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fastpass-spaceship-earth

Disney is currently trying out a “tiered” Fastpass+ system at Epcot. The idea behind it is simple, in that you’re limited as to how many major attractions you can choose a Fastpass for.  It works like this:

Choose one Fastpass from the following:

  • Character Spot
  • IllumiNations
  • Maelstrom
  • Soarin
  • Test Track

And then two Fastpasses from the rest:

  • Captain EO
  • Journey into Imagination
  • Living with the Land
  • Mission:  SPACE
  • Seas with Nemo and Friends
  • Spaceship Earth
  • Turtle Talk with Crush

This is clearly a response to guests choosing all “e-ticket” rides for their three Fastpass selections and none being available for off-site guests.  It’s rumored (key word) that it will be implemented resort-wide during Christmas week, at the very least.  The good news is that if you already have Fastpasses chosen, you won’t be effected by this new change, at least during this initial period of testing.

wdw-hyperloop-pods

This week crazy-like-a-fox billionaire businessman Elon Musk introduced his latest revolutionary concept, the Hyperloop, and then gave it away to the masses as an open source project. Musk’s previous successes include Paypal (without which much online transactions wouldn’t happen), Tesla (an electric car company that’s profitable for a change), SpaceX (a private company that is helping NASA get payloads into space with an eventual goal of Mars(!)), and SolarCity (affordable solar panels for home and business; It remains to be seen if this will fall into the success category, but it seems likely with a net positive in the profit column last quarter).

Hollywood director Jon Favreau has said he modeled his version of Tony Stark, aka Marvel’s Iron Man, at least in part after Musk. But I think Tony Stark is the wrong model. Musk reminds me more of late period Walt Disney, when Walt had his eye on the future, not just of entertainment and the Disney Company, but of the planet as a whole and improving the lives of those who live on it. His gained steam with Monorails (mass transit), moved onto PeopleMovers (person rapid transit (PRT)), and dabbled in energy efficiency and recycling. Then Walt united all his theories and took on the mother of all urban planning projects – EPCOT, the experimental prototype community of tomorrow. With EPCOT, Walt wanted to build a working community where he could partner with industrial explorers with a similar vision for the future.

That is essentially the same vision as Elon Musk; which is why I think there is a natural partnership between Musk, his companies, and The Walt Disney Company. To get started, create the partnership for the purposes of building a working prototype of the Hyperloop at Walt Disney World. Musk, or his team, would be involved enough to oversee things, but most of the R&D would be left to Walt Disney Imagineering. The resulting prototype would be a great first step to making a full scale Hyperloop a feasible project to get past local and state governments.

Disney’s Imagineers already have much of the expertise needed to build such a system. They have experience with air-bearings (from the Flying Saucers ride in 60s to the revisited version at DCA), mass transit systems (Monorail, PeopleMover, etc.) and for years they used a garbage disposal system at the Magic Kingdom that magically whisked away trash right from the curb side down an air pressure driven pipe. They also have good contacts in the coaster and mass transit construction industries, so finding suppliers would not be difficult.

Want to know what delicious goodies are being cooked up for the 18th EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival marketplace kiosks? Disney has released what looks like a complete list of all the marketplace menus. I remember reading somewhere that we were getting scotch eggs, but I don’t see them on the list. Anyone know what happened there?

Brazil (All-New Menu)

Seared Scallop with Ragout of Tomatoes, Peppers, Hearts of Palm and Steamed Rice
Crispy Pork Belly with Black Beans, Onions, Avocado and Cilantro
Cerveharias Kaiser Brewery Xingu Black Beer
Carnaval Moscato White
Frozen Caipirinha featuring LeBlon Cachaça

Scotland (New)

Seared Scottish Salmon with Cauliflower Puree, Watercress and Malt Vinaigrette
Vegetarian Haggis with Neeps and Tatties-Griddled Vegetable Cake with Rutabaga and Mashed Potatoes
Scottish Banoffee Tart with Bananas, Scottish Whisky Toffee, Walkers Shortbread Crumbles and Sweet Cream
Innis & Gunn® Original
Loch Lomond featuring Glenfiddich® 12 year
Glenfiddich® Scotch Flight (12, 15 and 18 year)