Sunday, January 13, 2013

Walking Around EPCOT

On Saturday I did a 10K walk at a mall in a northern suburb. At home, my car is parked in an underground garage and it is easy to forget what temperature the real world really is. It was a shock when I got out of the car at the mall. Yes, the weather forecast was correct. A stiff west wind was blowing and the real temperature was only around 13 (-10C). I was glad to step into the door to the mall. I've not been to this one before and didn't find it very interesting. It was more fun to think about a walk through EPCOT earlier this week.

Last Tuesday started out as a beautiful day -- bright and sunny, one of the best I'd seen during my stay in Florida. I decided to spend the day at EPCOT, primarily in the World Showcase. I decided to take the bus to Hollywood Studios and then take a boat over to the Boardwalk for coffee and then continue on to the World Showcase when it opened at 11:00.

When I got off the bus I was right beside a sign that indicated the sidewalk to the Boardwalk and since I'd never walked that before I took off. It is a very pleasant walk. Soon the Swan Hotel was showing up.

And then the Boardwalk shows up looking lovely in early morning sun.

I headed for the Boardwalk Bakery only to find it closed for renovations. There was, however, a tent along the Boardwalk that had beverages and pastries. I got a coffee and a muffin and found a table along the water. It turned out to be an exciting coffee break. Twice, while eating my muffin, the brown bird showed on the chair in the photo below landed on my hand trying to steal the muffin!

Soon it was nearly 11:00 and I took the boat to the International Gateway for EPCOT.

My first stop was in the UK area where I took some photos. Then I headed back through France for more photos.

Next I went into the department store associated with the Japanese pavilion. I was looking at hair ribbons and ornaments for one of my granddaughters. When I turned one over to see how it fastened into the hair, I got a surprise.

Then to Morocco, where I spent time in the exhibit area. During this visit the exhibit is titled, "Personal Adornment," and particularly features the Imazighen culture.

(At home I did a search to learn more about the Imazighen group. I learned there are an indigenous ethnic group located in North Africa west of the Nile Valley. The majority of this group now live in Algeria and Tunisia, but some obviously must also live in Morocco.)

One part of the exhibit was labeled Fantasia. The signage explained these were horse events connected with major holidays. The photo below shows how the horses are all decked out for a Fantasia.

 Another part showed henna paintings.

Here the exhibit signs explained that a bride's hands and feet are adorned the night before her wedding. She is not expected to do any work until all the henna has disappeared. Sounds like a nice custom!

I continued wandering around and ended up in Norway. I did the Maelstrom ride here. Then I continued walking down to Mexico and took the boat back across the lagoon to the Germany area. I walked down to France again. I wanted to have lunch at the Chefs de France restaurant. This restaurant has a wonderful Prix Fixe menu. No problem getting in without a reservation. The crowd size now is quite manageable.

My lunch started with lobster bisque. That was accompanied by a baguette right out of the oven, too hot to even break apart for a few minutes. My second course was a wonderful quiche accompanied by a green salad. Then came dessert.

Oh, so very lovely.

After luncheon I walked back to the American pavilion. I sat down and simply relaxed for awhile and put my nose into a book on my Kindle. At 4:15 the fife and drum group appeared.

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Following this I went into the pavilion to attend the show there. This is always preceded by a singing group, The Voices of Liberty. Their song collection is quite patriotic, but below I have captured a lighthearted folk song, Skip to My Lou.

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After this presentation the audience moves by escalator up to the second level to enter a huge auditorium. The escalator passage is lined with copies of all the flags that have flown over the United States.

Following this show I took the boat back to the Future World area and walked past Test Track and the Space rides to the Universe of Energy. I was ready for a long sit, and this ride is perfect for that.

Decided to go the Seas pavilion next. Enjoyed my time especially in the small aquarium area. I love watching the sea horses.

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Next I went back to the Fountain View cafe and had an ice cream sundae. It was so pleasant sitting out there at sunset in warm weather. Then the fountain went off doing a show. Hang in here with this video. It's gets most interesting around the 30 second mark. 

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Then I found a bench to sit on for a bit until it was time to find a spot for the fireworks. Again the Kindle was a great thing to have. And this is my first visit to WDW since WI-FI is readily available. Even three years ago, no WI-FI in the parks and in the hotel the charge was $9.95/day. I knew Disney would have to cave on this issue sooner or later.

Here's a video of some of the fireworks. The show is called Reflections of Earth. A major piece is a globe onto which images are projected until all the fireworks start and fill the sky.

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Then it was across the sparkling sidewalk to the exit. It is always fun to watch the little kids when they get to this place. This is the only place to my knowledge that has sparkling sidewalk at night.

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It's amazing I have the video above at all because I was having problems with my camera batteries.

Then it was off to the bus and ride back to Saratoga Springs. A long, but very good day at EPCOT.


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