10/7/13

WDW Rides -- EPCOT

To tell you the truth, there are very few rides in Epcot. Disney has been ramping up the ride focus, but there are other sights, stores and restaurants to visit instead of ride.

Here's the 2013 map of Epcot:


Here's the older map version of Epcot.


Sorry, but this true north aspect of the maps is just too bizarre for me to comprehend. Just put the entrance near the bottom and let it go!

Again, when you enter the park pick up a map AND a Times Guide. The maps come in numerous languages, but I'm not sure about the Times Guides. If there isn't a map in your language, check out Guest Relations (to your left after the first fountain and Spaceship Earth.

FUTURE WORLD EAST

Spaceship Earth -- is the focal point of Epcot. It's the large golf ball sphere. It's a mellow ride, 2 in front, 2 behind in each car. We enjoy it as it's a nice way to cool off in the afternoon heat. As soon as you enter the building you walk onto a moving circular platform. You have to be able to get out of your scooter or wheelchair to ride this ride--though I think Disney does it's best to make all rides accessible for everyone.

Ellen's Energy Adventure -- It's been a long time since we rode this one. There are three sections in this auditorium that break apart and move around for the show. Accessible for everyone . . . just be sure you take a potty break BEFORE you ride as it's a looong show. 45 min.

Mission: SPACE -- Fast Pass -- 44" height requirement, shoulder harness -- Orange team = intense experience -- Green team = less intense. I've ridden both sides. Green usually has less of a line, but that doesn't mean less of an experience. The Orange team still has the centrifugal action going, so if you get motion sickness, this is NOT the ride for you! Very cold air is circulating around the cockpit that holds four people. Each seat is given a job, which is a good way to keep you focused on the video screen and NOT on the thought of spinning around. You will feel pressure on the Green team, but not the G-forces you will experience on the Orange team. You're strapped in pretty tightly and I didn't experience any issues with my neck.

Test Track -- Fast Pass -- singles line -- 40" height requirement -- for almost a year, this ride was down as the reimagined the concept. The actual ride is still the same, but the pre-ride is very different. Different, not necessarily better. Not as much of a fan of the reimagined ride. Even the singles line takes longer than you would expect since these riders also go through a version of the design a car concept. If you are preggers, or have neck or back issues, you might want to skip this ride. It is a little harsh on the body.  

Sum of All Thrills -- We never got a chance to do this. It's in the Innovations East building. Every time we wanted to try this out, there was a LONG line. You basically design your own rollercoaster and then you get into a pod (a mechanical arm with a bucket on the end) and then you 'ride' your own roller coaster design.

**I think this ride might also be at Disney Quest, which is in Downtown Disney.**

FUTURE WORLD WEST

The Seas: numerous exhibits featuring very small and very large aquariums. Take some time to explore this area. You will also find Turtle Talk with Crush in this building.

The Seas with Nemo & Friends -- This is the reimagined entrance into the Living Seas. You ride in a clamobile (2 or 3 people depending on everyone's size) through various scenes. The Disney imagineers have done a great job mixing a real aquarium with action, scenes, etc from Nemo.

The Land: This building has quite a few restaurants and a couple of different shows, but most people go into The Land to ride . . .

Soarin' -- Fast Pass -- 40" height requirement. Love this ride as you are basically hang gliding with about 80 of you best friends. :-) It's very smooth, but you are up in the air and they don't want people to get hurt, which is why there is a height requirement.

Living with the Land -- Fast Pass -- boat ride. Slow boat that takes you through Disney greenhouses and a fish farm. The only time this ride is crowded is during peak season. Erm, I would never consider getting a fast pass for this ride, but each to their own. 
 
Imagination: This area has been reimagined a few times, but it still needs some work. Very few people come over to this area.

Journey into the Imagination -- Ride with Figment. Fun, mellow little ride to get you out of the heat. You will be singing the song for awhile because it's an earworm like "It's a Small World"

Captain EO -- 3-D Michael Jackson film as he plays Captain EO as he rescues the world through dance, music and a light show . . . good, but very dated.

WORLD SHOWCASE -- clockwise around the lake. I'm including each of the worlds even if they don't have a ride. Many of them have exhibits that change periodically, sit down restaurants, quick service type of restaurants, and, of course, shopping!

Mexico -- gentle raft ride around Mexico, featuring the three caballeros (Donald Duck, Jose Carioca, and Pancito Pistoles). Some rafts are equipped to have wheelchairs. Mariachi shows periodically throughout the day along with character greetings.

Norway -- Fast Pass -- Maelstrom--Viking boat ride through Norway's past. Some drops, but no restraints on the boat, so it's very gentle . . . as you travel through TROLL COUNTRY! This is a fun ride, and yes, when there is a long line we've been known to get a fast pass. There is a short film after the ride, but if you don't want to watch it, then just walk through into the gift shops. Every meal at the Akershus Restaurant is a character meal with Princesses. If you want to see Epcot empty, then make reservations for breakfast--family style--where everyone at your table digs into the same dish. Hope you like the people you're with!  

China -- 360 movie theater. Standing rails only. But I love this movie! Throughout the day, there are acrobats putting on shows. Don't miss the pint-sized rendition of the Terra Cotta Warriors. Very Impressive!

Germany -- If you time it well, you can see the giant cuckoo clock chime. The restaurant is the show. Buffet meal with seating at long, communal tables. Meet new people as you sing "Ein Prosit" together while swilling large steins of beer . . . not that I would ever do that . . .

Italy -- again with all the eating. Sometimes they will provide a clown/mime/juggling act. If you have little ones, you might warn them that the statues might move. . . You'll know if it's a show.

The American Adventure -- three different shows. Yeah, and I'm one of those terrible American's who bypass this whole section. The food is standard stuff for the US, though they do serve Sam Adam's beer.

Japan -- In the past, they've done the advent of tin toys, and how anime ties into their history. A couple of shows are throughout the day. If you get a chance to see the Taiko Drummers-- DO! They are amazing!

Morocco -- This area was getting a facelift to help draw guests into their country. Throughout the day, there is a belly dancer who performs. She's really good at getting the little tykes up to dance.

France -- Impressions de France film is in a sit down auditorium. It's a nice trip to the very different areas of France.

United Kingdom -- Various shows throughout the day. I totally enjoyed British Revolution . . . but then it might have been the beer speaking when I sang along with them to a Billy Idol song. Yes, I embarrassed the kidlet . . . that's the point, right??

Canada -- 360 film of Canada. Standing rails only. Off Kilter, a Canadian/Celtic rock group performs throughout the day. If you want to splurge, Le Cellier has some of the best steak I've ever eaten. It's right up there with really good steakhouses like Morton's and Flemings.

There are a few things to keep the kiddies occupied, instead of whining about how tired they are.

1) Kidcot -- I didn't pay attention to the fan that kids can color this year. In the past, it was a mask on a stick. The kiddo goes to each county's kidcot area to get a stamp and many times the cast member will write the kiddo's name in that language. It's fun to see what each name looks like in Arabic, Japanese, Chinese, etc.

2) Phineas and Ferb: Agent P's World showcase adventure -- This isn't just for tweens or teens, you will see adults playing with their F.O.N.E., finding clues, and foiling Dr. Doofenschmirtz. If you see someone with an old style FONE, hang around them to see what they set off!

3) Every night, Epcot does a IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth at 9 PM. The only time they might postpone this show is if there is lightning. There are a few better areas to view the firework, lights, and laser show, but almost any place around the lagoon will work . . . just try to stay away from buildings and trees that might get in the way as the show is on the water as much as it is in the air!

Epcot provides this wonderful show at the end of an exhausting day. It's a must see!

Magic Kingdom is the last park I'm chatting about. It might take me longer than the rest since virtually everything in the park is a ride!

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