Epcot was looking beautiful when we arrived, as there were some light scattered clouds that gave a cool look to the sky in photos. I made the most of this, capturing a couple shots of Spaceship Earth. This added to ever-growing collection of “Spaceship Earth Fisheye Photos.” I mean, who doesn’t want thousands of photos of Spaceship Earth that look largely the same?!
Spaceship Earth was also our first attraction stop. While in line, I started thinking (uh oh!) that I had taken many “good” photos of Spaceship Earth. I started racking my brain, and nothing came to mind. I rarely put much effort into taking photos of it, and when I did, I used lenses that were less than ideal, like my wide-angle or 70-200mm. I used these lenses rather than the obvious choice, my Sigma 30mm f/1.4, because back when I first got the Sigma 30mm f/1.4, I took hundreds of Spaceship Earth photos with it. However, those were all with my Nikon D40, and that camera was less-than-ideal for low light photography. I’m sure I had taken some photos of Spaceship Earth with my Nikon D90 or D7000 plus the Sigma 30 1.4, but none came to mind, especially with the D7000.
I thus decided to focus on ride photography during that ride-through of Spaceship Earth. I was pretty pleased with the results, and I suppose this means I can go another couple of years without taking Spaceship Earth on-ride photos? (Just the opposite will probably happen–I’ll probably shoot it incessantly going forward.)
We made a quick stop at Club Cool after this, where I took a couple of quick photos with my neutral density filter. They were much cooler in my head than they turned out. At some point, I want to do a post on Club Cool and all of the different beverages. I’m not sure whether this would interest anyone else besides me, but it does interest me!
Our next stop was the FountainView. Back on the second night of our Christmas 2010 trip, we were at Epcot for Evening Extra Magic Hours. That December 2010 trip was really the firs trip we had done serious meets (WDW Today Reunion and D23 Magic & Merriment), and it was all a bit overwhelming to us. The time during Evening EMH was really our first time alone in the parks together, and we happened to stop at the FountainView to share an ice cream sundae. FountainView was almost empty, and being there and finally slowing down was really nice. The restaurant had that delicious FountainView smell, and the Fountain of Nations looked beautiful outside. I can’t remember every detail from that trip perfectly, but my recollection of being at the FountainView that night is crystal-clear.
It didn’t seem like anything special at the time (in fact, I didn’t even include it in our trip report!), but it ended up being a really poignant experience from that trip for me. For months after, I would email Sarah at work, and remind her that we HAD to go to FountainView on our next trip (so I think, due to that, it became a poignant experience for her, too!). I still randomly email her that photo of the ice cream we had back on that trip, saying we have to go back.
Going to the FountainView once per trip, by ourselves, and splitting an ice cream treat has become a tradition for us since that December 2010 trip. The ice cream has NEVER been as good as I remember it in December 2010, but it always reminds me of that December 2010 trip when it was just the two of us, relaxing together at the end of a long day at Epcot.
On this particular trip to the FountainView, we ordered their Valentine’s Day special to split. It was pretty good, but probably not for the rather expensive price. I prefer soft serve ice cream (blasphemy, I know), anyway. I think in the future our tradition will evolve in a way that we each get our OWN ice cream. That way Sarah can get scooped ice cream and I can get soft serve!
After we were done with our ice cream, we met up with our friend Nick. We headed with him over to Universe of Energy. It had been a while since we’ve done this, and I’m not really sure why. It’s an attraction we both love, and it reminds of us classic EPCOT Center. It may be somewhat dated now and not the best look at energy options, but we find Ellen entertaining, and who doesn’t love Bill Nye the Science Guy?! If you don’t immediately hear “Bill-Bill-Bill-Bill…” in your head whenever the name Bill Nye is brought up, clearly you were not a child in the 90s! For those of us 90s kids, Bill Nye ranks right up there with Einstein and Newton as one of the most important scientists of all-time.
We wandered off to World Showcase after this, hitting Gran Fiesta Tour and watching the performers in Japan on the way to the American Adventure. This was another attraction we hadn’t hit in a while, and we were long overdue. It’s one of those attractions we always intend to do, but we’re always near American Adventure right after a show has just started, and we don’t feel like waiting for the next one. I’m fairly confident we’ve made our way onto the modern-day McCarthy List for this egregious behavior!
All throughout the American Adventure, I was wondering why we weren’t experiencing O’Canada instead. Kidding, of course. That’s a thought that would never run through the mind of any red-blooded American. I don’t really know what more to say about American Adventure. You know it’s awesome, I know it’s awesome.
As we had been wandering through World Showcase, we had been trying to figure out where we’d do dinner that night. Nick wanted to eat somewhere nice, and you do not disappoint Nick! We first tried for Akershus, but there was no availability. Then for Le Cellier, which was unsurprisingly booked. Finally we decided we would just walk over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios (we planned on ending the night there, anyway) to see if Hollywood Brown Derby had any availability.
Before we did this, I wanted to get some more photos of World Showcase, so I wandered around and did this while Sarah and Nick, I thought, stood outside of France. Well, it turned out that they had headed down to the International Gateway, and I couldn’t find them anywhere. To make matter worse, none of us had phone signal, so we spent a good ten minutes looking for one another. When I finally did find them, we headed off to Disney’s Hollywood Studios through the International Gateway exit.
Part of me didn’t want to leave right then. The sky was gorgeous, and I feared that the best part of sunset might be spent walking from Epcot to the Studios. It thus became a race against the clock, trying to get to the Studios while the sky was still pretty for some sunset shooting there. Nick and Sarah didn’t like my idea of making a game out of it to see who could run the fastest to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, so I walked a bit ahead of them as we went. They caught up at several points when I stopped to take photos.
Did we get there in time? (DUN DUN DUN!) Find out in the next installment of this February 2012 Walt Disney World trip report. It will shock and awe you…or not.
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