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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Touring EPCOT--Williams Family Style

I have been thinking about this post for a while. I have previously written about touring Magic Kingdom, so I am ready to tackle EPCOT.

Know that this plan works for us and works well, your results may vary. Needless to say, it begins at rope drop!

After going through the gates when the open, typically shortly before 9:00 am, make your way past Spaceship Earth--you will come back there later. Also, if you look to your right, Daisy and Stitch may be on hand. Walk past Spaceship Earth (the large golf ball) and you will find another rope drop set up just before the Fountain of Nations. At this time, have someone in your party as the designated FASTPASS runner and make sure they have every one's Key to The World Card. Click here to read about FASTPASS.

At rope drop, your runner will head right, towards the Land Pavilion to get Fastpasses for Soarin'. The rest of your party will go left, towards Test Track. Wait for your runner and everyone go through the stand-bye queue for Test Track. Mission Space will come next. The green is the milder version of this attraction. Anyone not riding, can head to the exit and go in to find a wonderful multi-leveled play structure just right for young kids. This is a good place to wait if some members of your party are riding and some are not. Your next decision is about Ellen's Universe of Energy. Yes or No? This attraction is often overlooked. It is a smooth gliding part ride, part show with dinosaurs and volcanoes. There can be some very dark and very loud moments so consider this if taking small children. Want to be on the first "car", head to the front left of the large theater room after moving in from the standing theater area.

Next, make your way back past the Fountain of Nations. If you plan to to do the EPCOT Character Spot, now is the time. After the EPCOT Character spot, turn left upon your exit and head to the Living Seas Pavilion. Ride Nemo, take in Turtle Talk with Crush, and explore the aquarium. (The Coral Reef restaurant is here if you have an ADR for lunch.)

After the Seas, head to the Land Pavilion. It should be time for you to use your FASTPASSes for Soarin', but check out the wait time for Living With the Land. You will see it to your left as you go down the escalator to get to Soarin'. If the wait time is 10 minutes or less, ride Living with the Land first and then head to Soarin' and use your Fastpasses. If you are hungry, check out the Sunshine Seasons counter service restaurant. (Bathrooms are on the top floor in the waiting are for Garden Grill and on the bottom floor just to the left of the entrance to Soarin'.)

Upon leaving the Land Pavilion, turn right and go to the Imagination Pavilion. Check out the upside down waterfall and leaping fountains. If you haven't done Journey into Imagination with Figment, give it a try. Think "Winnie the Pooh" attraction meets Figment. You will exit the ride in the Imagination Labs--have fun. Captain EO is going to be the newest 3D movie in the theater on the top level of the pavilion. From our perspective, the best part of this pavilion is the leaping fountains. They are just fun! (Bathroom is on the lowest level of the pavilion and to the right as you are coming to the pavilion--left if you are leaving.)

Now it is time for World Showcase! You have to decide if you are going to turn left and head to Mexico first or turn right and go to Canada first or take a boat across World Showcase to another pavilion. Either way, it doesn't matter. We have turned both directions. Just know that it is half a mile around, so we try not to backtrack.

Here are some highlights from each of the pavilions:
Mexico: Gran Fiesta Tour (think "Small World" with the 3 Caballeros) You have to enter the pavilion, go down the stairs and to the left.
Norway: Maestrom. This is a mild, inside flume ride with trolls and polar bears. There is a movie about Norway at the end. If the movie is playing, the exit will be temporarily blocked until the movie is over. Then the doors open and you can take a seat for the movie or walk straight through. It is fun to watch the people exit who don't know this. They get a bit panicky!
China: Performers! And, I think there is a movie here. We haven't seen it.
Germany: Train Garden.
Italy: Street Performers!
American Adventure Pavilion: The Voices of Liberty Singers are incredible. The American Adventure show is a unique mix of animatronics and movie clips. There is also a National Treasures museum display.
Japan: The gardens and koi pong.
Morocco: Characters!
France: Characters! And, an opportunity to get your picture taken in front of the Eiffel Tower.
United Kingdom: Street performers and characters. Click here to read more about the United Kingdom Pavilion.
Canada: O'Canada circle vision movie. It makes you want to visit Canada. That's the point, I think.

There you have it. A quick trip around the world. OK, you have now had both lunch and supper and are deciding if you are staying for Illuminations: Reflections of Earth, the nightly show on the World Showcase Lagoon at 9:00 pm. You're walking and wondering why people are leaning on the bridges and walk-ways. The reason. . . they are staking out their viewing area for Illuminations. If you want to watch, get your spot now. If not, keep walking. Take a stroll through Mouse Gears, one of the largest Disney stores on property. Then, head to Spaceship Earth. Play along with the voice prompts and buttons, and smile when the camera takes your picture. You will want it for later! Upon exiting Spaceship Earth, check out the electronic playground. E-mail your "creation" to family and friends. Play some of the games and simulations. This is one of our favorite spots.

Upon exiting, you're done. You can head out of the park. But maybe not before getting your photo taken in front of the sphere lit up at night. Smile!

You can do the park in a day. . . a very long day!

1 comment:

  1. Our girls loved Club Cool next to the Character Spot. It was air conditioned and we were able to try coke from around the world, which was very interesting. I really love the park plan and will try it out in December.

    We love the blog and will be sure to stay tuned over the summer months!

    The Benedict Family.