for fellow travellers

Friday, September 7, 2007

Epcot - the Future World

Map of Epcot
We were late reaching the park, as today also we lost our way somewhat and started late as well. Epcot, the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, opened in 1982. It was conceived by Walt Disney to "take its cue from the new ideas and new technologies that are now emerging from the creative centers of American industry." This concept is best exemplified by Spaceship Earth, the glistening geosphere that has become Epcot's icon.
Epcot consists of two themed areas, Future World and World Showcase. Future World features attractions that focus on energy, communication, health, the land and our environment, the ocean, imagination, transportation and space exploration.
As the Future world rides were available till later in the evening we first went to mission space did the less intense training. Then we went for the world showcase. We were enamoured by Mexico. Next in China we saw the 360 degrees cinema, which I thought was really mind blowing and some acrobats by chinese artists. Most of our time was spent meeting the characters in Epcot.
In between we managed to squeeze in Honey I shrunk the audience which we had seen in Paris and loved greatly. The Test track sponsored by Ge is a good experience. Later In Morocco we met Aladdin. In the end we did Soarin' an absolutely great ride. Living with the land was another great ride and Circle of life was a good movie. We managed this between countless visits to the restrooms thanks to Soumya.
I think the future world is much more interesting than the World Showcase. Our planning went haywire because of all the character meetings which the children wanted to do more than anything else.

A suggested plan would be:

Plan to arrive in the parking lot 30 minutes before the official park opening. Decide ahead of time whether you want to begin with the high-octane thrills of Mission: SPACE or with the remarkable but not stomach-churning high of Soarin'. As soon as you pass through the turnstile race over to either Mission: SPACE or Soarin' and wait in line to ride or get a Fastpass appointment. Afterward, choose either the East or West Future World track to continue.

East Track: After Mission: SPACE, pick up a Fastpass for Test Track. Then backtrack to Spaceship Earth. Upon leaving Spaceship Earth, head to Soarin'.

West Track: After Soarin' at the Land pavilion, take the Circle of Life boat ride, then proceed to the Imagination! pavilion and get another Fastpass ticket for Honey, I Shrunk the Audience. Visit Journey into Imagination with Figment, and if you have time left, meander through Image Works before returning to Honey, I Shrunk the Audience. By this time there may be a line at The Seas with Nemo & Friends, but if there isn't, go on in and stay as long as you like.

Head counterclockwise into the World Showcase, toward Canada, while everyone else is hoofing it toward Mexico. If it's lunchtime, you may be able to get a table right away at Le Cellier, one of Epcot's lesser-known dining gems. Then try to catch a performance of the British Invasion in the United Kingdom before crossing the bridge into France, where you can snap up an √©clair or napoleon at Boulangerie P√Ętisserie. Shop in Morocco and Japan; then see the American Adventure Show, timing it to a Voices of Liberty performance. If there are lines at Norway by the time you get there, grab a Fastpass for the Maelstrom ride, then head for Innoventions or Ellen's Energy Adventure at the Universe of Energy.

Now's the time to head back to Norway and Maelstrom, followed by an early dinner at France, Italy, Mexico, or another inviting spot. See any attractions or shows that you missed, remembering that parts of Future World sometimes close ahead of the rest of the park. Stick around for IllumiNations, and stake out a spot early by the lagoon wall at Italy, on the International Gateway Bridge between France and the United Kingdom, or at an outdoor U.K. table. Make sure the wind is to your back so fireworks and special-effects smoke don't waft your way and obscure the scene. Take your time on the way out -- the park seems especially magical after dark.

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