Soarin' over Soarin'
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And speaking of new material, have we got a scoop for you. This week's review takes us back to Epcot, away from the stark contrasts of Teppan Edo's loo (We visited that one last month. You didn't see it? Oooh, it's a goodie -- check it out here), away from World Showcase and away from Figment. That's right, we're moving past Imagination!, deep into the heart of Future World West. We'll make a left and begin the slow ascend up The Land's entrance ramp, working up a sweat (given the time of year) and yearning for the air conditioning promised by the building beyond. Struck by that blast of sweet, cool air, we pause before making our way around the upper deck to the stairs leading to the bottom level.
Sunshine Seasons! Yes! We love this place, especially the dessert area. We should get something.... Alas, duty calls, forcing us to abandon our desire for meal plan treats -- at least for the time being. There's a loo down here, and we aim to find it ... but where? Surely not in Living with The Land -- although the thought of a loo in that attraction is appealing, given that we could undoubtedly use the fruits of our efforts as compost. What about Soarin'?
What about Soarin'? It's closed until mid-June: could there be a Loo in there? Could it be open despite the major ride refurb?
Well, yes ... and no. Yes, the ladies still have their tried and true Loo Over California. Sadly, the men's restroom is closed, part of the attraction refurbishment process, not due to open for a few more weeks. And, while I would have loved to be able to snag photos of the women's loo, I'm fairly certain this would have resulted in a long walk off of a short monorail platform via park security. As such, we'll have to make do with the men's alternative. Sally forth, folks: it's back upstairs for us!
Try as we might, we struggle with keeping food references out of these reviews. Maybe if we didn't eat so much, we wouldn't spend as much time enjoying WDW restrooms .... We're now back upstairs, with Garden Grill's hostess stand at our 12 o'clock and, what's this? On our 9, there's a long hallway with a set of well-lit doorways, each beckoning us closer. It's the Garden Grill Loo at Epcot's The Land!
We'll follow this little monkey in and see what's happening ....
Holy Sinkasaurus Rex! There's 6 sinks in here: four for the tall fellas, two for the shorter ones. Looming over each pair of sinks is a huge (YUUUGE!), utilitarian stainless steel paper towel dispenser that looks as apt to bite off a wet finger as it is to donate a square. The tile above the sinks is set on-point: it's the same white tile as the rest of the loo, but oriented differently, setting the sink area aesthetically apart.
Let's look around further...
When you gotta go, you gotta choose ... from a lot of urinals. Wow! Once again we see that WDW spares little expense when it comes to providing plenty of options for decompressing the bladder: a good thing for this location as it's a busy one, getting all of the traffic from The Land's upper level, including restaurant traffic from Garden Grill. Moreover, with the temporary closure of the Soarin' men's loo, this place really sees some foot traffic. The day of our visit was a particularly crowded one: it took this intrepid loo photographer standing patiently for over 10 minutes before finally snapping a shot of the urinals without someone standing in front of at least one.
8 urinals line the wall here. Once again we see the white square tile -- this time oriented in a more traditional fashion -- above the urinals, while eggplant-colored tile lines the lower half of the wall. Scattered among the sea of white and purple are a smattering of eggplant and terra cotta squares, tossed like confetti on the wall.
Here's a closer look:
And take a gander at the floor!
We here at the blog have a strong suspicion that the tile -- both the floor and wall varieties -- have gone unchanged since circa 1982. Terra cotta, brown, beige, cream, eggplant: these are colors that don't make sense to the post-millennial visual palate, but they were all the rage when Living with the Land opened on October 1, 1982. It's dated, but it's quintessentially Epcot -- and for that reason, we just gotta love it.
Here's a look at one of this loo's many thrones (we were unable to get a photo of the line of stalls here -- it was just that busy in this loo!).
Pretty standard for a WDW Loo. The tile theme carries throughout the stall area. There is an ADA compliant stall here -- not as big as many we've reviewed, but it appeared large enough for a wheelchair, its rider and an assistant.
Unfortunately (drat!), the ADA stall remained occupied throughout our visit; and, given this, we were unable to snag a photo of it and (double-drat!) of the baby changing station within. We'll have to make due with a photo of this stall door festooned with restroom hieroglyphics until we have chance to return later.
Though we were unable to explore the depths of the ADA stall, we were fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of this rare creature skulking in a corner on our way out!
Crikey: it's the famed stainless paper-towel dispenser/waste bin combo! This beast stands nearly 6 feet tall, towering over and intimidating children whose bladders are already crying out for release. No doubt this frightful monster has loosed many drops of urine prematurely into countless pairs of Underoos these past 34 years!
WDW Loo Review Recap of Garden Grill (and temporary Soarin' men's) Loo in The Land in Future World West of Epcot:
Capacity: Large (eight urinals, six stalls -- one ADA compliant)
Cleanliness: Decent (on a high-traffic day, there were toilet paper and paper towels scattered on the floor)
Theming: None (but it's still classic Epcot)
Changing Station: Yes
Companion Restroom: No
OVERALL RATING: 3/5 urinal wafers
Summary: Tucked away in the Garden Grill Restaurant's corner of The Land, this large loo transports those who use it back to the early 80's. Using this loo, one is reminded that there are still many areas in the park untouched by updates: and that's okay. Don't be afraid to give this one a try next time you're visiting The Circle of Life.
Thanks for joining us for another week, everyone! Until next week: bottoms down and thumbs up! We'll see you back here next Sunday.
Loo Review Matt