Disney · Omnibus · Trivia

WDW for the Single Guy: an experiment, Part 8 (Epcot Pt I)

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[DISCLAIMER: The following was originally written by Jerry Skids back in 2009. He is a big Disney fan. He has his own WDW-themed podcast, which you can find here, or here. This is 100% Jerry’s words, completely unedited, out of respect to Jerry. My comments are listed in [ ] – anything in ( ) are all Jerry’s words. I have not fact-checked any of this information. Obviously some things have definitely changed since 2009, and should be used for comparative purposes only, as many attractions have come and gone since the time this was written. However, that does not invalidate his suggestions one iota. This is still useful, and I think this is so amazing, that I want to share his knowledge and wisdom. Thank you Jerry! Posted with his permission. – Editor]

WDW For The Single Guy: an experiment

EPCOT (Part I – Future World)

Every Paycheck Comes On Thursday? Employees Probably Choose Over Tomorrowland? Nah, this was the name of Walt’s original idea for the Florida project. The Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow. No longer an acronym, it has changed from EPCOT Center (which is what it was called when it opened in 1982) to just plain old Epcot. This change occurred in the late ’90s.

Epcot is the more adult park, featuring an educational, inspirational, futuristic, visionary, technological look at the world around us. This is the park with the most changes, ride closures, and turnovers because of its consistent attitude that the future is always changing. Epcot is more than twice the size of MK (but smaller than DAK). Congestion is at a minimum, so this is a great park to visit and walk around.

This is a park you also can not see in one day. I say at least 2, (but I go 3½). It is broken up into Future World and World Showcase. For a two-day trip, it’s better to put an emphasis on one, and browse the other on each day. Usually Future World opens at 9AM, and most of it(except select attractions) close at 7PM. World Showcase opens at 11AM, and closes at 9PM, with the select Future World attractions. You can reach Epcot by walking from the nearby Epcot resorts (Boardwalk, Yacht + Beach, Swalphin), by boat from the same resorts, or MGM or by bus or monorail. Just as with the other parks, arrive an hour early.

There are no Opening Ceremonies, HOWEVER the same applies as with MK, where they rope off an area before you make a mad dash to your first attraction. This time it will be Soarin’, but I will discuss this in the next section (Touring Plans).

FutureWorldIsolated

Future World (FW)

Broken up into 3 sections (Future World East, West, and Center) and many pavilions as if it were a constant World’s Fair, Future World brings forth many of Walt’s original visions of the “constantly changing future.” Since it opened in 1982, not one attraction is still here that hasn’t gone through drastic changes. Front and center, Spaceship Earth, the world’s first fully standing geodesic sphere, marks the way into a sparkling clean landscape that is bigger than life itself, dedicated to mankind’s past, present, and future technological accomplishments.

Future World Center

Spaceship Earth (A) (fan of history, want to learn, have a hottie to “lip lock” with? A++)

The first thing you see when entering the park, this ride spirals through 18 stories if the geodesic dome, telling the story of the history of communication using animatronics. They renovated it in 2008 to add the creation of the computer, and a dingy home garage with what we assume is Steve Jobs’ dirty self sleeping next to the Apple personal computer. Also, they added these cool interactive animated videos to show what your future will be like. This ride is a classic and a must-see. In fact, the groups of people will flock here since it is right there. This is why I suggest you go later. There’s also a cool interactive area at the end where you can participate in a 3D virtual surgery and other fun things. OH! And they were limited on cash when they created the ride originally, so they borrowed a few heads from the Hall of Presidents! Check out the sleeping monk… it’s Woodrow Wilson! There’s more too:) . The ride had once been narrated by Walter Cronkite, then updated in the 90’s to Jeremy Irons. After the last renovation, it is now Dame Judi Dench, which isn’t that great, but that doesn’t take away from the awesomeness of this attraction! (15-16 mins)
When to go: After 4PM, but only if the line does not turn. (i.e. the line should be going out of the dome straight. If it curves at all, it’s too long.)

Innoventions East + West (Depending on the exhibit: B- / A-)

Situated on either side of Spaceship Earth is the Innoventions Plaza. These buildings contain exhibits presented from different companies. Some fun and interactive, some extremely cool and interesting, and some a little too childish. But there is something for everyone. Check one of the many WDW sites to see what’s new there, so you can figure out where you want to go beforehand. The area resembles a high-tech trade show, rather than a science fair. And electronics, communications, and entertainment play a huge role. Some of the greatest exhibits promote virtual reality, voice-activated appliances, future cars, the new innovations in TV/Blu-ray/Home stereo, and more. These are the best: Where’s the Fire? (an interactive game where you and a partner must put out all the fires in the house. It’s red team vs, blue team. Lots of fun!); The Segway Thing (not the real name) (where you learn about, and test the segway); The Interactive Game Show (presented by Velcro, you compete against other couples and friends at Velcro-related games. It’s improved, a lot of fun; The House of Tomorrow – (where you can go through each room of the futuristic house and check out brand-new inventions just out on the market!); and the “R0b0t Thing” where you can build your own robot in a game and race him (using your own two feet!) Crowds here wax and wane throughout the day – I suggest going on your second Epcot day.
When To Go: Between 4PM and 7PM or around 2:30 – 3:30PM if it’s really slow.

Entertainment And Stuff

The Fountain of Nations – there is water here in this fountain from 11 different countries. [Insert your own White Stripes joke here.] Every 15 minutes, they have a fountain show set to different music. It’s cool!
JAMMitors – a group of basically Stomp-ish guys dressed as janitors. They bang on garbage cans and other percussive things. They are really fun/funny to watch.
Krystos – Three alien-esque people dressed in black/green leotard. They contort into strange shapes and dance near the Fountain of Nations. The chick is hot.

Shopping And Others

Mousegear – It’s the biggest Disney shop in all 4 parks. You can find almost any merch you need right here. Prices are about the same.
The Art of Disney – framed artwork too expensive for the normal guys like us.

Snacks

Club Cool (C – if you wanna fuck with someone – A)

There used to be a cave made of ice – and it snowed – and there were frozen cavemen – then it emptied out into what Club Cool is now (it used to be Ice Station Cool). Club Cool is a place where you can taste different Coke beverages around the world. Some are good, but some are terrible! Listen… if you wanna fuck w/ a friend, make them drink Beverly (the one from Italy). It is SO bitter you will find yourself nearly doubling over! You have to try it once, but NEVER AGAIN! My friend Jen and I used to have a contest – fill a cup with each beverage (the cups are the size of a shot glass) and mix ’em up on a nearby table. Then down each one, not knowing which is which. Whoever finishes last have to down 10 Beverlys! HAHA! It’s fun for that. Plus free drinks (Bring your refillable mug – shh – don’t tell anyone). [Too late my friend]. Only other thing to do here is buy a Coke Mug. Blah.

Future World West

The Sea With Nemo Pavillion

Once called the Living Seas, this changed in 2006. Now completely Nemo themed, we have lost some great things, such as Sea Base Alpha and Hydrolators. Now you can check out dolphins and such, but in a smaller scale.

The Sea With Nemo AND Friends – (C+)           (4 mins)

This ride takes you through Nemo getting lost and meeting basically the same characters as before. Since Bruce is dead, [SPOILER ALERT!], I don’t get why he returns. I’m not sure what the point of this is, but it takes you into what used to be called Sea Base Alpha. The only redeeming thing is that it features brand new technology that has Nemo and friends hanging with the real fish in the aquariums. The ride ends with the cast singing a clip from “Big Blue World”: an amazing song from Finding Nemo: The Musical. (More about that when I get to Animal Kingdom). You’re in a clam-mobile. LOL.
When To Go: Either before 10:15AM, or after 5PM.

The Seas Main Tank And Exhibits – (B- for what it is, A+ if you love dolphins + manatees)

Yes, it’s an aquarium. But you get to watch scientists + divers conducting actual marine experiments daily in the 27 foot deep, 200′ tank simulating an actual ocean ecosystem. You can watch them working with dolphins, sharks, and manatees as well as other fun shows through plexiglass windows. There are also other exhibits about fish featuring Finding Nemo characters who take you through trivia, facts, and fun games. This is awesome, but no Sea World. Sea World, however, is a worthless theme park as a whole.
When To Go: Follow my advice for the other Seas Pavillion attractions.

Turtle Talk with Crush (A+)

An extremely innovative attraction where kids and adults alike can interact with Crush from Finding Nemo. You sit in the theatre and ask/answer questions with the giant turtle who sounds like Jeff Spicoli. Real-time computer graphics are used to create the sense of the animated character speaking to you. They may pick you to get involved, but it’s mostly kids. Either way, this attraction is awesome! You will laugh hysterically AND be amazed.  (14-15 mins)
When To Go: The first show of the day (9:30AM, I believe. Maybe 9:50AM).

The Land Pavilion

What used to been an overlooked pavilion is now THE most popular in Future World. This used to house Kitchen Kaberet (a show w/ a bunch of animatronic food who sing), Food Rocks (a different show w/ animatronic singing food… this time Tone Loc was in it), and a movie called Symbiotic (a film about farming). But now it houses the VERY popular Soarin’, and has one of the best counter service meals in the park.

Soarin’ (A++)  (4+5 mins) {FP}

Different from any flight-simulation you have ever been on… this one was created with an Erector set! It will make you feel like you are hang gliding over California! The pre-show contains Patrick Warburton (your favorite voice actor man of one voice) and he is funny. [I second the assessment of PW’s voice-acting; he is amazing!] You secure yourself in your seat, the floor drops away, and you are pulled up to the giant IMAX-type screen that projects all around you. The images are so beautiful, and what’s more — you can smell everything! Orange groves, pine trees, lakes, the snow; you always feel like you’re really there! This is a must see, but follow my advice: ask very nicely for the middle simulator, 1st row — let them know you will wait (if you have to) for the next flight. Ask very nicely with a big smile and a “pleeease?” I don;t think anyone could dislike this ride – it’s so smooth and freeing. That’s why the line stays constantly at (gulp!) 2-3 hours all day long! Once I was on the ride, and this very “Southern Baptist-y” type lady was so amazed at this attraction, that as we first flew up into the majestic skies, she cried, “We’re gon’ see Jesus!!” to her family. We laughed hard!
When To Go: First thing in the morning, or late in the afternoon with a Fastpass. Fastpass tip: By 12:30PM – 1PM, the FP’s will all be gone. So make sure you grab ’em ASAP! Just like Space/Dumbo in MK, you must zoom over to Soarin’ when the park opens if you want to ride it more than once, or at all. Get a FP before riding, then ride. Be quick.

Living With the Land (B) (Used to be B+) {FP} (about 12 mins)

An indoor boat ride “adventure” chronicling the past, present, and future of farming and agriculture in the US. It take you through the swamps and past areas of farms, but the real treat is the actual futuristic and innovative greenhouse that actually feeds some of the restaurants in WDW!! Check out giant pumpkins, tomato trees, the 90 lb lemons and other interesting crops using both traditional gardening tactics, as well as hydroponic growth. No chemicals touch the foods in the garden. Check out the water your boat is in – some of the cast members have “liberated” some of the display fish. 🙂 This sounds like it could be a boring agricultural exhibit, but it is not. You will love it. However, it was better back in the day when it was called “Listen to the Land” and featured a theme song. A Cast Member narrated you through the scenes and talked about the greenhouse and such. Now it’s “Living With the Land.” The song (very Woody Guthrie-ish) is gone, and the narration became pre-recorded in 2007.
When To Go: Before 10:30AM, or after 5PM. They have Fastpass, and it’s worth it to use it ONLY if you’re not planning on using any others besides Soarin’, or you already have.

The Circle of Life (B+) (D if you have no heart or soul)

This is an educational (and fun at times) short film [that] stars Simba, Timon, and Pumbaa from The Lion King. It talks about, and shows in “graphic” detail, the environmental interdependency of all creatures, showing how easy it is to upset the ecological balance of nature by being just a little selfish. Yes, it’s preachy. Yes, it’s redundant. But  it’s also a very, very good film with a true message. The shows runs every 15 mins (it’s a 12½ min show) and offers up lots of comedy moments, such as Pumbaa screaming, “DAAMN!” then Timon freaking out over his language, but Pumbaa [is] just pointing out the dam in front of them. This is a mixture of animated storytelling, and live-action clips. The pre-show has slide shows and trivia. I recommend this show to everyone unless the girl you’re with is a huge environmentalist who will go on and on how the film is right. Then, just shoot her and see it [by] yourself.
When To Go: Anytime after 12PM.

The Imagination Pavilion

This used to house only the Journey Into Imagination attraction and has had the least amount of changes of all the pavilions since. This place has an awesome upside down waterfall, a fountain of jumping water, and other interesting things that will make ya think. This pavilion is also the subject of two major controversies: 1) The argument that the attractions do not heed to the Epcot’s “edutainment” value; and 2) The bastardization of everyone’s favorite Epcot attraction…. Please let me explain with:

Journey Into Imagination with Figment (C) (was once an A+++++)

History Lesson: This was once an amazing ride which featured a “scientist” named Dream Finder who creates a character out of his own imagination called Figment (an extremely popular purple dragon). He brought you through different rooms to show how your mind can and will play tricks on you. Figment was voiced by our favorite midget, Billy Barty. Well, I don’t know what happened, or what the FUCK the Imagineers were thinking, but this insanely popular ride shut down in 1998-1999 for renovation. It re-opened in 1999 as Journey into Your Imagination starring Dr. Nigel Channing (played by the surprisingly dull Eric Idle). The remake was supposed to be an excuse for the Honey, I Shrunk The Audience ride next door to make sense. You see, Dr. Channing is the charming inventor/host of that attraction. So I guess it was making it more of a reality. Anyway, the public HATED — I mean DETESTED, LOATHED, DESPISED this new excuse for an attraction. There were some moments, but there was one very , very important thing missing. FIGMENT! He was the character who kept Epcot alive in the 80’s! Families who wrote EPCOT Center off as a boring, educational park only went because they wanted to see Figment. Well, after 3 years of low attendance and may guest complaints, it was shut down again. But this time, it re-opened as Journey Into Imagination with Figment. Yes, so now you’re still with Dr. Channing at the “imagination Institute” (from Honey, I Shrunk The Audience) on the exact same ride, but now they BOMBARD you with Figment. Now, since our favorite midget died in 2000, Muppeteer Dave Goelz (voice of Gonzo, [et. al.] duh)does it, and sounds just like him. Okay, history lesson aside, the ride is okay. You go through different “lab experiments” to test your senses. It’s entertaining, but nothing special like the original Journey Into Imagination. A very cool thing is the references throughout the ride. The imagination Institute has awards for many Disney inventors like: Robin William’s character in Flubber; Wayne Szalinski; [Kurt Russell’s character] from The Computer wore Tennis Shoes; Walt Disney; Dr. Nigel Channing; and of course, Dean Finder (a very subtle homage to the demise of Dreamfinder, (who was parodied in “Imaginationland,” a 3-part South Park episode.))
When To Go: Because the ride is not so awesome, the lines are never too long. Go anytime… preferably in the afternoon hours – (10:30 – 11:00-ish) or (12PM – 3PM).

Honey, I Shrunk The Audience (B) {FP} (HISTA)

This 3-D film incorporates you into the world of Wayne Szalinski from the film  Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. As you enter the “Imagination Institute” to get ready for the Inventor of the Year Awards show, things go wrong and you are all shrunk… then lots of insanely crazy scary stuff happens. Things jump at you, you are picked up, shaken, and sprayed… oh yeah, and covered in mice. You’ll see! Not for the squeamish or easily frightened. They have started calling the effects “4-D” since you smell, feel, and sometimes “taste” the effects as well as just seeing and hearing them. The show is 17-18 minutes. There’s also an 8-minute pre-show to pass the time – it used to be set to “True Colors” by Cyndi Lauper. Now, it’s okay… the best of both the pre-show and the show is Eric Idle’s very Monty Python-esque humor. Fastpass is virtually pointless here. Just as all 3-D films, the front row sucks. Follow my theatre advice to get the best seats.
When To Go: I would usually go around the same time as Journey Into Imagination. They are never too crowded over here. Do get here early though so you can choose your seat. The show is better with a larger crowd, so try going to the 10:30-ish show. If not, try about 3PM.

Entertainment And Stuff

The What If Labs – At the end of Journey Into Imagination, there are some really cool things to do here — they took away some fun things, however, there is a lot of hand-on imagery technology presented by its sponsor, Kodak. They have this cool photo-morphing computer where you can email the results home, but last time, they didn’t give us the emailing choice 😦
Behind the Seeds Tour – Go behind the scenes of Living with the Land and learn more about the present and future of agriculture. There are taste tests, fun little quizzes, and close-up views of how everything around here works. It’s only an extra $10 for an hour-long tour of the greenhouse. This is a cross between a science class and Willy Wonka’s factory tour!
Epcot Divequest – Are you SCUBA certified? Then go swim around with the fish at The Seas. It’s about a 3-hour tour of the place including a 30-minute dive. It’s about $150 and comes with the gear, a souvenir shirt, a “dive-log” stamp, and refreshments. Oh! And you can buy a videotape [DVD?] of your dive for like $35. I’ve heard this is really interesting. They did this on “Boy Meets World”. And it was cool.
Dolphins in Depth – So you can hang out w/ dolphins, witness a training session, and wade in the water with the dolphins. Plus you get a picture. It’s $150 for 3 hours. Only 8 guests a day.
Seas Aqua Tour – Not SCUBA certified? Then take this “watered-down” (hehe) version of Divequest. You swim w/ goggles, a mini-air tube, and flotation vest for 30 mins + explore the seas. It’s $115. Same stuff is included as w/ the DiveQuest. This is probably a bit better for someone who loves the water, but doesn’t want to spend too much time not in the parks.

Dining and Snacks

Sunshine Seasons Food Fair (Food: A, Service: A, Price: Damn Good) {All different kinds of counter-service}

This is one of the best counter service meals you can get. Food in Epcot is very, very good, but it’s usually in World Showcase. Here in Future World, we have Sunshine Seasons. There are four stations: 1) An Asian shop w/ noodle bowls and stir-fry combos; 2) Soup-and-salad w/daily soups and unusual creations like roasted beef-and-goat cheese salad w/ cilantro-lime vinaigrette; 3) made-to-order sandwiches like Black Forest ham-salami sub or turkey + cheese on focaccia; and 4) wood-fired grills and rotisseries w/chicken or pork chops + salmon w/ olive pesto sauce, etc. There is no fried food, pizza, or burgers – it’s all prepared fresh as you watch. This is not only healthy, but amazingly great! The veggies come from the greenhouse. You have to eat here at least once if not more on your trip. It’s in the Land Pavilion.

Chef Jr. (?)

I think it’s where kids make food. I never heard anything about this. Who cares?

Coral Reef (Food: C; Service: A; Price: Way too expensive) {seafood}

The gimmick is that you watch the entire saltwater aquarium while you eat… which is entirely morbid. You can watch sharks, rays, humans, clownfish, and such swim around. The views don’t make up for the very overpriced food. They have strip steak, but it’s mostly seafood: lobster soup, blackened catfish w/ pepperjack cheese grits. It’s the only table-service in Future World where you can sip wine and enjoy your food in the nice, quiet, informal setting. But why go here when you can eat in World Showcase?! It’s located on the side of the Seas of the Seas with Nemo Pavilion in the corner.

The Garden Grill Restaurant (Food: B-; Service: A++; Price: not terrible at all) {Family style American character meal}

Served family style, you can get flank steak w/ mushroom-cabernet jus, turkey w/ cranberry relish, Southern-fried catfish and more. There’s also a berry puff pastry. You can get wine, daiquiris and margaritas for extra. They only serve dinner, but you are visited by Chip, Dale, Mickey, and Pluto during your meal. I can’t really say anything bad about this place except the food is decent. Not great, like the full-service meals in World Showcase — so yeah. Oh, and I forgot to mention, the restaurant revolves around Living With the Land, so you can see many scenes from your seat in the time it takes to eat your meal. This is also obviously in the Land Pavilion.

Future World East

Universe of Energy Pavilion

A tiny pavilion with a large ride. It used to house The Universe of Energy Ride which contained two songs about Energy (and was presented by Exxon). Now it only house one attraction with no shop or restaurant, called:

Ellen’s Energy Adventure (B-) (If you hate Ellen DeGeneres, then C-) (If you love Bill Nye, then A++) {Ellens}

Short History Lesson: Once, this was The Universe of Energy, which taught you about energy and the importance of fossil fuels and had you driving through the dinosaur age with really cool animatronic dinosaurs. Now, after a renovation, (after being called Ellen’s Energy Crisis), this is now a 45-minute attraction (combination ride and theatre presentation) with 4 parts. In the pre-show, (the BEST part of the show), Ellen DeGeneres dreams she’s on Jeopardy and knows nothing about energy. Next you sit in these vehicles and Bill Nye the Science Guy takes Ellen back to the Big Bang and teaches her about the origin of energy. Then you drive through the same dinosaur exhibit as in UoE (the only thing left over). Then you watch a presentation about what our choices are when we run out of fossil fuel. It’s a very funny and very educational show. There are a few guests too, including Jamie Lee Curtis as Ellen’s rival and Michael Richards as a crazy caveman. I do recommend this extremely fun attraction, but only if you show up for the beginning of the pre-show. Make sure you time it right. Ask a CM how much longer until the next pre-show begins. If it’s 7 minutes or less, then wait. Also, check out the cool topieries outside the building. Almost 600 people can fit in the theatre at a time.
When To Go: Anytime after 12 noon is best – make sure you have time for the attraction, since it’s 45 minutes.

The Wonders of Life Pavilion

This pavilion once housed 2 great attractions and several mediocre ones. With a strand of DNA outside of it, The Wonders of Life focused on the human body, fitness, and the capabilities we each have.Disney says the pavilion is “open seasonally”, but since 2004, it has been open once (in 2006 during Christmas season).Body Wars (a simulation ride through the body – kinda like Innerspace), Cranium Command (a 20-minute show starring: Jon Lovitz; Bobcat Goldtwait; Dana Carvey; Kevin Nealon; George Wendt; and Charles Grodin about the a little man who is sent to control a teenage kid’s brain in hopes that it won’t overload)), and The Making of Me (a 12-minute film with Martin Short telling you KINDA how babies are born), along with computers that measured your health and told you what you need to do to maintain a diet (starring Charlie Brown and Snoopy), a short film called Goofy on Health, exercise bikes that pedaled you through many different scenes, and a bunch of sensory tests that you could find in a hands-on science museum are all now defunct. Met-Life, who once sponsored the pavilion, pulled out and came on the face of America, causing a whole bunch of great attractions to now become extinct. [They chose instead to spend their money on the naming rights for the blandest, most nondescript football stadium ever built, which happens to be in New Jersey. And guess what, folks don’t even call it “Met-Life Stadium”. Football fans call it The Meadowlands or Giants Stadium.]

Test Track Pavilion (once The World of Motion Pavilion)

Presented by General Motors, this used to house The World of Motion, a great ride like Spaceship Earth, which taught you the history of vehicles, from the creation of the wheel, to modern cars, trains, etc. Unfortunately, this closed in 1998 to make way for:

Test Track (B-) (A, the first time you go on it)

In 1999, this test-track simulation ride opened up, causing lines in Epcot to grow exponentially. Before Test Track, the park was full of adults (since they thought the kids would be bored). Now, this “thrill ride” has opened the flood gates for the rest of the family – as they say. Each car is individually run by its own internal computer as it takes you through rough terrain, steep hills, hairpin turns, and terrible climate as well as testing the antilock brakes, high speeds, and “crashability”! You are a Crash Test Dummy (no, not the Canadian band who sings “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm”) in this 4 minute ride. The Good News: It’s really cool to find out how cars are tested, plus the queue is filled with many interesting facts. The first time you ride, it seems like such a great experience, and the buildup to the last part is paid-off nicely. The Bad News: The queue gets boring with its 1 hour – 2 hour waits throughout the day, and the ride isn’t even worth it. Also, it gave Epcot the infamous title as “Epcot 101” by Cast Members, being that Test Track would go 101 (a:k:a: break down) more times in one day than it would be open. Any little thing on the track shuts the computer down. Since part of the ride is outside, if it’s even drizzling, the ride will be 101. That said, Test Track needs to be experienced at least once, especially if you’re a car fanatic. Hopefully, GM kep it open.
When To Go: Either your second day, first thing in the morning, or after 4PM. Fastpass will b e gone by 1PM, so if you’re going later in the day, get one by 11AM, before you enter World Showcase (it’s on the way). Also, Test Track was the first ride to implement a single rider’s line. This means, they introduce you to a chick, you ride the ride and if you hit it off, they let you get head on the on the ride the second time!! Okay, it means if you are by yourself, jump on here! They are trying yo fill up every car, and when a family of two ro four arrives, there are extra seats (3 to a row). This is an okay ride by yourself, but if you’re with a chick, don’t even suggest it.

The Mission: Space Pavilion (used to be The Horizons Pavilion)

The issue of the greatest Eppyphile debate. The pavilion once housed Horizons. When they tore it down around the same time as Worlds in Motion, Epcot fans were up in arms! Horizons explained the history and future of space travel and took you to a whole new world, posing the question, what if we needed to ;eave Earth for some reason — where could we colonize? Then you choose one of three different endings as you came back to Earth. There was no other ride like it, and they tore it down. Disney enthusiasts, historians, and aficionados were so mad at this closure that some boycotted the resort. It turns out that because they wanted competition with Universal Studios’ Islands of Adventure, they would create a brand-new groundbreaking attraction, that would fail miserably. This attraction was supposed to take the place of Horizons (which featured the song “New Horizons” with the famous lyrics, “If you can dream it, you can do it,” which was stolen by some car company). The historians watched Eisner and his minions fail, laughing at how Disney deserved what they got. Unfortunately, Horizons is dead and gone – only to be remembered by videos and YouTube.

Mission: Space (D) (If you love thrill rides, even stupid ones: C+) (If you want to die: A++) {FP}

This piece of shit space flight simulation ride, co-developed by NASA to be as real as possible, is high in G-force and low in fun. Basically, you enter the “NASA Mission: Space Training Center” to meet Gary Sinise in the pre-show, who tells you that you are going to train for a mission to Mars. They break you up into commander, pilot, navigator, and engineer, and give you each a role and job to do. Unfortunately, even of you don’t do your job, the ride still ends up the same way, so it’s pointless. They put you in these tiny claustrophobic capsules and it actually feels like a real-training mission. Why? Because it is. Now the queues and the money that went into the ride is amazing , however, the actual simulator (which comes with vomit bags inside) is sickening and ridiculous. Why? To this day, three people have died on this ride. One kid and two women. The ride was so intense, they had to create a “pussy version” of the ride – also known as the “green team” a side that doesn’t spin. I heard the new version is boring. So, either you get sick or you’re bored. What a choice. This ride has lost so much money. They put $100,000,000 into it and the attendance is quite low. So ride this at your own risk, but if you die, don’t say I didn’t warn you. And the nonsense with pushing buttons is so stupid since it doesn’t effect the outcome in the least. It’s about 5 minutes (plus pre-show).
When To Go: If you absolutely MUST, then either go right after Test Track in the morning or later on after 4PM. Honestly, after 11AM, the lines are barely there, since people realize how much it sucks. Use Fastpass ONLY if you’re not planning on using any in the near future. Tips for nausea: If you ride, make sure your blood sugar is up, eat a banana, eat regular meals, no milk or tomatoes and astronauts have said keeping a piece of hard candy or a mint in your mouth avoids nausea. But honestly, why go through all the freakin’ trouble?

Entertainment And Stuff

The “Wacky” Fountains – There is one on the walkway to World Showcase and one near Test Track. They are completely random spurts of water, mist, and more. It’s fun! Run around and do whatever you want in there. There’s no CMs anyway to regulate. Sometimes it’s ridiculously hot.
The Odyssey – This used to be a restaurant, but now it’s just an expo hall in the walkway to World Showcase. Here’s an idea: Put a new restaurant here and theme it to all the countries in World Showcase or not in World Showcase. This can easily bridge the SP, foodwise.
Mission: Space Postshow – At the exit to Mission: Space, there is a couple of games and other interesting things with an emphasis on the Mission: Space Race. About 3 dozen guests, (divided into two teams), “control the shuttle from base” – tying into the attraction – and especially for the guests who bypassed it (pregnant, heart condition, claustrophobic, tumor, cancer, cough, frightened, sneezing, itchy, or just believe the ride sucks) – you are playing against the other team to bring the shuttle home. Folks at home also play[ed] by logging into disnesyspacerace.com [site no longer active]. Also, there are photo/video booths. You can send a picture/video of you in space by email! It’s pretty sweet!
Talking things – The trash can, the water fountain – lots of things will talk or sing to you. (I forgot to mention, check out PUSH, the Talking Trash Can who runs around Tomorrowland in MK – he will talk, laugh, and get into arguments with you. It’s great).

Shopping And Stuff

There’s a gift shop at Test Track that also has presentations from different cars and models from GM. DO NOT wait for the purple things (looks like virtual reality) b/c it’s just a 3 minute advertisement. Too many have been fooled and waited for nothing. Also, the Mission: Space Postshow has a gift shop.

Dining and Snacks

There’s a bunch of snack shacks around Future World East + West. They all have basically the same things (pretzels, sodas, chips, sometimes cookies and ice cream). They are about the same.

Electric Umbrella Restaurant (Food: D; Service: B-; Price: not worth it) (American counter service)

Located near a character greeting building and Mouse Gear, this bland counter-service restaurant offers the same things you’ll see everywhere. Burgers, nuggets, fries, chicken sandwiches, plus breakfast burritos, french toast, + bagel sandwiches for breakfast. It’s not really worth going since you have Sunshine Season only minutes away, and a SLEW of World Showcase food a few more [minutes away]. Beer is [served] here.

Refreshment Port (Food: F; Service: F; Price: who cares?)

It’s McDonald’s food. Don’t go. It’s on the way to World Showcase.

 

Now Get Ready For:….

[to be continued]

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One thought on “WDW for the Single Guy: an experiment, Part 8 (Epcot Pt I)

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