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The Walt Disney World Adventure
-Day 5: Is it a big golf ball or what?

Written : 08/05/04

Oi. Itís been almost four months since I went on this damn trip, and Iím only half way through putting the thing down on virtual paper. There is still a long way to go, but at this point, Iíve decided that Iíve procrastinated enough. I donít have a totally solid excuse as to why these are taking me so long to type out. Nothing I really wasnít to commit to, anyhow. I guess you could chalk it up to laziness, which is the most likely and plausible way of explaining it. I personally like the excuse where I try to explain that the article lag is due to all my recent revamping of the site. But in the end, I didnít do it, and Iíve had plenty of time that Iíve whiled away sleeping, playing video games, and planning fake marriages on the internet (she was in on it too, I tell you!).

So back to not writing about how Iím becoming a complete and total nutjob, I just noticed that there isnít a whole lot of interesting in these Disney World articles. You have probably picked that out by now too (as you guys are the ones reading them), and I guess I should make a sort of mission statement to clarify. These articles are not fully intended for entertainment purposes. For one, Iím writing them so you have some sort of idea what youíre going to see if youíre ever in Disney World. It helps to know what to skip. And as for all of the not Disney related bits, theyíre just there to make it seem more complete. You donít care to know what I did with my days and I donít wanna know about yours, but theyíre quality filler, so theyíre in there.

As a final foreword, this one is in a situation where itís going to be very, very short. At least in comparison to previous entries. You see, I didnít have a lot of picture room left by this day, and I hadnít audited what I had, so I was forced to ration the space I had left between four more days. The bigger reason for the shortness is the plain and simple fact that we didnít do a helluva lot at Epcot. There is a ton of boring crap there, and one of the most amusing buildings was closed, so we stayed until about 4 or so, and then went shopping and came back for the fireworks show. Hell, I could just end it here, because Iíve stated what happened, but it wouldnít be right without a little in-depth action. So hold on to your something or others, here we go!

So there it is, the big ball that is Epcot. To this day, I have no idea what exactly an Epcot is. If you want to go on a hunt through the darkest bowels of the internet, by all means go ahead. Itís just not one of those things that I really care enough to understand. You could tell me that ďepcotĒ is what they call oversized golf balls, and Iíd just go with it, because itís plausible and I donít know any better. And as a note, that big wand and such wasnít up there 9 years ago. Not sure when they appeared, but I think it looked cooler without the extra Disneyfication. Just a personal preference.

And as you can see, the thing is very photogenic. Just look at all those stupid mortals other tourists taking pictures of it. Iíd insult them for all being mindless picture-takers, but then Iíd seem like a bit of a stupid and hypocritical ass. Funny thing is, thatís not too far off from the truthÖ So there wasnít a huge hassle at the gate stores this time around, because Öthere werenít any? To be honest, at this time, I canít remember much other than the pictures, so the details are gonna be a bit scarce.

Now, the ball is there for a purpose. I know youíre not as amazed as Iíd hoped you would be, but it is kind of obvious. Can anyone tell me what that purpose is? No? Tisk, tisk, you need to study more. The giant Epcot ball holds a ride, and what a ride. Itís so damn boring, that I can almost confirm that itís worse than the ďWheel of ProgressĒ or whatever it is that sucked at the Magic kingdom. Yes, itís crap. Or at least thatís what I told everyone so we could get to the good stuff faster. I canít really remember, but I think it was just a ďsit-and-seeĒ deal. No thrills or shooty guns. I say you skip it too, unless youíre into going on everything. You can live as you wish, but you really should listen to my rambling words of what might be.

Oh yes, before I get any further, here is a map that can help you get an idea of where everything Iím talking about is. It may not be that useful, but Iím trying to enhance the experience, so thank me.

Our first objective was to get some fast passes for the massively glorified Mission: Space. So we grabbed them, and then had to find something to waste time on for a while. First, we combed one part of a rather huge store, finding some things of interest, and some of no interest. I, for one, saw nothing that particularly drew me in. There was this one really neat brass (I think) marbleworks-type thing, and I watched that go for a while. It was the highlight ofÖ the visit toÖ that storeÖ at that point in time.

I really should make note that while Epcot does have the weakest ride/attraction selection, it is the best looking park. Everything is so jazzed up to look all techno-like and really all-around interesting. Being that the place is focused on science and imagination, this does make a whole lot of sense. I really like how they did the park, and if they brought in a couple more rides that are worth going on, Iíd like the park just that much more.

After a quick stop through the west wing of the Innoventions building, it was the hour of reckoning. But before that, we snuck over to the Test Track ride to get some fast passes. It was new, and supposedly pretty freaking great, and thatís what everyone wanted. So we scooted over and picked us the passes. To our surprise, we were even bestowed with bonus passes for the ďHoney, I Shrunk The AudienceĒ show. This kind of thing had never happened yet, and I couldnít help but let loose a small ďbooyaĒ. One less line to wait in can make all the difference at places like this.

To our dismay, though, neither pass would become valid for about 4 hours or so, and we decided the next logical step would be to actually get to Mission: Space, which was waiting for us in eager anticipation. Hoo-boy, were we in for a ride.

They cut not a single corner when dreaming up this one. On the outside, it looked like every museum should, with huge models and circley walls made of some kind of future-metal. And it was every bit as impressive on the inside, too. The place was modeled after (as far as movies and TV have taught me) how a real space base thing looks. There were control panels, command rooms and blinking lights as far as the eye could see.

Just look at all of that stuff! And there were real people in there pushing buttons and doing things and talking about stuff that would seem more in place in Star Trek than in Disney World. All-out. I told you. And as great as the complex was, the ride was at least three times better. It may ruin the rest of the article (it made the rest of the day seem like suck), but this is easily the best ride in Epcot. Possibly even trumping the Rock ní Roller Coaster for best ride in all of Disney World. It was thoroughly awesome, and I canít possibly hope to convey the experience in words. Seriously, go to Disney World for this ride, if any. Fan-fricking-tastic.

I wonít go into detail, cause as I said, thereís no way I could properly get across just what goes on in this divine machine. If space travel is really as sweet-feeling on the body (I like rides that turn my stomach inside-out) as the ride would have you believe, maybe Iíll have to resurrect those dreams of becoming an astronaut. So after that, I was totally psyched to go on again, as were the rest of the family, but we knew there were bigger things to be done, and we couldnít get more fast passes until weíd been on Test Track. So it was back to the weak-ass rest of the park for us.

So we wandered around for a good hour, doing things that no fun-loving human would do. I canít quite remember it all, but I know there was something to do with butterflies at one point. There was a load of suck in between Mission: Space and Honey, I Shrunk The Audience, dotted with a few bits of good, which included ice cream and that cool waterfall-esqe thing there. You canít tell, Ďcause pictures donít move, but that waster is actually going up. Blows my mind. And Newtonís, too.

After the time wasted doing nothing, we finally got around to seeing the Honey, I Shrunk The Audience show. If you can guess what itís based on, Iíll give you a quarter. (NOTE: Ryan will not give anyone anything except a cold stare.) It was another one of those 3D effect shows. Iíve said my fill about them already, and I havenít even shown Ďem all to you yet. This one was a lot better than the one based on A Bugís Life, mostly because it involved no pain or bad touches. It was even entertaining. Iíve been a fan of the ďHoney I Shrunk So-And-SoĒ series (of movies, not the show) since the first one, so itís no surprise that I liked it. And really, who can resist Rick Moranis?

So after that, we still had an hour or so to waste until our date with the Test Track, so we looked around at all the other big buildings. The Universe of Energy and Wonders of Life buildings were closed down, and Iím pretty sure Seasons was too. Either that or we ignored it completely. As for the east side of the park, we didnít even set foot over there. Snore-Ville, except for The Living Seas. I remember that place being cool. But now that I look at the map I referred you to, I see that itís out-of-date and lacks Mission: Space. It may have been built on the ruins of The Living Seas, Seasons, or Journey Into Imagination, or even on an empty patch of land. The truth is that I have no idea, because we didnít so much as think about any of those places, and that map doesnít show much room for development.

Iíll take this opportunity to warn you of one thing: The Land is not even worth looking at. Itís mostly just a tour of a bunch of plants and crap. Nothing in there is worth your precious time. Half-way through the tour, youíll probably seriously consider suicide as a sensible way out of it. But the only way to do it would be to strangle yourself, as a)the carts are moving way to slow to even hope to cause damage, b) you wouldnít even step inside if you had any plant-related allergies, and c) Guns + Disney World = Yeah right. So just do yourself and anyone youíre with a favor and stay the Hell away from The Land.

As you may have expected, we finally made it into Test Track, and I didnít expect, the results were much different than predicted. The ride is based on the kinds of tests a car might go through before itís put on the market. Stuff like turning ability, weather resistance, wall resistance, acceleration and braking, and oh yeah, acid resistance. Now that last one might be important if we had to contend with the aliens from the movie of the same name, but I personally think it was just thrown in for a cheap thrill. I got sprayed with said ďacidĒ, and other than some horrible burning and scarring, it didnít do anything. Psssh. Acid. Nice try, Disney.

As for what I thought of the ride, it might just be the recoil from Mission: Space, but I thought it was a little weak. The ďspeedĒ element they rave on and on about in the promos only lasts for about a second, with the rest of the ride being tamer than the common dining room table. Everyone else seemed to like it, so maybe Iím just real jaded, but I didnít like it that much. I wouldnít say itís as overhyped as the Tower of Terror, but it certainly does fall under that category. Go on it, but donít expect nearly as much as the promoters want you to.

The day was still young, but it was time we turned tail and left the place for while. There wasnít anything left that anyone really wanted to see, so we decided to go do a little more shopping, because thatís what you do when youíre on vacation. More purchases abound for others, but I didnít see too much that turned my crank, so it was just another USA-exclusive (or at least hard to find up here) item show. At night, we went back so we could catch the most amazing display of fire and sound ever: Illuminations.

During the dark hours, the Epcot park is lit up beyond your imagination, and let me tell you, it just looks so much more awesome at night. Of course, all the parks had night-time light-ups, but only Epcot was paved with streets that had small lights embedded into them. My mom was just so taken with the Tinkerbell display at the front of the park that I couldnít not take a picture of it for her. Itís not necessarily something I care about, but it looks neat, so thereís the pic.

Everyone was gathered around the World Showcase Lagoon (which we hadnít bothered to go see earlier), as the show was going to be cast right in the middle of it all. I didnít get the best spot, but I sure did catch a lot more than I had nine years prior. The first time, I didnít really care, but this time, I got to see it all with a decent view, and after this fireworks show, no other will ever impress me again (bar the Magic Kingdomsí show). It was by far the greatest mix of sight and sound that has ever taken place in the history of mankind. If I didnít know I had to take pics, I would have just stood there with my mouth gaping in awe. Below are a few pictures of the event.

They arenít great, but itís the best I could do from half-behind a tree and standing on a railing so that I could see over said tree. What you donít see in the pictures are a hell of a lot more pyro, the lit-up national buildings (Chinese pagoda, Eiffel Tower replica, etc.), a huge globe that spins and opens, and a breathtaking musical score. Well, the music goes along with the show well (excellent sync), but itís truly something only one that can appreciate classical music would really like. Fortunately, I have an amount of respect for classical music, so itís all good for me.

After the show, we sadly learned that the World Showcase was closing up, and all were disappointed, because we all had somewhere we wanted to visit. On the way there, we did get to take a brief look at Canada (well-represented, I do say) and Great Britain, but those werenít exactly on my list of pavilions to see. If weíd ventured here during the day, I might have been able to stop by Italy and Japan to see the wares and sample the cuisine, but it wasnít in my fate to see such things. Luckily, Iím able to easily shrug off such things with minimal disappointment. Others didnít take things so well. But thatís all Iím gonna say.

Overall, the trip to Epcot was slow and kinda boring. I think we might have accidentally missed all of the less-hyped cool stuff, and the pavilions of the World Showcase were casualties that could have been avoided. I did love Mission: Space, and it certainly made my day. The Illuminations show was another highlight, and those two combined made up a large amount of good on that day. Other things of note are the toy store, which had a sweet extendo-arm that had a separate pull-thing for each finger, making it the most elaborate extendo-arm ever. Itís just too bad I was rather conservative with my cash during the trip. I had a list, and I was going to stick by it until the bitter end. Sad thing is, I didnít find half the stuff I was looking for. Live and learn, I guess.

That wraps up day five of my trip, and day six is going to have a lot more pictures, at least. Iím not sure about the length, since I went a little nuts with my camera early on, but it should be at least as long as this one here. So make sure you stay tuned, for the action packed, stomach-churning, pie-smelling sixth installment in the tale of my journey through Walt Disney World. Itíll be sure to be a good one. I think. 3000.

E-Mail: Mr_Hotshot64v2@hotmail.com