Day #14 - Space, Speed and Special Memories

Today was a little bit of a sad day. It was our last day to experience the Disney parks since we are leaving the resort tomorrow morning.
So it's a mix is sadness that this amazing first phase of our adventure is ending (plus I have to say goodbye to Disney and all its wonder) but also a big dose of excitement as we prepare for a very different next stage of the trip. 
Before we started packing up the suitcases, we spent the day mopping up some of the attractions at EPCOT that we didn't do last time, plus experience one of our all time favourites again.
One big ride to tick off the list was Remy's Ratatouille Adventure located in the French pavilion of the World Showcase.
This is a trackless car ride through Gusteau's restaurant, as featured in the film and we are experiencing it as mice/rats being chased through the kitchen, dining area and various locations. I mentioned the integration between projected films and the practical sets that surround them when I was talking about the Transformers ride yesterday and how well they did them. Well, Disney just knocked that out of the park with this one. The ride is a joy from start to finish.
Next up, we had to head right across the park to ride Guardians of the Galaxy again. We really like this ride. It's like a party on a coaster! The soundtrack is spot on with great tunes and the coaster's movements blend so well with the special effects. You can even follow the storyline on this one too. The preshow is great too.
We then strolled back over to the World Showcase to begin a leisurely stroll around the pavillions. We stopped off at Canada and experienced their 360° presentation. This was particularly relevant since we're popping over the border to Canada in a week or so. Outside the attraction there is a rather impressive waterfall, that we thought would look great in James' next garden design!
We discovered a corner of the UK pavilion that both of us had never realised was there before. They definitely took elements of Windsor and Kensington and blended them together. Wonder why they didn't choose the graffiti streets of Bristol?
I think I mentioned before that EPCOT was hosting a Food Festival which meant there were a plethora of extra food stations, each one serving dishes inspired by different nations of the world. This was a really nice way to grab a snack or two (and not too expensive). We enjoyed a lager from Canada, Cinnamon Apple Cider (non-alcoholic so don't worry!) Apple-Cinnamon soft ice cream in a cone and a Parisian Cosmo Slush which packed a punch but was very refreshing!
EPCOT World Showcase opened in 1982, features 11 beautifully designed pavilions representing different countries. James and I wondered how were those 11 countries chosen. Turns out, in 1982 there were just nine. Morocco was added in 1984 and Norway in 1988. Countries were chosen apparently based in their geographic diversity (Disney wanted to represent a wide range of cultures and geographies), cultural significance (countries with rich cultures and traditions that would be of interest to guests), tourist popularity and support from the respective governments. EPCOT has recently unveiled plans for an expansion, introducing new pavilions such as Brazil and Spain to further enrich this cultural immersion.
It was then time to have lunch and we had booked a very special lunch in the Space 220 restaurant. To get to this space themed restaurant guests have to board a special space elevator that ascends to the stars, where they are treated to stunning views of Earth from 220 miles up. The view and the food were both splendid and we enjoyed Tempura Fried Cauliflower and Caesar Salad as our starters with Slow Roasted Chicken and Steak Salad to follow. As you can see from the pictures, the simple names descriptions I've used belie the beautiful presentation and sublime tastes.
Although dining at DisneyWorld isn't cheap, we've not experienced any bad dishes - each and every one has been amazing and the quality outstanding. 
Next up. we had a date with Elsa in the new(ish) Frozen attraction. This is housed in the Norway pavilion and is, simply put, the old longboat ride revamped with a Frozen theme. However, this doesn't do it justice since what the imagineers have done is really stylish, fun and well executed. The ride follows the same path as the old one, but it now has scenes and animatronics to tie in with the movie franchise. We did get stuck right after a dramatic section and so had to endure "Let it Go" for a bit longer than we were meant to, but we were happy to sing along!
Our last ride for the day was Test Track. I was really keen to ride this one since when I was here last, it had just opened and I missed out on riding it. The idea is you ride a car along a test track as the design is refined and perfected. There is an exhilarating section where you are accelerated to 60mph and speed along the outside of the building. It was good fun. However, the queue length was longer than we were prepared to endure, so we opted to join the Single Riders' line and ride separately. This mean we got onto the ride in under 10 minutes compared to the 60 minute posted wait time. 
We returned to the hotel to enjoy the pool and the hot tub for one last time before heading out to Hollywood Studios to enjoy Fantasmic! - Hollywood Studios' nightly spectacular. This is a blend of water effects, projections (maybe too many projections), lasers, lights and fireworks (maybe not enough fireworks). It was a spectacular way to finish our last day at Disneyworld a s a fitting memory to take with us on the next stage of our journey.