It’s imagination time! Some may say it’s a journey into our imagination to see what the new Figment means. As Mickey is the face of Walt Disney World, many Disneyphiles relate Figment to Epcot. He is the mascot for all the festivals after all. For the past few years, we’ve been tracking a variety of rumors on what the future could hold for both the Imagination Pavilion and Figment at Epcot. Recently, we got a glimpse into what a new Figment could look like and it got us thinking. Or, should we say we had a spark of inspiration! Well, let’s get this journey into what this potentially new Figment could mean for Epcot.
Blast From The Past
It’s not just a Brendan Fraser movie reference. On August 21, 2020, news broke that an infamous Disney Imagineer would be willing to come out of retirement to redo the Journey Into Imagination attraction. Which Imagineer? You many know this Imagineer from his fine work on the creation of Big Thunder Mountain and the original Journey Into Imagination. That’s right, no other than Tony Baxter. The Disney Legend commented, “I just wish we could do that ride over. I would come back out of retirement to do that ride over” when speaking about Journey Into Imagination during his virtual appearance at [email protected][email protected] is a USC student organization focused on themed entertainment.
The comment was captured on video and posted to YouTube, but was later taken down by the video owner.
It would not be surprising if Tony Baxter came out of retiring, as Disney has stated Tony would be involved in the rethemeing of Splash Mountain.
Fast-forward two weeks. On September 4, 2020, the 40th episode of One Day at Disney on Disney+ premiered. The episode focused on VP of Content Innovation, Alice Taylor, and the work conducted at StudioLAB. Within the episode, viewers caught a glimpse into the potential look for a new Figment. The big change is a more “rounded” look for Figment’s face, especially through his nose.
What really caught our attention is the conversation between Alice and her team member, Nak Yong Choi (Story Artist). From what we gathered the clay model and drawing displayed in the episode were created after a review and a request from Disney Parks. It should be noted that the episode stated a clay model is usually used to make on the fly adjustments based on feedback from a variety of parties. This leads us to believe that Disney is well into the creation process.
Hmm…what could this all mean? Why would Walt Disney World leadership request the creation of a new Figment?
Where Could He Go?
Immediately, everyone’s mind goes to a new Journey Into Imagination attraction. It is the most obvious choice. However, in the DVC Duo house, it doesn’t all add up. Why would Tony Baxter mention he’s open to redoing the attraction if Disney is already in the process of creating a new Figment? Based on Tony’s involvement in the Splash Mountain project, we’re sure he is still aware of the majority of projects Walt Disney Imagineering is working on. Especially, a project involving an attraction he originally created.
Diving deeper into our imagination another potential location for the new Figment could be the upcoming Play Pavilion. It has been reported that Walt Disney World is still moving forward with the project. In addition to the new Figment, we got a glimpse into a face recognition technology StudioLAB is developing around emotions. Based on your facial expression the mirror displays an Inside Out character. We even heard Alice mention the technology will detect, Joy, Sadness, Anger, and Disgust. Can you say Inside Out attraction? That is what we are thinking. Based on the concept art for the Play pavilion and how the technology works, we could see it as one of the experiences within the Play Pavilion. It also makes us think Disney used this six-minute episode to give a glimpse of experiences coming to the pavilion. Could Figment be part of a Play Pavilion experience?
The last option could be a simple redo of the character as a whole. This would be similar to how we’ve seen Disney make adjustments to other characters over the years, like Donald. With Figment being the mascot of Epcot, Disney could be working a new version of Figment to tie in with the overall redesign of the park.
Solid update! For us, the biggest thing we gathered from the new Figment is his place within Disney World. Over the years, rumors have circled around Disney moving away from Figment all together. With Alice Taylor and the rest of the StudioLAB team working on a version it is all but certain Figment will have a place at Walt Disney World. In regards to which direction Disney World decides to go with the new Figment, only time will tell. Until then, let’s let our imagination run wild!
We wandered back! That’s right we’re back at Nomad Lounge at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Last time around we shook up our Night Monkey recipe. For our latest rendition of our Disney at home recipes, we’re sharing our Annapurna Zing recipe. Quickly becoming one of the best lounges at Disney World, Nomad Lounge is crafting some of the most unique cocktails on property. It’s the perfect spot to unwind after seeking out the infamous yeti or flying on the back of a banshee. Well, let’s get in to it. Grab your favorite shaker it’s time to mix up our Annapurna Zing recipe!
Situated on the outskirts of Pandora is the Nomad Lounge. Whether you’re looking to chill inside or outside on the patio, there’s a spot for everyone. It’s hard to beat the outdoor patio with its comfy chairs and tons of shade. Many times we forget we’re in a theme park, especially with the lush green foliage surrounding the patio. Throw in one of the many great Nomad Lounge appetizers and you got the makings of a fantastic afternoon. Alright, let’s get to shaking before our ice melts too much!
Annapurna Zing Recipe
2 oz of Bombay Sapphire Gin
3/4 oz of Passion Fruit Puree
1/4 oz of Simple Syrup
1/2 of a Fresh Lime Juice
Top with Goslings Ginger Beer
Homemade Simple Syrup
1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of sugar to a saucepan
Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 10 minutes
Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice
Add Bombay Sapphire Gin
Add Passion Fruit Puree
Add Homemade Simple Syrup
Squeeze half a fresh lime
Shake until it’s too cold to hold
Pure over ice
Top off with Goslings Ginger Beer
For us, we love to mix it from time to time. Below are a few substitutions. Feel free to make adjustments where you see fit.
Replace Bombay Sapphire Gin with your favorite gin
Replace homemade simple syrup with pre-maid
Replace Goslings Ginger Beer with your favorite ginger beer
In honor of Nomad Lounge we suggest enjoying this cocktail on a shaded patio while sharing stories of your latest expedition.
Every action has a reaction. Thanks, Newton! In the case of DVC rumors, every one has a reason behind it. Over the 25+ years of being DVC members, we’ve learned that more often than not DVC rumors are all connected. At least in some way, shape or form. Recently, a variety of rumors and adjustments to the DVC website have popped-up and it got us thinking. What’s the connection between them all. Alright, we got our pens in hand, let’s see if we can connected the dots between all these DVC rumors!
The Good To Know
Motivation. Every action has some type of motivation behind it. For our most recent DVC rumors, we believe the motivation behind them stems from the resale of DVC points. After speaking with a variety of current and former DVC agents we learned Disney Vacation Club is focused on minimizing one aspect of the DVC community, the reselling of points. Or otherwise known as the DVC resale market. A resale is when a DVC member decides to sell their allotment points and the remaining years of their DVC membership to someone else, through a broker. This can be done, as DVC points are recognized as real estate. Similar to selling your house.
Disney Vacation Club is looking at minimizing the resale market for a variety of reasons, but the main one is the devaluing of points. More often than not, points are sold at a lower price per point when compared to the retail market value. For example, Disney Vacation is currently selling points to Disney’s Copper Creek Villas for $220 per point. Whereas, you could buy resale Copper Creek points for about $145 per point within the resale community. Additionally, in Disney Vacation Club’s eye, the resale market is taking away from potential sales of the most current resorts.
The First Dot
New rules! On January 19, 2019, news broke on the new rules around purchasing resale contracts. The change centered around how DVC members who purchased resale points could book resorts. Basically, Disney Vacation Club drew a line in the sand and stated from this date forward anyone who purchased a resale contract would fall into one of the following categories:
The category was determined by the home resort of the resale contract. For example, if you bought Boardwalk Resort points, then you would fall into the original 14 DVC resorts for booking options. There was one exception and that was if a member had already purchased a minimum of 100 points directly through Disney Vacation Club, then the rule did not apply.
The Second Dot
Website updates! On July 29, 2020, in the Disney Vacation Club newsletter members learned of a new way to buy points. For many years it was known that you could buy resale points directly through Disney Vacation Club, but it was never advertised or heavily promoted by the DVC agents. While this is no longer the case. The new way to buy points for previously sold out resorts is front and center on the Disney Vacation Club website via their new tool. This tool shows members the price per point and allows them to request points at all of the previously sold resorts. Additionally, the points will have all the perks associated with buying directly through Disney. For more information on the DVC perks, please check out the following article.
The Third Dot
The return of the Right of First Refusal. Or, better known as RoFR. Every Disney Vacation Club contract includes language that allows Disney the ability to buy back your points if the member decides to sell their membership. Every time a resale purchase is made it is sent to Disney first and Disney has 30 days to decide if they want to buy back the points at the offered price or let the resale purchase go through. It’s an unwritten rule that if the resale is for a current member, Disney will most likely let the transaction happen. For non-members, it can a little bit more of a coin flip.
Rumor has it that recently Disney Vacation Club has been invoking their RoFR more often. That’s right, they are buying back contracts at a higher rate than previously.
Four And Final Dot
Upping the minimum! At the time of writing, it has not been confirmed by Disney Vacation Club, but one of the biggest DVC rumors is the minimum number of points to qualify for the membership benefits (like Moonlight Magic, discounts, etc.) will increase to 125 points. Over the last 5 years, we seen the minimum quickly increase from 75 points to 100 points and now potentially 125 points. It should be noted that the minimum is not associated with any type of minimum purchase requirement, it is only associated with the membership benefit extras. And, only impacts new purchases going forward.
The writing is on the wall. At least that is what we’re thinking in the DVC Duo house. Disney Vacation Club seems to be making a concerted effort to bring the majority of the DVC resale market in house. With the launch of the website and the potential upping of the minimum it is clear they are looking to deter people from the resale market option, especially potentially new members. To us it makes a lot of sense, especially since it looks like they will be slowly down the addition of new DVC resorts in the short term. Ultimately, time will tell how everything plays out. For now, we think we’re safe to say we’ve connected all the dots around the recent DVC rumors!
Let the building resume! A lot has changed since construction on Disney’s Avengers Campus resumed. At the time of writing, both Disneyland Park and Disney’s California Adventure (DCA) are currently closed due to COVID-19. However, it doesn’t mean work on DCA’s newest land cannot continue. Some may even say construction can move even faster with the park currently being closed. Does this mean Disneyland’s Avengers Campus could open earlier than some expect? There’s only one way to find out. Let’s head west to see what what’s happening!
If only the pause was Dr. Strange having some with the time stone. On March 23, 2020, Disneyland closed its doors and stopped all construction. The original plan called for Disneyland’s Avenger Campus to open on July 18, 2020. Needless to say, that date and came and left without the land opening. As we spoke about in our previous article, this “pause” could play a major roll in when we could see the land’s major attraction open.
On May 7, 2020, reports came out that construction on the land had resumed. However, we later found out that the California government only approved essential workers to return to the site. The approval conceded with a major storm heading to the west coast and approving workers to head back to the site to make sure everything was secure to hopefully prevent minimal damage. It wasn’t until June 27, 2020, when we got word that construction officially resumed on Disney’s Avengers Campus. Only a 3rd of the contractors and essentials workers were allowed at the construction site and it was at a limited capacity. Overall, the project was paused for about 3 months.
So, what’s happened in the past two-plus months? We’re glad you asked. Ever since work has resumed on Disneyland’s Avengers Campus it appears to be ramping up at a good clip. Aerial photos from @Bioreconstruct (Twitter) on July 11, 2020, showed a variety of angles and the overall progress. With the big news being the Quinjet arriving onsite and further progress of the Web Slingers attraction queue and entrance area. Additionally, the images highlighted a lot of exterior work on the building that will house the Pim Test Kitchen (quick service), and the Avengers HQ building.
On August 20, 2020, we got our first official look at the Quinjet thanks to the Chairman of Disney Parks, Josh D’Amaro via Instagram. As Josh toured the construction site to check on the land’s progress he snapped a few pics of the newly installed Quinjet atop the Avengers HQ building. What is unique about this Quinjet is the overall design. It is not a copy of the Quinjet from the Avenger movies, it has a few modifications in its wing design. It makes us wonder if it’s a look at a Quinjet we will see in a future Marvel movie. We all know how Disney likes to tie the lands directly to the movies.
Our progress doesn’t end with the Quinjet. Five days later news broke around Disneyland reopening its casting call for stunt performers for the land. Originally, the casting call was opened in March but later paused due to, well, the “pause”. The casting call is for two key roles in the show, Captain America and Black Panther. The stunt show will take place atop the rooftops and around the Avengers HQ. If Disneyland is already starting to look for performers, it must mean the land is close to opening, right?
The Potential Opening Date
While nothing official has been announced around the opening of Disneyland’s Avengers Campus, we have some key pieces that may help us identify a date. First, we know that Disneyland is ready to reopen, as stated by Josh D’Amaro in an interview. All Disney is waiting for the approval to open from the California government. According to Len Testa from Touring Plans, Disney is very hopeful to open Disneyland by the October timeframe. It should be noted that nothing is official and a park opening date is mostly out of the control of Disney and in the hands of the California government. It should be noted Disney has canceled resort reservations at Disneyland through September 26, 2020 (at the time of writing).
With the rumors circling around the October opening date, many believe we could see Disneyland’s Avengers Campus open by the end of October. Or, even the best case with the rest of the park. In the DVC Duo house, we have other ideas around when the land could open. Based on the timing of the casting of the stunt performers it leads us to believe the land is still about four months from opening. It will take time for casting to find the right performers, as well as the performers to learn the show. This would put a potential date closer to December 2020 or even the first quarter of 2021.
Additionally, another piece that could delay the opening is the Web Slingers attraction. The new attraction will rely heavily on a new type of 3D glasses that will connect (digitally) with the ride vehicle to able to capture a riders hand movements (i.e. shooting webs). With this type of advancement in technology, we would expect the ride to have fewer glasses than your typical 3D attraction. Fewer glasses, mean more cleaning. Now, this could all change and Walt Disney Imagineering could already have a solution for the glasses to work in our “new world”.
This is why we’re leaning towards a December 2020 or first quarter 2021, especially since we assume Disney will look to make a splash with the land’s grand opening.
It’s fantastic to see progress being made on Disneyland’s Avengers Campus. There is still a lot of gray area around when the new land will open. Especially, since part of the opening is out of Disney’s control. For now, we’ll have to keep our eyes peeled for more updates and surprise Instagram pics from Josh. Well, it looks like it’s time for us to head back east!
It’s a pink drink! It’s that time again, it’s time for another installment of our Disney at home recipes. In this rendition, we’re sharing our Hollywood Brown Derby Pomegranate Whiskey Sour recipe. This pink twist on a classic cocktail is the ideal drink for those Florida afternoons at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Plus, you’re on vacation, a pink drink is definitely in order. Alright, we got our shakers ready, is yours? Perfect, let’s get to shaking up our Hollywood Brown Derby Pomegranate Whiskey Sour recipe!
Found in the shaded area of Hollywood Blvd is The Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge. This first comes first serve lounge is a DVC Duo all-time favorite for an afternoon or early evening adult time-out. Known for its grapefruit cake and cobb salad, The Hollywood Brown Derby is shaking up an array of classic cocktails. From martinis to margaritas, there’s a classic cocktail for everyone in your group. For us, nothing beats grabbing one of the outside high-tops, sitting back with the Hollywood Studios music in the background, and enjoying an appetizer and drink. Well, the time has come, let’s get this shaking underway!
Hollywood Brown Derby Pomegranate Whiskey Sour Recipe
2 oz of Crown Royal Whiskey
1/2 oz of Pomegranate Juice
1/2 oz of Simple Syrup
Splash of Sour Mix
In the DVC Duo house we like to make our own sweet and sour mix. Here is our homemade recipe:
Add 1/2 cup of sugar and a 1/2 cup of water to a saucepan. Bring to boil to dissolve the sugar. Then add 1/4 cup of fresh lime juice and 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice. Let cool.
Add 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 a cup sugar to a saucepan
Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 10 minutes
We’re ready to shake up our drink!
Fill shaker halfway with ice
Add Crown Royal Whiskey
Add Pomegranate Juide
Add Simple Syrup
Add Sour Mix
Shake until it’s too cold to hold
Serve in a tumbler with a large cube
Variety is the spice of life. When it comes to making cocktails we like to mix it up from time to time. Feel free to make substitutions and adjustments where you see fit.
Replace Crown Royal Whiskey with your favorite whiskey
Use a pre-maid sour mix
This is a drink best enjoyed while eating a slider and cobb salad on a patio.