The Segway, The Cheesecake Factory and TL - 5 Aug 2008
(Warning – this is a long day)
Today was one of the things we’d all been looking forward to - the Segway tour around Epcot’s World Showcase. My DF had booked this a few months before the trip and we were so excited, we’d had a laugh already at the thought of it and especially after looking at some of the things on YouTube showing people crashing and falling etc I just hoped that wouldn’t be me – how embarrasing!!! I was looking forward to seeing how my DM would manage lol and my DF and Alun couldn’t wait to try it!
We loaded the car with the cool box for drinks and the bags for TL later and set off.
We had to be up early to get there well before park opening, we had a quick breakfast in the villa and made our way to Epcot parking right up close to the front. We made our way towards the entrance to the park and were guided to a seating area by a CM who told us that someone would soon be along to sign us in.
On the way into the park
It was so quiet apart from some staff milling around saying good morning and greeting each other for the day. We don’t often see much of that because we’re so busy going to the next ride or shop etc, it was nice to sit and watch everything going on around us for a while.
Not long later, a CM came over and took us further into the park, to the left of Spaceship Earth to sign in and collect our name badges that we would have to wear for the duration of the tour. We were told that there were 7 of us on our tour in total so we took a seat while we waited for the other family to arrive.
Almost immediately a family of 3 walked in. They were a Mexican family, parents with a teenage son. Once they’d signed in we all said hello but it soon became clear that the parents didn’t speak a word of English and their son had to translate everything for them. They seemed really nice and the lady seemed nervous like DM and me.
Our guide for the day was to be Brad and an older lady with long blonde hair who’s name I can’t remember, though it might have been Jenny?!?
Jenny told us that Epcot was in the process of training some more guides up for the Segway tour and that they would be joining us today, she said that there may be as many of them as there were of us! The more the merrier!
Next step was the ‘safety video’ just a short video for health and safety purposes. One of the trainee guides had to translate for the Mexican family and accompanied them for the rest of the tour to translate everything.
I honestly don’t know what was the matter with me though but I couldn’t stop grinning and giggling at the video! It must have been the nerves! Jenny then did a demonstration of the segway and went back and fore in front of us showing how we should turn, accelerate, stop and balance. She showed us how to get on and off and made it look so effortlessly easy, hhmmmmmmm, we’ll soon see!
Well, we were all given safety helmets to put on and then taken back into the segway pen for some training lol. There were 7 segways lined up into 2 rows, 4 at the front, 3 behind! There were also cones placed at intervals infront of the segways, it looked like an assault course! They told us to get on the segway by putting one foot onto the platform, then lifting the other foot up off the floor and onto the platform. Easier said than done! At first, I was too scared to even pick my second foot off the floor! I had such a lovely CM helping me who must have had the patience of a saint! He was telling me it was ok, I was bound to be nervous and to relax – that I’d be ok after 5 minutes! I hoped so!
We were told to go forward to the first set of cones, then forward again to the second set, then turn 180 degrees and back to the start. At first I found it so hard to stop and control my segway, I kept thinking I was standing still and then I’d look around and be about 2ft infront of the rest of them in my row, not good!
After a few trips up and down past the cones, we were split into two groups. Us lot were in one group and the Mexican family in the other. Our group had to go around and around in circles, first slowly then faster. Brad, one of the guides, kept sticking an arm or leg out infront of us to make sure we cold stop safely, what a laugh – he’s lucky we didn’t break his arm!
While this was going on, the Mexican family were going up and down a ramp to learn how the segway copes with hills and slopes, as these would be things we would experience when we were ‘let loose’ around the World Showcase. We then swapped groups and were soon deemed ready to go.
All geared up to go!
At this point my DF had a little row off one of the guides which the rest of us found hysterical!!! My DF had seen one of the very experienced segway guides making his segway go back and fore really fast by leaning backwards and forwards, and yes, my very unexperienced DF decided to copy him lol! After that the guides kept a close eye on him, the class clown!
We then had to ride in single file out of Innoventions for a restroom stop! After this, we made our way to the WS. It was amazing to be riding through an empty Epcot seeing all the preparations for park opening! At this point, something must have clicked with me because I felt totally in control of my segway and was loving it! Also it was much breezier than when we were walking around! I only wish I could have kept it for the day, imagine how fast you could get about the parks!
I won’t spoil the tour secrets for anyone who hasn’t done it or is doing it soon, but we stopped at China, Germany, Italy, America, Japan, France and the UK and were told interesting stories about the architecture of those countries and other stuff! All really good! Between Italy and America we had some time-out to ride around, take photo’s, film, stop for some water and generally rest our legs. My DF had brought his camcorder and took this time out to film us on the segways. My DM wanted evidence that she could drive it for my DB to see when we got home!
These are some of the pics, not many but you get the idea.
It was weird being there so early and seeing the park so empty! As we were coming back around to Innoventions to drop off the segway the park had filled up and we had to be careful to avoid everyone! We said goodbye to the guides and reluctantly handed over the segways, it was quite sad really! I really wanted to keep it for the rest of the day, and since we’ve been home Alun has even looked at how much they are to buy!!
We all agreed that we’d love to go on a segway again and I would recommend that anyone should have a go in the Innoventions area (you have to 16 though I think), they’re such good fun!
After leaving Innoventions, we decided to head to Mission Space, the queue was posted for 20 minutes but half way through, the ride was experiencing technical difficulties and it was more like 40 minutes we waited! Still I loved it especially the first bit where you shoot off!
Alun then tried on a rather fetching hat as we left, so did my DM.
Next we went over to Test Track and then posed for some pics in the cars at the end of the ride!
We did a few more of Epcot’s attractions one of my favourites being Honey I Shrunk the Audience lol, we had a look at the wait times for Soarin but they were too long and we decided we’d keep it for another time as we’d be coming back.
After a little browse in the shops and me purchasing a Minnie mug, we all decided it was time to leave. The sun was getting hot and we’d had an early start. The plan was to hit the Mall at Millennia and The Cheesecake Factory, yum.
We had never been to this restaurant before and I was really looking forward to it after a few good reviews in Trip Reports I’d read just before we went.
Checking out the menu
The Cheesecake fridge near the entrance
We were shown to our seats then given the menus, (or should I say books!) They have everything! I ordered a pizza, Alun ordered a burger, my DF ordered a Thai pasta dish which came with beansprouts and my DM had another pasta dish but I can’t remember what.
Now, when the meals came, I was so amazed by the size that I totally forgot to take any pics! Sorry! For dessert, we ordered from the Cheesecake menu, both DM and I had the white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake, my DF had the Tiramasu and Alun had a Chocolate one. Absolutely gorgeous!!! :thumbs_up: it there!!!!
After this we were stuffed but that wasn’t going to stop us from hitting the shops. This Mall was better than I’d remembered, I could only remember the really expensive designer shops being there but there was much more this time!
Both Alun and I bought t shirts from Hollister and I bought some t’s in the sale from American Eagle! My DM got some t’s for my DB at Hollister too. All this was added to one of the spare bedrooms in the villa which we’d decided would be for our purchases!
From here we went straight to TL to chill out for a few hours.
This was Alun’s first visit here and my favourite water park so we went up to the viewing area for him to look over the park first!
It was late afternoon by the time we arrived so we managed to get seats easily, and we spent a few lovely hours in the main pool with the waves, and back and fore the rides having fun! The family raft ride dingy seemed much smaller than I’d remembered though :blush: lol! We stayed until the park closed and had planned a chilling night at the villa.
Some PhotoPass pics from TL
Not sure what had made us laugh in these two photo's lol
On the way back to the villa, we stopped off at Publix for some more supplies and then headed back. We bought half a key lime pie to share, don’t know how we fit it in after The Cheesecake Factory but we did!
We spent the evening watching TV and chilling then a bit later on we put on a film. We were having a bit of a much deserved lie in tomorrow and a day at the shops! After the film we all crashed out and after getting ready for bed, I was soon fast asleep probably dreaming of owning a segway one day lol!:zzz::zzz:
Today’s shopping, added to Alun’s jeans he’d already bought, bags are soon to multiply.