Tag Archives: Epcot

Disney vacation update – must see list (plus a line-cutter sighting!)

In my last post I wrote about the new attractions at Disney World that I was hoping to see on my recent visit.  Below is the rundown on everything I saw (and what I didn’t get to see – luckily that list is short!)

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party – This was definitely a highlight of the trip.  I will have to write a separate post to get into all the details, but I was pleasantly surprised that I felt like it was worth paying the extra ticket, which I was a little hesitant about. More details to come later this week!

Mickeys Very Merry Christmas Party

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Ride the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – We rode the minetrain during the Christmas Party so the wait was only about 25 minutes, which took into account the guy who just cut in line a few people in front of us! I could not believe it – I’ve never seen a line-cutter at Disney World but a man cut across through the line, pretended to look at something and then just got in line and signaled his wife and kids to come over.  When the man behind the cutter asked if he just cut in line (which he obviously did) the cutter just proceeded to look at his phone and did not even acknowledge that anyone was talking! Unbelievable! Has anyone else seen something like this!? If so, did you do anything about it?  Vote in the poll below!

Festival of Fantasy Parade – We saw the parade and it was very entertaining, even though I’m not usually a big fan of the parades. My favorite was Flynn Rider flying on the swinging hammers – the float was really amazing because it had such huge moving parts!

Flynn Rider - Festival of Fantasy Parade

Flynn Rider – Festival of Fantasy Parade

Fire breathing dragon - Magic Kingdom Festival of Fantasy Parade

Fire breathing dragon – Magic Kingdom Festival of Fantasy Parade

Tinkerbell

Tinkerbell

Magic Kingdom Festival of Fantasy Parade

Magic Kingdom Festival of Fantasy Parade

Cinderella and Prince Charming

Cinderella and Prince Charming

Anna and Elsa - Festival of Fantasy Parade

Anna and Elsa – Festival of Fantasy Parade

Mickey at Festival of Fantasy Parade

Mickey at Festival of Fantasy Parade

Meet and greet with Hiro and Baymax from Big Hero 6 – This is one thing we didn’t get to do.  We waited in line for a while, but with the characters heading out on a break and our FastPass time at Toy Story Mania quickly approaching, I gave up on my hopes of squeezing Baymax.  I have to say, he was pretty amazing – he walked around and blinked, much more mobile than I thought he would be.

Frozen sing-along – Didn’t do this one either – we went to the Streets of America in Hollywood Studios and there was a giant mob of people in a roped off area that I assumed was the line so we decided in two seconds flat that the sing along wasn’t happening!

Downtown Disney – We took the ferry boat from Port Orleans – Riverside to Downtown Disney a few times and it was interesting to see the panorama view from the water of the changes that are happening.  The boat docked over close to the Saratoga Springs resort at the edge of the Marketplace.  We walked around and enjoyed the new stores – specifically at the Marketplace Co-Op. There’s a huge assortment of items from iPhone cases to Vera Bradley bags to home decor to sports apparel – truly something for everyone!

Maelstrom – So sad, the sign is gone and there’s no trace of Maelstrom.  But the giant troll is still in the Puffin’s Roost so hopefully he stays!

No more Maelstrom!

No more Maelstrom!

Memento Mori – This store wasn’t as big as I thought it would be – I was imagining something the size of the Tower of Terror store but it was much smaller.  A few spooky items that would probably be of interest to big fans of Haunted Mansion but not to most people.

Lastly, something that was not on my wish list but definitely the highlight of the trip – my husband got us a reservation at California Grill for our wedding anniversary!  We had an amazing seat by the window and since our reservation was at 5:15pm, we saw the sunset over the Grand Floridian and then at dusk the lights illuminated Cinderella Castle.  The view, the food and the service were all amazing, and my husband definitely earned some brownie points!  It’s going to be hard to out-do that anniversary dinner next year! More to come in a future post with all the delicious details!

California Grill

California Grill

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Goodbye Maelstrom!

Long time no blog!  I haven’t written a post for a while, but it’s not because I haven’t been thinking about Disney World – I just couldn’t find time to get it down on paper.  I’ve been having a lot of fun co-hosting on the weekly WDW Fan Zone podcast that airs live every Friday night at 11pm – catch up on past episodes here!

I’ve been ready to get back to blogging over the past few weeks and I found out some news over the past few days that I knew I had to write about – my beloved Maelstrom will close next month!

Maelstrom

Maelstrom

According to Disney Parks Blog the Maelstrom in Epcot’s Norway pavilion is being replaced with a Frozen-themed ride! Continue reading

Epcot Passport

Epcot is sometimes known as the Disney park that doesn’t have a lot to offer kids, but I couldn’t disagree more! In addition to the popular rides, Future World has Innoventions, which is a fun interactive play area that can keep kids entertained for a few hours!

One well known activity for kids in the World Showcase is the Kidcot stops, where kids can color a character on a wooden stick (Duffy Bear or Agent P) and then take their character to each country and get a stamp, along with a special hand-drawn symbol representing that country.

Kidcot Fun Stop at Epcot

Kidcot Fun Stop at Epcot

Agent P Epcot

Agent P Epcot

It’s fun for younger kids, but not always exciting enough to keep an older kid’s attention.  However, on our last trip, we stumbled upon a new fun way for kids to explore the World Showcase – the Epcot Passport.  For around $10, the stores sell an authentic-looking passport that comes with stickers that look like stamps – including the flag of each country and a few of the sights from each country of the World Showcase.

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Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2014 – Photo Gallery

On our recent trip to Disney World, we visited Epcot just a few days before the official start of the 2014 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival.  I didn’t think we’d get to see any of the displays but I was excited to discover that we were able to view a lot of the amazing topiaries (although some were partially hidden until the official festival opening date.)  We were at Epcot for the Flower and Garden Festival a few years ago (here are some photos from that visit) and I thought a lot of the displays would be the same but I was wrong – there were so many characters that we hadn’t seen before!

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival - Chip and Mrs. Potts

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival – Chip and Mrs. Potts

 

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival - Phinneas and Ferb

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival – Phinneas and Ferb

Here’s a hidden one – I just stuck my phone through the bushes and took a pic: Continue reading

Spice Road Table Review

Dining in Epcot is always a challenge for me because there are too many good options!  But when I saw the opening of a new restaurant in Morocco, Spice Road Table, I decided I would have to find a way to fit it into my already-cramped dining schedule during my recent trip.

Spice Road Table at Epcot

Spice Road Table at Epcot

Around the back of the World Showcase, Morocco sits between France and Japan.  There is already both a quick serve and table service restaurant in Morocco, so I was a little surprised that a third restaurant was opening as well.  (Am I the only one who is dying for a quick serve restaurant in Italy!? Come on Disney!)  The restaurant is on the water overlooking the lagoon where the Mo’Rockin group used to perform. (Now they have a stage across the way.)

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Holidays Around the World at Epcot

One of my favorite Christmas holiday features at Disney World is the ‘Holidays Around the World’ at the World Showcase in Epcot.  I didn’t expect it when we went during Christmastime so it was quite an exciting surprise.  In college I majored in International Business and French, so I’ve always had an interest in other cultures and I think that is probably why Epcot is my favorite park (along with the food and drinks!)  So when I saw that each pavilion in the World Showcase had a short performance about that country’s holiday traditions, I wanted to see them all!  Unfortunately, we didn’t make it to the performance in every country because of the scheduling, but the ones we saw were perfect for getting in the Christmas spirit!  For a listing of the different holidays-around-the-world events, check out Disney’s website here.

In Germany, Helga tells a Christmas story about her first nutcracker, which *spoiler alert* comes to life during the show!

Holiday story with Helga in Germany pavilion at Epcot

Holiday story with Helga in Germany pavilion at Epcot

Holiday story with Helga in Germany pavilion at Epcot

Holiday story with Helga in Germany pavilion at Epcot

In Norway, there was a completely amazing performance that we came back to see a second time!  It’s the story of Sigrid and the Mischievous Christmas Gnome, Julenissen.
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Giant Gingerbread at Disney World

When we went to Disney World last December I expected to see elaborate Christmas decorations everywhere, and I wasn’t disappointed!  What I didn’t expect to see were the giant gingerbread structures, using hundreds of pounds of sugar, chocolates, icing and eggs!  Two of the displays we saw in 2012 were at the BoardWalk Inn lobby and in the American pavilion at Epcot.  They are quite amazing when you consider the sheer volume of ingredients that is somehow whipped together to form giant houses with every tiny detail in tact (not to mention the hidden Mickeys!)  There are even Disney pins depicting the gingerbread houses at the Grand Floridian, Contemporary, BoardWalk, and Beach Club according to the Disney Parks blog.

Gingerbread house at Disney's BoardWalk Inn

Gingerbread house at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn

Gingerbread house at Disney's BoardWalk Inn

Gingerbread house at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn

Gingerbread house at Disney's BoardWalk Inn

Gingerbread house at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn


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