Thursday, August 14, 2008

Day 6 at Disney World: To Infinity, and Beyond!

This was the most successful day so far (likely our last as we are theme parked out!). We went to the Epcot Center. We tried something new - hey it only took us six days to figure this out. We got up at 7.30 a.m. and raced to the park for 9. It was a rainy, moody day, not the best for an outing but it did seem to keep the crowd numbers down. The girls got rain ponchos and we soldiered on.

This turned out to be (for me) the most interesting park for rides and I am not a science or tech person at all. Try Mission Space which takes you to Mars and the more aggressive alternative Mission Space Advanced Training Lab. You sit in a "capsule" with three other "astronauts". Each has a role: engineer, commander, pilot, navigator. It simulates take off in a rocket ship and travel in space, landing on Mars and dealing with travails while on the red planet. The latter ride is more "aggressive" there is spinning and it is a bit rougher. It is narrated on video by the actor Gary Sinise who keeps a pretty straight face throughout - he is your commander guiding you through the mission.

Soarin' is also incredible - you sit in a sort of carriage which swoops you up into the air and close to a screen from which you view crystal clear images as you "soar" through the sky. It's a simulation of paragliding over mountains, cityscapes, deserts, and ends with a flight over the Magic Kingdom and puts you right in the middle of a burst of fireworks. I loved it!
Test Track is a heart attack and a half ... oddly I did not opt out of this one as a couple of our party did. The premise is that you are "testing" a GM vehicle so you go through a series of exercises, checking the brakes, stopping with precision, speeding, avoiding obstacles, etc ... Billed as the longest and fastest ride at Disney I had my fears and the last bit of the ride which is on a race track and circles outside at 70 miles an hour is a bit harrowing but I did it!
The crazy circular orb pictured above is called Spaceship Earth. We grudgingly waited for 20 minutes in the rain with gritted teeth (okay maybe that was just me) to get on the ride which was rather quaint. It is an old fashioned slow ride through the centuries which shows the development of communications.
Then there was the sweet kiddie ride The Seas with Nemo and Friends which wasn't that amazing but as you leave the ride you see real exotic fishes in tanks, dolphins and manatees and beautifully coloured fish in these various tanks and that was really impressive.
We were home by 4.45p.m. and then it was off to the Riverside Resort again for dinner to save some cash ... only a day and bit to go and we go home!

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