Day 2: Epcot Center

Orlando Travel Blog

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In line for "Test Track" at Epcot.
Epcot Center at Disney World.  I remember, even as a 12 year old that would normally have enjoyed the Magic Kingdom above all other parks, that Epcot was by far my favorite at Disney World.  Maybe that was the scientist coming out in me.  Epcot is a park where you can not only have lots of fun, but you can learn many things as well.  Within the park there are several different themed sections like The Land, The Seas, Future World, and of course there's the World Showcase.
So, to the best of my recollection we headed straight for Test Track.  We, as a group of 6 (without my mom who doesn't do fast rides or rollercoasters), made it through the line in only 20 or 30 minutes.  This is a super fun ride that I ended up enjoying at least 4 times that day.
In line for Test Track at Epcot.
  My niece and nephew had finally gotten the fever of fast rides and I actually had them begging me to go back in line with them over and over.  What I find so fantastic about all of these parks, again, is the detail.  Test Track is a simulated testing facility for pre-production vehicles.  While you wait in line there are videos to watch and lots of cool paraphernalia on the wall and on each side of the waiting line.  They do a great job of keeping you entertained as you move along towards your final destination.  Test Track ends up taking you through a variety of tests like rough roads, steep grades, sharp curves, heat, cold, and then they take you outdoors and you make some curves at pretty good speed.  The finale of the ride is a straightaway that takes you up to 65mph and then sends you through a sharp curve that really lets you feel some G force.
The Seas and the Nemo ride at Epcot.

Once our need for speed had been satisified we headed of to The Land and got a Fastpass to Soarin'.  We definitely needed a Fastpass here as the line was already an hour or more when we arrived.  Because we were already there we decided to take a ride on something with a short line, something like Living With the Land.  Living With the Land is a little ride on a boat that really exposes how much we rely on our terrestrial natural resources.  The boat cruised along its path and took us through a working greenhouse full of different types of vegetables, fruits, and other agricultural products.   Our tour then highlighted some of the most modern methods of agriculture, such as hydroponics and even aeroponics.  It was really fascinating and educational as well as a nice way to get off of our feet for a little while.
Mission Space simulates a launch, ride, and landing of a trip to Mars.

Next up, The Seas with Nemo and Friends.  Take a little ride in a clamshell and see Nemo and the rest of the gang.  Pretty cool.  Again, I actually liked the line better than the ride.  At the end of the ride though there is an aquarium with some pretty good fish to look at.  There's also a Dolphin aquarium where you can see them swimming around and you can watch them interact with visitors.  This area features an interactive deal called Turtle Talk with Crush.  Basically this is a question and answer session with our buddy Crush, the adult turtle from the movie.  Somehow they've got it set up so that there is a hidden camera on the audience and someone can talk to the kids who asks questions using a voice changing device that makes them sound like Crush.
China's showcase at Epcot.
  Pretty cool.
Afterwards we headed over to Mission: Space.  Here you have to make the decision as to how brave you are.  Right off the bat they say to you, "Green Line or Orange Line?".  Which means, "wimps or heroes?".  Ha!  Not really, but the Orange Line is definitely more intense.  I did ride both.  When we first arrived the Green Line was much shorter and most of the family didn't want to wait, but I persuaded my cunado to endure the hour wait for the Orange Line.  It turned out that they put four people each in a "flight simulator" with monitors inside and all kinds of buttons and joysticks.  Each person is designated a task and must push a button on command in order to complete the mission.
Enjoying my $7.50 Carlsberg with my mom at the China exhibit.
  The launch was pretty awesome.  I definitely was pushed back into my seat and I'm pretty sure I felt my face tighten up with the G force.  When they whipped us around the moon and out through the asteroid belt I knew that the ride was well worth the wait. 
Later we checked out Soarin', and because we had used our Fastpasses we got right up to the front of the line.  This was a very enjoyable but short ride.  They strap you into a row of seats that you are suspended from and lift you up in front of a Imax/Omnimax type of screen and take you on a tour of California.  You can feel the wind rush past and can smell the pines and citrus fields as you glide past.  The seats move in the same motion you would imagine a hanglider to feel like.
The ceiling of the Temple of Heaven in the China exhibit.
  I liked this one, and so did everyone including my mom.
After all of the rides we headed to the back of the park on the opposite side of the big lake to experience the World Showcase.  This area showcases several different countries from around the world.  Some of them have small exhibits and movies.  All have gift shops and one or two restaurants with each country's respective traditional food.  In each country the employees are actual natives that are working on short contracts, for the summer, or as interns.  For this reason the food at these restaurants is authentic and worth exploration.  You can find a good range of prices from the cheapest available within a Disney park, to really expensive.  Of course, as a traveler, I really liked this area, even though it is a pretty shallow look at any of these countries.
A miniature representation of the Terracota Warriors.
  At least I got a chance to try to speak some short phrases that I'm familiar with, to the employees in their native language.  I found that I actually impressed a few of them as well.  Another bonus to this area is that there are beer stands all along the way and you can get local draught brews, except in Norway where they serve Carlsberg.
At the end of the night my nephew persuaded me to ride Test Track two more times.  We went through the Singles Line which puts you right up front, but pretty much ensures that you won't ride with your friends or family.  Sam and I got through two runs in less than half an hour and made it out to the lake in time to meet the family for IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth.  The grand finale of the night at Epcot, Illuminations: Reflections of Earth is part lazer show, part fireworks show, and part music show.
Shopping and dining area of the China showcase at Epcot.
  Don't miss this extravaganza.  I mean, if you can actually last until 9pm or so when the show starts.  It is so worth it.  My mom even cried because she was so happy to see it and overjoyed that our family was so lucky to be together and have enough good fortune to enjoy such a phenomenal vacation.
Epcot is my favorite park in Disney World.
IceTea says:
It was fun to read this cos it sounds like u had fun. :D
It's good to keep this inside no matter how old we are... *sigh* I'd so love to go there with my lil bro and sis. We'd rock that place. :D
Posted on: Apr 14, 2008
Reephboy says:
Thanks bro!
Posted on: Jan 26, 2008
souldad says:
Great review of Epcot!!
Posted on: Jan 26, 2008
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In line for Test Track at Epcot.
In line for "Test Track" at Epcot.
In line for Test Track at Epcot.
In line for Test Track at Epcot.
The Seas and the Nemo ride at Epco…
The Seas and the Nemo ride at Epc…
Mission Space simulates a launch, …
Mission Space simulates a launch,…
Chinas showcase at Epcot.
China's showcase at Epcot.
Enjoying my $7.50 Carlsberg with m…
Enjoying my $7.50 Carlsberg with …
The ceiling of the Temple of Heave…
The ceiling of the Temple of Heav…
A miniature representation of the …
A miniature representation of the…
Shopping and dining area of the Ch…
Shopping and dining area of the C…
The China showcase at Epcot.  Here…
The China showcase at Epcot. Her…
Almost.  Too lazy to try again.
Almost. Too lazy to try again.
My family at Epcot.
My family at Epcot.
Part of the Italy showcase apparen…
Part of the Italy showcase appare…
Italys showcase at Epcot.  The re…
Italy's showcase at Epcot. The r…
Italy at Epcot.
Italy at Epcot.
Neptune at Italy.
Neptune at Italy.
Cool tower at Italy showcase in Ep…
Cool tower at Italy showcase in E…
At seas edge of Japans showcase …
At sea's edge of Japan's showcase…
Japan showcase at Epcot.
Japan showcase at Epcot.
Taking a photo of my dad taking a …
Taking a photo of my dad taking a…
Taking a picture of pops taking a …
Taking a picture of pops taking a…
Japan exhibit.
Japan exhibit.
Morocco at Epcot.
Morocco at Epcot.
The attention to detail is what re…
The attention to detail is what r…
Looking back towards the France sh…
Looking back towards the France s…
The lake separating the country sh…
The lake separating the country s…
The Epcot ball with full moon.
The Epcot ball with full moon.
Epcot at Disney World.
Epcot at Disney World.
Test Track at Epcot.  This ride ta…
Test Track at Epcot. This ride t…
The hard curve at 65mph on Test Tr…
The hard curve at 65mph on Test T…
Fireworks at the Epcot IllumiNatio…
Fireworks at the Epcot IllumiNati…
IllumiNations: Reflections of Eart…
IllumiNations: Reflections of Ear…
Nightly firework show at Epcot.
Nightly firework show at Epcot.
They do this show every night.
They do this show every night.
A great fireworks show.
A great fireworks show.
The finale was really intense.
The finale was really intense.
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photo by: Reephboy