The second day of our vacation, we woke up on time. To keep cost down, we fixed out own breakfast, such as bagel with cream cheese and fruit since our resort condo have all the stuff we need in the kitchen, such as toaster, knife etc.
We arrived at Disney Epcot around 9 am, just on time as they just open and the crown hasn’t pick up yet. We start out at the Future World section of Epcot. At the ticket machine, we can see the giant golf ball building, which is the Spaceship Earth building.
As we get close to the Spaceship Earth building, it hits me that Disney has done a great job to make their park inviting, with lots of colorful and well maintained landscape. The sky was clear and blue, the environment is comfortably breezy with fresh air, is this really the happiest place on earth?
As we walk around, we came across more interesting building and architecture.
Turns out each building has a theme. This building is Universe of Energy which I think has something to do with theory of energy, explain in an educational yet entertaining manner feature Ellen DeGeneres. It was close due to technical problem so I skipped it.
The first show we checked out was Soarin, which is a simulated ride that takes you to fly and have a bird eye view of some California beautiful landscape. This is accomplish by you sitting on a chair in front of a big screen. The chair would move as the scene travel, as if you are moving together with the scene. They did a good job to make it as real as possible, such as blowing cool air at you and spray scented air when you fly through pine tree forest. The sound track of the show is one of my favorite!
We also stopped by the Mission:SPACE building which allow us to test drive how it feel like an astronaut, such as the feel of launching a rocket, and fly over Mars.
The interior of the building is just as futuristic as the exterior of the building.
Disney really pay attention to detail, even makes decorative prop looks real with working screen and flashing buttons.
We also stopped by the Test Track, which they treat you like a car crash dummy, by letting you sit on car, going through car test such as bumpy, up hill riding, corrosion and extreme condition (heat & cold), feel the difference between moving with and without anti-lock break, and last, the high speed ride around the building, which was a bit like roller coaster without the loop.
We break for lunch at the building where we had our Soarin ride, which is call “The Land”. Their food court has a few cuisine selection, we felt like having Chinese so bought the Chili & Garlic chicken noodle. I have to say, it’s Americanized Chinese food, and cost me $8 for a small bowl not larger then a bowl of instant noodle! You can literally count the number of strand of noodle in that bowl.
The dessert section look quite good, they’re individual size pastry that look tasty and beautiful. I was craving for something more refreshing, so I got the keylime pie, which is not too tart and sweet. It’s more like a keylime flavor mousse pie.
The build we bought our lunch is call “The Land”. What educational show and tour does that building offer? Ah, it has something to do with land. We got on a small boat ride thing right by the food court. The boat brought us trough a couple tunnels with exhibition stuff on both side of the water track, such as evolution of agriculture, animal and fish farm.
Once we exit the tunnel, the boat brought us through the future of agriculture exhibition, which is hydroponic. They show case how to grow crops without the need of soil, such as growing in sandy desert area.
A few plants later, I found something really odd looking.
It’s the dragon fruit! I only have dragon fruit itself when I was in Malaysia, but I never seen the tree. Seeing the fruit still cling to the tree is really an eye opening experience, it really makes you want to reach out and pick it off the tree and have a bite.
After we passed the big tree area, we saw some industrial factory looking structure in front of us.
On the floor, they show and display the kind of plant we’re seeing. It’s amazing how big those sweet potatoes are.
The pepper plants have gorgeous plum pepper growing like red rubies.
They show different state of hydroponic growing progress, such as small plant growing out of small holes.
Lettuce plants are grown on DNA strand looking pipes.
Herbs are grow in tall and rotating tower with holes on the side. The towers rotate and spin as they pass through a water spraying zone.
What puzzle me is, how on earth can those plant support the big fruit? I think it’s because there is no strong wind in this enclosed green house to knock the fruit off the tree.
I grow my own bell pepper at my back yard, but mine is no where close to what they have. Their bell pepper trees have dozen of pepper, and the peppers are huge!
Before the tour end, we passed by their research lab, which looks like a vet clinic then a farming facility.
After seeing what hydroponic can do in real life, I probably should look into it in the next growing season, after all, I’m tired of buying bags and bags of dirt and soil, de-weed and deal with bugs.
We quickly stopped by Nemo land at the “Seas with Nemo & Friends” building. In this building, we got on boat ride that carried us through some tunnel, with holographic marine life and Finding Nemo characters floating around, hiding behind fake coral as you move through the tunnel. At some point, we stopped at the jelly fish section. The fake jelly fish are high above you, and glow like the way they do in deep see. They’re impressive!
By 2:30 pm, we had to move on to the World Showcase section of the part. The World Showcase basically is a big circular area with a lake in the center, and building of different country surround the lake:
[kml_flashembed movie="/blog_images/videoPlayer.swf?showThis=/blog_images/videos/08_10_29_world_showcase.flv" height="380" width="450" /]
The Forbidden City of China clone is very well made.
You can tell when you’re in the Italy section, water fountain, rail around the garden, those just give it a way.
By 4 pm, they start to set up the fireworks on floating stations that scatter around the lake.
Some of the country building are taller and bigger then the others.
In front of the some of the building, you can see performance that show case the tradition of that country, such as the drum show in front of the Japan building.
The Japan area has very nice landscape.
In front of the French building, we saw a waiter perform some sort of acrobatic/stun move by stacking a few dining chair, and stood on the top one to catching things that the chef throw at him on the ground.
We had dinner reservation at the German building. When it was our turn to get into the restaurant, we were told we will share table with other diner. It think it’s the tradition of German to feast with other people like in a village. They had Octoberfest going on, so they serve dinner in buffet style.
While we were dining, they have traditional German folk song performances.
I never seen a cow bell performance before, so I snapped this video to share:
[kml_flashembed movie="/blog_images/videoPlayer.swf?showThis=/blog_images/videos/08_10_29_epcot_dinner.flv" height="380" width="450" /]
The German dinner wasn’t as impressive as I wish, the sausages are good, but their meat loaf are dried and the apple streusel are soft instead of crispy. For $36, I expect more varieties and better quality buffet.
After dinner, we have a bit more time before the firework start. The firework show will start on the lake, so as long as we stay at the World Showcase area, we will be able to get to the show area quickly. We stopped by the Mexico building for a while to check out what’s in the building. The restaurant decoration in the Mexico building is very beautiful and really enhance the feel of Mexican cuisine dining.
The firework show, which is titled “Illuminations: Reflections of Earth” start at 8:30 pm. As usual, the music for the firework show is very nice. We stood at least 100 feet away from the main stage of the fire station, when the big fire blast out, you can really feel the heat from the lake:
The firework just blast out everywhere.
The firework show’s main focus is the globe sphere floating on the lake that display different humanity story, such as children, animal, peace etc. The globe then open up, turn into a lotus flower looking thing and shoot fire from the inside, as if it shoot the final firework into the sky:
We call it a night early on that day because we were very very tired from all the walking through out the day. We manage to find a Redbox kiosk outside of Disney area, rented a horror movie and watch it at the resort, what a way to relax after spent all day at the park!