Showing posts with label Epcot. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Epcot. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tuesday Trivia - Epcot Construction

During the park construction of Epcot at Walt Disney World, more than 54 million tons of earth were moved.  It took more than 3 months to pump in all the sand required to fully cover the bed of the World Showcase Lagoon.
 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Today in Disney Parks and Resorts History - Illuminations Debuts


January 30, 1988 – Walt Disney World – Lake Buena Vista, FL

Walt Disney World debuts the all-new IllumiNations, a nightly show at EPCOT Center, which includes 13 special-effects projectors, theme music, 12 wire/mesh grids, 180 nozzles which create the fountains and 783 fireworks pieces.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Today in Disney Parks and Resorts History - International Gateway Opens


January 12, 1990 – Walt Disney World – Lake Buena Vista, FL

The International Gateway opens at EPCOT Center. This new second entrance allows guests staying in the various Epcot area resort hotels access to the park without having to take a bus to the front of the park.  The new entrance is located between the United Kingdom and France pavilions in World Showcase.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tuesday Trivia - United Kingdom Pavilion

The United Kingdom pavilion found in Epcot's World Showcase features eight different architectural styles for a tour of the islands that make up the U.K.  Styles include:  London Victorian, Yorkshire manor, Tudor, Georgian, Hyde Park, Regency and Shakespearean cottage.  



Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Today in Disney Parks and Resorts History - New in Fantasyland and Epcot


January 1, 1959 – Disneyland – Anaheim, CA

The Fantasyland Autopia, sponsored by the Richfield Oil Company, opens in Disneyland, offering a second version of the beloved Tomorrowland attraction.


January 1, 1997 – Walt Disney World – Lake Buena Vista, FL

Two new musical groups debut at Walt Disney World in Epcot’s World ShowcaseOff Kilter in the Canada Pavilion, and The British Invasion in the United Kingdom pavilion.  Off Kilter is a Celtic rock band performing on a stage located between the Canada and United Kingdom pavilions, and The British Invasion is a quartet celebrating the famed 1960’s songs of the Beatles, playing in the gardens at the back of the United Kingdom pavilion.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Today in Disney Parks and Resorts History - Test Track


December 19, 1998 – Walt Disney World – Lake Buena Vista, FL

Test Track opens in Epcot’s Future World at Walt Disney World, on the site of the former World of Motion attraction.   (Epcot will host a Grand Opening dedication later in March 1999.)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Today in Disney Parks and Resorts History - Shrinking Audiences and Dancing Christmas Lights


November 24, 1994 – Walt Disney World – Lake Buena Vista, FL

Honey, I Shrunk the Audience, a new multi-media 3-D movie experience, has an official opening at the Journey Into Imagination pavilion in Future World at Epcot.  The new film replaced Captain EO, and has already been running in “soft openings” for the last few days.

November 24, 1995 – Walt Disney World – Lake Buena Vista, FL

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights brightens Disney-MGM Studios for the very first time. The  overwhelmingly positive reaction from Walt Disney World guests will turn the park's Residential Street Christmas display into a yearly tradition.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Evicted - Main Street Bakery



In the Disney-sphere news this week there was an item that came out which has seemingly turned the online world on its’ ear.  Tweets, Facebook posts, blob posts - even online petitions have bemoaned the fact that the Main Street Bakery at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom has essentially received its’ eviction notice.  All thanks to the second implementation of a deal that Disney signed with Starbucks – or some might say the devil – nearly a year ago that will ultimately put a Starbucks branded location inside each of the 6 domestic Disney theme parks.  Disney California Adventure was the first park to receive a Starbucks location back in June with the grand opening of the Buena Vista Street reimagining of that theme park’s entrance corridor.  

But is this particular deal truly worthy of all of the uproar?  Is the Main Street Bakery truly an icon not worth changing, or is it all just overblown due to individual preferences and desires.  I’ve read many statements that categorically and emphatically state that “Walt would NOT have approved” of such a thing. Is this deal really as bad as if, say, a corporation were to be handed the rights to start selling their wares from inside say, the White House here in the US, or inside the Notre Dame cathedral in France, or inside the Taj Mahal in India?  Is Main Street, U.S.A. truly that sacrosanct?  Apparently it is to some, yet go with me, if you will, down a little stroll back in time through the history of the Disney parks and let’s just see together, if Walt truly would “NOT” have approved of such a deal. 

But before you shoot me, just listen for a moment.  Remember that I worked at Disneyland (the original park and the only park that Walt ever stepped foot in, ate in, slept in...) - and the only one that he actually had creative input for. Remember too that the Magic Kingdom and Walt Disney World, while Walt's dream for expansion for the company, were not designed by Walt, or his brother Roy for that matter - but rather by the team of Imagineers that Walt had assembled in the years since starting to design Disneyland back in '53. Walt died in December 1966, and the team didn’t truly start doing anything until summer of 1967 when Roy and Lilly kept encouraging them to go on because Walt would have wanted the show to go on, and even then, the MK didn’t open until October of 1971.

As a student of all things Walt Disney from a very early age, I can say definitively that from the very beginning, Walt and Roy realized the need for capital in order to get the park built. If it hadn't been for the amazing deal that Roy was able to structure with then-fledgling ABC, the park never would have actually been constructed because neither the company nor the Disney brothers had enough resources to do it on their own. Inside the park - and yes, on Walt's beloved Main Street, U.S.A. there have been concessionaires since the very beginning in 1955 - and in other lands too. Walt personally invited several companies to participate, and Roy did others. Eventually they created an entire department to handle those business dealings. Anyone like the blown glass beauties that Arribas Brothers does? They've been inside New Orleans Square since it opened in 1966. I know they are at WDW as well - I know at DTD, but they also used to be on Main Street in the MK. Anyone ever see all of those corporate sponsorships for attractions, and shops? Has anyone noticed how every new attraction built in the past decade or two has a shop at the exit - many of which are sponsored locations? Did anyone realize just how important corporate sponsorships were to get Epcot built in time to open on the mandated date of October 1, 1982 set by then CEO Card Walker? 95% of all pavilions HAD to have a corporate sponsor - basically to use the other company's money in order to design and build what they did. There are 4 classic attractions that came out of the 1964-65 NY World's Fair - all of which ended up at Disneyland after the Fair closed, and later were added to the MK at WDW in one form or another as well. NONE of them would have been built without the corporate deals that Walt himself, and Roy too, put together.

I certainly do recognize the sentimentality and nostalgia that swells up around Main Street, U.S.A.  It is an idealized vision of what small-town life at the turn of the 20th century was - but let's face it - the entire strip has changed so much from what the original Imagineers designed.  Gone are so many of the charming non-revenue elements such as the Flower Market that used to inhabit Center Street… in fact gone is half of Center Street, with the closing in/expanding of the Emporium to basically encompass the entire west side of the street all the way up to Casey’s. On the east side – there’s a charming little ice cream parlor… anyone like ice cream?  Well it’s sponsored by Edy’s Ice Cream in case you hadn’t noticed that before. The reality is folks – this deal was done nearly a year ago.  The ink wasn’t allowed to dry on the contracts before every single location that Disney was committing to it – one in all 6 domestic theme parks remember – until Starbucks also committed to a wide array of supporting details from their side of the equation. I have many friends who live in the area near Disneyland , and others who still work at Disneyland, and all have said that the Starbucks location that opened with the new Buena Vista Street inside Disney California Adventure turned out really well, and it’s not as noticeable or detracting as you might expect.  There’s a brand new wave of imagination coming out of the Imagineers these days – gone are the “on the cheap” designs of the late 90’s and early 2000’s. There has been a very real re-birth out of Glendale – just look at the amazing stylings of New Fantasyland. Don’t get so worked up about this deal. Yes, it will change your experience a bit, and yes, the menu might be different – but don’t throw tomatoes just yet… Disney didn’t just give away the farm on this one.  There were strict standards and rules on both sides of the equation that were hammered out. I have a friend who worked for decades in commercial real estate for a very large corporation that wanted a deal with Disney.  It took nearly 15 years for it to finally be hammered out because neither side wanted to budge, but finally they did, and it turned out to be a very profitable partnership for both companies for at least a decade thereafter. In all that you do – remember this fact – Disney the company, while continuing the tradition that Walt set with family entertainment and wonderfully immersive experiences (theme parks, etc) – is first and foremost a business. Yes they listen to their guests, but ultimately, they will do what they believe is best for the long-term growth of their 

business units… and this deal with the coffee company is just one part of the overall pie.  I agree that giving up the Bakery AS WE KNOW IT doesn’t seem like the best fit – but at the same time – think of the prime real estate that it is.  There’s no way that Starbucks would commit to a deal that put them in the back of the park, and Disney was willing to make some changes in order to boost their business.  Disneyland too is going to have Starbucks on Main Street – and after Epcot, both Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park will get them.  It’s all a done deal ladies and gents – your uproar won’t do much to change that.  I feel your disappointment, but in the grand scheme of things, I’d much rather have a healthy Disney company that continues to draw guests – who by the way want to use my services to get them there – then worry about whether I personally can get an overpriced cinnamon roll on Main Street.  From what I’ve been told, the Starbucks deal is truly a blended deal… their primary product, techniques and processes coupled with Disney products at the same time. 
Starbucks even created a softer logo for the theme parks that better fits into the existing Disney environments. In the end, yes, this deal was all about money, but then so too were things such as the acquisitions of Marvel, Pixar and most recently LucasFilm.  Disney is not a benevolent organization, but rather a forward-thinking company looking to sustain long-term growth the entertainment that all know and love.  

There were many things that the company has done both during and after Walt's lifetime that were/are a bit strange. The Wizard of Bras store on Main Street in 1955-56 - the Wurlitzer Organ shop... yes, people could actually go to Disneyland purchase an organ to be shipped home... the Hallmark Cards Store on the corner of Main & Center (that lasted until the early 80's)... none of those truly fit the theme that Walt desired, but all were good for business.  I agree that Starbucks isn't necessarily the best fit, and I agree that they could have been placed further in the parks... but in the end, it is what it is.  I have spoken with many people who are thrilled to be able to get their favorite morning coffee now when they go to Disney parks... and others who absolutely despise the decision.

It’s true that The Walt Disney Company is NOT the same as it was during Walt’s lifetime... it all changed the day that Michael Eisner was hired by the board in 1984, but at the same time - if it weren't for Michael Eisner... we wouldn't have all of the fabulous resorts, the 3rd and 4th parks at WDW, the water parks or many of the other good things that came about during the high-growth period of the late 80's and through the 90's. Nostalgia plays a BIG role in the Disney parks. I agree.  But it's the OVERALL experience that they sell.  There are so many little things that disappear annually in Disney parks and resorts and NO ONE seems to notice... at least the uproar is diminished because something like this comes along and then it seems like it's the end of the world. I felt the exact same dissatisfaction when back in 1995 Disneyland announced the end of Carnation Main Street... a restaurant that Walt enjoyed and a company that he had invited to come in and be a part of his park as a sponsor for his new table service location on Main Street.  Carnation as a company had been sold a couple of times since Walt was alive, and at that point was merely a shell of what it had once been being absorbed by Nestle.  But Nestle maintained the arrangement for several years because of the relationship with Disney. There was an uproar back then amongst the fan community, though not online since it wasn't really something available back then.  The company listened, but did not change their plans.  Same as will happen now.  They'll listen, but won't change anything.  

Ultimately we grew to enjoy the revised restaurant that went in to that same space, which in 2012 was changed again.  Change happens.  Walt himself took out things in his park when he saw that they weren't working or if he thought something better could improve what was there first. It's not always fun, but it happens.  And yes, it can be divisive - almost to the same degree as speaking about politics or religion can.  Disney fans are some of the most vocal and rabid out there.  I get that too.  But in the long-term, again, I am looking not a coffee drinker and truly don't care about that aspect.  I also don't have the same love for the Bakery as others online seem to  - other locations yes - the Bakery no.  I've been very torn through the years watching things be homogenized and removed.  It's always for the almighty dollar, but in the end, I would rather they have a healthy, profitable organization.  Rather than whether a Starbucks is bad business inside Main Street, I personally feel that many other things they have done and are getting ready to do are worse business than coffee. 

Walt was yin to Roy's yang... Walt was creative and very guest-focused, knowing that resources were necessary to keep his vision moving forward.  Roy was all business, and didn't always agree with Walt's ideas, but went along with them because he knew that together they could achieve more.  In the years following Roy's death, yes, the business side of the business definitely grew more important. bEisner and now Iger were truly businessmen. bWhile the company publically sells nostalgia - family entertainment and experiences - memories for a lifetime - it's the stockholders who truly demand that the eye be kept on the ball and the company move forward and profits keep pouring in year after year.  Yes, there is no denying that the Walt Disney Company of today is different from the 1950's, and that money drives everything - if that weren't the case, we'd still have a Dining Plan that gave appetizers and included gratuities, and was priced $10-20 less than it currently it is.  

Think of it this way, and perhaps we can agree slightly that in this vein, the company hasn't really changed as much as one might think... the Imagineers keep Walt's dreams and vision moving forward - it's the Accountaneers who we all have to watch out for, keeping Roy's dreams and visions alive and well for a company that is profitable, viable and healthy.  Roy & Walt first took the company public in the early 60s.  Demand for growth has been there all along.  So with all of that said – before you go claiming that Walt would not approve of this, that or anything else… just think about the fact that Walt was the world’s greatest salesman – he just didn’t think he was selling anything, but better than anyone else, he understood the importance of resources to keep moving his dreams forward.

So whether you are excited about the possibility - or loathe the reality - Starbucks will be moving in to what is currently known as the Main Street Bakery in Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom in early 2013.  I look forward to at least checking it out and seeing how it all plays out for myself.  No I won't be getting a grande mocha latte-whatever, but I will be checking out all of the rest of the details.  Because as we all know, the devil is in the details.  

Until next time,


Monday, October 1, 2012

Today in Disney Parks and Resorts History - It's a LONG LIST

October 1, 1956
Disneyland - Anaheim, CA

Disneyland's 5 millionth guest enters the park!



October 1, 1971
Walt Disney World - Orlando, FL

Disney's second theme park, the Magic Kingdom, opens at the all-new Walt Disney World resort complex in Central Florida.



October 1, 1982
Walt Disney World - Orlando, FL

Disney's third theme park, Epcot Center, opens at Walt Disney World.



October 1, 1988
Walt Disney World - Orlando, FL

Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort officially opens, featuring 2,112 rooms.  It is the first of a new moderately priced class of resort at Walt Disney World, and the largest hotel built on the property to date.



October 1, 1992
Tokyo Disneyland - Tokyo, Japan

Splash Mountain premieres at Tokyo Disneyland.



October 1, 1994
Euro Disneyland - Paris, France

Euro Disneyland officially changes its name to Disneyland Paris.  



October 1, 1995
Disney's Vero Beach Resort - Vero Beach, FL

The first Disney Vacation Club resort located away from Walt Disney World opens on Florida's gold coast - Disney's Vero Beach Resort.  



October 1, 2005
The Walt Disney Company - Burbank, CA

Robert Iger officially takes the helm as the CEO of The Walt Disney Company. 









Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Today in Disney Parks and Resorts History - Captain EO and Hong Kong Disneyland


September 12, 1986 – Walt Disney World

Captain EO, an all-new 3-D fantasy sci-fi musical movie attraction opens at EPCOT. The film, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, stars Michael Jackson, and was produced by George Lucas.  Set in the future in a far off galaxy, the 17-minute film tells the story of Captain EO and his ragtag crew of space travelers, and features an eclectic cast of characters, including other notable actors and actresses, including Dick Shawn and Angelica Huston.  EPCOT is the first Disney park to present the film – it will open at  Disneyland in California just 6 days later, and later followed by Tokyo Disneyland in 1987).


September 12, 2005 - Hong Kong Disneyland

After nearly 6 years of planning, preparation and construction, Hong Kong Disneyland debuts.  It is the company’s 5th vacation resort, and the 11th Disney theme park in the world.  The park was closely modeled after the original Disneyland in Anaheim, CA which opened 50 years (and 2 months) earlier.  In honor of the original Magic Kingdom, Hong Kong Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle was built to match the Anaheim original.  The theme park and its’ adjoining hotels, retail, dining and entertainment facilities stretch out over 310 acres on Lantau Island – and the park features the largest Adventureland of any Magic Kingdom park around the globe. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Today in Disney Parks and Resorts History - Morocco Pavilion Debuts


September 7, 1984 – Walt Disney World

Morocco debuts as the first new international pavilion to be added to Epcot’s World Showcase since the park opened in October 1982. The pavilion is situated between Japan and France, and is the first pavilion to be sponsored by a national government instead of a corporation.  The King of Morocco sent royal craftsmen to do all of the carvings, paintings and hand lay all of the tile work through the pavilion, which recreates the architectural styling and atmosphere of Casablanca, Fez, and Marrakesh. 


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sunday Spotlight - Disney's Boardwalk Villas


Disney's Boardwalk Villas® first opened at Walt Disney World® Resort on July 1, 1996, opening the same days as its’ sister resort, Disney’s Boardwalk Inn® – which together make up the more commonly called Disney’s Boardwalk Resort®.  The resort is themed after the famed boardwalks of Atlantic City and Ocean City in New Jersey of the 1920’s – 1940’s.  It was the 2nd Disney Vacation Club® (DVC) timeshare resort to open at the Walt Disney World® Resort.

Disney's Boardwalk Villas® features 527 villas comprised of Deluxe Studios, 1-Bedroom, 2-Bedroom and 3-Bedroom Grand Villas.
  • Deluxe Studios are 412 square feet and can accommodate up to 4 guests, plus 1 child under age 3 in a crib.  They include a kitchenette, 2 queen-size beds and a private porch or balcony.
  • 1-Bedrooms are 814 square feet, and can accommodate up to 5 guests, plus 1 child under age 3 in a crib. They include a fully equipped kitchen, washer & dryer, king-size bed in the master bedroom, a queen-size sleeper sofa plus a sleeper chair in the living room, whirlpool tub in the bathroom, and a private porch or balcony. 
  • 2-Bedrooms are 1,226 square feet, and can accommodate up to 9 guests, plus one child under 3 in a crib. They offer all that a 1-Bedroom has plus a second bedroom with 2 queen-size beds and a 2nd full bathroom.
  • 3-Bedroom Grand Villas are 2,113 square feet, and can accommodate up to 12 guests, plus 1 child under 3 in a crib. They offer all of the amenities of the 2-Bedroom, plus they include a third bedroom with 2 queen-size beds, a third full bathroom, a full dining room, additional private balcony and are 2-story rooms.

The resort includes 1 feature pool: Luna Park Pool, with its’ roller coaster inspired waterslide, the “Keister Coaster”; plus 2 quiet pools;  a children’s pool and water play area; fishing; tennis; fitness center;  an arcade and other assorted recreational activities including Disney movies in the evenings.

The resort features 4 table service restaurants:  Flying Fish Café, Big River Grille & Brewing Works, Kouzzina by Cat Cora® and ESPN Club. It also features 1 quick-service restaurant: Boardwalk Bakery; as well as Seasshore Sweets, which serves ice cream and other sweets; plus there are poolside /bars and room service.

Disney’s Boardwalk Villas® is located on the shores of Crescent Lake near the International Gateway entrance to Epcot®, across the water from Disney's Yacht Club Resort® and Disney's Beach Club Resort®, and just a short walk or boat ride away from Disney’s Hollywood Studios®. Convenient bus transportation will take guests to all other parts of Walt Disney World® Resort.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tuesday Trivia - Mexico Pavilion, Epcot

The pyramid found at the Mexico Pavilion within the World Showcase at Epcot, was inspired by Mesoamerican pyramids from the 1st to 3rd centuries in Teotihuacan, Mexico, including the famed Temple of Quetzalcoatl, or the Feathered Serpent. 



Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tuesday Trivia - United Kingdom, Epcot

The castles found within the United Kingdom Pavilion within the World Showcase at Epcot, are replicas of castles that once belonged to King Henry VIII and Sir Walter Scott. 



Friday, June 1, 2012

Today in Disney Parks and Resorts History - Monorail Expansion


June 1, 1982 - Walt Disney World Resort


In preparation for the scheduled fall opening of Walt Disney World's second theme park, EPCOT Center, the monorail line is extended from the Ticket and Transportation Center to the new theme park.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sunday Spotlight - Disney's Boardwalk Inn


Disney's Boardwalk Inn® first opened at Walt Disney World® Resort on July 1, 1996, opening the same days as its’ sister resort, Disney’s Boardwalk Villas® – which together make up the more commonly called Disney’s Boardwalk Resort®.  The resort is themed after the famed boardwalks of Atlantic City and Ocean City in New Jersey of the 1920’s – 1940’s.

Disney's Boardwalk Inn® features 372 guest rooms.  All rooms can accommodate up to 5 guests plus 1 child under 3 in a crib; featuring either 2 queen-size beds plus a day bed, or two double-size beds plus a day bed, or a king-size bed plus a day bed.  A limited number of rooms offer a semi-private balcony.

The resort includes 1 feature pool: Luna Park Pool, with its’ roller coaster inspired waterslide, the “Keister Coaster”; plus 2 quiet pools;  a children’s pool and water play area; fishing; tennis; fitness center;  an arcade and other assorted recreational activities including Disney movies in the evenings.

The resort features 4 table service restaurants:  Flying Fish Café, Big River Grille & Brewing Works, Kouzzina by Cat Cora® and ESPN Club. It also features 1 quick-service restaurant: Boardwalk Bakery; as well as Seasshore Sweets, which serves ice cream and other sweets; plus there are poolside /bars and room service.

Disney’s Boardwalk Inn® is a deluxe level resort located on the shores of Crescent Lake near the International Gateway entrance to Epcot®, and just a short walk or boat ride away from Disney’s Hollywood Studios®. Convenient bus transportation will take guests to all other parts of Walt Disney World® Resort. 



Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Today in Disney Parks & Resorts History - Epcot Center


May 15, 1974 - Walt Disney World Resort

Walt Disney Productions president and chief operating officer, Card Walker, announces to a meeting of the American Marketing Association that Walt Disney Productions has begun moving forward with a "a phased program" of development for Walt Disney's concept for EPCOT at the Walt Disney World Resort.  Walt's idea of a real city serves as the inspiration, and the imagineers are in the process of taking apart and concocting something different.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sunday Spotlight - Disney's Beach Club Villas


Disney's Beach Club Villas® first opened at Walt Disney World® Resort on July 1, 2002, becoming the 4th Disney Vacation Club® (DVC) resort at Walt Disney World® Resort, as an expansion to the existing Disney’s Beach Club Resort®.   

Like other DVC resorts located at or next to their Disney Deluxe level counterpart, the resort shares amenities with Disney's Beach Club Resort®.

Disney's Beach Club Villas® features 282 villas, in a combination of Deluxe Studios, 1-Bedroom and 2-Bedroom villas. For more specific information about Disney Deluxe Villas, please see page 19.

  • Deluxe Studios are 356 square feet and can accommodate up to 4 guests, plus 1 child under age 3 in a crib.  They include a kitchenette, 2 queen-size beds and a private porch or balcony.
  • 1-Bedrooms are 726 square feet, and can accommodate up to 4 guests, plus 1child under age 3 in a crib. They include a fully equipped kitchen, washer & dryer, king-size bed in the master bedroom, a queen-size sleeper sofa, whirlpool tub in the bathroom, and a private porch or balcony. 
  • 2-Bedrooms are 1,083 square feet, and can accommodate up to 9 guests, plus 1 child under 3 in a crib. They offer all that a 1-Bedroom has plus a 2nd bedroom with 2 queen-size beds and a 2nd full bathroom.


As a DVC timeshare property, the villas are owned by members through DVC’s points-based system.  DVC maintains about 3-4% ownership of the total point allocation for each of their timeshare resorts, therefore rooms are available for rent year-round to non-members. 
The resort includes 1 feature pool: Stormalong Bay which is one of the largest sand-bottom pools in the United States and 1 quiet pool;  a children’s pool and water play area; white sand beach for sunbathing;  marina for watercraft rentals; fishing; sand volleyball; fitness center;  an arcade and other assorted recreational activities including Disney movies in the evenings. The Sandcastle Club provides supervised activities for children during the evenings on a fee basis.

The resort features 2 table service restaurants:  Cape May Café and Beaches & Cream – and Cape May Café features a breakfast Character Dining experience daily. It also features 1 quick-service restaurant: Beach Club Marketplace; as well as a lounge/bar location: Hurricane Hannah’s

Disney’s Beach Club Villas® is located on the shores of Crescent Lake near the International Gateway entrance to Epcot®, and just a short walk or boat ride away from Disney’s Hollywood Studios®. Convenient bus transportation will take guests to all other parts of Walt Disney World® Resort.


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Today in Disney Parks and Resorts History - Norway


May 6, 1988 - Walt Disney World

Norway, the second new World Showcase pavilion at EPCOT Center to be added to the original roster (taking the count up to 11 nations), has a soft opening. The new pavilion includes the Fjording shop, Puffin's Roost shop, Kringla Bakeri og Kafe restaurant, and Restaurant Akershus. The pavilion will not actually officially open until July when the featured attraction, Maelstrom, will officially set sail on July 5th. This innovative attraction features the first time a Disney attraction vehicle switches direction, turning the boat and its' passengers around not once, but twice during it course through its Scandinavian settings. Following the boat ride, passengers are treated to a short, 5 minute film about the Norwegian history, culture and landscape.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tuesday Trivia - China Pavilion

The "Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests" found in World Showcase's China Pavilion at Epcot, is half the size of the original temple it was modeled after in Beijing.  The original is found in the Temple of Heaven complex, and was originally built in 1420.