Monday, October 1, 2012

In Celebration of Epcot's 30th Anniversary...Off Kilter

I originally wrote this post as a part of the 30 Days to 30 Years series hosted by DISTherapy and Pursuing the Magic.  I'm sharing it here for today's big anniversary.  Hope you enjoy the videos at the end of the article.  Ridge and DisneyDad are at Epcot today so keep an eye out here and on twitter (@cwridgeway) for updates on the festivities.  ~Amy

1997 was Epcot's greatest year because that's when they hired Off Kilter.  Ok, so that's a stretch but the band is one of my favorite things about my favorite park.

I didn't realize that Off Kilter started at Epcot in 1997 until this series of blog posts was suggested.  My college program term was at the end of that year so I guess I have been a fan since the beginning.  Now, I rarely make a trip to Walt Disney World without catching at least one Off Kilter performance.  I keep their 5 CDs loaded on my iPhone.  The uptempo songs are terrific for running or just motivation to do housework.  "Follow Me Off to Carlow", "Irish Rover" and "Whiskey in the Jar" are just a few of my favorite Off Kilter songs.

In case you aren't familiar with them, Off Kilter is the house band of sorts at the Canadian pavilion at Epcot's World Showcase.  I'm going to let the guys describe themselves.  This is from the home page of their website.  Off Kilter is a high-energy, progressive Celtic band that blends many hard-driving musical styles, bringing a whole new twist to Celtic music.  The only thing I'd add to their description is humor.  An Off Kilter show is musically enjoyable with quite a few laughs thrown in.  They sing rock songs with a Celtic twist, traditional songs with a rock edge and even a few original songs.

Check out the Off Kilter website to hear more music, read bios on the band members, see available merchandise, etc.  Randy Holbrook is the lead guitarist and I discovered that he plays not only with Off Kilter but also with a New Age band and in a show at Sea World.  If you look through my photos of the group, you'll notice a few new faces.  Since it's a regular five day a week gig, from time to time, someone is sick or on vacation and another musician will take his place.

Yes, I totally ripped this off their site.  Screenshot!

We usually tour Epcot so we'll end up in the vicinity of Canada in the afternoon or evening.  It's so much fun to be near the World Showcase Lagoon, enjoying some Celtic rock, a good beer and hopefully a light breeze.  Regarding the beverage, the stage at Canada is conveniently located between stands selling Canadian and British beers, so arrive a little early and pick up some refreshments.  If you are lucky enough to be visiting during the Food and Wine Festival, there is usually an additional beer marketplace in this area so your options are expanded.


I was in the parks alot in 1997.  In January, I took a trip with my three best friends during our university's January break.  We had a great time being a bunch of big kids, wearing silly hats at Magic Kingdom and doing cartwheels at Epcot.  Oh goodness, I doubt I could do that now.  Anyway, I still think of my friend Michelle every time I pass that area at World Showcase.  Another funny Epcot memory from that trip is the mime at France.  For some reason we all thought he was really cute and caught his show a couple of times.

In August of 1997, I moved into Vista Way and began work at Crystal Palace.  I've finally found my scrapbook after our move so I'll share more about that soon.  


A few videos of Off Kilter my brother and I have taken over the years....

"Run, Run Away"

"Run, Run Away" bagpipe solo

"Follow Me Off to Carlow" bagpipe solo

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