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A Day at Epcot – Walt Disney World 2017

Brady and I are currently planning our Christmas vacay to Disney World and it’s just another reminder that I never finished recapping our trip from May. I’m a bit obsessed with Disney vacation planning and it may be even one of my favorite things to do. Yup, I’m weird. I really want to see Disney all dressed up for Christmas and I’m since it’s slightly last minute – as far as Disney planning goes – I’m trying to quickly pull our itinerary together while packing <- we’re moving this week!

We had such a fun trip earlier this year and I’m always so excited to go back to the place where we went on our honeymoon! It brings back special feelings of closeness and joy that we felt during our first week being married. Life has had us down the last few months and I really feel like another break is what we need to lift our spirits. 

Neither of us has ever been to Disney World during the Christmas season and we’re trying to study up/prioritize since this will be a shorter trip. We’re probably going to come back tired with sore feet but full of Disney Christmas magic. If you have any planning tips or anything we just HAVE to see while we’re there – Christmas related! – then please let me know!

A Day at Epcot (5-10-2017)

So on to the recap! On Wednesday we went to Epcot and it was the only day out of our 5 Disney days that we did not use the park hopper option. We knew this was going to be a lighter day and we hadn’t made any plans to be in another park in the evening. With this in mind we really took our time going around each of the pavilions and enjoyed what each area had to offer.

From our hotel, it took about 7-8 minutes to drive to the entrance and about 15 minutes of walking from the parking lot and up to the front entrance. We had to wait 5-10 minutes until rope drop and we positioned ourselves off to the left very close to the front. We speed walked straight over to Test Track and we were in the first 5-10 people into the single rider line. There was a delay in the ride getting started but when it did, we were in the first car to ride for the day and we got to ride together!

After riding Test Track, we headed straight over to the Land Pavilion to ride Living with the Land and  Soarin’ with a FastPass. I actually really enjoy the Living with the Land ride except for the beginning section which is in need of an update. I’ve never had to wait in a line for this ride and it’s a great opportunity to get off of your feet. 

Then we went straight next door to ride Soarin’ which is possibly my most favorite ride on the whole resort. I have yet to see Pandora so maybe I’ll change my mind. I know some people don’t love the new film but I really love it and when you combine it with the sensation of flying… I really can’t get enough of this ride.

It was just before 10:30 by the time we were coming out of the pavilion so we paused for a snack: Chex-Mix and Mountain Dew.

We did a quick pop-in to ride The Seas with Nemo and Friends and spent a few minutes wandering around the tanks afterwards. Here’s Nemo and Dory:

I’ve been at Epcot 3 times during their Flower and Garden Festival and I love all the extra colors around the park. This area doesn’t look the same without all the flowers!

You had to stand at the right angle, but when you did, the butterflies appeared to be flying across the pavement!

We made the long trek all the way back across future world to ride Ellen’s Energy Adventure. I don’t know if we knew at that point that it was going to be closing over the summer, but I’d heard rumors it wasn’t going to be around too much longer. I’d never ridden it before so we went for it. It definitely wouldn’t be something I’d want to do often or even every trip, but it was fun and I’m a bit sad Ellen is gone from Disney now.

We then got onto Mission Space Orange with almost no wait at all. As previously stated, I love the flying sensation and this ride really takes my breath away with how real it feels. After the ride, we spent some time in the Advanced Training lab doing some of the smaller side games where you can try to move your Astronauts around in zero gravity. Then we got to participate in the larger mission on team Orion. I feel like our team won but maybe not… either way, I feel like it’s worth pausing to do these activities if you’re going to be doing more than one day in Epcot.

We started going around the World Showcase just before 1 PM and started the tour in Norway at Kringla Bakeri og Kafe. We tried the schoolbread on Monday and knew we had to have it again so that’s what we had for our afternoon snack. 

Then on to China and all the red buildings. 

A tour through the shops in Germany and a quick visit with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (topiaries). 

I knew one of the things I really wanted to see while we were on this trip was Voices of Liberty. I really love the Disney Medley they did for Valentines last year and I have a little vocal crush on the ah-mazing soprano. We were told that they were going to be facing the other direction for the performance but I didn’t want to get off the bench we were sitting on. 

The mosaics in Morocco are quite impressive and I think it’s what makes the Morocco Pavilion have the best looking streets. So much detail!

France had these absolutely divine little onion tarts for sale in the Flower and Garden pop up kitchen. We bought them a few times on this trip but I kept forgetting to take a picture because they got inhaled so quickly. I’d read that the ice cream from L’Artisan des Glaces was the best ice cream on Disney property. While I thought it was delicious, it wasn’t mind blowing or the best I’ve ever had. 

Loved spending a few minutes listening to the Quickstep Band outside The Queen’s Table in the United Kingdom Pavilion. The shop there has sells some delicious candies that are worth the price tag. I loved the All Sorts Licorice and the soft caramels. The caramels especially just melt in your mouth!

We were ready to be done by about 3:40 and made our way out of the park and back to our hotel. We did some shopping at the outlets for a few hours and capped off the day with dinner at Sweet Tomatoes which was just down the road from our hotel. 

 

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Disney World, Vacation

Rope Drop at Animal Kingdom and an evening at Magic Kingdom!

Tuesday at Disney World was full of animals and Disney magic! We were at Animal Kingdom before rope drop which was pretty easy since our hotel was less than a 5 minute drive away! While we were waiting to be let in, I was complimented a few times on my dress and tiara which made me feel pretty princess-like. Pro tip: you can get away with things like tiaras at Disney World so make the most of your princess days!

The only park opening we missed was on Thursday at the Magic Kingdom (stupid monorail) but of all the other parks, the opening at Animal Kingdom was the most spectacular. We were told that the Macaws were going to fly over our heads and not to duck or they’ll just fly lower. It was a really cool thing to see and experience – you can get an idea of what happens here.

 

They allowed us to go free into the parks at the stroke of 9 and we headed directly for Expedition Everest in Asia by going through Discovery Island instead of Dino Land. We were able to walk straight onto the ride twice in a row which was great since it’s one of my top two favorite rides in the park (Pandora wasn’t open yet)! However, since we did it twice in a row, it gave Brady a bit of motion sickness so I did some shopping in Africa while he took a break. We were also trying to kill time before the 10 am train left for Rafiki’s Planet Watch because I was hoping to catch an animal surgery. Continue Reading

Disney World, Life, Vacation

Disney World 2017 Day 1: Hollywood Studios and Epcot!

As I’m looking through photos to share in this post, I have some tears a brewin. Why? It was a really fun vacation and something we both really needed. It’s been a long time since we’ve had a vacation and this much one-on-one quality time. I wanted this to be a great vacation for my husband because he’s been working so hard the last few years. PT school straight into a full time job that he puts a lot of hours and energy into. He needed some time off and we had so many thing to celebrate! Graduations, anniversaries, birthdays… it was about time. I’m so glad we had this week for just the two of us; it really was incredible. Now I’m actually crying… aghh. 

To Hollywood Studios! I used the Undercover Tourist Crowd Calendar to plan out which parks what days and Monday was rope drop at Disney’s Hollywood Studios! Hollywood Studios is majorly under construction at the moment which really makes it a 1/2 day park. It’s almost not worth going to unless you have a park hopper… but with that being said, it does have a few of the best Disney World rides.

We were about a 7 minute drive away from the DHS gates and we arrived a tad before 8:30. We still had our magic bands from our honeymoon but we weren’t sure if they were still going to work since it’s been almost 3 years and we’d heard the batteries die after a couple years. Luckily they were still working which was a pretty exciting discovery. I thought for a second it wasn’t going to work, but the cast member was like, “don’t be sad yet!” because I hadn’t scanned my finger yet. Yay! We were in. 
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