Welcome guests, to our 30 day preamble to the 40th Anniversary of EPCOT! How super that we get the opportunity to welcome my Wonder Woman co-host Beth @disneymom2jhe to the 40 Days to 40 Years stage! Today we celebrate EPCOT 2006.
EPCOT 2006- A Year in Walt Disney World History
In 2006, I took one of my most special and memorable trips to Walt Disney World. It was my son’s very first trip to Walt Disney World, and my first trip as a mom. Joey was 14 months old at the time, and I was 5 months pregnant for Hayley. Of course, that wasn’t big Disney news in 2006, but certainly big news for us. As for EPCOT, 2006 was the year that The Living Seas was transformed into The Seas with Nemo and Friends. This pavilion has always been a favorite of mine and is now my children’s favorite.
The Seas with Nemo and Friends
The pavilion had been known as the Living Seas for 20 years. Though Turtle Talk with Crush opened in 2004, the Nemo theme didn’t fully take over until 2006. I had been a fan of this pavilion since our very first trip back in 1986. I happen to have always enjoyed learning about ocean life. Sea Base Alpha and a ride in the hydrolator were things I looked forward to each trip to EPCOT.
Though we all love The Seas with Nemo and Friends, Hayley could spend an entire day here. She loved all the sites, especially the aquarium. Of course! She is the animal lover in this family. During our trip when she was just 3.5, she plopped herself down in front of the aquarium and just watched as a cast member in the tank fed the animals. She was waving at them and naming all the animals. And if she didn’t know the type of animal, she asked and we just had to find out.
I remember thinking there was more excitement in her voice watching these sea creatures than when she saw the castle. But that’s a story for another day! One of my favorite moments was when a large manta ray swam by the cast member in the tank. Hayley excitedly yelled out, “Mr. Ray! Mr. Ray!”
The ride in the clam mobile is also a big hit with Joey, Hayley and Emily. During this trip through the Big Blue, you help Marlin and Dory find Nemo. (Who is actually more having fun while hiding than missing.) On my kids’ first experience on this attraction, anytime Nemo would pop up somewhere, they would yell, “Nemo!” Or “There he is!” But the most impressive part of this attraction for me is the way they make the characters appear to be swimming with real-life fish! After experiencing this attraction for the first time, I mentioned to my dad how I couldn’t believe how real it looked. Of course, I was quickly reminded by Hayley that it is real, that’s why it looks real! It was another amazing moment of seeing Disney through my child’s eyes. The best way to see it!
50 Days to 50 Years
I am so excited to be sharing our memories from Epcot. It is a park I have loved since I first visited in 1986 as a teenager. It has seen many changes over the years, just as I have. (Certainly we all have). I want to say a big thank you to Donna for creating such a wonderful way to countdown to EPCOT’s 40th anniversary. (As well as the other anniversaries she has put together).
And in case you missed our community countdown to the 50th Anniversary of Magic Kingdom, you can ‘read all about it’ HERE. (Walt Disney World 2006)
Thank YOU Beth for magically s propping me and so many others up when we need it. She’s the best Disney blogging mentor ever!