Disney · Omnibus · Trivia

WDW for the Single Guy: an experiment, Part 10 (Epcot Pt III)

Epcot Fireworks

[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. If you are confused by any of the acronyms, check out the previous posts. 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 III – Hints, Tips, Advice, and other things)

Other Things in World Showcase

Kim Possible Adventure (A) You can use your Kimmunicators to run around Epcot and talk to Kim Possible, who will send you all around the World Showcase looking for clues and solving mysteries, which will bring you the one thing that will save the world and destroy the baddies. The original [voice] actors all return to [reprise] their voices.
Promenade Refreshments (Food: C-; Service: B; Price: same) (Turkey legs and such)
Same as usual here – turkey legs, hot dogs, pretzels, chips, ice cream, smoothies.
Friendship Boats – They take you from one side of the lagoon to the other. It’s a nice ride, but it is insanely slow and not worth waiting for.
The International Gateway – Between France and the UK, this has a shop w/ regular Disney souvenirs and merch. It also leads to the second entrance/exit of Epcot. This one leads to the Epcot Resorts (Boardwalk, Yacht + Beach, and Swalphin).
Parades – There are none anymore. The old one (Tapestry of Dreams) was too complicated.

Fireworks

Illuminations (A++++) : Reflections of Earth

Arguably the most fantastic of all the fireworks spectacular. It integrates fireworks, laser lights, neon, and an outstanding score in a stirring tribute to the nations of the world. YOU HAVE TO SEE IT!! YOU HAVE TO! You’ll love it – she will love it! Go! There’s a plot and a theme as well – Part I: Chaos (the Big Bang, and anarchy runs the universe); Part II: Earth (songbirds and the nativity of our world); Part III: Chronos (a brief history of time as told by a giant floating globe on the water – projecting the dinosaurs to the ancient Romans); Part IV: Creativity (the globe now portrays what we have done with the gift of Earth); Part V: A New Age+ Togetherness (the globe opens and psychotic [psychedelic?] fireworks collide with crescendos of music. The show is non-stop, eye-opening drama from beginning to end! It takes place over the World Showcase Lagoon. If you want the best spots, they arte in this order: In Future World at the base of the lagoon (the most crowded – get there 30-40 minutes early); Between Germany and Italy by the little bridge (there’s a fountain to sit on); on the bridge connecting France and the UK; at the Rose and Crown Restaurant (outside); around Norway, China, and the Outpost. That’s it. Anywhere else your view is blocked. Try for Future World. The new Illuminations (Skydance) may be out in 2010. There have been other incantations of Illuminations in the past. I will repeat: This is the best fireworks display you’ll see. You have to see them all. But see Illuminations more than once from different vantage points. You can pay $275 and get a private Illuminations cruise on a pontoon boat captained by a Disney Cast Member. You can reserve it 90 days before you want it (407) WDW-PLAY. I believe the limit is 8 people. When it’s time to leave, if you are far from the entrance, take your time or walk to Boardwalk. If you are on the Future World side — RUN BACK!! The place will be packed, and you will have to beat the crowd to the bus, monorail, or car.

Epcot

Hints, Tips, and Advice Whilst Visiting EPCOT (also fun info)

  • As with Magic Kingdom, show up an hour ear;y! Whichever turnstile you pick, make your way toward Spaceship Earth and line up to the left of it with everyone else. You’ll want to head to the rightmost area which will be facing Future World West (and The Land). You’re going to want to ride Soarin’ first. DO NOT go through the little path marked Innoventions, because they drop that rope last! When the rope drops, swiftly walk to Soarin’!
  • Epcot is an extremely large park. Plan 2 days at least for it.
  • If you have 2 days, I suggest Future World from 9AM – 11AM, then again 4PM – 7PM on your first day, heading to World Showcase 11AM – 4PM, then 7PM – 9PM, and on your 2nd day, Future World from 9AM – 11AM, and World Showcase the rest of the day (while “Drinking Around the World”). This is the best way to get everything accomplished.
  • DO NOT enter the park from International Gateway (the Epcot resorts) unless you have the Akershus Princess breakfast at a very early time.
  • A great way to get to Soarin’ first is getting the Princess Breakfast at the earliest time. You’ll be let in the park before everyone else. Eat quickly, then rush over towards The Land. Once you are able to go, you can be the 1st one there!
  • Your first day: Run to Soarin’, get a FP, ride Soarin’, run to the Seas with Nemo and ride it into Sea BAse Alpha, tour the Seas, line up for the first Turtle Talk Show, watch it, head back to the Land and ride Livin’ With The Land, ride Soarin’ again w/FP, get another FP for Soarin’ if you wish as long as it is for a time earlier than 10:30 – 10:45AM. Go over to the Imagination Pavilion and ride Journey with Figment. If it’s before 10:30AM, watch Honey I Shrunk the Audience, if it’s 10:30, go over to Test Track and get a FP, then walk over to World Showcase. Make a left towards Mexico and ride Gran Fiesta Tour.
  •  If you think you’re better off touring clockwise, go ahead, but the rest of the people are going to do that, so it will be less crowded if you run back from Canada and start there. Of course you may have to run to a different country due to a show that’s starting, but that’s okay. Tour World Showcase at your own leisure.
  • If you’re having fun, you should be at Japan or America by 4PM (well, 3:45-ish) – head back over to Future World and ride Test Track with your old FP from earlier. Now go check out Innoventions East and West. Follow that up with Ellen’s Energy Adventure. Then go watch Honey I Shrunk the Audience. By now it should almost be 7PM, so go ride Spaceship Earth (it’s open ’til 9PM anyway), and play around in the post-show area. Now head back to World Showcase for whatever you decided for sinner. Watch the Dragon Legend Acrobats if you can, then go watch Illuminations. Now either go to Boardwalk or head home.
  • On your second day: Here’s the choices – A) Head to Soarin’ again, or  B) line up for Test Track. Whichever you decide is fine. If you go to Soarin’ 1st, then head to Test Track. Now go to Mission:Space if you must. After this, return to the Land Pavilion to see the Circle of Life show. Anything in Innoventions or around Future World you haven’t done yet, now’s the time to do it. If you want to stay until noon and have a 11AM lunch at Sunshine Seasons, that’s fine since the counter service is so freakin’ awesome. To get yourself ready to drink around the world, pump yourself full of Worldly Sodas (make shots out of them) at Club Cool. Now head to World Showcase. This time, go clockwise. Check out each country at your leisure. If you think you need a break at 3:30 or 4PM, go to Future World, but I suggest finishing your quest. Hopefully you’ll end up at Le Cellier at a 7PM (or so), go grab a Guinness in the IK and watch the 8PM Off-Kilter. Then at 8:30, rush over to find a good spot for Illuminations. When that’s all done – go wherever. The park is closed!
  • {BREAK WITH JERRY}: Before you leave for your trip, check out Steve Soares’ site. It has every single showing of every single live entertainment for that week. The dates are from Sunday – Saturday.
  • Places to Rest:
      1. Benches at The Seas or The Lands (near Garden Grill) – lots of room, restrooms, and AC;
      2. Benches in Innoventions – usually least crowded areas;
      3. The covered gazebos in the garden at the UK – often empty
      4. The rotunda of American Pavilion – very quiet except when singers are there – empty.
  • Best Restrooms:
      1. In The Land by Garden Grill – fairly clean and never very crowded, surprisingly.
      2. By the lockers to the right of Spaceship Earth – out of the way and clean / empty-ish.
      3. In Biergarten – clean — you’ll be here twice at least if you’re drinking.
      4. Norway – these are the cleanest restrooms in World Showcase, beside in the restaurants.
      5. The Odyssey Center.
  • Worst Restrooms
      1. Germany – very small and it always stinks.
      2. Next to the Refreshment Port – picture McDonald’s bathrooms — it’s nasty.
      3. The Seas – it’s in the middle of nowhere – you have to take an elevator to get there, and it’s still not extremely clean.
      4. Mission:Space – expect vomit… don’t go in there ever. EVER.
  • Attractions Open in Future World Until 9PM: Spaceship Earth, Test Track, Mission:Space, and Honey I Shrunk The Audience.
  • Good Meeting Places – If you get separated and say, “Let’s meet at Spaceship Earth,” – you are stupid. This place is a high-traffic area. Also, don’t say “Let’s meet in Mexico.” Because Mexico is a big place with many areas. Pick a specific spot: by the benches in-between Innoventions E +W, the little fountain on the walkway from FW to WS, or as easy as the Lagoon side of Japan, (or the gelato cart). You get the point.
  • First Aid and Restrooms are located at the abandoned Odyssey building near Test Track and Mexico. You may need to go.
  • EMH morning and evenings are pointless in Epcot. Nothing is open but the big rides, and it gets way too crowded. Avoid Epcot on EMH days at all costs!
  • Fun Fact: Cast Members play this game where they try to see who’s had more plastic surgery in their closeups: Martin Short (in O Canada!), or Gary Sinise in (Mission:Space). Also, Martin Short is a WDW failure. All of his attractions have closed. In MGM, he hosted the Monster Sound show with Chevy Chase [well – there’s your problem], and that closed. He was the narrator of The Making of Me, and that’s gone. Hopefully O Canada! will stay!!
  • Transportation – I advise that people at Epcot resorts take the bus to Epcot if they are trying to hit Soarin’ in the morning – or get ahead of anyone. The monorail takes 30-45 minutes if you are switching at TTC. The Epcot monorail needs to traveled at least once. Think about doing this on a free day or during a park hop day – otherwise, make sure you’re at the park an hour before it opens. The spiel on the monorail is very interesting, plus you ride right through Future World, which is cool. Also, the way back has a separate spiel.
  • The Original EPCOT – The Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow was originally a closed community. Only certain people would be let in. You had to make a certain amount of money and have no criminal record. [I bet you also had to have very little melanin, and no Stars of David or menorahs — if you catch my drift…. yeah, I’m calling Walt out as a racist and anti-Semite]. It would have been set up like the way the 1940s predicted the 1990’s. (I mean even in 1989, we thought we’d have hoverboards in 2015 [the anti-gravity kind, not the ones we actually have]). [For more failed technological predictions, check out my Top Ten List here]. It was a place where all the traffic was below ground. Three tiers: one for residential traffic; one for industrial traffic; and the other for commercial traffic / getting to work, etc. The above ground transportation was the WEDway People Mover (now the Tomorrowland Transit Authority (TTA)) and the monorail. The Peoplemover was the mass transit system, constantly moving (slowing down only at parts to get on or off), but constantly in motion. This system would never back up because it was controlled by magnets. And the TTA in MK still is. The monorail (the commuter rail) was for longer distances. This way, the beautiful parks, streets, and houses would be safe. The closest thing they have here is the evil Celebration, FL, which is minutes away from Lake Buena Vista.
  • Shirts + Cheerleaders – The Shirts play at a stage near Character Connection / Innoventions. The Cheerleaders never perform in Epcot.
  • The tip board in Epcot is located near Innoventions East. It’s completely digital. [Unlike this blog, it’s updated constantly.]

Next Time: Jerry’s Weird Section #2: Theme Park Etiquette.

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