We have spent a lot of time at Epcot, and one small but very cool part of this park is the creative and often Disney-themed topiary.
I didn’t have an overwhelmingly positive opinion of DAK until Callie and I went a couple of years back. I don’t know what changed my mind, and I never really disliked the park, I just didn’t find a lot to do there. I find it more interesting now, and TWDC has certainly added attractions there over the years… Anyway we went and had a bang-up good time there.
Okay, I’m a big fan of WDW resort. I choose to vacation here because of the great lengths to which they go here to make good vacation memories. Disney has cut back many times over many years, and some of the cuts are imperceptible to most guests, while others are more of an inconvenience. I’ve complained about the mechanical music travesties here, which few people are going to get excited about. But one thing that guests are grumbling about, and not just me–is the shortened service hours of the extensive WDW transportation system. Transportation is included in the resort overhead and shows up in room rates, ticket prices, and possibly other places.
I expect to be able to get around the resort during reasonable hours for vacationers. We very nearly got stuck at a resort hotel after dinner because we had 8:30 reservations (earliest available) for dinner but the last bus that would connect to our resort left at 10:35. I know because I watched it pull away, unable to board–I didn’t run for a bus, but I assumed there would be another. Before you question a two-hour dinner, consider that we weren’t seated at our reserved time (no big deal) and the dinner was at a very nice table service restaurant which wasn’t fast. Anyway, since the Magic Kingdom closed at ten, the ENTIRE WDW TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM went nighty-night by eleven. Which in my case meant ten-thirty five.
Shame on you Bob Iger! I’m a Disney guest and a stockholder, and I want reasonable cost control like any stockholder would, but to strand resort guests to save a few bucks, while key restaurants are still operating at the resorts is bad business. Never mind those who might stop for a $12.00 drink at a hotel bar that is open until 1:00 AM.
Is WDW still fun? Of course it is. But it isn’t quite the example of excellence it once was, and I’m more worried about where it’s going than where it is now. I hope Six Flags doesn’t become a top competitor for WDWs theme park operations.
Here is a great Seeburg KT that has been at home in the Main Street train station for as many years as I can remember (1994 for WDW). Same problem as the 1900 Park Fare Limonaire, except hopefully the KT has a minor problem…
An update or correction on my previous post is provided by Youtuber NICKELINTHESLOT (check out his other Youtube posts) a dedicated Disney fan and mechanical music fan who provided the following video showing the organ in 1900 Park Fare actually working recently although obviously it’s not in the best condition that it could be–at least it’s still operable and protected from the elements!!
Our second day hitting the parks was epic by design. The Magic Kingdom was open until 2 AM and we left when they kicked us out. My phone battery died long before my feet did, so I’m behind on posting, but I’ll get caught up soon. Our day started at the 1900 Park Fare restaurant at the Grand Floridian. Food is good, served as a buffet. It’s a character dining breakfast, which is always fun. The whole experience was great. One thing I have enjoyed about the place over the years is that tied into their whimsical turn-of-the-last-century look, they obtained a carousel style organ referred to as Big Bertha from the Eakins collection. This was a late 1800s Limonaire, I think. Disney built it into the restaurant high above the dining area. It used to play periodically, but Disney has let it fall into ruin, and rather than being good stewards of this historic instrument, they let it rot. Shame on them. Here’s a picture of the room from our table from which we could see the decaying Limonaire.
. Don’t let me leave you with the impression that we didn’t have a great time–we did! It’s just that Disney has the resources to fix that organ, and they should either fix it or sell it to someone better equipped to care for it…
Epcot has fantastic opportunities to try authentic and well-prepared food from around the world in the World Showcase. Rides like Mission Space tend to work counter to that great food. Soarin is always a hoot, and we did all that stuff, but the Epcot fireworks are without compare outside Disney. I have actually seen bigger fireworks displays, but I haven’t seen better anywhere, and of course Disney does theirs daily. Here are a couple of really bad pictures. One thing I noticed is that the dummies who know how to call a lawyer have evidently convinced Disney that turning all the lights down for the duration of the fireworks creates a risk that said dummies will trip over their massive intellect as they wisely try to move around in the dark, so for our safety and comfort they leave the lights on for the fireworks. A victory for the idiots, but it’s just a skirmish-they haven’t won the war. Still, the fireworks are nothing less than breathtaking, and my pictures are still bad.