The Future Couple go to EPCOT (for the second-to-last-time!)

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Future Guy
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The Future Couple go to EPCOT (for the second-to-last-time!)

Post by Future Guy » Oct Tue 19, 2010 4:29 pm

Well, our Annual Passes expire on December 9 and we've decided not to renew. Future Gal's job is adversely affecting her health, so she's going to resign and we'll be living solely off my income, which necessitates some belt-tightening. However, we determined to make one or two more trips while we still have our APs. Future Gal wanted to experience the Food and Wine festival, and since some friends of ours were planning to be at EPCOT on Saturday, October 16th, we decided to meet up with them there.

We wanted to get there early enough to see the rope drop at EPCOT, and because we weren't sure exactly where we'd wind up at the end of the day, we decided to park at the TTC. We left at around quarter to six in the morning and made it to the Magic Kingdom parking lot around ten minutes to 8. We'd never made to the parks that early before, and were pleasantly surprised to be able to park at the very front of the parking lot, within walking distance of the TTC:

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As you can see, there were was almost no one there yet. When we got to the TTC, we saw the Express Monorail pulling into the station:

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. . .followed by the EPCOT monorail:

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Well, we boarded Monorail Gold for a pleasant ride to EPCOT and got there around 8:30.

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The park opens at 9, but we noticed a few people being let in early. We quickly realized they had reservations for the Princess breakfast at Akershus. Future Gal sat down while I roamed around and took a couple pictures, including a classic EPCOT logo sighting:

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. . . and the mighty TRONorail.

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At around 8:45 they let us into the park (although nothing was open yet and you couldn't proceed past the Pin station in Innoventions plaza), and Future Gal and I paused to take pictures at the fountain in front of Spaceship Earth.

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On our way to Innoventions plaza to await the rope drop, I also got this great picture of the SSE entry area:

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Rope drop wasn't much to write home about, but it was nice to see it. Basically, a couple Test Track CMs drive a Test Track car into the plaza, and then Mickey, Mickey, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto come dancing out and give high-fives and hugs to people at the front of the crowd. After that, the rope is dropped, signaling the beginning of the Soarin' Fastpass Stampede. Naturally, this would have been a great time to go somewhere other than The Land, but Future Gal had not eaten breakfast and was hungry, so we joined the herd so she could get some breakfast at Sunshine Seasons. While she ordered her meal, I got us some Soarin' fastpasses. Afterward, I joined her at the table, and although I'd already eaten that morning, I stole some sausage off her plate anyway (she offered it to me. She doesn't much care for link sausage). I also got some pictures of the pavilion's beautiful interior:

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After Future Gal finished eating, we went on one of our favorite rides, Living With The Land:

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People always knocked EPCOT Center by saying that kids found it boring. By that reasoning, they should find Living With The Land, in many ways the sole remaining EPCOT Center attraction, especially snooze-worthy. However, there was a family sitting behind us who was on their first WDW trip, and the kids were positively fascinated with the greenhouse. You hear that, Disney executives? Not all kids are brain-dead thrill-ride monkeys!

After the boat ride we decided to stay on Future World's west side so we wouldn't have to backtrack when it was time to return for Soarin', and we headed over to The Seas With Nemo and His Computer-Generated Friends. By now it was clear that crowds were going to be heavy all day, since the line for Nemo's little ride stretched outside the building. It kept moving, though, and eventually we boarded the ride and set off on the underwhelming rehash of the famous Pixar film.

As much as I think that the ride is the enemy of all that is holy and righteous, the seabase just never gets old. And although I didn't hear any sounds of childish delight on the ride, the seabase was full of excited kids watching the antics of the dolphins and other sea life. It was great to see the kids more excited by real fish than by animated ones. I also love the blue color scheme that the area received in the Nemo refurb; in fact there's only one thing missing: benches. There's absolutely no place to sit in the seabase, other than the floor.

Anyway, after Nemo it was time to go back to Soarin'. WDWToday did an episode recently where they stated Soarin' and Toy Story Midway Mania are so popular that they actually break Fastpass, and I agree. Soarin' is a low-capacity attraction as it is, stopping the standby line to let us Fastpass people in just inflates wait times for everybody. We enjoyed our ride, although I got a little queasy. That's never happened to me on Soarin' before, but I wonder if it had something to do with the guy next to me, who smelled like he had sprayed himself with an entire cologne factory. Anyway, I'd intended to do Mission:Space and Sum of All Thrills that day, but my experience on Soarin' put me off both of them.

After leaving The Land we headed over to the Imagination pavilion, because Future Gal likes the jumping fountains. She even took this picture of some water jumping over my head:

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We didn't bother going to any of the pavilion's attractions; the ride is just depressing, and I won't see Captain EO again unless I can sit on the front row and riff on it with Mike Nelson, Tom Servo, and Crow T. Robot.

Next, we went to Innoventions because Future Gal wanted to make a velcro frog at the Velcro exhibit. While she did that, I amused myself over at the Wall O' Playstations, which is less advanced than any video-game exhibit you'll see at your local Best Buy. I was starting to get hungry by this time, since it was around noon, but with the heavy crowds there was no way I was crazy enough to actually try to eat at a counter service restaurant during the 12:00 hour. So we got a pretzel, and that tided me over very nicely until later that afternoon. After that we went over to Future World East. I didn't feel like riding Misson:Space or Test Track, but since we haven't done Universe of Energy in a while I thought we might do that. Unfortunately, though, the Tip Board said it was down. Still, we got to see a performance by the Kitchen Utensil Drummer Guys, or whatever they're called:

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Then we went for a walk behind Innoventions East, and a nice person took our picture:

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We went on Spaceship Earth after that, and I actually got to play one of the games in the post-show area, the driving one. It was pretty cool. Its basic message was that the Car of the Future will be like KITT. It totally isn't true, but it's fun to pretend. Next, we made our way to the World Showcase. Future Gal had identified in advance a couple of stands she might like to get something at later in the day, so we took pictures of the menus for her to refer to later:

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By now it was after 2:00, and we decided to get lunch at my favorite counter-service restaurant on property:

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I had the grilled salmon and some yellow rice. The salmon was just perfect, extremely tender and very tasty.

After lunch we headed back to the World Showcase. The crowds were very heavy, and the long lines outside the Food & Wine booths clogged the walkways, but we did manage to get some nice pictures with several characters:

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Also, we were delighted to see that the train set in Germany had been specially decorated for Food & Wine (see the banners?):

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We also watched the Chinese acrobats (but didn't have a good enough vantage point for pictures) and I have to say that anyone who can touch the top of their head with their behind is . . . definitely more limber than I am.

On our way out of the World Showcase we went to Mexico and did the boat ride, and I noticed something that for some reason had never hit me before: when Donald gets "lost", the other two Caballeros look for him on a flying carpet, which, unless I'm missing something, is more of a Middle Eastern thing and not Mexican at all. I guess it's fortunate that WDW is located in a country where most people's knowledge of the world around them goes something like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lj3iNxZ8Dww

Anyway, after Mexico we made repeated attempts to call our friends to see if they'd arrived in the park yet, but all the iPhone users on the property had effectively overloaded AT&T's network, and it was impossible to make or receive calls. So we headed for the Magic Kingdom, pausing to get one last shot of the TRONorail:

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As you can see, the sun was going down by now. When we got to the TTC, we received an unpleasant surprise: the Express Monorail was down, and they were directing everyone to the ferryboat. Fortunately, Future Gal and I are savvy WDW visitors, we knew to take the Resort Monorail. Unfortunately, there were lots of other savvy WDW visitors with the same idea. We crowded onto the Resort Monorail (Monorail Black for those of you playing along at home) and we made it to the Magic Kingdom just as the Express train pulled into the station, whatever issue it was experiencing obviously having been resolved.

Our game plan at the MK, after getting through the Bag Check Show, was to hit up the PeopleMover, Buzz, and Pirates, then get a Dole Whip and go home. The MK, however, was just as crowded as EPCOT, if not crowdeder. By now it was around 7:30, and people were already lining up up on Main Street for the 9:00 MSEP. We got Fastpasses for Buzz, and then got into the longest line for the PeopleMover that I've ever seen. After riding the PeopleMover, and getting in line for Buzz, we instantly decided that we would have been better off skipping Buzz altogether, because it was well after 8:00. We were too far inside to turn back though, and so we had no choice but to ride.

Now, I am a gentleman, and one thing a gentleman always does is let a lady in ahead of him. That, upon reflection, is why Future Gal always beats me on Buzz. The last time we rode, I scored my first-ever victory and I was sitting at the inside position. This time, I let Future Gal in first, as I usually do, and took the outside position, and she wiped the floor with me. Again. I think it's safe to say my days of being a gentleman are over, at least within the confines of Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin.

Well, after Buzz we made our way across the hub (with great difficulty, since it was almost time for the MSEP) and headed for Adventureland to ride Pirates. The line for Pirates, though, was almost out the door. At this point, we didn't have time to get to the exit before MSEP started; we were trapped. What we needed was a place to wait out the parade. Also, we were a bit on the hungry side. So we hightailed it to Columbia Harbor House where we had dinner in the upstairs dining room and watched out the window as the parade went by. Something I noticed while we waited: Columbia Harbor House's BGM has pretty much all of the same songs as 20K's queue music, only they sound like they're being played at a lower octave.

After the parade went by, we left. It was after 9:30 at this point, and we had very little time to get out of the park before Wishes. However, approximately ten million people had the same idea we did, so it was with great difficulty that we got down Main Street. My heart goes out to the poor CMs on crowd control duty that night.

We had to make a brief pit stop before leaving, so Wishes was actually in progress as we left. Future Gal was sorry we couldn't stay and see the whole thing, but by this time it was after 10. We finally made it back to the car and off property sometime after 10:30. I was fighting sleep most of the way home, but we made it back to our house just before 1 AM.

And that's it for our second-to-last trip before 2012, at the soonest. On Monday, November 15 I'll be taking the Undiscovered Future World Tour at EPCOT, so I'll have a review of that for you, and we'll probably make a brief trip to MK as well, since Pooh's refurbishment is supposed to be completed the day before.

Thanks for reading!

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Re: The Future Couple go to EPCOT (for the second-to-last-ti

Post by MmeLeota » Oct Tue 19, 2010 5:19 pm

As always, fabulous writing! I'm sorry that you will have to give up your passes! :( I understand that feeling too...we had to give ours up (DL) in 2007 and we haven't been able to get them back yet. It will be sad to not have your mini trip reports anymore too :(
I won't see Captain EO again unless I can sit on the front row and riff on it with Mike Nelson, Tom Servo, and Crow T. Robot.
I about died laughing!!! :lol: I'd be right there with ya too! (regardless of my feelings toward EO)

P.S. Love the Kermit shirt!

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Re: The Future Couple go to EPCOT (for the second-to-last-ti

Post by Amy » Oct Tue 19, 2010 8:39 pm

Love the report Future Guy ~ sad about your AP though. Future Gal's health is more important though!
Crowdeder! I will be using this word :D
Love the photos too! Although since my screen resolution isn't quite right for viewing the bigger pictures, it kinda looks like you're mouskepeeing in the Imagination Jumping Fountains :shock:

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Re: The Future Couple go to EPCOT (for the second-to-last-ti

Post by mindflipper » Oct Tue 19, 2010 11:12 pm

Future Guy wrote:I won't see Captain EO again unless I can sit on the front row and riff on it with Mike Nelson, Tom Servo, and Crow T. Robot.
Sorry, but I think they refused to watch Captain Eo as Disney would not allow them to take emergency barf bags for the viewing... :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: The Future Couple go to EPCOT (for the second-to-last-ti

Post by MmeLeota » Oct Tue 19, 2010 11:20 pm

Amy wrote:Love the report Future Guy ~ sad about your AP though. Future Gal's health is more important though!
Crowdeder! I will be using this word :D
Love the photos too! Although since my screen resolution isn't quite right for viewing the bigger pictures, it kinda looks like you're mouskepeeing in the Imagination Jumping Fountains :shock:
I was wondering if anyone was gonna mention that...I thought he was doing his impression of Mousekedude :shock: :lol:
mindflipper wrote:
Future Guy wrote:I won't see Captain EO again unless I can sit on the front row and riff on it with Mike Nelson, Tom Servo, and Crow T. Robot.
Sorry, but I think they refused to watch Captain Eo as Disney would not allow them to take emergency barf bags for the viewing... :lol: :lol: :lol:
:lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: The Future Couple go to EPCOT (for the second-to-last-ti

Post by mindflipper » Oct Tue 19, 2010 11:24 pm

Yeh, I was avoiding bringing up the alledged mouseketinkling in that photo... :shock: :wink: :lol:

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Re: The Future Couple go to EPCOT (for the second-to-last-ti

Post by MmeLeota » Oct Wed 20, 2010 12:01 am

mindflipper wrote:Yeh, I was avoiding bringing up the alledged mouseketinkling in that photo... :shock: :wink: :lol:
Thank you!!! I couldn't remember our term for that :oops: I need to study the Subictionary again....
I was refraining until Amy brought it up.... :wink:

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Re: The Future Couple go to EPCOT (for the second-to-last-ti

Post by Amy » Oct Wed 20, 2010 7:56 am

MmeLeota wrote:
mindflipper wrote:Yeh, I was avoiding bringing up the alledged mouseketinkling in that photo... :shock: :wink: :lol:
Thank you!!! I couldn't remember our term for that :oops: I need to study the Subictionary again....
I was refraining until Amy brought it up.... :wink:
I used a different term since mousketinkling always sets me to giggling...hee-hee, hee-hee, ah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! :lol:

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Re: The Future Couple go to EPCOT (for the second-to-last-ti

Post by mindflipper » Oct Wed 20, 2010 8:45 am

I dunno - I think Future Guy may have intended the photo to possibly imply an alledged mousketinkling. :?: :? :wink:

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Re: The Future Couple go to EPCOT (for the second-to-last-ti

Post by Future Guy » Oct Wed 20, 2010 10:38 am

mindflipper wrote:I dunno - I think Future Guy may have intended the photo to possibly imply an alledged mousketinkling. :?: :? :wink:
No, I was just ducking so the water didn't hit me in the head.

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Re: The Future Couple go to EPCOT (for the second-to-last-ti

Post by mindflipper » Oct Wed 20, 2010 2:53 pm

Future Guy wrote:
mindflipper wrote:I dunno - I think Future Guy may have intended the photo to possibly imply an alledged mousketinkling. :?: :? :wink:
No, I was just ducking so the water didn't hit me in the head.
Y'know, the perfectly reasonable and plausible explanation just takes all the fun out of it, Future Guy! :wink: :mickey: :mrgreen:

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Re: The Future Couple go to EPCOT (for the second-to-last-ti

Post by Future Guy » Oct Wed 20, 2010 8:17 pm

mindflipper wrote:
Future Guy wrote:
mindflipper wrote:I dunno - I think Future Guy may have intended the photo to possibly imply an alledged mousketinkling. :?: :? :wink:
No, I was just ducking so the water didn't hit me in the head.
Y'know, the perfectly reasonable and plausible explanation just takes all the fun out of it, Future Guy! :wink: :mickey: :mrgreen:
Hey, if I ever mouseketinkle on anything at the Imagination pavilion it'll be something with Dr. Nigel Channing on it!

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Re: The Future Couple go to EPCOT (for the second-to-last-ti

Post by mindflipper » Oct Thu 21, 2010 9:10 am

I would rather save my bladder for the guy who actually approved of all the changes and thought to himself, "Man, this is just great!"

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Re: The Future Couple go to EPCOT (for the second-to-last-ti

Post by Mousekedude » Oct Thu 21, 2010 10:00 am

Well, I'm certainly glad everyone else brought up what that picture looked like so I didn't have to. As soon as I saw it, I thought "man, that pic speaks to me somehow on some primal level...." :lol:

Great trip report, Future Guy. Sorry you can't go more often. You know, I did notice you said your AP's don't expire until December 9th. Our big Dole Whip meetup is on the 4th. Think you can make a day trip for that? We'd love to have you guys there.

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Re: The Future Couple go to EPCOT (for the second-to-last-ti

Post by Future Guy » Oct Thu 21, 2010 2:45 pm

As I've repeatedly reminded Future Gal, before we got APs we usually had two or three years between trips. This time, if all goes well, it'll only be a year and a few months. Also, it'll seem like the Fantasyland construction is going faster if we aren't there for most of it.

Sadly, we won't be able to make it on Dec. 4; we've already got a prior engagement. But I'll be thinking about y'all and hoping you have a good time.

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