We started the day by taking a little swim in the pool. This has to be the smallest pool I’ve ever seen at a large complex like this. But, it’s not a problem, really. The water was at least as warm as the air, so there was not much in the way of cooling off going on with it. But, swimming is always enjoyable and the small pool was not a problem.
Next we headed out to Epcot. We ate out lunch in the car as we arrived there around 11 and then we entered the park under sunny skies, excited for a wonderful day of exploration and fun. The weather report was for the weather to continue to be good and we’re really in the happiest place on Earth, so what could go wrong?
We were greeted by the long lines at Spaceship Earth and so we skipped it, as I have done every time I’ve been to Epcot. We took the western path around the golf ball and headed to Innoventions (west). In here we learned about fire safety, played a few video games, played a “build a pizza” game where we had to memorize a map of the country which showed some of the ingredients that each state is famous for and then remember them well enough to match two states and thereby build our pizza. Interestingly, New Jersey was noted for blueberries and dairy and some kind of flower thing which I didn’t recognize, but not for tomatoes. But whatever, it’s a game.
We looked at some exhibits of genetically altered potato plants (altered to be resistant to potato beetles), built some frogs out of Velcro in the Velcro shrine they had in one corner and watched some videos about special hearing aids that are being worked on which are surgically implanted into the ear along with an outside portion to send FM signals to the bits that are inside the ear. Very hopeful for hearing impaired people.
Next we went to The Seas with Nemo & Friends, where we stood in line for a short while. I didn’t mind the line so much as I minded the fact that some of the adults stuck their kids in line to hold the space and then the adults went off to get ice cream, soda, beer, cigarettes or whatever, only to cut into the line later in order to join the rest of their party. This practice annoys me because for those of us who are in line we now have to allow other fat slobs to jump in and push us around because they have to join up with their party when it becomes convenient.
Anyway, the ride itself was fine. We got to look at some fish, listen to characters from Finding Nemo say silly things and more importantly, sit in an air conditioned seat for a few minutes. Once out, we were dumped into an indoor aquarium type of thing where we could look at various fish and coral and turtles and manatees and other sea life. There were escalators involved and The Girl was more than willing to use them, so that fear appeared to be firmly in the past.
As we exited the Nemo attraction, it began to rain lightly. We headed over to the Imagination attraction, where we went into a Journey into Imagination with Figment, which was fine for kids, I guess, but largely didn’t show much imagination at all, though it often came close to showing something. The skunk scent that it sprayed at us was exciting, of course.
Back out into the rain, we then jumped over to the “Honey I Shrunk the Audience” movie. It was an exciting film about a bumbling scientist who accidentally shrunk all of us. It was fun to get sneezed on by a dog (like that never happens in real life) and feel mice run all around our feet. Great fun.
Next we headed to The Land, where the lines were long for everything. We decided to have a snack and bought fruit salads and drinks. After our little snack, we went to see the movie, “The Circle of Life”, where the good folks at Disney attempted to make all of us feel guilty for sucking the life out of the Earth. Ironically, they preached lessening our use of electric and lessening our abuse of the earth; considering that we’re sitting at Disney where everything is about electricity and excess, this seemed a bit “wrong.” Also the fact that solar power is “for tomorrow” when I have 36 of them on my roof today seemed a bit wrong, too.
Back out into the rain and thunder and lightning we headed and now we walked toward the World Showcase, the best part of Epcot for us adults. We were on the western side of the park so we continued that way into the World Showcase, meaning we were going backwards according to the map.
So, we started in Canada. After taking the scenic but wet walk down through the Canadian area, down around the really fragrant steak house, called Le Cellier Steakhouse, we made it into the covered indoor area. After waiting a few minutes while our noses adjusted to the wafting aromas from the steakhouse, we learned that Canada is the second largest country in the world in terms of land mass, behind Russia and that Canada has 6 time zones. We learned that there are 33 million people in Canada and that there are 36 million people in California. We learned that the name Canada came from a Huron-Iroquois name for ‘village’. We learned that the national anthem of Canada is called “Oh, Canada”. See? If you pay attention to people when they talk, you might learn something. Take that as a lesson. You know who I’m talking to…
They tried also to teach us the name of the current Prime Minister of Canada, but no one cared.
We watched the 360 degree circle vision movie about Canada (amazingly, the movie was called “O, Canada!”, perhaps playing on the name of the national anthem. Hmmm….) and saw some of the stunning sites and wildlife and scenery that is Canada, all hosted helpfully by Martin Short, the most famous Canadian (according to the movie). It was lovely and a little bit dizzying in terms of how they flew around in the circle vision, but it was pretty dazzling nonetheless. When the movie ended, they helpfully told us in the cute Canadian accent that it was still raining and to stay dry, eh? Thanks.
At that point, we gave up and I bought ponchos for everyone in the little Canadian gift shop. $32. Ouch. We need to fix the dollar because the exchange rate needs to be far better than that!
So, next we headed out around the other side of the steakhouse where we saw some stupid American arguing about how he shouldn’t need reservations to the steakhouse even if everyone else does and we continued on to the United Kingdom where it was, of course, raining. While this was technically an accurate picture of England (from what I hear), it wasn’t all that pleasant to experience it in this case. It also became apparent that all that the British do is shop and eat smelly food… or laze around in red phone booths, as this was all that there was to do in the UK. So, this interested us exactly… not at all… so we continued on to France.
Ahh, France. We wandered into France, wet and tired, and waited in a short line to go into their movie. This was not in 360 degree circle vision because the French are lofty and far above all gimmicks like that. But at least there were seats (there were no seats in the Canadian film so that you could spend the 14 minutes spinning around, looking at all of the images). “Impressions de France” was a celebration of the French countryside. Honestly, I didn’t think there were any unspoiled areas of France or any other area of Europe for that matter, since humanity has been there to foul it up for so much longer. It was pretty in some areas. I think the buildings were supposed to be impressive, but honestly… they’re just buildings. I don’t get that worked up by buildings or architectural wonders like the Eifel tower. Seriously, what is that thing for? It sure isn’t “to look pretty,” as it is simply a bunch of metal. I seem to remember it is so that you can “see all of France and all of the people” and to commemorate some kind of revolution that didn’t involve making tea in the ocean. But really, the Eifel Tower is an eyesore, nothing more.
At the end of the movie, the man from France came back in and said in his cute French accent that it was still raining. Hooray.
From France we headed to Morocco where they also only eat, apparently, and build orange buildings. Moving on… Next was Japan where they also only eat and build buildings with funny angles and symbols on them. Seeing as it was still raining, we decided to not linger in Japan, either, and headed on to The American Adventure.
The American Adventure seems to take more space than the other exhibits do. They have food in America, too, it seems, consisting of burgers, chicken, turkey legs and hot dogs. We found a pretzel and it was served to us by a woman from South Jersey who noticed The Boy’s NJ Devils hat and commented on it. We ate the pretzels under an umbrella in the rain and decided that the movie was just going to be too uncomfortable with our wet clothes and shoes. So, we decided that we’d had enough and would head out.
Of course, The American exhibit in the World Showcase is the center of the exhibit, the furthest point from the entrance to the park. So, we walked quickly (as quickly as tired, wet children will allow) around the way we had been heading and found our way out to the exit and then back to the car and then our Villa. We threw the shoes in the dryer, changed into jammies and watched “Pirates of the Caribbean 2” during dinner, then crawled into bed.
Isn’t it great how being on vacation is like having a job – work all day for a little sleep at night, and the opportunity to do it all again the next day. Gotta love it.