Friday, September 11, 2009

EPCOT (Walt Disney World)


I must admit that EPCOT is my FAVORITE park. I love learning about all the cultures, eating the food and seeing the performers. That being said here are my suggestions in regards to the EPCOT.

When we went last December, we had my daughter who was 5 at the time. If you have a little girl, then the lunch with the princesses is a MUST. You have to make reservations for this and even though we called 5 months in advance, there was only one time remaining on the day we were going to EPCOT. Before you are seated you get to meet a princess, get their autograph, and have a picture taken. For our visit this princess was Belle. We had purchased a princess autograph book for our daughter and a princess pen. She LOVED it and got all the princesses autographs throughout the lunch and during on entire visit at Walt Disney World. While you are eating four different princesses visit your table and pose for pictures. Our princesses were Jasmine, Sleeping Beauty, Alice, and Cinderella. Here is a link about the dining with the princesses.

http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/parks/epcot/dining/akershus/

EPCOT is divided into two sections: The World Showcase and Future World. Because the World Showcase is open later and there are really not any lines to get in, we focused the start of our day on Future World.

Future World is broken up into several Pavilions.
The Seas Pavilion
The Land Pavilion
The Imagination Pavilion
The Energy Pavilion
The Space Pavilion
Test Track Pavilion


We decided to tackle Future World counter clockwise, but we did send my husband and father-in-law off once again to get Fast Passes for Test Track, while we rode The Seas with Nemo and Friends in the Seas Pavilion. This was a nice starter ride as there was NO line. From here we went to Turtle Talk with Crush. This is a GREAT min-show. The kids sit down front and Crush takes questions. My daughter was mesmerized by the "movie magic". This is definitely a MUST!

We then walked over to the Land Pavilion in Future World where we got fast passes for Soarin'. If you want to ride Soarin' I would highly suggest a Fast Pass and you must get one early. I believe we were in the Lands at around 10am and we ended up with Fast Passes for 8pm that night! Wait time for the ride was also around 90 minutes. (As a side note: When we got back to the ride that night with our fast passes, the wait time for the ride was 190 minutes!) We didn't end up doing any other rides in this section as it was time for our Fast Passes at Test Track and we just ran out of time.

Test Track is a MUST for your visit. It is A LOT of fun! You get to experience what a "test dummy" goes through while testing a car. Again this is another ride I would STRONGLY recommend a Fast Pass.

After Test Track, we headed to the Imagination Pavilion, because we want to ride Journey into Imagination with Figment. This is a VERY fun ride for kids, and even adults. Once you complete the ride you go into a room with all kinds of hands-on activities brought to you by Kodak. You could easily spend 30 minutes to an hour in here taking in all the activities.

After this point we decided to head into the World Showcase. We did this for 2 reasons. First, we had lunch with the princesses at 2pm and we were getting close to that time and second, we had decided to forgo the other big ride in Future World, Mission Space as we had read that this is the ONLY ride in the entire Disney park that provided barf bags. I don't know about you, but I get motion sickness VERY easily and I was not interested in "yawning in Technicolor" while at the park. So we skipped it.

We also missed the Energy Pavilion which has a show called Ellen's Energy Adventure. This looked very interesting and is something we would have like to see had we had time. We also missed "Honey I Shrunk the Audience", which also looked very interesting

To keep the information grouped together I will tell you about the Spaceship Earth ride now, even though we waited until evening to ride this one. This is the ride in the "BIG ball" which is the signature piece of EPCOT. This is a seated ride that goes through the entire ball and talks you through a walk through time from the early dawning to the future. A great ride for all ages, with a special interactive bit at the end!

So now I'll move on to the World Showcase which contains:
Mexico
Norway (location of the princess lunch)
China
Germany
Italy
USA
Japan
Morocco
France
United Kingdom
Canada

There is a TON to see and do in these lands. I'll highlight a few.

In Mexico there is a boat ride that talks about Mexico and features the Three Caballeros. It is a lot of fun for everyone and provides some interesting information. In the area where you wait in line there is a small open market with a variety of Mexican made goods. This is a fun place to look around.

In Norway there is another boat ride, this one is focused on the Vikings and includes a minor exciting "drop". Again, some very interesting information to be gathered here.
In China there are some nice shops and a good restaurant. We got our daughter a Chinese umbrella with her name written in Chinese on the outside.

When you go to Germany you MUST go to the glass shop. They have FANTASTIC glasses and beer steins. You can have your purchased engraved with a name. We found these to be VERY reasonable gifts that had a lot of meaning.

In USA is the American Adventure. We missed out on this attraction as it was closed during our visit. It is listed as a "thrill to an epic theatrical event with authentic historical characters, magnificent music and extraordinary effects on stage and screen." There is also an amphitheatre where live performances happen periodically throughout the day. If you want to see one of these performances, send a family member WAY before showtime (I believe they were recommending 1 hour) to stand in line for seating. The line fills up fast and as seats are fist come first serve, the closer you are to the front of the line the better seats you'll get.

A MUST MUST stop is the bakery in France. The pastries are WONDERFUL! Sit down and enjoy a little piece of France! You won't regret it!

The remaining lands have interesting sites and shops and food stations. If you have a particular ancestry, be sure to stop by that land for acts, special items, and delicious native food. It is important to note that Disney brings in people from that particular country to work in the shops and restaurants. Be sure to look at their name tags to see exactly where they are from!

Finally, you must stay until the park closes, as they put on a FANTASTIC laser and fireworks display at the end of the day. We watched the show from the United Kingdom and had a nice view. Although I think they recommend viewing it in USA. People begin congregating along the fence which surrounds a big lake, which is the centerpiece of World Showcase about 30 minutes before the show. Please note that the pretty much turn all the lights out in the park during the show, so it is best to find a spot and remain there until it is over.

EPCOT is simply fantastic. In order to really experience it I would recommend 2 days. One day devoted to Future World, and another day devoted to World Showcase.

Here are some links for EPCOT:

http://www.kingdommagictravel.com/disneyworld/theme_parks/epcot.htm
http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/parks/epcot/
http://www.wdwinfo.com/wdwinfo/guides/epcot/ep-overview.htm

As usual, if you have questions I'd love to here them! Have a great weekend!

1 comments:

JosiahsMommy September 12, 2009 at 12:28 AM  

Shannon your blog looks so darn cute. Ok, so I thought of you when I saw this. You should totally apply to be on the Disney Mom Panel. Here's the link with the info. http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/genericcontent/message?destinationPage=MomsPanel2010

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