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EPCOT – Part 1

This was the park I think Matt and I were both looking forward to the most. It was also the only park that we had decided we were going to spend the whole day in, opposed to park hopping. So I was very excited about going and Matt was too, in his own way.

We got there just after the park opened and were greeted by a security guard who serenaded us while searching through everyone’s bags.  This was the first of several times that we were shown how much fun all the Disney Cast Members have. Everyone was having so much fun with their job! Then it was on to the park gates. Don’t worry, this won’t be a play by play of the whole day, but I mention this detail purposefully. This is where Matt and I were first fingerprinted. Yes, fingerprinted. When you use your park tickets, they scan your finger to make sure it is you that will always use that ticket. It was kinda crazy!

From there we began exploring. The wait board said that Soarin’ was only a 5 minute wait so we ran over there to find out it lied, try 45 minutes, but while we were there we made our reservations for the Behind the Seeds Tour later in the day. Then I ran off to try Test Track before the line got too long.

Test Track was fun, the premise is that you are the crash test dummy testing out the safety features in the car. The acceleration test at the end is by far the best part of the ride. What the ride showed me though it how cool the Cars Land ride at California Adventure will be when it’s done. I think the theme and driving through Monument Valley will be much more entertaining overall.

Thanks to the Single Rider line, I was on and off in less than 15 minutes and met Matt back at Innoventions. We were wandering around and came across this:

Now you have to understand, I am a weather geek. Had I not married Matt I would be in the Midwest somewhere on a research team chasing tornadoes. So this was awesome!! It was also quite amusing to Matt who had fun teasing me that will all of my research (I had a binder full of information and spreadsheets) I missed that the Weather Channel had something in EPCOT. Basically, they run you through a storm simulator (they spray you with water and blow air on you with a fan…), destroy a street and have you rebuild it, storm safe, as best you can. Then they see if you were able to rebuild it to withstand a storm by running it through the simulator again. It was fun, not quite as cool as I had hoped for, but educational and a fun experience.

When we left we ran straight into the Jammitors, a wandering percussion group that played on trash cans and, well, each other.

Finally the World Pavilion opened (it opens about 2 hours after the park does)!! And we could really begin exploring! First we walked through Canada and then the UK. All the countries are just beautiful to walk around.  Of course you can never full represent all of the countries (Apparently, Canada is only full of loggers, native artifacts and flannel), but they do a nice job of giving you a taste.

A street in the UK pavillion

Speaking of taste, in all of my research one thing was clear. You must eat at Le Cellier and you must have the Cheese Soup. Problem: Le Cellier is booked 6 months in advance and we decided to do this trip 3 months ago. I also read that if you ask very nicely, you might just find a cast member who is willing to give you the soup to-go. So I tried it and you know what, they did!

Not only that but the Cast Member, Rob, saw it was our anniversary and tried to see if he could find us a table. Sadly, he couldn’t, they were apparently all-booked, opposed to just mostly booked. But I was so impressed with his offer to even try! Oh and the soup, it was amazing! Very sharp and tangy. So good I didn’t mind eating hot soup out in 92 degree Florida…

Now at this point we had to leave the World Pavilion to run back to make our Behind the Seeds tour. Behind the Seeds is a guided tour you can take through the greenhouses of EPCOT where they grow the fruits, vegetables, and herbs for the parks. They are also an agricultural research center using the newest methods. Now, you can take the boat ride through them, “Living with the Land”, or you can pay a little extra for the hour long tour.

Our tour guide, Alisha

Alisha showed us all the different techniques they use for growing the produce for the parks. One of the coolest, I thought, was growing brussel sprouts in mid air. They are hanging from a conveyer belt and every minute or so go through this channel that will spray them with a nutrient solution to keep the root moist. Crazy.

Behind the hanging brussel sprouts there is the aquaponics tank, a fairly new area of agriculture.  The kale is growing on top of a tilapia tank, in the water. They feed each other in a natural cycle. They do not serve either of these in the parks due to its experimental nature, instead they feed it to the animals in Animal Kingdom.

There are a lot more photos of the tour, and EPCOT, in the Walt Disney World album of our photo page. I wish I could tell you everything but this post is long enough already!

Next post, how Matt and I helped save the world, dinner in Germany and my favorite moment in EPCOT.

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