Walt Disney World ICP - Day 8 - My first visit to EPCOT - 10th June 2013

Work weeks run Sunday to Saturday here at Disney, so it was my first day off this week. I got up at 9am-ish and got the bus at 9:40, the plan was for I and Dan to meet Emma at EPCOT. The bus broke down at Vista Way after having only traveled 10 minutes, so another bus was brought in and it was too full for us to get on, so we got the bus to the Contemporary. Then we walked to the Magic Kingdom (5 min walk) and wanted to get on the Monorail to the TTC - this was not working, so we got the ferry there instead. There we got on the Monorail to Epcot. We finally at EPCOT arrived at 11:20am - 1hour and 40minutes after we had left the accommodation. Ridiculous.

The EPCOT sphere/globe at the entrance

It’s incredible how quickly Fastpasses go at this park: we got a Soarin’ Fastpass at 11:30am - the return time was 18:25 to 19:25 already and all fastpasses were gone for both Test Track and Soarin by midday. People at these parks know exactly what to do in what order, and if you don’t then you’ll miss out and queue a lot more than you need to.

We were waiting on the girls so I decided to have breakfast/lunch/brunch in The Land pavilion - I had the chicken, aromatic rice and beans combo. It was so good! Probably the best meal I’ve had here since arriving. It was about $12 for the meal, plus I bought a drink and a dessert on top. Drinks aren't included in meal prices here which is very odd. Neither is tax. The grand total was about $18 which wasn't too bad considering the amount of food I had.

Then we met with the girls at Test Track. The single rider queue said it would be a 40 minute wait, we got on in 15 minutes. It's a great ride but it didn't go as fast as I thought it would despite being the fastest ride at Disney World - 65mph! It was great fun though. The single rider queue skips all the create-your-own-car elements which was fine because we saved so much time but I’d like to go back and do them again.

Single rider on Test Track - I'm in the back row

Then everyone went for lunch in Mexico in the World Showcase, as I’d already had lunch I called my parents instead for half an hour over Skype. Note: this drains your battery no end as I lost 50% of my battery life in 30 minutes. I used my 3G internet as I couldn't find a reliable wifi connection in the parks. It was nice to talk to my parents who will be coming over in about 7 weeks time.

I then met up with the others, walking all the way round the World Showcase and had a little laugh at how stereotypical the representations of the countries were.
What the UK looks like according to Disney.

The girls wanted to give away their Test Track Fastpasses which were for 8pm to 9pm and so they went up to a Cast member at the ride entrance and the girls asked them to give it out to the next guest that asked for some. Instead the CM said they could just go straight onto the ride - magical moment! So me and Dan waited in Innoventions instead as it was air conditioned and we had a look at the indoor exhibits there. I think I’ll be going back to the design-your-own-coaster ride as that looked cool. Innoventions West was smaller than I expected it to be, though but there’s plenty to do.

Then we decided to go to the Magic Kingdom to try and do the 3 mountains. We eventually got to MK after having missed a monorail by seconds and the lines app on my phone helped us to decide that we’d Fastpass Splash Mountain and then ride Big Thunder.

But first I went to pick up a first visit pin/badge, the others got celebration pins, and I got a few for my family too. I wore mine all day but no-one said “Happy First Visit” or anything :(.

The Splash fastpass was a lot later than we expected but somehow with a bit of charm the girls managed to get us all into the Fastpass queue instantly and straight onto the front of the ride - perks of being a girl, huh?

We rode splash and we were one of the last to get on as it closed shortly after due to thunder in the area. Good times. I really enjoyed the ride, it’s well themed and has a bit of of a thrill to it. The indoor section is really long and it has quite a few indoor drops too which were fun.

Loving life on Splash Mountain - back row!

The girls then decided to go and get some merchandise at Disney University where we can get good cast discounts, while I and Dan went over to Tomorrowland. Here we did the Carousel of Progress (I really enjoyed this), the PeopleMover (a nice and relaxing break from the hustle and bustle) and then we got a Fastpass for Buzz Lightyear’s Laser Blast for just 50 minutes later (the regular queue was 70 minutes so this made a lot of sense). We then went over to Frontierland to do the new interactive pirate adventure game but I noticed that the aladdin magic carpet ride was running, which meant that all outdoor attractions were now open!

Over to Big Thunder Mountain we went and rode it, a 40 minute time was posted and we were on in 15. I was so disappointed in BTM here, it’s just nowhere near as cool or as long as the ride in Disneyland Paris, and it doesn’t even have a splash down or a ride photo.

We went back to Tomorrowland where we buzz and I lost. Again. I’m terrible at these shooting-type games. As with BTM, I felt the Parisian version of the ride was better as far as the technology in the guns is concerned and the targets in Paris light up too.

We walked back to the Contemporary, and got the cast bus home. Back at home, Blair had got back from work and he hated it. He said it was very hard and exhausting work, he gets asked the stupidest questions and said that many guests are just plain rude. This is a theme I have heard and noticed whilst here: just because something has gone wrong doesn’t mean it is our fault. If you’re rude to us as Cast Members we’re not going to be as helpful as if you ask us politely. Yes we have to provide good customer service but we are allowed a lot of discretion as to how we deal with incidents and being rude doesn’t get you anywhere. Rant over.

We then went to Publix to get some basic supplies as well as white socks which both I and Blair need for work. Then it was time for bed. Another long but successful day.

Next post: Walt Disney World ICP - Day 9 - A Wild Day Out - 11th June 2013

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