Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Keys to the Kingdom Tour and Epcot

Today we got up early and headed back to the Magic Kingdom for the Keys to the Kingdom backstage tour. The tour was nearly five hours long and took us all over the park including some backstage areas where guests normally never visit, such as the parade repair and storage area, and into the underground tunnels. Obviously, picture taking or video recording is against the rules backstage, so I have nothing to show you.

The tour was very detailed and Shelsy and I both liked it a lot. There was a lot to it, however, and it deserves a more in-depth report which I don't have time for now. Watch for that post after we get back next week.

After the tour, we quickly watched Micky's Philharmagic show one more time, then drove over to Epcot. This park has changed quite a bit since I was last there, but it still almost, almost seems like the park Disney forgot. It doesn't have the same magic feel that the other parks do and it's pretty ordinary on the whole. Don't get me wrong, it has a lot going for it, and we both enjoyed the visit, but we're not in a hurry to rush back, you know?

We checked out the new Mission Space ride...bad idea. I thought I could take the simulator, but ended up quite queasy and had to sit down for a few minutes. We also rode a boat ride in The Land that showcased several of the experimental greenhouses Epcot scientists are working on...it was very cool.

We then rode the Nemo and Friends ride, which used an incredibly innovative method of reflecting a projected image on an actual tank of water to make it appear as if the Nemo characters were swimming in real water among real fish. The effect was so good, even I was almost convinced. :-) After that, it was over to Turtle Talk with Crush, an interactive show very similar to the Monsters Laugh Floor at Magic Kingdom.

From there, it was over to the lake to walk the World Showcase. We bought tea in England, ate dinner in China, got a pastry in France, and had a great time exploring the world.

And, after some major technical difficulties that turned a 10 minute wait time into nearly 45, we finally got onto Sorin', the recently updated flying simulator ride. It was incredibly cool, and you could even smell the California oranges as we flew over the grove, feet dangling below.

Tomorrow it's off to MGM Hollywood Studios (read more about the recent name change here) . Until then, I leave you with a video from outside the Nemo and Friends ride:



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