Category Archives: Epcot News

Anna and Elsa to move to yet another test schedule at Norway in Epcot

UPDATE:  The Frozen girls returned to the lame 11:00am start time on Sunday, February 16, 2014.  I’ll go check this out later in the week, but people are stating that it’s a minimum 4 hour wait.

I recently posted that many guests were having great success in meeting Anna and Elsa later in the afternoon.   Some people tried it out and found the wait to be significantly less.  Recently a few people found that Disney’s website was listing Anna/Elsa meet and greet moving to a 9:00 am to 6:00 pm schedule beginning Sunday, February 9.

I was able to confirm that this is a test schedule that will allow Disney World to see if it improves the guest experience.  They have been beginning at 11:00 am, which meant that the line would easily be 3 to 4 hours long before the ladies even arrived to meet guests.  I recommended a couple of times that they look at doing a rope drop meet and Disney has responded, of course, it could have been the hundreds of complaints at guest relations.

So, beginning Sunday, February 9 I will again recommend that you visit the ladies at rope drop and do not visit on an Extra Magic Hour morning!

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Ziti Sisters show at Epcot’s Italy pavilion to come to an end.

The Ziti Sisters are a comedy troupe that performs several times per week at Epcot’s Italy pavilion.  A few years back they were created as an alternative to the hugely popular World Showcase Players act that performed in Italy before their arrival.  The World Showcase Players continued to offer their act in the United Kingdom after the Ziti Sister were created.  I appreciate the talents of the ladies in red, but never really connected with this show.  I’d much prefer to watch Sergio the Juggler.  Well, the Ziti Sisters are coming to an end on February 22, 2014.  No replacement act has been announced.  Hopefully the ladies will continue with gainful employment in Walt Disney World in other comedy acts, but I’m not really going to miss this show.

What do you think?  Did you like their show?  Did you even know it existed?

Are Anna and Elsa from the movie Frozen going to stick around Epcot after January 31

Are Anna and Elsa from the movie Frozen going to stick around Epcot after January 31?  This has become the most popular question on my blog, Facebook and Twitter feeds and emails.

Guests want Disney to confirm that the girls will be extended beyond the last date that was given.  Well, I have it on VERY GOOD authority that Anna and Elsa aren’t going to leave anytime soon.  Walt Disney World is looking into ways to expand the meet and greets capability that would allow the ladies to meet more of their adoring fans.  There’s no need to sweat whether or not they will stick around.  THEY AREN’T LEAVING Walt Disney World anytime soon.

Now, with that stated, you should understand just how popular this meet and greet has become.  It is the the “Frozen Foot Race” to see who can arrive in Norway at the Princess Plass first.  Lines can easily grow to between 3 and 5 hours each day.  People wait in the sun, they wait in the cold and they wait in the rain.  Guests want to meet these characters in the worst kind of way.  If you want to meet them, you need to either send a person to hold your spot at rope drop, wait in a really long line or perhaps attempt stopping by later in the day.

Dear Disney World,

Please look at allowing these characters to begin meeting at 9:15 am daily just like Merida does in the Magic Kingdom.  Rapunzel used to have this type of crazy line when meeting with Flynn and their meet and greet began later in the day.  You could easily accommodate more guests and allow the ones who arrive early to have a better overall experience at Epcot and even meet more of the characters they love.

Thanks,

KtP

Probable delay for Anna and Elsa from Frozen in Epcot’s Norway Pavilion

I’ve been informed by a trusted source that it’s likely that Anna and Elsa may not make the Disney originally posted date of November 1st.  Disney is trying to work through some details and the meet and greet may be delayed to an unspecified opening.  Disney is trying hard to get the experience ready for guests, but don’t book your days in the parks around this new meet and greet until further notice.  Disney is even taking the step to reprint the Times Guides to remove the previously published Friday opening.

Daisy Duck no longer offering regular meets in Epcot

As a part of the opening of the new Character Spot and increasing “capacity” for that attraction with 3 characters (Mickey, Minnie and Pluto) and Fastpass+ in the future, Daisy Duck was unceremoniously removed from Epcot yesterday.  Every time “capacity” is mentioned in a character meet and greet, another character(s) must leave the park.  Fastpass+ may end up being a great addition to the parks as a whole, but it’s taking away character after character due to offering the “extra magic.”  I try not to spoil things behind the scenes, maybe you can put two and two together there.  I totally missed that detail when discussing the new Character Spot.

Goofy moves from the planter area at the front of the park to the themed backdrop where Daisy once met in that location.

Daisy may make random, unscheduled meets at Epcot, but nothing upon which you could plan.  Daisy will no longer offer regularly scheduled meets in her pink dress as well.

Daisy is available for scheduled meets in the following locations:

Animal Kingdom – Tusker House Character Meal

Hollywood Studios – Sorcerer’s Hat

Magic Kingdom – Pete’s Silly Sideshow

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The Newly Refurbished Epcot Character Spot opening Monday, June 3, 2013

The old Epcot Character Spot will reopen tomorrow, June 3, 2013 at park opening.  It will replace the temporary location that Epcot has been using since the original location closed October 21, 2012 for refurbishment.  The new sets look very similar to the old ones.  I actually preferred the backdrops in the temporary location over the new sets.   The old set is in the photo above.

These are the Old Epcot Character Spot Photos

The old Epcot Character Spot included Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy and Donald.

Continue reading The Newly Refurbished Epcot Character Spot opening Monday, June 3, 2013

The Land of Oz Garden and Playland joins the 2013 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

Entrance to the new Land of Oz play area.
Entrance to the new Land of Oz Garden and play area.  Follow the yellow brick road, follow the yellow brick road.  Follow, follow, you get the picture.

 

Continue reading The Land of Oz Garden and Playland joins the 2013 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

Epcot character training spots

Animal Kingdom Epcot Hollywood Studios Magic Kingdom
Water Parks Character Palooza Disney Jr Dance Party Epcot Training
Frontierland Hoedown Random/Rare Uncommon or Unlikely  
Halloween Party Christmas Party Star Wars Weekends
Master List Character Meals Interaction Tips  

(Updated 4/23/14)

I UPDATED THE LIST WITH ADDITIONAL INFO.  ALSO, SOME PEOPLE WROTE ME TO COMPLAIN THAT I’M “SPOILING THE MAGIC” BY MENTIONING TRAINING.  WHEN I MENTION CHARACTER TRAINING, I HOPE EVERYONE REALIZES THAT THE ATTENDANTS AND PHOTOPASS PHOTOGRAPHERS ARE TRAINING.  CHARACTERS ARE THEMSELVES AND HAVE TO TRAIN THEIR STAFF OF COURSE 😉

I’ve had a number of blog visitors ask about training spots in Epcot.  Epcot offers more training meets than the other parks by far.  There are a large variety of locations that I’ve personally witnessed character training including behind Innoventions near Journey in Imagination, the Fountain of Nations stage area and the International Gateway.  But the two most commonly used training areas are the World Showplace gates between Canada and the United Kingdom pavilions and the American Adventure gates to the immediate left of the attraction.  The best times to see rare characters are times near marathons, when the Disney College Program begins its new sessions,  and the week before Halloween and Christmas parties begin.

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American Adventure training location

Continue reading Epcot character training spots

Epcot New Year’s Eve character schedule adjustments

Epcot will feature special character meet and greet times for New Year’s Eve on Monday.  Be sure to check these over if you plan to go character hunting on the busiest day of the year!

United Kingdom

Alice 9:30, 10:30 & 11:30am, 12:30, 2:20 & 3:20pm
Mary Poppins 10:00 & 11:00am, 12:00, 1:00, 2:50 & 3:50pm
Winnie the Pooh & Friends 9:30am-1:45pm & 2:30pm-5:15pm

France

Aurora 10:00 & 11:00am, 12:00, 1:00, 2:50 & 3:50pm
Belle  9:30, 10:30 & 11:30am, 12:30, 2:20 & 3:20pm

Morocco

Aladdin & Jasmine  10:00 & 11:00am, 12:00, 1:50, 2:50 & 3:50pm

Germany

Snow White 9:30, 10:30 & 11:30am, 12:30, 2:20 & 3:20pm

China

Mulan 10:00 & 11:00am, 12:00, 1:50, 2:50 & 3:50pm

Mexico

Donald 9:30am-12:15pm & 1:10pm-4:45pm

Epcot Character Spot temporary location

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Effective tomorrow morning, as a result of the closing of the current Character Spot for refurbishment, Sailor Donald will no longer offer regular Walt Disney World meets.  He does appear as a sailor often in training locations around Epcot, but will not offer regular meets in his sailor suit.  He will continue to meet in Mexico in his Caballero costume on a daily basis.

Goofy will relocate to the position that used to host Stitch next to Daisy on the right of the Lagacy Plaza just before Spaceship Earth.

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Mickey, Minnie and Pluto will move onto the new, temporary Epcot Character Spot.  The new location is just beyond the Fountain View ice cream shop and just before Club Cool.

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After entering the doors above, you’ll walk down a hallway where the restrooms are located and make a quick left.  The new room is immediately on the left.

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The room was closed to the public, but I was given an opportunity to enter the room.  For a temporary location, it looks quite nice with an Epcot style backdrop and there’s some short railings and greenery that will remind one of Epcot itself.   There’s a monorail, spaceship earth, Imaginations pavilion etc in the backdrop.  This photo was taken on the grand opening day.

Background for the new Epcot Character Spot

The manager I spoke with told me that one can enter from any of the 4 entrances, but the preferred one is listed here.  The only entrance that isn’t being used is the old entrance.

When the Character Spot returns from refurb, it will only offer Mickey, Minnie and Pluto.  It is said to offer Fastpass+ at that time too.
Evidently Stitch will no longer be offering scheduled meets at Epcot.  He wasn’t out today when I stopped to meet Daisy.  I asked the attendant where Stitch is located and she said, “Magic Kingdom.”  (He’s still at Hollywood Studios at the hat too).  Other character schedules around Epcot should remain the same for the time being and Aurora is now meeting in gazebo on the far right hand side of France.
Happy character finding!