A Celebratory “Media Explosion” of Epcot! Happy 35th Birthday, Old Friend!

Home to our favorite WDW attractions – such as their annual International Food & Wine Festival, World Showcase, IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, and Spaceship Earth – it goes without saying that Epcot is our favorite park.

So, what do you do when a beloved “friend” has a birthday?  You throw them a big celebration, of course!  And, the best way that I can think to do that is to share our Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow.

Initially imagined as a utopian city of the future, it was planned by Walt Disney to be a recreation of a perfect place – a “paradise”.  My friends?  Please enjoy this multitude of photos and videos of what we feel is, indeed, that paradise!

The dessert that Mrs. All in WDW declares is WORTH the calories – the Apple Caramel Crunch formerly served by Sunshine Seasons!

The inaugural member of All in WDW’s “Hall of Fame”, Maelstrom was memorialized with that honor in 2015. It was a family favorite!

Rose & Crown’s Bangers and Mash is one of the most economical and delicious dishes on Disney property!

One of our very favorite things to do — enjoy a pint or two in the Rose & Crown Pub … accompanied by a serving of Yorkshire County Fish Shop’s fantastically crispy Fish and Chips!

No, Goofy! Don’t do it!

“Food” & Garden’s Beijing-style Candied Strawberries are always one of Mrs. All in WDW’s favorites!

New Zealand’s Lamb Meatball was the 2014 and ’15 All in WDW Food & Wine Festival Champion!

China’s Mongolian Beef was the 2013 All in WDW Food & Wine Festival Champion!

Hawai’i’s Kalua Pork Slider was the 2011, ’12, and ’16 All in WDW Food & Wine Festival Champion!

Hops & Barley’s Smoked Beef Brisket and Pimento Cheese IS the 2017 All in WDW Food & Wine Festival Champion!

The FATE of IllumiNations! What DID You Decide? What’s MY Take?

Happy Friday, folks!  It’s finally here!  Hey, I really want to jump into Food & Wine “frivolity”, but we’re not quite done with poll recaps, I’m afraid.  Good news?  Just a few more to review!  First, let’s deal with …

The FATE of IllumiNations!

Can I chime in with my two cents?  Let me share my feelings.  On the last night of any trip to Walt Disney World, IllumiNations has always found a way to energize my courage to return to “real” life.

A few years ago, wanting to bring that strength home with me, I purchased the soundtrack.  By the way, if you’re a Spotify user, search for this playlist – Epcot IllumiNations Pre-Show.  Good stuff.

Anyway, when rumors of replacement popped up again a few weeks ago, I began listening to both the playlist and the soundtrack multiple times per day.  Plainly said, the loss of IllumiNations simply horrifies me.

In our recent poll, what did you say about this phenomenal attraction?  If we focus on the votes, 55% of you want the show to be ‘Retained’.  45%, on the other hand, support ‘Replacement’.  Not the landslide of support for which I had hoped.

When I read your comments, however, a different pattern emerged.  The most popular statement I saw was “Replace!”  It makes me sad.  Here’s a short and quick sampling …

  • “They’re replacing everything else. Might as well do this.”
  • “I loved the previous show better than the current one.”
  • “Replace. I like the music, but I felt bored during the show because of the lulls.”
  • “Replace. With the evolution of drone technology, having a choreographed drone light show above World Showcase Lagoon makes so much sense.”

The comments were so numerous, my friends, that I can’t ignore them.  Voting gets thrown out the window when you add, what seems to be, the true voice of the Disney-verse.

The verdict?  I’d love to say it’s a split decision.  However, I’m compelled to give the comments greater weight.  So.  What did you decide?   IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth?  You gotta go!

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!

What’s YOUR Favorite WDW Nighttime Spectacular?! [Polls]

My thanks go out to John Peters for his two great posts – published yesterday and the day before.  With …

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is Brightened by Rivers of Light! – and – Want Your Own Piece of Rivers of Light? Here’s Some “Merch”!

… he’s inspired me to ask you a few quick questions.  What questions, you ask?  Well, what is your Favorite WDW Nighttime Spectacular?

The “landscape” is changing, isn’t it, folks?  For example, as John pointed out, Wishes nighttime spectacular ends in a few short weeks – on May 11th.

In its place, starting May 12th, the Magic Kingdom will present the Happily Ever After nighttime spectacular.

What in “The World” is that, you wonder?  Described by Disney Parks Blog, it will … “inspire guests to seek out and find their own ‘Happily Ever After’ by showcasing some of the greatest adventures Disney characters have taken to achieve their dreams.

The show will feature the latest fireworks and pyrotechnics and original animation, plus a heart-tugging original score.”  Also, “more Disney characters than ever before will be featured in the show.”

In addition, it will include “moments from Moana, Brave, Big Hero 6, Zootopia, The Princess & The Frog, Aladdin and many others.”

Wow!  Sounds great, eh?  Well, I guess we’ll have to wait until May 12th to see.  Hey!  Maybe if we’re lucky, John will pop in on Opening Night to give us a live report!

In the meantime, I’d like you to answer me this … of the FIVE attractions that John listed in yesterday’s post, what is your favorite?

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Now, let me complicate things a bit.  You’ve read the description above.  What is your favorite when I replace Wishes with Happily Ever After?

Three new attractions.  Two old favorites.  Which will win?  One of the shiny, new, exciting “newbies”?  A beloved, traditional “gem”?  Let’s see!

World Showcase “Challenge” – Italy Trivia Revealed!

Did you “play” our World Showcase “Challenge” yesterday?  I hope so.  Well, here’s the “solution” to that “puzzle” …

In some ways, it would have been fair to answer “all of the above” (though, that wasn’t a choice), but the response I was really looking for was Venice!  Why?

Wikipedia tells us that, “The Italian Pavilion features a plaza surrounded by a collection of buildings evocative of Venetian, Florentine, and Roman architecture.  Venetian architecture is represented by a re-creation of St Mark’s Campanile (bell tower) and a replica of the Doge’s Palace.”

Let’s face it, when we think of Italy’s World Showcase pavilion, we think of that tower.  Yes?

Showcase

Interestingly, Wikipedia continues to say, “The original plans for the pavilion called for an expansion that would be built in Epcot’s ‘Phase II’ of construction.  The expansion would have included a gondola dark ride and a Roman ruins walk-through.  When ‘Phase II’ was canceled, the pavilion was left incomplete.”

Does anyone know what brought the pavilion to its long-awaited completion?  Nothing other than the All in WDW Readers’ Favorite Epcot Table Service Restaurant – Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria!

Have a great Sunday evening, folks!