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