Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Disney World Vacation Day 3 - Epcot

Monday was our second day in the park and we headed to Epcot!  Epcot didn’t open until 10 AM the day we were there, but since we were staying on a Disney property we were able to get in at 9 AM.  We were still pretty exhausted from Animal Kingdom the previous day so it was nice to be able to sleep a little later.  We were up by 7 AM and leaving the room by 8 AM to ensure that we were at Epcot right when they opened.  We gave the kids their granola bars and fruit pouches while we were waiting in line for security, and we were all done and waiting at the gates about five minutes before the park opened.  And we let them bring their souvenirs from the previous day into Epcot again so they would be less inclined to ask for more souvenirs!

Our fast passes for the day didn’t start for a little over an hour, so we used our early morning time to ride one of the popular rides that we didn’t have a fast pass for – Soarin’ Around the World!  This was BY FAR my favorite ride of any of the rides that we rode at any of the parks.  It was SO FLIPPING COOL, y’all.  To board, you walk into a huge room with rows and rows of hang gliders in front of a HUGE 80-foot dome shaped screen.  Everyone loads up in the hang gliders and buckles in and when the ride starts, the hang gliders lift you 40-feet into the air and put you right in the dome of the screen.  You then take a “flight” around the world, soaring over oceans, through mountains, over canyons, and by major landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, The Great Wall of China, and Sydney Harbour.  Since the screen in front of you is a dome and you are “in” it, no matter which way you look side to side or in front of you, all you see is the projection so it truly looks and feels like you are flying over these amazing sights.  It felt SO REAL.  I didn’t want it to be over!!

The kids both did really well on the ride, although Olivia was a little tense for most of it.  She would have gotten off unscathed if it weren’t for the fireworks at the end.  She hates fireworks (and loud noises in general) so she was a little freaked out when we “flew through” the fireworks.  If the wait hadn’t been super long by the time we got off I would have definitely wanted to ride it again.  If you ever go, add this ride to the very top of your list!

Since we only had to wait about 10 minutes for that ride, we still had time before our first fast pass started, so we ran downstairs in that building to fill up our Disney cups for the day.  We also let the kids squish a couple of pennies to add to their collection, and then we headed to use our fast pass at The Seas with Nemo & Friends!  On the way, we ran into some ducks and Olivia and I watched them for a few minutes while Brian and Jacob took a potty break.

The wait was very short for Nemo & Friends since we had fast passes and it was completely kid-friendly so it was enjoyable for everyone.  After the ride the kids wanted to walk around the aquarium area for a bit and they had to pop in the big shark and get their picture taken!

By the time we exited Nemo, we still had plenty of time before our second fast pass started, so we stopped in to visit with Baymax from Big Hero 6 and Joy and Sadness from Inside Out.  Both of them were in the same area, but they had separate lines that were both really long, so B and I split up with the kids.  He stayed with Jacob in line for Baymax (Olivia had no interest in seeing him) and Olivia and I got in line for Joy and Sadness.  We ended up waiting for a good 45 minutes to see both, but thankfully they were all indoors so it was comfortable and air conditioned.  Brian and Jacob got done meeting Baymax just in time to join Olivia and I for meeting Joy and Sadness which worked out perfectly.  I know Jacob wanted to see Joy and Sadness, too, so I was glad that they finished before we did and were able to get in line with us just in time.

Since that took up a good chunk of time, we only had a few minutes until our second fast pass of the day started, so we headed to Norway… Anna and Elsa’s stomping ground!  ;o)

The wait for Frozen Ever After was soooo long – I think around two hours at that point – so I was incredibly thankful for our fast passes!  We only waited about 10 minutes and then we were boarding our boat!  This ride was a water ride taking you through a journey of the movie Frozen.  There was loud music and Elsa singing Let It Go and at the end even Marshmallow makes an appearance!  We all loved this ride as well, even though Olivia was pretty scared of Marshmallow at the end.  She has always closed her eyes or asked us to turn the movie off when his part comes on, so we figured she wouldn’t like him on the ride either. 

By the time we got off of the ride it was almost lunch time, so after snapping a quick picture by the Anna and Elsa shrubs, we headed next door to Mexico to have lunch at La Cantina de San Angel.  I had the Empanadas con Queso with Mexican Slaw and my gosh, I am still thinking about those, y’all.  They were so unique and so delicious!  I’ve eaten a lot of Mexican food in my day (it’s my favorite!) but I’ve never had anything like that before.  I have to say, I did not expect the food at Disney World to be very impressive, but boy was I wrong! 

And it wouldn’t be Mexican without margaritas, so B and I both indulged in Patron margaritas… and yes, the Patron margs were included in the alcoholic options for the meal plan!!  I was prepared to get one of the margs with the cheap liquor, but the Patron was actually included.  Disney, y’all!

After lunch we were still near Norway, so we decided to go ahead and try to meet Anna and Elsa.  Since we had eaten a bit early, prime lunch time was just starting and therefore the lines seemed a bit shorter for the attractions, so we only had to wait about 20ish minutes to meet them whereas the line had been almost 45ish minutes just before we ate lunch.

The kids loved meeting them but for some reason Olivia became really shy which I couldn’t believe.  Anna and Elsa are her favorites ever so I thought for sure she would be talking their ears off, but she was very quiet like she couldn’t really believe that they were right there in front of her.  And I was in awe of both of them because both girls looked just like their characters!  Of all of the characters we met on this entire trip, that Anna and Elsa were by far the best because they were the most realistic!  The girls they chose were just perfect for those parts.  The girl who was Anna even sounded like Anna from the movie, and I heard Elsa casually bring up in her convo with the kids that, “The cold never bothered her anyway.”  Lol.  I cracked up when she said that. 

We had some time to browse the park after that, so we slowly walked in and out of each of the countries.  One of my favorite parts of Epcot were all of the gorgeous flowers, plants, and shrubs pruned to look like all of the Disney characters.  B wanted me to take a picture of he and Jacob in front of Rafiki and Simba doing the same pose and Jacob was not amused.  Lol.

We stopped in Italy to see the statues, and then we stopped in France to see the Beauty and the Beast shrubs.  Beauty and the Beast has always been my favorite Disney movie since I was little, so I had to get in the picture!  ;o) 

We also stopped in England to step into one of the red telephone boxes… since I haven’t ever been able to check that off of my bucket list in actual London, I was at least able to simulate it in pretend London.  ;o)

Everyone was getting hungry for a snack at that point, so we grabbed ice creams for the kids and me and a pineapple whip for B (not a real Dole whip, but one that was kind of similar) and we found some shade and took a little rest.

Once we were done with snack time it was almost time for our third fast pass of the day for Spaceship Earth.  Spaceship Earth is the ride in the Epcot ball so the kids were excited about getting to go inside it.  On the way over, B was a good #InstagramHusband and he snapped a few pictures of me in front of the Bubble Gum Wall and the Blueberry Wall.  Y’all know I love a good wall mural to put on Instagram, so I was glad my girl Marie told me about them before we went on our trip!  Disney has several!

The wait for Spaceship Earth was only about 10-15 minutes since we had fast passes, and before we knew it, we were on our way ascending in to the ball!  That ride is all about the history of communication technology so it was low-key and more of a learning type of environment, but Jacob LOVED it.  And in case you were wondering, it does take you to the top of the ball inside because you can see the dome and the pattern on the ceiling toward the end of the ride.  At the end of our ride just as we were descending backwards in the dark our ride stopped suddenly and the warnings came on saying that the ride had stopped and to stay in our little cars. 

Y’all, my heart stopped right there on the spot with the ride. 

One of my worst nightmares is getting stuck on a ride or in an elevator or something else that I can’t get out of, so I almost went into full panic mode.  Thankfully, Olivia was in my car with me so I knew I had to keep it together for her… otherwise I probably would have freaked out.  The ride started up again within probably two minutes, but it felt like forever!  Haha. 

During the ride they snap a picture of everyone in each car and then they play a little video with your pictures in it at the end.  Olivia and I were cracking up at our video!  Then when we exited the ride, they also had our pictures up on some huge globe.  The kids thought it was cool to see themselves up there. 

After that ride we still had some time to spare before dinner, so we decided to squeeze in one more ride – Journey Into Imagination with Figment.  We didn’t have a fast pass and we ended up waiting a good 30-40 minutes for it and that was probably the only time that the kids got really restless during the whole trip, but they enjoyed the ride because it was so silly.

Once that ride was over we headed to our 5:20 PM dinner reservation at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in Norway.  This was the Storybook Princess Character dining experience so Olivia was in heaven.  Upon entering, it started to drizzle outside, so we had timed it perfectly to get inside right when the rain came.  When we got inside we were immediately escorted to meet Belle from Beauty and the Beast, and then we were promptly seated at our table. 

Shortly after we were seated, they announced that the Disney Princess Procession was about to begin and that all of the kids were welcome to parade around the room with the princesses.  Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) came to our table and grabbed Olivia by the hand and she and Jacob got to lead the parade with her.  #PureHeaven

When the parade was over, it was time to eat.  Brian grabbed an assortment of Norwegian meats, cheeses, and breads from the appetizer buffet for us to snack on and then we ordered our main courses from the menu.  Brian and I both ordered Scandinavian beers and the Tradisjonell Kjottkake which was Norwegian meatballs served with mashed potatoes, seasonal veggies, and Lingonberry sauce.  It was delicious!  And fun fact, my father-in-law is 100% Norwegian so Brian is half Norwegian which makes our kids a quarter Norwegian so it was fun to learn more about the food from their heritage.  If meatballs are popular there, then I’d be just fine!  They are one of my favorite foods!

All throughout dinner the other princesses came to our table one by one to meet the kids and autograph their books, so it was non-stop fun!  Cinderella stopped by first, followed by Ariel (Ariel with her walking feet, not Ariel with her tail since she was on land – LOL), followed by Aurora again, and then Snow White ended our princess journey for the evening. 

Once the girls had all come and gone, it was time for dessert, and they brought out an assortment of Norwegian inspired desserts – chocolate mousse, cinnamon apple cake drizzled with whipped cream and caramel, and rice cream.  And yes, you read that right – RICE cream – not ICE cream.  It was served cold, but not frozen, and the texture was a little different, but it was yummy.

By the time we left the restaurant the drizzle had already cleared, the sun was back out, and the ground had already dried so we didn’t have to worry about weather ruining any of our plans.  The rest of the evening was up for grabs, so we walked around a little longer, caught one of the dancing fountain shows, had one of the Photo Pass photographers take some fun pictures of us as a family, and then we headed back to Spaceship Earth so Jacob could ride one more time.  That was his favorite ride of the whole trip, so he and Brian decided to wait in line for it one more time.  The wait ended up being maybe 45ish minutes?  I don’t really remember, but Olivia and I found a comfy spot underneath the Epcot ball where we just hung out and waited for them.  We called my parents and talked to them on speakerphone for a bit to update them on our trip, and by the time our phone call had ended, Brian and Jacob were coming off of their ride.

At that point the sun had gone down completely and the Epcot ball was shimmering in the dark in all of its pretty colors so we decided to go ahead and call it a night.  I wouldn’t have minded staying for the fireworks, but we knew we had a super early morning the next morning for… MAGIC KINGDOM!!!!

Now for the day’s summary and schedule:

Hours spent in park – 11 (9 AM – 8 PM)
Rides – 6
Characters met – 10
Countries walked through – 11
Disney Photo Pass pictures and videos taken – 61

Arrive 9 AM
Soarin’ Around the World (everyone)
Fast Pass – The Seas with Nemo & Friends (everyone)
Met Baymax (Brian and Jacob)
Met Joy and Sadness (everyone)
Fast Pass – Frozen Ever After (everyone)
Lunch – La Cantina de San Angel (everyone)
Met Anna and Elsa (everyone)
Walked through all of the countries we hadn’t yet seen (everyone):
The American Adventure
International Gateway
United Kingdom
Snacks (everyone)
Fast Pass – Spaceship Earth (everyone)
Journey Into Imagination with Figment (everyone)
Dinner Reservation – Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in Norway (everyone)
Dancing fountains (everyone)
Spaceship Earth (Brian and Jacob)
Left park 8 PM

Just when you thought my posts couldn’t get any longer…

Haha!  This one may take the cake!

And if you missed any of my other recaps so far, you can see them below!

My next Disney installment will be Magic Kingdom and I’m the MOST excited for this one!  If you think this post was long, just you wait until that one!  ;o) 

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  1. Epcot is my favorite park!! The spaceship ride is one I still talk about! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

  2. Another great day!!! I don't remember the characters made up of flowers / bushes, but that is so cool! Disney just really knows what they are doing!

  3. Sounds like another fabulous day! My kids favorite park is EPCOT so we always spend a lot of time there. We love Turtle Talk with Crush, Fast track, and Soarin; though it sounds like Soarin has changed a bit from our last trip. It used to be a trip around California and I can still remember the smell of the orange groves. :)

    1. We didn't make it to Turtle Talk! That would have probably been good for the kids! And we were sad that we didn't make it to Fast Track either. Definitely on our list for next time! And wow, I had no idea that Soarin' used to only go around California! It is a world trip now, so I bet they changed it just to keep it fresh!

    2. We've noticed that they do change up their rides now and then to keep them fresh (or occasionally to make them more family friendly). My boys LOVED Turtle Talk and I highly recommend it to anyone with young kids. They get to talk right to crush in real live time and it's hilarious. My boys thought it was a riot when he'd refer to them as "the little dude in the front with the red shell"

    3. Dang, I hate we missed it then! We'll definitely have to add that one to the list for next time. I'm hoping to go back in two more years!

  4. Love Epcot! Love seeing all the fun new additions even since a few years ago <3
    Green Fashionista

  5. Oh my goodness I am exhausted just reading about your full, fun day!!! WOW you did so much and saw so many characters!!!! Love all your pictures, the one in the phone booth cracked me up!

  6. It looks like you had such a fun trip! I love the pictures!

    1. We really did! Thank you so much! I had way too many to sort through to do these posts!

  7. I loooove a good Disney post!! ;) Can't wait to see your day at MK! Soarin' is SO GOOD!!!

  8. Epcot is my favorite park!! Great pictures!!! Love all your pictures!! What a fun trip.

  9. It looks like you had a great day in Epcot. I'm surprised the line for Figment was so long! I love Soarin' too, it's one of my faves. Gabbie has been talking about those walls - where are they exactly? We have to find them!

  10. I remember loving Epcot when I went in the 4th grade. Obviously things have changed since then, but it looks like a TON of fun was had by all! Love your shirt too ;)

  11. Eeeeek! I cannot wait to do this soon with Miss A!

  12. Love!! I loved Epcot and I cannot wait to take E someday.

  13. Major Epcot love you cute pie!! The Frozen ride looks so fan and I love all the Princesses.

  14. Now I want to go to Epcot!! I love y'all's cute! And it sounds like Olivia was in shock and speechless when meeting her favorites.

  15. Looks like a wonderful day. There's no place like Disney!

  16. Epcot is the Disney park I most want to go to! I'm pretty sure I'd spend the whole day eating all the food and drinking all the wine!

  17. I loved Epcot when I went, y'all hit it all! I love Olivia's face on the Elsa and Anna ride! I love your tans, so cute!

  18. This looks like such a fun day! I feel like we didn't get to take advantage of Epcot as much as we would have liked because it poured the day we were there. We did love the Nemo ride and ate in Germany and it was so good. We will definitely have to explore more when we go back. Loving all of these pics you got! Sierra~Beautifully Candid

  19. Other than Magic Kingdom, Epcot was my favorite when we went! We have so many of the same picture spots that you guys did! Also - those Disney princesses are soooo pretty!

    1. So fun! Yeah, I was thinking the kids might not love Epcot as much since there isn't as much for kids there, but they had a blast! We all did!

  20. You got so many wonderful pictures! I love the matching shirts! My girlfriend was just there too and between her photos and yours I am craving a trip there!

  21. We ate at both these two restaurants and they are two of our favorites! My husband still talks about the Norwegian food to this day! Disney definitely has the best food of anything theme park!

    1. Yes they do! I was definitely surprised at how good the food was... I was not expecting that at all! I figured it would be mediocre at best.

  22. Epcot is actually our least favorite park but then reading this I was thinking to myself, why?! It’s actually pretty awesome lol! We said next time we would do only a half day there though and hop somewhere else. How fun the kids got to be in the princess parade!!! I cannot wait to hear about MK!!!!

  23. What a fun day!! I love your shirts! The character pics are great! You captured some amazing memories!

  24. What a fun day! I love all of your pictures! I have loved reading about your trip through these recaps!

  25. I love Epcot! It's one of my favorites =) And we love Soarin' as well! Although, I always ask to sit in the row so we are closest to the floor! I have a huge fear of heights, and the ride honestly scares me, but I still love it! ha! =)

  26. WooHoo for the wall murals! So fun, Lindsay (and thanks for the shout-out)!!! I've learned so much from this post. I felt like we did a lot while in Epcot, but you guys definitely did way more! Gah! I want to go back and hit up some of these fantastic places you visited. I'm also loving how you and Brian took full advantage of the adult beverages. We never drank while in the parks and I was so sad about it. Next time, darnit, next time.... ;) ;) ;).

  27. Loved going through your recaps! Tatum loves watching Frozen so I'm so glad we have fast passes for that also - also can't wait for margs in Mexico!!


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