Thursday, July 15, 2010

Fun in Florida, Part 3--EPCOT

After Disney Studios, we took a day off to swim in the pool at our rental property (which I would recommend if you are heading to Orlando--very reasonably priced and comfy!) and pick up Mike's mum from the airport. She stayed with us for a few nights, which was nice!

Then the next day she spent with her sister-in-law, and we headed for EPCOT. The last time we were in EPCOT was 1995, when Mike and I took a pre-kids Disney trip. That time we spent two days in EPCOT, which is a much easier way to do it. EPCOT is HUGE. We covered much of the park in 1 day, with three kids. We ought to receive a medal for that!

We started out again by going on the most-popular rides, the very high-tech and impressive
Mission: Space and Test Track.

Kieran went on both of those rides and loved them! I loved Mission: Space, but Mike was not so crazy about it, even though he went on the less-intense version (I dragged Chris on the more intense version with me!). The ride is meant to simulate astronaut training and it gave me a feeling unlike any other I have I was truly taking off into space. It was amazing. Apparently two people have died on this ride (because of pre-existing conditions) and others have been hospitalized for chest pain and vomiting.

Nicholas was very patient again, waiting while we went on these rides, but then we took him into Innoventions, where they had a great fire safety game and exhibit called "Where's the Fire?" As our little firefighter-loving man, he was thrilled. Sorry for the blurry photos--he was moving too quickly!

We enjoyed "The Seas," where we rode a Finding Nemo ride, enjoyed looking at the massive aquarium, and went to "Turtle Talk with Crush." Turtle Talk is an amazing interactive attraction where you see Crush on the screen talking directly to the audience. The technology is amazing! Kieran--our star--of course was immediately seen by Crush, and he featured heavily in the show. Kieran often seems to find a way to get noticed!

Next we went to "The Land," where we went on "Soarin'," a simulated hang glider tour over California. I love that ride--it's also at Disneyland. We just happened to measure Nicholas before we went on the ride--I felt sorry for him because he wasn't tall enough to go on lots of rides--and we discovered that he is just barely 40 inches tall and met the minimum height! It was the first of many rides he went on and loved.

Another of Nicholas' favorites was the "Journey into Imagination" ride in the Imagination pavilion.

Next we wandered off to the World Showcase portion of the park, which contains 11 pavilions representing different countries. The kids enjoyed visiting the different countries and partaking in the entertainment and sights offered.

In the Britain area, we ate fish and chips and listened to a "British Invasion" band doing Beatles and other British songs. The kids also got to see Pooh and Tigger:

Nick loved the British telephone boxes!

And we met Alice in Wonderland:

In France, we watched a movie, met Marie from the Aristocats (Kieran insisted that I be in the photo with my name twin),

and the kids had goodies at the French bakery:

My "lemon boy" had a lemon tart:

I love the Japan pavilion...great selection of Japanese architecture and products. We bought some mochi (an acquired taste!) in the Mitsukoshi Depato, and I also bought a (very expensive!) Oolong iced tea, purely for nostalgic reasons.

Someday I hope we'll be able to get back to Japan to have a proper visit!

Many of the countries had wonderful 360-degree films--China was memorable because we watched a very talented troupe of child acrobats entertain us before we watched the movie. Canada's film was hosted by the funny Martin Short. Although the French film was beautiful, I preferred Canada's and China's because of the narration.

Nick loved these lion and elephant statues in China--he kept requesting for me to take more photos of him (these are only a fraction of the photos I took):

We had dinner in the Lotus Blossom Cafe, and I asked Mike to take a photo of me with the kids to contrast with the one we had taken there in 1995. We liked the name "lotus blossom" so much that we called Christopher our lotus blossom when he was in my womb (before we knew his gender)--for the too-short time he was there!

Mexico and Norway had great rides. Here are the boys posing with the troll in Norway:

After the World Showcase, we finished off with Spaceship Earth. We left just as the fireworks were beginning--we were sad to miss them, but with our schedule, we knew we had to beat the crowds out of the park and not keep the boys up too late every evening. In sum, EPCOT is extremely spread out, and not all kids would find the park interesting (it's more educational than the other parks)...but our family loved it. I wish we could have spent more time there.
Next: the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Islands of Adventure!

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