James’ Takes: September 2012

Well, now that I am a full-time law student it is going to be extremely difficult, if not impossible, for me to post anything on ThiS Happy Place Blog between now and Christmas.  Since my love for Disney won’t stop just because I’ll be pulling my hair out in the library, I wanted to contribute one more thing to the blog before sequestering myself for the semester.

Rather than write a full-featured post on a single topic, however, I thought I’d address a few bits and bobs that have piqued my Disney interest of late.

For starters, I read the news from Ryan P. Wilson over at Main Street Gazette about the upcoming Test Track redesign.  According to Melissa Jeselnick, an Imagineer on the project, the track is going to remain unchanged when the ride reopens.

Womp womp.  Cue slide whistle.

I’m pretty bummed about that.  I know there is a lot of Test Track hate out there, and while I didn’t hate the old ride by any means, I really found about 85% of it to be pretty boring and rote.  The acid test?  Really?  And those silly bumps?  The best part of the old ride, and the thing that probably kept the lines longer than they would have been otherwise, was the speedy outdoor section.  If it were up to me, I’d want more of that and less hot and cold tests.  Judging from Ms. Jeselnick’s responses during the live chat (courtesy of Disney Parks Blog), it certainly sounds like we’ll get all the same junky “tests,” except our custom cars will be rated on their ability to survive the tests.

Test Track - Quartet: This Happy Place Blog

Speaking of which, the “create-a-car” and scoring systems both sound like the most intriguing parts by far.  Scoring systems have already proven themselves popular on Toy Story Mania and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin.  The new Test Track may not be as competitive as the latter rides but it will certainly be better than the same old bumps and turns as the old ride.  These systems, combined with a new look, new queue, and new music may make Test Track a more engaging ride than the old beast, but will it be enough to justify its continued existence in Future World?  Only time will tell….

Moving on to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, The Epcot Explorer’s Encyclopedia blog ran an interesting rumor about Cars Land coming to the oft-maligned DHS.  It would supposedly evict the Lights! Motors! Action! stunt show and require some reworking on the Backlot Tour, which in this writer’s humble opinion really went down the tubes when they replaced the live guide with a recorded tape loop (but had already gone halfway down the tube long before that, when they stopped actually making movies at the park…separate rant for another day).

Now, I’m not the biggest fans of Cars in the world.  The first movie was fairly entertaining but the second one just bored me to tears and I don’t really find the characters endearing enough to warrant an entire land.  On the other hand, though, pretty much anything would be better than the stunt show and poor, lowly Backlot Tour currently occupying the space.  DHS needs something, anything to bring in eager guests (other than Toy Story Mania, which desperately needs something else to take some of the heat).  Maybe if Cars Land really does come to DHS, Estelle and I can just ride Toy Story Mania (which we haven’t been able to ride in a very long time due to the obnoxious wait times) while everyone else waits 6 hours for Radiator Springs Racers

Finally, I have to address an area very near and dear to my heart: my stomach.  Estelle and I are in the beginning stages of planning a WDW trip for this coming January.  We’d like to celebrate 2 things: the completion of my first semester of law school and also my 30th birthday.  What better place to celebrate than WDW?

While planning our trip, we decided that we want to try and switch up some of our dining options.  We usually stick with our favorites and keep a long-running list of restaurants we’d like to try…but never get to.  This time, we want to try and hit those other spots!

First up is Restaurant Marrakesh.  I’m not a very adventurous eater, so this almost seems like an odd choice, but I like spicy food and I’m intrigued by the menu.  Also, the Morocco pavilion has some of the best theming in the World Showcase.  My choice was solidified when I read a great review on The Disney Food Blog. Casa beer and beef brewat rolls, please!

Along the same lines, Estelle and I both readily agreed that we need to experience Boma together.  Neither of us have dined there before.  We had an amazing experience at Sanaa on our honeymoon so we think it’s time to hit Boma! You can check out The Disney Food Blog’s page on Boma here.

Lastly, there are two different quick-service meals which recently caught my eye.  As I said, I’m a huge fan of spicy food so the new buffalo chicken nuggets at Backlot Express in DHS sound amazing!  And ever since French class in high school, I’ve been hopelessly addicted to Nutella, so the Nutella and Fresh Fruit Waffle sandwich at Sleepy Hollow in Magic Kingdom sounds beyond heavenly.  Thanks to The Disney Food Blog for making my mouth water after reading both articles.

That’s it for now.  I’m going to get back to the books while you guys enjoy the fall.  Maybe I’ll see ya in December.  If you have any suggestions for interesting places for Estelle and I to eat in January, please let us know! (And yes, we will try and hit Be Our Guest either for lunch or dinner…wish us luck!)

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A book publicist who loves writing about Disney and books, and sometimes Disney books.

One thought on “James’ Takes: September 2012

  1. I’ve never ridden the original Test Track, so at least the track layout will *seem* new to me. 🙂

    Regarding Cars Land, I love the films so, naturally, I think Cars Land is awesome. I do, however, have a few family members who can’t stand Cars or have never seen the films, and they ended up enjoying the place for its rides, 5o’s – 60’s atmosphere, scenery and food. They’re now Cars Land fans but *still* aren’t interested in the Cars films. (“This place is all the Cars I need,” said my younger Sis when I suggested she just watch five minutes of the first movie). So there’s a chance you might find something of interest should they build a Cars attraction at the Studios.

    Your dining plans for the upcoming trip sound awesome. I hope you get into Be Our Guest!

    Be sure to have some Epcot background music handy for when you need a brief break from the law books! 🙂

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