and so begins our first day of adventure at disney world…
i have to be honest… the first couple of times my parents took me to disney world has been a blur for me. i only remember bits and pieces of it but one thing i do remember was how disney world was simply the one theme park at the time – the magic kingdom.
when they expanded to include epcot center, i was a teen by then. much older and able to appreciate our then view of what the future would hold for us. epcot center was more magical then magic kingdom for me at the age of 15. the rides were innovative. the visions that disney gave us of the future was inspiring. i suppose it fed that inner geek in me (well, okay, back then, i had much outer geekness as well – i've got the year book photos to prove it).
but now that i've been back, i've realized how some parts are so dated. i suppose that's the problem when you create a theme park where half of it (future world) is based on visions of the future. as you get closer into the real future, a lot of those visions has either been accomplished or completely off from what we thought the future was going to be.
having said that, they did do a lot of updates. i can't give a completely fair critique because there were a few future world pavilions or rides we didn't bother visiting because the attractions and rides in them were either too scary for chaeli, or simply because chaeli didn't meet the height requirement. and they were all either new or modified. all of them looked very promising.
i believe they were:
- mission: space – the ride had a height restriction. it's a simulation of a mission to mars.
- soarin' at the land pavilion: there was one ride in the land which was friendly for little ones which i'm glad we were able to go on. it's one of the original rides and the only one that didn't need to be modified as it's based on on-going research of new ways to develop agriculture for dessert-like areas and outer space. doug was fascinated as was i, even though i've been on it many times. however, the new ride, soarin', was a ride we unfortunately didn't go on either. it had a height requirement as well – i've been told that this new ride was one not to miss as you really do feel like you are flying. once again, the technology was newly designed just for disney.
- ellen's energy adventure: i would have liked to go on this one but as it's ride that travels you back to the time of dinosaurs (and they are very realistic, audio-animatric ones) it would not have been a fun ride for chaeli. she's terrified of dinosaurs.
- test track: it's too bad this had a height restriction because chaeli would have absolutely loved this one! she loves race cars. which is why we didn't even bothering stepping close to this one in fear of disappointing her.
there were still a lot of things chaeli could go on, but her favourite was the finding nemo pavilion, which use to be called 'the living seas.' to be honest, i would have rather that they kept it the same as before but i understand why they need to update areas to keep up with newer characters.
yet, they did get rid of my favourite future world pavilion – 'the horizons.'
i'm sure it would have been too dated but i loved this ride the most! it was about finding ways to live in areas such as in the ocean or in space. i suppose the visions, though, would look cheesy now but the concept is still interesting.
perhaps they will bring something similar back, but one to fit more with current technology and scientific research..
we made some time to see the international showcase part of epcot which had varopis countries in them. it's a fun place to stroll through but not all countries have rides/attractions. some are just shopping and food areas. all marked up in price, too. still… for doug's first time, he was interested so it was worth going through, even though it was a little rushed.
some of the places we enjoyed were germany, china and mexico. mexico was probably chaeli's favourite as there was an indoor market with a mariachi band built to look like we were still outside at night. she tried on a sombrero hat for the camera…
one thing i love about disney world is how it really is like it's own world. for one, they sell alcohol almost everywhere you can buy food, as well as some stands that sell just wine, sparkling winte, beer or even margaritas. and they must license the entire theme parks because, especially as it was new year's eve the day we were at epcot, people were strolling around everywhere with beer or wine in their hands. not something i'm use to seeing in north america (outside of vegas, that is).
the entire epcot photo set > shy's flickr: scenes from epcot center