven’t wanted to waste a whole meal there if the food isn’t good…you know how important food is to me!  I’ve decided that on my next trip, I’m going for lunch to test it out and check out the atmosphere.  I’m really looking forward to it!

What attractions and restaurants are new to YOU in Future World at Epcot??