December 8, 2012 EPCOT

Saturday, December 8, 2012 was our first full day in Walt Disney World and our destination was EPCOT. EPCOT was beautifully decorated for the Christmas and Holiday seasons. As soon as you enter the park you have topiaries of several characters including Goofy and Donald, Stitch, Bambi, and Thumper & Flower. Our very first stop was the Land section of EPCOT where we picked up a fast pass for Soarin’, one of our favorite attractions. From there we went to the Imagination Pavilion and first watched Captain EO.

Captain EO is the 3D film that first premiered in 1986 that stars Michael Jackson in a science fiction / musical short that was worked on by Francis Coppola and George Lucas. Anjelica Huston also has a role. Next up was Journey Into Imagination with Figment. Figment has become one of my personal favorite characters and in this attraction Professor Nigel Channing (played by Eric Idol), who is the head of the Imagination Institute, attempts to have a serious open house but Figment thwarts his plans and shows all that imagination needs to be set free.

Having some free time we did some shopping at “Mouse Gears”. It was then time for us to return for Soarin’ but on our way we grabbed a fast pass for Test Track. Unfortunately the time on the fast pass was for when we had the Candlelight Processional so we never got on Test Track this date.

We did ride Soarin’ after a rude woman attempted to cut us off in line. When I called the woman on her actions she tried to claim she was ahead of us, which doesn’t explain why she jumped in front of me and threw her tickets at the cast member so he would let her in front of us...oh well...some people! Soarin’ honestly was as good this time as it didn’t seem to have the aromas sent in for sense of smell to go along with the orange fields and pine trees. But otherwise the ride was fine.

Coming off Soarin’ we went on Living With the Land, the boat tour of the Disney area where food is grown in unique ways along with research on new and efficient ways to grow certain foods. They offer a behind the scenes tour and we have often mentioned that we need to do that on one of our trips.

Next up we went to Mission: Space where we went on the green team experience as to avoid the spinning. This is a simulation of flying in space on a mission to Mars. Being a bit thirsty, we stopped by Club Cool which is a Coca-Cola sponsored area that, on top of selling coke products and merchandise, has samples of sodas from across the world. My favorite is the orange Fanta soda.

We then stopped in at Fountain View Ice Cream and used a snack entitlement. I had a root beer float. From there we went on Spaceship Earth, which is commonly referred to as the big ball as the attraction is in the iconic symbol of EPCOT. This attraction takes you on a ride that chronicles the progress of technology and talks about what the future has in store for us. Oddly, we ended up sitting idle on this ride twice this day.

At this point we were mostly done with Future World so we began walking around World Showcase taking in the many Christmas and Holiday decorations (as well as a little window shopping!). We started in the Mexico Pavilion where we saw some singers and made our way around World Showcase. In Norway we stopped to go on Maelstrom, the short boat ride that describes the history and lore of Norway. We spent some time in the Germany pavilion where we caught the end of the storyteller segment on the Nutcracker. Just outside of the Germany pavilion there is the miniature village and train, of which I took several pictures.

It was then time for our 4:15 PM dinner reservations at the Biergarten, the German themed buffet. This meal cost two entitlements on the dining plan as it was part of the Candlelight Processional Dinner Package which granted us guaranteed seating for the Candlelight Processional. We didn’t get to see much of the musical performance of the German band as they went on break shortly after we arrived but we were seated with a nice family. At this restaurant you are seated at a table of 8 so you are always with at least one other family which has always worked out nice as we have had the opportunity to meet and dine with nice people.

After dinner we waited in the line for Candlelight Processional which is held in the America Gardens Theater which is in the America Pavilion. The line was so long for even the reserved seating that we were standing in the area of the Morocco Pavilion.

The Candlelight Processional was moving as always as they told the story of Jesus Christ’s birth along with traditional Christmas hymns and songs. The guest narrator was James Denton from Desperate Housewives. I am not familiar with him as an actor but he did a nice job as narrator for this event.

After the Processional we walked around Santa’s Village which is in the area of the American Adventure. I was able to get a few pictures of Santa and Mrs. Claus who are present with a decently long line of mostly children who are waiting to have their pictures taken.

We ended our day continuing to walk around EPCOT, mostly World Showcase, doing some window shopping but mostly admiring the Christmas and Holiday decorations. One thing of interest is we walked into the store in the Canada Pavilion and they have a significant amount of hockey and NHL merchandise, more than I’ve seen before. They had four generic hockey shirts including one that states “We Interrupt Everything to Bring You the Hockey Season”. I chuckled and said to some of the staff working there that the shirt is ironic since the National Hockey League is currently in a lock out!

As we made our way back to our room at the Saratoga Springs resort we took a few pictures of the Christmas decorations adorning the resort as well.