I got up at around 7:30 a.m. and we were on the road by 8:00 a.m. Spending the whole day in the car is tiring and boring but with video games, music and movies, it isn't that bad. I did some of the driving as well. We got to Georgia and stopped there for the night.
Day 2, 12/23/06
After having breakfast at the hotel, we continued on the way to Florida and got to Orlando at around 1:30 p.m. We checked into our hotel and the view was great. Outside the hotel window, I could see IOA and Dr. Doom's Freefall Tower and part of the Incredible Hulk. I could also see Wet 'n Wild and the slingshot, drop tower and star flyer at Magical Midway. After unpacking we headed to Epcot.
The lot looked empty which was a good sign. After using the new finger scanning system to get into the park we went to Spaceship Earth. The sign said 10 minute wait but it was a walk on. I like this ride as it's the last classic Epcot dark ride. It's always fun riding to the top of the sphere and then when you are at the top, you turn around and start to tilt backwards.
We went to Innoventions next and walked around for a few minutes and walked to the Universe of Energy. It was closed so we went to Test Track instead. Standby was 30 minutes but the fast pass return time was about 90 minutes later so we got fast passes instead.
I knew Wonders of Life was probably closing permanently after this year and wanted to get 1 last ride on Body Wars. I had seen TR's of the pavilion in the past few weeks and knew it would be empty. As I entered the pavilion, it looked like almost no one was in there, maybe 30 people at most. I went to the Body Wars entrance and saw the posted wait time was 10 minutes. There is an employee at the entrance but no one else around. I entered the queue and started walking through it, I couldn't see anyone ahead of me and no one was behind me so it was very strange to be alone in the queue. I got to the end and a family of 4 was waiting. There was only 1 employee and he was on the phone talking and then when he saw there were people waiting to ride, he told the person he was talking to he had to load the ride and that he had guests (as if he was surprised anyone was there). He lead us to a car and let us right in and skipped the pre-show movie. I am almost certain that we were the only 5 people on the entire ride (not just our car). The video is really showing its age but was still a fun ride. No one in my family wanted to see Cranium Command or The Making of Me so we left and headed to The Universe of Energy.
The ride was back up and running and we got right into the pre-show room. I have Ellen's Energy Adventure a handful of times already so the jokes weren't that funny and I was getting kind of bored with the story. The dinosaur portion of the ride is fun but that's only a fraction of the ride. During the pre-show when it was mentioned that it was a 45 minute attraction, many people left which I never saw happen before.
By this time, it was almost time for our Test Track fastpasses so we went to the exit where the model cars are and looked at the cars until we could enter the fast pass line. I miss World of Motion but I like Test Track more. Of course, my favorite part is the high speed part of the ride though I didn't find it as thrilling as I remembered probably due to being on much more intense coasters since the last time I was at WDW.
After Test Track, we went to the Coca Cola area where you can sample Coca Cola products from around the world. After reading about Beverly online, I had to try it. It was as bad as I expected and after 1 sip, I threw it out. I didn't really like any of the flavors that much but I don't really like carbonated drinks other than cola drinks.
It was getting close to dinner at this point so we went to The Land where they had this great foodcourt. Unfortunately, with the addition of Soarin', the food court was smaller and there weren't as many choices. Most items were pre-made (such as wraps) and it was difficult to special order those pre-made items. It was ok but I wouldn't go back so fast again. Living With The Land was a walk on so we headed there after dinner. I knew that they had gotten rid of speakers on the boat and made the commentary automated and I felt that it took something away from the ride (maybe it's because I have been used to having someone at the front of the boat talking).
After that I went to Soarin', the line was about 30 minutes and it was decided I would try it while my family did some shopping in Future World and I would tell them if I thought they would be ok on it (no one in my family rides simulators or anything that thrilling). I was in the 3rd row and was surprised at how fast the seats raised when the film started. I liked the film itself and how they released scents into the air to go with the film like the pine smell when going over pine trees but the ride left me disoriented and a little dizzy. I felt like that for about 15 minutes after the ride and wasn't expecting that to happen as Body Wars and Star Tours on past trips and Body Wars this day had never given me a problem. I thought I might give it a try later in the week but that didn't happen due to long lines and no fast pass available.
The Living Seas was next (or as they now call it The Seas With Nemo and Friends). The posted wait time was 5 minutes so we went in the building. The beginning of the queue is the same as it used to be but without the items such as an old diving suit. After that room, you enter another room full of switchbacks themed to I think a beach and yet another room of switchbacks themed with plants. I couldn't believe how long of a queue they built for this ride and would hate to be in line thinking you are at the end of a room and at the ride only to go into another room with switchbacks. Finally we got to the ride entrance and boarded the Clam cars.
I am going to describe the ride next so if you haven't been on it yet and don't want anything spoiled about the ride, I suggest skipping this next paragraph.
I was looking forward to trying this new ride because ever since the Sea Cabs were removed from the Living Seas, there was not much incentive to go in there. I didn't like how they used projected images of Nemo and the other characters instead of audio animatronics and the ride felt very repetitive. The section with the angler fish was cool but that was really the only interested part of the ride, I guess because it wasn't a projection. Even at the last part of the ride where Nemo and the other characters were projected onto aquariums was neat at first (but not multiple times like how it is on the ride) but it still felt like something was missing. I'm glad there is a ride now in the Living Seas but it seemed like it was a rush job and could have been done a lot nicer in my opinion. It's a once a trip ride for me and not something I would wait more than 5 - 10 minutes for.
Turtle Talk with Crush was next. I had heard good things about this show and was looking forward to seeing it. I was impressed with how Crush responded to comments and questions instantly. They were only letting the kids ask questions but I would have liked to ask what he thought of turtle soup. Luckily, when Crush asked the audience what humans like to eat, someone behind me yelled out "turtles!" This got Crush a little upset and said how that wasn't cool. I was laughing at that. Although I think everyone will enjoy it, it seems to be something kids would really like more since the show seemed to be focused on kids.
It was getting late at this point and after spending part of the day on the road we were all tired and left the park.
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