As for the rest of Future World, I’d love to see some topiaries specific to Future World here for Flower & Garden Festival. Where is Figment? Where are the Universe of Energy dinosaurs? Where is Patrick Warburton from Soarin?!?! I’d love to see more topiaries in this vein. Maybe even a couple of robots, such as an allusion to SMRT-1. I’d be in favor of anything that is self-referential for Epcot. Heck, maybe we could get a couple topiaries of the Phoenicians to thank!
Despite these criticisms, I have to give credit where credit is due. Even in this last weekend of the Flower & Garden Festival, the park was looking excellent and there were plenty of fresh flowers and beautiful planters all around. Beyond that, as referenced previously in this report, the Fantasia entrance display was absolutely awesome and much better than anything in recent memory. Even the promotional stuff, like the Disneynature sand sculptures looked better than I remembered previous ones looking. So kudos to Disney for making the park look really, really nice for Flower & Garden Festival.
I’m not discussing them in more detail because I didn’t have anything of consequence to say about them, but at various times throughout the afternoon we did several attractions including the always-excellent Impressions de France, the never-excellent Journey into Imagination, Livin’ with the Land, and the Seas with Nemo.
We missed a lot of what the Festival had to offer in 2011 due to visiting on Destination D weekend, so it was nice to see more in 2012. The Butterfly Garden was a definite highlight, and seeing so many butterflies in a concentrated location was pretty awesome. In typical creeper fashion, I took photos of the butterflies as they landed on other guests.
Unlike your garden variety creep, I asked permission first. I’m not really sure whether that made it more or less awkward–probably more, as I could have easily taken every photo without anyone even noticing me grab them. This lady named “Sarah” in the second photo below was especially creeped out by my attempts to photograph her. As I always say, though, if your own wife isn’t even creeped out by you, there’s something wrong with your marriage. Actually, I’ve never said this, but it seems like just as good of a mantra as any!
After the butterfly garden we went to some little promotional spot involving Tinkerbell and like 37 other fairies. These fairy things are really proliferating…are they really even that popular? I thought the Disney canon had about one fairy too many when it was just Tinkerbell. In the movie she’s okay, but the over-the-top “sass” that has been ascribed to her is just really off-putting. It reminds me of people who were sweatpants or shorts with “princess” or other (offensive) terms on the rear. Just to show I’m not sexist, I feel the same way about the way Grumpy and Doopey have been marketed to men, and I have plenty of preconceptions about people who wear shirts that say “thug,” “pimp,” or things of that sort. I would sooner wear some neon parachute pants and a circa-1991 spotted 101 Dalmatians shirt than any of that garbage. Seriously. You could even add a fanny pack and knee high socks and I’d still wear that any day over a shirt that had “thug” emblazoned across the chest. Now, of course I am a thug (Straight Outta Indiana!), but I don’t need my shirt proclaiming that to the world!
If you do wear that type of stuff and are offended by this, just remember, I’m a surly ole curmudgeon. Also remember that there are a lot of people out there just like me who feel the same way. So if being categorically judged by someone on the internet who doesn’t know anything about you bothers you, it might be time to rethink your wardrobe.
After our visit to the Tinkerbell play area/garden or whatever it was, we headed to the main attraction of the day. That’s right, Test Track! Or, rather, the area in front of the Test Track refurb walls that was lined with Chevrolet cars.
Sarah and I had some fun with this. I’ve never really minded the cars in Inside Track (the Test Track post-show) because I understand that the sponsor needs some value for its money, and the cars are just a minor element at the end of the attraction. The showroom area looks cool and is easily bypassed, so it’s not a big deal, at all. I have never even thought twice about it.
However, a bunch of random, non-concept cars parked in front of a refurb wall rubs me the wrong way. The cars are no longer ancillary to the main attraction, they are the only attraction. I have no problem with Disney putting something in front of the refurbishment walls to entertain guests, but making it actually entertaining. I could find random cars sitting on pavement at a rundown strip mall.
Sarah and I were shocked to see quite a few people lingering around this area (this is not a testament to the “quality” of this “attraction.” If you stage a line to literally nothing, some people will get in the line without asking any questions…simply because there’s a line), so we decided to have some fun with it.
We went from car to car, getting some awesome poses with each. People gave us some odd looks for some of these poses, but the best part came with the last car, when Sarah got in the backseat while other guests were already in the front and gave me thumbs up and exclaimed, “woo hoo” as I snapped several photos of her. When it was my turn, I loudly proclaimed, “THIS IS SO AWESOME!” and shook my fists in the air. The other guests were more than a little bemused as to why we were so excited. Looking at these photos still brings a smile to my face and makes me chuckle as I remember the experience, so perhaps Disney did know what it was doing creating an “entertaining” experience in this spot!
After we were done with this awesome attraction, we headed over to the Wonders of Life to check out the Festival Center. We didn’t plan on doing any events, but just wanted to see what was there and possibly get some merchandise photos. Unfortunately, it had closed for good 10 minutes earlier! Well, looks like we’ll be heading back to Flower & Garden Festival again next year! Not that we really needed an incredibly weak excuse to go back…
With the Festival Center closed, there wasn’t much more that we “had” to do at Epcot, so we wandered around a bit more taking photos. As touched upon in the first installment, Sarah is now really into iPhoneography. I’m not kidding when I say that I’m often waiting for her to take her photos, which I don’t mind at all (she’s waited plenty for me over the years!).
I attribute this mostly to her new Olloclip, which is a lens accessory for the iPhone. You might notice it in some of these photos as the big, dorky-looking thing sticking off the top of her phone. It gives the iPhone a fisheye lens, wide angle lens, and macro lens. Ironically, Sarah’s favorite of the lenses is the fisheye, and she has put together some pretty impressive fisheye shots with that little lens and phone.
What’s most humorous to me, and the reason I mention this, is because of how much attention this little lens system draws to her. It doesn’t help that she really gets “into” the photos (see the Peacock photo below), but people commonly ask her what the heck is attached to her phone. Most people who ask are genuinely impressed by it, demonstrating to me just how popular and commonplace cell phone photography has become. Personally, the thing makes me chuckle.
After Sarah was finished getting the perfect shot of the peacock, we headed towards the exit, getting a few more photos on our way out.
We had dinner reservations at Narcoossee’s, so we didn’t stick around too long before catching a monorail to the Magic Kingdom!
To read/view earlier installments in this Walt Disney World trip report, please visit the index.
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