In this edition of Theme Park Bits:
- Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is getting FastPass+.
- A Disney ride got an unexpected…amputation of sorts.
- And more!
Thanks to a well-known Super Bowl halftime performance, we all know about the phrase “wardrobe malfunction”. Such malfunctions can even befall the best and most dedicated performers at the Walt Disney World Resort. No, I’m not talking about…y’know, a living, breathing human. I am instead referring to one of the Audio-Animatronic characters at the Carousel of Progress, whose hand fell off in the middle of a recent performance. It’s easy to laugh at this, especially the photo that was snapped by an intrepid guest. But here’s the thing: the Carousel of Progress is a great, wonderful, charming attraction that reflects the optimistic futurism Walt Disney himself exhibited. To continue abiding by that ethos means you have to give some TLC to even the oldest of attractions. This should be a sign to whoever holds the purse-strings at Disney that Imagineers should be given free rein to update the experience. Or, at least, ensure the Audio-Animatronics don’t lose a hand or two.
We’re fast approaching the arrival of Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. After the inclusion of the well-lit marquee, all that’s really left from the outside in is to make sure that guests can ride the attraction as soon as possible. That, of course, requires FastPass+. Starting March 4, the ride’s opening date, you can add FastPass+ for the Railway to your vacation via the My Disney Experience app. Don’t forget, for the next couple years, Orlando’s the only place you can experience this attraction, so get your FastPass+ squared away now.
Let’s take a brief sojourn over to Universal Studios Hollywood for this next story. The centerpiece area of the resort is, of course, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. One of the area’s biggest selling points is authentic food and drink to the world created by author J.K. Rowling. There’s a fishy new addition, literally (well…kind of literally): a drink called Fishy Green Ale. (It’s been on the menu in Orlando for a while.) This minty, non-alcoholic tea has “blueberry fish eggs” floating at the bottom, a la boba tea. If that looks appealing to you, have at it. If you’re like me, and you think boba looks gross (as if there are insect eggs in your drink)…well, let’s just have another Butterbeer.
For our last two stories today, we’re heading back to Orlando. Last month, the Walt Disney World Resort was once again host to its annual marathon event through its runDisney group. January, even in Orlando, is typically not a very warm month, which would seem ideal for a 26.2-mile marathon. But as noted in the Orlando Sentinel, the marathon was actually incredibly warm, with the heat index reaching 87 degrees by noon. (But remember, children, climate change definitely is not real. Ahem.) The article talks through the event through the eyes of some of its runners, including those who struggled with the intense heat. It’s hard to know how Disney can combat this moving forward, but hopefully someone’s taking note of such concerning stories.
On March 1, the Walt Disney World Resort will be home to a different event (and one that will likely not be plagued by weather issues, thankfully). Purple Day Every Day will have their third annual event for epilepsy awareness that day, with a number of special conferences at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. It’ll all be capped off that night, when Spaceship Earth at Epcot is lit up in all purple as a way to raise awareness for epilepsy. So if you’re in Epcot that day, you’ll have a good idea as to why Spaceship Earth looks a bit different than usual.
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