Thursday, 27 August 2015

Adventures in the USA part 5 - Epcot, Disney World Florida

On our 5th day in Florida (Monday), we were off to the second Disney theme park of the four main parks (we weren't visiting the water parks), Epcot.

Top 5

  • Test Track - In a new and improved version of a ride I've visited in the past, you can design your "own" car to be driven around the test track.  You can choose what the strengths of your vehicle are, including its performance in adverse weather conditions, and its speed.  This information is then stored on your Disney Magic Band for use later in the ride.  When you board the test track car, you scan your Disney Magic Band for your chosen car's information to be loaded.  As you zoom around the track, your car then competes with the cars of the other passengers of your test track car in a series of tests measuring the performance and endurance of the cars.  Some cars may perform better in some tests than in others.  At the end of the ride, you enter a showroom full of Chevrolet cars (the Test Track ride is sponsored by Chevrolet), and you can, scanning your Magic Band again, design an advert for your car, choosing the music style, presenter's voice and the location of the advert, which you can then email to yourself.
  • Soarin' - This is also one of my all-time favourite rides.  Board a "glider" and fasten your seatbelts for a virtual flight of a lifetime, as you take-off from the ground and whoosh over the landmarks, mountains and other sites of California.
  • Living with the Land - a boat ride through greenhouses with real fruit and vegetables and fish tanks.
  • Spaceship Earth - this ride seems to have been enhanced in the past 5 years, and each cabin now includes a touchscreen feature where riders answer questions and then at the end of the ride, the magical computers inside the ride build a little video about how your life would be in a futuristic world (including living under the sea).  During the ride itself, you learn about history, including the Ancient Egyptians, The Stone Age and eventually the age of movies and going into space.

Spaceship Earth as viewed from the World Showcase Lagoon.

The Morocco Pavilion

The pagoda at the Japan Pavilion
  • IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth - Epcot's fireworks show that showcases the wonders and cultures of the world.
Fireworks during Illuminations: Reflections of Earth at the World Showcase Lagoon.

While I was watching Disney Channel, I saw a programme promotional advert where they were making Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Waffles.  Nutritional information for this and for some of the meals served in Disney World restaurants could be found by visiting  The meals listed were recipients of the Mickey Check and met Disney Nutrition Guidelines, developed by health experts to align with federal dietary guideline recommendations.  They had a page for recipes, so I decided to look through them for some fun and relatively easy recipes.  I've been looking for a while for a vegan-friendly version of sushi that all my family will like (and which is easy to make at home without having to go out and find nori wrap, etc, so the first recipe from this website to catch my eye was for Sandwich Sushi.  With the exception of one ingredient (alfalfa sprouts), we had bought all the ingredients required while at Winn Dixie, so I put it forward to my mum as a lunch or dinner suggestion.

Ingredients (to serve 4)

12 slices whole wheat sandwich bread, crusts removed
4 tablespoons hummus (you can use the recipe here)
3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4" by 1/4" by 2" sticks
1/2 a cucumber, cut into 1/4" by 1/4" by 2" sticks
1 bell pepper, cut into 1/4" by 1/4" by 2" sticks
1/2 cup alfalfa sprouts


  1. Place crustless bread on a large cutting board.  Using a rolling pin, flatten the bread so it spreads slightly and is as flat as possible.
  2. Spread each slice with a very thin layer of hummus, about 1 teaspoon's worth per slice.
  3. Lay a piece of carrot, cucumber and bell pepper lengthwise on each piece of bread, staggering and stacking them slightly so they take up as little space as possible.
  4. Top with a few alfalfa sprouts and then roll tightly into a spiral towards the opposite side.  Press on the seam to ensure that the bread sticks together.
  5. Repeat with the remaining slices of bread.  Slice into 4 "sushi rolls" and serve.

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