Walt Disney World, Part 5 Epcot 12/27/06

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Wednesday, January 31, 2007 9:29 PM
Day 6, 12/27/06 Today was a full day at Epcot. Because we had seen almost everything in Future World, 4 days ago, we decided to get to the park about an hour later than normal which was a huge mistake.

From the time we got to the toll booths, to parking the car and waiting through the security bag check, it took over 30 minutes. It took another 20 minutes to wait in line to get through the gates because there was so many people entering the park. The reason the park was so crowded was that both the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom were filled to capacity and they were directing people trying to get to those 2 parks to Epcot and MGM (and I heard that MGM may have been filled to capacity today as well).

The first thing we did is check the wait time board. Soarin’ had a 160 minute wait and fastpasses were already gone for the day. No way I was going to wait in line for almost 3 hours to give the ride another chance this trip so it will have to wait for another trip. Mission Space was up to 140 minutes which was the longest I have ever seen the line. Body Wars only had a 20 minute wait which shows it really wasn’t helping control the crowds that much (since Wonders of Life seems to only be open in later November and December due to the huge crowds). Even Nemo had a 50 minute wait.

We decided to get some fast passes for Test Track. The return time was almost 5 hours away! It didn’t matter though because standby was 150 minutes and even the single rider line was 80 minutes and seeing that other than possibly the Maelstrom there was nothing else to fastpass, it was worth it.

Next, we went to the Imagination Pavilion next and went to Journey Into Imagination. It was about a 5 minute wait. It’s a fun ride and has a lot of cool effects but it doesn’t even hold a candle to the original ride. It’s nowhere near as bad as the pathetic excuse for a ride they called Journey Into Your Imagination though. I am glad Figment has been added back but they really should put the Dreamfinder back in the ride. After the ride, we went to the Imagination Lab and spent a little while in there trying the activities.

Honey I Shrunk The Audience was next. I like how that theater feels like you are moving around when it looks like the kid picks up the theater in the film. The mouse tails always seem to scare the audience good.

After that, we went to have lunch at the Electric Umbrella. The place was packed with it taking almost 20 minutes to get the food and it took almost 10 minutes to find a table (I looked for a table while everyone else got the food).

Since it wasn’t close to being time for Test Track yet, we headed to World Showcase.

To get to World Showcase we took one of those boats that travels around the Lagoon. I haven’t been on those boats in years and it was cool being in the middle of the lagoon with Future World on one side and the country pavilions on the other.

We went in and out of the shops in the various countries. I was going to get some Pocky in Japan but the line must have had 10 people in it and I didn’t feel like waiting. I feel that World Showcase really needs some more rides since if you aren’t into shopping or shows, there isn’t much to do there.

The American Adventure was next. It’s slightly boring especially if you have seen it a few times. It’s a good chance to sit and relax though especially because some of the shows in World Showcase are standing room only.

After a while it was time to back to Test Track. The wait with fastpasses was about 20 minutes. Not bad especially since standby was still at 150 minutes.

One thing I noticed on the ride today was that the voices were working when discussing the acceleration during the hairpin turn part of the ride that were not working 4 days ago and not working in past trips. The high speed part of the ride was excellent as usual, I just wish that section of the ride was longer.

Going back into World Showcase, we grabbed fastpasses for the Maelstrom since it was a 70 minute wait and went to France where we had dinner reservations at Chefs De France. I got the French Menu which was French Onion Soup, Chicken and Crème Brulee at a discounted price compared to what it would cost if ordered individually.

The only rides left were the 2 rides in World Showcase. We went to Mexico to go on El Rio Del Tiempo which was a walk on and had a completely empty queue but you could tell it was crowded earlier as they had temporary rope overflow queues set up past the regular queue. It’s an ok ride but the videos you float past seem very out of date. The room with all the kids reminds of It’s A Small World. It’s also a very short ride compared to Pirates and It’s A Small World.

It was time to head to Norway to go on the Maelstrom. The wait was 60 minutes at this point which was surprising considering a lot of people were waiting for Illuminations already and that it was late. With fastpass, we were boarding a boat within 5 minutes. There is a lot to see in the ride but you are moving too fast to see it all, especially during the backwards part of the ride. I always like how you reverse to the point where the boat is slightly out of the building and then you go down the small drop. The ride is over way too quickly. Luckily, the doors to the film were open so we just walked through rather than having to wait for the doors to open.

I haven’t seen Illuminations in years and always hear how great it is. I never really liked the show that much in the past but we decided to give it another chance this trip. It was a good show and the fireworks were impressive but I didn’t think it compared to Wishes of Fantasmic.

The park was closed at this point so it was time to head back to the hotel and get a lot of sleep for another full day at the Magic Kingdom which will be the next part posted. *** Edited 2/1/2007 2:32:46 AM UTC by YoshiFan***

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Wednesday, January 31, 2007 10:51 PM
Despite how busy it was, sounds like you had an okay time.

We (my family and I) visited Epcot on New Years Eve, I've never seen such lines in a park! 240 minutes for Soarin' by the time we left! We planned smartly, though... Test Track FP when the park opened, a 40 minute wait for Soarin' and another FP for a few hours later (1:45 was our return time), saw Cranium Command (I thought they axed this and was incredibly excited to find a piece of my childhood intact!) and Body Wars, I rode a Segway (AWESOME!), rode that Nemo ride, redeemed our Test Track FP then I waited in a 2 and a half hour Mission:Space line (totally worth it) while my parents and sister rode Spaceship Earth. By then, it was well past our Soarin' FastPass time and got an incredible number of dirty looks for passing the line.

A note about that. We spoke to a Soarin' employee for about 10 minutes (someone got sick when we were in the second wait area before the preshow) and she mentioned something about how they gave out too many FastPasses in contrast with the attendance that day. She also mentioned a reoccurring nightmare where guests would attack her for Row 1... kinda funny, and she gave my family Row 1 for our ride (Soarin' is way better in Row 1 than 3).

By that time it was around 4, and we were done, as we entered the parking lot there were STILL people flocking into the park! Still a good day, though.

...hmm, I rambled on way more than I wanted to, sorry about that. Just confirming the fact that yes, Epcot was insane that day, just 3 days after your trip.

-nesdude

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Wednesday, January 31, 2007 10:56 PM
^nesdude you went New Years Eve and didnt see the big New Years Fireworks?!?

All this talk about how crowded it was for New Years is starting to make me a little nervous about my trip June 27th-July 3rd. While we plan on sticking it out at the MK all day the 3rd in order to see the 4th of July Firework show, we are hoping (and had planed on) park hopping pretty much every other day. But looking at the calendar and seeing that the 4th is a Thursday gives me reason to believe that at least part of the big crowd will be there after the 4th for their vacation...

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Thursday, February 1, 2007 5:40 PM
^^ 240 minutes for Soarin is crazy. I have never been to the parks on New Years Eve and hearing that, there is no way I'll ever want to go.

It's too bad you said people gave dirty looks while using the fastpasses. I expect that at SF with the Q-Bot but not at Disney where everyone has a chance to use the fastpass if you get there early enough.

^ I was there around the 4th of July (I think it was a few days after it) in 2004. It was crowded, but not jammed. Standby lines for the popular rides were around 45 - 60 minutes on average (with Splash Mountain bein 90 minutes because it was so hot out) *** Edited 2/1/2007 10:41:17 PM UTC by YoshiFan***

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Thursday, February 1, 2007 8:00 PM
I've said this before, but I will never stop wondering how anyone with half a brain gets in a standby line with a posted wait LONGER than the advertised fastpass return time.

Yet, I see it ALL THE TIME.

The only conclusion I can come to is that many theme park patrons have even less than half a brain, or possibly have checked their brains at the turnstiles.

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Thursday, February 1, 2007 9:31 PM
^^Thanks YoshiFan for giving me some hope (allthough even a crowded day at WDW is better then any other day)

^Its the same people that dont do their research before going, wake up at ten and head to the parks and do absolutly no planning (we will buy tickets when we get there, complain loudly when we cant eat at a real resturant because we didnt call in an ADR, etc.) The main problem is that people expect Disney to be exactly like Six Flags and act accordingly. They are also the people that are more likely to come away from the experience hating the mouse trap, the people who recognize it as a totally unique experience and plan for it are the people who have more fun.

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