Seasons Change, even in Disney’s Epcot, and now I’m at the Point of No Return

Exposé Epcot

I am unapologetically a child of the 80s. We always have the fondest memories of, well, everything that we enjoyed when we were growing up, but specifically as it relates to pop culture. There’s just a special feeling about seeing that movie from your childhood that you probably remember as being far better than it actually was. For me, some of those films are The Goonies, Revenge of the Nerds, Night of the Creeps, Fraternity Vacation, The Care Bears Movie 2………..well, I could go on, but you get the idea. Some are considered classics. Others…..not so much. Television shows are treated the same way. I’d do anything to get a box set of the complete series of Small Wonder. Yes, that’s the show about the little girl who was the robot servant for an inventor and his family.  Was it good? Heck no. It was awful. Do I love it? Heck yes, it reminds me of those care free years of my youth.

Gary Exposé sign at Epcot

That being said, nothing dates a certain period of time more than the music that was released along the way. In the 1980s you had the emergence of Michael Jackson and Madonna, legendary bands like U2 that are still relevant to this day, the height of hair metal, and dozens of other acts that were given so much personality not just from their lyrics, but through power of television. MTV was beaming music videos into houses all over the world and we felt closer than ever to our favorite bands and musical groups.

One such group, whose music really takes me back my adolescent years in the 80s and 90s, goes by the name of Exposé. Do you remember them? If not, you’re not alone. Over time, I had kind of forgotten about them, and I am so ashamed. How could anyone forget the singers that brought us such amazing songs as “Seasons Change”, “Point of No Return”, “Let Me Be the One”, and, my favorite, “I’ll Never Get Over You Getting Over Me”? Well, I rediscovered these amazing women recently and I only have one thing I can thank for that: the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival at Walt Disney World.

The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, which I’m sure we’ll talk more expansively about in the future, takes place in the Spring from around March to May.  Along with great scenery, including topiaries of many great Disney characters, and a variety of ethnic food booths, they have recently added the “Garden Rocks” concert series. While I didn’t expect much from the acts that they would likely get (U2 and Lady Gaga are not getting booked for this), my wife and I were looking forward to adding this to our list of things experienced at Disney with our most recent trip in April 2017. Again, I wasn’t thinking I’d be blown away by anyone appearing, but boy was I pleasantly surprised.

Exposé at Epcot“Who’s performing while we’re there?”, I asked my better half.  “Well, ELO is there the first weekend.”  ELO?  Okay, I’ve heard of ELO. They’re pretty good, I guess. The first weekend of our trip really wasn’t an option though as we were pretty booked up and expected to be tired from running the Star Wars 5k and 10k races earlier on both days of their appearances. “What about the second weekend?”   She replied, “Exposé is the next weekend.  Remember them?” Suddenly, I was intrigued. “Yes, I do remember them. Wow. Which songs do they sing again?” Before I knew it, I was going through their playlist on YouTube, butchering their hits by singing along, and developing a new celebrity crush (much to my wife’s chagrin) on Jeanette Jurado, the lead on many of their biggest singles. “YES, I WANT TO SEE EXPOSÉ!”, I screamed way more enthusiastically than a man my age probably should have.

I couldn’t help but have a combination of excitement and also dread for the impending show.  You see, it was scheduled for the last night of our trip. How can you look forward to the LAST NIGHT of any vacation, regardless of what’s going on?

The day of the concert (and sadly, the last full day of our trip) finally got there. While I was excited, I really didn’t know what to expect. Did the ladies of Exposé, Jeanette, Gioia, and Ann, still have it?  Were the songs as good as I remembered? The answer to that question was a resounding “YES!”

Exposé at Epcot

We made a bad decision, in hindsight, to only catch the final of three sets the ladies were performing. I guess our assumption was that all of the sets would be the same, but they weren’t.  We were lucky to catch the tail end of the second set where they sang “Freedom” as a tribute to George Michael and then my aforementioned favorite, “I’ll Never Get Over You Getting Over Me”.  I loved it, but sitting near the back we were missing some of the energy and were a little bit too far removed from the action. For the third set, we corrected that particular mistake.

After a break, the ladies came back for their final show of the night. We were able to snag seats in the second row, a little bit off to the right. While we didn’t get to hear my favorite again, up close, the ladies tore the house down with their ageless performance of hits like “Seasons Change”, and ended the night electrifying the crowd with “Point of No Return.” I was literally bouncing in my seat the whole time and you couldn’t wipe the smile off of my face at the end of the night.

So, did it in fact end up being a bummer to have this amazing experience on the last night of the trip? Not at all! It was the perfect ending to a great vacation and we left on the highest note possible. I owe so much thanks to Disney and the Flower and Garden Festival for helping me rekindle my love for the ladies of Exposé. Now, if I could just convince my wife to let me follow their tour across the country………..

(Upon returning home I bought the Exposé Greatest Hits CD from Amazon and I’ve played it on a loop ever since. I highly recommend you do the same!)

June 18, 2017

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