Category Archives: Epcot

Celebrity Sighting in Norway

As I’ve mentioned before my favorite country in Epcot’s World Showcase is Norway.  As you get close there’s a smell – what I imagine all of Norway to smell like – that floats out of the Puffin’s Roost shop that I absolutely love.
There are certain smells that always bring back memories of good times past – the savory smell of grandma’s Thanksgiving feast, the piney smell of Christmas trees, the salty smell of the ocean on summer vacation – for me, the sweet smell of a certain perfume brings me right back to Disneyworld.

Puffin's Roost

Puffin’s Roost

Upon exiting Norway’s ride the Maelstrom, as with many Disney rides, the path leads through the gift shop.  There are 3 distinctly different sections of Norway’s gift shop – the first has parkas, boots and everything you need to get through a cold winter, much of the merchandise by Scandinavian brand Helly Hansen.

Section 2 has some of the less practical but more entertaining items for purchase – Viking hats with horns, mugs, hats, and all other souvenirs a Viking-lover would need. I love my sequined I <> Norge hat!!

Norge hat151

The last section is the source of that smell I love so much – a perfume shop.  I never miss a chance to douse myself in ‘Laila: The Essence of Norway,’ the women’s perfume – – but I’ve never pulled the trigger on buying because I just didn’t want to spend the money.

However, I got just the nudge I needed to make the purchase when I was there in August 2012.  We rode the Maelstrom as usual and I made my way to the store for my free spritz of perfume.  To my surprise we walked through and the creator of my favorite perfume was right there in the shop!

049 (2)Me and Gier

Gier Ness was on site to promote his perfume on his way to Hollywood for an awards show.  I was pretty impressed that he stopped to talk to us for about 10 minutes, and after he gave me a hand massage with the Laila hand lotion and told us the story behind the perfume (it’s named after his mom) how could I not buy it?!  (He even autographed the bottle!)

geir ness autograph

It was one of those unexpected ‘magical’ moments that can only happen in the bubble!

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4 Parks, 1 Day

DISCLAIMER: What I’m about to outline should NOT be attempted by anyone with the following:

  • A desire to sleep late and/or go to bed early
  • A young child (6 and under)
  • Uncomfortable shoes
  • An aversion to running – you can’t dilly dally and hope to get to all 4 parks
  • A park ticket without the ‘park hopper’ option – they’ll shut you down at park 2 (I’ve learned that lesson the hard way)

On one of our trips to Disneyworld our daughter, who was 7 at the time, asked if we could go to all four parks in one day – that’s Magic Kingdom – Animal Kingdom – Epcot – Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  Any of these parks could take up an entire day itself so we had to make a strategic plan on when, where and what we would to do at each park in order to accomplish this lofty goal with minimal tears (and blisters.)  With our matching Mickey t-shirts on, we headed out on a mission.

Park 1: Magic Kingdom was our first stop – we were fresh and ready to go.  Our must-see attractions at MK are Big Thunder Mountain (my daughter’s favorite), Mickey’s PhilharMagic and “it’s a small world,” (my husband’s favorite) and the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover (my favorite.)  It might be one of the slowest moving rides in the entire park, but I love cruising through the dark and relaxing on a hot day!

Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom

Park 2: Epcot – Since the Magic Kingdom and Epcot are connected by the monorail, that was our next stop.  Our favorite ride is not Soarin’ or Test Track, which are the 2 most popular rides, but the Maelstrom in Norway.  Yes, another slow moving ride, but since my husband comes from a long line of Vikings we just have to ride it every time we’re in the park!

Stop 2: Epcot

Stop 2: Epcot

Park 3: Animal Kingdom – Time is usually a consideration when going to the Animal Kingdom because, like a zoo, the animals come out early and go back to their enclosures at dusk.  Most days the park closes around 7pm (earlier in the off season) so we got there just in time to ride our all-time favorite roller coaster – Expedition Everest.   The line going into the ride has so much to look at that you don’t even realize you’re waiting and before you know it you’re face to face with the Yeti!

Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom

Park 4: Hollywood Studios – Last but not least we made it to Hollywood Studios.  The shows are really what makes this park great – Beauty and the Beast, the Little Mermaid, Lights, Motors, Action Extreme Stunt Show… but the ride we can’t miss is the Tower of Terror.  No matter how many times I go on this ride, my palms get sweaty as we wait in the basement to board the elevator and my legs shake after we get off the ride – so scary but yet so fun!

Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios

That’s how we made it to 4 parks in 1 day.  It’s not for the faint of heart, but I’d highly recommend it to make one perfect day in the Disneyworld bubble!

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Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure

Celebrity Sighting in Norway

No Passport Required!

I’ve always had an interest in world cultures.  I got my degree in International Business and French so I have a natural curiosity about how people in other countries live.  Maybe that’s one of the reasons Epcot is my very favorite of all the Disney parks.  The park is divided in a front and back half, more like a figure eight, with Future World in the front and the World Showcase in the back, made up of 11 different countries.  Walking through the World Showcase is like taking a whirlwind trip around the world, learning about the culture, meeting the people (all the Cast Members in the World Showcase countries are native to that country), and most importantly eating the food!!  With all the options (there are tons) I thought I’d share my ideal 3 course meal in Epcot.

Appetizer – Mexico

The Sopa Azteca at the San Angel Inn: this tortilla soup is served in a carafe along with a bowl full of avocado, cheese and tortilla strips. When you pour the piping hot soup over the ingredients they melt together into an unbelievably delicious sopa!

Main Entrée – Germany

The buffet dinner at the Biergarten Restaurant is one time when I wish I could put away a few platefuls of food in one sitting.  The schnitzel, mac and cheese, brats, German potato salad, sauerkraut, soft pretzels – there’s not a bad choice on this buffet!

Biergarten Buffet

Biergarten Buffet

Dessert – France

It’s not on the main walking path, which is probably why we missed going here until our most recent trip, but Les Halles Boulangerie & Patisserie is a hidden gem in the back of the France pavilion.  The crème brûlée is the perfect way to end the evening.  My husband and I made the mistake of thinking we’d share one – which ended with both of us stuffing our faces so we didn’t miss any.  How very French and sophisticated!

After dinner drink – Canada

If you’re going to dine at the expensive Canadian restaurant Le Cellier, you might as well go all out!  We ordered ice wine to finish off our fantastic steak dinners and it hit the spot!

Le Cellier Ice Wine

Le Cellier Ice Wine

This is just the tip of the iceberg – I can’t wait to discuss in more detail all the other delicious dining options in Epcot!

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A Typical Day at Epcot

Back From Disney!

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