RIP EPCOT’s Future World

If you didn’t know already, Disney’s well known D23 convention took place this past weekend in Anaheim, California. D23 is a convention that happens every two years and is where the Walt Disney Company announces a lot of their upcoming plans for resorts, theme parks, TV, movies, etc. The biggest takeaway from this year’s D23, you ask? The complete and total overhaul of Disney World’s EPCOT.

If you have visited EPCOT at all since it’s opening in 1982, you will recall that the theme park was split into two distinct lands; Future World and World Showcase. Future World was painted as a land to celebrate technology and innovation while World Showcase was a place to teach guests about other countries history and culture. While World Showcase has held true and strong since opening day over 35 years, Future World has naturally become outdated. Those of us who once visited places like Innoventions and marveled at the exhibits inside are now uninterested in the outdated technology.

EPCOT is changing the Future World area and dividing it into three different sections; World Nature, World Celebration and World Discovery. World Nature will take over the area containing the Land and the Sea pavilions. Naturally (pun definitely intended) this takes over to celebrate the beauty of nature and teach guests the importance of nature in the world. Also in this World Nature land will be a brand new attraction themed to Disney’s Moana. If you have not seen Moana, it is an absolute must-see Disney animated movie for me. It rivals Frozen, and even for some wins out completely, as the best modern day Disney animated movie. This attraction fits perfectly with the Land and the Sea pavilions and fulfills Disney’s need for a Moana themed attraction. I’m sure a lot of Moana fans have been patiently waiting for their day to celebrate a Moana attraction, and today is finally their day!

World Celebration will be housed in the central portion of EPCOT’s current (soon to be former) Future World. World celebration seems to be somewhat of a prequel to what guests will experience in World Showcase. The main attraction in World Celebration will be EPCOT’s famous Spaceship Earth, which we all know and love as EPCOT’s iconic attraction. However, the Spaceship Earth we all currently know and love will be no more. Disney will be changing scenes and altering the ride to give guests a look at storytelling and how that has shaped our history and culture. As usual, this will not be a popular opinion among all Disney World fans. However, like I discussed earlier, Spaceship Earth has already outdated itself. Spaceship Earth is meant to be about the rise of communication. But communication has already largely surpasses where Spaceship Earth ends, and keeping up on the continued progression of technology and communication in this day and age is very difficult. At this rate, Spaceship Earth would have to change it’s scenes every few years to truly keep up with the constant progression of communication and technology. Change isn’t always easy, folks. But not everything can last forever, and I trust Disney World with keeping the nostalgia of Spaceship Earth while updating it to fit the theming of World Celebration.

Lastly, World Discovery will take place of the last piece of Future World. This will include current attractions like Test Track and Mission Space as well as future attractions like the new Guardians of the Galaxy Roller Coaster. I have to say, when we really got to hearing more about the Guardians coaster, my head did kind of tilt and wonder how exactly Guardians fits into “Future World.” For those of you who may not be hardcore Marvel fans (let alone someone like me who considers both Guardians 1 and 2 in her top 5 favorite Marvel movies) you may not know that Guardians is not set in the future. All Marvel movies are set in the current time, unless otherwise indicated. So while the movie is set in space and does seem futuristic, this isn’t completely accurate to the future at all. Guardians, Mission Space, and Test Track, along with the new Space themed restaurant, will make a perfect home in World Discovery.

Change is quite difficult to grasp and hang on to, especially when it is coming with such full force. Other additions coming to EPCOT include a new entrance, new firework show, Ratatouille attraction in the France Pavilion, new circle vision 360 movies in both China and Canada, and a Mary Poppins attraction in the UK pavilion. EPCOT is really changing, and with so many big changes likely comes some big concerns as to how this will affect the Disney World we know and love. How I choose to rationalize is that 1) Change has to happen. For those people who visited Disney World back on opening day, Magic Kingdom is nothing like what it is today. And I’m sure those initial changes did not come as a popular choice for Disney World fans of the 70’s. However, that “new” Magic Kingdom is now the Magic Kingdom I grew to love. Disney’s Hollywood Studios has changed incredibly since I first grew to love Disney (beyond just changing the name a million times.) What used to be a look into movie making has now become guests way into the movies themselves. The Back Lot Tour and Great Movie Ride’s that gave guests a look into movie making have now turned into Star Wars Land and Toy Story Land, making guests feel like they are a part of the movies themselves. This change has been fantastic and something I can definitely get behind, and I believe the same will hold true with the EPCOT changes.

I’m glad I have all of my childhood (and recent) memories of the Disney World I grew up with, but I am excited to see what they continue to do in the future to improve the parks, resorts, and experiences. Change is hard, but change is a great thing.

Disney World is Changing: What’s to come before 2021

If you’re an avid Disney World fan like me, then you know that there are quite a few changes coming to Disney World in the new few years. The big reason? Disney World’s 50th anniversary will take place in the year 2021, and they are gearing up for large crowds, passionate fans, and visitors from all over the world stepping foot on the property. Disney wants to make sure it is in the best position come 2021 to provide a special memory for us all.

Some of Disney World’s most monumental changes are actually coming sooner than some may think. This August, Disney World’s version of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will be opening up in Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park. If you’ve seen the pictures from Disneyland, you know how huge this is going to be for the resort. It will draw massive crowds and further Disney’s already great relationship with Lucas Films. Galaxy’s Edge will be bring two new attractions to Hollywood Studios; Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run opening on the day the land opens and Rise of the Resistance opening in very early December. This brand new land will bring much needed attractions, food, and immersion into Hollywood Studios, a once easy to look past park.

Shortly after Galaxy’s Edge opens, Disney World will unveil a new form of transportation. As far as I know, there has not been a new way to travel between resorts/parks in quite some time, so this is a huge step in a forward direction for Disney World. The Disney World Skyliner will be available for use this September and will travel between Pop Century/Art of Animation Resorts, Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and EPCOT. These advanced gondola-like vehicles will cruise over top the Disney World property to transport it’s guests between these 5 locations. Personally, I couldn’t be happier about this addition. A new way to get directly between two Disney theme parks and an additional form of transportation to my go-to Value Resort? Sign me up!

Other changes coming throughout 2020 and 2021 include new attractions, restaurants, and aesthetic changes. The process of upgrading the remainder of the rooms at Disney’s three All Star Resorts is currently underway. On my last post, I linked the updated All Star Movies rooms, so feel free to check that out if you’re interested! These aesthetic changes to Disney’s cheapest hotels will be huge for them to garner more interest in visitors having interest in staying at these hotels on property rather than a similarly priced (maybe formerly nicer) hotel off property.

Other aesthetic changes are coming to EPCOT as well. Those of you who have been visiting Disney World for a while know that those large, triangular looking stones have been the face of the entrance of EPCOT for as long as we can remember. Finally, Disney World is moving those out of the way to make for a new, more visually pleasing entrance into the park. Spaceship Earth is such a beautiful, well known monument for EPCOT, and it’s always been clouded by the, some would call tombstones, planted in front of it. With a new look to the entrance of the park, I believe guests will feel much more welcomed as they walk in.

Beyond aesthetics, Disney World is going to have plenty of new attractions to finish before the 2021 celebration. Starting at Magic Kingdom, if you’ve visited recently you may have noticed some major construction there behind Space Mountain. That’s because, coming to Disney World is the Tron roller coaster, an exact copy of the ride that is currently in Shanghai Disney. This coaster is going to be a MASSIVE draw for crowds and really helps Magic Kingdom bump up their capacity.

Moving on to EPCOT, the park that I would say is coming with the most changes the next few years, there will be two brand new attractions in store before the 2021 anniversary. The Guardians of the Galaxy roller coaster is going in near where Ellen’s Energy Adventure once lived. If you’re a Marvel fan like me, you’re thrilled to see some Marvel characters finally able to seep their way into Disney World. If you don’t know the story behind why Marvel cannot be in Disney World, it’s a confusing one but I’m more than willing to explain to the best of my knowledge. Just let me know! Beyond that, the France Pavilion will be home to a Ratatouille ride that can currently be found in Disneyland Paris. World Showcase has been lacking in attractions since it’s opening, so it’s exciting to see new rides pop up!

Hollywood Studios may already have Galaxy’s Edge to lean on, but that’s not all that’s coming. Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway will be taking to former home of The Great Movie Ride. Not much has been released as far as details go for this attraction, but we’re interested to see what it’s all about. The Great Movie Ride is already very missed by Disney World fans, so I’m sure the Imagineers are working hard to create the perfect attraction to take it’s place. This will also be Disney Worlds first ever attraction to be directly based on Mickey and Minnie. I know, I was shocked too when I first realized that we have no Mickey and Minnie based attractions throughout 4 theme parks, but it’s true!

All of these changes will, no doubt, bring larger crowds to Disney World in the next few years. But, if you are able to avoid those busy Summer and holiday months, I still believe you will be able to visit Disney World and not have to wait 60+ minutes for every single attraction on property. The benefit of all this? Changes and new attractions mean more things for visitors to do. Hollywood Studios, at one point, only housed 4 attractions; Tower of Terror, Rock ‘n Roller Coaster, Star Tours, and Toy Story Mania. Even if the crowds were slightly lower, the attention was only dispersed through 4 attractions (and a handful of shows.) Once Mickey and Minnie Runaway Railway opens, Hollywood Studios will be home to 9 attractions plus shows. That’s over double. So, unless the crowds double, you can expect that increasing attraction offerings will spread the crowd thinner.

Is there anything new that you’re looking forward to the most? Let me know in the comments!

The Angry Disney Reviewer and The New York Post: My Response

There has been something in the air lately that has been making everyone hate on millennials who love Disney. If you haven’t seen what the angry reviewer said, I can sum it up nicely for you. Basically, if you are an adult without kids, you should be BANNED from Disney. Disney is a place only for parents and their children and everyone else should not be allowed in. She also may have used some rude, derogatory language to describe a young woman who got a pretzel, but I’ll leave that out of this for now.

This review, albeit funny to read, has lead to quite a few outlets standing up for young adults and their right to visit Disney if they want to. However, one Johnny Oleksinski of the New York Post decided to write up this article. He has every right to do so, and I have every right to tell him why he’s wrong. Let’s begin:

First of all, Johnny made a nice little claim that all of us born between the years of 1981 and 1996 remain constant 12 year olds. Because planning a week (or more) long vacation, strategically scheduling out your time and how to make the most of your trip, budgeting yourself for months beforehand, and traveling alone to a destination all while working full time, some of us working more than one job to pay off all that fun college debt, is something that 12 year olds frequently do. Things must have really changed since I was 12.

Johnny then rants that we should be spending our time seeing non-Disney movies in the theaters, and that’s such an irrelevant point that I don’t even need to get into it. However, he follows that with talking about how a trip to Europe is the same price as a trip to Disney World, and we should explore meeting people that are different from ourselves. Johnny must not know much about Disney World at all if he thinks that there is no single person there that isn’t from the United States. Not only is Disney World one of the most popular theme park destinations in the world, but Disney World has made a name for themselves with how they incorporate people from other countries into their parks and resorts. Does Johnny know that all of the countries in EPCOT have cast members from that country representing? Does Johnny know that you can speak directly with people from those countries to learn about the culture and history of where they’re from? Does Johnny know that, instead of having to take 11 trips to different countries to speak with people about their experiences there, they can just walk into EPCOT and experience it that way? Not to mention that you can head over to Animal Kingdom and speak with even more cast members from Africa and Asia?

I appreciate what Johnny is trying to say here. It’s important for people to gain experiences outside of what we know and are used to. But having little to no knowledge on the Disney World parks and the opportunities for experiences they have there is not the best look.

Johnny continues to go on about how much a Disney World vacation costs and how us non-parent millennials should choose to branch out and visit other countries instead of Disney World. Because, as usual, millennials are KILLING international’s travel!!!! Millennials kill everything these days, so just add that to the list, Johnny.

I choose to visit Disney World because it’s a place where I made memories with my family as a kid. Just because I’m 25 without kids doesn’t mean that it’s wrong for my to enjoy visiting and reliving my childhood memories. Disney World is a place where I can go, walk around and explore and remember moments with people that I no longer have here in my life. Why that’s so offensive to people is something I’ll never know.

Disney World’s innovation in their attractions, resorts, experiences and more also fascinates me. To me, there is something so special and interesting about a company that puts so much though into each and every thing that they do. Yes, people like Johnny will roll their eyes at this, but it’s true. When Disney World was creating the Morocco pavilion in EPCOT’s World Showcase, Morocco’s emperor sent his personal architect to Florida to help with the creation of the buildings and scenery. When Disney World decided to build Expedition Everest in Animal Kingdom, the Disney Imagineers flew to Nepal and spent time with the people there to get accurate ideas of what the Himalayan mountains really looked like, what the local villages looked like, and spoke with believers of the Yeti to determine what natives believe that creature actually is. That is a level of attention to detail that shouldn’t be disregarded.

Disney makes me happy. Disney makes a lot of us childless millennials happy. The fact that people doing things that make them happy is such a problems is really mind blowing to me. But, you can all keep ranting and raving about how millennials are running everything. I’ll be riding Space Mountain and having the time of my life in Disney World. Thanks!

Extra, Extra Magic Hours

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard that Disney World is planning to introduce Extra, Extra Magic Hours this fall to accommodate the large numbers of visitors they are expecting. At the end of August, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will be opening at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This brand new, highly anticipated land is likely going to come with huge crowds this fall. In order to plan for that, Extra, Extra Magic Hours have been announced.

If you have not heard about this yet, let’s start with explaining what Extra Magic Hours are. If you stay at a Disney World Resort Hotel, Disney World offers Extra Magic Hours. These are additional hours that Resort guests are able to stay out at the parks after they are closed to regular day guests. Typically, parks will open an hour or two early or close an hour or two later to allow the Disney World Resort guests some time in the parks with a lesser crowd. Now, Extra Magic Hour crowds aren’t what they used to be. With more and more hotels and more people visiting and staying on property, Extra Magic Hours are still extremely popular. However, it is still much better than the regular day crowd that you experience when you visit a Disney World park. Usually, there is one park each day that offers the Extra Magic Hours either in the morning or at night. Rarely is there an overlap in Extra Magic Hours.

This Fall, Disney World is going to have Extra, Extra Magic Hours. This means that every day from the end of August through the beginning of November, Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios will offer morning Magic Hours. This means that every single day, three of Disney World’s four parks will have Extra Magic Hours that Resort guests can take advantage of. At Hollywood Studios, in particular, the Extra, Extra Magic Hours will take place from 6:00 am – 9:00 am every day. That is three full hours each morning to experience the brand new Star Wars land, and that is going to be a HUGE advantage for the Resort guests. Staying on Disney World property already comes with its advantages like the Magical Express, Disney Transportation, the close proximity to the parks, and much more. Now, Resort guests also get hours upon hours of extra time to spend at the parks with lesser crowds.

You may have noticed that EPCOT was not a park of the Disney Extra, Extra Magic Hours. I’m not 100% sure why this doesn’t apply to EPCOT, to be honest. However, don’t be alarmed. EPCOT will still have its standard Extra Magic Hours like it usually does. Typically, that includes nighttime hours on Tuesdays and morning hours on Thursdays. That being said, every single Tuesday and Thursday for the few months that Extra, Extra Magic Hours take place, each of the four Disney parks will have Extra Magic Hours.

Do you have any thoughts about this new experience Disney World is offering up to its Resort guests? Comment!

#DontSpoilTheEndgame

If you’ve been on the internet at all lately, I’m sure you know what this hashtag means. Somehow, someway, Avengers: Endgame footage has been leaked and is flying it’s way around the internet. From what I’ve heard, the footage was leaked by some employee that was involved in the movie. That could mean a LOT of different things, so I have no further details on that front. However, you can imagine that whoever that person is does not have a job anymore. Not a great look to leak footage from a highly guarded film.

The leak itself is enough to ruffle the feathers of die-hard MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) fans, but the further sharing of the footage is what has a lot of fans (myself included) worried. I know not every person in the world is a big Avengers or MCU fan. But what I do believe is that most people have some sort of show or movie that they are a HUGE fan of. They have something that they would be super bummed about if they saw a spoiler. That alone should stop people from over-sharing this leaked footage. But, apparently it’s not.

I’m a fan of the movies. I have my tickets for me and my boyfriend for 6:00 pm next Thursday. I have muted words on twitter and prevented it from showing me unwanted pictures/videos as I scroll through my timeline. I do not want to be spoiled because of people who are going out of their way to ruin it for everyone else. I have been on the edge of my seat when it comes to this movie ever since the first trailer was released. I have watched every single trailer more than once. I have Avengers: Endgame hype seeping through my pores as I watch/rewatch movies this week. What I absolutely, positively do not want is to have this excitement spoiled for me by people who want to just ruin it for others.

DON’T be that person. Not for me, but for the hundreds of people who spend years of their life creating the MCU. Writers, costume design, set decorators, producers, directors, actors, editors, and so many more people have worked to create this universe for the past 11 years. Their hard work shouldn’t be dismissed by people who are deciding that sharing spoilers is “fun.” If you don’t care about the movie and don’t want to hear about it, mute the words on twitter. Unfollow those who talk about it. But don’t go out of your way to ruin it for the people who care. You know there is something you have in your life that you wouldn’t want to be spoiled, so don’t do that for others.

#DontSpoilTheEndgame. Seriously.

Villains After Dark

If you haven’t year heard about the new Villains After Dark event being offered at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, I’m here to help fill you in, give my opinion, and let you know if I think it’ll be worth it.

Last week, Disney Parks Blog announced a brand new, After Hours type event that will be hosted at the Magic Kingdom this summer. Villains After Dark is a play on the current Disney After Hours events that are currently taking place at Magic Kingdom. After Hours, not to be confused with Extra Magic Hours, is a separately ticketed event that takes place on scheduled days. The event begins at 7:00 pm and extends until 3 hours past the closing time at Magic Kingdom. With limited numbers of tickets sold to these After Hours events, guests get the opportunity to have the park virtually empty. Most, if not all, of the major rides are open and wait times are significantly lower across the board.

My boyfriend, James, and I went to our first After Hours event in January at Magic Kingdom. The amount of rides we were able to hit between 7:00-11:00 was crazy. The only ride we really had a wait for was Seven Dwarfs, which is to be expected. However, even that was only about a 10 minute wait and we managed to get on it twice. If you want to hear my overall opinions on After Hours, check here for the blog I wrote breaking it down!

Villains After Dark sounds like it will be your standard After Hours event, just with a twist. There will be a special stage show hosted by my very favorite Disney villain, Hades. Our favorite Festival of Fantasy parade dweller will also be around. Maleficent the Dragon will be unleashed and roam around the park during the course of the event. You never know where you might spot her. This event will also offer it’s own unique merchandise, food, and beverage options. Disney Parks Blog also informed us that Space Mountain and Pirates will have some overlays that are “Disney villain” themed.

With all that being said, the price for Villains After Dark will be slightly higher than that of your standard After Hours event. After Hours at Magic Kingdom will cost you $125 per adult, while Villains After Dark will top that at $139 per. It’s now up to guests to decide if the unique qualities of this event are worth the additional $14 that it costs. For me, it’s basically a no brainer. Magic Kingdom will likely not be offering a separate After Hours event throughout the summer, so Villains After Dark will be the only opportunity for an After Hours event. Also, After Hours prices did go up after one year of events, so the price increase for these specially ticketed events kind of comes with the territory. There’s every chance in the world that once the fall/winter comes along, standard After Hours events at Magic Kingdom will run in that $139 range, so you may as well take advantage of the prices and get a unique experience with it!

The one thing I could see with this event is how the little ones may feel about it. I love the Disney villains, and I think a special stage show involving them is going to be awesome. However, your little ones may feel differently than I do. When I was little, I can’t say I would have loved the idea of watching the “bad guys” and seeing a spooky, fire-breathing dragon wandering around the park, sneaking up on me. With the darkness surrounding you in the late, nighttime hours, it could be a scene that is just too scary for some little kids to enjoy.

If you’re heading to Disney World this Summer on an adults only trip, or you know that your kids will enjoy the event, I think it’s definitely worth looking into if it can fit in your budget. Summer is a hard time to visit Disney World as the parks can get super crowded and that Florida heat/sun can be unbearable. If you can, check out this event to avoid some of those crowds and be able to enjoy Magic Kingdom in the coolness of the night.

Briar Rose Gold: New Today!

hFirst and foremost, thank you to AJ from DisneyFoodBlog for this tweet this morning. I have known about the Briar Rose Gold line coming to Disney Parks from a few different outlets, but I have been waiting anxiously for the collection to be seen. As some of you know, DFB is an incredible place to find the latest news for Disney Parks, so be sure to check them out!

Briar Rose Gold is the newest trend in the world of Disney merchandise. In a previous blog, I talked about finding the perfect Minnie Ears and all of the new ears that have been coming out lately. You can add Briar Rose Gold to that long list!

What I really want to see right now is a side-by-side comparison between the original Rose Gold merchandise and the new Briar Rose Gold merchandise. From AJ’s tweet, it’s pretty clear that the ears and the spirit jersey look different. The ears themselves look to be a little more matte and less sequined/sparkley, while the bow has all the sequins. This is pretty much opposite of the original Rose Gold ears, and I’m guessing that’s what they were going for. The spirit jersey, of course, is a gray color with the Briar Rose Gold accents, whereas the original Rose Gold spirit jersey was more of an overall rosey/peachy color. As for the rest of the merchandise, it really is hard to tell right now what the exact differences are. I’m sure that someone, somewhere along the line will have side-by-sides for us to really get in there and examine.

Do you have any feelings about the Briar Rose Gold? Obviously, this is a really new collection, so it may be hard to judge right now. For me, I’m so obsessed with my original Rose Gold ears. They are my very favorite pair of ears, and it’s hard to imagine finding something else that I like even more. However, I LOVE that spirit jersey. So much so that, if they put it online, I may have to snatch it. I love the way that the dark gray compliments the Rose Gold on the back accents. It’s definitely a look that I’m a fan of.

What Disney clothing trends have been your favorite and least favorite? Tell me in the comments!