Service Animals
Epcot - Future World

Donna shares her experiences at Epcot
and her Service Dog Gracie


SPACESHIP EARTH

Some dogs might take exception to this ride, as it has the smell of Rome burning in part of it. But mostly, the dog must walk on a moving conveyor belt to get to the seat. Seats are fairly tight-fitting, so larger dogs could have trouble fitting in the seat (Gracie weighs 47 pounds, and she has a LOT of fur, so she looks like she's about a 70 pounder!). There's lots to see, and she's up and looking out the car most of the ride. But the smell of cinders doesn't bother her.

UNIVERSE OF ENERGY

She does very well on this ride as well, although some dogs might have trouble with the animatronic dinosaurs that are "attacking" the ride vehicles. There's also a lot of noise when the dinosaurs attack; a dog that takes exception to loud noises might have trouble. Gracie doesn't mind any of it. She seems to like it, as a matter of fact!

CRANIUM COMMAND

The noise factor can be a problem with this attraction as well, but it's generally a sit down, relax type of attraction, and Gracie just lays on the floor and sleeps. There's room for wheelchairs along the back wall. No problems with smells, but there's a lot of people in this attraction sometimes, and the beginning has a movie that people just get stuffed in little room to wait in. If the dog doesn't like crowds, this could be a problem, and the noise of the show could scare some dogs as well. Gracie does fine, though!

OTHER ATTRACTIONS

Most of the EPCOT attractions are easily accepted by most service dogs, like Global Network, Fitness Fairgrounds, Wonders of Life, The Making of Me, Innoventions (East and West), and Food Rocks. There are a few that bear mentioning, however:

BODY WARS

Body Wars is a motion-simulator "ride" that could cause problems for some dogs (if they're even allowed on the "ride;" I don't know. We've never tried taking Gracie on because I cannot ride it.) It makes me motion sick!

MISSION SPACE

This is the newest ride at EPCOT. It's very cool! At least the gift shop is. That's where I had to wait for Ed to come off. He always rides new rides first to let me know if it will make me motion sick. This one would, because it made Ed sick!

TEST TRACK

This is another ride that I've never felt the urge to try, and Gracie wouldn't be allowed anyway. Ed keeps talking about trying it sometime, but it's never a small enough crowd to make him actually try it.

THE LAND

Gracie's done the Land ride with me several times. Again, she needs to sit still and not cause a problem for any other guests. The footing can be a little tricky; it's a boat ride, but if the dog is confident enough, there shouldn't be any problems. She just has to sit next to me (or lay down) throughout the whole ride, but she's good at that! The dog has to be trustworthy enough not to jump off the boat onto any of the planted areas it passes (it's very close because the channel that the boat goes down is very narrow in places).

THE LIVING SEAS

This is the ONE place that Gracie flunks out! She can go in to the pavilion, she can do most things in the pavilion, but all the fish in the tanks is just too much for her. She barked twice when we tried to take her in, so we took her right out. If she starts acting crazy (and a bark is crazy enough for me), then I take her out. She doesn't get two chances to act bad. But to start with, the "elevators" at the beginning of the ride that take you inside might bother a dog a little bit. It's set up to make you (and a few slower pooches) think that you're in an elevator of sorts, and it rumbles and makes noises to convince you that you are in an elevator. (You're not, the "room" just moves a bit to make you think you're going down) Then you get out and you have a choice to< go around looking at fish on your own, or you can go in the ride, which is a "train" of several cars that continuously travels through the pavilion at a very slow speed. Most dogs that don't bark at moving, living creatures should have no problems with it. They'll have to sit or lie down, depending on how much room is there, but they should be okay.

ICE STATION COOL

I LOVE Ice Station Cool! Gracie loves it too, as it's so much cooler than the outside. A dog might have a bit of a problem entering since the entrance is covered by long plastic strips over the "door." If the dog has no problem going in, it should have no problems inside. The drinks are pretty good. They are awful high, and you might have to get someone to reach to spigot you want to use if you're in a wheelchair, but as long as the dog is well-behaved and stays right by you, it should be okay. Gracie's been in there several times. There's usually nothing for her to stick her nose into, although things can change. It's a large place for buying Coke-specific products, toys, etc.

HONEY I SHRUNK THE AUDIENCE

This is another show that the dog simply has to lay down throughout. However, if the dog is spooked by gigantic snakes or anything else like that, don't go in! Gracie just sleeps through it most of the time. Handicapped areas are located in the rear of the theater, with plenty of room for the dog to lie down. The dog should just stay and not cause problems for any of the guests.

Journey Into Imagination

We haven't taken her on this ride, because they spent so much time re-doing it that we've just quit trying this ride, but I can't imagine a well-trained dog having a problem with it (unless the ride takes an ariel spin).

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