Forgotten Attractions: EPCOT Edition

10 Sep

Once again, my friend Meagan and I found ourselves wandering around EPCOT before work one day. And, once again, we gravitated toward the rarely-thought of attractions. I don’t know if we take pity on the island of misfit attractions, but somehow we’re always one of 20 guests seated in a theater meant to hold 180.

These are the attractions you miss running to Test Track because they posted a 10 minute wait-time, or because you were headed to France’s patisserie and didn’t feel like waiting another 20 minutes (you need your croissant now, danggit!).

1) Journey Into Imagination with Figment – Hop on the imagination train with Dr. Nigel Channing (Monty Python’s Eric Idle) and Figment, his discovery, as you explore the five senses of sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell. Figment might be one of the cutest little dragon/dinosaur critters ever, little yellow sweater and all. “Why is the music still stuck in my head?” you’ll cry as you exit the attraction. “It’s like ‘it’s a small world’ all over again!” Well, that’s because the composers of “One Little Spark” and “it’s a small world” are the same geniuses (and Disney legends): the Sherman Brothers. Figment is also a well-loved Disney attraction; it was brought back by popular demand (after numerous complaints to Michael Eisner) to replace Honey, I Shrunk the Audience, returning Figment to center-stage in 2002.

2) Ellen’s Energy Adventure – Late-1990s Ellen DeGeneres has a problem with figuring out where we get our energy from and she needs Bill Nye the Science guy’s help to learn about the coal, oil, solar, and (most importantly) brain power that makes our world function. The clothes and lack of gray in Alex Trebek’s moustache might be a dead giveaway that this attraction debuted in 1996 but that doesn’t mean it’s any less relevant today. Plus, you say the words “Bill Nye the Science Guy” and I’ll be there. Most of my elementary school education came from those videos.

3) Captain EO – As I excitedly took my seat for Captain EO, the gentleman next to me make a rather snarky comment I did not appreciate: “Yay! Money-grubbing Disney is out for more with Captain EO!” It was hard for me to contain myself and not moon-walk across his face. (YOU, sir, DID NOT HAVE TO COME TO DISNEY WORLD. GO TO UNIVERSAL STUDIOS IF YOU DON’T APPRECIATE TRUE INNOVATION SMOTHERED IN SENTIMENT.) I love every single cheesy thing about Captain EO: Michael Jackson circa 1987, George Lucas’s hand in props and overall cinematography, Francis Ford Coppola’s jump cuts from tight to wide angles with no mid-width shots, the way your seat bounces to the beat of MJ’s music. Plus, the costumes. The sweet, sweet leather cut-out costumes. They’re 1980s gold. I’m so glad they reopened the attraction in 2010 in all Disney parks around the globe (I tried to see EO in DisneyParis, but no one would sit through it with me…).  They kept a lot of the original special effects save a couple extra laser beams. I just love it oh-so-much. Hurry to Captain EO while you still can, before Disney takes it out and replaces it with something less-spectacular and 1980s-tastic.

4) Living with the Land – Confession: Meagan and I skipped over Living with the Land for Soarin’ (which I had never done but now love). I have yet to do the Living with the Land tour, which takes you on a tour of plants, ecosystems, and sustainable-living/agricultural goodness. It also displays Epcot’s four working greenhouses and one Aquacell, the products of which are used at The Garden Grill and Sunshine Seasons restaurants.  Added bonus: Soarin’ and Living with the Land are in the same building, so ride Living with the Land while you wait for your FastPass time for Soarin’. The building itself contains most delicious smell on the face of the earth (and this is coming from someone who has to walk by the Main Street bakery every day for work). Living with the Land is on my to-do list when I’m able to spend an entire day at EPCOT.

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One Response to “Forgotten Attractions: EPCOT Edition”

  1. Kelly Sandidge September 11, 2013 at 2:50 am #

    I love your blog! We ride Living with the Land every time we are there. It is a relaxing ride with a lot of innovative ideas. Would encourage everyone to ride at least once. They also have an hour long tour that takes you behind the scenes called Behind the Seeds Tour.

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