(written by J)
We spent Day 2 in the Disney complex at Epcot Center. Epcot is a fascinating park with 2 distinctive and totally different parts – Future World and World Showcase. Our first ride was The Seas with Nemo and Friends. This was a cute ride based on the movie Finding Nemo which the kids enjoyed watching multiple times on DVD in the car on the way down to Florida. At the end of the ride was an aquarium where you could see real fish that looked like the Finding Nemo characters plus other sea creatures. The kids were especially fascinated by the manatees. Then on our way out of the ride, of course, we had to go through a gift shop. It is amazing how many Disney rides exit into gift shops. The kids immediately saw their intended targets to plead us to get for them … Webkinz animals. J & H were kind of stunned that the Disney parks would feature Webkinz. We thought they would only have Disney character stuffed toys. The kids begged and because we had just gotten them Webkinz animals in St. Augustine yesterday, we told them to wait and see if they saw other souvenirs in the park that they would like better. Z and B weren’t terribly thrilled with this verdict but they accepted it. We checked out one more ride in Future World, Journey into Imagination, and then we set off for the marathon that is the World Showcase. It is fascinating to traverse the World Showcase pavilion and see all of the different countries. We kind of did a drive-by on most of the countries. The only ones that we actually stopped in were Mexico to eat lunch and go on their boat ride, China and Canada to watch their Circlevision 360, and England because J & H love England after going to London in 2001. J wanted to check out the shops in the England pavilion and once inside, we were thrilled to see that they sold real English candy in there. Our favorite from the London trip was the Nestle Mint Aero chocolate bar and low and behold, it was in the shop. We bought a couple and ate them quickly outside before they melted in the 90 degree heat and humidity. By the end of the World Showcase, B was tired and angry. She wanted the Webkinz that she saw earlier. Z sympathized with her plight and begged for one as well. We relented and headed back to The Seas with Nemo to ride it again so they could get the animals. There was no wait to ride it this time (all of Epcot was either in the line for Test Track or Soarin, the new hang gliding adventure, both of which had waits of an hour or longer with no more Fastpasses available for the day) and soon enough, Z and B were the proud owners of a manatee and pelican respectively. Incidentally, B named her pelican “Goose.” We concluded our Epcot day with Mission Space and Spaceship Earth, the big globe that is the famous Epcot landmark. J and Z rode Mission Space because B wasn’t tall enough. This ride simulates a rocket launch into space and you could choose either the more intense or less intense launch. Like heroes, J and Z chose the more intense launch. Inside, the video that comes on before the launch says to keep facing forward, keep your head back, and don’t close your eyes or you will become disoriented. J thought “Uh-oh, what are we getting ourselves into.” In the end, Z loved it and J was a tad nauseous for a little while. Z is one tough 6 year old. We finished off the evening with water activities at the hotel. First was going in the “Hippy Dippy” pool , a huge 60’s themed flower shaped pool. Then there was a little area with Goofy by our room where water randomly shot up from holes in the concrete to get kids wet. Z and B loved every minute of this area. They were running, giggling, smiling, and splashing. It was fun to see them having so much fun.