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  1. #1

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    Post Epcot Updates: Illuminations at 11:30, Free Refills, and more!

    Well, I just returned from Epcot. Tonight was the first showing of Illuminations at 11:30pm, and I just want to say, if you haven't experienced Illuminations with no one around before, you really need to get out there and see it. It's erie, and cool, all at the same time.

    That said, it's only empty in the back of World Showcase. The bridge between France and UK was full, and the areas from the bridge to Norway were all decently full of people. (Though, definately not packed... images of how showings of Reflections of Earth looked in November of 2001 came back into my mind. Very empty.)

    I'm not sure these late night showings will come back unless the park just starts remaining open until 10pm, and maybe they could do the show at 10pm. For everyone, not just EMH. That would be nice. But they didn't ask me. It doesn't seem like they made much money in World Showcase. But enough of Illuminations, there is more to talk about.

    Over at the Electric Umbrella, they have finally added something that has been missing for many years at Walt Disney World. Free Refills on Soft Drinks, Coffee, and Hot Chocolate.

    I am ecstatic about this. For years, I could always go to a McDonald's and get free refills, but never at Disney. Well, finally, my "Dream Has Come True." Okay, maybe I'm being a little overly obsessed with this, but it has been missing for so long, I'm just really happy right now. There's something about being able to get a second cup of Apple Juice or Coke or Sprite for free, without waiting in another huge line. And just in case you're wondering, yes, the talking trash can is still there.



    Around Epcot, the Flower and Garden Festival is almost entirely ready for its Friday opening. (BTW, EMH nights are on Tue and Thur now, not Fri) This year's theme? Well, I couldn't really find one, but it seemed that the entrance to Epcot was all Pirates. Peter Pan, Captain Hook, and Tinker Bell, are all on a giant Pirate Ship at the Entrance to Epcot. It's pretty cute. Nevermind that Stitch is in a rowboat behind the larger ship. Yeah, very cute.



    Around the rest of the park, you're bound to find many other flower and garden related things, like Mini-Golf (behind Innoventions Northeast), Minnie's Butterfly Garden (behind Innoventions Southeast), and Beauty & the Beast (on the path from Future World to World Showcase in the middle of the park).







    The Gran Fiesta Tour should open up on Thursday or Friday. I'll keep you updated.
    Until then, take care. Figment says hello.
    Last edited by Dr. Nigel Channing; 04-03-2007 at 09:19 PM.

  2. #2

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    Re: Epcot Updates: Illuminations at 11:30, Free Refills, and more!

    Does that mean that those topiaries are not in Epcot year-round? I just got back from my first visit last week, and they were very impressive. If it was possible, I would say keep them year-round.

    I took this picture last week, they look awesome in person.
    "You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try." ~ Homer Simpson

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  3. #3

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    Re: Epcot Updates: Illuminations at 11:30, Free Refills, and more!

    In the early, unless me memory is failing me, EPCOT used to have ride related topiaries all around World Showcase. Coincidently, the only one I remember is Figment.



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    Re: Epcot Updates: Illuminations at 11:30, Free Refills, and more!

    Thanks for the update, Dr. Nigel.

    You remind me a lot of someone who used to post here, but I think he was younger than you.

    I am truly SHOCKED that the Electric Umbrella will be doing free soda refills a la Disneyland. Especially, since they could do likewise at whatever they're calling the food court at the Land these days, but don't. Anyway, kudos for doing so, even if there will be some abuse.

    My take on the Illuminations deal is that the numbers for food, beverage and shopping isn't as high on EMH nights as they'd like. It's my experience that by 10:15-10:30, that WS becomes dead. By 11 you can be all alone in parts of the park. Folks are using EMH on Friday nights to basically ride Soarin and Test Track and Mission Space. I would bet many don't even go to WS.

    I guess we'll see, it's certainly not a cheap experiment by Disney.

    Of course if this were the 1980s or even into the 90s, Epcot would be open until 11 or midnight every night for the two weeks around Easter with Illuminations at 10.

  5. #5

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    Re: Epcot Updates: Illuminations at 11:30, Free Refills, and more!

    I just got back from work around an hour ago and watched the 11:30 showing of Illuminations from Norway. I really enjoyed seeing it with so few people around it made it really nice. The Flower and Garden Festival looks like it will be really good, I love walking around the park and seeing the plants. But it begins Thursday not Friday at around 9:40 they are having a opening ceremony at the World Showcase Plaza, I plan on being there.

  6. #6

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    Re: Epcot Updates: Illuminations at 11:30, Free Refills, and more!

    Ooohhh! Everything looks so pretty! Maybe after the meet this weekend we will head over to Epcot to check it out.

    Nice photos Nigel.. I'm not calling you Dr. considering I could be your older sister.

  7. #7

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    Re: Epcot Updates: Illuminations at 11:30, Free Refills, and more!

    Nice report Nigel. To add to your report, the condiment stands in the Electric Umbrella have been removed and the burgers will now come pre-dressed. Of course the staple items such as ketchup have their own, new stand.



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  8. #8

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    Re: Epcot Updates: Illuminations at 11:30, Free Refills, and more!

    Yeah, that's true. I took photos of those too, but I didn't find it post worthy...

    Nor did I find the new set of Automatic Doors on the left side of the Mexico Entrance. Heh heh.

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    Re: Epcot Updates: Illuminations at 11:30, Free Refills, and more!

    I've never been to the flower and garden festival at epcot. Nice pics, maybe I'll get the chance to go this year. You never know!

    Who or what is there stop someone from refilling a bottle or whatever from the refill stations at the electric umbrella? Anybody?

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    Re: Epcot Updates: Illuminations at 11:30, Free Refills, and more!

    Quote Originally Posted by EPCOT1982 View Post
    I've never been to the flower and garden festival at epcot. Nice pics, maybe I'll get the chance to go this year. You never know!

    Who or what is there stop someone from refilling a bottle or whatever from the refill stations at the electric umbrella? Anybody?
    No one and sadly people will take advantage of that.

    Although I wonder if water will still be free?

  11. #11

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    Re: Epcot Updates: Illuminations at 11:30, Free Refills, and more!

    Yes, water is free.

  12. #12

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    Re: Epcot Updates: Illuminations at 11:30, Free Refills, and more!

    i liked dressing my burger..

    loads of onions, and mom hates tomatoes.. oh well.

    get rid of the drink person, and add a dressing person.

  13. #13

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    Re: Epcot Updates: Illuminations at 11:30, Free Refills, and more!

    Very cool. Definately better than refills of Beverly.


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    Re: Epcot Updates: Illuminations at 11:30, Free Refills, and more!

    now, would a shot of Beverly taste better when mixed with lots of coke... or fanta.. or apple juice. now we can find out, real cheap

  15. #15

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    Re: Epcot Updates: Illuminations at 11:30, Free Refills, and more!

    Quote Originally Posted by figment1986 View Post
    i liked dressing my burger..

    loads of onions, and mom hates tomatoes.. oh well.

    get rid of the drink person, and add a dressing person.

    Cost savings.

    Condiments like onion, lettuce, tomato, etc are expensive. When left to their own devices, patrons will very often waste them. Next time you are at a place that has condiments available, take a look and see what some people load their trays down with. Either they throw them away, or they are making a free salad.

    The markup on soda is insane. The money the loose by giving free refills, spillage, and theft is more than made up by not having a drinks person.

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