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!
Mail? We like mail! Could our mail get a little more interesting with a Disney 50th anniversary subscription box? More and more things are moving towards subscription-style services, from tv with Disney+, to our technology with iPhones, rumblings have begun around a Disney 50th anniversary subscription box coming soon. Slip-on your shoes we’re heading out to the mailbox to see if we got mail!
Everything has an origin or at least needs an origin story. Much like our favorite Marvel characters, our Disney 50th anniversary subscription box rumor has an origin story as well. Walt Disney World is well-known for its guest surveys, as they are used on most everything. From evaluating guest satisfaction to gaining insight for new projects and everything in between Disney uses the surveys to help make decisions.
The surveys are also the source of many of the rumors like the addition of DVC boutique resorts and changes to the Imagination Pavilion. Once again the surveys are the source of the latest rumor around a Disney 50th anniversary subscription box.
Passholder Insights: Almost everything in Walt Disney World has a backstory. One of the most interesting backstories is in Dinoland USA.
What Was Asked?
In a recent survey, Walt Disney World started asking guests around their buying habits as it related to subscription-style services. Questions ranged from do you subscribe to a monthly “gift” box to how frequently you receive it and even the price range you pay. The questions were very direct and clear around what Disney was looking to gather in regards to information.
Passholder Insights: When walking around the parks if you see cast members with tablets and white button shirts that say Disney Research, these are the cast members would issue the surveys.
What It Could Be?
Umm….a Disney 50th anniversary subscription box? Well, yes. Subscription boxes are nothing new to the Disney Community, and there are a variety of services out there. Our friends over at Capture the Magic, compiled a list of the best Disney subscription boxes of 2020 for reference. Disney could be looking get more into the subscription box market. The big question is what would Disney include this type of service. According to Jim Hill of Jim Hill Media, the Disney subscription could be centered around merchandise related to the 50th anniversary.
With Walt Disney World gearing up for its biggest celebration yet, it’s expected many guests will head to parks. Additionally, it’s expected many guests may not be able to make it to the parks but still want to partake in the celebration. This is where the Disney subscription box could fit in nicely. Walt Disney World could use the service to move merchandise related to the celebration away from their Character Warehouse (outlet) and direct to fans.
This is still a very early stage rumor, with Disney still gathering information around the overall demand for this type of service.
Passholder Insights: Christmas shopping is celebrated all year at Walt Disney World if you’re looking for a Christmas item check out these shops.
It’s peaking our interest. For us, the big questions would be, what’s included? And, how much would it cost? We love Disney related items and our home has tons of Disney related items spread throughout. However, our concern would be around getting items that may not be an item we would have purchased ourselves. If it includes limited edition 50th anniversary merch, count us in!
We’ll bring the snacks! Every great sleepover needs snacks, right? There are no better snacks than classic Disney snacks. Rumors around a new Epcot resort recently resurfaced and it got us thinking, could we see a new Epcot resort in the coming years? Let’s slip into our pajamas and gather around for a bedtime story, some many say a tail as old as time. Right, Beast?
There’s no better place to start than at the beginning. The idea around a new Epcot resort has been floating around for a while, with a variety of sources making mention of it. The greatest traction came in the months leading up to the 2017 D23 expo as part of the overall update to the Future World section of Epcot.
It’s well known that the Bob’s (Chapek and Iger) are both in favor of finding a way to add a resort to one of the Walt Disney World parks. Similar to the MiraCosta at DisneySea, the Disneyland Resort in Paris, and Grand California at Disney’s California Adventure. All of these resorts have direct access to a Disney park from the resort. Each of these resorts are viewed as extensions to the respective parks and offers rooms with direct views into the park.
Passholder Insights: The closest option Disney World will have to a resort with direct park access will be the new Star Wars resortwhen it opens.
Where Could It Go?
Epcot. Well, yes, of course, Epcot as the article title suggests. The question is really where around the park could a new Epcot resort go? There are two potential locations with first being right at the park’s main entrance. By combining the entrance and the monorail station, rumor has it a resort in this style that would create a similar experience as the MiraCosta in Tokyo. A new Epcot resort located at the main entrance would enhance the reveal of Spaceship Earth when guests enter the park.
The second potential location the rumors suggest is between The Land and The Seas pavilion, just outside the park. If a new Epcot resort we’re in this location it would be possible for another entrance to the park. This would be similar to Grand Californian with its entrance across from Grizzly Run at Disney’s California Adventure.
Passholder Insights: The area where The Land and The Seas pavilions are located is being transformed into World Nature.
On the weekend of November 2, 2019, rumors around a new Epcot resort resurfaced in a big way. Pictures of a weather balloon (height test balloon) spread through social media like wildfire, with many believing the balloon was being used for marking the location of a potential resort. The weather balloon could be seen for the entrance area of Epcot. Disney World traditionally uses weather balloons to get a rough idea of what the sightlines could be if a new building is added.
Passholder Insights: Construction of a new park entrance is well underway and could be completed in the first half of 2020.
Is It True?
That’s the big question. It turns out that the weather balloon was being used for the runDisney event, the Wine and Dine half-marathon to mark where guests would pick up rideshare vehicles after the race. Additionally, a lot of the green space around Epcot is marked as unbuildable by the Reedy Creek Development Department, due to is being marshland.
The addition of a new Epcot resort would be great to see. At the moment there is nothing on the horizon. If a new resort were to be added to the park, it would be a later phase of updates. With it estimated that phase two is already in the works, which includes the Imagination Pavilion, it is possible a new Epcot resort could be part of it. For now, we will more than likely have to wait until after the 50th anniversary to hear anything from Disney World. Alright, time for bed. Who needs a glass of water?
Yes, we made that joke! How could we not make a pinning joke? Especially, when we’re gearing up to talk about the Play Disney Parks pins. Pin trading and pin collecting has been a hit at the parks since the millennium switch over. Over the past year, Disney World has created new ways for Disney pin fans to collect exclusive Play Disney Parks pins. Let’s bust out our smartphones, it’s time to earn our digital achievements!
What’s Play Disney Parks?
There’s an app for that! In the following article, we go in-depth about the Play Disney Parks app and how everything works. Feel free to give it the once over. We can wait. Alright, great article huh? Now that we have a solid baseline, let’s dive into the Play Disney Parks Pins!
Passholder Insights: WiFi is available in the parks. In our experience the app uses a lot of data, we recommend using the WiFi when you can.
Success equals expansion, and this holds true with the Play Disney Parks pins. On October 17, 2019, the Disney Parks Blog announced the expansion of the program to new attractions across all the Walt Disney World parks (as well as, Disneyland). The expansion includes new digital achievements earned through the Play Disney Parks app. With selection attractions offering the Play Disney Parks pins. At Walt Disney World there is a new Expedition Everest Yeti pin and the Festival of the Lion King pin. For a full list of the attractions receiving new achievements check out the following link.
Passholder Insights: For using the Play Disney Parks app at Walt Disney World, we recommend downloading the app prior to your trip.
There’s only one way to get these pins! You’ve got to earn them. Within the Play Disney Parks app you earn digital achievements for completing and using the app within the lines queue. Can you say a get way to pass the time!
Over time you’ll earn enough digital achievements to qualify for the Play Disney Parks pins associated with the attraction. You’ll get a notification letting you know where to go if you would like to purchase the pin. Each pin costs on average $14.99 plus tax. On the bottom of each there’s wording that says “PLAY” to denote it’s one of the Play Disney Parks pins.
It’s becoming more and more apparent the Play Disney Parks app is a big piece of Disney’s interactive queue strategy. What we really like about the Play Disney Parks app is how Disney can easily make updates and expand upon it. Add on the pins and we’ve got a successful program. The thing left to figure out is which pin to get first. Who are we kidding, we’re off on an expedition!