Sunday, January 13, 2013

Travel tales - EPCOT

Since we had already taken the pass, we directly went to the queue. A word on the queues - awesome. Considering the huge..really HUGE..number of people who visit these parks from world over, i guess Disney would've invested as much in studying about crowd management as much as they spend on maintaining and updating the park. More on it in coming sections.

There were 2 queues. One for people carrying bags and one for those without, which incendetally was moving thrice as fast as the other queue. Why i mention this specifically here is that, if you dont carry any bags, you can actually save around half an hour. Considering that the park operates on a time schedule and the vastness to cover in a limited period, it really helps. But unless you are a bachelor carrying just a camera, its a highly impossible task to avoid any bags. It was predominantly  a ladies queue. There is a mono rail right at the entrance to take you to other parks. Since we were fresh from our NASA trip, we began with the future world setting.

In spaceship earth, we were taken through a intereactive video setup kind of a ride with optical illusions and motion controlled image replicas of events detailing the important landmarks in the history of mankind. Slightly mokka, but the video at the end makes up for it. They take photos of you when you enter and while the ride comes to close, there is a questionnaire asking you to pick your choice of future residence. Based on the answers you give, they superimpose your photo on a cartoon video of your future habitat. That looks fun. The way out leads you to an arcade kind of place with lot of games and leads you to Universe of Energy, which again is a video. Looking at how young Ellen DeGeneres looks in it, must've been pretty old i guess. Its again a fun video kind of mini ride, where the entire hall full of rows and rows of audience gets converted into a ride with dinosaurs and falls and forest kind of setup thrown in. Its actually  a ride inside a theater with multiple screens, where the entire ride happens within the theater. We went for the Advanced training lab, that again was something similar to the NASA - mission to Mars. Again i was super scared before i entered the unit. There were signs warning that if one is suffering from High pressure or heart ailments or motion sickness or pregnant or expecting mothers, they should restrict themselves from the ride. I felt all the symptoms barring the last two. Yet willed myself into it, basing my trust solely on the fact that its Disney and its meant for kids. So they would've maintained it well and should be relatively safer. I wasnt proven wrong and the ride was pretty much over even before the effects begin to set in. A major tip for people with motion sickness or disorientation problems - never close your eyes during the ride. Its always the vision which causes complications to the mind, for the eye always try to see straight while the view point changes dramatically. Brain takes bit more time to adjust according the motion of the ride and also searching for a static view point and it leads to disorientation and nausea. (Apdiye statuatory warning sticker padikkara mathiri irukka :D pona ridesla ellam instruciton manuala manapaada paguthi maathiri padicha ipdi thaan agum :D:D)

Then there was this star wars kind of game where in you have to point and shoot at aliens and based on your hit count your points will increase. More like a video game made big. The best of the lot was the Chevrolet race track, where they test drive cars. Not sure if this is how they really test the cars, but it was the best of the entire lot. The sound of the Vrroooming cars could be heard from a distance and as usual i was against going for that ride. As luck would have it, the time we reached there it was closed due to some technical snag. We roamed around the rest of the places and suddenly my roomie heard the vrrooms and he rushed us all back to the track. As we sat on the car i was praying to all the gods i knew and to the unknown as well. First the car trekked along slowly and they were taking us through the various simulated effects of how the car slides to halt on a rain splashed road, under snow covered places and sudden brakes, night effects and all and soon it came for speed test. Believe me, that turned out to be the best of the lot. WOW. The sheer power with which it rocketeed through the track was awesome. Had it been for few more minutes at that speed, my glasses would have flown off along with my head. The entire ride was under half hour but was worth ever single minute of it. As with all the disney rides, they had taken secret pictures of us at the scariest points and the way i was gritting my teeth, i could've crunched tungsten :)

We skipped the innovention plaza which sounded mokkai. "What if" lab promised much but again was a mokkai. Circle of life again was a mokkai ride. There was another ride about the types of trees or lands something which was another mokkai ride. The world showcase is nothing but shops, shops and more shops from a dozen countries minus INDIA :((  The chinese as usual stole the show with their acrobatic skills.
One word of advice for visitors to EPCOT. Be prepared to walk. Get good and more importantnly comfortable shoes for walking. It is a really really long walk and by the time we were done with the parks i felt as if my feet had reduced in size due to the wear and tear and increased in size at the same time with swelling!!
As i mentioned before, the crowd that keeps the parks running are predominantly Asians followed closely by Latin Americans. Kudos to the facilities in Disney, i could see large number elderly people on wheel chairs enjoying the park. Infact one paati standing ahead of us in a queue was telling her husband that she will skip one of the attractions this time and would visit in on her next trip!! And there were scores of pregnant women too!! Namma oorlalalam couldnt even imagine them moving outside!! There is a space reserved for wheelchairs and strolleys that is almost as big as the parking lot itself!!! That brings me to my favourite part of the that amazed me all throughout. The crowd management skills of Disney.

(To be continued)


Ramesh said...

Crunching Tungsten !!!!! Now, that is one unique metaphor in the history of writing :)

Many of the rides termed mokkai are not for children - (Gils' peers, that is ) !!

Where are the photos ???

RS said...

Photos please......Esp of //They take photos of you when you enter and while the ride comes to close, there is a questionnaire asking you to pick your choice of future residence. Based on the answers you give, they superimpose your photo on a cartoon video of your future habitat.//

Asha said...

//As we sat on the car i was praying to all the gods i knew and to the unknown as well?//

Unknown gods yarunnu sonnenganna engalukkum ePcot pogumpodhu sowriyama irukkum...

Apprumm future residence enna choose pannenga....rashtrapati bhavana....downing street...illa...vellai maligaiya?

EPCOT - virivakkam thevai

gils said...


hehehe :D actualla palla kadichi kadichi vaailaam marathu poidichi :D avlo tensed i was..tensed like tungsten solla vanthathu apdi mari poadichu :D fotos konjam konjama uploadings

gils said...


:D:D hehehe...athelaam velilaye varaathu :D

gils said...


super kostin keteenga ponga..ungalukaga google adichi thedina answer

Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow (concept).

Rashtrapathi bavana??? echusme..mike testing??

gils said...

naamelam epovum sarvana bavan ...ranganathan house thaan...intha rashtrapathi bavan downing street white houselaam velaikaagathu :d

Aarti said...

Putting some photos i say..... too long a post, i want to see photos... oh i said that before is it!!:D

btw, unknown gods- who be they? ;o)