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Around the World at Epcot

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Average Reviewer Rating:   5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5  Number of Around the World at Epcot Reviews: 1
5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   August 8-15, 2007
Reviewer: dmwang9 San Francisco, CA     April 28, 2008
This is a 2-hour tour of World Showcase -- but the main attraction is that you ride a Segway the entire time! The first hour is spent in Innoventions learning to ride a Segway. You receive some 1-on-1 instruction and then are sent riding on a simple indoor obstacle course, going around cones, over small bumps in the road, up and down gentle ramps, and so on.

I've read in various places that some people shy away from this tour because they're afraid they're going to have trouble learning to drive a Segway. I picked it up in about 10 minutes, and everyone in my group of 12 had the hang of it by the end of the training hour. One woman was a self-proclaimed "spaz" (her own word), and the instructors spent a little more time with her to make sure she was comfortable on the machine, but by the end of the tour, she was swooping along with all the rest of us just fine.

In the second hour, you head out through Future World to World Showcase for a guided tour. I'll be honest with you -- I don't remember anything they told us about the various countries, simply because I was having WAY too much fun riding the Segway. The tour intentionally takes you through some interesting terrain. For example, you go slaloming through the columns in the Doge's Palace in the Pavilion and through the hedge maze in England. Towards the end of the tour, the guides block off a fairly large open area and let everyone have some "free ride" time. (The rest of the tour, they ask that you don't go wandering off on your own.)

The only bad part of the tour was having to climb off the Segway at the end. If there had been a Segway dealership at the end of the tour, I might have succumbed to impulse and bought one -- that's how cool they are! (OK, so they're $5000 or more, so perhaps it's a good thing that I didn't.)

Two other things you should know. First, the Segways you ride have a top speed of approx. 6 mph, which is half of what they are capable of. In my opinion, this is a good thing, since 6 mph feels plenty fast to a first- time rider.

Second, if you do this tour, be prepared to be on your feet for two hours straight, standing pretty much motionless. You control the Segway by making very subtle shifts in your center of gravity and leaning gently in one direction or another. My feet and lower back were definitely aching by the end -- but it was worth it! If you have foot/leg/lower back trouble, though, you might find it tough to complete the tour.

Overall, this was am amazing experience. I recommend it most highly.

-- Dave in San Francisco
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