Friday, 20 May 2016

Half a Day in Disney's EPCOT

Thursday 21 April. We had spent the morning at our resort, Caribbean Beach Resort. We had a meal pre-booked at The Garden Grill in EPCOT for 5:30pm and once again we would be meeting Disney characters during the meal, notably Chip 'n' Dale.

Sometime after dinner we are on the bus and heading for EPCOT, Disney's Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. The huge 18-storey high sphere is the stand-out sight for EPCOT as much as Cinderella's Castle is for the Magic Kingdom.

We have an official photo taken by the "professional" photographers - a shame Disney don't train them to compensate exposures for light backgrounds. Or bother about exposure settings at all, I suspect from some of the photos... When we downloaded these photos on our return, Disney had turned this one into a video with Tinkerbell showering pixie dust over us!

Just before the Golf Ball as the sphere is commonly called, is one of several water features in the park. There's a huge set of fountains in one that rise and fall in time to a music soundtrack - very impressive. We'll see that on a later visit however.

The sphere is surprisingly large once you get right up to it. Inside is a ride, Spaceship Earth, detailing innovations from the Stone Age through to the present day. The rate of change and innovation has never been faster than in the last few decades and many innovations of the past have had to be left out in order to bring those of visitors' lifetimes to life. At the end the scenes take on a futuristic aspect. Whether or not they will come true is anyone's guess. I once remember someone saying how hard it was to predict the future. He said: "One thing no-one would ever have believed in the 1950s is that shaving razors would have five blades..."

We have arrived during a Flower and Garden Festival. There are some wonderful sculptures made with live plants around the park. Donald and his nephews are in the midst of a vegetable garden, with groups of plants neatly labelled.

The Festival lasts from March to the end of May. The map of EPCOT shows the two main halves of the park: the sciences-based area near the entrance and the World Showcase set around the perimeter of the lagoon with recreations of famous buildings from the countries represented.

We went into the first area to our right (or to the left if you are referring to the map) which was The Seas with Nemo and Friends. Outside the buildings were this group of seagulls from Finding Nemo all looking round and calling out. We went on a grotto ride based on the film which was great fun and then in a show where a cartoon film of Crush the Turtle actually interacts with the audience who can ask him questions. Obviously there was a human somewhere doing the voice but the expressions and movements of the cartoon turtle and the matching of its mouth with the speech was awesome. And it was a very funny show too!

There is a very large tank filled with fish and real turtles. There was also one with a couple of dolphins which I found disappointing. I thought it was well established now that keeping dolphins in captivity is not good.

The time moved on to 5:30pm and it was time to find our restaurant. I have no photo and this is a very quick (and a bit ropey!) sketch just to give an idea. The entire Garden Grill restaurant rotated, taking an hour to do a full circle and taking us past a variety of backgrounds and views, from the front of the restaurant, to paintings, to an American prairie with buffalo, to overlooking a gentle water ride with lots of vegetation scenery. The tables were, to be honest, a bit small and cramped for five of us, but the food was good.

Dale from Chip 'n' Dale comes round. It was ages before Chip came and we nearly had a mutiny on our hands before he finally arrived!

Then Grace spots something interesting that our table is slowly passing and goes to look at it, so Dale goes for a look too...

Mickey Mouse, about to get a kiss planted on his nose!

Pluto gets the Grace welcome. She was off her seat and bouncing with excitement as soon as they turned away from the previous table!

It's Chip! About time too, where have you been?

All is forgiven!

Disney World Holiday Index

1 comment:

  1. There's a fountain/music display right in your very own Blackpool - just £6 and a ride on the tram down to South Beach!

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