Around the world in Orlando

Trip Start Apr 04, 2011
Trip End Jun 14, 2011

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Flag of United States  , Florida
Thursday, April 28, 2011

Day two of our Orlando adventure means a trip to the big silver golf ball better known as Epcot. Della and I spent some time deciding which of the parks we would visit and it was a tough choice with all 4 parks having enticing Mickey attractions. But since the Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios seemed like it was going to be a majority of visiting the same places we know and love so much at home we opted for a trip around the world instead. We picked a great time to go too, as they were having the 18th annual Flower and Garden Festival which meant that all of the big Disney characters were featured around the park in flower form (topiaries). You'll see some of our favorites in our pictures attached to this post. The park is setup in two sections, the Future World in the front of the park, and the World Showcase in the back of the park which is divided up between many different countries like Norway, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and many others. Each featured food and attractions from the host country. We watched videos showing the monuments and cultures from France, Canada and the United States (which provided a great escape from the heat for a brief time). For lunch we surveyed options from England to Japan but in the end we enjoyed a tasty chicken and lamb shwarma platter from Morocco. It was so fun and really interesting that the people working in the different parts of the park were native to those areas, with many of them working on or selling traditional art and other local items inside the pavilions. I'm not sure if it was more entertaining to examine the cultures that we had experienced personally or those that are still on our bucket list. I know that the Chinese area was one of my favorites. The temple that you entered was so ornate and the display inside which included a small replica of Shi Huangdi's Tomb with its intricately detailed terracotta warriors made me marvel at what the original 7,000+ 6ft soldiers and horses in their tomb city must be like to experience. It was obvious, if not a little surprising, that there was such a realness in portraying these cultures through their past and present and making sure you got a well rounded experience.
To answer the obvious question we did go into the golf ball, which is an attraction called Spaceship Earth which takes you on a journey through the past 40,000 years of human history and into how we might live in the future. I understand why some say that the park is a bit outdated and in parts I think that may be true but the magic of it is still certainly evident and was highlighted perfectly by the flower scenes portrayed throughout the park. Again we attempted to do it all and pretty much accomplished it. The night ended with a spectacular fireworks show called IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. This included a spectacular light show involving a giant lighted rotating earth which rotated while moving throughout the Lagoon area in the center of World Showcase.  After two full days of theme park fun in the sun we weren't sure we would make it until the end but we were certainly glad that we did.
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