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Wonders of Life
This large pavilion, tucked between Energy and Mission: Space, is all
about good health -- unfortunately, it's not that healthy itself these days. Since losing Met Life's sponsorship several years ago, Life has languished, usually spending most of the year in a coma and only being reawakened occasionally during the busiest parts of the busy seasons so as to draw off some of the park's huge crowds. Most of the time it stays closed. If you are fortunate enough during your visit to find it open, don't miss it -- that may be your only chance to see some great attractions. At some point, if a sponsor can't be found to update the aging pavilion, it may close forever.
Body Wars. This simulator ride, very similar to Star Tours at Disney's Hollywood Studios,
takes us inside the human body -- in this case, on a routine mission just under the
skin to pick up a scientist studying a splinter wound. But, you guessed it,
something goes terribly wrong and we wind up chasing the scientist through half the body
and through the heart before we can make our escape. While Star Tours, in its simulation
of spaceflight, is relatively smooth, this simulator has to buck with the pumping of the
blood and can get pretty rough. Between the subject matter and the rocking, some
of the more squeamish and prone to motion sickness may not enjoy this ride very much, so
heed the warnings about good physical condition posted at the entrance. For the healthy,
on the other hand, it's a fun ride -- although I have to give the edge to Star Tours.
(Trivia buffs: check out the ride film's credits, mounted on the wall just inside the
show entrance. Not only will you recognize many of the actors names, but you can surprise
the folks back home by pointing out that it was directed by Star Trek's Leonard Nimoy.)
Cranium Command. All right, listen up, recruits! Your mission is to head directly to
the rear of the pavilion and seek out this hidden gem of an attraction. Be sure to get
there in time to see the animated preshow film, as it sets up the entire premise of the
show and is pretty funny to boot. In a hilarious war movie parody, General Knowledge
instructs his new troops of Cranium Commandos -- the elite pilots of the brain itself. The
top pilots get to handle the most complicated assignment of all -- the human brain. The
washouts, like our bumbling hero, Buzzy, have to watch their step or they'll be piloting
In the main show theater we go along with Buzzy on his most difficult assignment, piloting
the brain of an adolescent boy (the most unstable craft in the fleet). We're inside
the boy's head as an audio-animatronic Buzzy must deal with one crisis after another, or,
in other words, a typical day at school. Can our boy beat the bully and win the girl? Not
unless Buzzy can get all parts of the body to work together -- not an easy task, considering
what he has to deal with: Charles Grodin and Jon Lovitz as the right and left brain,
George Wendt as the stomach, and the wonderfully cast Bobcat Goldthwait as the adrenal gland,
among others. Epcot isn't known for fast and funny attractions, but this is both.
The Making of Me. In this wonderful short film, an unusually restrained Martin
Short finds out where babies come from. Specifically, he follows the steps of his
own conception, from his parents first awkward meeting right up to his own birth.
The material is handled marvelously well, managing to be warm, funny, and touching --
while facing the fact that some might find the subject embarrassing in an understanding
way. They walk a fine line here without a single misstep, and the result is a film
well worth seeing. The only problem here is that it is such a fine show in so small a
theater. (Parents uneasy about talking to their children about sex may wish to see
the film first, say, while the kids are riding Body Wars, and decide if they wish
them to see it. If you think it's about time you had that talk, on the other hand,
this would make a great introduction for them.)
Goofy About Health. An open theater with a short multi-screen presentation on
exercise featuring clips from vintage Goofy shorts. Ya gotta love 'em.
Pure and Simple. The Wonders of Life's one food counter serves (what else?) healthy foods:
Bran waffles, salads, frozen yogurt, etc..
Well and Goods is the T-shirt and gift shop.
Wonders of Life is on the West side of Future World, between The Universe of Energy and Mission: SPACE.