EPCOT turns 40 and Disney has food and swag to mark yet another anniversary. Plus, Disneyland is finally getting MagicBand+. So what's different from Walt Disney World's version and is it worth getting?
EPCOT Turns 40 on October 1, 2022
EPCOT wasn't always a park that was slated for success. A quick look back at the creation of Disney's first park not modelled after a Magic Kingdom.
EPCOT 40th Anniversary Merchandise Revealed
The new EPCOT 40th Anniversary Collection is available for purchase as of October 1, 2022, with additional items arriving throughout the month. The collection features retro and nostalgic designs that offer a wide variety of merchandise for the entire family.
Initial reactions among fans have been mixed. This commemorative merchandise will be available at Creations Shop in EPCOT at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Select items will also be available on shopDisney.com.
Foodie Guide to EPCOT 40th Anniversary Celebrations
From the very beginning, EPCOT has always had a food component through World Showcase.
So it's only fitting that there's a foodie guide to accompany EPCOT 40th Anniversary Celebrations (including our top picks).
Connections Café (Available Sept. 29 through Oct. 3)
- EPCOT 40th Liege Waffle: Brioche dough with pearl sugar > Amelia's Pick
Chozo de Margarita (Available beginning Sept. 30 while supplies last)
- 40th Fiesta: Frozen margarita in a “MEXICO 40” souvenir cup
Funnel Cake (Available Oct. 1 and 2)
- Celebration Funnel Cake with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, sprinkles, and 40th candies > Amelia's Pick
Garden House (Available Sept. 29 through Oct. 3)
- Sake Cocktail Flight featuring Samurai, Mt. Fuji, Tokyo Sunset, and Violet Sake > Mike's Pick
La Hacienda de San Angel and San Angel Inn (Available beginning Sept. 30 while supplies last)
- Flan: Vanilla custard topped with blueberries, whipped cream, and a “MEXICO 40” white chocolate garnish
- Clarified Margarita: Tequila, orange liqueur, lemon, simple syrup,“MEXICO 40” cup & glow cube
Nine Dragons Restaurant (Available Sept. 29 through Oct. 3)
- Dan Dan Noodles: Spicy pork, Sichuan sauce, peanut butter, sesame, cucumber, and green onion
Space 220 Restaurant (Available Sept. 29 through Oct. 3)
- Crema Catalana: Vanilla cream custard, lemon snow, citrus segments, and spicy ginger crumble > Mike's Pick
Sunshine Seasons (Available Sept. 29 through Oct. 3; Mobile order available)
- Figment Sponge Cake with honey-lime mousse
Teppan Edo (Available Sept. 29 through Oct. 3)
- EPCOT 40th Saketini: The saketini was on the menu when the Japan Pavilion first opened. This version combines sake and butterfly pea flower to recreate the night sky of EPCOT
Tokyo Dining (Available Sept. 29 through Oct. 3)
- EPCOT 40th Kaisen Chirashi Don: Celebration sushi bowl
- EPCOT 40th Saketini: The saketini was on the menu when the Japan Pavilion first opened. This combines sake and butterfly pea flower to create a color reminiscent of the EPCOT night sky
MagicBand+ Coming to Disneyland Resort this Fall
While MagicBand+ offers very little in terms of innovative new experiences, Disney fans have still been snapping them up to try them out at Walt Disney World.
With MagicBand+ launching soon at Disneyland, will there be anything different or better in terms of features and experiences? The answer is, unfortunately, no. Here's what you can expect once MagicBand+ launches at Disneyland.
At launch, you'll be able to connect your MagicBand+ to theme park tickets or a Magic Key pass in the Disneyland and use it for Lightning Lane entrances. Disney PhotoPass photographers will also accept a tap of your band to link photos to your Disney account. All pretty basic and standard MagicBand functionality.
MagicBand+ will also offer its glow-with-the-show capability at Disneyland. Again, nothing special.
The Star Wars: Batuu Bounty Hunters interactive quest has vibrations and lights from MagicBand+. This feature has, in our opinion, ruined the landscape of Galaxy's Edge by inserting very non-immersive screens throughout the land. Plus, users have encountered problems with this activity, particularly in terms of rapidly draining the MagicBand+ battery (rendering it useless as far as completing the mission).
Should you buy a MagicBand+ at Disneyland? The basic functionality of a MagicBand is good, but the enhancements are nothing special at all and not worth it in our opinion.
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Mike Belobradic and Amelia Belobradic
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