Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Pieces of EPCOT Center

Well, I’m back from Walt Disney World, and after spending parts of three days at EPCOT I’ve got pictures (although not as many as I would’ve liked) and a few observations.

There were moments when EPCOT Center would positively enthrall you. You’d be on a ride, and the Imagineers had done their job so well that you were effectively transported to another place and time. Fortunately, there are still a few moments like that to be had in today’s EPCOT, and here they are:

  • Spaceship Earth: As I’ve said before, I don’t really understand all the vitriol that’s been directed at this attraction since it’s 2007 redesign. Much of the original attraction has been retained. The Judi Dench narration is obviously aimed at a different generation of people than the Perrin, Cronkite, or Irons narrations were. All in all, it still does a good job of immersing you in different times and places.
  • Universe of Energy’s dinosaur diorama: Except for the addition of the easily-ignorable Ellen animatronic and some recoloring of the dinosaurs (most notably the T-rex), the only part of the Energy pavilion that really excites people hasn’t been changed at all since 1982. It’s well-maintained, and absolutely saturated with that old-school attention to detail that Disney World did so well until Team Disney Orlando decided it didn’t want to pay for that stuff anymore. I’m not going to complain about the filmed portions of the attraction, since they were never that great. Sure, the Radok show was technically impressive, but it lacked truly entertaining content.
  • The first part of Mexico’s Gran Fiesta Tour: You board your boat, and float down the waterway between the San Angel Inn restaurant and the miniature pyramid. The background painting that decorates the wall behind the pyramid is ridiculously detailed; and even as you’re scrutinizing it, finding new details you never realized were there, your boat enters a magnificently-detailed recreation of an ancient Mexican temple. And then the Three Caballeros appear and ruin everything. The minute or so before they appear is pure gold, though. Not to be missed.

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading!

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