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  1. #1

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    4/5: Shining Up For Summer

    A Walt Disney World Photo Round-Up, New Book and DVD Reviews, Reader E-mail, More... Discuss Kevin's latest here!
    "Politics is the profession whereby the inevitable is made to seem a great human achievement" - Quentin Crisp

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    Re: 4/5: Shining Up For Summer

    Great Article Kevin.

    Another note about the Quarter machines ... not only do they cost more, but there are no "Quarter Slots" in the penny press books they sell at the parks. So if you get the quarters, like we did in October, you have no place to display them, and they end up getting lost.

    Next trip, were sticking to pennies.


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    Re: 4/5: Shining Up For Summer

    no photos or talking about the LED signs around DTD, must have been pulled last min.

    and as shown in the doctors thread, drinks are now open at electric..

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    Re: 4/5: Shining Up For Summer

    So info on the HM closure this summer?
    “Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you walk into an open sewer and die.” ~ Mel Brooks



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    Re: 4/5: Shining Up For Summer

    I remember the quarter press machines being $1.25 for several years, so their price is not something new. I've never understood the price discrepancy.

    We've been at the Flower and Garden Festival several times over the past 5 years, and it's never been a disappointment. We won't be there this year, but it's nice to see that it won't disappoint.

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    Re: 4/5: Shining Up For Summer

    A agree with your views on the sale of pirates merchandise in epcot. My biggest peeve is in the magic kingdom around sunset, when ladies dressed in full victorian regalia on Main Street are selling light sabres!

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    Re: 4/5: Shining Up For Summer

    Interesting column.

    But I must wonder about your source for the boat ride for Germany. Plans for the Rhine River Cruise died a good 20 years ago. And, frankly, that type of attraction at WDW is deader than Anna Nicole. Unless there is some thrill aspect, I just can't see this as anything more than complete wishful thinking.

    On the parks looking spic and span for summer, I'd say spend more time in them. Visit the MK in the evenings.

    You are correct about the SSE laser effect. It is old. Very. It was inoperational for at least a decade ... maybe more. I'm sure some Siemens officials whent thru said 'what's this?' and 'why isn't it working?' and 'you mean to tell me that in XX years you couldn't spend $310 on a piece to make it functional again?!' ... or something like that. And more work is indeed coming to SSE, likely in 2008.

    The drink stations at the Stargate/Electric Umbrella were reported by groovy Nigel Channing. They also are taking the place of the fixing bars for the burgers/sandwiches, which are now gone from all parks except the MK (Pecos Bill's and Cosmic Ray's) and that's likely not for long.

    Pirates merchandise at Epcot has also been covered ... why should it surprise you at all? Merchandising has been a lowest common denomenator deal for years at WDW. Theming and sense of place don't matter one bit. Arguably, there should be NO Pirates merchandise for sale at Epcot. None. Nada. Zero. Zilch.

    But if they're going to sell any, it should be in MouseGear. That's it.

    But just try finding one themed piece of Frontierland merchandise ... or anything unique in Liberty Square. Or anything futuristic in T-Land.
    Il Mulino is supposed to be wonderful. Some friends recently dined there. It is definitely, like all Swan and Dolphin eateries, a step above what you get at most Disney eateries and designed for a more discerning, more upscale (i.e. expense account) diner. I loved Palios and will definitely try this place in the near future.

    Just one question about the Beltway construction. Are you saying that actual structures are going up already? Or are they just doing land prep in general?



    Interesting column.

    But I must wonder about your source for the boat ride for Germany. Plans for the Rhine River Cruise died a good 20 years ago. And, frankly, that type of attraction at WDW is deader than Anna Nicole. Unless there is some thrill aspect, I just can't see this as anything more than complete wishful thinking.

    On the parks looking spic and span for summer, I'd say spend more time in them. Visit the MK in the evenings.

    You are correct about the SSE laser effect. It is old. Very. It was inoperational for at least a decade ... maybe more. I'm sure some Siemens officials whent thru said 'what's this?' and 'why isn't it working?' and 'you mean to tell me that in XX years you couldn't spend $310 on a piece to make it functional again?!' ... or something like that. And more work is indeed coming to SSE, likely in 2008.

    The drink stations at the Stargate/Electric Umbrella were reported by groovy Nigel Channing. They also are taking the place of the fixing bars for the burgers/sandwiches, which are now gone from all parks except the MK (Pecos Bill's and Cosmic Ray's) and that's likely not for long.

    Il Mulino is supposed to be wonderful. Some friends recently dined there. It is definitely, like all Swan and Dolphin eateries, a step above what you get at most Disney eateries and designed for a more discerning, more upscale (i.e. expense account) diner. I loved Palios and will definitely try this place in the near future.

    Just one question about the Beltway construction. Are you saying that actual structures are going up already? Or are they just doing land prep in general?

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    Re: 4/5: Shining Up For Summer

    The Rhine River Cruise slated for the Germany Pavilion around 2010 makes my oars bounce around happy. Sounds like an exciting experience that will hve the vibe going on.

    Can't wait to take the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Amigos. This will mark the first EPCOT attraction that will showcase one of the Fab Five. My how times have changed...for the better. I like the fact that part of the sets from the original El rio Del Tiempo will remain in place. The joining of old and new should work quite effectively.

    At The Seas, the new column tanks for various forms of sea life are intriguing...not to mention gorgeous.

    Great photos and article, Kev!
    Last edited by Ride Warrior; 04-06-2007 at 11:55 AM.
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    Re: 4/5: Shining Up For Summer

    No structures on Beltway yet, but land was cleared and stuff is happening like pipes and grading and all sorts of dirt work.

    My source on the boat ride was an overheard conversation; the person on the phone was apparently an outside contractor. It's doubtless very much blue sky and still being bid. But the words "boats", "Germany," "Epcot," and 2010 were definitely there. Like any reasonable person, I leave room for error and amazing coincidence, so it's always possible this was misinterpreted. But I wanted to throw it out there just in case.
    Kevin Yee
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    I am the author of several Disney books:
    Jason's Disneyland Almanac - a daily history of Disneyland
    Walt Disney World Hidden History - tributes, homages, and ride remnants at WDW
    Your Day at the Magic Kingdom
    Mouse Trap
    Tokyo Disney Made Easy
    101 Things You Never Knew About Disneyland
    Magic Quizdom (The Disneyland Trivia Book)

    “The press [should be] a watchdog. Not an attack dog. Not a lapdog. A watchdog. Now, a watchdog can't be right all the time. He doesn't bark only when he sees or smells something that's dangerous. A good watchdog barks at things that are suspicious.” – Dan Rather

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    Re: 4/5: Shining Up For Summer

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinYee View Post
    No structures on Beltway yet, but land was cleared and stuff is happening like pipes and grading and all sorts of dirt work.

    My source on the boat ride was an overheard conversation; the person on the phone was apparently an outside contractor. It's doubtless very much blue sky and still being bid. But the words "boats", "Germany," "Epcot," and 2010 were definitely there. Like any reasonable person, I leave room for error and amazing coincidence, so it's always possible this was misinterpreted. But I wanted to throw it out there just in case.

    I had the pre opening Epcot book that also showed the river ride. I wonder what would the ride actually entail? Would it be a thrill ride or more of IASM type of ride.I have never been to Germany so I dont know what the Rhine River is known for.

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    Re: 4/5: Shining Up For Summer

    Quote Originally Posted by sir clinksalot View Post
    Great Article Kevin.

    Another note about the Quarter machines ... not only do they cost more, but there are no "Quarter Slots" in the penny press books they sell at the parks. So if you get the quarters, like we did in October, you have no place to display them, and they end up getting lost.

    Next trip, were sticking to pennies.
    Yeah, the quarter press has been more, as long as
    I remember. Now, I'm trying to remember if the
    nickel press is more.

    I'm not sure about the WDW Penny Press books,
    but I have two from DL, and both had 6 places
    for quarters. (I have the light blue 4 page penny
    press book with the original DL Resort logo and
    larger dark blue Magical Milestones Penny Press
    Books)

  12. #12

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    Re: 4/5: Shining Up For Summer

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinYee View Post
    I'm keeping myself from reading about spoilers on the ride, as I like to experience these things first-hand and unbiased the first time through, but bets are strong that the videos off to the side of the ride will now feature the animated characters
    So if keeping things unbiased is so important, I'd like to ask why go and judge it here on the site based on its soft opening? Why not wait until the grand opening, and then pass judgement on the finished (at the time) product? Past reviews of new attractions have been based on pre-grand-opening experiences, and often the cast is still getting the bugs out. I'd be glad to read clearly labelled "first impressions" but not a review per se until the ride is officially, totally, grandly open.


    Quote Originally Posted by KevinYee View Post
    ...this is a compelling argument for making Disney care. Since they don't seem to care otherwise.
    How's the hand that feeds tasting these days? Ironic saying this in a column where most of the text is spent pointing out improvements Disney's made around the resort lately. (Refreshing, I might add! Thank you!!)

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinYee View Post
    Another cart is next to it, is selling merchandise based on Pirates of the Caribbean. That annoyed me. It has nothing to do with Epcot, with futurism, or with the world as one big happy playground. It smacks of greed, really. Why can't they maintain the theme as it's meant?
    Well, other than giant balls fitting in with Spaceship Earth, the "Ballzac" stand doesn't either, really. And, in fact, what does Mickey have to do with any other those three things. Is Pin Trading the way of the future?

    I don't think anyone, besides nitpicky journalists, is walking by and thinking "Oh look, more corporate greed." The price of a lunch at the Electric Umbrella may be cause for that, but not selling Pirates merchandise. It's arguably Disney's #1 property right now, so why not. Would it have been better by the UK pavilion, perhaps?

    By the way, halfway into page 2 the article is underlined until the page ends. Maybe a tag gone askew?

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinYee View Post
    Amid all this mess, a father pushed his way to the front of the line and declared that he was here 15 minutes before his reservation moment, and his autistic child cannot wait. The Cast Member explained how it worked, and after the father didn't get what he sought within a few minutes, he was back again. The CM pointed out there were seven families ahead of him, which made the father angry and waved his Guest Assistance Card (GAC) at the CM and demanded a manager. The manager came out, and within a few minutes, the family went in. I watched all of this and realized I don't really know the GAC policy when it comes to dining reservations. Is it a front of the line pass for restaurants, too?
    This would have annoyed me also. I can't stand people with that sense of entitlement. Especially if they were arriving early. The reality of the situation (if there are no tables, there are no tables, regardless of a child's handicap) is such that a family with a special needs child should plan ahead for such things, especially at a theme park during the busiest weeks of the year. Not to say they shouldn't be accomodated, but the family should also be reasonable, and arriving early and then expecting not to have any wait at all certainly seems outside the realm of reasonable-ness.

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinYee View Post
    And speaking of Pixar, here's the latest shot of Toy Story Mania, being plopped down in the middle of Mickey Avenue, apparently without any regard to theme or continuity of a land.
    This statement really bothers me. Where would be a better spot for it, I wonder? In fact, aside from the Animation "area" (which is a loose organization at best) at the Studios, I don't see any "lands" at all. The entire park is themed as being about "Showbiz" and showbiz properties. I don't particularly think it's a well-themed park, but at least they don't give the impression of TRYING to make it into themed lands. I mean, if they wanted to dramatically re-organize the park into sections with themes like "Behind the Magic"/"Animation"/"Famous Properties"/... (and I run out of ideas there), I could see it, but that would be a pretty major rennovation. How does "Rock N Roller Coaster" fit in with a movie studio? How does Muppetvision 4D give a glimpse into "how the magic is made"? It doesn't, and since the park was apparently designed (or has devolved) into a hodgepodge of entertainment industry-related attractions, it seems unfair to start in on TSM already for its placement in that hodgepodge.

    Good article. Glad to see a balance of good/bad aspects of WDW in this month's snapshot. Glad to see all the photos in particular. Lotus Blossom Cafe looks lovely.

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    Re: 4/5: Shining Up For Summer

    Quote Originally Posted by sir clinksalot View Post
    Great Article Kevin.

    Another note about the Quarter machines ... not only do they cost more, but there are no "Quarter Slots" in the penny press books they sell at the parks. So if you get the quarters, like we did in October, you have no place to display them, and they end up getting lost. Next trip, were sticking to pennies.
    Here is an idea for your Quarters. Get a empty picture frame from a $1 store or somewhere else if you want a larger frame, Photos from your trip, the pressed quarters, and then perhaps some guide maps or the free customized Map from Disney and create a scrapbook-like collage from the materials into the frame sticking them to a black piece of posterboard. Hang it in your house and you'll have a nice piece to display your pressed pennies/ quarters and also to remember your trip throughout the year.

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    Re: 4/5: Shining Up For Summer

    Interesting info, Kevin.

    I likely would have jumped to the same conclusion, but something still doesn't sound right. It just doesn't seem like the kind of attraction Disney would build stateside anymore.

    Who knows?

    And I agree, Lotus Blossom does look wonderful.

    Also, sorry to all for the double post within a post above but for some reason this site isn't letting me edit it ... so it'll stay twice.

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    Re: 4/5: Shining Up For Summer

    Quote Originally Posted by jmelrose View Post
    So if keeping things unbiased is so important, I'd like to ask why go and judge it here on the site based on its soft opening? Why not wait until the grand opening, and then pass judgement on the finished (at the time) product? Past reviews of new attractions have been based on pre-grand-opening experiences, and often the cast is still getting the bugs out. I'd be glad to read clearly labelled "first impressions" but not a review per se until the ride is officially, totally, grandly open.
    I've never understood that argument. If I, as a regular Guest, can get in there, the ride is fair game for a review. It's that simple. My desire to keep things unbiased means I don't want someone else's opinion influencing what my eyes look at, etc.

    The notion of a soft opening is completely unrelated to an unbiased review.
    Kevin Yee
    MiceAge Columnist

    I am the author of several Disney books:
    Jason's Disneyland Almanac - a daily history of Disneyland
    Walt Disney World Hidden History - tributes, homages, and ride remnants at WDW
    Your Day at the Magic Kingdom
    Mouse Trap
    Tokyo Disney Made Easy
    101 Things You Never Knew About Disneyland
    Magic Quizdom (The Disneyland Trivia Book)

    “The press [should be] a watchdog. Not an attack dog. Not a lapdog. A watchdog. Now, a watchdog can't be right all the time. He doesn't bark only when he sees or smells something that's dangerous. A good watchdog barks at things that are suspicious.” – Dan Rather

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