23 February 2008

Orlando wrap-up

This is how my final Orlando day went.

I returned to Epcot early, and took a photo of this dedication plaque.

I continued my tour of Future World, where I noticed that all major attractions had a corporate sponsor. This is Nestle-sponsored greenhouse, toured aboard a slow-moving boat, in the Land section. I also took a ride on Soarin', a glider simulation flying over various California landmarks.

By 11, I realized that I pretty much covered everything in Epcot, in a grand total of 12 hours spread over two days. After a lunch at the Mexico pavilion, I decided to upgrade my ticket to a Park Hopper for $45, then took the monorail to Magic Kingdom.

Statue of Walt Disney and Mickey at Magic Kingdom.

Here, I decided to find out what the key similarities and differences were compared to the original Disneyland back in California. The layout of themed lands was identical, but the rides were somewhat different. For example, It's A Small World loaded from an indoors dock, as opposed to Disneyland's open-air dock; this worked out pretty well today, due to heavy showers pounding the place. Despite the showers, Magic Kingdom was packed!

Magic Kingdom's Cinderella fountain, next to the magic castle.
This is the last float in a long parade, showcasing Disney's key cartoon characters.

I took many familiar rides, including the Haunted House, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Space Mountain, as well as a few rides unique to Magic Kingdom, such as an alien-themed ride. Although Space Mountain was a mild roller coaster, it was more intense than the Disneyland version, with many sharp turns and negative G forces; I had to be mindful of my wig.

I turned in around 7PM, heading back to Epcot for a Chinese dinner before leaving Walt Disney World altogether, for the final time.

All in all, I ended up covering three of the four parks, as well as a glimpse of many of the resorts spread over the landscape. If I ever return to Orlando, I would probably go for a 4-5 day Park Hopper ticket right off the bat (after 3 days, the extra days are practically free), and explore all four parks at my own pace. I still don't like the rampant corporatism and reactionary politics of Walt Disney Company, but these people at least know how to run theme parks. (I also appreciated the rainbow Mickey pins available for sale, though I didn't buy one.)

I have an early flight tomorrow. Hopefully I'll get to catch up on sleep in my first class seat.