Disney 50 Anniversary-The Orlando Times
Disney World’s 50th AnniversaryLauds its EPCOTImagineers, Legends, AmbassadorsAnd CastMembers
BY DR. BARBARA J. MCLEAN-SMITH
Photo Cutline: Kartika Rodriguez, Vice President, EPCOT
Photo Cutline: Views from Space 220 Restaurant
LAKE BUENA VISTA - Guests from every media outlet far and near were invited to a “sneak peek” of what’s to come at Disney World during the next eighteen months which began Wednesday, September 29th through Friday, October 1, 2021. For the media guests, nothing was spared from on-site parking, “on property hotel accommodations” to gifts and delectable, plenteous delights of food, desserts and beverages at both Epcot and the Magic Kingdom.
Fifty years in the making, Disney World celebrates its 50th Anniversary par excellence. Everyone in the “Disney World Family” is invested in the celebratory events that began for the media on September 29th and for the public on October 1, 2021. All four parks at Disney will offer magical and fun experiences for the entire family. For this grand media presentation, Epcot and Magic Kingdom highlighted the newest features at these two parks.
A major and inviting new attraction at Epcot is the opening of the restaurant, Space 220.This new adventure offers an “Out of Space dining experience 220 miles above earth” states General Manager, Seth Rose of The Patina Restaurant Group.After enjoying lunch, indeed, he was right! To engage in what the restaurant has to offer, you must embark on a state-of-the-artSpace elevator which is designed in the likeness of a rocket. Not only are the simulated views from the restaurant so real life like, the food is delicious. The menu suggestionsare a variety of dishes to satisfy any palette; for example, lunch bids “Seared Tuna, Bluehouse Salmon and a Centauri Burger” to name a few, cooked to your taste. You will find “Star Course meals with Satellite Sides at dinner as well as Super Nova Sweets” For sure, an out of this world either lunch or dinner you would not want to miss. Seth Rose works closely with the Chef to assure that each meal is enjoyed as an experience with a 2-3 $$-$$$ Signature Table Service. The restaurant runs a 448-seat establishment with top notch efficiency. Space tourism in years to come will be “as common as getting into a space elevator for transport to the cosmos.”
Spaceship Earth allows a travel and exploration through time and a visual history of communication from eons ago to the, now, computer age. The Walt Disney Imagineers’ use of technology is evident in every aspect of EPCOT.
The Wonderful World of Disney and most especiallyEPCOThave continued to transform itself to a place where everyone from all over the world can feel at home. To make this transformation happen is the new Vice President of EPCOT, Kartika Rodriguez. Prior to this promotion in March 2021, she served as General Manager, Epcot Operations for five years. Mrs. Rodriquez has been a member of the Disney family for 15 years beginning as a manager of Industrial Engineering and General Manager of EPCOT Park Arrival & Outdoor Vendors. As a woman of color, Mrs. Rodriguez, says as she oversees the Transformation of EPCOT that she approaches her new position and responsibility with “Optimism, Hope and Discovery”.
When visiting EPCOT, Food and Wine may be enjoyed from at least 11 counties to include the United States, Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Morocco, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom, Canada and France.Found in EPCOT’s France’s pavilion, the newest attraction is Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, a “motion-based trackless 4D dark ride” simulating the 2007 Disney-Pixar animated film, Ratatouille. If you would like to satisfy the kid in you, try to see the film but most definitely experience the ride which elicits a feeling of being shrunken to the size and actions of Chef Remy, (a rodent); emits laughs, giggles screams as if you are indeed a child. Youwillfind yourself scampering, twisting and turning through the kitchen, dining room and pantry of Gusteau’s famous restaurant. Also new and close by Ratatouille is La Crepérie de Paris, a restaurant featuring several savory types of French galettes, and crêpes some with meat, some sweet.
If you’ve never thought about the flavors and ice in your soft or hard drink, think again. Ice has been reimagined with various colors and shapes that make each ice contained drink an amazing surprise beginning with its name, its colors, its sounds and its shapes.
A sneak peek at “Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind” is yet another new feature at EPCOT that is still under construction but promises to be a Roller Coaster beyond comparison. A day or days at EPCOT will surely provide memories and plans to come back again and again.
Not only are the newest attractions worth the price of admission but all of the creativity, adventures, restaurants, foods, and desserts provided by the Walt Disney Imagineerswill reinvent your desire to visit EPCOT once or twice maybe even three times each year. Creativity has no boundaries and you can certainly see this at each event and at every turn. The new night time music, lights and fireworks show, “HARMONIOUS” elicits “oohs and aahs” as the lights and fireworks dance through the night sky for at least 20 minutes. Over the next 18 months, join the anniversary celebration, treat yourself and family to this “HARMONIOUS” delight.