Our fourth day, Thursday, was Epcot day. We piled all the ever-bickering kids into a ferry from the Boardwalk, and were deposited into the UK rather than coming in straight by the large Epcot golf ball.
I’m sure it has a real name, but I’m not going to look it up.
I became very excited when I saw that Mary Poppins makes appearances in UK Epcot, but strangely no one else was very enthused about meeting the legendary nanny, so we moved on and I dragged my feet until I had to swoop in and stop one of the older boys from turning one of the others into a punching bag.
I’ll meet you someday, Mary Poppins.
We didn’t really have Fast Passes for much that day, except for the fireworks show at the end, but Mr. Parent apparently had a good idea of where we were going and directed us accordingly towards “The Land.” I had never been to Epcot (does Disneyland have an Epcot equivalent? I can’t remember), so I followed blindly in The Family’s wake.
We attempted to stand in line for Soarin’ Around the World, which is a hang-gliding simulator that apparently everybody in Epcot is trying to experience at once, but we gave up when it was agreed that Mrs. Parent and at least two boys would throw up on the ride due to motion sickness. Instead, we made for the decidedly less busy “Living with the Land” ride, which is a gentle boat ride through sets of the earth and a real greenhouse.
It featured this scene, which made me feel like I was on the set of a episode of Star Trek: The Original Series. All alien planets look like this.
What we did have a Fast Pass for was a Finding Nemo ride I cannot quite recall the name of, and it was generally all right. I was quite ambivalent to it, which must have been how the entirety of The Family was feeling for most of the vacation.
The end of the ride left us in the aquarium I did not know Epcot had, much to my delight. I love aquariums and I could have spent all day there. Except for, you know, the job.
Instead, we moved the bickering party to lunch, and then to the grand Walt Disney golf ball.
The inside of the golf ball is a ride that takes you through history, from Neanderthals to the Modern Day (of 1960-something). When you first get into your car you are presented with a little touch screen that prompts you to select your language. Figuring it would display subtitles in French, I so intelligently thought to select that despite my only passing knowledge of the language.
Naturally, the entire tour was given to me in French and I have essentially no idea what was being said. I choose to believe it let me enjoy the visuals more.
Ah, here we are in the Modern Age of science and mini-skirts.
At the end of the ride, the screen before you lights up again and lets you “choose your future” out of a number of options on the screen. What you select combines at the end to give you your simulated Jetsons-style future. I knew just enough French to select the things I wanted most out of life.
These things were a treehouse. I also had a garden somewhere. I guess it was on the ground, away from the trees. This seems impractical.
The likeness is uncanny.
Epcot really is a beautiful testament to what humanity has done. (The ambitious, motivated people at any rate. Strangely, they make no time for my kind, the lazy sloths of the world.)
After this, we dragged the already exhausted children back to the hotel for a bath and to put them in long sleeves, and then took them out again because no one really needs sleep to experience the 9:00 Epcot fireworks and light show.
I took no pictures of this. There was no point, really. You can find better pictures online, and it wouldn’t have translated well anyway. I rarely get swept up in things, but this was utterly, wonderfully spectacular. After an inspiriational Epcot day, nothing made me feel more like I could get out and do anything than finishing it off with a light show of such magnitude. (Naturally, this motivation faded the moment I realized I had to get several extremely over-tired children back to the hotel.)
Thoroughly exhausted myself, when we were back on hotel property I extracted myself from The Family (after 10:00 PM I usually feel I can excuse myself from nannying by way of looking as though I might faint), and wandered around the Boardwalk for a little while in an attempt to regain a little sanity.
As I wandered through the gift shop, a doll caught my eye.
For those of you who don’t know (hi Mom and Dad), this is Anna from the movie Frozen. I’m not a terribly big fan of Frozen. It’s a good movie, sure. I’ve seen it a couple times. The only thing that ever really stuck with me, however, is that Anna has natural red hair and blue eyes, and in having those she looks the most like me out of all the Disney princesses.
Of course, Frozen came out long after the age where I could have properly enjoyed this. When I was little, I desperately wanted a doll that looked like me, because I was Every Little Girl Ever™. I found a redheaded Barbie in a thrift store once and I treasured that thing for years.
So I sat in the gift shop, staring at this doll. I wandered around a few times, but every time I just came back to looking at the doll again. And eventually, because I have no impulse control, and because I have been taking care of three to six boys for a full year now and never have reason to buy anything girly, I bought the doll.
Seven year old me is ecstatic right now. So is 20 year old me, I admit it.
Even as I write this now, Anne is perched on the empty side of my bed, probably wondering in Toy Story fashion why this crazy woman bought her only to hold her reverently from time to time. But I don’t care. I have a redheaded, blue-eyed, freckled and flushed pale-skinned doll, by Jove.
There’s that Disney magic again.