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:



THEY WERE HILARIOUS AND AMAZING AND INTERACTIVE AND EVERY EXPERIENCE WAS DIFFERENT AND EVERY TIME I WALK THROUGH THE UK PAVILION I MISS THEM AND HE GALAHAD AN APPOINTMENT, OKAY???????

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 Elizabeth Remembers WDW As Best She Can

JENN: Hi guys! Please welcome once again my frequent partner-in-crime Elizabeth! I wanted to bring her in because it occurred to me that it might be interesting to find out what INfrequent WDW visitors remember from their trips. As it’s been awhile since Elizabeth was there, she’s a perfect candidate.

I believe the last time I dragged you down was January of 2012, correct?

ELIZABETH: That sounds right.

JENN: I’m curious as to what sticks in your mind. From any trip, really. Basically, free associate!

ELIZABETH: Well, the most distinctive thing from the last visit was definitely Captain EO! I think we saw it twice.

JENN: It is indeed memorable.

ELIZABETH: It was awesome because I went in with no expectations and got Michael Jackson in his prime; and since by the time I was old enough to pay attention to music he was already super creepy, it was a nice change.

Let’s see… oh! Our attempted Around the World drinking in Epcot was also fun (if ultimately a failed venture).

JENN: Hey, that wasn’t our fault! Epcot should’ve stayed open just for us!

ELIZABETH: Those jerks! And I remember watching some street performers there between drinks who I thought were amusing, although that could have been the alcohol.

JENN: You mean the French guy who balanced on chairs, maybe? Or, wait! The World Showcase Players?!

ELIZABETH: I feel like they were English dudes…unfortunately that’s about all I remember: English dudes who were funny.

JENN: Yes!

ELIZABETH: I remember the French guy with chairs, though! Also impressive.

JENN: I LOVE the World Showcase Players! I’m so sad they’re gone. 🙁

ELIZABETH: They’re gone?! ;-; Oh well…

JENN: Yeah. 🙁 🙁

ELIZABETH: Everest and the safari ride are definitely the most memorable parts of the Animal Kingdom for me at least. Oh and the Dinosaur ride, mostly because the first time I rode it I was terrified. Pro tip: don’t sit on the outside of the row in Dinosaur unless you’re extremely brave (the first time at least).

JENN: Yeah, that one can be pretty intense.

ELIZABETH: I don’t have many really strong memories about MGM or whatever it’s called now, except trying to get you to watch the Alien part of the Great American Movie Ride.

JENN: UGH. Ugh, I say!

ELIZABETH: What else? Oh, I almost forgot about Test Track! I always enjoy that ride, and Mission Space (Epcot has all the best things, it’s really not fair).

The Magic Kingdom I always remember the dark rides, and Splash Mountain is cute, but I mostly remember being annoyed about how they get the meaning of the “Good Morning” song wrong.

JENN: Haha, that’s true! It’s supposed to be great to stay up late.

ELIZABETH: Arrrg!

I’m interested about the new Snow White castle they have there: it’s done now, yes?

JENN: You mean the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train?

ELIZABETH: Yeah!

JENN: It’s short but cute; you’ll have to come back with me and see! ^_^

How about food/drinks? Anything stand out?

ELIZABETH: Oh yes. Hmm. Weirdly, I always enjoy the place in Epcot where you can try all the weird sodas [Club Cool], and every place in Epcot has good food, pretty much. Last time you insisted that I speak French to our waiter in the French cafe, which was amusing 🙂 And memorable! He was very nice about it once I explained that I would be talking in French but you would need to communicate in English.

JENN: Was that the guy in Chefs de France who asked us what he should see in America while he was there?

ELIZABETH: Yes! Hahaha, poor guy. I don’t remember what we said. Probably something about how the DC area has a lot of sights/free museums.

High tea is always a highlight, of course. And I remember splitting a lot of desserts with you (which were all delicious) but not a lot of specifics. Of the Around the World drinks, though, the Kir Royal in France was probably my favorite.

JENN: Haha, yeah, that one’s always good. Any other particularly strong memories?

ELIZABETH: Well honestly, one of my favorite memories of WDW is from the first time we went in high school and it was right before the park closed for the day (or right before we had to leave, I forget which), and we went on the Jungle Cruise ride because it had no line. I was not expecting much, but I remember being really entertained by the cast member, and it was just a really nice way to end the day at the park.

JENN: I remember that – it was a great trip down the river. 🙂

ELIZABETH: So not very exciting, but for some reason I always think of that when I try to think of fun Disney memories.

JENN: Anything to add?

ELIZABETH: Hmmm. I could say something about how it’s all about the people who are on the trip with you, but that’s a bit too cheesy for me. My last thought can be that I’m always pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoy the street performers/live shows. Stick around and watch them!

JENN: Yay! Thanks so much for helping me out – I’ll drag you back to WDW yet. ^_^

ELIZABETH: Hahaha, you don’t have to drag, I’ll come willingly! We should come up with a good time to start planning for. 🙂

JENN: Maybe if Moon and I do the Princess Half in February you can come too!

What’s your strongest Disney parks memory?

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!

In Which Jenn Mourns Epcot’s Losses

What more can I say?

What more can I possibly say about the hurt? The betrayal?

The Disneysphere has been in a tumult over the numerous closures announced in just the past few weeks. Many have said more and better on the subject, but here as some quickfire opinions.

The Backlot Tour. I liked the Backlot Tour a lot in 1998. It was still reasonably cute in 2012. I wish it was what it had been originally designed to be. But ultimately I’m okay with seeing what Disney will do with the space.

The Maelstrom. Oh, the Maelstrom. I am deeply saddened by the loss, of all things, of the narrator. Bring out your pitchforks, because I’m not a huge Frozen fan. I thought it was fine but nothing about it sparked my imagination. Still, I think even the hardcore fans might agree that Disney is spreading it around a little too enthusiastically. And I concur with all those who have pointed out that this is NOT what Epcot’s World Showcase is meant to showcase. All that being said, if I can wait and see what the Imagineers will do with stupid freaking bloody awful cliche dumb I-hate-that-movie Avatar, I can wait and see for this too.

Morockin.’ Whatevs.

The Fife and Drum Corps. Awwwwww. I liked it. I’m sad to see it go. But it wasn’t a staple or anything.

Off Kilter. WHAT? NO!

The World Showcase Players. WHAT????? NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, here is the overarching reason why I think getting rid of Off Kilter and the Players is an extra-dumb mistake: THEY ARE INHERENTLY CHANGEABLE. You ride a dark ride enough times, you can play it in your head. Sure, riding it is better, but it’s going to be the same dark ride every time. And I love dark rides, and I say long live dark rides, but that’s why I didn’t get too outraged over, say, the removal of Snow White’s Adventures in favor of the new coaster. I’d ridden the Adventures many times, I knew how they went, and I was fine with seeing something new.

You CANNOT do this with Off Kilter (and I guess Morockin’ either but I was never into their show). I love Off Kilter; the band members were always funny and personable and put on a great and variable show.

But the PLAYERS, guys. The PLAYERS. I LOVE(D) THE WORLD SHOWCASE PLAYERS. Their shows were funny and interactive and never the same twice – there was a clear script but they improvised beautifully around their audience participants. They were sophisticated in the simplicity of their humor, not to mention literary and historical. Seriously, they were HILARIOUS and I CAN’T BELIEVE THEY’RE GONE. Why didn’t you hold them until the end of the year at least, Disney? WHY SO LITTLE NOTICE? WAAAAAHHHHHHHH!

Anyway. This weekend the Players and Off Kilter say goodbye. I’m so incredibly sad I missed it. And now, in tribute, I present:

  • A bunch of photos from that one time my then-boyfriend was pulled into the King Arthur show to play Sir Galahad. Ex or no ex, it remains a favorite WDW memory of mine.
  • A couple higher-res photos of the Players the last time I saw them, December 2013.
  • Two super crappy videos of the Players from like two years ago that I took on a really horrible phone. At least watch the Cyranose one. You’ll never see higher quality staggering. “And nobody loves you…………………………………………………….. like I do.” <- Favorite joke the Players ever told
  • Side note: I’m going to miss that guy in the blue shirt who was always there. Oh, and I never got to see their rendition of A Christmas Carol. DAMMIT.
  • And since we’re here and I’m going to miss them too, a similarly crappy Off Kilter video from the same year in which they perform “Irish Rover.” I plan to slap a bunch of OK into my running playlists in defiance.

It’s all gone.

In the immortal words of Marvin the Paranoid Android: Oh God I’m so DEPRESSED.

A lot of smarter and more eloquent people have opinions on this subject – and they don’t always match. Here’s a listing of some of the more interesting posts I’ve read. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go cry in the bathroom for the foreseeable future.
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!

The Fairest Week In Review: 9/02

HELLO, FRIENDS! Just Jenn today, as Moon will be off gallivanting about the Continent for the remainder of the week. Whereas I, by contrast, am back from the beach and happy to… happy to… look, I kinda wish I was still at the beach, okay? But I’m here and I’m slowly getting over my post-break blues. How am I managing my recovery, you ask? Tune in later this week to find out! (Hint: upcoming WDW trips are involved.)

But can we just talk for a minute about some WDW things that are NOT assisting my recovery? No, I’m not talking about the Maelstrom Frozen overhaul; I’m withholding judgment on that one until I see it. No, I’m more distressed that Disney has decided to ax a bunch of World Showcase entertainment – including not only good ol’ Off Kilter but THE WORLD SHOWCASE PLAYERS. I mean, losing Off Kilter makes me sad because running to them makes me pretend-you’re-in-Epcot happy, but THE PLAYERS? You can’t get rid of them! They’re hilarious! GALAHAD AN APPOINTMENT TO TALK ABOUT THIS????

FLIT WITH ME!

What else? Oh, right, running. Well, I DID run a little at the beach (more on that tomorrow). I also took a couple long walks on the shore that were awesome, swam in the ocean, and tried surfing a little. This last was pretty hilarious; I did a lot of talking to my board which consisted primarily of “NONONONONONONO” [SPLASH] [SPUTTER]. But I didn’t drown OR smack my head on my board OR get eaten by a shark, so: success!

No roundup this week as I barely touched my laptop all week. As always, if you see a post you think is up my alley, don’t hesitate to send it my way!

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!