SATURDAY SIX THANKSGIVING SPECIAL: Six Reasons for Theme Park Fans to Give Thanks in 2019

first_img# 5 –  Epcot ForeverEpcot Forever is a jukebox musical for fans of classic Epcot, with music clips representing the park’s attractions from the years 1982 – 2005. Like most Disney nighttime shows, the soundtrack is combined with fireworks and other visual effects, all staged above Epcot’s World Showcase lagoon.If you have fond memories of this era of Epcot attractions, Epcot Forever is a mostly pleasant trip back in time. The soundtrack includes samples of everything from the original Epcot entrance music, Spaceship Earth’s Tomorrow’s Child, and the Tapestry of Nations parade. On the other hand, first-time Epcot guests might wonder what the song “Veggie Veggie Fruit Fruit” has to do with anything they saw in today’s Epcot. (There’s enough of a connection to the Living with the Land boat ride to make sense, although that’s not where the song originated.)The music is accompanied by a good selection of colorful fireworks and lasers. A new visual effect uses illuminated kites, pulled by jet skis around the lagoon, to enhance the show. The kites change colors as the music changes, and even spout fireworks at one point. If you’re looking at online video of the show, note that this effect looks much better in person.The show has its faults: The use of child narrators infantilizes Epcot’s original purpose of celebrating imagination, enterprise, science, and technology. And the inclusion of “A Whole New World” from Disney’s Aladdin is the kind of corporate shilling that the original Epcot Center specifically resisted. Still, as a temporary show, and one that’s replacing the classic IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, Epcot Forever‘s visual effects alone make the show worth staying for.Epcot Forever as seen from the Japan Pavilion. (photo by Tom Bricker of the Disney Tourist Blog)Epcot Forever. (photo by @schmoofy)E-Ticket KITES. (photo by Blog Mickey) # 1 – Star Wars: Galaxy’s EdgeWhether it was the jaw-dropping moment of seeing the Millenium Falcon in person, the intimate experience of building your own lightsaber at Savi’s Workshop, listening to DJ-Rex at Oga’s Cantina, or getting the coolest looking Coke bottle ever made, the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge brought a smile to the face of many Star Wars fans. The planet of Batuu rock work is among the best Disney has ever done, giving a sense of true awe when walking around the land. Ronto Wraps immediately became one of our favorite food items in all of WDW, while the dining experience at Docking Bay 7 reminded us of the great Satu’li Canteen in Pandora: The World of Avatar.We are mere days away from Rise of the Resistance opening in Florida. The addition of this game changing attraction will help make Galaxy’s Edge one of the most memorable lands in all of Walt Disney World.The Millenium Falcon. (photo by Rikki Niblett)“Chewie, we’re home.”SAT SIX editor in chief Megan Stump enjoys the Falcon with a half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf herder.Flying the Falcon is a dream come true for many guests. (photo by Daniel Germain)Kylo Ren’s ship. (photo by Megan Stump)Walk around character Rey. (photo by Megan Stump)DJ-Rex at Oga’s Cantina. (photo by Megan Stump)The Ronto Wrap is E-Ticket.Photos in Galaxy’s Edge at night can seem otherworldly. (photo by DisFlix killer The Schmoof) # 4 – Dark Arts at Hogwarts CastleA brief projection show similar to The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts show, this one is focused on the darker side of magic. Death Eaters are joined by evil creatures like Dementors and misunderstood ones like Thestrals, punctuated, of course, by the Dark Lord himself, Voldemort. While it’s always good to see a little attention paid towards “the bad guys,” the Dark Arts show’s biggest strength is the introduction of walk around Death Eaters to the Universal Orlando Resort. Before each Dark Arts showing, Death Eaters would terrorize Hogsmeade Village with a mini-show before interacting with Muggles.Death Eaters prepare to take over Hogsmeade, but the true villain in this photo is the guest on the right taking a video in portrait. (photo by Joe Matt)A Death Eater roams Hogsmeade Village. (photo by Seth Kubersky of The Unofficial Guides)The SATURDAY SIX’s own Megan Stump gets a photo with a Death Eater.The opening night of Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle. (photo by @bioreconstruct)Knockturn Alley’s Borgin and Burkes store gets a segment during Dark Arts. (photo by @bioreconstruct)Death Eater mask. (photo by @bioreconstruct)Fire from a dragon. (photo by @bioreconstruct)A shot of Dark Arts pyro as seen from Port of Entry. (photo by @bioreconstruct)# 3 – Sesame Street at SeaWorldSeaWorld Orlando was already a great park for kids, but the addition of Sesame Street was brilliant. There are plenty of rides themed to Sesame Street characters, a new parade, and a whole bunch of interactive elements to keep the young ones in your family busy. Adults young at heart will appreciate the great jokes throughout the land and a chance to take a picture with the characters we grew up with. Like the Dsiney Skyliner, we were also BLOWN AWAY with the overall quality of Sesame Street merchandise available as well!Sesame Street facades at SeaWorld. (photo by @bioreconstruct)Great details throughout the land. (photo by Megan Stump)Cookie Monster float in the parade. (photo by Megan Stump)Big Bird themed ride. (photo by Megan Stump)Cookie Monster merchandise. (photo by Megan Stump)Cookies!! (photo by Megan Stump)Photo op with Cooke Monster. (photo by Megan Stump)Big Bird. Double Secret Honorable Mention The Restaurants!2019 was ::chef’s kiss::Bigfire (Universal CityWalk)Bigfire in Universal CityWalk. (photo by Michael Carelli)Bigfire. (photo by Michael Carelli)Bigfire burger.(photo by Megan Stump)THEMED ICE. (photo by Megan Stump)Now THAT’S a S’mores dessert. (photo by Megan Stump)Outlets and hooks for purses at the bar. (photo by Megan Stump)Three Bridges (Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort)Three Bridges. (photo by Brandon Glover)You have our attention when using comic book pages in your restaurant’s theming. (photo by Brandon Glover)Tacos. (photo by Brandon Glover)Chicken biscuits. (photo by Brandon Glover)Churros. (photo by Brandon Glover)Takumi Tei (Epcot Japan Pavilion)Table setting for the kaiseki meal. (photo by Tessa Koten)Tea at Takumi Tei. (photo by Tessa Koten)Takumi Gyuniku, artisan beef. (photo by Tessa Koten) Share This!This week’s SATURDAY SIX is our annual Thanksgiving Special and takes a look at Six Reasons for Theme Park Fans to Give Thanks. 2019 was another “transition” year in the Florida theme park Universe, with Disney still lining up pegs for Magic Kingdom’s 50th anniversary in 2021, and Universal prepares for its third official theme park.  As is our tradition in this fine blog series, this Thanksgiving we are going to take a quick break from all the turkey, football games, and Black Friday pre-planning to count our blessings and thank the parks and resorts that we love so much. So, for one day only, we ask that all Disney and Universal fans put aside their differences and spend a brief moment appreciating all the wonderful things that we can share together, starting with…# 6 – The Disney SkylinerOne accident unexpected downtime aside, the Disney Skyliner is a wonderful addition to Walt Disney World. People love staying at the “monorail resorts,” and now we have “Skyliner resorts” with Caribbean Beach, Pop Century, and Art of Animation. Kids are going to love the fun wraps on many of the Skyliner gondolas, featuring a wide variety of Disney characters and brands. Adults are going to enjoy the birds-eye look at Disney property.It’s truly amazing the wide variety of transportation options guests have to experience when at the Vacation Kingdom. Monorails, boats, buses, Minnie vans, the Skyliner, and even horse-drawn carriage rides at some resorts! One nice surprise for us Disneyana collectors was the amount of really good Skyliner merchandise that arrived with the gondolas. Outside of the awesome monorail toy set, merchandise for Disney transportation vehicles is pretty weak. However the Skyliner came with a great selection of items; with t-shirts, buttons, and toys, including a Funko Pop.Disney Skyliner passes by Pop Century. (photo by Brandon Glover)Disney Skyliner looks at at the Disney Swan and Dolphin resorts. (photo by Brandon Glover)Disney Skyliner in action. (photo by Brandon Glover)Disney Skyliner passes by Art of Animation. (photo by Brandon Glover)Skyliner buttons. (photo by Erin Foster)center_img Honorable Mention – The new hotels!Disney went BIG when it came to hotels this year, literally. Gran Destino Tower is almost shocking to see when you turn into Coronado Springs for the first time. The good news is that Gran Destino is loaded with amenities, including a roof top bar and a club level lounge with incredible views of Walt Disney World property.Gran Destino Tower. (photo by Brandon Glover)View from Chronos Lounge at Destino with a million dollar view of Disney property. (photo by Brandon Glover)The Dahlia Lounge is a rooftop bar with an incredible look at a non descript coaster themed to India or whatever. (photo by Brandon Glover)You had me at Mickey shaped sugar cubes. (photo by Brandon Glover)While Disney used Gran Destino to cater to the high rollers in the convention crowd, Universal went the other way with the introduction of it’s first true “value” resort with Surfside Inn and Suites. Part of the Endless Summer Resort, Surfside will be joined by Dockside Inn and Suites in 2020. Surfside brings the option of staying at a Universal hotel to guests who before would stay at hotels on I-Drive to save money. Just minutes away from CityWalk via a dedicated bus, Surfside offers the early access to Universal parks (including Volcano Bay) that can be a huge asset when touring. Come for the affordable rooms, stay for the onsite Starbucks and fitness center… at a value resort!!!Surfside Inn and Suites. (photo by Michael Carelli)Surfside lobby. (photo by Michael Carelli)Surfside food court. (photo by Michael Carelli)Starbucks! (photo by Michael Carelli) # 2 – Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike AdventureIn years past, one big difference between Universal and Disney was how well themed WDW was within lands while Uni was more a “collection of stuff.” In the past few years alone Universal has made major strides in making their parks more cohesive, whether it be Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon in the New York section at Universal Studios Florida, or Hagrid’s in Hogsmeade Village. As good as a ride as it was, Dragon Challenge stood out like a sore thumb in Hogsmeade. Hagrid’s fixes that in a major way and possibly makes Hogsmeade pound for pound the best overall land in any Florida theme park, and that includes WDW.Now, for the attraction itself. Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure is a high-speed roller coaster ride through the Forbidden Forest. Guests will experience a twisty, turvey coaster experience that replicates the motions of a flying motorbike. The ride elements and sensations are unlike any coaster in Orlando.Guests are students in the Care of Magical Creatures class, taught by the friendly Hogwarts Keeper of Keys, Rubeus Hagrid. Hagrid commandeered the forgotten buildings of Hogwarts for the breeding and storage of his magical creatures. Here Hagrid experiments to create a new beast, the blast-ended skrewt, and wants to take us on a field trip to observe them.During the preshow we find Hagrid also roped in Arthur Weasley to assist us with travel. Arthur gives the iconic Sirius Black motorbike a full Pimp My Ride treatment. Full repairs? Check. Dragon breath boost? Check. Geminio spell to make dozens of copies? Check. After market DVD play and plasma TV? Ok, not that much. After a quick spell by Hagrid we are soon on our way.On the way to board, guests see fairy nests, laboratories, and an assortment of magical eggs. Thankfully Universal reworked large portions of the old Dragon Challenge queue, significantly shortening a half-marathon length queue. Like Forbidden Journey and Hollywood Rip Ride Rock-It guests board the ride vehicles on a moving walkway. Guests riding the motorbike stand on the right-hand side while boarding and the guests in the side-car on the left.Once strapped in Hagrid quickly puts the pedal to the metal, blasting out of the thestrals stables and into our first launch. What differentiates this coaster from others is how the ride sensation feels like guests are actually riding a flying motorbike. The ride vehicle bucks, drops, and turns like its driven by a lead-footed teen learning how to drive a manual transmission. Yet unlike a driving instructor you will be thrilled as you experience what coaster-heads call lateral forces and negative g-forces (airtime).While on your class trip guests will fly through ancient ruins, past the giant three-headed dog Fluffy, and stall mid-air before falling backwards. While trying to recover from stalling out guests find themselves in the Forbidden Forest where devil snare entangles their bikes. A quick spell loosens the plant’s grip and guests free-fall 17 feet to safety. If you feel like a confundus charm was cast on you after this description, it means guests should hold on and experience the wildest ride in Scotland.Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure is a dragon-breath blast of a ride from start to finish, and is the most unique rollercoaster in Orlando. The ride sensations of flying through a forest combined with amazing set pieces make this a top five ride at Universal, and possibly THE best ride for many.Hagrid. (photo courtesy of the Universal Orlando Resort)Fun details in the queue include this post it note with an important question from Arthur Weasley. (photo by Hunter Underwood)Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure. (photo by Michael Carelli)Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure. (photo by Michael Carelli)Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure. (photo by Michael Carelli)Aerial view of Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure. (photo by @bioreconstruct)The opening few weeks and months of Hagrid’s motorbike were filled with challenges, but thankfully the ride was so incredible that everyone who rode it could forgive the problems. So there you have it: Six Reasons Theme Park Fans Should Be Thankful in 2019! See you next weekend for the latest installment of the SATURDAY SIX, where we’ll look at something fun from the world of Disney and Universal. If you enjoyed yourself, be sure to check out The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! articles, or, for your listening pleasure, check out the E-Ticket Report podcast. You can also follow Your Humble Author on Twitter (@derekburgan).Remember when the tails were taken off Slinky Dog Dash? The SAT 6 remembers…(art by Brian Cooper)last_img read more

Monthly Web Development Update 9/2018: Native Lazy Loading And Imaginary Work

first_img Related postsInclusive Components: Book Reviews And Accessibility Resources13th December 2019Should Your Portfolio Site Be A PWA?12th December 2019Building A CSS Layout: Live Stream With Rachel Andrew10th December 2019Struggling To Get A Handle On Traffic Surges10th December 2019How To Design Profitable Sales Funnels On Mobile6th December 2019How To Build A Real-Time Multiplayer Virtual Reality Game (Part 2)5th December 2019 HomeWeb DesignMonthly Web Development Update 9/2018: Native Lazy Loading And Imaginary Work (cm)From our sponsors: Monthly Web Development Update 9/2018: Native Lazy Loading And Imaginary Work Monthly Web Development Update 9/2018: Native Lazy Loading And Imaginary WorkYou are here:center_img Monthly Web Development Update 9/2018: Native Lazy Loading And Imaginary Work Monthly Web Development Update 9/2018: Native Lazy Loading And Imaginary Work Anselm Hannemann 2018-09-14T14:50:19+02:00 2018-09-15T11:11:14+00:00It’s an interesting concept to compare JavaScript with CO2 and yet a very valid one. Alex Russel who works for the Chrome team and has a lot of insights into the current state of the web says that using too much JavaScript or using it exclusively (without progressive enhancement/graceful degradation) will have the same effect as too much CO2 for the ecosystem on planet Earth — the ecosystem will fall apart. And just like we need a certain amount of CO2 to live, we need JavaScript on the web. It’s that fine line that makes the difference — the line between not too much and none at all.I feel that with the native browser APIs that we have these days we have a fantastic opportunity to build great web services without bloating them too much and without relying only on JavaScript. We can enhance native elements with the Custom Elements API easily via ES6 Classes, with so little code that it seems ridiculous to build all that on your own in a third-party framework. Coincidentally, the Github engineering team published an article about how they dropped jQuery entirely and what they now use instead: native JavaScript and small, lean code that is progressively enhancing their platform. Less code, better maintainability, and more stability.NewsChrome 70 is now in beta, bringing shape detection as an origin trial that allows us to perform QR code reading, face detection, and text recognition in images. The Web Authentication API got some updates, too, and referrerpolicy support was added to elements. This version will also deprecate Custom Elements v0, HTML Imports, and Shadow DOM v0.Finally, with Firefox 62, Mozilla ships ::selection instead of :-moz-selection. They also implemented flat(), and flatMap() for JavaScript arrays and developers get a new Shape Path Editor.Chrome 69 is out and brings us CSS Scroll Snap Points, the CSS viewport-fit property for cutout-displays like the one of iPhone X, and the Web Locks API which allows scripts running in one tab or worker to asynchronously acquire a lock, hold it while work is performed, and then release it. The update also comes with CSS conic gradient support, toggleAttribute() (which is similar to the classList.toggle() method but for attributes), and flat() and flatMap() for arrays. Unfortunately, this release changed how the browser displays the URL, and it seems that people consider it a security bug. Let’s see how that will evolve.With Firefox 62 supporting variable web fonts, we finally have support in all major browsers and can use it widely now to improve performance, be more creative with typography, and reduce data traffic drastically.Manuel Rego Casasnovas wrote about recent changes on CSS Grid Layout in percentages and indefinite height in the Chrome browser.Anyone who isn’t an expert would be hard-pressed to explain how tracking on the internet actually works. That’s why Firefox now changes their default settings and enforces tracking blocking in their browser by default.PHP7.3 is coming soon with new Heredoc and Nowdoc syntax, trailing commas in function calls, is_countable(), array_key_first(), array_key_last(), and Argon2 password hash enhancements.Getting the process just right ain’t an easy task. That’s why we’ve set up ‘this-is-how-I-work’-sessions — with smart cookies sharing what works really well for them. A part of the Smashing Membership, of course. Explore features →GeneralAlex Russell’s “The ‘Developer Experience’ Bait-and-Switch” is a great piece that explains the toxic environments we currently build for the web and why JavaScript can be compared to CO2 — both are needed in small portions, but if there’s too much of it, it’ll put the entire ecosystem (the web) at risk. A thoughtful article that I recommend everyone here to read, share, and remember.As Alexa, Cortana, Siri, and even customer support chat bots become the norm we have to start considering not only how our content looks but how it could sound. We can — and should — use HTML and ARIA to make our content structured, sensible, and most importantly, meaningful.Web PerformanceThe upcoming PostgreSQL 11 has some interesting performance improvements. Dimitri Fontaine shares what difference they can make.Ben Schwarz shares new approaches to native lazy load for the web that could become a reality soon.SecurityNightwatch Cybersecurity published a security vulnerability in Android that exposes information about the user’s device to all applications running on it. This seems to include the WiFi network name, BSSID, local IP addresses, DNS server information, and the MAC address — all in all quite a lot of private information that allows people to track individual Android devices. Unfortunately, all Android OS versions including forks (except for Android P/9 where a fix was provided) seem to be affected with no plan to fix older versions.CSSChen Hui Jing explains how to customize radio buttons without compromising their accessibility.CSS Shapes have quite some history already. Brought to the web early by an initiative of the Adobe Web team, browser vendors removed the implementations soon again, and are now slowly coming back with iterated, improved specifications and implementations. Rachel Andrew shares how to implement CSS Shapes.Sara Soueidan wrote down the reasons she switched from defining CSS colors as HEX or RGB to HSL and what the benefits are.With the web’s growth come new features to better accommodate its new form factors and use cases. One feature I’m excited about is the color-adjust property, proposed in CSS Color Module Level 4. It is an acknowledgment that the web will continue to show up on devices that have less-than-stellar displays.Creating color harmonies becomes a piece of cake with HSL. (Image credit)HTML & SVGStefan Judis read what the Mozilla documentation has to say about input elements and discovered a couple of interesting things that could be very useful for your next project.JavaScriptNolan Lawson compares the different ways of using timers in JavaScript and when to use which.ky is a tiny and elegant HTTP client based on the browser Fetch API.Ankur Anand wrote an article about the terrible performance cost of CORS requests in single-page applications.Adrian Roselli shares how we can build link lists at the end of a page for print styles.Babel 7 is out. It’s faster, has more options, and supports JSX Fragments and TypeScript.Auto-resizing s is a very useful way to improve the user experience for people writing content for your site or service. I wrote a blog post about how to auto-resize form elements with a short ECMAScript 6 class.AccessibilityEthan Marcotte reflects on what accessibility means and realizes that it’s not about making a website compatible with some assistive technology or software but about making it usable for everyone who wants to access it, regardless of the technology. This is a huge difference because his approach includes people who have difficulties reading a website even though they use the same browser and the same laptop as you. Maybe they are in bright sunlight, have difficulties with small text, or get distracted by bright colors or animated elements.Eric Bailey emphasizes how important it is to manually test for accessibility.Scott O’Hara shares a breadcrumb navigation using aria-label to provide an accessible name and aria-current to indicate the currently active link.Work & LifeRyan Singer contemplates the difficulty of planning a project with ‘imaginary work’ and why it’s so important to test first how hard something will be to integrate before planning it on the roadmap.We all have been there before: Imagining a solution in your head and implementing it are two entirely different things. (Image credit)Going Beyond…I love the concept of doodling, and even though I don’t do it regularly, it always fascinates me. Doodle Addicts is a platform that collects doodles from people all around the world. A nice gallery to get inspiration from.Jonny Brooks-Bartlett wrote an interesting article on why so many data scientists are leaving their jobs. The job might sound quite interesting and like a good bet these days, but often expectations don’t match reality and politics and ethical decisions are extremely difficult.Marco Lambertini explains how technology can help us save the planet, but more than anything we need to learn to value nature and its resources.An interesting discussion was raised this week by a very well-known Open Source contributor who tried to change the license of one of their projects in order to prevent companies who support the U.S. ICE institution from using their software. The change was quickly reverted after it was revealed that it wasn’t legally enforceable. However, the entire topic (which comes up way more often lately) shows that more and more people think about the impact of their work. They don’t want it to be used for bad, but for good. And while the idea of open, non-restricted source is desirable, it’s only if people use it to support human rights and for improving lives. I’m curious about new solutions that could ensure this; maybe we’ll see more terms of service for open-source projects soon (which would then be legally binding but may prevent free open-source projects from using them). Posted on 15th September 2018Web Design FacebookshareTwittertweetGoogle+sharelast_img read more