Disney’s EPCOT: I’m sorry, but I’m just not into you.

I remember the dance unit in my Grade Seven gym class perfectly: we learned all sorts of arcane dance moves, like the box step, the polka, and the jive. That is not to say that it wasn’t fun to learn how to jive while listening to Jailhouse Rock, but it was information that wasn’t exactly pertinent for 12 and 13 year olds, in the late Eighties. It’s not pertinent now, either. Other than the occasional family wedding where I have forced my male cousins to jive with me, or my dad to do the Beer Barrel Polka, I have never required those skills that I so carefully honed, back in 1987.

“Carefully honed” is a massive overstatement.

Yesterday I found out that the current crop of Grade Sevens are learning how to do the Cadillac Ranch line dance, along with a routine for Cotton Eyed Joe, and the verdict – from my Grade Seven, at least – is “lame.” I cannot blame him. I mean, CADILLAC RANCH? That line dance wasn’t even cool when it was cool. Cadillac, Cadillac. Long and dark. Shiny and black. Anyway, it got me wondering if it’s a rule, in gym class, that all dances learned must be at least twenty years out of date. It also had me feeling somewhat aged, as I could remember – fuzzily – many nights in which my girlfriends and I would be tearing up the dance floor at the Fox and Firken, fueled by jugs of Vodka Slimes and Long Island Iced Teas, wearing our high-waisted jeans and one-piece bodysuits. Cotton Eyed Joe was always played, and the dance floor was never empty. God, did we love that song.

Sunrise, sunset.

I complain a lot about our long, cold winters, but one benefit of a cold climate is that you will essentially never come across a sign like this while taking a morning constitutional:

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Silver linings! This is my LAST Orlando post, and it’s all about Epcot. But first: this was our view while walking around “Hourglass Lake” one morning:

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I just really, really loved those bowling pins.

We went to Epcot on the last day of our trip. I was quite keen to go because the last time we were at Disney World, we were at Epcot only for a short time, and in the evening, so I didn’t feel like I got to really experience it. Now, I don’t know if it’s because we were kind of getting tired, this being our last day on vacation and every day was spent going all out at the parks, but I didn’t really love it. I know! I know! I’m in the minority. Everyone loves Epcot, but I didn’t, really. This is not to say I didn’t LIKE it, I did, but it wasn’t my favourite by a long shot.

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My kids were very keen to go on Mission: Space, which is a fun ride but not for the claustrophobic. After they had done that a few times, with me once and the rest on their own, we went exploring to the pavilions. The pavilions are very beautiful but if you’re not really into shopping, it’s a bit of a letdown. For me, anyway, please don’t attack me, EPCOT lovers. The Canadian pavilion was lovely, of course, and we chatted with a girl working there who was from Calgary! It’s a small world after all…

We admired the replica of Butchart Gardens, and watched the 360 degree film about Canada, which in many scenes appeared to have been filmed in the 80s. For one thing, it was narrated by Martin Short. The whole thing reminded me of classroom films that were actually on reels, that our teachers would put on for educational value while they marked tests.

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We wandered around the other pavilions, admiringly, but we obviously had not explained things well to the children who were disappointed that pavilions were pavilions and not some very cool roller coaster ride. Sorry guys!

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One very interesting thing about Epcot is that there are students working there from all over the world, and who are anxious to tell you all about their home country. We discovered this at the Moroccan pavilion, where I cursed the fact that we had already eaten because the menu was to die for, and a lot of it vegetarian. The Moroccan student talked a bit about his country, and the tourism degree that he was earning, while on this semester in Disney.

We managed to walk 13.3 kilometers, a lot of it with beer in our hands. Not to sound too much like Homer Simpson, but beer made things better. Not for the kids, who were cheerful but frankly, not that into it.

I’m SORRY, EPCOT. I wanted to love you. I just…like you as a friend. Or a casual acquaintance. Or that sixty-plus man who always checks my cart at Costco who I flirt with shamelessly. It’s not you. It’s me. I swear.

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