Florida Vacation #5 of 6 - Epcot (1/2 Day)

Associated parks:
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Wednesday, August 30, 2006 12:15 PM
We scheduled another half day for Epcot on day 5.

We got there late (1:30 PM) and dealt with another hazy, hot – when is it going to rain Central Florida day.

I had to stop at Guest Relations on the way in. I wanted to take the one day ticket we had earlier in the week at Magic Kingdom and upgrade it for a second day. The gentleman at the counter was very polite. He asked for the passes, but I didn't have them. I did have the receipt.

Even though we weren't staying on property, he called over to the Polynesian and they were unable to track down my order. He kept trying other avenues to track the sale…including asking me for a description of the agent who sold me the ticket (He even asked for her nationality – which I thought was odd).

This took about 15 minutes. Finally he gave me the discounted price for one day – Epcot only tickets – and we ended up saving 5 bucks. He also gave me a certificate for the three of us to have a free ice-cream bar. This is the Disney difference. He's trying to save me money, upgrade a ticket I didn't have on hand – gave me 15 minutes of his time – made half a dozen phone calls – and then gave us the free ice cream.

This is why a Disney Park is truly special. While Magic Kingdom is the heart of Disney, Epcot must be the brains. Everything is so well cared for and the grounds are immaculate.

Personally, my favorite attractions aren't the attractions…they are the fountains. I could spend a full day watching and listening to the soundtracks that are played as they move water around like nothing else in the world.

I'm also a sucker for George Rhoads sculptures and marble run toys. There is the fountain that seems to flow up hill, the big central fountain which cascades to music and the chaser fountains that send water flows from one pad to another. PURE NIRVANA. (They even have a splash fountain for little kids to run through.

Spaceship Earth – This is another attraction that should not be changed…at least not the first part. As a sixth grade teacher, this attraction goes through ¾ of my social studies curriculum…Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, Dark Ages, Middle Ages, etc. I wish I could take my class on a trip to this ride. Well done! The exit mini-attractions were closed due to refurbishing.

Soarin' – Here is proof that an attraction doesn't have to be a thrill ride to be cool and fun. Preflux and I boarded the glider, and enjoyed every minute of the (too short) flight. (I'm not sure how the California themes fits into central Florida, but that's nit-picking.) By the way, the capacity of this ride is 83 people according to the cast member I asked.

Movie – As long as we were in the land Pavilion, we saw the movie about recycling and pollution. Cute, but not a must-see.

The boat ride was closed due to refurbishing. Imagination –

(Figment Ride) – Not too special, but cute. The exit led to an area where we cold make and send morphed photos of ourselves and e-mail them, but we never got it when we got home.

Honey I Shrunk The Audience – Very cute, though for the first time I have to say, a tad too long. The trick works, but some of the film lagged.

Test Track – This ride is better than I remembered. The brake skid, fly through and banked curve are incredible. (If you look closely though, you can see the car in front of you making it through the wall).

Living Seas – Most of this pavilion was closed due to refurbishing. It was time to leave as Preflux was getting tired and the rains had past and it was warming up again. Overall – I wish most of the refurbishing could have been done during the slower season. I was told that the Living Seas was getting a total make-over.

We missed so much of the park that it isn't funny. (Didn't even see one country and we missed Body Wars…a favorite).

Crowds were polite and cordial. Security was somewhat present and a friendly guard directed us to the exit gate.

Lizards were everywhere!

Side Note: This is a park that you don't want to rush through. (You need at least a day and a half to do it all correctly) There is no power-riding on anything, so take your time and let it all soak in.

This is Disney at its intelligent best. *** Edited 8/30/2006 4:18:40 PM UTC by Richie Reflux***

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Thursday, August 31, 2006 10:29 PM
Great TR.

Your Epcot Guest Relations experience bring back some fond memories... I was a Guest Relations cast member at Epcot back in 2002-2003, on the international program (I'm canadian).

What happened to you is actually pretty common and knowing the nationality actually helps. In my case, saying I was a tall guy with a french accent working at Epcot pointed directly at me!

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Thursday, August 31, 2006 11:12 PM
Just for the record, you didn't really miss "Body Wars" since it closed permanantly in January, as did the whole Wonders of Life pavilion. Sad to see a whole pavilion closed like this. I sincerely hope that something special will replace it soon!
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Thursday, August 31, 2006 11:43 PM

Lizards were everywhere!

Better than the bugs they eat... ;)

And yes, the place is overrun by them (FL, I mean, not just Epcot).

Test Track is one of those where it's like "not a coaster credit, but all the coaster fun". Love that ride.

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Friday, September 1, 2006 10:31 AM
Funny, when I was in Florida for four days in July, I had my eye out for lizards the entire time, because I love them and I wish we had them in Ohio.

But I saw only four or five the entire time, and only two at Disney. Hmph.

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