December, 2007

— Epcot

When you first enter Epcot, you immediately encounter Spaceship Earth (see photo #1, at left). It is beautifully designed and awesum to behold. When we arrived, the interior was closed for remodeling. (We were lucky enough to be walking past one day when they opened up Spaceship Earth for a test run of the new ride. We were among the first to try it out.)

As usual, however, Disney also provides a wide variety of subtle details that make the whole experience more enjoyable. Even the transportation provided to visitors, the monorail, is done with style and grace. Around the grounds, many delights can be found. Here is a topiary Goofy, near the entrance to the park. And here is a fountain that sends coherent streams of water sailing overhead. All of it is unnecessary, and all of it together is what makes this a magical place.

— Backstage tours

We took just about all of the backstage tours that are offered at Epcot. One of our favorites, "Behind the Seeds" (photo #2), was also the cheapest and easiest to join. It is a tour of the greenhouses that are seen as a part of the "Living with the Land" exhibit. We had a chance to learn about the hydroponic gardens that provide food for some of the Epcot restaurants. We had a knowledgeable guide who answered all of our questions and provided a lot of interesting information. Jim was able to take all the pictures he wanted.

We took part in several other special activities, including swimming with the fishes on the "Epcot Seas Aqua Tour"; we toured Epcot on Segways on the "Around the World at Epcot" tour; and we visited backstage areas of Epcot on the "Undiscovered Furture World" tour. They were all fun and we learned a lot. We highly recommend them all.

— World Showcase

Epcot is divided into two parts, Future World and the World Showcase, which features exhibits from 11 countries around the world. The major exhibits, such as the Moorish architecture in Morocco (photo #3) are all beautifully done. And each country's pavillion features one or more restaurants that provide traditional dishes from that country. We ate in several of them, and liked them all. Jamie's favorite was Le Cellier in Canada; Jim's favorite was the Teppan Edo in Japan.

As usual, Jim found a great variety of the little details that Disney always adds to make things special. Here is a small collection of lamps and lanterns from different pavillions:

Morocco   |   Norway   |   Japan

In France, we saw a lovely fleur de lis done in plants and surrounded by flowers. And, finally, a pineapple in a pot, from Morocco.

— Christmas at Epcot

Because we were visiting in December, Disney put out all the Holiday decorations and activities you could want. In England, we found Father Christmas (photo #4) greeting all the children. And at night, the holiday lights seemed to be everywhere. With all of the holiday extras, and the smallest crowds of the year, we think that early December is an especially magical time to visit Walt Disney World.

— return to the 2007 Journal Archive.