This week we discuss Disney news around reopening in the age of COVID, the “plusing” of Splash Mountain, and Hamilton coming to Disney+. Chris gives updates on the plans for the EPCOT makeover and Kelli discusses one of her favorite Disney experiences: Afternoon Tea at the Garden View Tea Room at the Grand Floridian.
All music for this episode is available through a creative commons license. The background music for the News segment was created by Kevin Macleod:
Fuzzball Parade by Kevin MacLeod
- Disneyland has postponed their opening.
- Source: https://variety.com/2020/biz/news/disneyland-reopening-postponed-1234650665/
- They’ve said they are pushing the date back opening date because California is not issuing reopening protocols until after July 4th.
- Yesterday the Coalition for Resort Labor Unions (which represents about 17,000 Disney employees in California) held a rally/caravan calling for more safety measures upon opening. Specifically they want routine COVID testing. Negotiations are ongoing.
- So far, WDW has made no plans to change their opening date of July 11 for MK and AK, and July 15 for Epcot and HS.
- Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/29/disney-world-gets-green-light-to-reopen-july-11.html
- There is a call by some cast members and performers to delay the park opening for health safety.
- Tokyo DisneyLand and Disney Sea set to re-open on July 1.
- Splash Mountain Gets “Plussed” as Walt used to Say.
- Sourse: https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2020/06/new-adventures-with-princess-tiana-coming-to-disneyland-park-and-magic-kingdom-park/
- Splash Mountain, which opened at Disneyland in 1989 and WDW in 1992, will be reimagined into a new ride celebrating Tiana and Louis from The Princess and the Frog.
- Hamilton is coming to Disney+ (Hamilfilm)!
- Plussing EPCOT
- Source: https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2019/08/new-details-revealed-for-the-historic-transformation-of-epcot-underway-at-walt-disney-world-resort/
- “the biggest transformation of any Disney park in history”
- Garden view tea room menu: https://www.wdwinfo.com/wdwinfo/dining/diningdetail.cfm?restaurant.id=305
Season 1, Episode 2: 6/28 News, EPCOT Makeover, and Afternoon Tea at the Grand Floridian Transcript
Chris & Kelli 0:03
You’re listening to supercalifragilistic awesome Disney podcast. Each week, we’re going to talk about three things. In Main Street USA, we’ll talk about the latest Disney news. In Tomorrowland, we talk about things we’re looking forward to. And World Showcase is dedicated to our favorite Disney adventures. So let’s get this show on the road. Por Favor Mantengase Alejado De Las Puertas.
All right, everybody, this is Chris. This is Kelli. Let’s go check out what’s going on on Main Street USA this week. Okay, so a couple of big things. You probably saw it. Disneyland has postponed their opening indefinitely. They say that it’s they’re pushing their date back because California has actually issued reopening protocols. They’re not going to do that until sometime after July 4. So Disneyland is saying they just don’t have time to take those protocols into account and decide how they’re going to respond.
Whereas Disney Walt Disney World, got theirs approved by the governor and so their
governor or the mayor, first mayor, and then the governor, right. So
they’re good. So it’s a protocol situation, not a covid case count situation.
That’s what they’ve put out. Okay, right. Yesterday, there was the Coalition for resort labor unions in California, who represents about 17,000 Disney employees out there. They held a rally sort of a caravan parade type thing. They’re specifically they’re negotiating with Disney right now, just like I’m sure happened in Florida. And they’re specifically pushing for more routine testing of the associated The cast members and other thing Park employees across California that they want more routine testing
more than more than what Disney is doing in Florida.
Disney in Florida to my knowledge is not doing any routine testing of the associates, the cast members. Okay, so that is a specific ask in California they want routine testing, they’re doing the other things like hygiene and temp checks and we’re you know, wearing masks and things like that. But,
um, yes. And cast members. Okay, so they are doing temp checks, yes, but not routine testing.Okay, that’s interesting. They wanted they want the testing. Okay. I get that. Yeah.
They can’t control where the cast members go when they leave work. Sure. And so far, you know, we touched on it, but Walt Disney World in Orlando has not made any changes to their opening plans. There are some cast members that are asking for a push back on the opening. Think I read that there was 10,000 cast members there? had signed a petition. And then there’s a there’s an actor’s union that is representing about 600 Disney actors and performers that have asked for to be pushed back also, but today, there’s there’s no, no change
and what have you seen on the DVC boards? And that’s Disney Vacation Club sorry for using acronym What have you seen on those boards about people who are currently there. So the
a lot of the DVC resorts down there are open and they have guests staying there. And what I what I specifically seen is that the guests at the resort say they feel very, very safe. In fact, a couple people said that they live local, and Costco was one of the businesses that requires masking and they feel fairly safe at Costco. They said they feel safer at a Disney Resort than they feel anywhere other than their own home. Wow. And so they said Disney Springs can be a little iffy. But they have been to Universal as part of their stay in the going to the universal theme parks and they felt very very safe there people were complying with the regulations and they felt perfectly comfortable so
that’s sort of what I’m gonna expect in the parks as well. I hope so. Yeah that’s what I’m hoping I’m very hopeful Yeah.
Tokyo Disneyland and Disney see is set to open July one that we can probably expect to Disney see tomorrow and from you at some point at some point, man, because that looks like a really cool part. But they’re set to open July one and my understanding is Japan has done a really good job of of flattening the curve and all that so I have high hopes for them. make huge news this week. Splash Mountain is getting plus Splash Mountain plus, so Walt Disney used to every time you would upgrade or improve on any kind of attraction or experience. Walt would call it getting plussed. So Walt, Is their plussing Splash Mountain. They’re going to celebrate Tiana and Louie from princess in the frog. So I think that that that ride really lends itself very well to a new orleans vibe. So that ought to be really interesting to see.
Yes, I totally agree. And I’m also very excited of the Imagineer that they’ve got leading that it’s Teresa Carter, okay. She’s obviously a woman of color, but she also just finished doing the Mickey minis runaway railroad, which has been a huge success for those people that got to ride it before things got shut down. So I love that they’ve got a woman of color as the lead Imagineer. I love that she’s got some pretty good chops going in with the Mickey minis role where we know she can do amazing things. She’s on a roll. She’s on a roll, but I’m also excited that Splash Mountain is taking place after the movie ends. Right? Right. So Tiana will be a true Disney Princesses, not a frog like she was for 84% of the movie.
She gets celebrated is my understanding there. She and Louis are on their way to their first Mardi Gras performance and this has been in the works for well over a year they started last year the concept art looks amazing so really excited here’s what I want to see happen with that. I want to see since they they’re gonna work Louisiana Louisiana phi this area of the park right that just made up a word that’s a word now so I’m I want to see some Mickey Mouse beingets at a cart near here this ride
Yes, why put out Wait Why put out the recipe if you’re not going to have that in the ride?
Well listen, you can get it at Port Orleans but that’s about the only place port Orleans resort. Now we’re gonna need a car. I think that this is a great opportunity for cars to for Beniget a cart near the new he has a new princess in the frog right? I agree. Okay, so Last bit and he’s probably seen this too, but we’re five days away right now. So gotta gotta point out that Hamilton is coming to Disney plus this Friday. I know we’re pretty excited about that is going to be awesome. It is definitely appointment viewing in our house. We are hammerheads, we are we are hashtag Hamill film on Twitter. If you’re if you follow Lin Manuel Miranda, which you should if you don’t you should he’s put up. He’s great to follow. He’s great. He’s great.
But so you told me earlier this week they have made it Disney appropriate for Disney plus,
more or less still pG 13. If you’ve if you aren’t familiar with Hamilton, there are some adult things and there’s some there’s some f bombs. I think there’s three total in the in the show. One automatically earns an R rating and so on. thing one or two, and so they’ve done some creative editing. But this film took three days worth of shooting. They shot to live performances on Broadway and then on their day off on Broadway which I can’t imagine that is even a thing. They actually did the show but with like movie style camera work,
so it won’t the original cast
is with the original cast. They did this while they were still while they’re all still on the original cast yet. Okay, so that’s going to be like I said appointment viewing on Friday. Okay, so absolutely very excited for it. It’s a great way to ring in the July 4 weekend.
Absolutely. So with a nice good killing one of our founding fathers. That’s right.
That’s right. It’s wonderful if you if you haven’t seen it, haven’t heard the soundtrack. Well, I don’t know where you been but. But watch watch it you’ll you will be thrilled by it. Yes. Anything else? All right. Let’s check out tomorrow and I’m excited. Okay, so we got to get going because this is a big one for me. I’ve got tomorrowland this week, right? So if you haven’t heard, you probably have especially if you’re a big Disney fan. They’re plussing. Epcot. So So Epcot is undergoing what Disney calls the biggest transformation of any Disney park in history. And so we’ve, we’ve, we’ve seen what they’re planning to do, we got to see the in the Odyssey Pavilion. It Christmas time this past year, we actually got to see the like a show. It’s like a preview. It’s like a preview of what they’re gonna do.
That downplays it. This was an interactive was interactive. There was a model in the middle of the room 3d 3d all around you fireworks going off overhead. I mean it was it was a significant interactive,
immersive premium immersive that’s the word it was a very immersive reunion. It’s still there you when they open back up, you’ll be able to go see it. It’s at the Odyssey pavilion in Epcot in future world on the way to world showcase. But the idea in this the whole transformation will take years. And they’ve already started some things they started in earnest this past fall, just totally ripping Epcot future world to shreds. So just as a recap, Epcot is really has historically been two main worlds future world with an east and west side, and when world showcase and that’s what that’s all the country pavilions and everything. And so what will happen going forward? Is that jump forward into the future. There will be four neighborhoods world showcase will be one of the neighborhoods, then you’ll have world discovery, world celebration and world nature. And yeah, so they’re basically taking future world and splitting it into three what they’re calling neighborhoods that you could totally do that. So is the land going to be the nature? The land with Nemo? The land the seas and what’s it called? It’s called journey of water will be the world nature area wanna that’s the one that’s named after Noah mo I remember
that in the preview. Yeah, so
yeah. So a long time ago in journey into imagination, they had right outside journey into imagination. They had, they had water features like almost like a splash pad, where water would just jump from one pad to another and, and like you walk through a tunnel of water, kind of and they Have a they still have the reverse waterfall where the water goes up? The cliff instead of down, right? So journey of water in world nature is a sort of like a trail. Oh yeah, a walkway. Yes, that will be where you interact with living water like Moana in immersive. Yeah.
So you’d like it to be Moana with touching the water and all that. Yes,
yes, yes. And so it’s also so many things that I’ve got our educational teaches about the the lifecycle of water and how it can change our well being. And then not you
wouldn’t want to wear like a bathing suit to that area.
No, I don’t believe so. No, this is
like a knee like that.
I get the impression. It’s kind of like a nature trail except, you know, that undersells what Disney will do with of course, like the best nature trail you’ve ever been probably touching. where water comes to life, right? Right. I’m the land mentioned the land will still be on that side of world nature and the seas with Nemo will be there. And I think the land is getting a new movie in their theater land. Right? That’s right. So and then you’ve got world discovery, which is on the other side of future world where you currently have test track and you got mission space. And you used to have all those interactive games and stuff.
Right like we come out of mission space, you’re in that area with all those games that you get to play and
that is in that’s actually in journey into imagination has games when you come out? Yeah. And then test track has the, you design your car before you go in and then you come out. Right? So the other things are their mission space they are building on to mission space space 220 restaurant,
which is supposed to be open
supposed to be By now, but I’m sure that that got COVID. So, no word yet on when it will open. But the idea there is you actually go to dinner at a restaurant that’s 220 miles above the Earth’s surface. So that’s pretty exciting. You get an elevator and you ride up to
Well, this is the new chef, right? They switch chefs and the new chef is supposed to be the same chef from tutto Italia.
That’s right, which is one of my favorites. That’s one of your favorites. Right so
I’m a I’m a pretty big fan of that. Yeah. Yeah, but that’s but some of the other changes are on hold right mission space.
Mission spaces. Spaces.
Yeah, Spaceship Earth. Spaceship Earth is changing around holding those changes on hold. So that’ll be in world The thank the Phoenicians. That’s right. In World celebration, which is the which will be the middle between East and West of all future world, the middle area there where Spaceship Earth is and they had this big fountains that are there, mouse gear and Starbucks used to be over there, right? That whole area will be world celebration. And they are going to upgrade Spaceship Earth. It’s going yeah, it’s going to be more of a talks about how we use storytelling to communicate, right? It’ll have new music, new narration. But it is on hold, it is on hold. They just pause that because they know when we get back, we’re gonna need some happiness and joy. So the coolest thing they’re doing in the world celebration area, is this multi level pavilion is just sounds like it’s gonna be amazing. So on ground level, you’ll have a plaza, and then you’ll have a second floor where they have Expo space, right for conferences and things of that nature. And then the third floor is an open air Park, where you will have all this amazing viewing of the nighttime spectaculars that they Have over seven season showcase. Okay. So so that is going to be amazing this this multi level pavilion thing and world celebration, world discovery. There are two pavilions that are currently not being used the old universe of energy. Yeah,
that’s when that’s where the preview is right?
That’s what No, that’s in the Odyssey Pavilion. This is going to be the new Guardians of the Galaxy. Right. Guardians of galaxy Cosmic rewind is the name of the ride.
The University of energy is where Ellen was is right? Yes.
As for Ellen was and all the dinosaurs and things? Yes. Okay. So, this is a coaster, it’s an indoor coaster, the guardians of galaxy ride. It’s an indoor coaster, and with a couple of innovations, it will be a Disney’s first reverse launch coaster and it will also include The first ever cars that turn 360 degrees to keep your focus on whatever they want your focus to be on while you’re coastering Wow, yeah, so that it sounds like a really really cool ride. Again, a lot of these are could have their own tomorrow and segment in the future. Then there’s the wonders of life pavilion which hasn’t been used for years. It used to have though body wars ride. It’s going to be a city where you go to play Edna mode from The Incredibles will have a special thing in there. But my favorite thing in there that they’re gonna have is, is Huey, Dewey, Louie and Webby who I don’t even know who that is. I’ve got to go find out who that is. They host a water balloon fight. Oh, in there. So, you know the real one, I guess. Oh, that would be a lot of fun. That’s fun. Yeah. And then world showcase is also getting it Getting, you know, some treatment to Rumi’s Ratatouille adventure is coming. Mary Poppins is getting some action in England where you’ll actually get to go in time inside number 17 charity leyline I’m excited about Canada and China are both getting new movies in their 360 vision theaters. So just just amazing, amazing upgrades at Epcot that I am ready for my impression is it’s going to be much greener. Much lusher. Yeah,
that’s what I got some gravy to it felt very, very green, very outdoorsy. Almost like Animal Kingdom. In a way not rustic, but a lot of a lot of greenery. Yeah, yeah. Looking forward to need some more shade at Epcot. We do need more shade
or more splashpad Yes, for sure. So that’s tomorrowland, Epcot, plussing. It’s going to be awesome. Time, seriously plus. All right, you ready?
I’m ready. I cannot wait.
You know, I’m a little worried with my world showcase that the listeners are going to quickly see a theme in all of my segments. And, you know, I gave some thought to that this week and I thought maybe I should intentionally stray from the theme. And then I said, you know what, no, I should, I should honestly just own it so that they know what to expect from my segment.
I cannot imagine a world where you didn’t just own it, whatever it is.
So in world showcase, we are talking about one of my favorite activities is afternoon tea at the Grand Floridian or as we like to call her the grand flo, grand flo. So afternoon tea at the Grand Floridian in the garden view Tea Room. We went for the first time in December 2019 And our plans are to go back this December. It was it was just perfect. I want to say it was just perfect. They do daily tea from noon to four every day. They do have an am princess tea for those of you that have princesses in their afternoon tea has three options. You have the Bedfordshire tea now is this sure are Shire? Bed-ford-shire?
think that’s a really good question. I’m gonna go Shire. Okay,
I was gonna say sure.
Okay. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
I’m just gonna own that you guys know I’m not British. So Bedfordshire tea, and that comes with finger sandwiches, scones, and a choice of dessert is $35 a person and that’s good. We’re gonna call that your base level. The next level up is Cheshire tea. Again, Cheshire, Cheshire Shire?
That’s definitely Cheshire,
Cheshire Cat, they all end with shire. So I decided this is Cheshire. They’re all sure okay. Okay, so check it out logic. It’s basically the same as the Bedfordshire, except you also get fruit and cheese. Now that’s $50 a person and you might say, wow, I mean you’re gonna pay $15 extra for fruit and cheese. Let me just tell you the fruit and cheese platter was well worth it. I love them.
So I got some feedback from last week’s show. And it was specifically, “I love Kelli’s dedication to cheese.” So that was definitely also
I’m on brand. Yeah. Okay, so then the third one up is the Berkshire Tea. And now that one comes with the fruit, the cheese and also caviar, and it’s made for two people, it’s $150 for two. Now, the beauty of this is that you could add champagne to any of your tea experiences, which of course we did, and it was lovely. We went with the Cheshire tea 50 bucks a person and we each got to select our own tea. Now as I was going back, I looked at the menu I couldn’t remember which tea you picked? But I believe I went with the Enchanted Forest which is ripe forest fruits of raspberry, strawberry and blueberry with a rich creamy vanilla to complement the depth of this black China tea. Because it sounds it sounds lovely.
That does sound delightful.
Sounds delightful. I normally go for a chat but I’m pretty sure I went with the Enchanted Forest. So let me tell you a little bit more about what you get. So again, we went to Cheshire so I can’t speak to the caviar again Hello vegetarian. But with the Cheshire we had the finger sandwiches, that’s going to be cucumber, curry chicken, egg salad, poached pear with a Gorgonzola cream cheese, and a fire roasted tomato with oregano goat cheese. Come on. Now if you guys know us, you’ll know that I gave Chris my curry chicken and he gave me his fire roasted tomato, which worked out nicely for both of us. The scones were a golden raisins scone with a Devinsure clotted cream, a lemon curd, a strawberry jam and a strawberry preserve tart. The scones were lovely. They were pure perfection. But here’s where really sold it and now I’m not really speaking enough about the fruit and the cheese. I want to say the fruit and cheese plate was large enough to be a meal within itself. After we ate the fruit and cheese plate I remember thinking I’m not gonna be able to anything else. This is significant. But then you get your choice of dessert there’s three choices for desserts. One of them is pastries with a mousse filled swan. Come on. French macaroon and chocolate covered strawberry. Okay, second choice is fresh cut strawberries with hand whipped cream which sounds a little just I mean, not quite as awesome as the pastries.
The third one is seasonal English trifle. With layers of lady fingers Chantilly, fruity and hand fruit and hand whipped cream. Now I will just say I have a very interesting relationship with Chantilly cream. And when I see it on the menu, I don’t pass it up. In fact, I would ask for extra. But here’s the beauty of this seasonal English trifle. So we ended up going with the seasonal English trifle and the pastries with the moose filled Swan and the macaroon and we split them we shared those. The beauty of the seasonal English trifle is that the top of it has powdered sugar. And then like the Grand Floridian logo in like a red. I don’t know red, like a red powdered sugar I guess. How do they it’s gotta be magical. I don’t know how they did that but it looked like a red. Some type of red powder that made the grand flo logo is gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. I mean you would see people ordering something else and you think why are you not ordering the trifle Do you see the grand flo logo. It’s got the logo on it right? You don’t want to eat that. And Chantilly cream.
Did you read the menu?
But so yes, again I mentioned the plus champagne right? You did. Also lovely. Yes, the service was fantastic. I will say we saw some families there that had small children. They have a kids menu. I think it includes like sandwiches with peanut butter and jelly. You know, if you’ve got kids, that’s an option. I would just say this isn’t a character thing or anything. It’s not I think the princess one is a character one and I think occasionally they do a Mad Hatter party. That’s character dining. Those are probably more kid friendly. The afternoon tea at the Grand flo, I think the idea of it sounds lovely for a child. I just don’t know if it’s exciting enough for them.
Yeah, I wouldn’t call it exciting.
It was very relaxing, very mellow. Almost all adults. We saw one booth, a couple of kids and those Kids were bored out of their mind, absolutely bored out of their mind. And I could tell that the adults were trying to engage them. But it was just a situation of this isn’t fun and it’s taking two hours.
Right? And it’s not a the environment there is very tea roomy, it’s Yes, very posh and lots of lots of silver and, you know, Chrome type.
Yes, decor very much and a lot of breakable stuff. A lot of breakable China but my mother would call a hands in your pocket store. Very very breakable. But so one of the things that I remember the most about the tea and this is gonna sound ridiculous and probably speaks more to me as you know, my class or the fact that I’m not British, but I’ve been to tea before I’ve been to tea at the Ballantyne hotel twice. Right, so I’ve had afternoon tea. We drink hot tea regularly here so we are tea drinkers, but at the afternoon tea at the Grand Flo. They give you these little t blanket. Oh, the little hats. Adorable. So cute, right? So it’s you’ve got your own little teapot, you get to pick your tea. And it’s like this little blanket cap
that sits right on top of how to live. In other words, such a thing to
keep it warm. I didn’t neither of these are clearly embossed in gold, with the Grand Floridian logo. I mean, just lovely. Honestly, it was a lovely relaxing experience. I would say the next best thing to a spa appointment that I’ve ever done there.
Yeah. It’s not on the dining plan. It is definitely you pay extra for it. But it’s 100 over $100 for two Yep. And, and if you’ve got it, do it because it is totally worth it. It’s out of the parks. It’s relaxing. It’s chill. I totally agree. It was a wonderful experience.
And it is a garden view at That’s why they call it the garden view tea room. It is a garden view there at the Grand flo. So it’s not loud. There’s not a lot of people walking past you and things about the natural light
Nice, it was nice.
And when we walked out it was again it was right at Christmas time. And so they had sort of a band playing out there it was it was just a perfect ending to that. One final thought we have heard that there’s a rose and crown tea experience. And we do want to try that. But it is a totally different situation. In Epcot, it’s a 9:30am experience. And you get to taste multiple teas,
you learn about tea,
right? So that’s completely separate from this afternoon tea at the Grand flow. This is much more of an afternoon. British tea experience is how I would describe it. But I loved it. So I think for my first world showcase, it could be… your favorite thing?
could be Wow. I mean there was cheese you didn’t there was cheese. There was a trifle, Chantilly cream and cheese, champagne, and tea. Like all my favorites, it is like all your favorite things and Britishy. love the British
The Brits do love the Brits. So yeah, I would say if you have not done that, save the money, make the reservations and go. We’re gonna go back again this year Christmas, and I’m pretty excited about it. Looking forward to it.
Yeah. All right.
All right. Well, that’s it for this week. hope y’all enjoyed it as much as we did.
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I think so. And with that, we hope to see you real soon.
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