We had a great time today, despite the warnings of un-Florida-like weather. It was a little cold when you weren’t in the sun or had the wind blowing, but it still felt great. Tomorrow’s forecast is for much warmer and windier, so I may break out the shorts if it looks promising.
Today we started out at EPCOT, right when they opened at 9am. After making reservations for lunch, we headed straight to Test Track to get Fast Passes. They weren’t necessary all day–the crowds (and lines) were non-existent. We walked right up to the front and rode it twice. After that, we walked over to the Land pavilion and went on the Listen to the Land boat ride and the new Soarin’ attraction that they copied from Disney’s California Adventure.
One of my Disney pet peeves is that they never seem to create different films for attractions that could support them (Star Tours, Soarin’, etc.) at different parks. Still, it is nice to see continued investment in EPCOT. The Land had been totally updated inside since our last visit two years ago (new seating, new food options, entry to Soarin’). The Nemo re-hab of the The Living Seas was also not as bad as I was afraid it might be. The areas at the end after you get off the cars could use a little Imagineering work, though.
After visiting Figment at Journey Into Imagination, we walked to over to World Showcase to board a Friendship to Morocco. From there, we walked to Italy and had lunch at Alfredo’s. Still my favorite spot, but I would like to try a few of the other countries sometime (I did get some bird at the Japanese pavilion later in the day). After lunch, we walked through Japan, Morocco and France before boarding a boat to take us to Disney-MGM Studios.
The 30-minute boat ride took us past the Yacht and Beach Club, the Dolphin and Swan hotels and the Boardwalk area. I’ve never really been through that area much (ran it during the 2000 Disney Marathon), but it looks nice. I still prefer the original resort hotels of the Polynesian, Contemporary and Grand Floridian, though, which we hope to visit later in the trip.
Once at the Studios, we headed for the star attractions of Tower of Terror and Rock and Roller Coaster. My oldest daughter and I went on the Aerosmith-themed attraction and I felt old having to explain to her who Aerosmith was. I just love the theming of that attraction once you leave the recording studio and enter the back alley area–one of my all-time favorite Disney ride queues (it’s neighbor Tower of Terror ranks up there too). No lines here either, but the herky-jerky of the three loops made me talk her out of a second pass (I never remembered three loops on that ride, but they must have been there).
We all went on Tower of Terror and had a blast. The randomness of the drops makes it much more exciting now. We went through some of the shops before taking the boat back to EPCOT. Once there, I revisited Japan, then walked over to Great Britain and Canada before hitting Nemo and Spaceship Earth on the way out.
My wife wanted some treats from her non-Minnesota fast-food favorite (Chick-Fil-A), so I picked up some of that after dropping them off at my brother’s house. He gave me a great birthday present tonight too–a new Pluto hockey jersey (picture coming soon).
Speaking of pictures, I’ve created a new public photo album in the Travel section called Walt Disney World. I uploaded a bunch there tonight, along with more to the private album. Just a reminder, if you’d the password to the private area and don’t know it, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tomorrow: the Magic Kingdom.Originally published by DK on January 31, 2007 at 11:26 pm