Back to the Future World

I think it’s safe to say that, of the rides at the three main parks we went to, we knew the least about those at Epcot.  All I knew about at Epcot was the World Showcase; Kevin did not know what the park was at all.

DSCF0458The majority of Epcot’s rides are located in Future World East and Future World West in the front of the park.  I mentioned Mission:SPACE in our first Epcot post.  Thanks to that simulator, we did not start off on a great foot with Future World.  Our trip to Mars was not our only disappointment.

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Kevin fell asleep during Ellen’s Energy Adventure, a 45-minute educational journey about natural resources guided by videos of Ellen DeGeneres and Bill Nye the Science Guy from the 90’s.  The coolest part of The Seas with Nemo & Friends was easily the end where they projected videos of the movie characters into an actual aquarium, making it look like they were swimming along side real fish.  We somehow completely missed Turtle Talk with Crush (another Finding Nemo adventure).  We purposefully skipped The Circle of Life film in which characters from The Lion King teach you about saving the Earth.  Journey Into Imagination With Figment clearly was intended for preschoolers, although it still had some fun moments as you explored the five senses with an animated dragon character.  “Captain EO” hearkened back to the 1980s as Michael Jackson sang and danced his way across the universe with some strange George Lucas-created characters.

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All was not lost, however!  Test Track, a ride sponsored by GM, was the closest thing Epcot had to a roller coaster.  As you waited to ride, you designed your own car of the future.  Then, you climbed in to test your design.  The ride wipes you through a series of test that involve quick turns and stops.  Soarin’, on the other side of Future World, allows you to experience flight.  As your feet hang free and wind blows on your face, you ride directly in front of an enormous screen.  The high-definition video shows aerial shots from around the world and the ride moves along, giving you the sensation of hang-gliding over mountains, beaches, cities, and more.  We almost skipped this one on our way out, but I am so glad we didn’t.  It was definitely one of the most unique rides we rode the whole week – and very well done, too.  You would almost swear at some points that your feet were going to brush against treetops.

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Of course, being the huge gardening nerds we are, perhaps our favorite ride of the day was Living with the Land.  The first part of the boat ride seemed like another dud – floating through dark rooms while the narration taught you about taking care of the earth.  Then, suddenly, the boat ride entered a series of large greenhouses.  Here, real scientists are working on growing plants in new and diverse ways.

DSCF0530Everything was growing in sand.  We saw more types of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and other plants than we could count.  Each was carefully labeled for the sake of those on the boat ride.  In some sections, you could tell they were rotating plants based on their stage of growth.  The coolest thing we saw was by far the tomato tree.  That’s right – a tomato tree.  Unfortunately, we were in such complete awe that I did not get a picture before we passed it.

DSCF0532The whole point of the research is to help create sustainable food sources in climates which currently cannot support them.  After the greenhouses, there were some fish farms as well, but nothing as picture worthy as the plants.

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We finished off our day by stopping in for pictures with Mickey and Minnie.  After all, you really can’t go to Disney World and not see these two; I don’t care what age you are.  We look a bit bedraggled thanks to a long afternoon thunderstorm which stranded us in a shop in Italy.  Eventually, though, the rain seemed less of an annoyance than the loudmouth family we were stuck next to.  We braved the rain.

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Minnie tried to get us to form a heart with our hands once she realized we are newlyweds.  The process proved quite difficult, though, since the characters don’t actually talk.  We finally got it…sort of.

DSCF0546Overall, Epcot has very few great rides.  It’s appeal is not to adrenaline seekers, but rather those who are interested in a slower day at Disney.  In no surprise for the man who loves activities, Kevin enjoyed Epcot the least of all the parks, although still had a good time (I asked him right now if he had anything to add about Epcot.  His words: “It was fun.  You can quote me.”).  My favorite part was, without a doubt, the World Showcase, which I’ll show our pictures from in the next post.

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