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.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Parkscope Unprofessional Podcast Hour #215 - #DefendTheShed

Low-fi theme park podcast to chill and vibe to this week as Joe and Sean discuss their big mega Memorial Day trip through Ohio. Join us as Sean discovers Hoof Hearted, the magic of the Flight of Fear preshow, Mystic Timbers, Jacobs Field, Melt, Steel Vengeance, Maverick, Ballpark Mustard, and more!