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October 26th, 2005

We got to Epcot bright and early this morning. A little too early, in fact. Unlike the Magic Kingdom, we parked in the fourth row from the actual entrance so there was no time taken up getting to the park. Since they are very vigilant about not letting anyone in early, we waited around for 45 minutes while the cast members proceeded to tease us by first letting us in via the ticket and bag check only to make us wait at a roped off area for another 15 minutes.

When they finally let us in, everyone headed to Soarin’ since a cast member advised that the lines could sometimes get up to 3 hours long. It’s been a long time since I’ve visited Epcot and I forgot how much you have to “work” just to get to an attraction. It was like a stampede of people, some even running, to get to The Land where the ride is located. Once inside the building we had to go down to the concourse before navigating all the twists and turns before arriving at the actual ride. We got the third row on the ride which I read wasn’t as great as being in the first row, and now I know why: you see the feet of the people in front of you dangling and the bottom curvature of the screen which ruins the effect. The cast member who highly recommended the ride said that 95% of visitors love it, so I guess I fall into that other 5%. I didn’t hate it, but I wasn’t impressed at all and would probably never bother going on it again.

After Soarin’, we went on Test Track which I did enjoy, especially the high speeds the car got up to outside the facility which unfortunately didn’t last long enough. That’s one thing I’ve always hated about all amusement parks – you spend far more time waiting in lines than enjoying the rides.

After Test Track we made a fatal mistake: Joe went on Mission Space. I read enough about the ride to know I wasn’t having any part of it, but I didn’t want Joe to miss out because of me, so I waited outside while he went on. Let’s just say they put barf bags on the ride for a reason. No, Joe didn’t throw up, but he’s been ill ever since and I feel horrible because I urged him to go on so I feel like I’m partly to blame. Neither one of us would have guessed it would make him sick, but he said as the ride was “blasting off” he thought to himself that it was a good thing I chose not to go.

We spent the next hour or two just walking around hoping Joe’s nausea would go away. We ended up in Innovations East (I think) where you can make your own robot to take home. I didn’t realize when I signed up that we first had to participate in a virtual robot race using a foot pad like Dance Dance Revolution. I had to do it since Joe was still sick and out of 10 racers my robot came in third place! Not too shabby. :)

Since Joe didn’t want to go on anything that could make him feel sicker, we went on Spaceship Earth next. I knew it was lame, but man, I don’t remember it sucking as much as it does. We headed to World Showcase afterwards so we could avoid going on anymore rides. I sampled the kielbasa and potato pierogies in Poland and we bought some chocolates from Germany and Switzerland. Joe was starting to feel a little better so we went on Maelstrom in Norway which I think they may have changed since I last went on. Either that or it was just scarier before because I was younger.

In fact, all the rides I thought I remembered didn’t seem quite the same. I know they changed the Journey to Imagination with Figment more than once now since it was different the last time I was there and my brother (the older of the two) was disappointed because he loves Figment and kept complaining how much it sucked. I wasn’t planning on getting him a souvenier, but I had to get him a little Figment stuffed toy that has magnets in his hands and feet since he loves him so much.

We got a Fastpass for Honey I Shrunk the Audience which was rather stupid since the Fastpass line wasn’t any shorter than standby. They tie up far too much of your time with that attraction too. First you stand in line, then you stand in this huge room and watch this monster of a Kodak commercial, then you finally make it into the theatre for a short show where the 3D doesn’t seem to work 100% correctly. Maybe it was my glasses but I could see the outlines of the different colors around everything. In all, it was a huge disappointment and waste of time.

I was also disappointed that The Living Seas was closed since it was my favorite with the dolphins and manatees. Plus people kept talking about the animated show with Crush from Finding Nemo and how cool it was but that was closed too since all of Living Seas is being revamped. Another thing I wanted to see but was also closed was Body Wars. I’m not sure why it’s considered a seasonal attraction, but that’s what the guide says.

So Epcot, while fun, wasn’t quite what I was expecting. I honestly don’t understand how people can go every year. I think what salvaged it was the newer attractions, otherwise we probably would have gotten bored even sooner. On the flip side, it was cool to see that some things don’t change, or at least not completely. I was happy that the jumping water was still there, but I swear it used to be where you could walk on it. Epcot still has that early 80’s feel to it (it opened in 1982) with the monorail running through it and the huge sphere, so that was nice, but it was a lot of walking for little payoff. Oh well, you can’t win them all right?

Tomorrow’s adventure: Universal Studios. I’ve been there before, so we’ll see how my memory held up with this one too.

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  1. October 26th, 2005 at 17:43 | #1

    I hated Epcot (on my one and only visit in June 2002). That whole 80s feel you mentioned… to me it felt completely outdated. More like it was stuck in the 1960s than 80s, even. Spaceship Earth WAS incredibly lame. I liked Test Track though. And I’ve been on Soarin in the California park several times… not because I think it’s that great of a ride (once was really enough), but more because there aren’t that many big rides in the DCA park and it kind of feels like an obligation to go on it each time I visit.

    Are you going to Animal Kingdom? I really enjoyed that park, even though we didn’t spend much time there or go on that many attractions. I really liked the Safari ride.

  2. October 26th, 2005 at 19:35 | #2

    We hadn’t planned on going to Animal Kingdom or MGM, but now we’re considering using the park hopper to spend half a day at each since I’d like to see the safari at AK and the Rock n’ Roller Coaster at MGM.

  3. Heather
    October 26th, 2005 at 20:08 | #3

    I remember going to epcot when i was young and i loved it. but there’s nothing worse than having attractions close, when we were in la earlier this year we went to disneyland (disneyworld? i always confuse them) and i swear half of the rides were closed, it was a bummer of a trip.

  4. October 26th, 2005 at 20:32 | #4

    Oh yea, I hate that too. I just found out that Jaws is closed right now at Universal Studios and I’m really bummed as it’s my favorite there!

  5. October 26th, 2005 at 20:59 | #5

    Ok, I have to say just for the record that I did think Soarin was OK. I don’t think I sat where you did, I was on the top row or there abouts and it was pretty good from there. It didn’t blow me away or anything but I enjoyed it. That’s too bad about Joe with Mission Space, that’s one of my new favorites. You definitlty have to play it safe with that ride though. I am one of those people who love contstant spinning so much that if I can’t walk straight when I’m off the ride, it was a very good ride. The Incredible Hulk coaster does a pretty good job too at US, dueling dragons are great when they can manage to keep it running. Seems like it has a lot of problems often when I was there.(Luckily there wasn’t a lot of people mid-may so I didn’t have to stand in what would have been a painful line.)

    Oh yeah, I like the Test Track too once you are going fast, that’s great. I think the other thing I like about Epcot is the different nations.(World Showcase?) I admit parts look pretty out of date but the little show at the end of the night is pretty entertaining. The ride in Norway is pretty funny. :)

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