Saturday, August 28, 2021

Pints with Parkscope: Das Boot Episode - Bad Social Media, Fat Phobia, and Horror Nights

Joe drove to Columbus to be with his parents and Mike is drinking away a hurricane. Today's topics include Universal Studios Hollywood's very bad, very dumb, fatphobic tweet; the public backlash to perceived "fatphobia" at Universal in attraction design and test seats; and some more talking about Halloween Horror Nights

Monday, August 23, 2021

Parkscope Unprofessional Podcast Hour #218 - Disney Genie and Laughing Lane (Plus HHN30) with Hastin and David Daut

Well, Disney, ya finally did it! After lots of rumors, speculation, and angst, the stateside Disney Parks have announced Disney Genie and Fast Lightning Lane products. This week Joe is joined by Hastin and David Daut to discuss the new products, our thoughts, our worries, and where the puck is going with the Disney Parks. Then we switch gears to discuss HHN30 and David's first trip to the event.

Friday, August 20, 2021

Pints with Parkscope #1 - NBA Experience

This coming September will be the 8th anniversary of our podcast.

Eight. Years.

Since then we've had marriages, births, and moved all over the place. One big change is also our lack of time. As you might have seen the podcast has gotten more and more infrequent over the years as the gang just can't get together as much as we used to. Look, when you have a job, a house, a wife, and a kid you just don't have the 90 minutes to sit down on Skype and talk about theme parks.

So lets try something new. For the next month or so I'll do a weekly 15 minute (or so) show covering one topic, just long enough to finish one drink. Hence the "pints" part. But don't think this is glorifying drinking, I'll be having water, tea, and coffee too! My goal is to have a new episode up every Friday or so.

Our first episode is about the NBA Experience, from Iger's power grab after NBA City left to closure. We'll talk about all the weird points in this attraction's life, what went wrong, could it have worked, and my thoughts on a replacement.

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Parkscope Unprofessional Podcast Hour #217 - Halloween Horror Night 30 Hype

We're back baby! Joe! Mike! Ann! We're all slightly tipsy as we discuss Halloween Horror Nights 30 and tackle some "questions" from the UOAP Facebook group.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

First Track Pieces Arrive for Epic Universe

Saturday was a major milestone in the Epic Universe project as bioreconstruct discovered newly delivered track to the future site of the park.

Initial speculation was around this being for the Donkey Kong coaster but after some digging it was discovered to be Yoshi track by Sansei Technologies.

Universal announced in March progress on Epic Universe was restarted after a pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the first attraction-related development on the property. 

Additive vs Exclusive Theme Park Add-Ons

Over the past few weeks DisTwitter has been up in arms over Disney's After Hours Boo Bash. The first event offered after the COVID-19 shutdowns in 2020, Boo Bash is an evening event for guests to ride rides, grab candy, see characters, and get some unlimited snacks. It's also NOT Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party, the long offered popular event that offers fireworks, parades, and more. For many Boo Bash seems to be a weak offering, cutting many popular entertainment options, and also raising the price. For others it's a "lol shut up people will still pay for it"... commentary? Trolling? I'm not sure.

Anyway, the worry is Boo Bash is in and MNSSHP is out. I don't think this is the case as the After Hours events are an already established brand offering low capacity for high prices so guests can ride more rides. With Disney, at the time of the event announcement, still controlling the number of guests in the parks, no fireworks, shifting the Halloween event to After Hours in nature made sense. MNSSHP has a certain amount of name brand recognition where if it was offered with reduced offerings it would tarnish that brand. I find hand wringing over the death of MNSSHP, or that Disney is just going to jack up prices and offer less, to be unfounded.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Bend the Bao Chinese Counter Service Coming to CityWalk Orlando

Several weeks ago the former Fusion Bistro Sushi & Sake Bar closed for a new concept. Well, this week we got our first hints of what the new venue could be.

The old look has been refreshed to a colorful design featuring the signs of the Chinese Zodiac. Well... Park Rumors on Inside Universal found this trademark:

So looking at the news it appears Bend the Bao will be opening in the old Fusion location. This will likely be a fast-food Chinese restaurant with outdoor seating. So what will the menu look like? Well, Universal Orlando has not offered Chinese food yet (Comic Strip Cafe does not count). Except for ONE time.

The Starcourt Food Court at HHN29 featured a Chinese section. The menu included pot stickers, bao buns, and wonton chips. So based on previous options, and the name, we should expect a Bao-focused menu with other small plate options. I'm hoping we see more fresh, Szechuan offerings such as Gonbgao Jiding (kung pao chicken) and other lighter Chinese dishes.