At the Epcot Innoventions Pavilion you can test and play around with products that have the ability to change the way we live and work. Where else but at Disney can you get hands on experience with technologies of the future?
Epcot Innoventions East
Storm Struck is a simulation of a severe weather event. The exhibit includes a 15 minute 3D movie followed by questions that you answer on a touch screen monitor that is in front of your seat. The questions ask you how you should prepare for severe weather and what you should do to stay safe during the storm. The movie is very realistic, extremely loud and can be more than a little frightening to younger children and maybe even some adults.
I would suggest that parents go in to see the movie first, then decide if you think your child or children should or should not see it too. Personally, two of my children were fine with it but the third does not like normal thunder and lightning, so we opted for her not to go in.
If you choose for your child not to see the 3D movie they can still experience the exhibit by participating in an activity for kids outside the theater. They can learn about preparing for storms and even build a storm kit.
House of Innoventions
House of Innoventions is a tour of a smart house that showcases appliances and electronics of the near future. Imagine having a refrigerator that shops online when you run out of an item or being able to control everything in your home with a simple voice command. Sign me up please!
Fantastic Plastic Works
Fantastic Plastic Works allows you to build a virtual robot and race it against other robots. Learn the chemical components of plastic and even build your own plastic robot to take home.
Test The Limits Lab
Test the Limits Lab has five different testing stations for you to try out in Epcot Innoventions East. This exhibit is sponsored by Underwriter Laboratories, the company responsible for testing products to make sure they are safe for the consumer.
At the Shatter Lab you can release a large hammer sending it into a TV screen to see if it will shatter. Thanks to the Underwriter Labs, it does not.
In the Impact Lab you get to try to destroy a fireman's helmet by making a 55 gallon drum fall onto it.
The Slam Lab lets you do something your parents tell you not to do. You get to slam doors. By stepping on a pad on the floor you slam fire doors shut. The test is designed to see how long they will last with continuous use.
The Drop Lab lets you drop a huge safe to the floor to see what will happen.
And the Torture Lab puts everyday household appliances to the test. This is a fun exhibit for children and adults alike because it allows you to do stuff you would never think of or be allowed to do normally.
Don't Waste It
Don't Waste It is a new exhibit that opened in Epcot Innoventions East in the spring of 2008. Disney imagineers in conjunction with a team from Waste Management developed an interactive way for Disney guests to become aware of how we think about trash disposal.
Guests fill out a personal trash profile to determine how much trash they would normally produce in a year's time. Then a virtual trash truck is loaded up with that amount of trash and you are to manage the trash by doing three things.
First you have to sort it out. Yuck. But at least you won't get your hands dirty because it's all virtual trash. Think recycle here. The more waste you can sort to recycle the higher your score.
Next, at the waste-to-energy plant you are to look for trash that can be used to make energy. Then use your virtual bull dozer to separate the trash even further. The more trash you put into the "boiler" the better.
The third section is the landfill. You get to decide what the landfill will be used as after it is full and closed. Then dispose of the remainder of your trash in the landfill and decide the best way to layer the trash and cover materials to make the most methane gas. This gas is then used to produce energy.
Overall, this exhibit is fun and very informative. Who would have thought that so much waste could be produced in a year? Maybe it will make us all think about using materials that are more ecofriendly.
Epcot Innoventions West
Where Is The Fire?
In Where Is the Fire?, children identify fire hazards within a six room miniature building. Then they learn how to properly exit a building in case of a real fire.
This is a fun way for kids to learn some very important lessons. Children learn through playing, and the lessons they learn here may very well save their lives one day. Don't miss this opportunity to reinforce fire safety with your children.
Afterwards, you can all have your picture taken beside a real fire truck. The picture is a nice reminder of what they have learned at Epcot Innoventions and it can be displayed at home.
The Slap Stick Studio is a unique place. Have you ever wanted to know how Velcro can be used? Here you can learn how Velcro can be used to solve many everyday problems.
Segway Central introduces you to the the segway, an individual motorized transport device. If you are at least 16 years old, you can try one out for two minutes at segway central. It may take that long to find your balance on it, but it is fun to try anyway. If you like the segway, Epcot offers several segway tours each day.
The IBM Thinkplace is a good place to play some video games or even send a video postcard to a friend.
In Rockin' Robots you control the arms of a robot via a touch screen and conduct a variety of music. Now thats innoventions!
Disney for Dads Alert! - Dad, you have a great teaching opportunity here. Between Storm Struck and Where Is The Fire?, your children will learn something that could save their lives in an emergency. And at Don't Waste It your children can learn to be better stewards of the environment. I enjoyed these presentations, especfially since I didn't feel "preached at".
Back in the Day - Epcot Innoventions is a very new exhibit for Epcot. But it shows just how far Epcot has come from its original days.
Did you or your child learn something new here? Could it save someone's life? Click on the Sail With The Tide logo above and tell us what you think.
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