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"You can't bring food from home into Epcot Centre. Don't even try it."
January 28, 2014 11:42 AM   Subscribe

"Q. What makes Epcot such a special place for young & old alike? - Rajeesh (Bethesda, MD) --- A. Rajeesh, I honestly have no idea."
"Q. Do you offer discounts to senior citizens? - Arnie (Gothenburg, NE) --- A. Not really. Thanks for writing, Arnie!"
"Q. Are the rumors about Epcot being haunted true? - Lou (Central Falls, RI) --- A. Don't even joke about stuff like that, Lou."
"Epcot is 100% wheelchair accessible, basically."
"Many visitors ask us about our Jumping Water Fountains. We don't know how they work, but the man who invented them was definitely foreign."

Fun Facts, Informative Q&As, and Friendly Advice courtesy of @EpcotCentre.
posted by Atom Eyes (112 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite

 
Q. My daughter suffers from motion sickness. Do you think she'll still be able to have fun? - Cal (Stoke-on-Trent, UK) --- A. At Epcot?

hahahahahahaha
posted by phunniemee at 11:47 AM on January 28 [14 favorites]


Cue snark about horse_ebooks in 3, 2, 1...
posted by Rock Steady at 11:57 AM on January 28


Pretty cute. Much more fun than the 5 hour line in Norway to meet Elsa and Anna.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:01 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]


This is one of those things that you are either going to love or not. Fortunately stuff like the following hits my sweet spot:
Q. Is it true there are secret tunnels beneath Epcot? - Fawn (Uranium City, Saskatchewan)
A. Do you know what a secret is, Fawn?

posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:08 PM on January 28 [18 favorites]


Valentine's Day is a month away. Epcot is as good a place as any to make romantic overtures toward someone special.

It's so true!
posted by Metroid Baby at 12:10 PM on January 28 [2 favorites]


I love love love @EpcotCentre. The semi-regular mailbag is an extra special treat.
posted by slogger at 12:11 PM on January 28


Q. How long have you worked at Epcot? - Jen (Orem, UT) --- A. I was hired right before Operation Desert Storm started.

Q. I would like to work at Epcot some day. What type of degree do I need? - Ji-woo (Daejeon, S. Korea) --- A. We're not hiring right now.
posted by crayz at 12:11 PM on January 28 [3 favorites]


When I was a kid, the Maelstrom ride in the Norway pavilion was one of my favorite Disney attractions.

I was a weird kid.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:11 PM on January 28 [7 favorites]


What's the point of this? What has EPCOT ever done to us?
posted by ReeMonster at 12:17 PM on January 28


EPCOT knows what it did.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:19 PM on January 28 [41 favorites]


@EpcotCentre Dec 27
Q. Could you send me a free Epcot map? - Dorota (Hamtramck, MI) --- A. We should be getting some more from the printers in late March.


This is so great.
posted by the jam at 12:23 PM on January 28


What's the point of this? What has EPCOT ever done to us?

When it was within a month or so of opening, my family went. We dutifully stood in line for roughly 2 hours for Spaceship Earth.

The ride took us up next to the distorted endlessly howling mammoths and then promptly parked for the next hour. I dreamed about the ghosts of angry mammoths that night.

That's what EPCOT did to us.
posted by Foosnark at 12:24 PM on January 28 [21 favorites]


When I was a kid, the Maelstrom ride in the Norway pavilion was one of my favorite Disney attractions.

I feel much the same way. What the ride lacks in length or production values it more than makes up for in trolls sending you OFER DA VATERFALL!
posted by Strange Interlude at 12:24 PM on January 28 [7 favorites]


I've been following this account for a couple months now. It's one of the best novelty accounts I've ever seen and I'd really like to know a) who is doing it and b) why they haven't been sued by Disney yet.

Valentine's Day is a month away. Epcot is as good a place as any to make romantic overtures toward someone special.

It's so true!


I proposed to my wife at Epcot, though not on Valentine's day. I'm a total catch.
posted by bondcliff at 12:25 PM on January 28


"Da speereet ov Norvay vill alvays be... adventure!"
posted by Foosnark at 12:25 PM on January 28 [8 favorites]


I'd really like to know a) who is doing it and b) why they haven't been sued by Disney yet.

My gut wants it to be Peter Serafinowicz and/or Robert Popper. I have no facts to back that up though.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 12:27 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]


The ride took us up next to the distorted endlessly howling mammoths and then promptly parked for the next hour. I dreamed about the ghosts of angry mammoths that night.

That's what EPCOT did to us.


More specifically, it's what Ray Bradbury did to you.
posted by Strange Interlude at 12:28 PM on January 28 [3 favorites]


This is especially great if you just watched Escape From Tomorrow, and are high. Which I did, and am not.
posted by Cookiebastard at 12:29 PM on January 28 [3 favorites]


When I was a kid, the Maelstrom ride in the Norway pavilion was one of my favorite Disney attractions.

I was told that eating seven courses at their buffet would make me a viking. Skol!
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 12:30 PM on January 28 [2 favorites]


More specifically, it's what Ray Bradbury did to you.

"the anguished trumpet of the huge, dread hairy Mammoth beast" indeed. The bastard.
posted by Foosnark at 12:37 PM on January 28 [2 favorites]


A literal Viking or a figurative Viking tho?
posted by bleep at 12:41 PM on January 28 [4 favorites]


This reads like Tom Hanks is replying to his AMA -- on a very special typewriter, of course.
posted by Madamina at 12:43 PM on January 28


I'm still a big fan of what's now @NotCoatFactory. Previously.
posted by kiltedtaco at 12:46 PM on January 28 [7 favorites]


> What's the point of this? What has EPCOT ever done to us?

Even at the age of 13 I thought things like THE WORLD OF FOOD, PRESENTED BY KRAFT and THE WORLD OF TRANSPORTATION, PRESENTED BY FORD were kind of fishy.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:55 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]


Q. Do you have rock concerts at Epcot? - Johnny (Brooklyn, NY) ---
A. We do. The Rembrandts, Natalie Cole, & Venom have performed here.


Perfect. The "name three unrelated bands whose juxtaposition is, in itself, a punchline" is not as easy as it looks.
posted by anazgnos at 1:00 PM on January 28 [13 favorites]


When I was a kid, the Maelstrom ride in the Norway pavilion was one of my favorite Disney attractions.

I was a weird kid.


It's okay, the attraction that beat out Maelstrom for me was the Tiki Room. (All the birds sing words! And the flowers croon!)
posted by jeather at 1:01 PM on January 28 [5 favorites]


What has EPCOT ever done to us?

Spoken like someone who never stood in line in the Florida heat to "experience" Captain EO.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 1:04 PM on January 28 [8 favorites]


Valentine's Day is a month away. Epcot is as good a place as any to make romantic overtures toward someone special.

Indeed. I made all kinds of overtures there when I proposed to my wife!
posted by Krazor at 1:05 PM on January 28


Copycat.
posted by bondcliff at 1:07 PM on January 28


Epcot turned The Living Seas into another damn Finding Nemo ride and scrubbed the place clean of Chemosynthesis and Figment.
posted by infinitewindow at 1:08 PM on January 28 [4 favorites]


Even at the age of 13 I thought things like THE WORLD OF FOOD, PRESENTED BY KRAFT and THE WORLD OF TRANSPORTATION, PRESENTED BY FORD were kind of fishy.

I hear ya. I had the same childhood experience with the why-is-everything-about-oil-production-and-why-are-there-no-downsides-or-dangers exhibits at The Museum if Science and Industry in Chicago. As an adult I went to a science museum in Canada and was amazed at how it was much more learning/much less propaganda.
posted by davejay at 1:09 PM on January 28 [8 favorites]


uh, we all know this is a joke account from someone in the UK or Canada, right? Because it is spelled Epcot Center, not Epcot Centre.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:13 PM on January 28


Currently:
We appreciate all the unsolicited suggestions for improving Epcot. We consider them very carefully & keep them in a special computer file.
posted by maryr at 1:14 PM on January 28


Epcot is the only place where you can eat Italian-style pizza for breakfast, Japanese-style sushis for lunch & American hot dogs for dinner!

USA! USA! USA!
posted by xingcat at 1:15 PM on January 28 [2 favorites]


uh, we all know this is a joke account from someone in the UK or Canada, right? Because it is spelled Epcot Center, not Epcot Centre.

Epcot's Twitter office is located in the UK pavilion, so of course they would use UK spelling.
posted by infinitewindow at 1:21 PM on January 28 [8 favorites]


Because it is spelled Epcot Center, not Epcot Centre.

....this was the part that tipped you off to the joke?
posted by Hoopo at 1:26 PM on January 28 [27 favorites]


Well it's not like there were any other clues.
posted by elizardbits at 1:28 PM on January 28 [4 favorites]


I'm pretty sure Twitter frowns on joke accounts, guys.
posted by Atom Eyes at 1:29 PM on January 28 [3 favorites]


uh, we all know this is a joke account from someone in the UK or Canada, right? Because it is spelled Epcot Center, not Epcot Centre.

Not necessarily. There is a parody account in Memphis for a neighborhood grocery store that got shut down for a while until they changed the spelling of "Krogers" to "Kroegrs".
posted by vibrotronica at 1:30 PM on January 28 [2 favorites]


ReeMonster: "What's the point of this? What has EPCOT ever done to us?"

Two things,

1. Captain EO.

2. Waiting in line for Captain EO and having one of those asshole jumping water things hit a 30 mph crosswind and blast me right in the ear with like a gallon of icy water. Fuck you Captain EO.
posted by Sphinx at 1:38 PM on January 28 [6 favorites]


Valentine's Day is a month away. Epcot is as good a place as any to make romantic overtures toward someone special.

This is a very true thing. I proposed to my wife there while a small hired band played the William Tell Overture.
posted by The White Hat at 1:40 PM on January 28 [2 favorites]


Epcot turned The Living Seas into another damn Finding Nemo ride and scrubbed the place clean of Chemosynthesis and Figment.

>>> WHAT <<<

Figment is sacred! That's like turning Mission To Mars into some crap about aliens and then into some damn thing about Leelo and Stitch. ...oh wait, they did that.

And they took away the cool architectural features that looked like bat ears.

I demand they reset everything back to the way it was when I was a kid.
posted by Foosnark at 1:41 PM on January 28 [9 favorites]


vibrotronica: There is a parody account in Memphis for a neighborhood grocery store that got shut down for a while until they changed the spelling of "Krogers" to "Kroegrs".

That's a good one. "One of our workers is really bad sick with the flu guess who it is for a gifts card worth 25$"
posted by Rock Steady at 1:41 PM on January 28 [5 favorites]


I was there on a school band trip once. Never really figured out what it's for. Was this part of some sinister phase 2 that Walt Disney envisioned?
posted by thelonius at 1:43 PM on January 28


Also I want "If You Had Wings" back. Screw you Delta and Buzz Lightyear.
posted by Foosnark at 1:46 PM on January 28


Can someone do something about the "Imagination" song that's now stuck in my head?
posted by mudpuppie at 1:46 PM on January 28 [3 favorites]


Can someone do something about the "Imagination" song that's now stuck in my head?
Happy to help!
posted by thelonius at 1:50 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]


One little spark, of inspiration
Is at the heart of all creation.
Right at the start of everything that's new.
One little spark lights up for you.


Disney preceded the whole steampunk thing with the professor's... whatever that vehicle was called.
posted by Foosnark at 1:52 PM on January 28 [3 favorites]


More brainbleach
posted by waraw at 1:56 PM on January 28


When I was a kid, the Maelstrom ride in the Norway pavilion was one of my favorite Disney attractions.

I was a weird kid.


ME TOO!

Now I don't feel quite so alone.
posted by Sara C. at 2:04 PM on January 28 [2 favorites]


It sounds like Figment is back, but not Dreamfinder.

Eh.
posted by Foosnark at 2:04 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]


Can someone do something about the "Imagination" song that's now stuck in my head?

The one from Wondershowzen, or South Park?
posted by Hoopo at 2:08 PM on January 28


I opened the page an immediately saw:

Q. Can you recommend some golf courses near Epcot? - Wilma (E. Thermopolis, WY) --- A. They're all pretty good & many allow women to play.

So droll.

I've never been to Epcot but it's always great when relatives, who know I live in collegeville-liberaltown and visit New York City (omg! did you get mugged?) fairly often and eat at unusual ethnic restaurants in both places, brag about having had such great Mexican or Norwegan food while on vacation at Epcot.
posted by aught at 2:16 PM on January 28


Epcot turned The Living Seas into another damn Finding Nemo ride and scrubbed the place clean of Chemosynthesis and Figment.

To be fair, my SO and I were there last year and after that ride we went immediately into a room where one side was a giant screen made to look like a window looking at the ocean. They had a CGI version of Crush (the surfer dude sea turtle) who talked to the kids. There was a guy doing an impression and some kind of real-time motion capture (and he was really good!) and cameras/microphones looking at the audience so he could interact with them. Some kids asked questions and he'd talk to them. It was VERY evident that for many of the kids in that room, that was the best moment of their lives so far.
posted by VTX at 2:25 PM on January 28 [6 favorites]


It sounds like Figment is back, but not Dreamfinder.
[Googles Figment]
ummmm.... still confused. People pay money and wait in line for this?
posted by MtDewd at 2:31 PM on January 28


I've never been to Epcot but...

I have (as a child), and it always makes me sad the number of people from my hometown who do a Disney trip every year or so but who would never even consider actually leaving the US. Unless maybe it was on a cruise. Like, do they not realize that just anybody can book a flight to Oslo, spend a week there, and probably still spend less money than they did on an equivalent amount of time at Disney World?
posted by Sara C. at 2:34 PM on January 28 [4 favorites]


ummmm.... still confused. People pay money and wait in line for this?

The line for Imagination isn't usually very long. The busy rides are Test Track, Soarin', and dinner reservations at the restaurant at the Living Seas.

Besides, the best thing to do in Epcot is spend the entire day drinking in the World Showcase and then go on Maelstrom.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 2:39 PM on January 28 [6 favorites]


By the twenty snarling parrot heads of god, this could not be more perfect.
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:00 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]


Q. How much does it cost to park at Epcot for the day? - Denny (Strawberry Point, IA) --- A. $14. Hope you can scrape it together, Denny.

perfection
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:01 PM on January 28 [3 favorites]


I have a charm bracelet of all the original EPCOT logos. They are so 80s and awesome. Nobody who sees them has any idea what they are. It's the best Disney souvenir ever.

Oh, and I've been in the tunnels under the Magic Kingdom. They are cool, but not so secret.
posted by Biblio at 3:06 PM on January 28 [2 favorites]


As an adult I went to a science museum in Canada and was amazed at how it was much more learning/much less propaganda.

B-b-but who tells the millionaire corporate executives' side of things?!
posted by JHarris at 3:21 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]


[Googles Figment]
ummmm.... still confused. People pay money and wait in line for this?


For me the coolest part was the after-ride stuff. All kinds of sensors and gizmos you could play with that let you "conduct"/remix music, paint with lasers, play notes by dancing on lighted tiles, etc. That was seriously impressive stuff in the 80s.
posted by Foosnark at 3:26 PM on January 28 [8 favorites]


I had the same childhood experience with the why-is-everything-about-oil-production-and-why-are-there-no-downsides-or-dangers exhibits at The Museum if Science and Industry in Chicago.

Man I must be old. When I was a kid it was baby chicks, astronaut ice cream, and that submarine.
posted by like_a_friend at 3:29 PM on January 28 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I remember the lasers and music stuff way more than Figment et al.

Also, the Maelstrom.
posted by Sara C. at 3:33 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]


It was VERY evident that for many of the kids in that room, that was the best moment of their lives so far.

Yes. That's because they are children, and have very limited experience with life. It's not hard to impress young children, if you have mocap guys and impressionists and computer graphics to work with, to have interact with them characters they've seen in a huge expensive movie.

The Disney Corporation has always had problems with what I've come to see as the trivialization of wonder, but at least the Disney of old tried to find it in places at least nominally unconnected with character properties. The tiki birds don't need to pal around with fucking Gilbert Gottfried in feathers, and Lilo and Stitch don't need to be on the Mission to Mars.
posted by JHarris at 3:35 PM on January 28 [2 favorites]


My point is that lots of things impressed the kids that I saw at Disney and I saw a lot of reactions of wonderment. The kids I saw were having a blast at most of the attractions.

The interact with Crush attraction had everything else beat by miles.
posted by VTX at 3:45 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]


By this time next year, our trash receptacles will have a bold new look that might turn a few heads!

This is the perfect encapsulation of Disney park management mentality right here. This Twitter account has to have been created by CMs or, more than likely, ex-CMs.
posted by Spatch at 4:10 PM on January 28


I'm totally one of those people who would much rather go to Disney and get it over with then venture into the unknown beyond the seas. I also was really impressed with the food at the German Beerhaus or whatever at Epcot. Like it was seriously tasty. I'm ok with that. The food is actually the best part of Epcot as per the last time I was there a few years ago.

I also saw that Figment ride when I was about 4 or 5 and it was one of those things that impressed the textures and vague images on my unconscious and nothing else. (Like the fabrics & textures & facial expressions in stuff like Cinderella and Lady and the Tramp even though I had no understanding of what was going on..)
posted by bleep at 4:20 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]


"Like, do they not realize that just anybody can book a flight to Oslo, spend a week there, and probably still spend less money than they did on an equivalent amount of time at Disney World?"

They don't know that, because it's not true. Oslo is one of the most expensive cities in Europe. A week in Oslo will be much more expensive than a week in Orlando.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:26 PM on January 28 [5 favorites]


Seriously, a trip for two people for a week at Disney, including airfare, hotel, and food at the park, is easily under $5000, and that's assuming you stay in the park and eat all your meals at restaurants there. It would probably be very easy to spend less.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 4:31 PM on January 28 [2 favorites]


Not if you stay at Disney. Hotels are ~ $300 a night. The basic pass into the parks is like $400/week, and you can't bring in outside food. It's probably quite comparable to Oslo.

Especially when you consider the number of single adults I know who go annually. Save up the $2000 or so you'd spend on a week at Disney and go to actual Europe every few years instead.

I get it for people with kids, because an international vacation for a family of four gets outrageous very quickly, and, hey, at least the kids will be in heaven the entire time so it probably feels like it's worth the money.

But I will never get people who'd rather eat nachos at pretend Mexico for like triple the cost of actually going to Mexico.
posted by Sara C. at 4:41 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]


easily under $5000

Do you really think it costs more than $5000 to spend a week in Norway?

I just checked AirBnB and you can rent an entire apartment in central Oslo for half the price of the cheap hotel rooms at Disney World.

The flight would be more from most of the continental US.

Food and drink are very expensive in Norway, but they're also very expensive at Disney World, and at Disney you can't self-cater at all. If you got the AirBnB apartment in Oslo, you could cook most meals at home for drastically cheaper than a Disney meal package.

Not sure how much it costs to get into Norwegian tourist attractions, but even the most basic Disney World packages are not cheap. (Just googled and admission to the Munch Museum is ~ $15 USD.)
posted by Sara C. at 4:49 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]


I loved the Maelstrom so much I even liked the short film about Norway.
posted by infinitewindow at 4:50 PM on January 28 [3 favorites]


For me it's more about risk than cost. I have limited vacation time and money so I personally can't stomach the risk of going to some new place and not finding anything fun or interesting or tasty. I'm difficult to please so for me this is a very real possibility.
posted by bleep at 4:53 PM on January 28


As bleep says, it seems like a lot of adult Disney lovers like the comfort factor. No surprises, no hard work putting together an itinerary, familiar "community". Haven't spent a lot of time at Disney but I get why that would be an appealing, relaxing vacation.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:21 PM on January 28


That's why I spend my summers in a mall fountain.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 5:21 PM on January 28 [10 favorites]


I mean, to each his own or whatever, I guess.

To me, it's just always been frustrating when I get back from a shoestring trip overseas and then folks I know who blow five grand a year at Disney will be all "la di da miss world traveler" about it. As if they couldn't spend that money going wherever the hell they wanted to.
posted by Sara C. at 5:27 PM on January 28 [2 favorites]


Of course you can bring food into the Disney Parks. On-site hotels cost more like 100$/night at the low end. And if you go during the low seasons, they've got all sorts of plans for cheap dining. Don't get me wrong, it still isn't a cheap vacation, but it doesn't need to be as expensive as people think it is.
posted by jeather at 5:31 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]


Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray to Christ this shit will keep.
posted by jwhite1979 at 5:35 PM on January 28


I went to Epcot during a Walt Disney World trip with my folks when I was thirteen. It was bookended onto a Seabase trek with the boy scouts I was taking, and my mom's best friend lived in Ft. Myers, so we figured we'd make the trip together and my mom would hang out with Barb while dad and I went sailing, so first let's go to Disney World.

It's weird now that I think about it, how crystal clear some memories of mine are, during ostensibly memorable times, when all they are is my folks being completely relaxed and at peace. And they are generally pretty happy people.

When we went to Los Angeles, for instance, I mostly remember us sitting at the top of the Getty having wine and watching the sunset. Or when they first visited me in Brooklyn, and we sat on my balcony drinking Brooklyn Lagers while they rhapsodized about loving New York. Or when we went to Sea World when I was little, and we wandered around a big map of the U.S. that was printed on the ground after having dinner.

So for Epcot, I vaguely remember Captain EO and the WOrld of Tomorrow, but I mostly remember eating Sushi on a balcony of a perfectly-beautiful-in-my-memory Japanese tea house while my parents recalled times they'd spent in Japan and I felt like a grown up for the first time, being let into a part of their lives I'd never known about.

So I love Epcot for that.

But I also love this twitter feed.
posted by Navelgazer at 5:43 PM on January 28 [10 favorites]


Captain EO was awesome. I just found a YouTube video of it and it is still awesome. STFU, haters.
posted by grouse at 5:46 PM on January 28 [6 favorites]


Just in case the earworm isn't enough, here's the Dreamfinder voice actor singing "One Little Spark" while on It's A Small World.
posted by Foosnark at 6:00 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]


As if they couldn't spend that money going wherever the hell they wanted to.

Getting a passport is not a trivially easy thing to do sometimes. Maybe your friends don't have them or don't have at hand the documents and time off work required to get them. Then you have to worry about losing them while you are overseas (this fear gave me the howling fantods the one time I went to Europe).

Dealing with Customs on the way to another country and then coming back into the US can be fraught with peril, or at least the anxiety thereof.

Some people don't speak the language in other countries. Sure, you could try to skate by on the goodwill of foreigners who happen to know English, but being in a place where they don't know the language fluently is something that places a lot of people outside their comfort zone.

Transatlantic / transpacific flights are very long. People who loathe air travel might find that difficult to deal with. Also making connecting flights can be something to worry about. (Do you want to be stuck in the Paris airport overnight with two screaming toddlers? Or whatever).

Those are just four reasons off the top of my head that might be barriers to visiting the foreign lands you so treasure. Perhaps you are just bolder and less filled with anxiety at travel than your friends? That shouldn't make their choice to go with Disney suspect.
posted by marble at 6:08 PM on January 28


If I wanted to stay in someone's apartment, I could do the same thing in Orlando. They also have grocery stores there, and I could rent a car. I was talking about staying at the resort, and eating out every meal. If you compare apples to apples, I think that WDW is reasonably priced. Plus, how are the roller coasters in Oslo?
posted by Elementary Penguin at 6:36 PM on January 28 [2 favorites]


You know what you can do at Epcot now? You can get strapped to a huge robot arm and tossed around like a freaking rag doll. And then you can eat chocolate mousse and get chucked over a waterfall by trolls.

Also this twitter account is completely awesome.
posted by phooky at 6:42 PM on January 28 [2 favorites]


More specifically, it's what Ray Bradbury did to you.

You just gave me something from Bradbury I haven't read. I can't thank you enough for that.
posted by clarknova at 7:21 PM on January 28 [2 favorites]


Marble, you get that everyone who leaves the US has to get a passport, go through customs, muddle through with poor language skills, fly on a plane (if applicable), etc, right?

I'm not saying everyone has to want to do those things. And hey, if you like Disney World and don't like international travel, more power to you. But I will just never get people who prefer Epcot's facsimile version.

(Also, do they still have an "Africa" installment, or have they at least tried to narrow it down to a specific country?)
posted by Sara C. at 8:07 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]


Sara C., in my experience the WDW resort thing is definitely cheaper than traveling anywhere in Europe, let alone visiting Oslo.

Which isn't to say I disagree with you that, given the same price, I'd rather go to Norway than Epcot! Epcot is only a little over an hour away from me, so I wouldn't even have to fly; if I wanted to get out of the country right now I'd have to get a new passport because my husband lost mine (ling story) and I would still much rather travel internationally than ride Test Track. I completely side with you on that.

But, yeah, I think you are underestimating what a trip abroad costs (or overestimating what a resort package deal at WDW costs).
posted by misha at 10:36 PM on January 28


Sara C., in my experience the WDW resort thing is definitely cheaper than traveling anywhere in Europe, let alone visiting Oslo.

If you live in Tallahassee, maybe?

I found out recently how much a one day pass to Disneyland (just to the park) costs and was floored. I would spend half that amount on a day in Europe. And that doesn't even get into hotel, airfare, food, etc. for the Disney trip.

I don't know how much people are imagining it costs to travel outside the US, but yeah seriously I could take like three trips to Europe for the price of one trip to Disney World.
posted by Sara C. at 10:45 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]


Disney parks are a rip-off at any price. You're paying to be advertised at.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 10:59 PM on January 28 [3 favorites]


I think the reason so many Americans like the international attractions at places like Epcot, is that you get to "Experience Japan" without having to learn a pesky new language. The thought of being stranded in some strange foreign land "where they don't even speak English!!" terrifies a lot of Americans.
posted by xedrik at 11:21 PM on January 28


Speaking of Disney, when I was a kid there was a log flume-type ride at Disneyland that got the riders soaked at the end. I know it wasn't Splash Mountain because that opened in 1989 or so and I went on that ride in the 70s. I've been searching for that ride for years and I still can't find it. Anyone got ideas?

And on my honeymoon, my wife and I were caught in that Imagination ride right at the end. Car stopped there for like 30 minutes and til this day I can still hear doctor whatsit and Figment sing that Imagination song over and over. It was a special kind of hell.
posted by Tacodog at 12:37 AM on January 29 [1 favorite]


I don't know how much people are imagining it costs to travel outside the US, but yeah seriously I could take like three trips to Europe for the price of one trip to Disney World.

Personally, I would take a trip to Europe and, the next year, go to see all the same countries' exhibits/rides at Epcot. That was pretty much the context for my trip to Vegas last summer, and I loved it! Also, give it up Versailles, the Bellagio's musical fountains have got you beat so bad you should've invoked the slaughter rule.

Anyway, whatever makes people happy. It's not like Europe is a "better" place to go if you'd personally rather go to Epcot. We're talking about people who are supposed to be on a vacation, not a Character Building Experience or Proving Upright Moral Character.

But, yeah, I think you are underestimating what a trip abroad costs (or overestimating what a resort package deal at WDW costs).

A trip abroad can be really pretty cheap if you're doing it on a shoestring. But when people go to Epcot they're almost categorically not trying to do it on a shoestring, aren't they? If they were, wouldn't they be at Six Flags for the day like all us other schmucks/kids on band trips instead?
posted by rue72 at 2:00 AM on January 29 [1 favorite]


Speaking of Disney, when I was a kid there was a log flume-type ride at Disneyland that got the riders soaked at the end. I know it wasn't Splash Mountain because that opened in 1989 or so and I went on that ride in the 70s. I've been searching for that ride for years and I still can't find it. Anyone got ideas?

No, sorry. No idea. But I just looked up the history of Splash Mountain and holy shit! You're right - this thing didn't open until 1989, and was absurdly expensive, and was... themed around Song of the South, the movie so abhorred for it's racism and general boring awfulness that even Disney won't let it out of the vault for a buck.

For a water ride. Which opened in 1989.

There are several reasons why I'm not the head of the Walt Disney Corporation, but while I know it's a gamble to assume that The Little Mermaid would one day become even more beloved than perhaps the company's least-loved major motion picture in its history, I'd have been willing to roll those dice just for the promotional value alone.
posted by Navelgazer at 6:13 AM on January 29


These rides don't go up overnight. Splash Mountain had been in the works since 1983.
posted by grouse at 6:20 AM on January 29


I'm aware of that, but one imagines that the aesthetic aspects come later in the game, and animated features (usually) have ridiculously long lead-times as well. They would have been in parallel development. Also, Song of the South.
posted by Navelgazer at 6:38 AM on January 29


I'm starting to get a real Guitar Hero vs. Learning a Real Instrument vibe here. Travelling in Europe/The World and going to Epcot Center are two separate things that offer very different experiences under very different circumstances. I don't really feel like they are directly comparable.
posted by joelhunt at 6:50 AM on January 29 [6 favorites]


There are other Disney parody accounts that are funnier, IMHO:

FakeDisneyParks
FakeThemePark

There's a British site that makes fun of British parks that I can't locate at the moment.

I can see why there's plenty of material -- Disney has so many parks and characters and has a certain "fun but strict" attitude that makes it easy to parody.
posted by Flying Saucer at 7:00 AM on January 29


Q. Ever think about opening a second location? - Kaycee (via email) --- A. At one time, we planned to build another Epcot in New Ulm, MN.

That one cracked me up, 'cause last I knew, New Ulm was rated the "city of least ethnic diversity" in the US. Everyone's German.
posted by lauranesson at 7:03 AM on January 29


And on my honeymoon, my wife and I were caught in that Imagination ride right at the end. Car stopped there for like 30 minutes and til this day I can still hear doctor whatsit and Figment sing that Imagination song over and over. It was a special kind of hell.

I made my wife go on its a small world® on our honeymoon, and it totally broke down for twenty minutes in the big room at the end. Eight years later she can still win arguments with "I went on it's a small world® for you!"

PS to Sara C.: There is a Tunisia region in Epcot now, but it's a beer truck and a bunch of shops. Not even a sit-down restaurant or a movie!
posted by Elementary Penguin at 7:28 AM on January 29 [3 favorites]


I didn't go to Disney until university, but the thing I enjoyed the most was finally knowing what the hell everyone else was talking about.

I'm not a fan of Disney by any stretch, but it is a huge part of the North American cultural landscape, and issues of authenticity notwithstanding, it is important to go just to be a part of the larger conversation, especially as a kid, when everyone else is talking about this HUGE INCREDIBLE THING AND HOW CAN YOU NOT KNOW ABOUT IT?!?
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:11 AM on January 29


it is important to go just to be a part of the larger conversation, especially as a kid, when everyone else is talking about this HUGE INCREDIBLE THING AND HOW CAN YOU NOT KNOW ABOUT IT?!?

Just to be super clear, I'm not saying nobody should ever go. I went to Disney as a kid, and I totally get why it makes sense as a family vacation for people with young children.

I'm really talking about the people I know from my (insular, conservative, incurious) hometown. There's a certain subset of single/childless adults with disposable incomes who spend thousands on an annual Disney trip (often even a Disney trip and a ski trip, a Disney trip and a cruise, or a Disney trip and a Vegas trip), but who look down on people who actually travel to real places.

I get that some people just like resorts, but the element of scorn and shame around traveling to anywhere that isn't Disney, Vegas, or a ski resort is fucking bizarre, to me. Especially since the scorn is often tied to economic issues.
posted by Sara C. at 10:30 AM on January 29


Possibly of interest: MeFi's Own® Rob Cockerham on the Cost of a Family Trip to Disneyland.
posted by phunniemee at 11:04 AM on January 29 [2 favorites]


What's interesting to me is that my kids and I, all being Florida natives, have a very blasé attitude about theme parks. Growing up less than two miles from Busch Gardens as I did (where I worked as a teenager, and so did most other kids in the area), and now living within a couple hours of all the Disney and Universal theme parks, Sea World, and umpteen water parks, we think to ourselves, why would anyone want to spend an entire week at Disney?!

But then we will go up to Tennessee to spend a week in a cabin in the mountains because WHOA 3 DIMENSIONAL LANDSCAPE?! With SNOW on the top?! ZOMG!

Yes, natural beauty deserves the accolades. And like Sara C., I am also a big fan of visiting other countries and introducing my kids to other cultures (and realities) than their own, too.

But I imagine if you live in a small rural town where everything revolves around the church (common in the south), the thrill of theme park glitz, glamour and non-apologetic hedonism comes as a welcome change, too.

Different strokes for different folks, that's all.
posted by misha at 11:17 AM on January 29 [2 favorites]


but who look down on people who actually travel to real places.

I can't imagine how insufferable it must be to listen to someone rant about where people choose to travel.
posted by bondcliff at 11:18 AM on January 29 [10 favorites]


Tacodog: Speaking of Disney, when I was a kid there was a log flume-type ride at Disneyland that got the riders soaked at the end. I know it wasn't Splash Mountain because that opened in 1989 or so and I went on that ride in the 70s. I've been searching for that ride for years and I still can't find it. Anyone got ideas?

The Matterhorn roller coaster, though not primarily a water ride, uses splash-down pools. Here's a shot of the 1970s-era cars. My guess would be this is what you're remembering, though there have also been canoe-type floaty-water-rides in the park in the past. Those were much more sedate, though, and I doubt anyone would mistake them for log flumes.

At any rate, if it's not the Matterhorn, you're likely to find whatever it was either in this list of current Disneyland rides or this list of former ones.
posted by badgermushroomSNAKE at 11:35 AM on January 29


badgermushroomSNAKE, yeah I've been over those lists many times and still can't find it. Pretty sure it wasn't the Matterhorn because I was too short to go on that at the time. The only other option would be that my folks took me to a Great America or something and I have confused the memories but I doubt it because they were always the type to take us kids to one park and that's it.

By the way, one of my first posts on metafilter was a link to Yesterland, a site for forgotten Disney attractions. Be sure to grab a bite at the Casa de Fritos!
posted by Tacodog at 1:42 PM on January 29 [1 favorite]


I sent EpcotCentre's feed to my brother who responded with a BuzzFeed article, "16 Sassy Tweets From The Nation’s 16th Largest School District". May be of interest if you like your institutional Twitter feeds sassy.
posted by grouse at 4:15 PM on January 29 [1 favorite]


Hey that's my school district! Never knew they had an amusing Twitter feed.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:25 AM on January 30 [1 favorite]


uh, we all know this is a joke account from someone in the UK or Canada, right? Because it is spelled Epcot Center, not Epcot Centre.

It's not spelled either way anymore. It's officially just "Epcot" now.

Now that the days of generous corporate sponsorships are on the way out, Epcot is slowly but surely turning into rental space for hard-ticket events like the Food & Wine/Flower & Garden Festivals, the various marathons, and corporate and private events. Whole buildings like the Wonders of Life pavilion, the Odyssey Center restaurant, and the upper level of the Imagination pavilion sit empty and unused except for private functions, as do never-used spaces like big buildings in the Canada, Italy, and Germany pavilions in World Showcase. From a design perspective, Future World used to have a unified look with coordinated fonts and logos, but it's all a big mishmash now, crammed with vending carts and mismate, temporary-looking signage, and kind of looks like 1994 threw up on it.

It sounds like I don't love Epcot anymore, but I really do. If I didn't, I wouldn't mind seeing her allowed to get run down. I wish they had taken some of the billions they sunk into the whole Fastpass-Plus debacle and put it into restoring the infrastructure of the parks they've let go. And doing whatever it is they need to do to make the monorail run all day.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:26 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


Speaking of Disney, when I was a kid there was a log flume-type ride at Disneyland that got the riders soaked at the end. I know it wasn't Splash Mountain because that opened in 1989 or so and I went on that ride in the 70s. I've been searching for that ride for years and I still can't find it. Anyone got ideas?

Could it have been Timber Mountain at Knott's Berry Farm? That opened in 1969, and is close enough to Disneyland that it might have seemed like the same trip in your mind.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:34 PM on February 10


The tiki birds don't need to pal around with fucking Gilbert Gottfried in feathers

They don't anymore. There was a fire, and most of the "Under New Management" stuff was destroyed. So, they re-opened with an edited version of the original show. I saw it last winter, and it brought tears to my eyes.

Although we both like to travel other places as well, my sister and I have made adult trips to Disney parks together because we both have health issues, and in the past, Disney has always been very committed to inclusiveness and accessibility for all (although from what I read it's becoming less so). It cost us about the same for our last trip to London as it did for our second-to-last trip to WDW. But we knew that if we needed an emergency room or an emergency prescription, or to finish the trip in a wheelchair, it would be a lot easier there than abroad.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:51 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


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