Epcot, Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA
I've always looked at Epcot as a 'learning park'. I love museums and I love interactivity, but there wasn't a whole lot at Epcot that I felt was a must do. Thankfully, though, we planned on spending a good chunk of our day at Epcot, and because the park is SO massive, the lines weren't bad at all. Plus the park is just amazing. We arrived at the park's rear entrance after walking around the Boardwalk area (after our boat ride). I took over 700 photos in three days, and about a third of them were at Epcot. The park really is just that amazing. I could definitely go back and spend an entire day there just visiting countries and eating. Mmmmm...eating...
I'll be honest, it's been about two weeks as of this writing since I was there, and all of my photos aren't really in order since I used 3 different cameras, so I'm going to go about this the best I can. We arrived and walked around World Showcase a little first, before heading into future world. As far as the first attraction I have photos of, I think we did Mission: Space first. This ride is something I'd been looking forward to for a LONG time. But I was also kind of nervous as I really didn't want to get sick or worse, knowing how intense this ride is. Still, the wait wasn't very long at all, so we headed in.
Mission: Space- I finally understand how the ride works now. I had it all wrong. I have to say, though, that this was a really fun ride. Kind of claustrophobic, but a lot of fun. I loved pushing buttons and activating sounds and lights and what not. The pre-show for this one was better than Dinosaur, that's for sure. As for the ride its self, you pull some major forces, and the effects on screen were really well done. I couldn't believe how intense the launch was. This was a great addition that fits in with being thrilling and educational and I'm glad I got to ride. Now I kind of want to try the less intense version.
We looked at the interactive games at Mission: Space for a bit before heading out. Test Track was right there, but the line was rather long so we went and explored Future World a bit more, taking pictures at the front of the park of Spaceship Earth and what not. Since there was no line for Spaceship Earth we decided to ride that next. I have to say, it was really a lot of fun. I really enjoyed the soundtrack, especially when we were at the top of the sphere. It's amazing what all they had in there. After Spaceship Earth, we took more pictures and then finally TRONorail came by! I actually got a couple decent photos of it, too. Plus some nice panoramic shots. Seriously, if you have an iPhone, get the 360* app. Totally worth it.
We headed over to The Seas with Nemo & Friends. Cute ride, I enjoyed riding in the sea shells. Nemo was a great film, and it's obvious that he's still pretty popular, is he represented in each park? The show at Animal Kingdom, this ride, Turtle Talk, what else? Anywho, Nemo was fun and very cute, but I'm a dark ride fan. After we got off the ride we spend some time looking at the fish in the aquarium. Once outside, though, Matt and I got ice cream Mickey Mice. I love those things, but they tasted even better at Disney. Odd, but whatever.
Next we headed over to see a legend who is no longer with us. Disney is still showing Captain EO. I thought this was a Speilburg film, but actually it was Francis Ford Coppola, with a writing credit given to George Lucas. I stepped on some people sitting on the floor in the very dark pre-show. Maybe you shouldn't sit on the floor in front of the entrance when gigantic guys like me walk into the room, eh? Anywho, Captain EO was neat. Not all of the effects returned, I read, but the 3D was there. Sadly, 3D gives me a headache. Not sure if its from the Lazik or what, but I have to take the glasses off during parts of it. But seriously, only Disney could turn a music video into an attraction. I almost got one of the Captain EO shirts, and Matt was eyeing a Hooter stuffed elephant thingy. The Save The World song wasn't bad, but I don't think I'd ever heard the 2nd song, Another Part of Me. Classic MJ right there. And at least now I can say I saw EO.
And is it just me or did the trash people kind of look like BORG? And didn't the trash queen remind you of the BORG Queen? And if you were a Trek Geek like me and had the book with photos of what she was originally going to look like, you'd see that apparently someone that worked on First Contact had been inspired by Captain EO. Which might be why they had to change it, as some early drafts of the BORG Queen really looked like the Queen in EO. After that we headed to Test Track and got in the single rider line, which took about 20-30 minutes.
Test Track-It was a neat ride, but I was kind of anticipointed. Heck, I took my brother's Iroc past 100mph before once, and it wasn't nearly as controlled as this. But going thru the test track was interesting. The seats were rather comfortable, and the acceleration test was kind of neat. I liked it, but it wasn't quite as 'thrilling' as I expected. I liked it more on a dark ride basis, and in that, I thought it was unique.
So once we were finished with all of the big stuff back there, we headed back to World Showcase. It's like being in a totally different park. First order of business was getting a frozen margarita. It didn't do much at first, but then I found the alcohol. Even though my feet were killing me, we walked around the entirity of World Showcase. I'd really like to spend more time there just visiting the pavilions, but we did visit a few. Canada was fun, I enjoyed O Canada in circlevision (even if there were no Mounties, and the operator swore they didn't say 'eh' in Canada, although I know for a fact that's a lie). Ever since the Vancouver Olympics, my already there desire to visit Canada has been growing. And this just made it worse. I really have to get to Canada soon.
We also did the Maelstrom water ride, which was lots of fun. I've wanted to do that for years, after seeing it in an old Disney promo video that they sent me. It didn't disappoint, but dang was that line long. At 7:30 we had reservations at the Nine Dragons restaurant in the China Pavilion. Wow. The food was outstanding. I had a spicy cucumber salad as an app that was out of this world, and then I had steak and shrimp. The steak was seriously one of the best steaks I've ever eaten. I didn't expect this kind of food at a theme park, even if everything we had ate up to this point was good. The restaurant was beautiful and the staff was good. I also had a melon/cucmber drink with vodka (I think) in it that was especially good. Matt didn't care for it.
We toyed with riding the dark ride at the Mexican pavilion but didn't because we wanted to watch Illuminations. We'd missed most of Wishes the nite before, but some people (cough*Josh Wozny*cough) claimed this was the better show, so Matt got another margarita and then we found a place to watch. The show was nice, but I wasn't every blown away by it. I was amazed at the little bit of Wishes I saw, so I want to get back to that soon. Still, it was better than any regional theme park's fireworks show that I've seen.
Once Illuminations was over, everyone was leaving the park. We got to the monorail station and waited for TRONorail to take us over to the Transportation Station so we could hit up Magic Kingdom. The park was open later AND we had Extra Magic Hours till 2:00am. Would I make it that long? I was already tired and in pain.
Just to clarify... Matt LOVES the food at Nine Dragons (He had been looking forward to it since his last visit two years ago and made sure to make a reservation so they wouldn't miss it); he just doesn't like the nasty drink Clint ordered. ;)
Not sure how you were amazed by seeing a few average fireworks explosions at the tail end of Wishes, but whatever. I think you have a bias for castles. ;) Reflections was definitely better. Honestly though, the Saturday night summer fireworks shows at Great Adventure give 'em both a run for their money!
Castle, Matt. Castle.
People, that is actually what he was saying all weekend. LOL
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