Today started early. Jasper decided that 4am was a good time to start the day. We tried to keep him in bed, attempting to convince him to go back to sleep, but after about an hour, I got up with him and we watched PBS and Disney while munching on some breakfast.
The rest of the family got up at a more normal time and we proceeded through our morning routine and headed to Epcot.
We got on Spaceship Earth first thing after getting to the park. I think our experience at Spaceship Earth encapsulated our experience of Epcot Future World. Spaceship Earth is playing on its past strength without adding anything new in the last 25 years. In fact, there was more to Spaceship Earth the first time I experienced it 25 years ago than what I saw today. The ascent through the globe shows the past of human civilization, how we grew, communicated and advanced, ending with the “present” at the peak. Today, the present was about 1980 with some vague comments about open doors and connected mobile devices from the ride narrator. 25 years ago, the descent through the globe showed scenes exploring ideas and concepts about where we, as a civilization may go from here. This was filled with hope and optimism as we explored our imagination of what could be. Today, the decent through the globe showed no scenes, but played out on a 10-inch screen set into the seat back of the seat ahead in the tram car. Lazy.
What had been the Seabase Alpha is now The Seas with Nemo and Friends. It seems that they just slapped on some Nemo to the old Seabase and called that good enough. It was a bit disappointing. But, they did still have the full aquarium and they were doing diving tours with people and I heard one of the tour guides talking about some research that was still being done there. This lessened my disappointment.
We didn’t have time to see the newer attractions like Soarin’ or Mission: SPACE and I’m sure some of my disappointment comes from hazy, 25 year-old memories that were only made “better” over time. Had we experienced some of the newer attractions, I’m sure my opinion would be different.
We spent the majority of the day in the World Showcase area of Epcot. I could spend another full day there. There is so much to see and so many nuances to notice. Oh, and the food was great too.
The other stand-out thing was the Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure. This was a game that is intended for kids Tate’s age and older, but I ended up enjoying quite a bit too. I would call it an “augmented reality” game. To get recruited into the game, we scanned Tate’s pass at one of the recruiting kiosks. This gave us a ticket to take to one of the game’s field stations where we would pick up a “Kimmunicator”. This was pretty much just a cell phone with the game software.
From the field station we would follow clues on the phone and in real-life to various game elements hidden in plain sight within each country in the World Showcase. It was really quite fun interacting with the real-life elements using the phone. If you weren’t part of the game, you wouldn’t even realize these things were there. It was really quite clever and Tate and I both very much enjoyed playing. I imagine that someone could make a lot of money if they made a grown-up version of this sort of game.
We had dinner at “Tokyo Dining” in the Japan area of the World Showcase. It was pretty good, but not outstanding. The neat thing about it was that everything was in character. Our waitresses were all Japanese and the food was served in a manner that (I can only assume) would have been served in Tokyo. Tate and Jasper, both being veteran sushi and maki connoisseurs both took right to dinner and ate the best they’ve eaten so far on this trip.
We had hoped to stay for the evening fireworks and light display over the lake, but we would have had to wait another hour after we were done with dinner. We were all pretty tired from the day and we all decided to head home.
Jasper fell asleep in the car and we had to wake him up to get him cleaned up and ready for bed. He didn’t like that. Tate put himself to bed. That never happens.