Post “Game” Analysis: Epcot

There’s no question about it … the contest we just completed was a “top shelf” effort on your part.  Thank you, all, for your votes and support!  Thank you, all!

We, of course, “crowned” Soarin’ as the 2015 All in WDW Readers’ Favorite Epcot Attraction!  Congratulations, Soarin’, for a battle well won!  The finale was nothing short of classic.  And, it was a real “nail-biter”!

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But, what’s the story behind the numbers?  Let’s see …

As voted by you this past Tuesday, the FINAL Top 4 were:

  1. Soarin’
  2. IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth
  3. Spaceship Earth
  4. Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

29%, 27%, and 26%.  These were the percentages of your votes that the Top 3 “competitors”, listed above, scored in the finale.  Can you say “incredibly evenly matched”?

And, even though Soarin’ slipped past the competition by two tiny votes in this four-way match up, here’s the Final Four if we were to list them by overall vote totals received for the entire competition:

  1. Soarin’
  2. Spaceship Earth
  3. IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth
  4. Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

Almost the same result, except for Illuminations dropping a spot.  But, if we reveal the numbers, this competition wasn’t as close as Tuesday’s finale made it look!  See?

  1. Soarin’  –  173 total votes
  2. Spaceship Earth  –  161
  3. IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth  –  156
  4. Epcot International Food & Wine Festival  –  105

Big win for the aerial tour of California!  My poor Food & Wine, however?  Not only did it finish 4th in the official final balloting, but, seeing these totals, we could say it never really was “in the game”!

This is quite surprising, actually.  The food-fest was not just the defending Epcot “champion”.  It is also the reigning All in WDW Readers’ Favorite WDW Attraction!  Wow, what a fall!

Here’s another surprise … if we were to use the overall vote totals going into the final round, as opposed to the results of the Round 2 head-to-head match ups, this is what the finale would have looked like:

  1. Soarin’
  2. Spaceship Earth
  3. IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth
  4. Test Track Presented by Chevrolet

What?!  Where’s Food & Wine?  See what I mean?  Epcot’s fall “food frenzy” never had a chance to retain its “crown”.

So, what does our 2014 All in WDW Readers’ Top 15 Favorite Epcot Attractions look like?  Here ya’ go …

  1. Soarin’
  2. IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth
  3. Spaceship Earth
  4. Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
  5. Test Track Presented by Chevrolet
  6. Living with the Land
  7. Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival
  8. Mission: SPACE
  9. Candlelight Processional
  10. Journey Into Imagination With Figment
  11. The Seas with Nemo & Friends
  12. Turtle Talk With Crush
  13. The American Adventure
  14. Voices of Liberty
  15. Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros

I think we’ll all agree … there’s a lot to like in Epcot.  Or, love!  And, for my part, I’ll say that I enjoy most of our Top 15.

Having said that, what would my personal Top 15 look like?

  1. Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
  2. IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth
  3. Spaceship Earth
  4. Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival
  5. Test Track Presented by Chevrolet
  6. Living with the Land
  7. Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros
  8. The American Adventure
  9. Soarin’
  10. Mission: SPACE
  11. Candlelight Processional
  12. Voices of Liberty
  13. The Seas with Nemo & Friends
  14. Journey Into Imagination With Figment
  15. Turtle Talk With Crush

What?!  Soarin’ at # 9!  Yes, folks, in its current form, I can “take it or leave it”!  Time for a major refurb, maybe?  Hmm.

Thanks, again, for your support this week!  Great job!

Epcot “Soars” to New Heights!

Can I tell you what I liked most about this week’s tournament?  Consistency.  What do I mean?  Simply that 2015’s “Final Four” attractions comprised last year’s finale as well.

Yesterday, my friends, we witnessed a four-attraction re-match!  And, what an epic Epcot “battle” it was!

In my opinion, in total, this entire three-day “competition” was phenomenal!  Proving that Epcot is loaded with a collection of evenly-matched, top-shelf, stand-out attractions, any one of FIVE experiences had a real chance to win it all!

Now, here’s one of the things I loved about yesterday’s finale … up to virtually the very last minute, it was a dead tie between our Top 3 finishers!  In fact, I went to sleep last night with no idea whatsoever of what I’d be writing this morning!

Would it be a “repeat” victory for the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival?  No.  I knew that my food-fest was running solidly in fourth place and was out.

But, would it be a second win for IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth?  Maybe.  It was in the hunt.  Spaceship Earth, on the other hand, at one point yesterday morning, held a bit of a lead over everyone.  Could it sneak to victory?  Hmm.

Soarin'

No.  It was Soarin’ that squeezed out a narrow two-vote victory when all was said and done!

So, let me describe what I really love about our annual Epcot polls.  All in WDW has run these “competitions” for the last three years.

In Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Expedition Everest holds a three-year-long chokehold on that park’s title.  In Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Twilight Zone Tower of Terror has “three-peated” its way into our hearts.

When it comes to Epcot, as evidenced by yesterday’s finale, anything can win!

Fans, in 2013, we “crowned” IllumiNations.  In 2014, the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival took the prize.  This year?  Well … Soarin’?  You are now the “king”!  You are the 2015 All in WDW Readers’ Favorite Epcot Attraction!

Epcot’s BIG “Norwegian” Finale! VOTE!

Admit it.  Deep down, you really loved the film.  You never slipped through the theater and skipped “The Spirit of Norway”, did you?  Of course, you didn’t.  We’re true Disney fans!  In fact, we’re the truest of the true!

When it comes to Maelstrom, in the spirit of “Frozen”, some of my friends and fans tell me that I should “Let It Go” already.  I just can’t.

Look, we know that Maelstrom was nothing more than a four-minute mildly-thrilling, musty-smelling boat ride.  The movie was a too-loud and simple Norwegian travelogue.  Nonetheless, we loved it all!  Especially the polar bears!

Photo Sep 19, 11 31 57 AM

After a “death-defying(?)” drop into the “North Sea” and past an oil rig, Maelstrom delivered its Guests into a small, calm harbor village.  In that village, the ride’s narrator announced, “Norway’s spirit will always be adventure.”

As a last tribute to this “fallen” experience, I am very proud to announce the opening of the All in WDW Hall of Fame!  And, I’m very delighted to reveal its first honoree – Maelstrom!

Live on, Maelstrom!

Today, you have two jobs, my friends.  TWO!  First, vote for ONE in this group immediately below!

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Which one of these experiences will become the 2015 All in WDW Readers’ Favorite Epcot Attraction?!

Then, please stick around to take care of the Consolation “Bracket”!  I’ve placed yesterday’s cast-offs into a battle for 5th through 8th place.  Same drill.  VOTE for ONE!

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TWO votes in total today, fans.  In Group #1, above, what is your ultimate Epcot favorite?  In Group #2, what attraction is the “best” of the rest?!

Happy voting, my friends!  VOTE!

Oh, and by the way … when you’re done, go watch this GREAT video!  Take one last ride on Maelstrom!  Then, watch “The Spirit of Norway”!  Don’t skip the movie, folks!  We’re true Disney fans!

Seek the Spirit of … Epcot! It’s Day #2! Vote!

Good morning, my friends!  I wish you a great Monday!

I kicked this “tournament” off, yesterday, with a few silent moments of reflection for our fallen Norwegian “comrade” … Maelstrom.  As I think about it further, however, even that doesn’t seem like enough of a tribute.

So, here’s a quick bit of enlightenment from “The Mickey Wiki”!

“When an attraction for Norway was originally being developed, Imagineers wanted to give the pavilion … [a] thrill ride.”  That ride was initially going to open ‘[u]nder the name of “SeaVenture”!’

Developers intended to present Guests with a journey amongst trolls and gnomes as they searched for the Rainbow Bridge to Valhalla.  Sponsors from Norway, however, “wanted their attraction to be more of a travelogue … as opposed to a mythological adventure.”

Imagineers were given a list of things that needed to be included in the attraction.  On that list were vikings, a fishing village, a polar bear, a fjord, and an oil rig.  Well, Disney?  Mission accomplished.

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Before we get into today’s voting, my friends, I’d like to refresh your minds of this very memorable passage …

“You are not the first to pass this way, nor shall you be the last.

Those who seek the spirit of Norway face peril and adventure. But more often find beauty and charm.

We have always lived with the sea, so look first to the spirit of the seafarer.”

In the spirit of those Norwegian seafarers, let’s get back to business!  It’s the same drill as yesterday!

We’ve knocked our list of attractions down to an Epcot “Top 8″!  You’ll find two groups, below.  VOTE for ONE in each group!  The Top 2 from each group will enter tomorrow’s big finale!

Go ahead!  VOTE!

Experience Epcot! The VOTING Begins! Round 1!

My friends, before we begin … can I have a short moment of silence please?  Yes?  Thanks!  You’re very kind.

Why?  I’d just like to take a few seconds of your time to remember, with great fondness, our 2014 7th-favorite Epcot attraction – Maelstrom.

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That’s right.  In this “tournament”, one year ago, the Norway Pavilion’s “once-upon-a-time” featured attraction finished 7th in our Epcot “Top 15″.

Poor Maelstrom.  Vikings, trolls, and polar bears run off by a couple of princesses from Arendelle.  So, so sad.

Folks?  With the Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios polls behind us, it’s time to take on Epcot once again!  Yay!

The Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow is filled with fantastic attractions and experiences.  From festivals to thrill rides, there’s “tons” to do!

You know how this goes.  As always, VOTE for ONE in each group.  The Top 2 vote-getters in each group will move on to the next round!

So, fans, which one of these will become the 2015 All in WDW Readers’ Favorite Epcot Attraction?!  Hmm?  Get VOTING!