We spent day two of our Disney vacation at Epcot. I had no idea what to expect. All I'd heard was "make sure to drink a beer from every country"... which I didn't... not that I didn't try! However, hubby did almost all countries and it was a great (slightly expensive) experience.
I didn't know what to expect about Epcot. I didn't really know what it was, or how it was divided. All I knew is that you "visit" different countries and experienced their culture...kind of.
AGAIN, we got there pretty early, before they opened. Our idea was to run over to SOARIN' and ride it first. Hubby stated that it was a great fast ride...unfortunately, everyone that came in early had the same idea as us, and we couldn't get there fast enough. By the time we got there, there was already a 45 minute wait...so we waited, and waited, and waited, and the line wasn't moving at all. A long while later, they announced that the ride was having technical difficulties and was going to be closed for a little while. We decided to skip it and try other smaller interactive rides instead (that had literally no wait). - Good thing we did skip it since the ride remained closed the whole day.- sorry... I can't review SOARIN' or tell you anything about it! **sad face**
BUT FIRST:* READ DISNEY'S TIPS, DO'S AND DON'TS !
The first thing you see when you come in the park is Spaceship Earth...the big gigantic structure that resembles an enormous golf ball. Guys...do NOT skip this ride. It's a fabulous, slow moving trip through human innovation history. Very well done, and quite interactive.
EPCOT CHARACTER SPOT: MEET MICKEY, GOOFY, AND MINNIE
We scored some fast passes for the Character Spot as our daughter was dying to meet Mickey in person. We couldn't meet him at Magic Kingdom, so we thought this was a great, less crowded opportunity to take a selfie with Mickey himself. It was not a long wait at all. We got to greet our Disney hero, interact with the very funny Goofy...seriously, he's even funnier in person, and hug sweet Minnie Mouse. Don't skip this one!
THE SEAS WITH NEMO AND FRIENDS: TURTLE TALK WITH CRUSH.
This hilarious interactive experience is super fun for the little ones. It's set on a small stage with a big white screen. They ask for all the kids that wish to participate to sit on the floor right in front of the screen. Most kids do. All parents will sit on the benches behind their kids. It's a small space, so you won't lose your kid, don't worry. Then Crush (from Finding Nemo) comes on the screen. He's funny, outgoing, and has a lot of good information for the kids about Marine life. He starts talking and asking questions to the kids and parents. LIVE questions. He is actually interacting with the kids and they respond...what?? A cartoon on a screen can hear me and respond? yep. It's quite amazing. Don't miss it!
LIVING WITH THE LAND
Jump on a boat and sail through the greenhouses of Epcot. It's quite informative. May be a tad boring for younger kids, but if you child is into eco-friendly living, this is a great example of land conservation and green earth living.
JOURNEY INTO IMAGINATION WITH FIGMENT
Not my favorite ride, but it was OK. My daughter liked it, but I found it a bit silly and not too "imaginative" as the name suggests. You get on a little car that takes you on a tour through the imagination institute and you end up at an open floor interactive play area at the end. Not quite what I was expecting.
If your child wants to get a "passport" stamped in every country, they can! Just look for the Kidcot Fun Stops within each country. We started our trek around the Epcot World in Mexico. This is where it gets exciting!
Oh the wonderful smells of Mexican cuisine hit you as you enter the plaza full of cantinas, haciendas, and margarita stands for you to taste, eat, shop and be delighted. Full Mexican music blasting through the streets of this colorful section.
Who doesn't remember Frozen? Well, you can actually meet Anna and Elsa at their home in Norway! Jump aboard a Viking Ship and immerse into the world of Arandel. The Frozen Ever After ride is absolutely fantastic! Beautiful life-like characters retell the story of Frozen while you sail through this amazing land.
Prepare before your trip*:
While in Norway, don't forget to make reservations and dine at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall for a princess storybook experience. Snow White, Belle, Aurora, Cinderella, and Ariel will come to your table, have a small conversation with your, take pictures and have a parade around the restaurant while you dine. Kids are encouraged to participate in the parade! It's fun, fun, fun!
You can watch a short film, dine at the Nine Dragons Restaurant, or shop for a hand fan. The shops are great, full of small souvenirs. The beer was good too. The architecture of the Chinese streets of Epcot is compared to non other. I've never been to China, but if the architecture is true to the real thing, I'm packing now.
BIER, BIER, BIER at the Biergarten! This Oktoberfest style restaurant, not only serves great beer, but festive live entertainment and amazing buffet style German food. You will be seated at a family style table...possibly with strangers, and enjoy the atmosphere. Don't worry, it's easy to make the acquaintance of any other beer-loving soul that might be nearby. The energy of the place is similar to that of the REAL Ocktoberfest. You will find yourself saying oi, oi, oi and singing Ein Prosit, while cheering with a Prost! (more than once). All I needed was my alpine hat!
Definitely, if you want to eat good Italian food, come here first. Good pizza, gelato stands, and wine cellar with imported cheeses! There are street performers out on the streets, that will catch your attention one way or another. Also, don't miss the beautiful miniature train and mountain town located between Germany and Italy!
THE AMERICAN ADVENTURE
Another place where you can stop for a little bit, rest your feet, and watch a short film. Eat all-American burgers at the Liberty Inn, and if you go in the holiday season, stop and meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, listen to carolers, and shop for some holiday merchandise.
One of my favorites! Again, the architecture is outstanding, the souvenir shops are very diverse and have a lot of small toys and true Japanese artifacts and curiosities. Oh, we didn't have a beer here...we tried a flight of SAKE! I'm not sure if I'm a fan...more leaning toward a no, but I love the fact that you can try authentic drinks and food!
Another place where the aroma hits your nose and opens up your appetite. What a great place to stop for a snack, watch a live belly dancing show, or just plainly indulge in some Mediterranean cuisine. In Morocco, you can enter and explore the way of living by entering into a model of a typical home and admire the gorgeous architecture.
Paris is one of my favorite cities in the world, so, needless to say, I loved this section. Beautiful, colorful and elegant. the France section of Epcot felt like home. Eat crepes, watch a film, drink some fine French wine, and of course, try great French cuisine at one of their true French restaurants.
Who doesn't like to sit and relax at an English Pub? Well, you can do it here. The streets have a very old village England type of feel, adorned with exquisite English architecture. Find your favorite treat at one of their shops, or enjoy an English beer accompanied with fish and chips.
Not a very big section at all, but if you go up the steps, and then down, all the way down, you will encounter a waterfall and O'Canada! a 360 vision film about the best Canada has to offer. Pretty cool indeed.
When you are done with your tour of the world, say you want to go back to the middle section and don't want to walk all the way back (it's actually a long walk!) fear not! You can take the boat from the port (right after Canada) and it will take you to the port in Morocco. Easy peasy.
Overall, Epcot was a great experience. I didn't know what to expect, but we left with high wanderlust fever. One thing I noticed was that employees (restaurants and shops) for every world showcase were (or seemed to be) true to their country. They all have accents and clothes corresponding to the country we were in. The ladies in the Chinese shop spoke Chinese, the attendant at the sake shop spoke Japanese, the host at the German restaurant spoke German. Pretty awesome. My daughter stated that she wants to visit all those countries someday, which made me proud. Travel makes you happy and opens up your mind.
Please do share your Epcot experiences or tips with us! Comment below or send us a message. Thank you friends!
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