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Old 02-19-2011, 06:48 AM   #106
stopher1

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Originally Posted by Captain_Oblivious View Post
I hear you about the dumbing down of the menu items...but then again, when I look at the Norwegian food on the dinner menu, I can't identify any of it. So I probably would avoid it. I guess I'm the cause of the problem!

Looks like your daughter is having fun. What did Ariel think of her t-shirt?
Well Mark that may be true, but at first I couldn't identify food on the Morrocan menu, or even some on the Chinese or Mexican menus... but they still have their own unique restaurants without having been mostly turned over to the entertainment folks for a character meal venue. The whole point of the international pavilions is to showcase for those of us that aren't fully aware of that culture, including the foods that are unique to that country. As designed it was a way to bridge some of those gaps and help people to see, experience and feel a small taste of what they are each like for the "arm chair" tourist. Sure I grew up eating those Norwegian foods because my grandparents and mother made them. My wife grew up eating similar foods to what are served in Morroco because her dad made them... but neither of us knew what they other things were like at first. So we tried them. Some of my stuff she likes, but not all. Some of her stuff I like, but not all. And sadly, because those two restaurants are from areas & serving food that many people in this country just aren't familiar with (this is not meant to disparage you personally Mark for not wanting to try it, it's just a common trait I've seen on these boards... and it kind of goes along with what we say to our daughter when she won't try something... "how do you know you don't like it if you haven't even tried it?"), those two restaurants are the least understood and the most underrated at Epcot.

Disney in general is just always trying to increase profits, and those character meals are very over-priced. While my daughter is still in that target group, thankfully my sons are now beyond them and don't request to go them anymore, especially since nothing is geared towards the male-mindset anyway and so our trips really aren't going to be big on characters in the future. Sure we'll throw one in here and there for my DD's sake, but they won't be super frequent. A few years ago trips included 3 and 4 of them. Not anymore. Now if there were a Star Wars themed character meal - yeah, there would still be some interest, but the majority seem to be geared towards the female-mindset or the pre-school mindset.

IMO there are just too many of them. We LOVED Liberty Tree Tavern and Crystal Palace in their original form - just restaurants. I think I would love to see character meals pushed out of the theme parks, and over to the hotels that don't already have one, and restore the theme park restaurants to what they were designed as, but I know that won't happen. I'm not a betting man, but I think more likely they'll find another theme park restaurant that can be converted and do that sacrificing unqiue and quality for an easy way to increase the cost and drive up sales.

Oh yeah, - Ariel loved seeing my DD in her Ariel t-shirt, and carrying her baby Ariel doll too.
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Last edited by stopher1; 02-19-2011 at 07:32 AM.
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Old 02-19-2011, 07:28 AM   #107
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Part VIII: Success in Epcot...finally!

Part VIII: Success in Epcot… finally!!

In the last installment, we had just left lunch at Akershus, and had enjoyed Maelstrom and got a traditional family favorite picture with the Troll inside the Puffin’s Roost… a text from Nate! Woo hoo. I responded back and would be headed up towards the front of the park soon, but we wanted to go on Test Track – asked if they’d like to join us. We started walking that way in case they did. We had those instant FP’s that I mentioned previously, and I’d been wanting to use them, but so far hadn’t needed to. We had enough that could have been shared with Nate and his family. Only time would tell if they would show up at TT, or reply back.

We arrived at TT ready to ride. My DD had braved this for the first time earlier in the year on our January trip with my folks along (you can read about it in my Triple Whammy TR if you are so inclined), and really wanted to go on it again this time around. She loves it!! I do too. I’m so anxious to see how the technology is used and improved for the all-new CARSLAND at California Adventure and Radiator Springs Racers in 2012. THAT is looking pretty cool. But anyway, here we are, sans Nate and family at Test Track - no response was received, in time that is. Inside the waiting area before going in to the Briefing Room:






And on the ride itself, where my DD was screaming and giggling with such delight:




Here’s a sight I don’t really want to think about again for a while




thankfully in her case I have a good 8 – 9 years… it’s my eldest that I have to actually think about soon…. he’ll be old enough to get his learner’s permit in just about 6 months.


And following the ride, before we started to make our way up to the front:






We quickly went back over to Soarin’ and enjoyed our final flight there, and then started towards Spaceship Earth. DD also loves this one, and really wanted to go on it before we left Epcot for the day. The plan was that we were only going to be in Epcot until about 2 pm, and then head over to the Magic Kingdom. It was while we were in line for Spaceship Earth that I got a reply back from Nate! Woo hoo. They would come on over and meet us after we got off of SE.





I look like I'm asleep here in this image capture, but in reality I was trying to complete a text response back to Nate so I was looking down at my phone




Finally, after a protracted time of communicating – Nate and I met in person. It was great, and he is (despite being my nemesis on the DDC) a very nice guy. His family had actually gone on over to get in line for, or get FP’s for Soarin', I believe, so he was there alone at the exit to SE waiting for us. In the DDC we have a “rule” – actually it’s more of a guideline, but it’s there just the same, especially about DIS Meets – “picture or it didn’t happen” – so of course we had to get a picture of this. We asked a couple of CM’s to take out picture, and each of us handed our cameras over to one of them – I gave mine to the older gentlemen, and he gave his to the younger lady. His pictured turned out much better than mine did – but I don’t have a copy of his picture to share – only mine. So here we are, and of course we each looked at the CM holding our own respective cameras... and the older gentlemen captured his fingertip for us as well :




Sadly the “epic” nature of the meet couldn’t happen – there was some sort of a meeting going on inside the Siemens space at that time, so alas, we did not get to get any VIP treatment or see anything super special backstage inside the SE location… I was sad, but got over it fairly quickly. We had a nice visit however, and then parted ways so that he could get back to his family and we could get on over to the MK for a few more hours of fun! But before leaving, I gave Nate the left over instant FP’s for his family to enjoy. There were enough there that they could get 2 rides out of them at some point over the next couple of days.

With that we bid adieu to Epcot, and worked our way up to the Monorail station. Next stop – the Magic Kingdom!
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SOLO Adventures: WDW Jun '10 / Triple Whammy WDW Family Trip-Jan'10 / SOLO Adventures: DL Nov/Dec'09 / Father/Sons Adventure May'09
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DISNEYLAND: Way too many to possibly count! I grew up 30 mins. from DL. Former CM. AP holder for 20 yrs. Premier Pass AP. All 3 DL Resorts and numerous off-site hotels.
WDW: 58 trips on & off-site, including DVC, Deluxe, Moderate & Value - in 18 different WDW resorts & numerous off-site resorts. AP holder for 5 yrs. Premier Pass AP holder.
AULANI: 1 so far. More to come though, & definitely looking forward to returning!

Last edited by stopher1; 02-19-2011 at 07:34 AM.
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Old 02-19-2011, 09:29 PM   #108
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Old 02-19-2011, 09:31 PM   #109
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You know I felt really bad about not being able to take you up to Base 21...but there's really not much to see when a meeting is taking place. and you had just rode SSE..which is the only other perk they have...

I did get a picture of us both looking at the same Camera...I just wasn't smart enough to look at your camera...btw Nemisis...check your DisDads.com email...you should have a copy of it I sent you way back.


For those who would like to see Base21...here's some pictures I took in 2009.










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Old 02-19-2011, 09:39 PM   #110
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You know I felt really bad about not being able to take you up to Base 21...but there's really not much to see when a meeting is taking place. and you had just rode SSE..which is the only other perk they have...
So is this like Epcot's Club 33?
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Old 02-21-2011, 09:15 AM   #111
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So is this like Epcot's Club 33?
Not really.

Most attractions in Future World have corporate sponsors. Within the pavillion of each of these attractions there are usually Meeting and Hospitality suites where the companies can showcase there products, hold meetings with customers, etc. basically smooze people.

As an employee of SIEMENS I have access to this area which is located above the Project Tomorrow exit show for Spaceship Earth. I think in the third picture you can see that it looks out over the plaza between Spaceship Earth and the Fountain of Nations.

On this particular day that room was in use and they were hosting a big meeting and serving dinner...so I did not get to enter that area.
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Old 02-21-2011, 09:23 AM   #112
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...I think in the third picture you can see that it looks out over the plaza between Spaceship Earth and the Fountain of Nations...
Actually...here...I found a better shot...

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Old 02-21-2011, 01:19 PM   #113
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I know I've missed a few entries, but just wanted to let you know I am still reading along and enjoying your updates. It looks like both of you are having a great time!
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Old 02-21-2011, 03:26 PM   #114
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Hey Stopher
Thanks for taking us along.
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Old 02-22-2011, 11:12 AM   #115
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Well, to answer you on restaurant menus--I've been getting more adventurous as I get older, so there's hope for me yet. And I agree with you--variety is the spice of life. Better to have lots of different experiences than the same character meals everywhere.

Anyway, looks like Test Track and SSE were lots of fun, and I'm glad you and Nate got to meet up! Nice!
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Old 03-01-2011, 10:46 PM   #116
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I love the amount of photos you take
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Old 03-01-2011, 11:10 PM   #117
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So after talking junk to you about your TR I realized that I havent been here in a while.

Congrats on making it to RD at Epcot! (we have yet to make 1)

Riding Soaring 3 times in 1 day!!!!

Love all the pictures with the characters!

Way to go surprising your DD with a character meal. I can't comment on character dining because I am a Disney newb. The first time I ever steped on property was March of 08.... 6 trips later...

Great meet! Bummer you couldn't get in to see Base21.

AND with that I am back on schedule!

Great updates!
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Old 03-02-2011, 08:39 AM   #118
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Oblivious View Post
Well, to answer you on restaurant menus--I've been getting more adventurous as I get older, so there's hope for me yet. And I agree with you--variety is the spice of life. Better to have lots of different experiences than the same character meals everywhere.

Anyway, looks like Test Track and SSE were lots of fun, and I'm glad you and Nate got to meet up! Nice!
It was great! Always nice to put a face/voice with another DDC Dad. I hope you do make your swing through Indy this summer Mark, so we can meet up in person too.

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I love the amount of photos you take
Thanks Carl.

Quote:
Originally Posted by that's nice View Post
So after talking junk to you about your TR I realized that I havent been here in a while.

Congrats on making it to RD at Epcot! (we have yet to make 1)

Riding Soaring 3 times in 1 day!!!!

Love all the pictures with the characters!

Way to go surprising your DD with a character meal. I can't comment on character dining because I am a Disney newb. The first time I ever steped on property was March of 08.... 6 trips later...

Great meet! Bummer you couldn't get in to see Base21.

AND with that I am back on schedule!

Great updates!
Thanks Tim. Now go check out the other one too...
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SOLO Adventures: WDW Jun '10 / Triple Whammy WDW Family Trip-Jan'10 / SOLO Adventures: DL Nov/Dec'09 / Father/Sons Adventure May'09
My 13,000th Post My 12,000th Post My 10,000th Post

DISNEYLAND: Way too many to possibly count! I grew up 30 mins. from DL. Former CM. AP holder for 20 yrs. Premier Pass AP. All 3 DL Resorts and numerous off-site hotels.
WDW: 58 trips on & off-site, including DVC, Deluxe, Moderate & Value - in 18 different WDW resorts & numerous off-site resorts. AP holder for 5 yrs. Premier Pass AP holder.
AULANI: 1 so far. More to come though, & definitely looking forward to returning!
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Old 03-04-2011, 08:23 PM   #119
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Nice report, Christopher! Subscribing!
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Old 03-04-2011, 08:39 PM   #120
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Nice report, Christopher! Subscribing!
Thanks Chris! Now I need to get another update done. I've spent the last few days updating my other TR... now this one needs some attention once again.
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SOLO Adventures: WDW Jun '10 / Triple Whammy WDW Family Trip-Jan'10 / SOLO Adventures: DL Nov/Dec'09 / Father/Sons Adventure May'09
My 13,000th Post My 12,000th Post My 10,000th Post

DISNEYLAND: Way too many to possibly count! I grew up 30 mins. from DL. Former CM. AP holder for 20 yrs. Premier Pass AP. All 3 DL Resorts and numerous off-site hotels.
WDW: 58 trips on & off-site, including DVC, Deluxe, Moderate & Value - in 18 different WDW resorts & numerous off-site resorts. AP holder for 5 yrs. Premier Pass AP holder.
AULANI: 1 so far. More to come though, & definitely looking forward to returning!
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