Thursday, 20 March 2014

Disney World's Epcot

The day after our trip to the Magic Kingdom, Angela, her parents and I visited Disney World's second-most famous theme park: Epcot (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow). Originally opened in 1982, this futuristic world's fair is a showcase for technological innovation and international culture.

Epcot is perhaps most famous for this large sphere called Spaceship Earth. It's one of the first things you see when you arrive at the park.
We headed straight for one of the park's most popular rides, Soarin', which involved flying over a some famous landscapes in California. It was very chill.
Then we took a ride through some biodomes and eco-farms.

In the Imagination Lab.
Some of the pretty flower arrangements that we saw throughout the park.

Trying out the hats in the gift shop.

On the Spaceship Earth ride our picture was taken and put into cartoon form.

There are some very pretty views to be found in the park, many of which have a very old-school 1970's sci-fi look to them.

Inside the Saturn-like structure in the background is the Mission: Space ride. It simulates what an astronaut experiences during takeoff, using centrifugal spin to create a powerful G-force effect. It's such an intense experience that it has been partly responsible for the death of 2 people (both with pre-existing heart and blood pressure conditions), and from June 2005 to June 2006, paramedics treated almost 200 riders who complained of nausea, headaches, vomiting, and other such problems. As a result, Disney created a less intense version of the ride for more sensitive riders. Angela and I tried out the original, intense version, and while we both felt a little nauseous and shaky afterwards, it wasn't too bad.
Easily our favourite ride at Epcot was Test-Track, in which you get to design your own car, then test it out on a series of psychedelic indoor race tracks, before zooming outside at supersonic speeds. I'm not even a car person, yet this was lots of fun.

We even got to take a picture with our finished car after the ride was over... well as try out some real cars.

Soon we left the futuristic section of the park to enter the World Showcase.

The World Showcase is a series of pavilions spread along the perimeter of a lake, each one themed around a different country. The pyramid above was part of the Mexico pavilion.
Inside the pyramid: a gorgeous night-time scene from a rural Mexican village.
Diners can eat before the great pyramid of Chichen Itza.
Drinking some tasty margaritas.

Getting in the Mexican mood.
A Norwegian troll.

Strolling around Morocco.

We ate dinner at a Moroccan restaurant.
Possibly the best-cooked lamb I've ever had.
A performance by a belly dancer.

Momentarily back in my home country.

Soon, night was drawing in and our legs were aching after 12 hours of walking around. Time to go.

Though exhausted by the end, we all enjoyed our time at Epcot. Like the Magic Kingdom, it's certainly very tame when it comes to rides, but the atmosphere and variety of interesting settings make it a wonderful place to wander around.

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