NOTE: I was not terribly happy with the first RVS post so I am changing the format and tone a little. Instead of reporting what was different, I am essentially turning this into a Trip Report series.
Without question I would say EPCOT is our second favorite park, due in large part to World Showcase. Future World offers some great rides but, at the same time, has a hefty majority of rides that could use an update or two.
Getting right into it, we went to EPCOT probably five or six times during our eight-day stay, the first of which was our very first morning there. After getting up all too early and arriving at the park bus stop 45 minutes before it opened, we had no problem finding a turnstile that was empty.
I think the fact that it was a recommended park by easywdw.com helped too. (Side note: we followed Josh’s recommendations while there and they were spot on. Because of a few dining reservations we had to go to non-recommended parks for an hour or two and oh, my, god, were they substantially busier than the recommended park(s))
Everybody else entering the park was under the impression that only one entrance would be open. They were wrong.
After they opened the flood gates we navigated through the millions of faces, under Spaceship Earth, past the Character Spot/Innoventions West thoroughfare and into the Land for our departing flight to California. Needless to say, we had scored Fastpasses for and taken a flight on Soarin’ by 9 a.m. – the official park opening time.
The worst part about Test Tracking being closed for refurbishment during our trip wasn’t the Test Track All-Stars not making an appearance. It was actually the lack of ANYTHING else to ride besides Soarin’ and Sum of All Thrills. Don’t get me wrong, Mission: SPACE is cool and all but Horizons was the best Disney ride of all time, of all time! I’d take a ride on Horizons over a ride on Mission:SPACE and $50 anytime.
We were so uninterested in Mission:SPACE I didn’t even get a picture of it. The only time we walked further east then Innoventions East was to use the restroom and go on Ellen’s Energy Adventure, which we did in one trip and regretted for the most part had it not been for the nice 45-minute, air-conditioned break we got while in the attraction.
This was also when a Chevrolet salesman tried to persuade me into buying a new Chevy car while Ashley was using the bathroom. Oh sure, I’ll drop $20,000 (or $40,000 in the case of the Volt which he was REALLY pushing) on a new car while at Disney World. I didn’t fly down here (and hence have a return flight already booked), or spend a small fortune on the vacation, or want to spend time with my family and not get heckled by a car salesman while on vacation or anything.
Back on track here…we experienced Sum of All Thrills for the first time. I considered myself somewhat of a Disney fanatic before this trip. That was, until I read about Sum of All Thrills and had absolutely no idea it existed. So much for that whole fanatic thing. Anyway, we did it once and it was really cool. We affectionately named our roller coaster “The Roaring Eagle.”
Other than Soarin’ and Sum of All Thrills there isn’t much to do in Future World without Test Track. Yes, we went on Journey into Imagination and Living with the Land (which I hadn’t been on in a while and Ashley says she had never been on so it was pretty cool) and “the boat ride in Norway” and “the boat ride in Mexico” and The (Living) Seas with Nemo and Friends but none of those have the same fun-factor or nostalgia-factor as many of the rides in the Magic Kingdom do.
I can’t speak for Ashley but if we went to EPCOT and didn’t go on any of these rides – including Ellen’s Energy Adventure, Captain:EO, Mission:SPACE, The Circle of Life (the Lion King show in the Land in case you didn’t know), Character Spot and either of the Innoventions and their plethora of “activities” – I wouldn’t be disappointed.
Future World can be knocked out in an hour: Collect Fastpass for Soarin’, head to Test Track and ride that once or twice, ride Sum of All Thrills and use your Fastpass for Soarin’. The problem is what to do until 11 a.m. when World Showcase opens. Speculation here, but I think World Showcase doesn’t open until 11 a.m. because Disney wants to keep people in Future World rides as long as possible; they know once they open World Showcase that will lead a lot of people away from Future World and give poor old Figment nothing to do.
Of course this will all change once we start going with our children because we will want to hit Character Spot early and go on a lot of the rides we could go without now. But for now, enjoy the married life!
Oh, I’ve forgotten about my favorite ride at Disney: Spaceship Earth. This is a MUST do for me – and now Ashley – a multiple of times. This is a great ride to hit on the way out for the afternoon though; it’s not worth wasting precious (read: nearly deserted park) time on Spaceship Earth in the morning when you can go on it after noon and walk right on.
If the pictures you’ve already seen didn’t showcase my incredible lack of photographic skill, the fact that I didn’t take a SINGLE picture of Spaceship Earth as whole should do it for you. Here’s some outstanding ones though: http://tombricker.smugmug.com/
There aren’t even any good places to eat in Future World. Well, I can’t say that definitively but I CAN say that there are no good quick service places to eat in Future World. Electric Umbrella is meh and, well, that’s the only one. I say that’s the only one, knowing full well that Sunshine Seasons exists and is a quick (counter) service restaurant by definition, because Sunshine Seasons is in a league of its own. Yes, you go up to a counter and order your food but the selection there is completely different from any other quick (counter) service restaurant on Disney property so it’s hard to classify it as quick (counter) service. The same will go for Be Our Guest for lunch when it opens: really hard to call it quick (counter) service. I say all of this never having actually eaten at Sunshine Seasons.
Future World does have two table service restaurants: Coral Reef Restaurant and The Garden Grill. As with many Disney table service restaurants, Coral Reef Restaurant has an amazing atmosphere but a menu that leaves you wanting more. The Garden Grill seems cool because it spins as you eat but I’ve read a lot of meh reviews and the price continues to climb. Plus, it serves a lot of sustainable foods and I am NOT a hippie damn it!
Well, that pretty much sums up Future World in EPCOT. Because I am lazy and know the three people (you notice it went up from two last time?) that read this will most likely have lost interest by now, I’m going to split EPCOT into two posts just to prolong the agony. So, my next post will be about EPCOT: World Showcase. It will feature arguably better (read: terrible) pictures, more conversation about food (if you can call a single person typing on his computer to the uninterested world a “conversation’), some Patriotism and a picture of a celebrity!