Day 2 – Friday, August 18, 2006
<click for photos
This day started lazily. We slept in a bit. We did not leave the hotel until 10:30. We took the SoG bus to the TTC, where we caught Monorail Yellow to Epcot. We arrived at Epcot around 11 am, where we made our way to the Land Pavilion to get a FastPass for Soarin’. Since we were in the Land Pavilion, we watched the show Circle of Life. We planned to ride the Living With the Land ride, but the line was longer then we wished to wait.
We then went next door to the Imagination Pavilion, where we rode on Journey Into Imagination. The ride was a bit dull, but Figment is cute as usual. Then we watched the 3D film Honey I Shrunk the Audience. This is a bit old; the coloring is a bit dark on the sides of the show, but the effects are overall good and it’s a good movie. Upon exiting the movie, we wandered around by the Imagination fountains where the water jumps around, then we made our way to the plaza by the main Epcot fountain near the ball. The Kristos were just appearing to perform, so we stayed to watch them. They are quite good. Their performance was followed by the Fountain performing to music.
Next, we picked up a FastPass for Mission Space, then browsed around inside Inoventions East. It was not crowded, and we got to play with some of the exhibits about UL and safety testing. It was fun and we would have stayed longer, but we had a 1:40 ADR at the Garden Grill.
We arrived at about 1:30 for our ADR, and we were given a pager and we waited for about 15 minutes before we were called. We were seated on the inner circle of tables, which is slightly higher than the outer circle. We were seated near the leaf mural, so we had to go about half way around the restaurant before we got to the jungle scene. I was not as impressed with the Garden Grill on this visit as I have been in previous visits. We got adequate character interaction and plenty of pictures, but the food was not great. We got rolls, mashed potatoes, and three entrees: steak, turkey, and fish. They replaced anything we asked. We got more fish, turkey, and mashed potatoes. For dessert we chose to have the “build your own cupcake.” It was a plate with a “naked” cupcake, a bowl of frosting, sprinkles, m & ms, and a gummy worm.
Following lunch, we used our FP for Soarin’. This is an excellent attraction. It truly feels like you are soaring over California. We were seated (by request) in the front row, so no shoes we dangling above us. Then, we used our FP for Mission Space. We considered the Orange team, but decided to go with the green team. I was afraid that it would not feel like you were blasting off, but you still felt like you were.
Next, it was time for a trip around the world. We started in Mexico, where we browsed in the plaza for a short time before boarding Rio del Tiempo. I had the feeling they stole some of the characters from It’s a Small World. Following Mexico, we went into the Viking Gallery located inside the Stave Church. Then, DH got a frozen margarita at Mexico.
We discovered the Chinese acrobats in (surprise) the China Pavilion. I had never seen them before, and they were excellent. The best part was when they were spinning all the plates on the sticks and on the tables.
Next, we made our way to the Outpost, where we participated in the drum circle called Orisi Risi. It was so much fun! I wonder how many people’s photographs and videos we are in. Then, we browsed through Germany and we got there right at 6pm, so the clock did its performance. We watched the trains for a bit, which is always fun.
We got a Mickey bar on our way to the Japan drummers, and we watched their presentation. Then, we watched the Mo’Rockin presentation at the Morocco Pavilion. Next, we went to France, where we watched their excellent video, which is extra special because it has seats, unlike the other Epcot videos. Then, we went to the Canada Pavilion for their 360 video. This does not have seats, but it is very cool because it surrounds you. We were standing in the front, near the podium, and we found it amusing that while the movie is 360, not many people in the theater were taking advantage of this. Every time we turned around to watch the screens around the room, about 90% of the people were facing only the front screens (and us..haha).
After the video, it was a few minutes to 9, and we stood in front of Canada and waited for Illuminations. This was a good spot to watch the show, as no islands or trees were blocking the globe or fireworks.
This was an Extra Magic Hours night, so we went straight to Test Track and rode it. Then, we ate dinner at the Electric Umbrella. We had decent cheeseburgers. We also picked up some plastic spoons for our cereal. Then, we went to the Dreamchasers “ride” in the exit area of Test Track. This ride is the purple pod things that are off to the side. This is basically a hyped up advertisement for GM (as is most of the Pavilion) but the things were kind of cool.
Then, we walked around World Showcase for a little bit before calling it a night.