Review of "EPCOT"
Ok so having written my last review on my visit to Universal Studios Florida, this review still focuses on Florida, but rather more on the other attraction known as Disney Epcot Centre. Now you maybe asking yourself never heard of this place, well just think back to seeing a huge golf ball shape tourist attraction, picture it?, well that's Epcot. Like my Universal review, this review will focus more on the sites and attractions I visited and therefore apologise if I forget to mention some of the obvious things. Hopefully this review will get more people to visit the Epcot centre. I feel it has such a negative perception, and most people seem to think it's boring, which is certainly not the case.History:
Well it must be said that the Epcot centre does have a huge history, some of which people may not have known. The park was officially opened on October 1st 1982, at the time it was the largest theme park worldwide, however this was then overtaken by the Disney Animal Kingdom. The construction costs were estimated at over $1.2 billion, and took over three years to construct. The park is approximately 260 acres long.
The unique history of the development of Epcot is not known to many people, particular the millions that visit it every year. During the 60's the original idea was to create a model community. This community would be twenty thousand residents strong, all of whom would have jobs of some form working in the park as attendants, cleaners, and merchandise sellers and so on. The community would have had houses, schools, medical centres and forms of entertainment. The idea was to create a futuristic environment that would change the way people lived. No one would have voting rights; they would not need money as all aspects of social welfare would be covered. People would be able to commute to and from work by using the monorails much like the ones seen in Universal Studios or Disney Magic City. The plan however, was scrapped as it was seen to be too risky and unpredictable. Instead, the Epcot centre was created, a place for people to explore learn and have fun.
Well like the Universal tour, Epcot really needs to 2 day tour to cover the whole ground, the sheer size of the area means if you really want to experience everything you should take your time and visit it in two days. We went all the Disney tours, which included Disney land and magic kingdom and that being said we got a ticket pass for all the Disney resorts the prices were as followed;
We paid $62 for two day pass to Epcot and we booked directly through the Disney website.
Online sellers usually offer a discount of some sort, especially if you bulk buy.
If on the other hand you only have one day to spare the prices for adults are $30 and for children (3-9) is $24. I would recommend booking direct from Disney, unless you booking a package tour. http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/wdw/tickets/ticketsLandingPage?id=TicketsL andingPage#
The Epcot Centre:
We were very lucky to be in the Epcot centre on July the 4th, we were told that the evening would offer a spectacular firework show with free barbeque food for all paying guests; the park had even extended its opening hour by some 4 hours, lucky us hey. We got to the Epcot centre by a rental car my friend has hired, it took us about 30 minutes from our Holiday Inn hotel to get to Epcot, the direction were really straight forward as most the road signs are pointing to the location in big bold letters. One must point out if you bring cars into the theme park, there is a small parking fee that must be paid, but this is standard in most parks. However, you can also take a Disney bus that picks guests up from certain locations around the Disney area, you would have to ask the tour organisers for more info regarding this matter. (407) WDW-MAGIC (939-6244)
You seemingly come out of the car on a sunny morning and the first thing that stands out is the huge golf ball figure, its something unreal. I had been to the park before and thus I wasn't new to the experience of seeing something big like this. But my friends just stood their, minutes went buy and they were really just trying to figure out what this circular object was. Was it a ride, was it a building or was it a sculpture, I kept them guessing.
One of the first attractions that any guest must go on is the "Spaceship Earth" tour, which yes is inside the golf ball figure. The original ride was actually constructed in the late 80's and since then the general theme of the ride as stayed the same to some extent. The ride had obviously changed since I went some 8 years before my latest visits, but I have to say it's more of an educational and innovative ride, added with a big of rollercoaster drama. The ride takes you through different sections of the Earth show, which show the medieval ages, the ancient Egyptians ages, and son on. The total lists of scenes that you visit during the tour are listed below;
Greek Math Teacher
The Roman Road Network
The Age of Invention
The Age of Information
Tunnel of Facts and Figures
Spaceship Earth Planetarium
Descent Tunnel featuring Starfield and touch-screens within the Omnimover vehicles that allow guests to create their future
Most people say this ride is quite boring, but I beg to differ. It's got the rollercoaster type element, but at the same time it's got a calm period, which educates and informs you. Something bold and innovative in my opinion, they broke the stereotypical perception of theme parks. They can be exciting and fun as well as a learning curve. How often can you say you've been to Alton Towers and come back wiser about the Greek Empire? Parents with young kids will love this.Our next attraction was the Test Track area, which was not open during my first visit and thus was excited about seeing something new, I had hard this ride was quite good and more to the point once you have got out of it, you have a totally different view about your own car. The waiting time for this ride varies, we waited about 25 minutes, which wasn't too bad. During the waiting time we got to see test performed on certain car parts, i.e. how the engine works the wheels etc. The ride itself lasted over 5 and a half minutes and was quite unique to say the least. The test performed on a car, a quite brilliant its both educational and yet exciting, I felt like I was Jeremy Clarkson on Top gear. The car we were in was testing the breaks, so in one instance they stopped the brakes and tested the reaction time of the car at 65 mph, considering the breaks didn't work the curve turned left rights and centre. They then tested the tires and purposely shot one tire to shot the effects this has on the car. The final surprise was the car driving at 65 mph into a wall, showing the effects of a car crash. I was scared to say the least, it actually felt so real, and out me off ever going into a car again.
Again like the previous ride, this one had both excitement and educational features, which was good. They informed and educated us in a way that also made it exciting, I tell you something the Epcot organisers should start opening up schools, I sure the students would love it.
The final ride that im going to talk about was the best one, it was called Mission Space. Yes it's got something to do with space, it was a simulator that showed what it felt like being an astronaut going into space and the effects of being in space. The ride covers all aspects include simulating the effects of travelling into space at a speed of above 2G's, the mental and physical affects this may have one one's body, and they also had a weight free simulator, which meant you flowing into space. We get to experience what it would be like when the spaceship is taking off and landing back to earth. I really enjoyed this ride, its exciting features and out of body felling was brilliant.
The end of the ride would take us to a stage were people can pretend to be mission control in NASA. We also got a chance to play a two way game, in which you would race your opponent to see who comes back to earth the fastest. When we were their we also had a chance to try and land an aircraft, it was so hard, because the simulator takes into consideration wind speed, the weight of the aircraft and so on.
Any budding space man would enjoy this ride.
The other rides we visited, but will not talk about are;- Universe of Energy
- The seas with Nemo and Friends
The rides pretty much took use to the evening period, and we were finally ready for the huge 4th of July fireworks display that was promised to us. The actual show was brilliant, the choreography along with the scenic view, the low lit blue and red lights, with the American National Anthem being played in the background made you feel really warm and welcomed. It showed just how proud the Americans were about their culture. The food wasn't half bad too, the hot dogs, burgers and beer went down a nice treat.The second day, which again was a fantastic morning, clear blue skies and no clouds saw us taking on the second leg of our tour, which focused more on the World Showcase. The world showcase, takes us through eleven countries, all with their traditional architecture and scenery. The countries, which are currently there are;
Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, USA, Japan, Morocco, France, UK, Canada.
This leg of the tour was more about getting a different perspective of the architecture and feeling of what is might be like visiting each of these countries. Each area having some setting that best describes that country. For instance, the long Chinese building, the quite wooden house of the UK and so on.
Another great aspect is that in each area, they sell food that is made in that region, in the Chinese region we had sushi, America was Hot Dogs, and UK was Tea and Cakes, and so on. Each country would also sell their traditional beer, we managed to try beer from every region and as you can imagine we were very merry by the end.
Like the whole Epcot centre, this area is again about informing, educating its visitors. It's a place to simply chill out and relax, enjoy some tranquil peaceful time with family and friends. The views are simply breathtaking, plants and wildlife you haven't seen before,, green green grass which simply looks GM modified and the cool crystal lakes that are so clear you can see the fish inside. Too bad you can't fish their hey.
If you want to take some time out from a busy and hectic holiday, this is the place to go. Its family friendly, has great picnic areas, has something for the kids, the couples and even the teenagers would actually enjoy it. I must applaud the parks easy access for disabled people. They have got everything covered from the rides, to the restrooms, to the food courts, job well done.
Product Information : EPCOT
Manufacturer's product description
Listed on Ciao since: 04/03/2006