Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A week at Disney World – Day 1: EPCOT 12.13.11

Oh boy, oh boy!!  A week at Disney World!  With my parents!!  Yippee!!!  :-)

Michael’s Mom has a timeshare and we found a place in Orlando, only a couple miles from Disney World, that is a two bedroom with a kitchen, perfect!  We met Mom & Dad on Sunday afternoon at the condo & unpacked for the week.  I had done a bunch of research on Disney World and learned there are several websites devoted to how to plan your visit so that you can do & see everything you want to in a week.  I had pages of notes and poured over the attendance estimates of each park, deciding which to go to first. 

As it turned out, EPCOT was the park to go to on Monday.  So after Michael and I sitting through the mandatory, torturous, timeshare presentation, we were off!  :-)

EPCOT Center

I had lots planned for EPCOT and to be honest, worried that I was going to kill Mom with all of the walking.  But she hung in there as we traipsed around the park.  Each of us had an itinerary:  I wanted to ride all the ‘main’ rides & see all of the shows/fireworks I could.  Dad wanted to find the Geocaches in the park & Mom wanted to get all of the smashed pennies she could find.  No problem!  :-)

At EPCOT we went Soarin over California, made it out of Test Track in one piece, had a blast at Toy Story Mania, and almost lost our cookies at Mission: Space.   And the lines were zilch – the longest line we stood in was ‘maybe’ 10 minutes but we still used our FastPass as often as we could – there’s something gratifying about walking to the front of the line, even if it’s only a 10 minute wait. 

Space at EPCOT

We did all of the 3D rides & shows, designed our own ride in the Sum of All Thrills and were Storm Struck with a simulated tornado.  And that was just on the Future World side. 

the Test Track at EPCOT

We went to the World Showcase side next, making sure to ride Maelstrom and the Gran Fiesta while trying to take in all of the shows, picking up pennies when we could find them, & making our way to the U.S. pavilion.

The one show I was most interested in seeing at EPCOT was called the Candlelight Processional which was a retelling of the Christmas story by a celebrity narrator accompanied by a 50 piece orchestra and a glorious mass choir.  There were 3 times available – 5:00, 6:45, & 8:15 and we showed up around 4:45, just to see how the lines were.  I asked one of the employees if we had a shot getting in and she said yes, for the 6:45 show.  I took a double take and made her repeat her statement.  Yes, if we’re in line now (2 hours early!) we would be able to see the show.  Huh.  Was it that important to have all of us stay in line for 2 hours?  Well….I really wanted to see the show….but 2 hours?!  But Michael became the hero, volunteering to stand in line while we explored the area.  I know, what a guy!! 

And the show WAS worth it!  The narrator that evening was Neil Patrick Harris, from How I met your Mother & Doogie Howser.  He was great but the orchestra and choir were simply amazing.  They walked in all holding a candle and consumed the stage, singing songs during the telling of the Christmas Story.  They sang 12 songs in all – from O Holy Night to Joy to the World and it still makes my skin tingle.  The show was wonderful.

Processional at EPCOT

The final show of the night was IllumiNations, a show across the water with laser lights, smoke, fire, & fireworks.  Oh how I love fireworks!  :-)

at IllumiNations at EPCOT

We were exhausted – it was near 10pm and we had been going all…day….long!  But what fun it was.  While we did a lot, there is still lots to do & see that we simply didn’t have time for.  Hmmm….sounds like a reason for another visit!! 

Tomorrow…Magic Kingdom!


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