Day #05 - Epic World!

Another day, another park. It was EPCOT's turn to get the Roaming Romeo's treatment and we travelled there from our resort in style. The new Skyliner cable car connects our resort with the park direct which was a great timesaver and an elegant way to arrive.
We landed right next to the UK area in EPCOT's World Showcase, so cute the obligatory "It's not like this" comments. However in fairness, if you were to create a condensed representation of the UK, you couldn't really present a more charming experience. Little did we know that we would end our day at The Rose and Crown pub and have more of a taste of home than we expected!! 
We toured the other countries around the vast lake, experiencing each one's sights and sounds in a lovely relaxed way. The sun was very strong to begin with and so relief was sort on several occasions in air conditioned shops or attractions.

The big new rides Remy's Ratatouille Adventure in France and Frozen Ever After in Norway has queues far longer than either of us would tolerate, so we were contended to do what we could as we travelled the world (well, 11 counties - almost like a world tour within a work tour for us!🤣)
One thing the World Showcase is known for apart from the potted countries, is the opportunity to taste the respective countries' cuisine. While we are here there is the famous EPCOT Food Festival which adds even more countries to the experience. So there was temptation all around to sample delights from around the world - albeit a slightly mass produced and commercialised version. 
After the World Showcase, it was on to what were the sponsored pavilions. Now they have been new zones (World of Celebration, World of Nature and World of Discovery) and none of the rides that we both experienced on our last visit are still in existence! 
My favourite, Journey into Imagination has become a more modern version with Eric Idle but I did miss The Dreamfinder. Luckily, my pal Figment was still there!
The Sea Centre had become Nemo themed with a really clever and charming presentation where children could interact and ask questions to an animated Crush (the surfing turtle from the movie). It was really clever and fun to watch the character respond in real-time and adlib with the children. Technology certainly has because so much more amazing!
Spaceship Earth had also been refreshed and now as you climb inside that famous dome, human communication history has been given the Judi Dench touch (well at least for those that selected English for their narration!). A cool element to the ride was a personalised movie of your possible future that was generated based on some choices you were given during the ride along with cartoons of ourselves with slightly dodgy cutouts of our heads taken from an earlier photo.

The highlight of the day was definitely The Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind rollercoaster. I can honestly say, that was the best rollercoaster I have ever ridden. So beautifully themed with a so much integration from the movie. The main characters all showed up and there was a really impressive "teleportation" section in the preshow section that was so clever. The ride itself was like Space Mountain on steroids! The conventional rollercoaster train we were riding in turned out to be not so conventional after all. Certainly came as a big surprise to me and made for one exceptional experience. Made all the phaffing and pressure of the virtual queuing system worthwhile!
Another highlight of the day was dining at The Garden Grill - recommended by Toby, a PT client of mine. Not only was this an all you could eat meal; not only could you meet Mikey, Pluto and Chip n Dale but the whole restaurant revolves while you eat. It's part of The Living Land pavilion and I highly recommend it.

The evening plan was to watch the fireworks so as we waited and wandered 

And then the rains opened! And boy, did they open!

We were treated to a thunder and lightning display that was worthy of any disaster movie, accompanied by a biblical downpour. Of course, I'm exaggerating since we don't get rain storms like this in England, but it wasn't far off! This did mean we had to buy the classic DisneyWorld poncho, which remains as elegant and fashionable  as ever. 
Despite our best efforts, we didn't make it all the way back to the Skyliner. The rain was just too much. So we sought refuge in a souvenir shop. Then however, we realised we were quite near to The Rose and Crown pub in the England section of World Showcase. So the draw of a pint motivated us through the rain back to the bar.

The rain forced us to stay there for a few hours (honestly!) and of course we made the most of it with some cider and making some new friends, including Joanna the barmaid who originates from Solihull and has been working in various roles in Disney for seven years and still enjoying it. It was inspiring to meet someone who is so good at their job and such a joy to be served by. 
We also met and chatted to some others taking shelter from the rain. One of the joys of travelling is meeting new people and sharing insights into each other's lives. I expect we will be meeting a lot of peole on this trip. Very exciting!

So did we make it to the fireworks? Of course we did!