First let’s talk about EPCOT. I did like the park, but I can’t really say it was very photo worthy.
I liked “Test Track”, I think this is what Disneyland’s Rocket Rods were supposed to be like. They had this neat “prototype car” in the exit area; I think I’ve seen this in some older photos, still looks neat however.
The rest of EPCOT was good if not remarkable. The Universe of Energy was campy yet fun. Spaceship Earth was neat and reminded me of a 1964 worlds fair ride, not sure why. Soaring is the same as DCA and super fun. “Living with the Land” was neat also, very entertaining and educational, the kids seem to like it also so it works on many levels.
Journey into Imagination was also cute if not a bit dated. Honey I shrunk the Audience sucks just as bad as it does at Disneyland. Worse actually because, once again, 400 people have to cram thru 4 sets of small doors, push and shove time, bad show on top of a bad show. I never made it to the “Seas” as half the attractions close at 6pm!
The World Showcase is interesting, if not a bit contrived. Having only a few hours to visit was not enough. It seems geared towards adults and each area is themed nicely. I would definitely like to go back and spend the entire afternoon and evening there, it seems to have a lot of potential.
I had lunch in Italy and it was fantastic, everyone enjoyed their meals, I had this great chicken dish, yummy!
I think this was Japan!
Here is the big map of EPCOT. Kevin Yee did warn me this is really two parks in one. He was right; I should have allocated more time to see the whole place.
Animal Kingdom; It rained most of the day so I have no photos, sorry about that! The park is themed better than any Disney property I have ever seen. If you like animals and nature, you will LOVE this park. The Safari trip is amazing and a must do if you visit this park. Its 400 acres of wildlife in an amazingly realistic setting. There are some great shows too and lots to look at.
Expedition Everest is a blast. Think Matterhorn, mixed with Thunder Mountain, with a Dash of Viper from Six Flags. The whole “backwards” sequence is mind blowing, lots of screams! I did need to sit for a moment after riding this one.
Here is the map of Animal Kingdom. The huge tree in the middle is a bit out of place because everything else in the park is real. The food was decent and here’s a tip; if it’s raining after 6pm (the park closed at 8pm) they start giving away ice cream, for real! The vendor carts are just handing it out, pop corn too! Good show Disney!
Now for a couple “off site” parks. First up Universal Studio Florida. This park was fun and better than the Universal here in California. It only lacks an actual tram tour, which is fun in California, but since there is no real studio here I am not sure how they would do it. The neat part here is all the city streets (New York, San Francisco, Beverly Hills) are open and you walk on them. Universal California only takes you thru those streets on the tram.
They do have separate shows for some of the tram tour elements. Jaws gets its own attraction with a boat ride (Similar to the Jungle Cruise in size). It’s great, you see the shark about 5 times and he gets “toasted” in the end, just like in Jaws 2! There is a “your in the movie” show that ends with you going in a subway car and going into the earthquake subway station with the fire, flood and collapsing street, its fun to be an actual subway car and not the tram!
The Mummy was fun (duplicate of Universal CA.) The Simpsons ride was great, they play Simpsons episodes in the queue lines, especially the ones that parody theme parks, those crack me up!
Here is the front and the giant Universal Globe.
I found a couple familiar friends on the streets of Universal!
Here is the Guide Map for Universal Florida. You will have to turn you monitor upside down to read some of it, sorry.
No photos because it was raining again, here is “Universal's Islands of Adventure”. This place was great, it’s really an extension of Universal Studio’s, but has a separate gate. All the action takes place in this park. The Hulk and Twin dragons are wicked inverted roller coasters. The Spiderman show is super, think Indiana Jones mixed with 3D (hey, that would be an awesome update to add 3D to Indy at Disneyland).
They also have the Jurassic Park Ride. The lands are all themed rather well, and the Seuss Landing area is pretty amazing, it’s very well done and immersive. The Trolley ride is fun too, it offers “PeopleMover” style views of the Seuss Landing area as well as the lake.
If you have kids 11 to 17, they will like Islands of Adventure more than Universal. The food was good, but some restaurants close at 6pm, huh?
Last up here is the Guide Map from the Magic Kingdom.
I had a great trip to Florida, it could not have been better. I would recommend taking the trip to Florida at least once. While at times it seemed not so fun (the humidity takes some getting used to, if ever) and the crowds were HUGE compared to little old Anaheim, in retrospect I had a very enjoyable time and I might even go back some day.