Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Spring Break - Day 3

Note: I didn't take a single photo while I was at Epcot yesterday. So if you're only looking at this post for the pretty pictures, you're about to be disappointed.

Day 3 was Epcot day! Yay! Except for one thing: It was really, really, really freakin' cold. In Florida. Jeans and double-jacket weather (and still cold) in Orlando. During Spring Break. So not fair. It got a little warmer as the day went on, but it was still very windy and unfairly cold.

There was a little snafu with the extra magic hours thing. A ton of people showed up at the gates around 7:30 and expected to be let in at 8 (myself included). They didn't actually let us in until 9. It was really awful because we were just standing outside the turnstile in the freezing cold. It's probably the worst experience I've had in all of my many visits to Disney World. All is forgiven, of course- anybody can make a mistake, and Disney makes, in my opinion, fewer mistakes than most amusement parks do. But still- waiting outside in the freezing cold for an hour and a half while knowing the entire time that you're actually in the state of Florida...

I like Epcot a lot. I could wander around there for hours. Our first stop was Soarin', of course, because the line grew quickly and the wait time was close to three hours before we could blink. We scraped by with only a twenty minute wait, and the ride was delightful. I like Soarin' because it's entertaining without being too wild and crazy, which means I can enjoy it with my whole family. Disney is good about making rides like that. While it does have wild and crazy thrill rides, it also has some that the entire family can enjoy without necessitating the title "kiddie ride."

We also hit Test Track, which has recently (or at least since our last visit) been redone and is now sponsored by Chevrolet. The crash test dummies are gone; now the focus is on testing the performance of cars the riders specifically design. Each rider scans his or her park ticket or room key at the beginning of the ride and designs a vehicle, which stays connected to the card throughout the rider's time at the attraction. The rider scans the card at a terminal directly before boarding the ride. As the ride vehicle goes through each of the test phases, scoreboards at each test phase show the score of each rider's car design. After the ride, the riders can race their cars against others, make commercials for their cars, and take photos to be emailed home. All this is available thanks to the new scanability feature of the cards. The building and ride vehicles look sleek and shiny and new; I love the changes. I'm still a little nostalgic for the crash test dummy days, though. The first time I rode that ride, I thought we were actually going to crash right into a big wall.

The other attractions we hit up on that side of the park were oldies but goodies: Living with the Land and Ellen's Universe of Energy. Always good. Ellen is always funny, no matter how old her footage seems these days. And who doesn't love Bill Nye the Science Guy? The other attraction we visited was definitely an oldie: Michael's Jackson's Captain EO in 3D. The usual corny 3D tricks were plentiful, although the theater seats shook, rumbled, and bounced in a way that I haven't seen before. You guys, when Michael Jackson claps his hands, all the seats in the theater jump. You'd better believe it.

A great part of our day was spent in World Showcase, and most of that time was spent in pursuit of food. We attempted to sample food from a bunch of different countries, but long lines and lack of food options left us largely without food. We grabbed a few things from Morocco. I got stuck chewing the chewiest stinkin' piece of lamb in the entire world while the rest of my family gobbled down the rest of the food. We ended up eating bratwursts and hot dogs at Germany. We browsed around in France a little bit, which I enjoyed, although I got a little irritated at my family's insistence that I go speak French to the French staff. To be honest, I did kind of want to chat them up. But as always, I could think of nothing to say. That was an awkward disaster of a conversation waiting to happen.

"Bonjour!" "Bonjour." "Comment allez-vous?" "Bien, merci. Et vous?" "Très bien, merci." "..." "..." "Okay, good talk."

Maybe I'll think of something to say by the time we go back on Friday. If not... Heck, I'm studying abroad this semester and I'll speak nothing but French for an entire month. I think I'll be okay.

We had dinner at the pub in England. It was lovely, except we had to wait outside for around half an hour even though we had reservations and it had just gotten cold again. I had cottage pie. It was tasty. Our waitress had an awesome British accent and she was from Devon, a place about which I know very little, but I think it has an awesome-sounding name.

So Epcot was full of awesomeness as usual, but it was just so cold that it was sometimes hard to enjoy. I'm hoping the warm, sunny Florida weather comes back before we have to leave and go back home.

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