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Photo TR: From EPCOT with Love


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Well, it was time for my bi-annual business road trip along the east coast. The trip takes me from Fort Lauderdale to Martha's Vineyard and vice versa twice a year, allowing me to stop at parks along the way. Since I was unable to visit Epcot on my WDW trip last October, a stop at the park was inevitable this time around. My ambitious plan of attack would take me from Boomers (in Fort Lauderdale) to Epcot (Orlando), to Hersheypark (Pennsylvania), and finally Knoebels (Pennsylvania) all in about two and a half days. Yep, you read that right. It's a marathon journey, and one I'm crazy for even attempting.

 

Unfortunately, I arrived at Hershey a bit later than planned, and therefore would be forced to visit Knoebels at another day in time. I'll post the other pics in separate threads because, as the title suggests, this is all about one of the greatest parks on earth.....Epcot!

 

Epcot has always been one of my favorite parks around, and always will be. I'm one of those grouchy "old school EPCOT CENTER" fans. You know, the type that seems to complain about any and all recent changes. Well, the only reason we do that is because we love the place so much. Call it tough love. The kind any proud parent would give their child who they felt was underachieving at something.

 

Naturally, I was very anxious to try and experience everything about the park on this day, and then form some updated opinions on where she stands almost 25 years after opening day. It was nice to be accompanied by my brother and his wife on what turned out to be a great spring Florida day. I'll post my thoughts on various things later, but now I should probably explain what you'll see in this trip report.

 

"Experiment" Time.

About a month before this trip, Shannon and I were discussing the insane cost of postage these days, and how unreliable the service seems in our area. Naturally, the proverbial "light bulb" went on in my head, and it lead me to think of this "experiment" the next day while daydreaming at work.

 

Back in the day, before Al Gore invented the internet, people actually sent letters and postcards to friends and family. Epcot Center, as well as the Magic Kingdom, used to have mailboxes for this very reason. As a kid, receiving postcards from traveling family members and friends was always something I looked forward to. It got me to thinking though, after hundreds of visits through the years, never once did I, myself, mail anything from either of the parks.

 

So with the internet now in place, common theme park friends around the world, and a desire to see what kind of service a .90 stamp buys, it was time to put the plan in motion. That is, of course, if Epcot still had mailboxes. As I researched it, I found that apparently they no longer did, thus forcing plan B into action. Luckily, the Beach Club access from Epcot allowed me to stop in and mail everything off.

 

Basically, I decided to round up about 20 members from around the world, and send each a postcard from Epcot to see how long each one took to arrive. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the stack of Disney postcards I used to have somewhere and was forced to make my own crude postcards with some photo paper and random pics I had on the computer. Some are just random "old school" Epcot images, and some are specific to the people receiving them.

 

A HUGE thanks to all the participants in this "experiment." Many of them you'll recognize, and some may be new to you. Either way, you'll soon see that old technology still works, regardless of how long it takes to connect us.

 

Without further ado, From Epcot with Love......

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This is something I'd probably expect to see at Wild Adventures rather than Epcot. ;)

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See, God loves Epcot.

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Or a good time for a quick power nap. This is one exhibit that needs to be rethought. Such an impressive and ambitious ride/exhibit when it opened, that now just comes across as very disjointed.

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Next up was Universe of Energy.

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And I think everyone who saw the TPR calendar can agree, Joe is nothing less than a "wonder of life." Here's to ya, Joe!

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Back over to Mission: Space. Wes, your capcom really does miss you terribly.

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You may recognize this homemade Hummer from a certain commercial.

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Well, because only a few steps away was a promotion for this beastly gas guzzler. It certainly seemed like a strange marketing decision....but eh, I've seen stranger ones, I guess.

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Their odd attempt at teaching to "Live Green." Odd? Why, you ask?

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Look, Test Track's doing it's impression of "Scream!", but with authentic theming.

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Or a Steak 'n Shake milkshake. Mmmmm, milkshake.

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Time to feel like a cheap fast food burger.

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So does anyone know how many tires do they go through each year?

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Yeah, I miss World of Motion, but I'll give 'em credit on this one. Test Track is an excellent attraction.

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10 minute wait for Test Track? Score.

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....that's better.

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Here ya go, Matt. Wait, hang on.....

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Hi Julie. Saved you a seat. ;)

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Does this ball force everyone to get artsy from time to time?

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That's gotta be a six minute wait. Forget it! We'll wait 'til later, thanks.

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The International Flower and Garden Festival was in full swing.

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Well, so much for that dream coming true. Maybe that wand will eventually come down one day. I can still dream! ;)

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And here they are, all ready to test our postal service. But not before spending half a day at Epcot. Lucky postcards!

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Yep.

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Hmmm, okay, I've got one in mind. I'll give you guys a pic or two to see if it comes true.

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I move to make it mandatory that any WDW trip report include a pic of the monorail. All in favor say "I."

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After an early start from Fort Lauderdale, it felt great to finally see this sign again!

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Part duex.

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For others, prepare to enter old school Epcot awesomeness in 3...2...1....

Okay, admittedly it needs some TLC. I just hope the refurb is kind to my baby.

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For some....prepare to enter hypersleep in 3...2...1....

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I told you that waiting until later would pay off. Score!!

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They're cool. Just not $5,000 cool.

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Nothing clever to say here. Move along.

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Sea Base Alpha? Also, Matt, notice the clarity?

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savethemanatee.org

Seriously. I worked around these things for years, and nothing was more depressing than to have to call in over the marine radio about another dead, or injured manatee along the intracoastal. :(

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Easily the best use of technology at any Disney park, IMHO.

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How long 'til we reach Sea Base Alpha?

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To the Clam Mobiles!

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The longest wait of the day for anything. 30 minutes or so. It's about this point that I really missed the 20K theming.

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Deep down, how cool would it have been to see The Living Seas with Team Zissou?

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More beauty. I'm tired, and the captions may begin to suffer as a result.

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Was this created to be climbed on? I really did wonder about that.

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This place is right up there with Dollywood and Busch Gardens Europe for "most beautiful."

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At least the interior still looks pretty good.

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Thanks to the crowds Soarin' brings in, the boat ride had a 30 minute wait. I had to skip it today in order to get everything else done. :(

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Redemption! Frozen chocolate covered bananas are the greatest thing ever created in the history of mankind. Almost, anyway.

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You mean the one that was held by the Dreamfinder? No? Well, that's a shame. Depression then began to set in.

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Oh wait. Figment's still awesome!

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Says it all right there.

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I definitely miss the original version. :(

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We told the next people to arrive upon the scene that this was due to something else. "Stay away from the one on the end. Try the Beverly instead." Suckers.

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But then OMG. The taste bud train simply derails. It's at this point I'm thinking "who on God's green earth drinks this crap!?"

Is this served to prisoners or something?

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First couple of seconds and you're thinking "eh, it's different, but it's not that......"

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It was time to try it out for myself.

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Uh oh. You know what that sign means.

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I hate to reply in the middle of your TR, but it's late and I need to go to bed! But anyway, I got my postcard today! I got it from my mailbox at 7:21pm CST (but it had obviously been there longer...that's just what time I got home). I find it really funny that I didn't even realize that the wand wasn't above Spaceship Earth in my postcard! hahaha The postcard was postmarked on the 23rd, so it only took two days...pretty good I think!

 

-Julie

 

This photo has been deleted by the photographer.

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Round three.

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Still is purty though.

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Italy. Home to Ferrari. Unfortunately, I could not find an Italian TPR representative. Sorry, no postacards sent to the boot. :(

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But this miniature plastic figurine on miniature plastic figurine violence HAS to end!

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Garden railroads are cool.

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Hi Andy!

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Germany. Home of Porsche, beer, and the Autobahn. Imagine that combination in the states.

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It's like the Tournament of Roses parade. Except, it's in Orlando, Joey's not rooting for USC today, and there's no parade. Besides that, yeah, just like the TOR.

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If you don't know who's pictured, then perhaps you're in the wrong place.

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Hear the drummer get wicked.

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Okay, between China and Germany, lies this African "outpost" of sorts.

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Okay, bear with me on this one. Ian and Tony, this one's for you guys. Since Australia isn't represented here, just imagine that island has the Sydney Opera House on it. ;) Cheers!

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Hang on, I'm checking the thesaurus.

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Splendid.

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Beautiful.

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I was suddenly feeling very "crouching tiger."

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Seriously, I'm a huge fan of ancient Asian architecture. Along with Japan, this place rocks!

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China continues to look great.

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Hi, Adriel!

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"I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in."

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Booo.

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"Honey, did you water the roof today?"

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Hi "Tusenfryd."

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On to Norway. Home of trolls, vikings, and grass roofs.

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From one "Parrothead" to another. ;)

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These guys are always cool with me.

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The update of this ride turned out pretty good, in my opinion.

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To me, the interior of the Mexico pavilion is probably the best around.

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Hi, Joel. Hope you enjoy your stay!

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The shores of Mexico.

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Mickey welcomes you to World Showcase, also known as "Awesomeville."

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Down the homestretch.

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Bye Epcot. 'Till next time. Thanks for reading. Hope you all enjoyed it!

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Oh no, don't thank me. It was certainly my pleasure.

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Hi, Dan. That's your card on top. Postcards were sent at exactly 1:00pm, Tuesday, May 22nd.

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I can't forget the most important card of the day. ;)

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Nicole, I forgot to take this pic at Journey, so Art the doorman kindly helped out. Thanks, Art!

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Beach Club Resort.

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Okay, time to veer off the beaten path a bit. Robb, since I forgot to take a pic elsewhere, here's the Boardwalk for you guys. Now I just wonder how many will recognize the picture on the card. ;)

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This park is beautiful, eh?

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When the Bruins are out of the picture, I always root for these guys next.

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Hi, Paul.

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Oh, Canada....

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Hi Derek. Sure, he's American, but the US pavillion didn't have a cool pub.

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Hi, Lou. Hi, Tom. Cheers!

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Jolly ole England.

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Great detail around the bend.

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Hi, sio!

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France. Notice how smart Disney was? They placed The Americans between Germany and France. Rest easy, France. Rest easy. ;) (I kidd, I kidd).

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Hours later, and I'm still trying anything to get that Beverly aftertaste out of my mouth!

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More proof of that.

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Morocco really has a great look to it.

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Okay, time to bear with me again. Our friend, "worm" from South Africa will be representing the great continent of Africa , including the Moroccan pavillion. Thanks worm!

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Should I be concerned?

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As are numreous other decorations. ;)

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Trees are your friends.

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Mmmmm, Japan. Unfortunately, I was unable to find a Japanese representative to receive a postcard. :(

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Poor picture, but if you're a fan of great a capella singing, do yourself a favor and see the Voices of Liberty perform.

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Am I missing something here?

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I received my inter-postal transmission when I got home tonight at 1:20 AM, so I assume it came on 5/25.

 

Here's me with my favorite CAPCOM.

 

Godspeed, Brave Beemerboy. This Photo TR is awesome so far!

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One of the most original TR ever ! Congratulations I didn't know that Epcot was as big as this.

 

A picture reminds me something when I went to Europa-Park the last month, see:

 

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Now this is totally front page material!

 

Great Photo TR!!!

 

--Robb "Haven't gotten my postcard yet...anxiously awaiting!" Alvey

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I received my inter-postal transmission when I got home tonight at 1:20 AM, so I assume it came on 5/25.

 

Here's me with my favorite CAPCOM.

 

Godspeed, Brave Beemerboy. This Photo TR is awesome so far!

 

Red Dawn Awesome??

 

FINALLY, a PTR thats different! I REALLY enjoyed it! You added a little twist which was just well done!

 

-Ryan

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I'm one of those grouchy "old school EPCOT CENTER" fans.

Me, too! What an awesome, awesome trip report.

 

Favorite pic (or saddest, depending on how you look at it): Picture of Horizons postcard covering Mission: Space. A thing of beauty.

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That was A LOT of photos! But they all make me wana go back to Disney SOOO BADLY!!!

 

And for some reason, those pics of "Jolly ole England" didn't really look like England to me. Was it becaaause....the sky was blue? O.o

 

haha...sorry...I couldn't pass up a joke. Even though it was a bad one. But yeah, now I'm craving Disney!

 

 

Thanks a bunch.

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I bit dissappointed I didn't see any Little Jerry Seinfelds running around!

 

Very fun PTR.

 

G "still trying to figure out how to get Front Page material" Money

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