Epcot + Lunch at La Cantina de San Angel + DVC Tour
August 28th, 2013
A lovely sunrise greeted us as we left Tuscan Hills – the villa community that was home for our 3 week holiday and we were soon on our way to the 192 for another visit to Epcot!
We have always been lucky at Epcot, to be able to park the car very close to the entrance of the park; so we walked in the direction of the huge beacon that is Spaceship Earth. I love that structure! You’ll see a lot of photographs of that in this report!
Even at an early hour the sun is beating down and the humidity is high, and one thing that Epcot is great for, is rides that get you out of the heat! So we headed to one of our favourite rides – Test Track which has had a make over since our visit in 2011.
There was a bit of a queue already, and we went to join it – but not before grabbing some Fastpasses to come back later and do it all over again!
The ride is presented by Chevrolet, so the ride line is set up to be their design studio with two concept cars. The area feels futuristic and I prefer it to the old waiting area.
Eventually we arrived at the entrance of the design studio which is the new component to this ride, to design your car’s stats that are then tested on the track. You design your car at a touch screen, and changes you make to the design – chassis, tyres, engine etc will give a rating for capability, efficiency, responsiveness and power. You have a card that the stats are stored on so that they can be transferred to the ride vehicle.
After your car has been designed – I think you’re given about 3 minutes, you then go to the cars where you buckle in (from a plus size point of view I was absolutely fine). There are up to 6 people per car – 3 in the front and 3 in the back and your car design is pitted against those in the other seats. You go through four different tests that you designed for earlier and at the end of each test a score is shown on the screen to say who “won”. The best part of the ride, bar far is the power test where it blasts out from the dark interior tests into the bright sunshine of the outside world! Just love this ride!
The ride exits out into a Chevrolet showroom and there are plenty of cars on display and for sale! We hung around for a little while as we all wanted to sit in the cars!
Liam was hungry so we popped into Electric Umbrella to get him a bite to eat – I can’t remember what we bought, probably a burger! Whatever it was it cost $9.57.
We then headed towards Club Cool for some refreshments! Sponsored by Coca-Cola, you can sample 8 different soft drinks from around the world and purchase Coca-Cola merchandise.
There is the infamous ‘Beverly’ from Italy which is pretty rank tasting! My favourite is the Japanese drink. They have changed some of the flavours now though, so next time we visit we’ll have a few new ones to try out!
After our refreshing (free!) refreshments, we headed over to the Imagination! area to ride Journey Into Imagination with Figment – a ride which we didn’t do last time.
You ride around a lab area in these little buggies, which take you on a journey through the senses. Along the way a little purple dragon called Figment joins in and he creates mischief. It is quite a bizarre ride, and at the end you disembark into ImageWorks, an interactive area where, among other things, you can design your own Figment and email it – but we couldn’t the machine we were on to work! We also had fun making music on the Melody Maker.
Time was nearing our FastPass return, so we watched the jumping fountains for a bit, trying to catch them and walked back over to Test Track.
We stopped for some silliness with the giant golf ball :P Gotta love forced perspective! I love Epcot because it always feels like a slower pace – even though the place is huge. That hugeness means (when we’ve been) that it never feels cramped or crowded, even though there are a lot of people there, and I am quite happy just wandering about doing not very much!
When we reached Test Track we found that it had broken down, and was told we could come back any time later in the day to use our FastPasses, so we walked to Ellen’s Energy Adventure because we enjoyed that on our first trip, but second time around, not so much! Must have had some rose tinted glasses on I reckon that time! However, it’s a good place to get off your feet and out of the scorching heat for 40 minutes or so!
I forgot to mention that earlier we had organised to go on a Disney Vacation Club (DVC) Tour. Our friends had bought into it and we thought we would go and find out what it was all about. We would be picked up from behind the Canada Pavilion in World Showcase and be taken to Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa to be shown the various vacation home options available. So to Canada we went!
We were lead out the backdoor and into the behind the scenes of Epcot! Our driver was really friendly and talked to us non-stop until we got to SSR! I took several pictures on my iPhone of the stuff behind the magic, which I think was all pretty cool to see!
We saw the other side of Test Track, which was now up and running again, as well as the globe which is used in IllumiNations.
Once we arrived at SSR we were lead into a room to wait for a sales person and had some cookies and drinks whilst we waited. We were then lead to another room to watch a DVD about DVC before being taken to see the showrooms. Now, for some reason, I didn’t take one single photo! But wow were the rooms gorgeous! We then went back to the room and had everything explained to us – costs, terms etc, and given a bunch of stuff to take away and read, as well as FastPasses to use on any three rides that we wanted.
We were then driven back to Epcot, this time behind the American Pavilion and carried on with our day. All in all we were gone for maybe an hour or so? We decided against signing up as it was slightly out of our budget at the moment, and it would have been a big leap of faith as we’ve never actually stayed on Disney property before, but it looks like a great thing to be part of and I’m glad we went and found out more.
Since we didn’t see all of World Showcase last week, we decided to finish off and see the areas a little more properly, so we backtracked to Canada to watch the 360⁰ film, O Canada.
By now, Steve and I were peckish, so we stopped at La Cantina de San Angel for some Mexican food. We got, from the looks of the photos, nachos and tacos, and probably some drinks too. We spent $28.50.
After our late lunch, we went into the Mexican pyramid to go on the Three Caballeros boat ride, which was a cute little ride – think It’s A Small World but set in Mexico only ^_^
After the ride we explored inside the pyramid which has lots of different stalls set up selling Mexican souvenirs – pricey mind you! I wanted one of the Oaxacan pumpkins but they were a ridiculous price!
We then saw that Donald Duck, dressed in his Mexican finery was doing a meet and greet so we lined up to meet him. We all love Mr. Duck so are quite happy to queue up! He loved seeing Liam was wearing his cap, and signed it for him too! Brilliant!
We then walked to Norway to ride on Maelstrom, a little bit of a queue for this one, but it was the only ride we hadn’t done around World Showcase, so we had to do it! I’ve written “snooze” in my diary… We also went into the shop in Norway and looked at the Trolls!
With all of Epcot World Showcase visited during this trip, we headed back to Test Track to see if it was up and running after its earlier breakdown and got to ride it again, this time I was in charge of making the car!
And with that final ride, we started to make our way out of the park – snapping along the way of course! (These pics aren’t in order, but I’ve lost track now of what I’ve shared on this post!)
We stopped in a shop on the way back to the entrance to buy some goodies – me I bought some ears and Liam a little Goofy plush to add to his collection!
Then, since the line for Spaceship Earth was non-existent, went on that too! And a few last photos of that magnificent piece of architecture to round this post off!
Read about the previous day: Day 14 – Happy Feet: SeaWorld + Dinner at Red Lobster
Read about the next day: Day 16 – Something Wicked This Way Comes: Halloween Shopping + Sonny’s Real Pit BBQ
Read ALL the days! Back to the Magic Trip Report Index 2013