Dave & Dot's 25th Anniverary Tour

Week 1 - Orlando, Florida

Monday, October 1st - The Experimental Prototype City Of Tomorrow (EPCOT)

Our day at EPCOT began around 10:00am. We entered the park and immediately scattered as several of the ladies just HAD to go shopping. When I was finally able to get us all in one place again, we made our reservations for dinner at the Living Seas Restaurant, and then headed to our first exhibit.

EPCOT is actually two parks in one and is big enough that it takes really two full days to experience it all. The main entrance at the front of the park takes you into Future World which has several exhibits, large and small, of technology of the future. The back half of EPCOT is a very large lake that is surrounded by 12 distinct areas, each one depicting a different country in the world.

We started at the GM exhibit which houses Test Track, then the newest ride in the park. It is a a high speed ride that begins by taking you through the complete process of the making of a car, complete with all the robotics that are needed and the testing that follows. We even passed through the oven that bakes the paint onto the body, a wind tunnel for testing the aerodynamics. We experienced steering and braking tests and finally the speed test. The ride launches you out the doors of the plant and at various speeds test the agility of the car going through tight turns, wet roads, sweeping banked turns and finally a long straightaway where we got up to speeds in excess of 60 mph! It was a blast!

We then headed over to the Universe of Energy pavilion, an innovation of energy technology. The current show stars Ellen DeGeneres, Bill Nye, The Science Guy, Alex Trebek, and Jamie Lee Curtis. It deals with energy and how it is produced, the history of energy production, and the search for new energy resources. You begin by standing in a theatre that is 180 degrees in size and then move into a second theatre where you are seated in a large central area. This theatre is one of several 360 degree theatres at Disney World. During the conclusion of the film the seats begin to move and break into six separate ride vehicles which then take you into the primeval diorama on a five minute journey through which is populated by many audio-animatronic dinosaurs. You finally end up back in the main theatre for the concluding film. The entire exhibit takes nearly 40 minutes!

After the Universe of Energy, we split with some of us headed to The back half of WDW called World Showcase for lunch and enjoyed Japanese and others Canadian, British and even French. We came back together at the Canadian exhibit and saw the 360 degree movie on that country, entered the country of France (and their delicious desserts!) then split up again. Lee, the kids, & I visited Norway (with a tempestuous log ride) and Mexico (with a calm boat ride throught the history of that country) and then let the kids go shopping in Morocco, Italy, & Germany. By the way, each country employs their own people from that country & everything for sale is imported from that country. The prices are even in that country's denomination. But of course they take MasterCard, Visa & AMEX!

We all got together once again for dinner at the Living Seas Exhibit. Here you are seated at tables that are all staggered at different levels which gives you an unobstructed view of that exhibits aquarium which takes up one entire wall of the restaurant from floor to ceiling. If you there at the right time you even get to experience a diver feeding the fish (and sharks) in the tank! I think I actually saw my dinner swim by at one point . . .

And that was just the highlights . . . We ended the day watching Illuminations, a spectacular fireworks and laser show set to music.  It is nearly 20 minutes in length! 

Sit back, click here and enjoy an HD version of the Grand Finale of the show I found on YouTube! 

(To enhance the viewing of this clip, expand video to full-screen & click on the red HD button to see it in true HD.  You will have to pause it for a minute PRIOR to watching it to allow it to download.)