This week's Studios Weekly entry is somewhat unique and calls for a different kind of article. Everyone has varying opinions on many different aspects of the Studios, and Walt Disney World in nature. It's human nature to have varying opinions of whether something is good or bad. Popular to contrary belief, I don't love everything in the Studios. I know, it's shocking for me to admit something in the Studios is amiss but if I can take a moment to peer out from my Studios themed fort of opinion, I'd like to explore some of the aspects of the Studios I don't care for. In fact, there are aspects of the Studios I down right detest (borderline hate, even). Some of the items I've talked about in this column and others I've mentioned in other mediums or just in my own head. Some I think are based on factual evidence while other opinions are purely subjective crabbiness that I just can't shake. Say I'm old fashioned, say I'm over the hill but here they are.
First and foremost, I think the Fantasmic! Dining Package is completely and one hundred percent useless and in fact, you're at a disadvantage if you want to use it. I've gone over at length the problems with it in the past, but the 30 second version of this rant is basically, you still have to show up at least 30 minutes ahead of time (so you still have to wait) and the seating you get stinks. There's this notion out there that the Dining Package is a good option and the other day I was on the parking tram to the Studios when I overheard another guest mention that they had the package and I wanted to turn around and tell them about the grandiose mistake they're about to make and how they can enjoy Fantasmic! without suffering the issues of the Dining Package. It's my own little crusade but it's just one of those pet-peeves and the more I've thought about it, the more I've seen just how unhelpful it really is. I guarantee, no matter what time of the year, there is a better alternative sans package than with the package.
My disdain for the Fantasmic! Dining Package may be a personal struggle to spread but my next bit of dislike is shared by many others and that's the fact I strongly dislike dining at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater for any meal. Again, I've written about this, but basically the food is overpriced and not very good. I understand the theme is quite good but good theme doesn't out weigh the food you're eating. That's why you're there; to pay good money for good food. Any other sit down restaurant at the Studios are better options for a meal. Entertainment is nice, but it isn't enough to make up for bad, expensive food.
Let me start out my next dislike by telling you what I do like: High School Musical 2 Pep Rally. I think it's cute and any kid between 10-14 loves it. What I really dislike is the location of the pep rally. Considering it's shown about 30 times per day (on average), putting it in front of the Sorcerer's Hat kills the great character meet-n-greet opportunities there as well as photo opportunities and creates a sea of people camped out in front of the Hat to see faux-Troy & co. I really hope the show continues for a while longer, but it needs to migrate to somewhere else in the park, such as the soon-to-be-refurbed Backlot Theater.
Last year I tried out ESPN the Weekend for the first time, mostly because I do enjoy watching ESPN and I like sports. Should be the perfect combination, right? One would think that but I ended up really not enjoying myself at the event. Primarily, the problem is the event is comprised of a number of athletes being interviewed on ESPN and/or ESPN shows being taped but for the park guest, you can basically watch the taping below the raised stage, from a distance and standing up. Some people like waving their arms and screaming in an effort to be on TV for like a split second. Not me. What makes other events at the Studios like Super Soap and Star Wars Weekends so much fun is the interactivity between park guest and celebrity. There is none of that at ESPN the Weekend really, and certainly not to the extent you have at the other events. It felt like ESPN was patronizing the guests by saying "Okay, you all just keep your distance way over there and if you're good, you can watch". Thanks, but no thanks.
For me, it's important to be able to identify things at the Studios I dislike because I try to maintain as unbiased a view of things as I can so I can remain objective when something new comes around. It's easy to look through rosy colored glasses or sip the kool-aid sometimes, and not everything is the cat's meow in my book. Of course, I do enjoy a great majority of the Studios (hence this website) but I thought I could offer up a different view of the Studios from my perspective.