Monday, September 20, 2010
Our tour met at guest relations, where we met our first tour guide, got our name tags, and signed waivers. Once our whole group arrived, our second guide came and escorted us to Segway Central in Innoventions West. We watched a short informational video, and soon we were getting on Segways! I'm incredibly clumsy, but the Segways weren't at all hard to balance! They are self balancing systems, after all, and they'll balance themselves with nothing on them for five to ten seconds before they fall.
At first, we just learned how to ride forward and turn both ways, but soon we started our little obstacle course training. Half of the course was a slalom type course with little cones that you had to weave between. Also, our guide, James, would jump out at random times to test our stopping. We were told we had to be prepared for little kids not paying attention or kamikaze squirrels. The other half of the course was riding up and down and stopping on a small hill. Once everyone passed, we hit the road for our first task according to our guides: not hitting the people running to Soarin'. Luckily, there were no collisions, and after a bathroom break, we headed over to World Showcase!
As you likely know, World Showcase is closed until 11 am, but Mexico and Norway are technically open to the public for people having breakfast at Akershus. Because of this, we skipped these two countries and started our trip around the world at China. At each pavilion, we learned some facts about the pavilion, about the cities they were modeled after, and sometimes even saw a hidden Mickey or two! In most pavilions, there was also a small area to ride around, whether it was weaving around columns or riding through the entire Morocco pavilion.
For example, we learned a lot about the Morocco pavilion being the most authentic of all, largely because the Moroccan ambassador visits every few months to make sure the pavilion is up to the Moroccan king's standards. The Moroccan king essentially built and paid for the entire pavilion, and he still pays all the salaries of the employees that work at the pavilion! He also provides them housing and places to pray outside the pavilion. Apparently this particular pavilion was built because of the longstanding relationship between the US and Morocco, and on display is even a letter George Washington wrote to the king of Morocco, thanking him for recognizing us as a nation. I thought all of that was pretty amazing.
I could probably spend hours telling you all about the Segway tour, but I wouldn't want to spoil it if you want to go yourself. Which I highly, HIGHLY recommend, by the way. It was our first behind-the-scenes tour at Disney, and it definitely made us want to try more tours in the future! As I said, it's not inexpensive, but it really was worth every penny! And now I want my own Segway!
Have you ever been on a Segway tour? Ever been on a tour at all? What did you think of them? Let me know your opinions in a comment, a tweet (@discollegeblog), or on Facebook (now at facebook.com/disneycollegeblog)!