Not much to do around Orlandop on a lovely saturday afternoon like today's (5/7/05) so I hopped on the car and took an impromptu "quality control" walk around EPCOT's Future World to check out the action.
The Flower Festival gardens are still quite colorful to see, although some of them are beginning to frail away as expected when you are dealing with flowers and soil. Yet, there is much color to be enjoyed in the Future World area (I didn't venture into World Showcase this time around)
The Butterfly garden still delivers due to the lovely array of butterflies floating around...however, the lack of a barrier around the garden areas means that many young kids venture *into* the garden itself to touch and manhandle the poor little butterflies, so the garden itself is looking a bit trampled and shoddy already. Likewise, the rest of the gardens around the small lake dividing Future World and World Showcase is still great!
After doing some quick window shopping in nearby MouseGear, I headed towards The Land. It's quite obvious the pavillion is seeing a renewed surge of interest due to the addition of 'Soarin' to it's lineup. Yet, I will have to say that..with the amount of traffic, has come an unsightly problem.. You see? the entire front of The Land has become a huge ugly stroller parking area. So much so that the walking space is reduced by about 30% going in and out of the pavillion. Not good. Disney does need to find a solution to this situation soon enough but I am not holding my breath waiting for that to happen.
I peeked inside The Land and found that all FPs for 'Soarin' were gone for the day, and the stand by wait was posted at 75mins. I ventured into the standby line to take pictures and see how far I would go...but after the first couple of turns...the line started. I spotted two families walking out of the line due to frustration with the lack of progress. One woman went by saying.."this is ridiculous!! I am not wasting over an hour of my time sitting in this g***** line!!" I have to say, I can't blame her.. I estimate that without FP, the wait time here for all would have been about 40 mins tops, and everyone would pay the price equally as opposed to waiting your turn and the ones of those guests walking up to the front with FP. Mercifully, I noticed the "single rider line" was not opened for business. Come to think of it..I have not seen this line opened for business yet.
The nearby Sunshine Seasons food court appeared to be rather slow... not too many patrons in that area, and many people sitting in those tables just resting and not necesarily eating the healthier fare now offered there..
Left The Land and ended up in The Living Seas. This pavillion either..needs to be put out of it'smisery, or else, turned into Pixar's Living Seas. Giving guests the choice of going into the movie or the hydrolators appear to be a good idea but short-changes the experience. Since the movie is so bad anyways..I don't blame anyone skipping it for the hydrolators...problem is.. without the sea cabs, this pavillion feels dead and purpose-less. Enter Pixar to the rescue.
I finally made my way to see "Turtle talk with Crush" WOW! What a delightful little side show this is!! We are led into a small auditorium where a huge tv screen in front of us doubles as a window into the sea, complete with (animated) hanging boom microphone. Our CM host calls upon Crush, who swims into view and immediately starts interacting with the crowd. Most interesting is how Crush is able to spot guests' clothing and pick them out to talk. The illusion of talking with Crush is quite engaging. I personally found myself laughing out loud at those silly jokes and such. The little brats seem interested enough to pay attention and participate. Some of them have very interesting questions..such as the little boy who asked how long turtle eggs take to hatch, or the girl who asked about how difficult is it to be a turtle... a very serious question that yielded a most realistic answer (other predators eat the turtle eggs and only 1 in 1000 make it to grow to be adults, reason why the species is in the endangered list)
A little before the show ends..Dori happens to swim by and joins the show..."I remember you!" she tells the startled Crush, "your name is FLUSH!!" laughter abound!! Dori teaches us whale sounds, then we see a huge sperm whale come at her, pressing Dori against the virtual glass window that separate us from the sea. We all laught at her predicament. Soon enough, the 10 mins or so show ends. Lots of people leave the show delighted and positive comments are heard around me. One teenager next to me goes.."that was awesome!" in a moment that resembles Crush doing the talking!!
After the show, I leave The Living Seas. The take a quick spin on Mission: Space, which was dead. 5 minutes wait for all FP, standby, and single riders. I have to say I have ridden this maybe like 6 times since they opened it and I can now officially say "I am over it" The thrill is gone, and I probably won't go on it unless I happen to be entertaining visiting friends or family members.
Had a quick dinner at the Electric Umbrella and headed out the door, concluding my quality control walk at EPCOT today.
Here are the pictures to go with this report. Enjoy!