Tuesday, July 10, 2007

So Your Going to WDW: Epcot Must Sees

What I am trying to do in these next four “So your Going to WDW” articles is to try to give you an idea of some of the attractions that you should make plans to see if you’re a FIRST TIME VISITOR to the parks. I will rate them by MUST SEE attraction(MS), SECOND TIME to PARK attraction(STP), and HAVE NOT TRIED attraction(HNT).
MS is obvious, but I don’t want this to be a ride description article. If I say MS I mean it without giving too many details. STP is for rides that can wait until your second time to the park. It can also mean once you do all of the MS attractions and have time, hit the STP attractions. The HNT rating means I have not tried this attraction yet and cannot judge . Maybe bad on me and I am meaning to get to it. Or there is a reason to skip it. Although I hate to pass anything up I’ll mention why the HNT when I get to them. Any and all comments are welcome.

You have to think of Epcot as really two parks. Future World and the World Showcase. We’ll start off with Future World attractions.

Park Entrance
Spaceship Earth: MS Spaceship Earth is the main landmark at Epcot. The Cinderella’s Castle if you will. We usually ride this on the way out of the park.
Innoventions East and West: STP This is a display of new and existing technologies. There are a lot of displays and this will take some time to go through.

Nemo and the Living Seas
The Seas with Nemo: MS This is a classic dark ride with a twist. Real fish are added to the animation to create very cool scenes. The Queue in this attraction is a treat.
Turtle Talk with Crush: MS This is a theatre type attraction where the kids sit on the floor in the front and talk to Crush…and Crush talks back. Amazing.
Living with the Seas Aquarium: STP The rest of this pavilion is a very complete aquarium. I would save this for after you’ve hit some of the better rides first. Nothing that you have not seen at the aquarium near your home.

The Land
Living with the Land: STP This one was tough to judge. It might be a STP but I always ride it. It is a slow boat ride through green houses and gardens. Very interesting growing methods of plants and animals for food. Look for the Pumpkins. See any familiar shapes?
Soarin: MS, MS, MS This is one of the Best Rides in WDW all together. A hang Glider ride over the different parts of California.
The Circle of Life: STP This is a very good show of Pumba and Timon learning to be more ecologically friendly.

Wonders of Life
Closed – Which is a shame. But in the even it is open, Body Wars is a MS but it is a bumpy ride. Cranium Command is a MS. The Making of Me is an

Universe of Energy: STP This was a MS but has dropped it's ranking because of all of the other good attractions now in Epcot. This could also be called the Ellen ride and while great, is an investment of about 40 minutes of time from pre-show through exiting out the door.

Mission Space: MS This is a very realistic rocket trip to Mars. I have only been on the original side. There is a less intense side where the ride motion is turned down a couple notches. Another cool queue.

Test Track: Another MS thrill ride. Great ride in that nothing is as bad as it looks and the speed track at the end is like riding in a convertible at 64.2 MPH.

Imagination Pavilion:
Honey I Shrank the Audience: MS A must see if you have never seen it. A little scary for the little ones. This is a 3d attraction.
Journey into Imagination with Figment: STP This used to be a MS but not anymore. Figment is the cool Purple Dragon.

World Showcase
I am going to change the way I do the ratings for the World Showcase. All of the lands are Must Sees(MS). What I’ll do is to list each country and give a quick description of what it has to offer. As an FYI, all have food and shopping. I will talk about the best of these as we have seen. And for the countries that have attractions I would give them a STP except for Canada’s Oh, Canada and Mexico’s GRan Fiesta Tour. They get an MS rating.

Mexico: One of my top three countries. From the look outside at the Mexican Temple to the cool night time appearance inside 24/7 it is an awesome pavilion. You will find Gran Fiesta Tour, a slow boat attraction in this pavilion along with a first class Mexican Sit Down Restaurant. There is a very good artist who makes small items out of glass. Very fun to watch. There is a Table and a Counter service Rest.

Norway: This pavilion has an indoor log flume like attraction called the Maelstrom that describes the land of Norway. This attraction is a log flume that is pretty nice. Watch out for the trolls. They are kind of scary for the little ones. Norway’s Akershus Rest. has Princess Character Dinning meals.

China: This pavilion has shopping and the best Chinese food I’ve ever had. There is a 360 degree movie theatre with a film about the land of China. You can see many samples of Chinese art. There is a group of Chinese Children acrobats that put on a wonderful show. China has both a Table and a Counter service Rest.

Germany: Oom-pa-pa, oom-pa-pa. We have not spent much time in Germany. There is a miniature Railroad set-up that has been there forever. There is a Table and a Counter service Rest.

America: The American Experience is located in this pavilion. It’s a really good animatronic attraction. A very patriotic history of America. The Voices of Liberty are singers that harmonize beautifully as they sing American songs from history. Across from the American Pavilion, is a stage where concerts are held along with the Candlelight Processional. There is a Counter
Service Rest.

Japan: Japan is a very beautiful pavilion. There is not a lot of entertainment. I have not seen her, but I heard that watching the Candy maker is a treat. There is a Table and a Counter service Rest.

Italy: This land has the essence of Italy. It is based on the City of Venice. There are fountains, statues, and many other forms of art. There is a Table Service and a bakery in this pavilion.

Morocco: One of the most exotic Pavilions. It was built by craftsman supplied by the King of Morocco. There are lots of places to explore here. There is a Table and a Counter service Rest.

France: France is a beautiful land at Epcot. Small lined streets and stores along side. A little bit of Paris in Florida. There is a movie attraction in this land along with some good places to eat. Look for the Artist's Bike and the box full of paintings. Many small places to get food and a top quality Table Service Restaurant.

UK: Not sure where this would be in England, but the UK in Epcot looks like small cities street. There are many stores and things to do. No Attraction, but keep you eye out for the street performers. Very good Counter Service in the Yorkshire County Fish Shop. There is also a Table Service Restaurant.

Canada: This is another of my top three pavilions. This land shows off a number of the traits of Canada. Some of the Sky-line of Quebec and the mountains of the west are on display, along with a much smaller version of Victoria Gardens. There is a really good 360 degree movie and there is a First Class Table Seating restaurant. Keep your eyes open for the band Off Kilter, their really good.


Anonymous said...

Didn't sound stupid at all. Didn't realize the Nemo thing was at Epcot. We'll probably have to check it out next June. We'll probably forgo the World Showcase this time around but you did make it an interesting article.


~**Dawn**~ said...

Thought I would throw in my two cents. The sit-down restaurant in the Germany pavilion is a buffet, and one of my favorite places to eat -- probably because it reminds me of eating my Gram's home-sooked meals. The setting is very similar to the inside of Mexico, in that it is set to be outide at night. Very fun musical floor show while you eat too.

The movie in China was redone about 18 months ago, I believe. I find it much better than the one that came before it.

And make a point to see the candy maker in Japan! She is *so* cool!

Maz said...

Teri and Dawn,

Thanks for stopping by. Teri, there is a nemo Ride at Epcot and a Nemo show at the Animal Kingdom.

Dawn, We always just kinda pass through Germany. They do have that cool clock though. The China movie is very beautiful and I heard that Oh Canada is getting a new movie.