Sunday, April 27, 2014

Epcot Touring Plan

On our third day at Disney World we decided to go to Epcot.  Since we stayed at the Dolphin resort we had the option to either walk to Epcot or take the water taxi.  We chose to walk in the morning.  A short 15 minute walk and we were at the entrance to Epcot.  It was fantastic! 

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Some trips and tricks about Epcot

1.  The Layout.  Epcot is broken down into two parts, Future World and the World Showcase.  Future World contains quite a few of the rides and the large dome that is commonly associated with Epcot.  This part of Epcot also opens first.  The second part, World Showcase, opens at 11:00 am each day and features 11 countries.  Most countries have a restaurant, gift shop and attraction of some sort - whether that be a ride, a movie, an art gallery, etc.

2.  Time Management.  Try and maximize your time at Epcot by not going back and forth between Future World and World Showcase.  This way you won't spend a lot of time walking back and forth.

3.  Check out the food.  Each country has their own restaurant, so the food choices there are great!  A lot of the restaurants take reservations in advance, usually 180 days out from your trip.  Try and make reservations - otherwise you might not get a table.  Had it not been raining when we went to Epcot we would have enjoyed some food and beverages outdoors. 

4.  Future Ideas.  Epcot has a lot of great attractions throughout the year.  They have a garden show, food and wine festival and races just to name a few.  Sometime in the future we would like to go back and run in the Disney Princess race's.  How fun if we all dressed up!  I envision L in a cute runner's princess outfit, a tutu for me, a princely crown for C, and a full prince outfit for the hubby.  Wee!

5.  Rides.  Quite a few rides at Epcot seemed to have height requirements.  If you have a child that is a little older, check out Soarin' and the Test Track.  We will be doing those the next time around!

Our Touring Plan

8:00 Breakfast at Akershus with Belle (in Norway). 
This was one of the best things we did the whole time we were at Disney World.  I was HIGHLY recommend a character breakfast.  This one was fantastic.  I scheduled our breakfast for 8:00 am, which meant we were able to enter the park a full HOUR before anyone else.  It was so peaceful walking to breakfast without a large crowd.  This really gave us a chance to see the layout of Epcot before there were big crowds.  Back to the breakfast.  We were seated quickly and the buffet portion began.  On the buffet was yogurt, fresh fruit, fresh pastries, bagels, smoked fish and an assortment of cheeses.  What a great way to start our meal.  After we had given our drink orders, out came the family style breakfast food.  We had an egg bake, breakfast potatoes, sausage and bacon.  What did L, eat?  The chef at the restaurant personally came out and discussed with us what she could have.  He had Van's waffles that she was able to eat, along with the fresh fruit and bacon.  They only serve real maple syrup, so she was able to eat that too.  Win, win!  The family style food is also unlimited, so if you are still hungry, fill up!

One of the best parts of this breakfast is the fact that the princesses come directly to your table.  Here you have a great opportunity to talk with them, take pictures and get autographs.  Our little mister man even got his first kiss from someone other than his momma.  I suppose a princess will do.  : ) 

I noticed while eating, that a person at a different table was celebrating a birthday at this breakfast.  A cake was brought out to them, and the princesses helped sing happy birthday.  How fantastic would that be?!?!

9:30  The Seas with Nemo and Friends
Zero wait time.  Our next stop took us to a Nemo ride. Here the ride takes you on a journey through the story of Nemo.  At the end you have the opportunity to view large aquariums of fish.  A cute ride that L, enjoyed!

Turtle Talk with Crush.
Zero wait time.  We then walked into Turtle Talk with Crush.  In this activity you sit in a room with a large screen.  Crush, the turtle from Nemo, appears and you are able to talk with him and ask him questions.  Very cute and very fun!  L was a little disappointed she wasn't able to ask her question, but otherwise a very fun activity. 

 Epcot Character Spot
Zero wait time.  Next we journeyed over to the character spot to meet Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Pluto again.  Cute interactions with the characters and little wait time!  If you want to meet Donald again, he is located in Mexico.

Explore the future world labs.
Zero wait time.  Next we checked out some of the Innovation spots in Future World.  These didn't hold L's attention very well, so we didn't spend a lot of time there!

World Showcase Opens.

11:00 Meet Mulan in China
5 minute wait time.  At 11:00 am the World Showcase opens and we headed straight in to meet Mulan.  She was very personable.  Another great meet and greet.  There are other princesses at Epcot (Belle, Aurora, Snow White and Jasmine) but we just meet Mulan.  Jasmine was not available to meet.  Aladdin was (more on that later).

Tour the countries.
Zero wait time.  We began our walk through each of the different countries.  Had the weather been nicer we would have stopped and had a cold beverage or snack at the different countries, but it was pretty rainy that day.  Each country usually offers a gift shop, an attraction of some kind (art gallery, ride, movie, etc) and a restaurant.  We browsed through there and continued on.

Meet Jasmine and Aladdin in Morocco.
We were hoping to meet Jasmine and Aladdin here, but Jasmine was not available.  Aladdin said she was off on a magic carpet ride.  Aladdin was very friendly through.  I felt bad for L, she even wore her Jasmine shirt just to meet Jasmine.  Oh well.

Snacks in Germany.
Since we are of German heritage, we decided to have some snacks in Germany.  We had black forest cake, a wurst of some kind and some caramel popcorn.  Delicious!

Break time!
The rain was picked up quite a bit, so we decided to head back to the hotel and take a break.  We grabbed a light snack because we were still full from breakfast and rested in our hotel room for a bit.  This was well worth the time!

IllumiNations Reflections of Earth.
We used a FastPass+ for this.  The FastPass+ gets your preferred seating for the fireworks show.  The fireworks take place over the large pond that the WorldShowcase is centered around.  We had front row seats.  This was great!  The fireworks were spectacular.  During the show a large globe ascends out of the water and different scenes are shown on it while the fireworks and lasers are going off.  We all really enjoyed it.

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Epcot was great!  I enjoyed our time at the World Showcase.  I felt as though we could be more relaxed here since we had already met so many princesses at Magic Kingdom and at breakfast that morning.  The walk over along the boardwalk was also really nice.

Next up .... Animal Kingdom!

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