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Old 23 Aug 21, 10:43 AM  
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The First Trip 1993 – Day Eight – EPCOT – 17th September 1993

For some reason EPCOT was and remains my favourite Disney park. I can’t put my finger on it – perhaps it is the size and space or the feel or the relaxed atmosphere, but I really enjoy going there. After visiting Disney MGM the day before, we were well and truly in the Disney vibe, so we loaded into the car early today, onto the 192, took the signs to Disney and eventually rolled into the car park at EPCOT. My friend at work had told me it was a 2 day park, but we aimed to do it in 1 as we had other plans. We made a note of where we were as the car park was vast and took the trolley to the ticket booths and were straight through in no time.

Again in 1993, it wasn’t the EPCOT we know today, so the park consisted of the various countries (no China yet in 1993) and the attractions within, Spaceship Earth, The Land (but no Soarin), The Seas and associated fish exhibits, Body Wars and The Wonders of Life Pavilion and the Imagination Pavilion. There was still a three o’clock parade as well but I can’t remember sitting down anywhere to watch it.



Looking at the photo the immediate area after the entry booths was really nice with the lawns and trees and in later years, they would have the bricks and concrete monoliths with names on them that people paid for. Not sure what is there at the moment as I know they were digging these up?

We headed straight towards Spaceship Earth and straight onto the ride as there was no queue. I’m not sure what I expected to see in there, but I remember thinking that it was impressive and that we were travelling upwards and round in this ball, but that some of the scenes were a little bizarre, but all in all a good start to the day. We decided to stay around the front of the part and visited The Land, grabbing some food and drink in the food court along the way. Again, an interesting way of trying to educate guests and strangely it is one of my daughters favourite rides despite her being a coaster junkie.

We visited The Seas which was basically an indoor aquarium with dolphins and manatees. I enjoyed it as I used to be an angler, so it interested me. The rest of the party just thought it was a load of fish and they had already seen that at Seaworld.

We walked across from that area past the fountain to the other side of the park to a large pavilion containing The Wonders Of Life and Body Wars.

The Wonders of Life pavilion was an attraction at Epcot at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. It was devoted to health care, focusing on the human body, physical fitness, medicine and nutrition. Attractions included Body Wars and Cranium Command. It is located inside a golden coloured dome between Mission: SPACE (formerly Horizons) and the Universe of Energy. It opened on October 19, 1989, and closed on January 1, 2007. From 2007 to 2018, the Pavilion acted as EPCOT's Festival Centre, before becoming a construction site in March 2019 in preparation for the upcoming Play! pavilion to replace it.
The original attractions within the building have been closed and partially removed. In February 2019, it was announced that a new Play! pavilion would be built in the domed show building formerly occupied by Wonders of Life, and is scheduled to open in time for Walt Disney World's 50th anniversary in 2021 - Wikipedia
If I had to be totally honest, I have little recollection of what we did when we were in there. There were a couple of key attractions:

• Cranium Command - a theatre show with audio-animatronic actors and a movie. The show explained the functions of the brain and its interaction with the human body.

• Frontiers of Medicine - Stories about medicine and the brain on small televisions.

• Body Wars - A motion simulator ride taking guests on a Fantastic Voyage-like trip through the heart, lungs, and brain. The film shown was directed by Leonard Nimoy, and starred actors Tim Matheson, Elisabeth Shue, and Dakin Matthews.

Body wars wasn’t great and was probably the first generation of simulator rides and made us feel very ill when we got off it. My memory of the place was a strange collection of interactive exhibits with buttons to press and levers to pull.

We came out of there and walked down towards the Imagination pavilion. The attraction was focused on kids and I actually found the repetitive song in there worse than Small World. We had our fill of pavilions and we headed into the different countries around the lake. We decided to go clockwise and the first country we hit was Mexico. By now it was lunchtime and as we used to visit an excellent Mexican restaurant in Oxford, we decided to grab some food here from the carts outside. We sat down at some small tables and demolished the food as it was fantastic.


We continued to head round the lake calling in at various countries, mooching in the shops, eating and drinking and generally taking it all in. I remember we went in the Hall of Presidents which I found a bit bizarre at the time, but as I got to know the American culture from lots of trips, it is pretty standard fare now.

Eventually we worked our way around to the UK and we decided to camp here for the evening firework show. Lots of other Brits had decided to do the same, drinking fake UK beer and sitting in the darkness waiting for the show to begin.


I thought the firework show was brilliant, not quite Magic Kingdom, but still an unbelievable experience. It seemed to me that every time we went back the show diminished and got shorter and that first time felt like it lasted forever. The lights that came on from each country pavilion, the fireworks that came up from behind and the music was just excellent.

When it finished, we walked back around the lake past all the countries now lit up in the darkness. We headed through the park and eventually back to the car. It was well past midnight now and we decided on an easy day for the next day but something very, very different!
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Trip report 1993: The First Trip 1993
Trip report 2008: The Stacey J Aswad Memorial Tour
Trip report 2013: What No Stacey?
Disneyland Paris 2000, 2002, 2006, 2008, 2011, 2014
Florida 1993, 1997, 2008, 2013
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Old 23 Aug 21, 08:27 PM  
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In the wonders of life there was also a film about birth , but I cant for the life of me think what it was called . And the horizons ride smelled of oranges !
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Old 25 Aug 21, 12:44 PM  
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MOUSEMARSH
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I loved EPCOT back then, some of the shows would probably scare kids these days! I remember when we rocked up at the Rose and Crown stood at the bar and ordered 4 pints of Harp with our Northern Accents, 2 Americans started asking us if the Pub was really like the ones in England, we had a good chat and they bought us a beer, happy days.
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