Our next Disney day in WDW May 2017 was Epcot. Epcot is a hugely nostalgic park for me as it’s one that I remember the most from when I went for the first time when I was 6. It’s funny how children’s memories work because you’d think that Magic Kingdom would be the one I’d remember most, being the most child-friendly and oh-so-Disney-magic-esque, but it’s actually the magic fairy lights in the ground, Ellen’s dinosaurs and the giant ball of Spaceship Earth (that I thought was just “Epcot” when I was little) that stick in my mind. While I could never choose a favourite park, I have to admit that Epcot is the first one that comes to mind, before I start arguing with myself!
You can see the other photo diaries from our trip so far here:
The days were getting hotter by the time we reached Epcot. Personally I loved this, but the rest of our group weren’t so keen! It meant we did spend some time trying to avoid the sun and dehydration!
Before we went on any attractions or headed to any rides, we had to snap a few pictures of the ever iconic Spaceship Earth – Hollywood Studios made me sad because they’ve now removed the Earffel Tower and the Mickey’s Sorcerer’s Hat which up until now had been their icons, so I took advantage of Epcot’s. It was also Flower & Garden Festival time while we were there so it made our photos all the more beautiful – don’t worry, I have plenty of these to come!
Our first stop was Living with the Land. This is an often-forgotten attraction that I secretly love! It’s located in the Land pavilion, where Soarin’ is based, so most people tend to head to that and skip by Living with the Land.
Fun Fact! As you approach the Land pavilion, check out the floor and the mosaic entrance…the changing colours represent the different layers of the earth and the flow of lava. Disney theming at its best!
Living with the Land is a slow moving boat ride that takes you on an informative journey of humankind’s interaction with the earth and cultivating it. We always love travelling through the greenhouses, seeing the hydroponics and spotting Hidden Mickeys. The above photo is a bit of an illusion (spot the Epcot logo!) that’s not visible from your seated position in the boat – I was holding my camera high up to capture it!
We of course then rode Soarin’ which is always a fave but isn’t really one you can photograph! This was one of our Fastpasses for the day.
Next up was Nemo and the Seas, and more hidden Mickeys! The aquarium ones are the best. They’re very easy to spot so make for a great hidden Mickey hunt with kids. Nemo and the Seas isn’t the most exciting attraction, but it’s a nice one for kids and exploring the aquarium afterwards is fun.
Then it was over to Club Cool to get refreshed before we headed around the world. Club Cool is one of my hidden Disney secrets that you can do for free. They have little cups to fill up with samples of various Coke products around the world. I highly recommend the melon one – I went back to that one a few times!
And so off around the world we went! We stopped at the Mexico pavilion for the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros ride – a lot of people laugh at this one, and like Nemo, it’s not particularly exciting. It’s a slow boat ride following Donald and his friends through Mexico, but it gives you an awesome view of the interior of the Mexico pavilion and San Angel Inn restaurant which I definitely want to eat in one day.
We skipped Frozen Ever After which I was kind of sad about. The ride is the updated version of Maelstrom which I really miss – Norway was always one of my favourite countries because of it, especially the film at the end. Like I said, it’s just so nostalgic in Epcot for me, and this is one of the reasons why. I did want to do Frozen Ever After though and see whether the ride had been butchered or was still good, but unfortunately it’s crazy busy right now. Fastpasses were gone within seconds 30 days before and the queue on the day was really long, so we gave it a miss. We did take plenty of pretty pictures around the Norway area though as I think it’s one of the most beautiful.
So I’ll just share a big bulk of photos from around the World Showcase and all the Flower & Garden photos as it’s easiest!
We stopped for lunch part way round the World Showcase in China. Everyone else decided to get food from the Lotus Blossom Cafe, which is a usual for us, but Ben and I wanted to take advantage of the Flower & Garden Festival stands so we went to Lotus House instead and had a Spicy Chicken Lettuce Wrap and Vegetable Spring Rolls which were really tasty. I also went back for the M.S.G. – a wine cooler with mango wine, strawberry and ginger ale. It was super sweet and really good! I’m not a big alcohol drinker but I like to try things like this, so I definitely enjoyed that.
We also grabbed some proper ice cream (gelato) in Italy as we passed through and stopped for a drink at the Rose & Crown Pub in England – typical! Some of the group were starting to flag so we needed a sit down.
We also managed to find a Photopass photographer at the other side of the World Showcase Lagoon who took some really nice photos of us all together. I highly recommend taking advantage of these now that they’re included in the ticket price and use your Magic Bands to send them straight to the app – we got some fab pics from them!
And then we were back to the main area of Epcot for a few more attractions – Spaceship Earth, Journey into Imagination with Figment (I love this!) and playing with the dancing fountains outside it, and finally Ellen’s Energy Adventure. Ellen had its last day yesterday and I’m SO SAD it’s closed!! Can you tell all these Disney closures and updates are massively affecting me?! I understand that Disney has to keep relevant and modern, but it is always sad when your favourites go 🙁
“Ellen’s Dinosaur Ride” as me and my sister used to call it was a long, slow moving ride that takes you on a earth back in time with Ellen DeGeneres. Ben hated it because it was really quite long and slow – our friend Peter even fell asleep on it! – but I will always love it. At the time we visited, we’d heard rumours that it might be soon closing, and I’m glad we did as we took a photo out front to make sure we had a last one with it were it to really go – note my grumpy face on my feelings about it closing!
We actually skipped Mission Space this time because, personally, I find it quite boring! I’ve never really felt the effects of it – on my first ride I thought it just shook you around a bit while you watched a video on a tiny screen! The queue is always quite long for what it is too, so we gave it a miss. We also had to miss Test Track as the queue was craaaazy long and we just didn’t have time for it. We were sad about this one as it’s always good fun.
And I’ll leave you with some final pictures of two things:
- Ben and I got engaged just before Christmas so we took full advantage of having the Happily Ever After badges, the beautiful scenery of Epcot and the photographic skills of our friend Peter to get some engagement shots – I love these!
- The beauty of Epcot in general. I frequently hear people saying that it’s the most beautiful park and, even though I love Main Street USA and Cinderella Castle, I have to agree. There’s a lot of greenery which is set off by the red pathways and water. The fountains are stunning and everything is designed with Epcot’s original mission in mind: the utopian society of the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow (EPCOT!).
PS: Head over to Rebel Angel to read more about my outfit from Epcot!