After a successful day at Blizzard Beach, we hit our next Disney theme park, the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, or Epcot for the rest of you!
When we first arrived at Epcot, Ellie and Maggie were very excited to see Spaceship Earth, or as they call it, "the giant golf ball." They were excited by it's size and were jumping up and down as we entered the park.
The one ride that we were very excited to try was Soarin', however we knew that the line for it would be rather long, so we decided to first get Fast Passes for that ride and then try something else. So off we went to secure our Fast Passes. When we got those, we moved on to The Seas with Nemo & Friends ride.
This was a very cute attraction, but the big highlight is the show after the ride called Turtle Talk with Crush.
This is a live show where kids of all ages can have a conversation with the totally tubular turtle from Disney·Pixar's Finding Nemo. After taking your seat, you watch Crush swim to the window from his ocean home and begin taking questions and chatting with audience members. Ellie was thrilled to have Crush talk to her and answer her question about how long turtles live.
Then it was time to head back to Sorin'. Soarin' is a multi-sensory attraction that simulates a peaceful hang-gliding flight over the Golden State of California. An IMAX projection dome wraps 180 degrees around you, so you're engulfed by the impressive scenery. Wow! This was quite an incredible ride. You really do feel as if you are gliding through the air. The entire family enjoyed the experience.
Next we tackled a character meet and greet where the girls got to meet all the main Disney characters in one nice, air-conditioned building. So out came the autograph books for Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pluto, Donald Duck, and Goofy!
After that it was getting close to our lunch reservations, so we decided to head over to the World Pavilion and check out some of the countries on our way to Germany for our lunch in the Biergarten. We were also able to meet a couple of princesses in the World Showcase; Mulan in China, and Snow White in Germany.
After our delicious lunch, we headed back to the main center of Epcot to grab Fast Passes for the Test Track. Once we got those we decided to check out Captain EO in 3-D, the classic film starring Michael Jackson. That was quite a disappointment. It was so dated and even boring. The girls didn't really seem to like it either.
When we emerged from Captain EO, it was pouring!!!! We ended up waiting it out under the canopy there for about 15 minutes before we decided to chance it as our Fast Pass time for Test Track was expiring soon. However, we ended up getting wet for no good reason, as Test Track was shut down and would not be reopening anytime soon. So we decided to bag it and, after much debate, decided to try out Mission: Space.
Mission: SPACE Attraction is a 5.5-minute motion simulator ride that realistically mimics what an astronaut might experience during a space flight to Mars. I personally, as a space nerd, was kind of excited about trying out this ride, but nervous as well, as I had heard it can be pretty intense, even on the easier, green side of the ride. After going through the cue and getting to the point where we were just about to enter our seats to start the ride, the non-stop warnings blasted at us all throughout the cue and pre-show about the ride got to Maggie and she declared she was not getting on it. We kind of figured she may do that, so I took Maggie out of the ride and we waited in the pavilion for Ellie and Paul to finish.
When Ellie and Paul emerged from the ride the excitement on Ellie's face told me everything. "IT WAS AWESOME!" she stated and wanted to go on again right away. Since the cue was not long at all, I got to go on the ride with Ellie while Paul stayed with Maggie in the pavilion.
When Ellie and I finished the ride I got a text from Paul saying that he and Maggie were across the way in the Innoventions building. This was a pretty cool place, with lots of hands on exhibits for kids to try -- almost like a science museum. While there, we tried out The Sum of All Thrills. Here you test your imagination by designing a thrill ride using an interactive touch screen that lets you determine height and speed while adding features such as dips and corkscrew turns. Once "built," you climb aboard your very own design in the 4-D robotic simulator that uses sight, sound and movement to give you a realistic experience. Pretty cool!
After that it was time to head back to the World Showcase for our dinner reservations at Tepan Edo in Japan. We got there a little early and had time to kill, so we wandered around the gift shop in Japan. While there both Ellie and Maggie were able to try on authentic kimonos with the help of a lovely Japanese girl!
Dinner at Tepan Edo, a teppanyaki restaurant, was delicious, and the family we sat with was able to give us some good advice regarding our upcoming visit to Disney's Hollywood Studios in a couple of days.
Spaceship Earth. This was another big hit with the girls, especially at the interactive end of the ride, where you are able to see yourself in the future.
That concluded our trip to Epcot. Despite not being able to ride Test Track, we had a very happy day!