Hi! I'm Anita!
What is going on with the unused building between the Universe of Energy pavilion and Mission: Space in Epcot? I remember going to an exhibit about the human body there years ago and heard it was being renovated.
The building in question, the former Wonders of Life pavilion, lost its sponsor several years ago, and in 2004 it went to "seasonal" status, meaning it was only open sporadically, usually only during very busy times. The last time I was in there was during Christmas Week 2006 and there wasn't a soul in there, despite the rest of Epcot being completely packed outside. After the Christmas season, the pavilion closed again, and was only used for corporate and convention events for several months during 2007.
Beginning with 2007's Food and Wine Festival, the pavilion became the Festival Center for special events at Epcot. In January 2009, permits were filed for demolition of show sets and other interior fixtures, so if there was any hope of it ever reopening to guests as a regular pavilion, that hope is now gone. It is expected that it will be officially renamed as the Festival Center or something similar to that when the refurbishments have been completed. I would expect the Festival Center to be open again by March 18 for the opening of the 2009 Flower and Garden Festival.
Trivia Question: Which well-known Disney animator/director/producer/writer provided the voice of the Hypothalamus in the Wonders of Life attraction, Cranium Command? Answer in next week's column!
Hey Anita, great column! It's part of my Monday morning routine! My question concerns Animal Kingdom. As you're walking toward Expedition EVEREST, in the foliage to the left, before you get to the buildings leading to Everest, you can see what looks to have been planned as a queue for an attraction. What was this planned to be?
You're not giving me much to go on, but if it's the area I think you're referring to, it's a walkway for cast members to access backstage areas of the Kali River Rapids attraction. Parts of Kali are located very close to the rear of the Anandapur buildings housing the restrooms. It's not very glamorous, but I hope that answers your question!
I have a son who loves Woody, Jessie, Bullseye and Buzz. We are planning a trip for late spring and I want to take him to Woody's Cowboy Camp, which I had heard great things about. However, I cannot find any info on Disney's site about it. Are they still doing it? If not, where can we catch these characters in the parks? Thanks for all your help.
Unfortunately, Woody's Cowboy Camp ended on September 27, 2008, and is no longer performed at the Magic Kingdom. You can still catch the Toy Story characters signing autographs over at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Pixar Place, as well as in the new ride Toy Story Midway Mania, and in the Block Party Bash parade each afternoon. Buzz can usually be found in Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom near the Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin ride as well.
I hope you all have a rootin' tootin' time at the World!
This is the second year in a row that I've looked for a red hat with purple ears. I belong to the Red Hat Society and would really like to find them at WDW. How can I get someone to help me?
Have you checked the Chapeau Shop on Town Square in the Magic Kingdom? You can build your own customized ears from a large selection of colors and textures of hats, ears and patches. Prices vary by style and item. Good luck, and have fun!
I will be visiting the world this spring with my almost-13-year-old daughter. I am not a fan of many of the roller coaster rides -- my speed is Winnie the Pooh! Can she ride Space Mountain and Tower of Terror alone? Can I accompany her as far as boarding and then make my escape? Thanks for such a great column. I read it between trips and it makes me feel like I'm there.
Officially, a child over the age of 7 can ride alone as long as they make the minimum height requirements for rides, if there is one. At the Tomorrowland Speedway there is a separate height requirement of 54" to ride alone (accompanied minors have a height minimum of 32").
If your daughter is okay with walking the queue alone, you don't have to go with her, but if you want to go, that's fine too. Every ride has a pre-loading zone exit for guests who have decided not to ride for whatever reason. Get in the queue with your daughter, walk with her to the load zone, explain to the cast member that you don't wish to ride, and you'll be escorted to what is affectionately known as "the chicken exit." If there is a special area to wait for riders, you'll be directed there; otherwise, you wait at the ride's exit for your daughter to emerge.
By the way, Space Mountain is scheduled to close for a lengthy refurbishment on April 19, 2009, so your daughter will only be able to ride it if your trip is prior to that date.
Have a great trip!
I was recently at Magic Kingdom and saw some people who had plastic cards, similar looking to credit cards. They were using them for their Fastpasses. What are these?
They could be a couple of things, but most likely, these guests were using their special Birthday Fastpass Exchange Card. This card was discussed by me in detail in a recent column, and you can read it by clicking here.
The other possibilities could include the guest having received the card as a perk for participating in a Disney Vacation Club tour and presentation, and sometimes they're also given out to certain conventioneers and members of the press during special events.
What was the very first 3D attraction at Walt Disney World?
Wow, I received lots of responses on this one! Unfortunately, the answer was not Captain EO, although you were very close. Only one of you had the correct answer, which was the 3D film Magic Journeys. Congratulations, Jason M.; please stand and take a bow. You are the Disney Geek of the Week!
Magic Journeys opened with EPCOT Center on October 1, 1982, and was shown in the theater that currently houses Honey I Shrunk the Audience, in the Imagination Pavilion in Future World. It closed in early 1986 to make way for Captain EO, which opened in September 1986. Magic Journeys moved to the Magic Kingdom in late 1987 and played there until late 1993.
That's it for this edition!
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