Wow! Now, We Have 400 Reasons to Celebrate!

What a milestone we celebrate today, folks!  With this post, the WDW Main Street Podcast celebrates its 400th episode!

Wow!  400?!  Are you kidding me?  Who can talk that much for that long?  Um, the answer to that question will reveal itself to you in just a few seconds.

Naturally, I didn’t personally participate in all 400 shows.  Not even close.  Neither has John Peters, for that matter.  Even our retired colleague – Dennis Conroy – came on board well after the podcast was born.

Who can talk that much for that long?  The show’s founder and host, of course.  Yes, it is Doug Davis who has that incredible “gift of gab”.

Doug and I at Laguna Bar!

Main Street was his brain-child.  He’s hosted or co-hosted every single episode.  In truth, it is Doug that deserves all the credit for this feat!  Congratulations, Doug!  What a phenomenal accomplishment!

My friends, join John and myself, as we congratulate Doug.  Attend our little party.  Step into the WDW Main Street Pub and listen to …

Episode #400 – 400 Reasons to Celebrate!

World Showcase Pavilions … What DO We do with the “Bottom of the Barrel”?

Howdy, folks!  Wow.  It has been … one … long … week.  Odd, too.  Since I had Tuesday off work for Independence Day, that is.

So.  Where were we on our little adventure through Walt Disney World?  Oh, yeah.  Epcot.  World Showcase.  Poll results!

First up, let’s take a look back at World Showcase’s pavilions.  Thanks for your incredible support, my friends.  Over 1,250 votes cast!  Yahoo!

Well, our task was to determine your collective ranking of the pavilions from one (1) to eleven (11), wasn’t it?  To do that, I asked you, each, to select your favorite five (5).  What were the results?

  1. Mexico
  2. Japan
  3. United Kingdom
  4. Germany
  5. France
  6. Italy
  7. Norway
  8. Morocco
  9. American Adventure
  10. China
  11. Canada

Great list!  Can I comment?  Of course, I can!  Hah!

Mexico won by a bit of a landslide – over 30 votes!  Clearly La Cava del Tequila, the marketplace, the wide selection of restaurants, and the pavilion’s view of Illuminations catches our fancy.

In fact, Mrs. All in WDW and I had them at #2.  Oh, wait.  Here’s our list …

  1. United Kingdom
  2. Mexico
  3. Japan
  4. Germany
  5. Italy
  6. American Adventure
  7. China
  8. Morocco
  9. Canada
  10. France
  11. Norway

Pretty darn similar, I’d say.  With the exception of Italy – which you ranked in 6th place – our Top 5 matched yours!  Great minds think alike!

One other observation … let’s look at your list one more time – in a different light.  As you know, some of the pavilions (shown in RED) offer distinct, marquee movies or attractions.  How did those countries do?

  1. Mexico
  2. Japan
  3. United Kingdom
  4. Germany
  5. France
  6. Italy
  7. Norway
  8. Morocco
  9. American Adventure
  10. China
  11. Canada

Only two of the Top 6 – as opposed to four of the Bottom 5 – offer attractions.  Huh?  Maybe attractions aren’t World Showcase’s draw, after all.

You know what?  Norway’s ranking mystifies me at the same time as it doesn’t surprise me.  We ranked it in 11th, after all.  With Maelstrom still “alive”, we would have ranked the pavilion at #3!

Much to our dismay, however, Frozen Ever After is insanely popular.  Having said that, it shocks me that Elsa didn’t single-handedly prop Norway up this poll.  I feel bad for Disney.  All that money spent, and we don’t even seem to appreciate it!

I hate to ask, but are we bored with the American Adventure?  I don’t mean the attraction, of course, but I do mean the pavilion itself.

What is it, everyone?  Is it just that there is no decent dining option … other than The Smokehouse at Flower & Garden?  Is it that their shopping options are next to nonexistent?

I’d find a way to add a stand-out Table Service option.  Doug Davis has mentioned that on our podcast.  Plus, I’d increase the size of the main gift shop and completely re-imagine Liberty Inn.

Finally, what do we do with the “bottom of the barrel”?  Good question.  Clearly, Canada’s signature restaurant isn’t helping them much.

If it were me, with the exception of Le Cellier – which should be enlarged to handle more Guests (another comment already made by Doug Davis and Dennis Conroy) – this pavilion needs a complete overhaul.

For example, their one little store is not much to speak about.  Look at the shopping options boasted by your Top 4.  There’s no comparison.  It is a clear area for improvement, Epcot.

How about adding a solid Quick Service?  Every other pavilion offers some type of reasonable Counter Service dining option.  Where’s the one in Canada?

Finally, what do we do with the movie?  Will an updated film lift this pavilion up the charts.  Probably not.

Here’s an idea … how much room do you have in there, Disney?  You’ve devoted a ton of space to landscaping, that’s for sure.

Could you, possibly, find enough area to, somehow, engineer a small log flume ride into the pavilion?  Hey!  It might be “out there”, but it’s as good of an idea as any!

How about you, folks?  How would you bring one of the Bottom 5 up to par with the rest of the Showcase?  Let us know, here, in the comments section of this post … or on social media!

Retain? Or, Replace? – IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth

Good morning, folks!  Did you register your opinions on yesterday’s post?  How would you rank World Showcase’s pavilions?  Go back and weigh in – before it’s too late!

In the meantime, I have another burning Epcot item to address.  In fact, I want to settle this emotionally-charged, superhot issue once and for all!

A few days ago, we learned that Siemens will be ending their sponsorship agreement with Disney Parks.  That raises several questions.  Like, what does this mean for Spaceship Earth?  Or, what happens to IllumiNations?

We’ll come back to Spaceship Earth – and the rest of the rumored re-imaginations of Epcot – at a later time.  For now, let’s focus on Illuminations.

Catch WDW Main Street Podcast – Episode #370 – Our Weekly News! to hear what the group thinks of the rumored big changes coming to Epcot!

A little over a year ago, I ran a similar poll to the one you’ll find below.  It concluded with, what I would call, mixed results.  Today, I’m going to be much more direct and blunt with my “challenge”.

My friends?  IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth.  Retain?  Or, Replace?  Cast your VOTE but also give us your thoughts.  You can leave them, here, in the comments on this post or on social media.  Do you want to replace?  Then, please tell us why!

It’s Undeniable! YOU Stand Fast with the Land!

Good Friday, my friends!  Right to business!  Earlier this week, I challenged you to …

“Tap into your creativity.  Imagine that you’re an … Imagineer!  Yes!  In fact, you’re a “re-imagineer”!

Living with the Land.  Should we rehabilitate?  Give it a bit of a facelift, maybe?  Should we eliminate?  Replace it altogether?  Or, should we leave it alone?”

Wow!  What a response!  Thanks for your support, folks!  Your voices were heard en masse and loud and clear!  Plus, a number of you put a lot of time and thought into your comments.  THANKS!

Almost 94% of you declared “Leave it Alone” or Keep it and “Rehabilitate”.  Your explanations were heart-felt.  Do you hear that, Disney?  Read below.  We have spoken!

So, what did you say?  Well, you certainly were out-spoken.  I’ll let you take it from here.  It’s a bit long, everyone, but filled with passion and creativity.  Please click through and enjoy!

_________________________

I wish it was longer!  I really enjoy this attraction.  It could use some plussing.  That’s for sure!

My son would be absolutely devastated if they took away Living with the Land!  We both adore it.  It is not to be missed for us!

Rehab!  It’s a great ride and full of wonderful information.  I like watching the scientists at work.

This is a “must do” … every time.  Definitely a keeper!

I love Living with the Land.  I experience it on every trip.  Yes, I thought it was better when actual people narrated the ride.

I love it.  Always motivates me to grow something.  Rehab!

I’d hate to see them change it … especially since, if they did, it’d probably be Maelstrom-style ‘rehab’.

Leave it alone.  You may screw it up like you did with Journey into Imagination.

Rehab!  I would love more greenhouse and less-dated photos at the end.

We love this ride!  I hope they don’t eliminate it, and I guess rehabilitation to update the tech wouldn’t be a bad thing – except it would be down for a certain time period and that would stink for people who will miss it during their trip.  I especially love it because I refer to it during my science lessons with my 3rd graders each year.  Any opportunity to insert Disney into real life, and I take it!

I love that ride.  Always found it interesting and peaceful.

Definitely one of my favorites.  I’d love to see them add some technology and updated info on farming.  The lab, itself, is doing real research which is very cool.  To me, this attraction defines my love of Epcot, and the idea of eliminating it makes me incredibly sad.

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Rehabilitate? Or, Eliminate? – Living with the Land

Do you remember this feature, folks?  Rehabilitate?  Eliminate?  I’ll admit it.  It has been a long time since I’ve run one.

Well, if you need a reminder – or are new to the site – let me tell you how it works.  Warning, my friends.  It’s time to “make believe”!

Welcome to the The Walt Disney Company!  I hope you are enjoying your “career” in Disney’s design and development division – Walt Disney Imagineering!

As you know, WDI is responsible for the creation and construction of Disney theme parks worldwide, and we need your help!

Tap into your creativity.  Imagine that you’re an … Imagineer!  Yes!  In fact, in today’s case, you’re a “re-imagineer”!

Living with the Land.  Should we rehabilitate?  Give it a bit of a facelift, maybe?  Should we eliminate?  Replace it altogether?  Or, should we leave it alone?

Your task, today, is a two-part job.  First, what’s your vote?  Second, if you want to rehabilitate, what do you suggest we do?  If you want to eliminate, what should take its place?  What’s your “Project Plan”?

Leave your comments on this post, on Facebook, or on Twitter, my friends!  Have some fun!  What should we do with Epcot’s “living laboratory”?