ParkSpotting at Epcot – September 11, 2011: A patriotic day packed with character

in Disney, Entertainment, Walt Disney World

When I last took you on a ParkSpotting adventure in August, I promised it wouldn’t be too long before the next one. So now, just over a month later, here we are again and this time we’re enjoying some post-summer time in the parks on a special date. Join me for a quick trip around Epcot on September 11, 2011…

Future World West
We start our adventure in Future World. This is what happens when I don't visit a park for a couple months - colors change! The entrance to Future World West has been repainted a vibrant green color...

Future World East
...and Future World East's entrance is now blue. I assume the colors are to more easily identify one area from the other. (Also note the subtle differences between the design over each pathway.)

World Showcase sign
Heading into World Showcase, I saw this directional sign, which I had also never noticed before. Is it new? Not sure, but it's new to me and definitely could have been added within the last couple months of my absence. (Summer is too hot and crowded to go to the parks!)

Along the way, I glanced over at the passing monorail wishing the Tronorail was still around. No such luck.

Empty Epcot street
Rounding the corner into World Showcase, I was happy to see mostly empty streets. Summer crowds were definitely gone! (But not the heat...)

Epcot crowd
However, when I made it into the UK area, it was a bit more crowded... not nearly as much as during the summer though. Tourism is good and keeps me from having to pay state income tax.

Florida Orange Bird
The main reason I visited Epcot on this day was to attend the public hours of the Florida Project event that had been going on all weekend. The Florida Orange Bird greeted me inside.

Mr. Toad's Wild Ride
The best display at the Florida Project event was the facade and ride vehicles from Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. Oh how I wished it was the actual ride. If you want more from the event, check out my recap article including video and photos of all the elaborate displays.

Spaceship Earth
After a couple hours, I left the Florida Project pavilion and decided to finish a full lap around World Showcase. A glimpse of Spaceship Earth caught my eye across the lagoon, inviting me to take this picture. The lighting seemed just right to capture all the detail of the geodesic dome.

Former Kaki Gori stand
This was my first time seeing the new Kabuki Cafe, replacing the old Kaki Gori stand in Japan. The shaved ice is still served, along with a few other goodies.

Voices of Liberty
I couldn't forget that I was at Epcot on the 10th anniversary of the tragic events of September 11, 2001, so a visit to the American Adventure pavilion was a must. I timed it just right to hear the amazing Voices of Liberty sing. In addition to this photo, I also recorded video of one of their songs, which you can enjoy below.

Video: Voices of Liberty sing “America the Beautiful” at Epcot on September 11, 2011

Characters in Flight
With that emotional tribute to America complete, my attention turned to characters. High above China, the Characters in Flight balloon was rising from Downtown Disney, with Mary Poppins guiding it upward.

Mary Poppins
And back over in the UK, Mary Poppins herself was out meeting guests...

Alice was Alice, not in Wonderland.

Snow White
Over in Germany, Snow White met a young girl who simply did not want to leave the princess's side. Eventually, her parents pried her away, but she wasn't happy about it.

Belle and the Beast
In France, I caught Belle gazing lovingly into the Beast's eyes, just before taking a few photos with guests.

Jasmine and Aladdin
Over in Morocco, I also caught a moment between Aladdin and Jasmine. I imagine Jasmine must have been saying something like, 'Hey Aladdin - Any idea how a giant golf ball ended up in Agrabah? And why is there so much water? I thought we lived in a desert country. Must be a mirage...'

Jasmine is always eager to greet her fans with a big smile.

And while Jasmine signed an autograph, Aladdin was kind enough to send a smile my way too.

I had hoped to stick around for another hour or two, snapping more pictures with my new Canon T2i, but rain clouds were moving in fast and were my cue to exit for the day. But now that summer is over, I intended to visit all the local parks much more often, especially with the spookiest season approaching. It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Check out all of our past ParkSpotting adventures and check back soon for another fun photo trip!

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