Are there ripples in the water? Rumors around changes coming to The Wave at Disney Contemporary Resortpopped up over the summer and the ripples have continued through the fall. Could one of the DVC Duo’s hidden gems in Disney dining be next on the list for a reimagining? Let’s dash over to the Contemporary to see what incredible things are happening!
Walt Disney World is filled with backstories, and the Contemporary Resort is no different. Originally, designed as an extension of the Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland, ideas around greater connection between the two have floated around for years. At one point, Walt Disney World considered adding an entrance to Tomorrowland for only guests staying at the Contemporary. Further the notion that Disney World is on the lookout for more ways to connect the resorts directly to the parks via a special. Epcot is one of the rumored locations for this type new resort.
Glad you asked! In the summer of 2018, Walt Disney World created a special experience called the “Incredible Summer” to promote the Incredibles 2. The experience resided in Tomorrowland. At the same time pictures popped-up of Disney Resorts testing the idea of Incredible themed rooms at the Contemporary Resort. Unfortunately, at this point, the Incredible themed rooms have not become a reality.
Passholder Insights: For Happily Ever and the holiday-related events you can watch the fireworks while dining at California Grill atop the Contemporary Resort.
And The Wave?
Yes, The Wave. It’s why we’re all here, right. A rumor surfaced that The Wave would be undergoing a remodel to make the restaurant into steakhouse featuring character dining with the Incredibles. According to Jim Hill of Jim Hill Media, Disney World has considered updating the restaurant as it continually ranks in the lower third of Disney restaurants when it relates to a number of guests served. However, at no point have the Incredibles been considered for the restaurant. A update to the restaurant though is on the table.
In the DVC Duo house, we would prefer The Wave to go unchanged. It is one of our favorite spots! With that being said we could see Disney updating the restaurant to a character dining experience, similar to the recent change at Artist Point in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge or at least a theme that would capture more guests’ interest. Similar to the Princess and Frog restaurant coming to Disney’s Reflections Resort.
The Wave definitely offers an incredible meal! The rumor around the Incredibles coming to the resort is definitely a “stretch”. Get it? Oh yeah, we had to make that joke. Anyways, updates for The Wave are highly likely in the coming years, especially, if guest attendance does not increase. What it could be is still up in the air. Alright, it’s dinner time. Meet us at The Wave? As you know, it’s one of our favorites!
Sunscreen and swimsuits! The two things we’re definitely going to need if we’re going to chat about Blizzard Beach updates. On April 1, 2020, Blizzard Beach will be celebrating its 25th anniversary. Wow, time really does fly by. With the park amidst its traditionally winter refurbishment, Walt Disney World is using this opportunity to spruce everything up. You’ve got to look good for your big day, right? What updates could we expect? Let’s lather up with sunscreens, no one has time for a sunburn, and slide our way through the rumored Blizzard Beach updates!
Where It All Started
It’s a theme like no other. Designed around the idea of a freak Florida snowstorm, Blizzard Beach is a ski resort that is slowly melting away in the warm sun. All the melting has created an array slides, with one being the atop the list of the tallest and faster body slides around, Summit Plummet. Built into the Ski jump, the speed slide stands 120 feet tall and guests reach speeds of 60 mph.
All of the slides begin at the top of the mountain, Mount Gushmore. Oh the dad jokes, we’ll never try of them!
Passholder Insights: Both Typhoon Lagoonand Blizzard are quietest in the morning and later in the day, with the busiest time being midday.
We’ve Got Insight!
It’s hard not to be excited about working on a Walt Disney World project, just ask ProSlide. According to Blog Mickey, ProSlide shared that they are leading the Blizzard Beach update project. This would make a lot of sense, as ProSlide was originally contractor for the development of the park. The representative could not elaborate around the details of the project, all they could say is it “Mammoth”.
Passholder Insights: Disney water parks do not offer FastPass as an option. Our recommendation is to tackle the more popular attractions like Summit Plummet or Crushin’ Gusher at Typhoon Lagoon earlier in the day.
Solid hint! Peeling back the layers and thanks to a little digging from Blog Mickey we have one idea around what Mammoth could be referencing. ProSlide calls their family raft attraction, Mammoth, which at Blizzard Beach is called Teamboat Springs. Could Teamboat Spring be the big Blizzard Beach update?
Wait! Less than 24-hours after we found out about the project we find new slide materials in the Blizzard Beach parking lot. Doing a once over of the materials it’s clear it is not materials for a Teamboat Springs, but materials for what looks like Summit Plummet!
Passholder Insights: Attached to Blizzard Beach is one of our favorite places to go outside of the parks, Winter Summer Land (mini-golf course).
How Mammoth Is This?
It’s a good size. This year Walt Disney World has extended its traditional timeframe to allow for larger updates to the park. In the DVC Duo house, we have a thought around what’s happening in regards to Blizzard Beach updates. With the park coming up on 25 years is time for the majority of the slides to be updated. From years of use, guests are feeling the joints between slide pieces more than ever. We believe Disney World is working on replacing the slides materials to create a smoother experience. The two slides needing the update the most are Teamboat Springs and Summit Plummet.
More Blizzard Beach updates to come. We could see Walt Disney World extend the updating beyond the two iconic slides to include Runoff Rapids. For a while, the Runoff Rapid section of the park has been closed for unknown reasons. Recently, Disney World has worked to clean up the area to a point where it could reopen after the Blizzard Beach updates.
What is still unknown is if Walt Disney World plans to add a new slide to the park. It’s highly possible as the most recent water park updates have occurred at Typhoon Lagoon. No what matter, we know when Blizzard Beach reopens for the 2020 seasons we’re in for a treat. Just remember, don’t forget the sunscreen!
Get excited, Dante! Many months have passed since we last spoke about a potential Coco attraction coming to Epcot’s World Showcase. After Disney’s D23 expo came and went without a mention from Bob Chapek, our thoughts were that a Coco attraction was put on hold. Just like Dante searching for a bone, we never give up looking for hints around what’s come! Grab your magnifying glass it’s time to look for hints of a Coco attraction.
The Obvious One
Sometimes there are clues right in front of us. As we discussed in our Epcot Experience article, the most obvious hint of a Coco attraction or at least the presence of Miguel can be seen in the experience. With his guitar laying against the iconic Mayan temple, it should only be a matter of time before we see a continual presence of the successful Pixar Intellectual Property (IP) in the Mexico Pavilion.
Passholder Insights: For the best mole at Walt Disney World our go-to place is San Angel Inn within the Mayan Temple.
At the beginning of November, Disney Imagineering launched their brand new website. Images throughout the site showcase Imagineers working on different projects at different stages. Traditionally, Walt Disney World does a fantastic job blurring out the background images to the point where you really cannot tell what is actually happening. It must have been our lucky day. One of the images looks like it’s pointing directly at a potential Coco attraction.
Passholder Insights: In the lobby area of the Mayan Temple you have the ability to use a touchscreen to transform yourself into a Day of Dead skeleton.
What We Found
Gold, pure gold. Ok, well not actual gold, but in the Disney World, it could be considered gold. In the process section of the website is an image where Imagineers are wearing VR goggles and sitting on a cart designed to simulate the set-up of a ride vehicle. Looking to the left at the TV screen you can see an image of what appears to be Marigold Station from the movie. To add to it there is a Day of the Dead skull within the window of the station.
Passholder Insights: For a different vantage point for watching Epcot Forever you can try having dinner at Rose & Crown Pub on the patio.
What Does It Mean?
A lot of things! What it does tell us is Disney Imagineering has gotten to a point where they have created a simulation of what a Coco attraction could entail. Whether or not we see a Coco attraction is still up in the air. Many times Disney Imagineering will create and test potential rides and attractions that never end up in the parks for a variety of reasons.
If this prototype of the attraction moves forward it could be a variety of experiences. In one scenario it replaces one of our favorite rides The Grand Fiesta tour, we would assume it would be a boat ride. However, looking at the seating configuration of the picture it may mean the boat is replaced with a vehicle or it could be as simple as new boats.
The other option could be one of the new interchangeable experiences that are rumored to be coming to the PLAY! Pavilion. Based on the VR glasses and the rough framework, it could be an option. Or we could be completely off and we could see a second attraction within the Mexico Pavilion. There is room for expansion between the Mexico pavilion and the Norway Pavilion, especially if Disney decided to use a portion of the backstage area.
Definitely a positive direction! Bringing a Coco attraction to Epcot would be wonderful and make a lot of sense, especially with the upcoming Ratatouilleand Mary Poppinsexperiences in the works. In the perfect DVC Duo world the Grand Fiesta would stay and we would see the Coco attraction in another place. For now, we have to keep digging until Walt Disney World makes a formal announcement. Care to help Dante?
At least it’s not a problem! Words that will live in infamy are carrying forward with Epcot’s Space 220 restaurant. Since its announcement, we’ve been excited to sit down for a meal at Patina Group’s next Disney restaurant. Known for great dining experiences like Morimoto Asiain Disney Springs and Via Napoli in Epcot’s Italian Pavilion, we have high hopes for Epcot’s Space 220 restaurant. We’re ready to launch into it if you are. Let’s see what’s causing our delay!
Sandwiched in between Mission Space and Test Track, Epcot’s Space 220 is expected to be one of the new anchors of the World Discovery neighborhood. Featuring a wine list that would take a day a or so to review, there is no way you can’t find a wine to pair with the eclectic menu options. Challenge accepted! We know, Barney or should we NPH?
Any delays to the restaurant were assumed to be associated it with massive window “video” screens that will simulate traveling through space. It looks like the windows are in good order and the delays are elsewhere. Let’s take a look in the kitchen!
Passholder Insights: One of the best single rider queues is next door to Epcot’s Space 220 restaurant in Test Track.
To The Kitchen!
Over the summer we saw the job listing for hiring wait staff for the restaurant. Everything was definitely on track for the Winter 2019 opening. That was until the first week of November. On the first week of November, a new job posting appeared on the Patina Group’s website. The listing was for an executive chef for Epcot’s Space 220 restaurant.
Peeling back the layers of the onion we find out what happened. According to Jim Hill of Jim Hill Media, the previous executive chef for Epcot’s Space 220 restaurants was recruited away from the restaurant to oversee a new Las Vegas kitchen. Not just any restaurant, but the brand restaurant opening at the Wynn.
For a Disney executive chef to be recruited away to Las Vegas speaks to the level of restaurant Walt Disney World is going for. The competition for high end (non-celebrity) chefs is extremely competitive with the majority of top chefs going to the high-end resort locations like Las Vegas.
Passholder Insights: Certain restaurants offer reservations through both My Disney Experienceand Open Table. It is always good to check both.
What’s This Mean?
The backbone of every restaurant is the menu. Most menus are a reflection of the executive chef. From what we’ve heard is the Patina Group is expediting the search for a new executive for Epcot’s Space 220 restaurant.
With the late change in the kitchen, the opening of the restaurant has been pushed to winter 2020. In Walt Disney World terms that means the restaurant could open any time from January 1, 2020, to March 21, 2020 (first day of spring).
Passholder Insights: For a wide range of South African wine you’ll want to head to Jiko.
Let’s get it right. Any time there’s a shift in the kitchen it has a direct impact on the menu. We’re ok with the delay if it results in a superb menu when Epcot’s Space 220 restaurant opens. It’s rumored that Disney World would like to have the restaurant running on all cylinders heading in the summer. For now, we’re kicking up feet and enjoying a glass of wine. Our table will be ready soon!
Let’s see the world! A short walk or boat ride from Hollywood Studios is Epcot’s World Showcase. In true blue sky fashion, a rumor around World Showcase Christmas lights coming to Epcot surfaced this past fall. You know how we like to think. Would it be possible for an Osborne style Christmas light show to occur around Epcot’s World Showcase? We’re sporting our beanies and have our eggnog in tow, let’s talk Epcot World Showcase Christmas lights.
A true Kris Kringle. As the story goes Mr. Osborne set out to decorate his house for his daughter for Christmas. Over the years, his light display grew and grew, millions upon millions of lights, that spread throughout the neighborhood. It became the most notable Christmas display in all of Arkansas.
One day, the state of Arkansas ruled that the Osborne light display become too much, and they could no longer be displayed. Say hello to Disney. When Disney got word of the display they reached out to Mr. Osborne about setting up his display in Hollywood Studios backlot. In exchange, the Osborne family would receive park tickets and a resort stay every year to see the display.
The lights became a holiday tradition for many Disneyphiles. Including your favorite bloggers. Unfortunately, to make way for Galaxy’s Edge, the area home to the Osborne light display was removed from Hollywood Studios.
Passholder Insights: A miniature version of the lights is now part of the Animal Kingdom decorationsin Dinoland USA.
A few months back the rumor around Epcot World Showcase Christmas lights surfaced. As the rumor goes a guest called into Disney World reservations to line up a trip for the Christmas season. The guest asked what is new for this year’s Christmas displays. The reservation agent mentioned that there would Epcot World Showcase Christmas lights for the first time.
That’s right, it’s exactly what you’re picturing. Each of the countries decked out for the holidays in lights that danced to the music. After hearing this, the guest brought the information to Len Testa from the Disney Dish podcast on the Jim Hill Media network. The rumor was quickly debunked by Jim Hill, saying it was not a possibility.
Passholder Insights: For the holiday season Epcot will celebrate the different traditions from around the world in the Festival of the Holidays.
Why wouldn’t happen? It would be an unbelievable sight to see. The World Showcase filled with dancing Christmas lights. Unfortunately, it would more than likely only be something in our imaginations. With two of the countries omitted from lights, China and Morocco, it would make for a disjointed display. Additionally, the logistics to set-up and take down the displays within each of the pavilions does not seem realistic.
For the closest thing we will get to Epcot World Showcase Christmas Lights is the Epcot Experience. As we mentioned in that article, the new nighttime spectacular, HarmonioUS, could include aspects of projection technology on the countries. Alright, our eggnog is getting low, time for a refill!