The Journey to Pandora

In a surprising announcement, Walt Disney Imagineering announced today that a new land is coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom at WDW. You might be asking, “What is that new land?” and I would be tempted to trick you with Beastly Kingdom, but the truth is that Disney has teamed up with Lightstorm Entertainment to bring the world of Pandora (the mythical moon in James Cameron’s “Avatar”) to both parks. From the announcement:

We believe Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a great fit for this project because it was created to give guests the opportunity to experience the worlds of animals and nature – real and mythical – in new ways. Disney’s Animal Kingdom also celebrates adventure, living in harmony with nature and environmental stewardship – themes that are deeply rooted in the story of AVATAR.

Construction is slated to begin in 2013, with opening by 2016.


RE: Whether or not the world of Avatar belongs in Animal Kingdom, I present you this:

Welcome to a kingdom of animals… real, ancient and imagined: a kingdom ruled by lions, dinosaurs and dragons; a kingdom of balance, harmony and survival; a kingdom we enter to share in the wonder, gaze at the beauty, thrill at the drama, and learn. — Michael Eisner, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Dedication, April 1998


In the Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room

In the tiki, tiki, tiki, tiki, tiki room, all the birds sing words and the flowers croon, in the tiki, tiki, tiki room

Disney has finally confirmed that Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room will (tentatively) reopen on August 15th in Walt Disney World’s Adventure Land. This follows a nearly year-long refurbishment after a fire broke out in the attic of the show building, damaging many of the “Under New Management” animatronics. The new show will be a re-imagination of Walt Disney’s original Enchanted Tiki Room show with Jose, Fritz, Michael, and Pierre returning to their rightful posts, er, perches.

Disney Shutters ESPN The Weekend

Straight from Disney: ESPN The Weekend has been cancelled. What had been a 3-day weekend event featuring ESPN personalities, professional athletes, and a load of interactive exhibits has now been deemed as excessive and unnecessary in light of the new re-branding of Disney’s Wide World of Sports into the ESPN Wide World of Sports.

To justify the cancellation of the event that’s been running for 7 years, Disney points out the increased presence of ESPN at Walt Disney World and the increased number of events, innovation, and athletes that have been brought to the Wide World of Sports. Turning from ESPN The Weekend, Disney looks to improve the ESPN RISE Games along with other experiences.

WDW Monorail to Stop Running Earlier Than Normal

In an interesting move, Walt Disney World has decided to shorten the time the monorails run from the parks to one hour after the normal park closing time (this begins July 11 for the Epcot Monorail and August 1 for the Magic Kingdom Monorail). This change will affect those using the evening Extra Magic Hours for now as well as those attending Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, should the early bedtime continue into the Fall. For alternative means of transportation, seek out bus travel and the ferry (for return to the TTC and all resorts they reach to).

From Disney:

“From time to time, we make adjustments to our operations to accommodate for planned transportation maintenance. With that in mind, operating hours for the Epcot Monorail system will be modified to operate one hour after regular park close beginning July 11, 2011 and the Magic Kingdom Monorail system will also operate one hour after regular park close beginning August 1, 2011. At that time, watercraft (where applicable) and additional buses will be available to transport guests to their destination.

Return service from evening Extra Magic Hours in the parks will be supported by watercraft (where applicable) and bus transportation.

(Hat tip to The Examiner)

Forum Update

Hey everyone!

I just shut down (temporarily) the message board forums. In the last several weeks they have been attacked with spam and ads (not sure how the people behind that think that some of those ads would be relevant to THIS audience, but whatever). I’ll be working on cleaning/fixing them for the future.

… and I’m officially working on a new episode for the Netcot Podcast.


What do you mean “what’s the Netcot Podcast?” Really? Has it been that long. Doh. I’m sorry! 😉




Where I’ve been

Van here…

Hi. Its been a while. No, I haven’t forgotten about you – trust me, I haven’t. I’ve been busy — very busy. I’ve been working on some exciting new things in my professional life and I’m getting closer to a point where I can unveil what I’ve been working on, but not quite yet.

I just wanted to let you all know that I’m still around, doing well, and will be back in some capacity to the whole “Netcot” thing. It might not be as regularly as it used to be (at least for a while) but it will be just as much fun. So stay tuned, stop in from time to time and I’ll try to give you all some fun updates whenever possible. In the mean time, I post something on Twitter just about every day – so feel free to follow me there.

So that’s my story at the moment. How are you?

Netcot #161 – World of Color

This week’s episode is sponsored by Orlando Stroller Rentals.

This week’s show features a (pro) look at the new World of Color attraction at Disney’s California Adventure. It then features a (con) look at the new World of Color attraction at Disney’s California Adventure. Its kind of like two episodes for the price of one.

Have you seen World of Color? What do you think?

Disney Buys Marvel [Again]

According to The Deadline, Disney has agreed to purchase Iron Man 3 and The Avengers from Paramount Pictures for the tidy sum of $115 million. Under the new deal, Disney gets distribution rights for the two aformentioned films while Paramount will retain distribution rights over Thor [May 6, 2011], Captain America [July 22, 2011], Iron Man, and Iron Man 2.

The nearly perfect WDW breakfast.

I firmly believe that Boma at Disney’s Animal Kingdom resort offers one of the BEST breakfasts anywhere on the WDW property (perhaps even Disney resorts world-wide). Their selection of American and African inspired food is excellent. If you’re an adventurous eater, you’ll find something you like. If you like your breakfast basic, you’ll find something you like. And either way, be sure to get the house juice and the chocolate chip muffins.

boma-logoOne of the best things on the buffet has to be the made-to-order omelets. Even if you ask them to cut the cheese in half (or 1/4th, as I do, in my attempt to make it much healthier) its one of the best omelets on property. However, ordering the omelet is anything but “Disney.”

If you haven’t been there, then imagine this: a long spread of buffet options spanning a VERY large room. A line so long it can easily accommodate the max. capacity of guests dining at the same time as you. But the smack dab in the middle of that line, in an area where the space behind you thins out as a decorative half-height wall curves in toward the buffet line … is the omelet station. A space that gets about 5 feet wide and is often overflowing with people trying to get their omelet from one or two chefs trying hard to manage the whole process and keep the large list of ingredients in order for each guest’s individual order.

Why? Why so little space? Why so much chaos? Why do the cast members have to work so hard in this one little “flaw” of an otherwise near perfect restaurant?

I don’t know, but I think I have a simple fix that could go a long way. The Which Wich Menu.

whichwich menu

This little piece of brilliance is a simple, integral part of the Which Wich restaurant (which is like a make-your-own Potbelly, Subway kinda place). Fill out your name, the ingredients you want and your meal is made.

Boma needs a Which Wich menu for their omelets. A simple menu that would sit at your table and list all of the options for the omelet. It would also have an area where you could fill in your name and the table number, which would either be pre-stamped on the menu or easily identifiable from where you were sitting. You fill in the menu, hand it to the chef (so he can confirm you have your table # on there) and then you walk away. A few moments later, your server appears with your perfectly made omelet. You then sit back, enjoy and think to yourself: wow, Boma just went from near-perfect to perfect — thanks to Netcot and Which Wich.

Oddly enough, I’ve suggested this to a manager there once two years ago and was told “thanks, we’ll consider it.” But apparently Which Wich has the rights to a patent describing a menu with fill-in-the-blank options, because it has yet to appear at WDW (kidding, they don’t hold the patent on that – to my knowledge, there is no patent for such a thing).

So there you go… my simple imagineering way to make a nearly perfect WDW breakfast spot, “perfect.”

Staying in touch

For those of you not getting enough Netcot-goodness, I’d like to take this time to provide two links which have much more frequent updates than has (thank you, social media … for ruining blogs! I … I mean… “for allowing us all to ‘connect’ in new ways” — yeah, that’s it).

Netcot on Twitter

Netcot on Facebook

Netcot on: twitter | facebook

The rumors…

…of my death have been greatly exaggerated. -Mark Twain.

Hey everyone! I’m still here – its just been a very busy year at work. More to come on that topic but for now I simply wanted to say “hi” and let you know there are some upcoming podcasts in the queue that will roll out shortly including features on World of Color and Hong Kong Disneyland. So stay tuned and of course, ROCK ON!


Why DCA is getting an upgrade

I’ve seen this posted a few sites now and thought I’d share it for those of you who haven’t yet seen it. Like it or hate it, their point is clearly well-taken by even Disney: there’s room for improvement. Which is precisely why the $1B upgrade is underway.

I’d like to see these guys step inside Animal Kingdom. Just sayin’.

Previous Articles

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort To Open In 2012 At Walt Disney World

This changes everything

Disney’s Tower of Terror Didn’t Cause A Stroke

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