EPCOT

Walt Disney World Travel Blog

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Big Thunder Mountain Railroad sign

We started our morning at Soarin' over in the Land pavillion.  (This space has changed so much from our first visit: Kitchen Cabaret became Food Rocks before being replaced by Soarin'; the first movie we saw is now a Lion King movie; the boat ride is a bit different; food court and shop offer different choices; I think the rotating restaurant is the closest to how things were.)  My family really likes this ride and it helps that it has the FastPass option.  I have always wanted to hang-glide; so far this is the closest.  I love spotting places where we have traveled (Yosemite, San Diego, Los Angeles).  We also rode the renovated Seas ride.  I visited this attraction while it was under renovation and was highly confused by the missing moving cars; now I realize they were being turned into Clam-mobiles that take riders past real aquariums with characters from Finding Nemo interspersed.

Spaceship Earth from just outside the entrance
  We took advantage of the single rider line at GM TestTrack to get on quickly.  We got stuck partway through for about two minutes before setting off again.  It was a little weird; we went from 0 to full-speed (for that segment of the ride) immediately once the kink got worked out.  We also rode on Journey into Imagination, my sister's long-time favorite.

We finished our morning at EPCOT with a walk into World of Nations and the Mexico pavillion with its new version of a boat ride.  Being a Spanish teacher, I always had a soft spot for El Rio del Tiempo even though it wasn't a very exciting attraction.  Now with Donald and his two amigos leading us along the waterway, I find it to be vastly improved.  I enjoyed browsing the merchandise stalls especially the Oaxacan woodcarvings (I bought a little green duck to match my blue fish from two years ago).

We then used the monorail to travel to the Magic Kingdom by way of the Ticket and Transportation Center.

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Mexican merchandise

We only spent one quick afternoon here which wasn't enough time really, but we have visited this park many times, so it worked.  We utilized FastPass to get in an extra ride on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  I think this is my favorite roller coaster in the park next to Space Mountain.  We also rode the new Pirates of the Caribbean with characters from the movies inserted.  An actor with close resemblance to Johnny Depp entertained the crowd outside the attraction while we weaved through the inner queue (at a good pace actually).  I enjoyed the changes to the ride especially since they did not take away from the heart of the ride itself.  We also experienced my oldtime favorite Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse, Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin (a great arcade style ride), and the Enchanted Tiki Birds.

We had to leave right after the parade (which we skipped) since my sister and I had to get picked up to head to the airport (I still had to teach the next day).  Our timing actually worked out well; we were hit by one of Florida's heavy summer downpours just after returning to our hotel room.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad sign
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad sign
Spaceship Earth from just outside …
Spaceship Earth from just outside…
Mexican merchandise
Mexican merchandise
BTMR dinosaur bones
BTMR dinosaur bones
BTMR train
BTMR train
Pirates of the Caribbean sign
Pirates of the Caribbean sign
Tiki Birds pre-show
Tiki Birds pre-show
The Seas entrance
The Seas entrance
3 Caballeros
3 Caballeros
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Walt Disney World Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
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