Epcot

Visiting Epcot for a few days was nothing but outstanding.  The weather was great, the crowds were tolerable, and the flower displays and blooming trees looked outstanding.  We were there a few days before this year's International Flower & Garden Festival officially began, but most of the topiary displays were already in the park.

Epcot - Let the Memories Begin!

I like the diamond Spaceship Earth pattern on the new banners.  Does anybody know where I can get one of these Epcot banners once the celebration is finished?

Epcot - Mickey Mouse stuffed animals

I have no idea why in the world Mickey looks so bad, but it's a little bit frightening.

Epcot - Orange Bird merchandise

But in a good marketing move, the Orange Bird is back!  Hooray!

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I don't recall seeing these signs last time, but they're a nice touch to Showcase Plaza.  The only problem is that based on the small size I doubt they'll do much good.

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Believe it or not, but Captain E.O. is back!  Do take note that the preshow is not the original Kodak video that used to play here at Epcot, but rather a making of Captain E.O. video that briefly takes guests behind the scenes of the sci-fi adventure.

On a side note, I don't ever remember the seats moving during the show or the water or other special effects.  At the start of the show they make a point of saying that this version is exactly as the movie was when it premiered, but I honestly don't remember those effects here in Epcot.  Definitely not the moving seats or water effects, and probably not for the light effects.  I was a bit young when it first started playing in Epcot, but I sat in the theater and watched the show many times.  I'll have to dig through the home videos and try to find my family's recording of the show those many years ago.

This current version of Captain E.O. is awesome!  I can't wait to see it again!

Epcot - Test Track - Chevy Volt - 01 Epcot - Test Track - Chevy Volt - 02

On the other side of Future World, the much-hyped Chevy Volt is part of the post-show area at Test Track.  No word yet if it'll be more reliable than the test cars on the ride with frequently breaking video screens and audio systems.

Epcot - Duffy - 01 Epcot - Duffy - 02 Epcot - Duffy - 03 Epcot - Duffy - 04 Epcot - Duffy - 05 Epcot - Duffy - 06

Showcase Plaza is home to the newest Disney character --- Duffy.  I'm not sure why Disney felt the need to throw an almost random character (no TV show or movie association) in the theme parks, especially a teddy bear of all creatures.  Maybe if it's ignored long enough it'll quietly go away.

Epcot - flowers - 01 Epcot - flowers - 02 Epcot - flowers - 03 Epcot - flowers - 04

Spring in Epcot!  Beautiful!

Epcot - Mexico - La Cantina Restaurant - 01 Epcot - Mexico - La Cantina Restaurant - 02

The new La Cantina Restaurant in Mexico on World Showcase Lagoon.

Epcot - China - Chinese New Year animals - 01 Epcot - China - Chinese New Year animals - 02 Epcot - China - Chinese New Year animals - 03 Epcot - China - Chinese New Year animals - 04 Epcot - China - Chinese New Year animals - 05 Epcot - China - Chinese New Year animals - 06 Epcot - China - Chinese New Year animals - 07

I don't know if these small animal Chinese New Year displays in China are part of the International Flower & Garden Festival, or more of a permanent part of the pavilion.  Either way they look pretty neat.

Epcot - Germany - Rapunzel's tower

Rapunzel's tower is now part of the elaborate train set in Germany.

Epcot - Italy - Via Napoli Ristorante E Pizzeria

The new, high-end Via Napoli Ristorante E Pizzeria in Italy.

2011 International Flower & Garden Festival at Epcot

As it was stated earlier, this year's running of the International Flower & Garden Festival in Epcot didn't officially begin until a few days after our departure.  None of the exhibits were open yet, but the flower displays and a vast majority of the topiaries were in place.  As usual, the displays looked outstanding!

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