Being a Disney World Electrical Water Pageant Fan

From my non-Disney-loving friends, I take some flack for my vacation destination of choice.  From my fellow Disney fans, I get teased about my love for one of the most special, original, and enduring attractions at Walt Disney World…The Electrical Water Pageant.  What’s made me so devoted?  Glad you asked.Disney World Electrical Water Pageant

Disney World’s Electrical Water Pageant

It was 1996 when the Pageant’s current version was launched and that’s the year I first experienced this most amazing of extra magical touches.  Available to guests who happen to be along the shore of the Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake most evenings, this parade-on-water is a charming treat.  It’s one of those things Disney doesn’t have to do.  People would still flock in droves to the House of Mouse and have fantastic family fun without this one attraction, but it’s been there since late October of 1971 and is still “a thing” treasured by many adoring fans like me.Disney World Electrical Water Pageant

For my family, it’s the whimsical simplicity of parade floats made out of barges with blinking lights.  As the floats go by, animals seem to leap out of the water and dance.  There may only be 14 floats and the entire experience lasts only 15 minutes, but it’s got a special place in our hearts.  If we’re staying at Bay Lake Tower, we can sometimes hear the Electrical Water Pageant’s music as we’re drifting off to sleep – like a perky lullaby even if we’re not watching the show. Disney World's Electrical Water Pageant

The music is snappy and the songs are well-known (mostly…maybe not everyone is familiar with the 1988 Was (Not Was) hit, “Walk the Dinosaur”).  Many of the songs are from The Little Mermaid and there are also tunes from Peter Pan, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and other Disney movies.  Patriotic favorites like “You’re a Grand Old Flag” and “America the Beautiful” add a nice touch as well.  I’m telling you – this thing’s adorable!  Quirky, eclectic – there are sea creatures, a dinosaur, and the Stars and Stripes –  there’s a lot to see in a mere quarter of an hour.Disney World Electrical Water Pageant Disney World Electrical Water Pageant

Who would love the Electrical Water Pageant?  Little ones, fans of classic Disney World attractions, folks who want a low key attraction that’s both free and outside the parks, and lovers of Disney music and magic.  Our favorite spot to watch the Pageant is on the boat dock at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, but there are lots of prime viewing locations.  If you’re enjoying a meal at one of the monorail resorts, adding the Pageant to your evening is a great way to end the day.  Evening show times vary and are available in the My Disney Experience app…search for “Electrical Water Pageant”.  Here’s what Disney’s website says…

Recommended viewing locations include:

Please note that all show times are approximate and may vary by several minutes. All entertainment is subject to change and may be cancelled in cases of inclement weather.

Have you watched the Electrical Water Pageant?  How do you feel about it?

 

Disney’s Pandora – What I Want to See

Since the recent announcement about Pandora’s opening date in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, I can’t stop thinking about this new land.  What will it really be like?  After all the doubt and speculation, will Disney and Avatar fans all be pleased?  Will that amazing Na’vi shaman animatronic figure be as cool in person as she seems on Facebook?  What would I like to see?  That last part, I’ve got figured out!

Disney’s Pandora – What I Want to See

Joseph came home to visit for a couple of nights while Raymond was out of town on business this week.  He knows I hate staying by myself (Junior’s not much of a watch dog).  He gets free food, I avoid loneliness – it’s a win-win for both of us.  For fun, I came up with my best idea for a Pandora attraction and ran it by Joseph to see what he thought.  He not only liked the idea, he immediately started building on it to make it better!  Armchair Imagineering is FUN!!!

I started with this idea:  Think about the experience of Turtle Talk With Crush (in Epcot’s The Seas With Nemo and Friends).  Imagine that same technology used in a classroom made of glass (instead of just one wall).  Guests would enter a special environmentally controlled room (to protect humans), reached via short tunnel extended from the main Pandora research facility.  The tunnel would take “students” partially into the wilderness of Pandora lessons on the planet’s flora, fauna, and culture.  As everyone takes their seats, Na’vi “instructors” would approach the enclosure, introduce themselves,  and talk about what it’s like to live on Pandora.  Visitors in the classroom would be able to see Pandora and the Na’vi people through all four walls and the ceiling.  The experience would be interactive exactly like Turtle Talk, but instead of being geared towards the pre-school set, this attraction would mainly engage tweens, teens, and adults.  Students would have an excellent view of the plants, animals and people of Pandora with the ability to ask (and answer) questions.

Joseph added his thoughts:  The experience would change along with the time of day – just like Kilimanjaro Safaris.  Early mornings would show the Pandora landscape during sunrise (or suns-rise?) and the Na’vi teachers would explain how the planet changes as night turns into day.  Midday would offer completely different “lessons” and then, as the sun(s) set, dusk and nighttime would transform the experience yet again with different animals in the wild among the glow of the bioluminescent plants.

The technology is already available for this attraction!  Think about the possibilities!!!

What would YOU most like to see in Pandora?

 

 

 

Thoughts on Epcot’s Future

This morning in my way to work I was listening to Episode 98 of Radio Harambe.  This is an excellent podcast and one of my favorites, especially since it’s mostly focused on Animal Kingdom and you know how I feel about that park.  Anyway, Mike and Dave, the hosts, were discussing the recent Disney announcement about the future of Epcot and what that might mean for Epcot fans.  Mike and Dave and I don’t always agree on stuff and today was no exception…I was interjecting my opposition to their opinions out loud on my commute (as if they could hear me) and the discussion was inspirational for this post.Epcot View

Thoughts on Epcot’s Future

Epcot’s changed a lot since I first visited the park in 1990 and not always in a good way.  Lots of attractions have closed, sponsorships ended, and Future World has been mostly left to stagnate and generally decline.  What was once a thought-provoking center for amusing edu-tainment has become a mere shadow of its former self.  Updates are badly needed and if Disney must incorporate some of its popular entertainment franchises to do it, so be it.RM-Living-With-The-Land-Greenhouse

If visitors to Future World were to once again find themselves inspired by technological innovations, the original purpose of Epcot lives on.  If said inspiration were to be derived from familiar movie characters, what’s the harm?  It’s a fact, Disney sells more merchandise with well-known fan favorites than they would with newly launched concepts and sales are what keeps stockholders happy.  I want to see Epcot revitalized and am willing to be open-minded about it.

A few thoughts on what I would consider moving in the right direction…

Inside Out has been the movie most discussed among Disney fans as a perfect fit for Future World.  A new attraction related to how and why changes occur in our brains as we grow up would be perfect!  Every young person should know that an immature frontal cortex will inhibit sound decision-making long past their 18th birthday and this is why they should listen to their mom!

Perhaps, in the same building, The Incredibles (and my favorite character, Edna Mode) could entertain us while helping us understand the relationship between nutrition and the optimum performance of both brain and brawn?  Personally, I think The Incredibles are woefully underrepresented in Disney parks!  This would be a win-win for me.RM-Universe-of-Energy-Exterior

Guardians of the Galaxy has been rumored to be the theme of a new attraction to replace the outdated Ellen’s Energy Adventure.  What if Rocket, who is an engineering genius, were to host an attraction based on how creativity and technology come together to solve problems with things like clean energy, transportation, space exploration, or waste disposal?

While I’ve heard that Wreck-It Ralph may be slated for Tomorrowland in Magic Kingdom, I could see wonderful potential with this franchise for an Epcot attraction as well.  How about an interactive attraction that allowed guests to see what goes on during the invention of arcade/video games.  By helping visitors see how imagination becomes virtual reality through technology, young future-programmers might be encouraged while the rest of us just have fun!SSE Lecture Dude

Education combined with entertainment is great, but the final, Epcot-worthy result needs to be inspiration.  When guests leave feeling like they can make a difference in their own lives as well as the world around them, then Epcot’s mission has been accomplished.  If, in the course of visiting Walt Disney World, some small fraction of young guests discover a new interest in science, technology, engineering, or math…just by having fun on vacation, then Epcot’s bigger meaning is realized.  And isn’t that as Walt Disney intended it to be?  Just my two cents.

What are your thoughts on Epcot’s future?

 

 

Disney Dining – Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater

In theory, the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater in Disney’s Hollywood Studios sounds like a winning place to enjoy a casual lunch or dinner.  A tribute to the drive-in theaters of old along with those cheesy horror movies from the ’50’s, ’60’s and ’70’s and a menu of classic American entrees and sides…it’s bound to be great, right?sci-fi-dine-in-menu

Disney Dining – Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater

We gave this place a try for the first time a couple of weeks ago.  Here’s the verdict:

What we liked:  This place is certainly unique.  We thought the theme was fun, the movie clips hilarious, and the menu broad enough for everyone to find something they were happy with.  Our server was good – she was taking the orders of seven people split between two cars and managed to make us all feel like she was sincere and attentive.  The beer was cold and delicious and our meals arrived in a timely manner.  The food was okay.  Better than typical fast-food, which is good because it was a little pricey (and hard to photograph in the dark!). sci-fi-dine-in-sandwich

What we didn’t like:  The waiting area and the hostess left much to be desired.  Our first impression wasn’t a good one.  We didn’t wait long afraid ter we checked in, but the area we sat in was disappointing compared to other places like 50’s Prime Time Café.  The hostess was so bland and monotone, I thought maybe it was some sort of act.  I’m still not sure, because she never smiled, made little eye contact and spoke in a deep voice devoid of inflection.  She walked us to our car-tables as if she was headed to the gallows.  This made us feel rather like a burden.sci-fi-dine-in-darkness

Our tables were split between two cars with Raymond and I in the back of a car with a random family of four – this seemed weird to me and made me wish I’d done more research on how a party of our size would be handled.  The other five in our group were in the car next to us, but far enough away that conversation with them was impossible.sci-fi-dine-in-ticket

What would get us to eat there again?  We’d go back again if we were with someone who would get a big kick out of the movie clips and drive-in experience.  Ideally, we’d be with an even-numbered party of four or six so we could all eat in one vehicle.  sci-fi-dine-in-signProbably the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater will now be in our once-and-done category simply because I expect the Star Wars expansion to bring with it new dining experiences for us to try.  And I like the food at 50’s Prime Time Café better.

Have you tried Sci-Fi Dine-In?  How was your experience?