In Which Jenn Considers Some Of The Latest WDW News

As is always the case in the face of loss, the WDW community is abuzz with the announcements of more changes to our beloved parks – many of the “say goodnight, Gracie” variety. 

I thought, initially, that I might add my voice to the din, because what is a Disney blogger if not an Opinion Factory? But instead…

Oh, who am I kidding. Real quick:
  • Date-based ticket pricing: I tend to be all or nothing when it comes to Disney ticketing – I’m buying an Annual Pass or I’m busying myself outside the parks entirely. For the time being it doesn’t worry me overmuch, but then I’m unmarried and childless and enjoy the travel flexibility that comes along with that. We’ll have to see how this one plays out over time.
  • IllumiNations being replaced by a new show: They’re giving us a fair amount of time to say goodbye, and anyway this was never my favorite anyway. I mean, I like it well enough, but it’s no Wishes or Fantasmic. And speaking of Wishes, I was reeeeeeal skeptical when they replaced that, and I ended up frickin’ LOVING Happily Ever After. So I’m cautiously optimistic!
  • The closing of Rafiki’s Planet Watch/Conservation Station: HEY! I liked this one! But to be absolutely honest, I never made it a priority. Now, if they’re simply going to shut it down and enjoy the added profit margins, fie on Disney! However, if they’ve got a new land in mind, I think it might be a worthwhile trade. Although I will miss my porcupine friend.
Anyway, what I was going to say is that Disney is merely distracting us from a much older, greater injustice. They departed the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow at this time approximately four years ago – a piece of Epcot that should NEVER have left us. One that could return at any moment if only the Powers That Be would make the call.

No, I’m not talking about Horizons, or even the original Journey Into Imagination. I’m talking about these guys:


Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.

P.S. Nobody loves you…………………………………. like I do. <- This randomly makes me laugh ALL THE TIME.

What lost and largely forgotten attraction do you mourn? Are you glad-as knights?

Don’t forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions or thoughts, leave a comment or email fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

In Which Jenn Mourns The Universe Of Energy Alone

The Disney blogosphere has been exploding with D23-fueled news all week. There are a million new things coming to Disney parks – resorts, rides, full lands, new forms of transport, the works. This is not a post about anything new. It is about something old. Something very, very old.

Who mourns the Universe of Energy?
The UoE is closing down in August in favor of a Guardian of the Galaxy attraction of some kind. This has change has been rumored for months. Many people are against it because, arguably, Marvel doesn’t really belong in Epcot’s Futureworld, at least not as Epcot’s mission statement ostensibly stands. There’s a lot of fear out there that Epcot’s intended purpose – education as entertainment – will fall away, as it has been slowly falling away, and that the addition of a Marvel IP marks the final descent.
At no point during any of these arguments has anyone railed against the removal of the Universe of Energy.
And why would they? It’s slow. It eats up a huge chunk of time. It’s been running in its current iteration for decades. Ellen and Bill Nye no longer have the same pop culture relevance. The ride cars are rarely at so much as half capacity. And, frankly, it’s kinda boring in parts.
I know all this. I don’t even disagree with it. But I’m a little sad to see it go all the same. 
I like the Universe of Energy for its length. I like the built in 40 minute break from the weather and the manic pace of park touring.
I like the Universe of Energy for its under-the-radar status. I can sit in a car row virtually by myself every time. I can live-tweet without bothering anybody. I never wait in line.
I like the Universe of Energy for the dinosaurs. Sure, they’re not the greatest animatronics ever produced, but who doesn’t love a good dinosaur?
I still think this is a gorgeous tableau.
I like the Universe of Energy for the celebrity cameos. I like Ellen and I like Alex Trebek and I LOVE Bill Nye the Science Guy and sure, the whole video is crazy dated, but I LIKE whispering BILL! BILL! BILL! BILL! under my breath along with the pre-show video, okay? It’s very fifth grade and I dig it.
I know it has to go. I’ve known it has to go. A small, quixotic part of me hoped it would be redone but with Ellen and Bill reprising their roles. Boy, that was stupid.*
* Stupid Judy.

Nothing to be done about it. Guardians of the Galaxy is moving in. I add my voice to the din that roars against it. But it is a small voice, and it only says this: goodbye, Universe of Energy. I’ll miss you.
Don’t forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Kill/Refurb/Marry: Extinct Attractions

It’s Kill/Refurb/Marry time again! I found this installment of the monthly blog hop particularly fertile. This time around we’re talking about extinct attractions. Strap in!

Kill: American Idol: The Experience

Man, an embarrassment of riches with this one. Body Wars is a decided no thank you on my part, but since I never rode it I can’t speak to it knowledgeably (although I can viscerally, and my viscera say: NO GOING INSIDE PEOPLE I’M LOOKING AT YOU MAGIC SCHOOL BUS).

I came THISCLOSE to killing Superstar Limo, too. Since I made it to California Adventure during the extremely brief period the ride actually existed, I think I am uniquely qualified to judge this perplexing and unpopular attraction as easily murdered.

And then I remembered that American Idol: The Experience was quite recently a thing. What are some words I can use to describe my opinion of AI:TE*? Awkward, forced, cringe-worthy, inferior prizes, total time suck for everyone involved. DO NOT WANT. Next!

* Hereinafter to be referred to as Aiight.

Refurb: ExtraTERRORrestrial Alien Encounter

I know. I KNOW. A lot of you just LOOOOVED this ride. But I do NOT like touching under the best of circumstances. I still haven’t even tried the replacement Stitch ride – I went through the line once but took the chicken exit in a panic because NO DON’T TOUCH AHHHH. Add a horror element and I can only imagine if I’d ever gone on Alien Encounter I would’ve had a nervous breakdown.

All that having been said, I find the concept very interesting. Can we bring it back, but offer a stand-off-to-the-side-and-just-watch option? All the animatronics, light flickers, and frightening sound effects, none of the saliva, hot breath, and fake alien fingers?

Marry: Horizons

The obvious choice is of course Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, but since it still exists in Disneyland I feel like it doesn’t qualify. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea? Again, Disneyland.

I thought about demanding that Dreamfinder be brought back immediately, but as the Journey Into Imagination still exists in a different, albeit inferior iteration, I don’t think that works either (and anyway I mentioned it last time).

I finally landed on Horizons, that much-loved dark ride that bowed in favor of Mission: Space. And as much as I love me some Gary Sinise, I must say the deletion makes me sad. I have fond memories of discovering the attraction with my family in sixth grade, and since this was in my No Roller Coasters Too Scary phase, I was thrilled to find something so gently entertaining. The scenes were cute and the finale “motion simulator” video was fun. And when I later found out that it was meant to be a sequel of sorts to the Carousel of Progress, I loved it even more.

If ever there was an extinct attraction with an enormous fan base, it’s Horizons – someone even recreated the entire thing virtually, which is a nice stopgap but not quite the same. Please, Disney, won’t you give us back our Horizons?

Jenn is running the 2015 Marine Corps Marathon for the Diabetes Action Team. Will you help her earn her bib while fighting diabetes? Click here to make your tax-deductible donation.

Don’t forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn’s dailymile here and Moon’s dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!