Today, Tony and I concluded our Orlando adventures with a visit to Epcot. I was just there 2 years ago with Patricia so there wasn’t much that was new or fresh for me but there were some changes. Here are the rides we braved . . .
Test Track: Meant to simulate riding a car in a General Motors test track. There are some lame moments and some fairly exciting moments. Recommended overall. B
Mission SPace: A shortish, decent space simulator. Nothing very engaging. I liked it a lot more 2 years ago. B-
Ellen’s Universe of Energy: Oh, fuck, it stars Ellen Degeneres and she’s as awful as ever. This one is newwwwwwww but awful. Also stars Bill Nye the Science Guy, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Alex Trebeq. It’s mostly a movie but partially a ride. Most of the ride section is recycled from the old Exxon dinosaur ride that used to inhabit the same part of the building. Some very patronizing, simplified, and inaccurate scientific information. Also pandering to creationists by referring to Big Bang as something that “many scientists believe”. Oh, really? Many? Not almost all? F
Spaceship Earth: A slow, relaxing ride featuring the history of mankind, basically. The scenes are elaborate and the animatronics decent. It could have received a very high score but there’s a very clear Euro/Mediterranean bias, attributing the invention of paper to Egypt (China had it first). It also attributes the creation of complicated highway systems to Rome, even though Persia beat them to it by 200 years. In fact, the only “achievement” attributed to someone other than Europe/Egypt is the Middle East, but only for possessing copies of the books lost in the fire at Alexandria! C+ (could have been an A-!)
The Seas With Nemo and Friends: A new ride. Sort of the evolution of the boring Winnie the Pooh type rides. You travel through real, physical environments but the actions of the Nemo characters are projected on various screens. Just okay. C+
Living With the Land: A boat tour thing. Initially, it travels through scenes of farms and various ecosystems. Pretty nice designs. Then it travels through a facility where various plans are grown in experimental manners. Pretty cool. B+
Journey Into Imagination with Figment: Slow, aimless, bad animatronics. D
River of Time: Stars Three Caballeros. Nice Mexican scenes but boring. C
The Maelstrom: A baffling ride. A mostly slow and boring boat ride through Norwegian scenes but with a couple of lame drops. Is it supposed to be a thrill ride?! C-
Shows . . .
Honey I Shrunk the Audience: Stupid. Unfunny. D-
China something or other: Awesome video in “circle vision” (360 degree view with screens surrounding the room). Made me want to move to China. That’s pretty good, right? Avoided any and all controversial CHina topics. B
Turtle Talk: Impressive. A Pixar-animated turtle somehow communicates in real time with audience members. I still don’t really get how they did it. The characters were cheesy but these parks are supposed to have things that make you say “wow” and there should be more stuff like this. B+
American Adventure: Not as cheesy or dishonest as the Hall of Presidents show. Good animatronics. Got hokey towards the end but featured Mark Twain and quoted John Steinbeck twice so gets a . . . B-.
Circle of Life: Unfortunately hilarious movie where Disney lectures the audience about “respecting every living creature” (there’s a restaurant serving chickens by the ton in the same building) and being responsible regarding the environment. Really? Disney World itself destroyed several marshland ecosystems when it was built and is still criticized for poor environmental practices and they’re going to lecture me?!
General gripes . . .
The whole park is a preachy environmental thing that fails to actually dig deeply into any issues. Most of the areas have a fucking sponsor. While waiting for the Honey I Shrunk the Audience show you watch Kodak commercials! No! I paid a million dollars to get in here, don’t try to sell me shit, unless it’s from a gift shop (which I can easily avoid).