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Experience EPCOT’s Film Festival

This past August I spent 10 days in Walt Disney World. On five of those days I spent time with friends who had not visited the resort for almost six years.

You can imagine that a lot has changed since their last visit. I actually sat down and started making a list of all the changes that have occurred since their last visit. When I passed 30 I decided to quit and just play it by ear when we saw them.

These friends of ours are huge EPCOT fans and thus most of those five days were spent in EPCOT.

On the first day touring EPCOT with them we spent most of the morning in Future World.

As you can imagine the new Spaceship Earth, The Seas with Nemo and Friends, Turtle Talk with Crush, and Soarin' were big hits with our friends.

During lunch we talked about how we would tour World Showcase and decided to that portion of the park in a clockwise direction and take our time and enjoy each pavilion.

Our visit to Mexico was highlighted by a spin on the Gran Fiesta Tour.

Epcot's Gran Fiesta Tour

Then, after a bit of a delay thanks to a typical Florida summertime downpour, we moved on to Norway.

Norway of course has The Maelstrom and I have always found that attraction to be short but enjoyable. I always forget to check out the old Viking ship.

Epcot's Norway Viking Ship

On this particular visit as our boat splashed down into the North Sea and next to that oil rig my wife leaned over to me and announced, “We're watching the film!”

I immediately thought, "What?!?!?!"

I replied, “You mean we aren't going to race through that theater and escape that film before they close the doors on us?”

She shook her head to confirm my worse fear.

How could we do this? Why would we do this?

I didn't have a plain brown paper bag to put over my head to hide while sitting in that theater.

I didn't bring along an inflatable pillow to rest my head on while I snoozed through the film.

I didn't even have ear plugs or sunglasses to prevent me from seeing the images and hearing the sounds from the film.

Apparently our friends wanted to watch the movie and so like an inmate on death row I reluctantly found a seat in the theater and sat down to watch a film called something like “The Spirit of Norway.”

It had been something like 18 or 19 years since I had sat in this theater.

I dreaded the start of the film…all I could remember was that the film was basically a marketing tool for Norwegian Cruise Lines.

I sat down with my arms crossed…very defensive…then the film began.

Wait. It was quite different than I had remembered. It was interesting…it was very interesting as we took a tour of Norway; it's land, its culture; its people, and its spirit.

The music and the scenery were very pleasing to the ears and eyes.

The narration was just enough…and I found myself ENJOYING the film.

The film was so far removed from the one I had remembered seeing back so long ago.

I thought, “Hey this isn't so bad after all.”

As we left Norway and headed to China I found myself wanting to see “Wonders of China” which is the Circlevision 360 degree film shown in the pavilion. I had seen something called "Reflections of China" but that was a decade or two ago.

Wonders of China Sign

I assumed I had forgotten most of what I had seen and I was also thinking, “Hmmm, perhaps the film has been updated since 1990.

I found myself absolutely enthralled by the film.

The film captured the essence of China from the Great Wall to the Forbidden City and I found myself glued to the screen; taking it all in…and thinking to myself, “Boy, I had no idea what I was missing.”

There were two other World showcase pavilions that offered films for the guests.

The first one was France and “Impressions de France” and that takes place in a theater. Yet again I found myself thoroughly enjoying the experience. Once again I felt whisked away to a far off land and enjoying a different culture and learning so much.

Usually when I think of the France Pavilion I think of getting my picture taken with Belle, enjoying some French pastry, or marveling at some stained glass window.

France stained glass

Our last stop in World Showcase was to watch O Canada!” version 2.0; which I had seen last October when it first opened.

Have you ever noticed the unique way this pavilion tells you how long the wait is for the next show?

O Canada Timer

While watching the film I could not help but second-guess myself for ignoring those other films in World Showcase. I had denied myself a wonderful experience because I kept on thinking back to years ago and how I had “already seen” those films and felt they were not worth my time.

Well, I'm here to tell you that I was wrong and that I encourage all of you who have had the same approach as me to visit those pavilions and watch their films.

You will not be disappointed.

Experience the EPCOT Film Festival.

But let's not stop there because along this same train of thought there are other attractions around Walt Disney World which we may take for granted.

Tomorrow, I'll share with you what those attractions around Walt Disney World are, at least from the View from Scopa Towers.

The previous post in this blog was Tusker House: Thumbs Up .

The next post in this blog is Walt Disney World Attractions We Take for Granted.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 18, 2008 5:00 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Tusker House: Thumbs Up .

The next post in this blog is Walt Disney World Attractions We Take for Granted.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.