Wordless Wednesday: A Journey Back Through Time

Wordless Wednesday – October 16, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

This week’s Wordless Wednesday takes us to my all time favorite ride at Walt Disney World, Epcot’s Spaceship Earth. I rode Spaceship earth for the first time in 1986, and every time I am greeted by this mural I can’t help but smile and think of riding with my blue Fisher Price camera!

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EPCOT30 – Happy 30th Birthday EPCOT CENTER!

EPCOT30 – Happy 30th Birthday EPCOT CENTER!

EPCOT 30 is really here, and I thought that I would take another look back at my first trip to EPCOT Center!

In 1986 my life changed forever, I was introduced to a place called EPCOT Center. I know that may sound a bit dramatic, but the happenings of this trip seem to have influenced and affected me for quite some time.

My family was by no means well off, and when it came time to make our family trip to Walt Disney World my parents were serious about making sure we made the most of our time here.

My parents have always been huge fans of Walt Disney World, and since they had already been to the Magic Kingdom they decided that our first park to visit would be the new EPCOT Center.

I had never been to a theme park, so armed with my Fisher Price camera (I was a bit of a rebel. No flash photography…I didn’t hear that…sorry) I was ready to make the most of my time here! I wish I could have found all of the pictures, but I am glad that I found these!!!

But pictures or no pictures, I wanted to share a few of my favorite and cherished moments.

In World of Motion, my brother’s favorite ride, my fondest memories are frantically pointing to all of the scenes and trying to find all of the funny details. The screens were full of fun background images, while the animatronics depicted scenes that were easy to identify with and fun to deconstruct.

In Horizons, I remember the optimism that we all felt for the future. I know that everyone who got the opportunity to experience Horizons has a fond memory of the smell of oranges. And while the orange smell on Soarin’ is a nice nod to this extinct attraction, it just isn’t the same to me. Here is my EPCOT30 confession, I was once meditating during a Yoga class, and we were encouraged to think of a happy memory and before the image could fully form I was hit by the Horizons orange smell and it instantly made me happy.

Journey into Imagination was the only ride, according got my Mom, where I was silent and in complete awe of what was surrounding me. Plus this one and only one ride cemented my life-long love of the Royal Purple Pigment Figment! Our trip was also right before Captain EO opened, and I remember begging to stay until we could see it unsuccessfully, So when EO returned to Epcot, I was absolutely beside myself because I was going to have the opportunity to see the movie I couldn’t see before. And as I was sitting in the theater before the movie started with Zoe, I couldn’t help but wiggle with the excitement and dance out at the end with her. I know it’s cheesy, but getting the chance to relive these memories with Zoe make me giddy!

As we walked around World Showcase on this first trip, we spent a lot of time in Mexico since it was my Dad’s favorite pavilion. I remember how badly we all wanted to eat ‘inside the pyramid’, as I called it, but my Dad protested saying it was too expensive. However in 2008, we were fortunate enough to take Mom and Dad to Walt Disney World with us for Zoe’s first trip to Walt Disney World and much like my family’s first trip Epcot was our first stop. But on this trip we skipped running to ride attractions, to go directly to Mexico to have our first meal of the trip at the San Angel Inn. The wait staff must have thought I was crazy, because as I sat down I started crying realizing I was making a 12 year old wish come true!

The newest pavilion at EPCOT Center was The Living Seas, and it was the most amazing thing I had ever seen. Our trip to Sea Base Alpha was the most moving and wonderful thing that I had ever done! The Hydrolators, our seacab journey, the interactive displays, and marine life were almost too much to take in. I kept asking if it was real!

And finally, there is my beloved Spaceship Earth. We all have that one attraction that speaks to us, and for me that attraction was Spaceship Earth. I loved, and still do, this slow moving journey through time. Communication is something we all do, and the history of communication fascinated me. Coming off of our first ride I must have asked a million questions prompting us to ride it 2 more times. Spaceship Earth will always be my most favorite ride, and I often think of how inspired I was as I walked off that first time and how much I am always searching for that same feeling of inspiration and curiosity in my life.

I hope that you enjoyed my reminiscing about my first trip to EPCOT Center on EPCOT30. What were your first memories about EPCOT Center?

 

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These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

Image Copyright ABC Family

So the other night on twitter I asked what people’s favorite song was from the Sound of Music when mine came up randomly in iTunes (Something Good, btw). One of my friends answered My Favorite Things. While struggling to come up with a topic for a blog post, I was reminded of this when I saw Do-Re-Mi-Fa trending on twitter and saw it as a sign. Inspiration has to come from somewhere, so why not twitter? I’ll take this opportunity to highlight some of my favorite things at Walt Disney World. Some are obvious choices as E Ticket attractions and others may not be as well known.

At the Magic Kingdom, and probably in all of Walt Disney World, my favorite ride is Pirates of the Caribbean. I guess I’ve been enamored with the idea of pirates in general since we did Peter Pan as our second grade play. Despite the fact that I always tend to get soaked from either the cannon fire or even the drop, this remains my fave. I love the smell of the queue, have a whole soundtrack of the theme song with various remixes (yes, this exists), and the addition of Captain Jack Sparrow certainly didn’t hurt or compromise the integrity or feel of the ride, in my opinion. Two other classic attractions round out my top three in MK: Haunted Mansion and the Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover. I have been fortunate enough to take a walking tour of the Haunted Mansion and it was beyond incredible. The storytelling on this is probably the most complete of any attraction in the Magic Kingdom. TTAP is just a great ride that gives you an overview of Tomorrowland with narration. You can read more about my love of the Peoplemover here.

Pirates!
Haunted Mansion
TTAP

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is not my favorite of the four parks by a long stretch, however there are some things that I completely love about this park. The theming of Harambe and Anandapur are spectacular. I especially love the artwork and details in the Asia section of the park along the Maharajah Jungle Trek. It may also be because the tigers are my favorite animals to visit. As far as rides are concerned, I love the Kilimanjaro Safaris, especially towards the end of the day. I used to think that I’d see more animals first thing in the morning, but the last few times I have ridden in late afternoon I saw way more. My favorite show, possibly in all of WDW, is the Festival of the Lion King. It has great interactivity for the kids, lots of entertainment with singing, dancing, aerial acrobatics, and my absolute favorite part: TUMBLE MONKEYS!!! The quality of this production is always great and is fun for everyone.

Maharajah Jungle Trek
Lion
Tumble Monkeys

Disney’s Hollywood Studios is magnificent at night, possibly stealing the show from the other parks with the luster of old Hollywood and the luminescence of neon. While I’m not a huge fan of all of the rides, I do love to experience some of the lesser appreciated attractions. Probably my favorite activity at the Studios is the Animation Academy. I have done this dozens of times, and typically go twice each day I visit that park. You can see some of my attempts at drawing here. Another attraction that I enjoy and try to catch each time is Mulch, Sweat & Shears. If you haven’t seen these guys (and sometimes girls) perform, you are missing out on one of the best live acts in WDW. They cover great rock songs from the 60s through today. Usually found on New York Street, but sometimes by the Sorcerer’s Hat, Mulch is a great way to spend some time rocking out and dancing to some music you don’t often hear in the parks. Last, but certainly not least, is my favorite ride in DHS: the Great Movie Ride. It harkens back to the classic days of Hollywood with nods to some of the greatest films in cinematic history. For more in depth details on some more of my favorite things at the Studios, take a look at my blog post from a few weeks ago here.

Chip
Mulch, Sweat & Shears
Great Movie Ride

Finally, this brings me to my favorite park (actually I go back and forth between MK and Epcot, but most of the time Epcot wins). I am completely fascinated with World Showcase at Epcot, partially because I love to travel, but haven’t outside of the US. This is like a magical journey that transports me to lands both near and far when I set foot in WS. My favorite film in Epcot is definitely Impressions de France. As several of my friends know, I love (j’adore) this attraction to the point where I have practically memorized the script and can recite it almost verbatim, including the parts in French. The scenery all around France is magnificent, the score is beautiful, using classical works from composers like Maurice Ravel, Camille Saint-Saens and Claude Debussy just to name a few. I have even made a cd of the tracks used in the film. You can ask for a copy of track listing from the Cast Members as you exit through the gift shop. Since Test Track is out of commission, my favorite ride is Spaceship Earth. I know some fanboys take issue with Dame Judi Dench’s narration, but being a James Bond fan, I don’t mind. Plus, I don’t have recollection of the Cronkite or Irons versions. Taking the time to “thank the Phoenicians” has become a ritual part of every trip. My third favorite attraction in Epcot goes to the entire American Adventure pavilion. This includes the Fife & Drum Corps, shows like Candlelight Processional, Flower Power Concert Series, Eat to the Beat Concert Series, the Voices of Liberty and the American Adventure attraction itself. Americana is something that is near and dear to me and all of these elements combine to celebrate some of the best things about this great nation of ours.

Impressions de France
The Phoenicians
Davy Jones

What are some of your favorite attractions? Hope you enjoyed learning about some of mine.

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