I was inordinately excited that they had monorails.
Especially a TRON lightcycle one!
I had my hopes up that perhaps they'd have a People Mover too, though I knew that had long, long since been retired.
I got there way early -- I was definitely among the first cars in the lot. This put me at the head of the line. While killing time, there was a family from Quebec that decided to see if one of the Disney folks really was from Quebec. He was, so they started conversing about where they were from and such. I joined in the conversation and told a couple stories about my time out there. I rarely use French and it amazes me that I'm still reasonably fluent every time I pick it up.
I had to slip in a couple of goofy questions -- they were OK with French toast and French fries, but they much preferred poutine. Yup! They're Canadian!
At length, they let us into the park -- a family from Texas opened the park. I made a note of Spaceship Earth as I rushed by it. I almost stopped there, but I'd heard that Mission: SPACE had my name written all over it.
It's right there in that rocket trail!
One thing you've gotta love about this ride is that as you walk up to the line, there's a line op standing in front. In my case, it was a pretty cute girl who looked me in the eye and said "More intense or less intense?"
Now -- I had no idea what I was answering here, but somewhere in the back of my head, I heard Winston Zeddemore yelling to me: "testing4l, if someone asks if you want it more intense, YOU SAY YES!"
With that, she handed me an orange ticket. I found out later that it meant that the rocket I was in would spin to produce more G-forces! Whee!
On the first run through, I was commander! There's four people to a craft -- commander, pilot, engineer, and navigator. They run you through what a flight to Mars might be like with a few close calls and a simulated cryogenic sleep inbetween.
What a way to start off, eh?
I went from there to the GM Test Drive ride which was pretty dull. They put you in a "test vehicle" and tell you about things like anti-lock brakes. The most exciting bit was a straightaway at about 60 mph in a relatively open topped vehicle. Maybe that would excite you crazy Terrans, but me? I had just been to Mars!
Afterwards, they push you through a bunch of exhibits about the cars of the future -- hybrids, battery powered cars, and the like. Along with new GM models. The only attention given to the high performance end was a Camaro that you could clamber into and have your picture taken. I went right past that and on to -- well, ANYTHING else.
One thing I loved about EPCOT was vistas like this one:
It just _screams_ future at you.
Against my better judgement, I went for the Captain EO movie experience. I saw it when I was a kid a long time ago at Disneyland. It was kinda mindblowing -- my first run-in with 3-D via polarized glasses. Apart from Michael Jackson's music, the whole thing was terrible though.
On the plus side, the glasses look awesome:
I walked over to Soarin' after that. I love that ride so much. They had this interactive thing going where cameras in the line which would watch the audience and try to pick out things like people with their hands raised, so you could bounce a projected beachball along the wall. That was kinda neat.
At some point, they busted out this samba-ish beat and this Puerto Rican mother started dancing. Her kids looked completely embarrassed.
So what'd I do? You better believe I got in there to shake a leg and extend the embarrassment!
Afterwards, I decided to take this opportunity to wander into EPCOT world and track down some unusual food. I got distracted by the boat ride. I ended up getting a carbonated orange drink while I was watching a mime. I got some food after the show and then continued on around.
One funny thing about Disney. Apparently, they assume that people have never seen a sink before:
Also, I momentarily wished I'd had a baby:
I was really quite curious what kind of change you'd get for a baby!
The rest of EPCOT was pretty cool, but the only other thing that I thought really worth mentioning was the World of Energy show/ride. You're sitting in a movie theater, except it turns out that the seats are in giant cars and they roll you into a couple of different scenes. Ellen and Bill Nye do most of the film and made for a pretty entertaining view. Better than Captain EO anyway.
So, I'd always wondered what this giant dome is:
That's a picture as I was leaving the park -- but I did get to it much earlier than that! It turns out to be Spaceship Earth -- a magnificent idea that Disney had and approached Ray Bradbury about. He wrote some of the concepts, but apparently it really didn't work with him and the Disney team.
I ended killing a fair amount of time out there. It just seemed like there wasn't that much to do in EPCOT. I made it out before the park closed. That was a good thing -- I'd planned on driving from Orlando to Titusville that night and checking into my hotel.
Only one small problem -- I couldn't remember WHICH hotel! A couple of guess & checks later (guided by my GPS), I eventually found the right place and settled in for the night. Tomorrow was Kennedy Space Center!