February 17, 2009


Spaceship Earth., originally uploaded by iMachias.

Today we spent the day at Epcot. The first thing we discovered is that Disney is no longer doing the “Leave A Legacy” etched pictures at the entrance. Existing photos are still up but they’re not taking any new ones. Earl and I have two different photos on the walls; the first is from 2000, the second is from 2007. The guide that looked up our location showed the full colour photo from 2000: I was a lot bigger (and clean shaven) and Earl had red hair and a big red beard! Good times.

Our first stop was Spaceship Earth, which has been completely updated and totally appeals to my geek side. The presentation has to do with communications through the centuries. I like that a lot.

The minimum wait for “Soarin!” was 160 minutes, so we didn’t make that ride today. We ended up spending most of the day in the World Showcase. I was pleased to see that they updated the “O Canada!” Circle-Vision 360 film. They kept elements from the original film but updated the music and many of the scenes. The song (“Canada [You’re A Lifetime Journey]” remains the same but is now sung by Canadian Idol winner Eva Avila. The “O Canada!” presentation makes me teary every time I see it. I needn’t go into the reasons why this is so. I’ve said it many times.

The France presentation was experiencing technical difficulties (and they were kind of haughty about it), but outside of that we went to the show that each country offered. I recognised some of the singers in the “Voices of Liberty” a cappella group at the “American Experience”. They are amazing vocalists and it’s good to hear traditional vocals without crazy runs and/or electronic augmentation. During one of their songs it hit me why I feel the way I do about “God Bless America” and my revelation is going to be a separate blog entry that will appear next week.

The one disappointing part of World Showcase was in Norway; they were having a very hard time managing the crowd and lines for their Viking Ship attraction. I don’t know if it’s the layout of the waiting area or guests being goofy or what but it seemed very chaotic and uninspiring. Out of all the attractions in World Showcase, and since the updating of “O Canada”, Norway now seems the most dated. Mexico was a little weird too; the sites and sounds of Mexico now have Donald Duck and a couple parrots hootin’ and hollerin’ all over the brilliant cinematography. I don’t know why they added this to the mix – probably to make it a little more fun.

Overall I was impressed with the updates to “World Showcase” since our visit in 2007. It was an enjoyable afternoon.

Afterwards we went to “The Land” and took the boat tour through Living With The Land. I really enjoy the educational aspect to the attractions at Epcot. I think this is what makes it my favorite park here at Walt Disney World.

Tonight we went back to Downtown Disney for supper. We enjoyed a late meal at the Rainforest Cafe. The jog this morning and the jog tomorrow morning will make up for the calories, I suppose.