After a nice night at the hotel, including a warm pool, comfortable beds, and crappy breakfast buffet, we headed off to Epcot. This was the choir performance day, so as soon as I got through that, I was free to yell, scream, and have a blast the rest of the weekend (not like I wasn't doing that already, though).
We got there bright and early, just shortly after opening.
A beauty of architecture, indeed.
Jake wasn't impressed.
Mike got confused and looked the wrong way.
The kid on the left is Matt. We took to calling him "Doppelganger Jake" because he wears the same clothes as Jake, the same Mets hat as Jake, and generally acts like Jake too. It's not a big surprise that Jake doesn't really like his imitation ("I don't have a problem with the kid, but he's got to stop being like me!"), and this was certainly not the last of it on this trip.
Jake and I started walking over to Test Track...
...but somehow we got lost and wound up heading to Mexico (the pavilion, not the country).
We felt like ducks wandering across the road. Clearly, we eventually made it past our detour and rode Test Track, which was all kinds of awesome (these photo-related jokes need to end now).
They had groups of people rolling around on Segways. Matty D actually ran after one of the guys for about half a mile just to find out where and when he could do the same.
Sort of bored already with not many rides to go on (Soarin' was good, though), Jake and I started to go through the World Showcase Pavilions. Here's a shot of some art supplies in Italy.
Look! We're halfway around (for the first time of five).
Maelstrom is this ride in the Norway pavilion. The queue area features a giant mural with two different versions of Chuck Norris, on the left and the right in this photo. Those Norwegians sure love their Norris. And towards the bottom was a painting of David Hasselhoff, who curiously didn't show up for the German pavilion. Strange.
A band was playing in Mexico, making sweet, sweet music.
What do two hungry teenagers do when they're bored? Why, taste chocolate! Jake and I decided on our second sweep around the pavilion to taste different world chocolates, since WDW was kind enough to import them for our eating pleasure. Here's the Double Decker from England; it was pretty good, with the nougat(ine) and rice.
Jake bought the Aero, which has to be one of the oddest chocolate bars ever. It's basically milk chocolate with lots of air bubbles on the inside.
The slogan on the package? "Have you ever tasted bubbles melt?" Those Brits, they know marketing.
Speaking of which, I think we both dropped the most money in the England pavilion. I picked up an England World Cup shirt, a Beatles shirt, Hob Nobs (oatmeal cookies with chocolate on top), and candy, and Jake got a Beatles hoodie and candy. But it was all worth it for a couple of Anglophiles.
We hopped the channel over to France to sit, eat, and people watch.
The German pavilion, we discovered, had the most unintentionally funny signs. This one needs no explanation.
And this one doesn't really need it either. Time machines, oh boy!
But for all the bad signs, the pavilion had great stuff. One of my dad's former co-workers lived in Germany and would always bring Mozarts, a really awesome chocolate, with her when she came to the US. So we stopped in here to get one.
On a sidenote: why would they put a Spanish-named plant in the Germany pavilion?
New possible slogan: "I'd hit that!"
When I brought the Mozart up to the counter, I put it down and the guy asked me, "Is this all for today?"
"Yeah." Jake started to snicker at the fact that I was buying one $.94 candy, and this prompted the guy to laugh at me too. So thanks, Jake, I made myself look like a turd in front of the German guys when I just wanted to make sure I could try any chocolate I saw.
As we kept walking around, and sitting on the Future World side of the Showcase, we noticed a skywriter making a happy face in the air. Then he/she started to spell something. Jake and I tried to guess what it would say.
Nope, it was "Jesus." But what would be next? "H.?"
"Hey, Mike, have you looked up at the sky yet? No, seriously, I'm not kidding."
Jake had figured out that it would probably say "Jesus Loves You." This prompted him to point out the irony that, for a place that was trying to promote diversity and a variety of views, some pilot had messed it all up.
The finished work.
We decided to kill time and ride Spaceship Earth, one of the most boring and dated rides in the "World of Tomorrow." But it did provide us with another funny sign. It must be a Florida trend.
We also found where we were performing, and saw this signboard with our school's name on it.
Aw yeah, we're superfly!
As we passed by the England pavilion for the third time, Jake and I heard the sweet sounds of the Beatles, which was cool. Then we realized it was live. Towards the back, we found this gazebo with a cover band, the British Invasion, playing some spot-on covers.
Having listened to the Beatles for as far back as I can remember, it was cool, but for Jake, who has just recently been bitten by the Beatles bug, this was like God speaking directly to him. He couldn't stop freaking out or taking pictures. By the end of a few songs, the guys in the band were pointing us out and telling everyone to follow our example.
Sadly, we couldn't stay for the whole thing, because we needed to go listen to Mike play with the concert band. We met up with my mom, sister, and camera-wielding dad, and discussed candy, our flights, and my sunburn (which, a few days later, still hurts).
They had bought a mint-filled Aero, so we gave that a shot and ate a Hob Nob or two as well. Seriously, if you go to Epcot, try as much food as you can. It's completely worth it.
It was pretty brutal right out in the sun, so it was a welcome relief when...
It was cool to hear them play at Epcot, and even cooler to see random people just stopping in to sit down and watch for a little bit.
At this point Jake and I wandered around for a bit, and then had to go get ready for our choir's performance. Unfortunately, no cameras were allowed in the back, so I have nothing to show for my time as an "honorary cast member." Suffice it to say, it was quite the experience, and very cool to perform. Check back here in a few days, and maybe I'll put up some photos from my mom's camera.
After our performance, Mike, Jake and I went to grab some dinner (thanks, vouchers!) at a Panera-type place, ran to England to catch the end of the British Invasion's final set, and met up with a whole bunch of other people in Germany to watch the fireworks.
Yet again, they fell back on their time-honored fire. This one was cool, though; it looked like the barge was full-out exploding.
Then, as part of the theme of "Illuminations," they move this barge with a globe on it out into the middle of the lagoon. Either something went wrong with the firing mechanisms on the barge, or someone screwed up, because this globe sat out there for five minutes while the mediocre music played in the background. Boring.
Yes, it's still there.
I have about fifteen pictures of these two ducks swimming because of the wait.
Then the bigger fireworks kicked in. The following ones don't really need any explanation.
Quite the sight, eh?
We walked back to the front of the park to meet up with everybody again.
Just as cool at night, if not cooler.
Jake was impressed.
Trying to make sure we didn't leave anyone.
"My tongue is OU-UT!"
Dark, but guess who showed up right by Jake? That's right, it's Doppelganger Jake!
"I have to give this day two thumbs up!"
"And I give it the bird!" Nothing like a happy child at Disney.
Miheer: "Hey, that's too bright!"
"Still too bright!"
"Hey, who turned out the lights?"
Anthony fulfills his dreams of being a pirate.
And Miheer finally gets to give a proper People's Eyebrow.
Francis kept it real right behind me on the ride back to the hotel.
Jake kept it real too, but in his own special way.
And Bush started beatboxing. Break it down!
Then he freaked out, hit people in the face with a bus microphone, and slept the rest of the night.