taking a ride on spaceship earth

Tomorrow morning, I’m getting on an airplane with Anne, and we’re flying across the country to Orlando. MegaCon starts a week from yesterday, and we’re going to Florida a few days early to goof off at Disney World before the con gets started.

I’m not going to lie to you, Marge: I’m ALL CAPS EXCITED to go spend four days at Disney World. I haven’t been there since December of 1997 when we took the kids right after Flubber came out.

Boy, that trip was something. At the time, we were really struggling financially, and never would have been able to afford it. But because I’d finished shooting Flubber and done a ton of press for the movie, Disney did the whole trip for us as a special gift. They even gave us a guide — Hi Jeff! We miss you! — to take care of us the whole time we were there. I still can’t believe someone at Disney agreed to do that for the four of us, but to this day I am grateful for that kindness.

When we got to Florida, it was unseasonably cold, and the kids had forgotten their jackets in California. We had to spend way too much money — which we didn’t have at the time — on some pretty ridiculous Mickey Mouse sweatshirts for them. It made me think, at the time, of when the referee’s baggage doesn’t make a flight, so they wear silly souvenir gear from the home team’s gift shop during the game.

I think we were there for five days or so, and it was just fantastic. I remember taking the kids on Space Mountain, and Anne insisted on sitting behind them, holding onto their sweatshirts, the way a guy moving a mattress on the freeway puts one hand on it to stop it from flying away. You know at some level that it’s ridiculous and pointless, but you do it anyway. I remember offering to do this thing at the studio called “Star of the Day,” where I’d ride in a car down the main street of the Disney MGM studio and then do a ceremony in front of their Chinese Theatre, sort of a way to say thank you for the trip, and to help publicize Flubber. I’d done this right around the beginning of Star Trek, and the street was lined with people three or four bodies deep, cheering teenagers, the whole thing. When I did that in 1997, a few dozen people looked up from their ice creams and wondered who the hell that was in the car, and why they should care. Boy was that humiliating.

When we last went to Disney World over a decade ago, our lives were profoundly different than they are now. What I remember most clearly is how much fun the kids had, and how a major part of my fun was just being close to that. Anne and I keep talking about how we’re doing things in reverse: we spent the first part of our lives together with kids, being parents, and now we’re getting to do the things that young couples do, like travel and stay up late and sleep in on weekdays every now and then. I’m really looking forward to taking a few days with my wife to just goof off and have fun before I spend three days getting my geek on at the convention.

Since we haven’t been there in so long, I’d love it if you’d share your must-not-miss thing at Walt Disney World with us.

108 thoughts on “taking a ride on spaceship earth”

  1. My family of four is headed to Disneyworld on Monday for 7 days – the timing was perfect for cheap flights, getting out of Boston to help fight my wife’s SAD, and getting back in time for PAX East.

    My must-not-miss suggestions are the park endings: Fantasmic (Hollywood) and Illuminations (Epcot). If you had a 5 year old I’d tell you to get him into the Padawan Jedi training show.

    My wife’s take: “My must-not-miss moment will be if we run into Wil’s family at Disneyworld.”

    So we’ll be looking for ya. I promise an Iron Guard salute and no uncomfortably-close-stranger-hugging if we run into you.

  2. If you like waffles, I highly recommend the restaurant at Animal Kingdom…they make a bitchin mikey mouse waffle.

    Animal Kingdom also a great rollercoaster with a himalayan theme. Can’t remember what it’s called though.

    And I know you’re interested in Disney World, but I had such an amazing experience at Sea World’s Discovery Cove park it’s totally worth mentioning. It’s basically a day at the beach with animals and dolphins. You can go snorkling in a salt water tank. You get to swim with dolphins briefly. They have an awesome aviary. And the food (at least when I went a few years ago) is all free. Even beer (Budweiser products only, seaworld is owned by them). But you can just go up and grab a bottle of water, or a soft pretzel.

    It’s an expensive park. Basic admission was something like 180 for a day, but it’s a great experience. I shelled out the big bucks for their Trainer for a Day program. You get to swim with the dolphins twice, including going for a ride with them. You also get to pet sharks, feed the birds, etc… It’s a fantastic park and when you’re done with your TFAD program you just hang out on their beach, go snorkling, drink beer, etc… Very cool.

  3. We were just there a year and a half ago with some friends. By far the best dinner we had there was at California Grill one night during the fireworks show. The restaurant overlooks the Magic Kingdom and it was absolutely gorgeous. The food was great too.

    Another tip is make sure you visit the store in Japan in Epcot. It’s huge and full of some really cool, unique Japanese merchandise.

  4. I always say there are two ways of doing Disney: planned and unplanned. I’m in favor of the second because you never know what might catch your fancy. Having said that, I recommend talking to the cast members. Most of us are people with immense love for this place and would happily talk for hours about it. We also tend to be the people who can tell you about little known aspects like the Segway tours or the Magic Behind Our Steam Trains tour. And if you have even a passing interest in baseball, Spring Training at the Wide World of Sports is a great way to spend an afternoon. As for those fastpasses, they’re free and basically let you reserve a time for rides that offer it. Any thrill ride mentioned multiple times here and anything you see a wait of 60+ minutes, you’ll want to try and get a fastpass for.

    I also noticed someone mentioned heading out to the resorts for lunch and dinner, something I heartily second. Those definitely have better and more interesting fare. I hope y’all have a wonderful time!

  5. I’ve made five trips to Disneyworld. I still remember these experiences:

    1) World Showcase at Epcot. At night. When the globe in the middle of that big pond lights up and you’re standing there — like we were — between France and Morocco — listening to people speaking German and Spanish

    2) Also at Epcot — Mission: Space — astronaut training — Orange team

    3) Hollywood Studios — Honey, I Shrunk The Kids

    4) Hollywood Studios — MuppetVision 3D

    5) Hollywood Studios — Tower of Terror

    I haven’t been there to do the new Star Tours, or the Toy Story ride or the Rock N Roll Coaster or the Great Movie Ride.

    As for Magic Kingdom, I would like to try the Buzz Lightyear ride and the Monsters Inc. ride. I can’t think of anything specifically I would recommend there.

  6. I’m one of the uber-geeks when it comes to Disney. I moved down to Orlando just to be close to Disney World. I’m so happy you’ll be here soon – I already have my tickets to MegaCon, but knowing you’re getting here early to spend time at Disney – that’s just a geek-explosion of wonderfulness.
    As for what to see – you’ll need to spend some time at Animal Kingdom, since that park didn’t even exist when you were last here. Expedition Everest, Kilimanjaro Safari, and Festival of the Lion King are the must-do’s there.
    At Epcot, make a bee-line for Soarin’ and then head across the way to Test Track and Mission Space. You’re coming during a wonderful time, because the Flower & Garden Festival has just started, and there are wonderful gardens and food booths set up all around the World Showcase lagoon. I imagine a beer connoisseur such as yourself will want to try the beer flight at Germany’s F&GF booth.
    At Hollywood Studios, Toy Story Mania is new since you were last there – “It’s a ride that’s a game, it’s a game that’s a ride”. It should be your first stop. Then over to Tower of Terror and Rock N’ Roller Coaster, and of course you MUST do Star Tours, and ride in a speeder with C3PO.
    At the Magic Kingdom, the New Fantasyland opened last year, with a new Mermaid ride and a great Beauty & the Beast show. Splash Mountain is currently down for refurb, so that’s out, but fan-favorites like Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean (newly updated since you were last here, with the addition of Captain Jack Sparrow), Space Mountain, and Big Thunder Mountain are all must-do’s.

    However you end up spending your time, I hope you and Anne have a great vacation. As they say at Disney, “Have a Magical Day”!!

  7. A MUST do is ‘Soarin’ at Epcot! Get the fast pass early in the morn for later. There are few things as an adult that are new experiences, but this was one.
    Don’t forget to kick the waves as you pass the surfers.

    It’s pure magic, even if there is a long line, you won’t regret it.

  8. We liked the Moroccan restaurant in EPCOT – but based on “statistical” analysis of all the posts, I guess Ohana’s is the place to go.

    EPCOT: This is nerdy, but “Innoventions” I’ve always found cool; plus near there the jumping fountains! I can spend a long time sitting there watching the water jump around.

    Nearby: There’s a Blue Man Group and if they’re doing their “How to Be a Mega-Start 2.0″ show, it’s a blast. Also there’s a House of Blues which often has good music.

    And of course, if you have time, you’re about an hour or so (Beeline Expressway [toll]) from the Kennedy Space Center – if you’ve never been it’s worth at least one trip.

  9. Wil, just check any grown-up cynicism at the door, and enjoy. I used to be a Disney Denier, but then went with my kids and wife… and have never had so much fun. Just let yourself go, be cheesy, wear a Goofy hat, ride Space Mountain until dizzy, chat with Pooh and Piglet, and have fun.

    My personal favorites:
    Space Mountain. Best. ride. ever.
    Spaceship Earth. Look out for Woz in the garage.
    Japan in Epcot. Reminds me of when I lived there.
    The safari at Animal Kingdom.
    The fireworks.
    Just ride the monorail around a few times!

    Enjoy. Have fun. Be kids.

  10. At this point in my life, it’s all EPCOT for me, although I do love some classic Magic Kingdom. Space Mountain has been updated since your last visit, btw.

    My can’t miss things at EPCOT are, in no particular order: Spaceship Earth; Imaginations; Listen to the Land (plus the tour); Norway ride. The first two will be different since you were there last (possibly the land as well, but I can’t remember when it changed for sure).

    Mission Space ought to be new to you (it, unfortunately, replaced Horizons shortly after your last trip), Soarin’ they have at California Adventure, so if you’ve done it there, don’t bother. Honestly I wouldn’t bother at all but a lot of people love it. Mexico is sad to me because it was such a classic before they changed it.

    When you get to France, you must have the Grey Goose slush. It is ridiculously expensive ($10) but so good, and I generally don’t like frozen drinks. If you eat in the parks, eat at a table service restaurant. Food is a bit more expensive, but is generally quite good, where as at quick service places you pay way to much for horrible fast food.

    Have fun!

  11. Just take your time and have fun!! Check out the park maps online if you can and plan out your day a bit. It helps keep you from running across the park back and forth and wearing out too fast. My must do is Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at MK, Tower of Terror at HS, the Safari ride at AK, and Living with the Land in Epcot.

    I spent two weeks there in 2011 and plan on 3 weeks the next time. I adore WDW (and don’t have kids). http://disjointedimages.com/blog/archives/971 If you have a chance, you’re welcome to read through my trip!

  12. Go use the night vision goggles to view that animals at Animal Kingdom Lodge.

    Hang out at EPCOT. That’s where the cool people are. Our random collection of awesome t-shirts started all kinds of conversations with people there. :)

  13. This is incredibly obscure, but I remember going to see the fountain show as part of InfoComm back in ought-three or ought-four. Somewhere around where the “Home of the Future” exhibit was (Epcot?) there is a water fountain that has a speaker built into it. Every so often a high pitched “bug voice” starts talking from the water fountain.

    I love that this is in the park because to me, this is why Disney is so great at guest experience: they run their park like the MST/Rifftrax guys write jokes – they don’t mind if not everybody gets everything because the few people who get that little hidden treasure absolutely love it. I’d ask around, perhaps, rather than hunt for it, but I still smile when I think about it.

  14. For you two, this goes without saying, but go to one of the nice places at Epcot’s World Showcase and have a romantic dinner. Perhaps Italy for some Lady and the Tramp action? :P

    Maybe you two could be super nerdy and adorable and by matching mouse ears and VandalEyes them. That would be a funny and amazing vacation picture for you two.

    As for attractions, I kinda feel like the troll in me should suggest you go on Mission Space and just technobabble the everloving FUCK out of it. But the fan in me says you should go on Mission Space and enjoy the ride. And then technobabble the everloving fuck out of it. I just wish I had actually been able to visit it. Never been to Orlando. The only Disney park I’ve been to is Cali Adventure back in 2003.

  15. Remember, guys, Wil lives in LA and he can go to DISNEYLAND any time he wants so, Wil, really, go on rides that are exclusive for Disney World. If your time in Disney World is limited,I’d recommend you go to Hollywood studios and Epcot. Animal Kingdom isn’t the best zoo and Magic Kingdom is almost like Disneyland. Have fun! =)

  16. Being in Fl myself, I wish I had time to get to WDW just to say HI, but this is your vacation and you do not need to be harassed by crazy fans ( tho I am not crazy, my mother had me tested).

    First, a few tips. if you are staying on Disney property, use you extra hours. the parks open early and stay open late for those staying at the resorts (and the resorts are not that expensive). Second, use the disney transportation system. whether you are staying at the resort or driving in, park once and use the boats, monorail or buses. Third, if you have not bought your passes, make sure you get the park hopper option. This lets you go from park to park to park (we found sometimes one park is more crowded than another and just move on). All four parks have “4d” movies which are fun, hokey ad a little dated. Stay late for the closing shows, fireworks and lasers cannot be bad.

    The Magic Kingdom has indeed changed (and has a roller coaster being built as we speak opening next year). Splash Mountain was also closed for renovations just a few weeks ago. But the must see there is Space Mountain and Thunder Mountain. Pirates of the Caribbean has been redone since the movies, and dinner at Cinderella Castle was not bad.

    At Epcot, the best thing there is Soarin’. Get your fast pass tickets there early and enjoy the ride. Next is Mission Space, make sure you go orange. If you are scuba certified and want to have some fun being part of the show, a little known “ride” is diving in the Living Seas. It costs extra, but since the money is going to the Disney Conservatory, it can be taken off on taxes. They supply everything you need, tanks, masks, etc and you can dive with the five sharks and turtles and fishes, swim up the restaurant window and maze the kids on the other side. As for eats and drinks, we like the French restaurant, but for fireworks, the patio at the crown is the place to be. Reservations are not recommended, they are required. And of course, beers from around the world….nothing more to say.

    Hollywood studios (formerly MGM): tower of terror and Rock and Roll roller coaster are a must. Dining at the sci-fi drive is cool too. And Star Tours is awesome with something like 50 new “rides”. I would stay away from the Pirates ride here, it was not worth the wait.

    Animal Kingdom: Everest, Everest, Everest. Without giving too mush away, sit in back. The safari ride is great early in the AM and I agree with the Aviary. I admit I did not fi d many good restaurants there, tho (which is another reason I like the park hoppers passes).

    Outside the parks and still within the Disney Transportation system is Downtown Disney. This is a little gem of a place (tho I do miss the Adventurer’s club). Here, you will find DisneyQuest. It costs a little more, but you may be able to save some with package deal. What is cool about this place is the virtual reality and interactive games (think Xbox Kinnect on steroids). One of the cool things in on the top floor, the roller coast simulator. You design your own roller coaster and then get to ride it. It is awesome. There is also the Ciru de sol show there, and a great Italian restaurant.

    Further off the Disney property is international drive. Two things we like there are the “Stealth mystery dinner theater” (they even serve vegetarians) and it is a lot of fun, and if it is still there, the Star Trek Experience ( a collection of props and memorabilia , much you have probably seen and touched).

    Of course, there is Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, but you mentioned only Disney so I will save that for next time, except to say “Blue Man Group” has a show there separate from the parks and is AWESOME.

    Have fun you two.

    Jim

  17. My partner and I just went in January with our 7-year-old nephew and his parents — it was a blast. Some Highlights:

    Epcot:
    – Spaceship Earth is still fun
    – Mission: SPACE – a centrifuge of fun
    – Dining at The Garden Grill in The Land – fresh, organic food in a rotating restaurant, with Mickey, Chip & Dale & Pluto

    Magic Kingdom:
    – Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin – can be played together or in separate cars
    – Haunted Mansion is still fun
    – Pirates of the Caribbean has *not* aged well, IMHO
    – Peoplemover is still fun
    – The carousel of Progress is still Animatronic fun, IMHO

    Best advice of all? Relax & have fun. You probably won’t be able to do it all, so don’t even try.

  18. You might want to consider a visit to the Kennedy Space Center to see some real rockets (to compliment your extensive experience with fictional space craft!) There are also tours that include the Vehicle Assembly Building or the Firing Room. The IMAX movies are amazing and even something as simple as sitting through the first lunar landing show at the Saturn V complex still chokes me up.

    I don’t work at or for NASA, but I’ve lived nearby for most of my life (used to get tickets to watch shuttle launches from the bleachers outside the Saturn V Center.) Unfortunately, you’ll probably just miss the next launch on March 19, 2013. Too bad, it is really cool to hang out near the jetty at Port Canaveral and feel one of those things go up!

    If you like Harry Potter, I also second (or Nth) the idea to visit Universal to see the Potter attraction. Mmmmm… Butterbeer!

    1. My family and I personally hated Universal Studios when we went last year. Wait times at all the rides, ESPECIALLY the rides in the Harry Potter area, were too long, and the Fast pass option we enjoy for free at Disney costs $75/person at Universal. The place just felt like they cared more about taking our money than giving us an enjoyable experience.

      1. I tend to forget about the lines because I visit the park on a weekday near my birthday which is in the first week of February. The line for the Potter ride last time I went was about 50 people — one of the longest in the park that day.

  19. Not nearly enough people have mentioned Haunted Mansion, which is my ALL CAPS FAVORITE non-rollercoaster ride in Magic Kingdom. I grew up in Florida but lived in LA for a decade, and the WORLD will always hold a nearer-and-dearer place in my heart than the LAND. There is SO MUCH MORE to see and do, so I also recommend getting Park Hopper passes. Last time I checked, they never expire, so if you run out of time, you’ll have another trip to look forward to!

  20. When my wife and I take our kids (my stepkids) to Disney World, we plan around where we want to eat that day :) Here’s some of our favorites in no particular order:

    Biergarten, Epcot (Germany) – Nice german-style buffet, awesome beers
    Ohana, Polynesian Resort – Brazilian steakhouse-type thing, where servers come by and give you as much steak/pork/chicken as you like
    Boma, Animal Kingdom Lodge – Nice African style buffet, desserts are awesome!
    Chefs de France, Epcot (France) – It’s French cuisine, so it’s gonna be good
    Wolfgang Puck Cafe, Downtown Disney – Great food, good beer selection too
    Sanaa, Animal Kingdom Lodge – Good Indian/African fusion place
    Yak and Yeti Restaurant, Animal Kingdom park – IMO the best restaurant in Animal Kingdom park

  21. Before the JoCo Cruise, Maria, Taylor and I did the Epcot Segway tour, which was great, but inexplicably has been cancelled since then. You can do the Fort Wilderness one, which uses the all-terrain segways, that sounds like a lot of fun too.

  22. Be sure to check out the Undercover tourist web site and get their app. The app tells you whats busy and not and you can report in your findings for others as well. I found it handy the last time we went (Christmas 2011). I would also check out their Crowd Calendar to get a sense of which parks are busiest on which days, this week is spring break for someone. Be sure to set your sights on the appropriate fast-pass for each park as soon as you arrive, saves you a lifetime.

    As for the rides, I enjoyed the interactive video games like Buzz Lightyear and the Toy Story the most but the suggestions here from the others are also awesome.

    If you are a LEGO nerd like I still am then LEGO land is worth the visit, set your expectaions low and they will be met but in a good way. The LEGO store at downtown Disney is also cool, just remember parking at downtown disney can get crazy.

    Lastly, remember that the earlier you arrive at Disney the less cosmic crowd bull shit you will experience. We love our time there but when the Undercover tourist rating puts it in the red, its frakkin crazy with people and my comfort zone starts to get a bit ruffled.

    Any questions, just ask. Us Canadians know a lot about Disney World, its a place of refuge for a Winnipeg resident like myself.

    Have fun.

  23. I have taken my kids to WDW most every year for the past 10 years or so. I am addicted to the place. I love being there, even if I do not go on the rides.

    Here’s my list of suggestions:

    Animal Kingdom:

    1) The Kilimanjaro Safari ride, or even better they have a costly back-stage tour. The Pangani Forest expedition trail is an educational break from the mele.
    2) The Lion King show is great entertainment
    3) Everyone has to experience “its tough to be a bug!” It is unforgettable.
    4) Dinosaur ride is a great way to experience time travel, dinosaurs and oh, the end of the world.
    5) It is a little known fact that the Rainforest Cafe at the Animal Kingdom (There is also one in downtown Disney) serves a good breakfast. It is never busy at this time.

    Epcot

    1) Spaceship Earth and Universe of Energy of course (with Ellen). These original rides have not changed in a long time and will probably be re imagined in the near future, so see them again, while you still can.
    2) I love “The Seas”, formerly called “The Living Seas.” They have a funny Finding Nemo ride. If you have not seen “Turtle Talk with Crush” then you are in for a real treat, that will have you scratching your head, trying to figure out the tech involved. Great to see the fish and dolphin tanks. If you SCUBA, you can arrange to dive int one of the tanks for a reasonable fee, I think a reservation is required.
    3) Innoventions is always changing. You can create your own motion-simulator roller-coaster ride here. Great geek fun, on so many levels.
    4) The World showcase is a long walk, but you gotta see the 360 vision movie in Canada. (Okay, I am biased, eh.)
    5) Best Restaurant: It is a dinner and a show: Teppan Edo in Japan. The food is great, and just the right amount, delicious. Watch your fingers.

    The Magic Kingdom:

    1) The Jungle Cruise – each ride has different jokes that are so corny, you have to laugh
    2) Pirates of the Caribbean – so you can see Captain Jack Sparrow
    3) The Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin -the precursor to the Toy Story ride at HS, try to do this one before the one at HS.
    4) I hear the haunted mansion was re-done, have not seen it yet.

    Hollywood Studios

    Other posters covered it well, but I will add “The 50’s Prime Time Cafe.” You are just old enough, perhaps to appreciate the nostalgia and the fact that the serving staff pretend to be your 1950’s style parents, Be prepared to be embarrassed.

    Downtown Disney:

    World’s largest Disney stuff store: “The World of Disney.” I have been there maby times and have the receipts to prove it.
    Free chocolate samples at Ghirrardelli Store. There are only so many of these stores/fountain shops in the world (6 or so?) They all give out free samples, every time you go in there, even if you go in more than once in the same day. wink. Gee, an Actor could do very well at this place!

    Use the power of the fast-pass!

    I also highly recommend the Harry Potter park at universal. It is unique and a complete must if you even just like Harry Potter, a little. The main ride is worth the wait and I rarely say that.

    Oddly enough, I will be in LA for the second time in April, and I am thinking of visiting Disneyland for the first time. Anyone have any suggestions, or should I avoid it.

  24. As a kid I bugged my parents year after year to take us all on a flight across to Orlando and Disney. Back then I had no idea just how much money was involved with a holiday like that, and to take a large family from England to America was mega expensive. Every year we got France – camping. It’s only now that I realize just how hard my parents had to work just to afford those trips. I’ve never been to Disney, and now aged 37 I still really want to go some time. One day… Have a great time at Disney. I’ll be seeing you at Megacon, but we don’t get in until quite late on Thursday.

    Julian

  25. Have fun. I use to work there in 93 & 94. We take our family once a year. Be sure to ride Mission Space orange and enjoy my favorite ride rockin roller coaster and expedition everest. Youll squwal like…..welll like Dr. Parish.

  26. I should have added, if you love great food, you have to eat at the Ravenous Pig while you are in town, if there is time. You can wear what ever you want and feel comfortable. Beer selection, while not vast, is well thought out, food is excellent, being both vastly better than anything at Disney, and cheaper to boot.

  27. The last (and only) time I was at Disney World was in December 1974, when I stopped to visit my older brother, who lived in Cocoa Beach at the time. I was 19 and on my way back from an education abroad experience in Nairobi, Kenya. (That visit made me a native Californian who had been to Disney World, but NOT Disneyland. How cool is that??) It’s been so long ago, any “don’t miss” attraction I could remember would likely either be gone or changed significantly. But the main thing that sicks in my mind was the Christmas parade. Lots of fun stuff, funny people, and a zillion lights. It not being Christmas now, the chances of seeing that are slim. However, Disney parades are cool, so if they have some other parade, I would suggest you see that. This from someone who does not like parades. Do something memorable.

  28. I still have my puzzle ring from the magic shop. It doesn’t fit any more though. I think it’s from the visit there in the 1970s. Maybe see if they still have puzzle rings, they’re neat.

  29. I recommend:

    Magic Kingdom- Go see the new stuff in Fantasyland. And, try to eat at Be our Guest. Its a lot of fun eating in Beast’s castle.

    Epcot- Soaring at the LAND pavilion
    A fun walk around World showcase. The food at each of the countries is pretty good. I am partial to Japan and Canada.

    Hollywood studios- The Car show. Toy story mania ride.

    Animal Kingdom- Everest! The Nemo show.

    All in all, enjoy yourself!

  30. There is a nice butterfly pavilion at EPCOT during the Flower and Garden Festival. I’m a big of a plant geek so I mostly duck between rides and check out the gardens. The garden in the England section is rather lovely. Have a great trip!

  31. Wil, I know you’re already there by now, but you have to try the Pineapple Dole Whip with Spiced Rum at the Epcot Flower and Garden Expo. That’s my must-try item this season. We’ll be at WDW in May for the last week of the Expo.

  32. If you have time, you should take a drive out to Kennedy Space Center. It’s about a 50 minute drive from Orlando. With the end of the Shuttle program, there are tours that take you to the Launch Control Center, the Vehicle Assembly Building, and the Launch Complex 39a.

  33. Really, there’s too much over there to pick out favourite stuff. Being English, I do always enjoy the Epcot take on the English pub … but the real stuff to remember is Fast Pass everything and don’t forget to spend a good couple of hours in the Christmas shop at Downtown Disney.

    Oh, and while you’re there, Cirque Du Soleil is a must!

  34. Possibly too late or already suggested but just in case: it’s totally worth the money to take the back stage tours. I’ve did the “Keys to the Kingdom” in the MK, “The UnDISCOVERed Future World” in Epcot and the Scuba Diving in the Seas of Life in Epcot last August. All of them were fabulous and worth every penny.

  35. Lots of great suggestions here. But personally, I would suggest checking out the 50s Prime Time Cafe at MGM. The booths look like classic cars and there’s a giant movie screen (like a drive in) that airs trailers for classic movies. Plus, the food is excellent.

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