Saturday, February 7, 2009

Disney World - Epcot World Showcase.

The World Showcase was today's adventure and we walked the showcase counter-clockwise, making Canada the first country on the loop where we enjoyed the best of the films offered by all the countries. Guests stand in a circular room and watch the film on a 360 degree "circle vision" movie screen. In other words, by turning around you see what was behind the camera, to the left and right you see what was left and right of the camera, and in front of you is the direction the camera was moving. The film included clips of mountains, water, cities, with night and day shots, and you felt a sensation of you moving because of the filming technique. Very effective cinematography! The 14 minute film starred Canadian Martin Short and he was both funny and a good ambassador for the country he obviously loves.

Next came England where we watched a play starring 3 actors and incorporating 3 guests chosen from the audience. The story was "Camelot" and the guests played Lancelot, Galahad, and the witch, and all 6 were quite funny. The audience participated by groaning at all puns, yelling "rubbish" when asked what we thought of the show, and doing various noises and hand motions at other cues.

France was next and offered a 20 minute film featuring their countryside, mountains and cities. The highlight there, though, sharing a delicious chocolate eclair and raspberry schuss from the Patisserie.

In Morocco we walked the shops and then continued on to Japan where we walked through the Mitsukoshi Department Store which was established in 1673, saw the Tin Toys museum display, and watched a wonderful drum concert by 3 very talented drummers sharing 5 drums...

The American Adventure came next. This was a stop last week on one of our "behind the scenes" tours, when we went into this building's lowest level and saw the audio-animatronics and learned how they magically appear on-stage. Seeing the show today with that knowledge made the show even more wondrous. We had stood only feet from Ben Franklin and Mark Twain and marveled at the detail and craftsmanship of each full-size character, and seeing them "perform" before us toady and realizing they were machines, not actors, still left me breathless.

This scene featured a conversation between (l to R) Mark Twain, Alexander Graham Bell, Andrew Carnegie, and Susan B. Anthony...

Italy also presented a short play -- this time Romeo and Juliet and their warring families, the Montagues and the Capulets -- and again, 3 actors with 3 "volunteers" enlisted from the audience, kept us entertained and laughing for 10 minutes. (They did, however, change the ending -- Romeo and Juliet came back to life and lived happily ever after!)

Germany had an Octoberfest theme but the entertainment was in the restaurant for the patrons willing to spend $30 per person for a buffet meal. We were getting hungry, but not THAT hungry at that time!

In China, we watched another 360 degree film, and China also had young boy acrobats who did 3 routines -- acrobatics while jumping a jump rope, a plate spinning act where one fellow got 15 plates spinning on tall sticks and then 15 additional plates spinning on the table, and another young man (below) who was balancing on a board, and placing bowls on the edge of the board and flipping them up above his head and catching them in a pile on his head. Look closely at this photo (click to enlarge it) and you'll see 10 bowls already on his head and another 5 in the air about to stack inside the other bowls.

China also had scale model replicas of a few of the 6000+ terra cotta warriors that formed the "spirit army" protecting the tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huang. Amazingly, no two of the original six-foot tall figures were identical.

Norway had a Viking boat voyage depicting their history and geography, and this was the only such ride I've seen where the boat gets turned around, goes over a "waterfall" backwards, and then turns around again to tumble over a second waterfall. A five minute movie followed the ride.

The final country was Mexico hosted by Donald Duck and 2 friends giving a grand tour of Mexico and their history.

To see my other Disney posts, click "Disney" in the "labels" section in the sidebar to the right.

1 comment:

Goldenrod said...

You two have really had a spectacular trip, haven't you? Amazing!

We have an international festival in Houston each year, and some years back the country featured was Japan. I had the opportunity to view these spectacular drummers up close and personal.