Ah okay, good to know.
It really is eye candy and fits in with the park beautifully.
Thank you! Yes, what a great place. Very underrated in my opinion, it ended up being my second favorite Disney park.
Wow, it's been a while since I last updated this. It's now been exactly a year since Epcot and I never finished it. Let's see how far I get before I forget again!
Day 2: Monday, March 25th - Epcot
Another early morning brought some early trouble, but this time at the hotel. Two bad things happened - our toilet became clogged out of nowhere and the phones didn't work so we couldn't call room service. So that wasn't great. And a bit less of a problem but still annoying is that one of the elevators broke down so we had to take the stairs a few floors. The location of the hotel was very nice, though it could use some improvements.
We got to Epcot and got a good parking spot in plenty of time before opening. It wasn't hard at all to meet up with my group and get going in the park without any problems. Entering the park was also painless, so good job to the employees working the front gate.
My last visit to Epcot in 2015 was fairly jaded by constant rain that was shutting everything down, so I guess I forgot a lot of the park's charm. Immediately I am swept away by the beauty of the Epcot ball and all the flowers and topiaries below it celebrating the Festival! Right away, I am in love with this park. Way to make a good first impression!
Everyone in the group desired a ride so we made a fairly quick beeline to Test Track hoping to beat some crowds.
Guardians of the Galaxy coaster construction
As we walked by, it was cool to see how big the building for GOTG is. I know it's apparently breaking some indoor coaster records and the size of it as it appears makes that very apparent.
Unfortunately, we were not able to beat the crowds. We agreed to wait no matter what, but the posted time was already up to 90 minutes, somehow. We got a little closer, and it bumped up to 135 minutes. We agreed to wait, but wow it was frustrating.
Ugh... great ride, but this is going to be a looong wait...
And the most annoying part of this? By the time we rode, we only waited about 75 minutes! I don't know if this is Disney trying to scare away crowds or whatever, but it was stressful at the time. Tip for anyone coming to Disney - don't be afraid of a long wait time. I learned more than once (besides Test Track) that they like to over exaggerate.
At least the queue has some pretty cool theming, including a full-sized Chevy car on display!
The ride's queue is really cool, and I love how interactive it is. I've always had a passing interest in cars, so to be able to see some of the concepts that were on display was really fun.
Almost time to ride!
The design studio was pretty fun too. We ran into a couple troubles designing the car but I think that I'm pretty happy with the result. We scored the highest in our group as well, so I'd say we did a pretty good job!
The ride itself is a perfect thrill ride for Epcot. It educates, is interactive, well themed, and a hell of a lot of fun all in one. If the line got any shorter than what we waited, I would've absolutely ridden it again as it's one of my favorite Disney attractions. But it's no surprise why the lines are always long for Test Track, because it's worth it.
The atmosphere of this park is outstanding.
At this point, we took a quick break and got some drinks at Starbucks, before heading into The Land for our Soarin' Fastpass. The Starbucks workers were pretty efficient so I have no complaints. It was pretty hot this day, I think more hot than our Animal Kingdom / Hollywood Studios day, so everyone in the group wasn't in the best mood, hoping that Soarin' would change that.
This has changed a bit since my last visit...
I remember riding Soarin' back in 2015 and thought it was interesting but not super amazing, though since then it's been turned into Soarin' Around the World so I went in with an open mind.
It was a lot of fun. I appreciate what it is, and think the immersion factor (scented smells, wind effects) is well done, though aside from being fun I've never considered it one of my favorite rides. I'm glad we had a Fastpass because I wouldn't necessarily wait more than about 30 minutes for it.
We found a salamander
The crews at the Guardians of the Galaxy coaster were hard at work that day
For those of you who have forgotten, I came to Florida initially with my school band, so at this point we left for a few hours to work with a Disney music clinic. I have to admit I don't remember it super well, but it was really cool to have someone work with us on a few songs. Overall a lot of fun and a great learning experience, I wish I remembered more details from this clinic.
Unfortunately, because of the timing and our ride times, we weren't able to have lunch at a reasonable time, so we had to hold off until dinner later in the evening. I was fine with this because of the schedule, though it would've been nice to have some food within the few hours of park break. It dampened my mood a little bit, but of course, being Epcot, dinner was well worth the wait. More on that in a bit.
The clouds came in early in the afternoon, making the temperature a lot more manageable
Lots of topiaries for the festival
Since we had nothing else on the itinerary for the rest of the day, we decided to start the world tour, going clockwise starting at the Mexico pavilion.
The inside of the pavilion was pretty cool, they had a restaurant there that looked pretty nice but was pretty packed and we weren't ready for dinner yet. The merchandise was pretty neat, and I would've liked to get a sombrero though they were all falling apart so I decided against it.
The three caballeros!
Of course, when you're in the Mexico pavilion, you have to do the cheesy boat ride with a lot of cartoons. It's essentially just It's A Small World, but I like this one more because the cartoons they show are pretty funny.
We must be in Norway
We weren't there to ride Frozen, as the line was super long, though we did do a bit of shopping. It was almost time for our Mission: Space Fastpass, so we went there next.
Blurry, but here it is in all it's glory!
This is the queue line... I think
I really enjoyed my ride in 2015 so I was hoping it would be more of the same. Though I don't know what could've changed it, I didn't like it at all this time. I was really damn nauseous after the ride, and I just had a big headache and had trouble walking afterwards. I quickly regretted our decision to reserve a Fastpass for it.
We took a quick stroll through the park's midway to admire the topiaries
Epcot is sooo beautiful
With that, it was time to continue the world tour, but going counter-clockwise this time.
I took a quick break from taking photos as we took a venture through the Canada pavilion, then into the United Kingdom pavilion for dinner. We got some fish and chips, and they were GREAT! Served hot, but not too hot to eat; the perfect amount of hot that amplifies the taste. It took me a bit to finish because I had to savor how good they were. Hollywood & Vine the night before was fantastic and wasn't topped at all during the trip, but this food came close. Just what I've come to expect from Epcot.
With that, we continued around the world tour, so the next few photos will be from that.
Ah, France. Very pleasant area, and Remy's Adventure is coming soon!
What do we want? More occo!
I have to admit that I love Japan's pavilion. It's easily one of the most photogenic, if not the most, and the merchandise selection is excellent.
Welcome to Italy!
Love the castle in the Germany pavilion.
By the time we arrived at the China pavilion, we were well into night. The lights from each pavilion are fantastic!
This is a bad photo, but there was a really cool Chinese Acrobats show happening when we arrived.
China had my favorite merchandise of every pavilion, and I even got a straw hat that I still have in my room. I'm very proud of this purchase.
As all of you know, the world tour is one of the most amazing experiences at any theme park. Flawless food selection, beautiful architecture and atmosphere, wonderful staff and performances, and great shopping. It makes Epcot worth a day trip alone, and while I could go on and on about how amazing it is, you've all heard enough praise from everyone who's been there.
After that, we went to the front of the park for Illuminations!
It was the best thing ever... obviously.
Thank you Epcot.
It was one of the best days I've ever had at a theme park and Epcot quickly became my favorite Disney park. It's already been a year and it's hard to believe. It's pointless to use words to describe how much of a great day I had here.
Test Track - x1
Soarin' Around The World - x1
Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros - x1
Mission: Space (Orange) - x1
Up next... Magic Kingdom!