A morning in Epcot
Our most recent trip to Disney World was a quickie; we were only there Friday through Monday, and a good portion of that time was spend in transit to and from Los Angeles.
Despite being a short visit, we crammed in as much as we could. For our first full day in the resort, we woke up to blue skies and sunshine. The Florida standard, basically. Our big plans for the day were to head over to Epcot and enjoy the World Showcase, one of my favorite areas at Walt Disney World.
If you’re not familiar, World Showcase is essentially a representation of 11 different countries around a massive lagoon, where you can get a taste of unique cultures, cuisines, and attractions — all with that Disney flair, of course.
The monorail system was going through refurbishment during our visit, and wait times were looooong, so we ended up splurging a little and taking a taxi from the Grand Floridian to Epcot. We pulled up just after opening, busted our our magic bands, and made our way inside.
Zika was (and remains) a huge concern for the Florida region, so there were lots of mosquito prevention tips all throughout the park. The Grand Floridian even provided complementary bug spray in our room.
It was warm during our visit (high 70s °F) but we didn’t have any trouble with mosquitos. I didn’t see any, and didn’t get any bites. But still, better safe than sorry! If you’re heading to WDW, don’t forget the bug repellant.
Before heading to the World Showcase at the back of Epcot, we did some of the attractions near the front. First up: Mission to Mars, likely my least favorite ride in the park. We did the “orange” intensity, and I felt like I was gonna die. Hah. But Mark loved it, so at least that made one of us.
We also had FastPasses to ride Test Track, but (as appears to be the norm) it broke down while we were in line. Womp womp. At least they gave us re-entry FastPasses as consolation, which we used later in the day to ride Soarin’.
The World Showcase
With those rides out of the way, we made a bee line for the World Showcase. The 11 countries represented are: Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, America, Japan, Morocco, France, the UK, and Canada. Each country is represented by a pavilion, featuring Disney renditions of the nation’s notable architecture, dining, and shopping experiences.
Having visited 8 of these countries in real life, it’s always a hoot to wander through, comparing and contrasting Disney World’s version with my memories of the actual place.
This was our first time back at Epcot since the Maelstrom ride in Norway became Frozen Ever After. So, we braved the 70 minute wait to see what it was all about.
I liked it, but Mark thought it was too short and too similar to Maelstrom. They essentially kept the ride mechanics the same, and added Elsa, Anna, and everyone’s favorite huggable snowman to the mix. If you’re a Frozen fan, you’re sure to love it.
Last time we were in the Canada pavilion, we ate at Le Cellier. It’s easily one of my favorite restaurants in Epcot (and all of WDW, to be honest), so definitely give it a try if you’re looking for a delicious steakhouse option.
Can’t make a visit to World Showcase without stopping in France for an ice cream macaron sandwich! This was a special peppermint flavor for the Christmas holiday.
Being in the Japan Pavilion made me feel like we were really back in Japan. Cue the waterworks, cause I miss it so, so, so much!
Mark and I are hoping that we can make it out to China this fall (for HKDL and Shanghai Disneyland!) so maybe the next time we visit Epcot we’ll have a “real life memory” to compare to the Chinese Pavilion.
By early afternoon, we were wrapping up our adventures in the World Showcase and getting ready for the next. On the agenda for the rest of the day: dinner at Artist Point in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, and then a fireworks dessert party at Magic Kingdom.
More to come!