The Sewells Take On {Epcot}

by Hope Sewell on January 1, 2014

in allergies, Disney, eos, kids

After spending our first day at Magic Kingdom we experienced the world at Epcot on Tuesday.

Walt Disney World Photo Gallery DiscThis was definitely one of my favorite days.  Here’s what our schedule looked like.
**Parking is actually $15 for all the parks.
Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 4.28.55 PMHere’s how it all went down.  We arrived at the park about 45 minutes before they opened.  Unlike Magic Kingdom, there is no welcome or opening show….at least there wasn’t when we were there.  However, there are little merchandise carts you can shop at while you are waiting.  We purchased the Epcot Passport kit.  Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 4.34.00 PMThese are $10 each and include a passport, stickers for each country represented in Epcot as well as a Mickey Mouse pin/button.  I thought these would be more of a part of our day than they were.  Once we purchased them, we never opened them again while we were there.  Looking back, if I knew then what I know now….I probably wouldn’t have purchased them.  Ruthie put her stickers in once we returned from our trip and Tobin has no idea where his stickers ended up.  With that being said, they do make a fine inexpensive souvenir.

Once in the park, we decided to skip Soarin’ (I was nervous for those of us who get motion sick) and we headed straight for the Character Spot.
One of my favorite things about Epcot is that we met the MOST characters that day.  On our way to the Character Spot to meet Mickey, Minnie and Goofy we ran into this fella.  We ran over and were 3rd in line to get pics and autographs.
wdw201331620235982 wdw201331620236024The Character Spot is perfect!  wdw201331620241588The line wasn’t that long, it’s air conditioned, cartoons are playing and you meet everyone in one spot.  wdw201331620243138 wdw201331620259498After we met the head cheese I sent my husband to get fast passes for test track while the rest of us headed over to Nemo.

He did indeed get the FPs but didn’t pay attention to the return time…we were still getting the lay of the land here on day 2.  The return time ended up being right during our lunch reservations (so those FPs are now in our memorabilia book).

On our way to the seas, we ran into these silly guys.  2013-11-12 10.04.43After having fun with Chip and Dale we ran over to Nemo.Walt Disney World Photo Gallery DiscWe definitely made some memories here.  The children and I ran ahead and got in line while my husband parked the stroller.  I expected us to have to stop and actually wait in line but that was not the case.  We walked right on through and rather than let people go in front of us while we waited for dad the 4 of us just hopped right on.  Just as we were about to enter a tunnel we see him rushing up.  I screamed out, “We’ll meet you at the exit!!” and with that said, we dove on down to look for Nemo.  Poor dad rode the ride alone looking like a creeper.

Nemo dumps out into a room filled with aquariums and a gift shop.  We explored the seas a bit and then headed over to have some Turtle Talk with Crush.
This waiting experience was the WORST the entire trip.  The wait time boasted 10 minutes and it was more like 35.  We are all herded into a large room like cattle and as time ticked on babies and children get fussy and moms are getting super fussy in return.  At one point I hear a mom who is sitting on the floor in front of me look to her husband and say, “This better be AWESOME.”  His response….”It won’t be”.
However, the show really did cause us to forget our labor pains.  Crush interacts with the children and the technology is really cool.

Due to the wait, we didn’t get to explore all of the seas because the princesses in Norway were expecting us for lunch.
Before our trip, I read mixed reviews on scheduling meal reservations in the middle of your day.  We did indeed have to “stop what we were doing” so to speak so that we could make it in time but it was WELL worth it!!  Although, were we not dining with the princesses I would have packed a lunch.2013-11-12 11.41.16 2013-11-12 11.40.40This was our only character dining experience.  Once again, dealing with allergies and the chefs was very very nice and easy.  Here at Akershus, every meal begins with a sampling of meats, cheeses, salads and more from Norway.  All of this is buffet style.  The chef walked me down the line and pointed out what we could and couldn’t have.  At the end of each meal you are presented with a plate of Norwegian desserts.  My allergic two enjoyed a special dessert plate of their own.Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 5.15.18 PMThe food was surprisingly delicious.  I really expected it to be mediocre but that was not the case.  And the company was delightful.  As we walked in, we were ushered in to meet Belle.  She was super sweet.  This is the only princess in the banquet hall with a photopass photographer.  We received a photo package of 1 8×10 and 4 4×6 prints.  Plus, because we had the photopass plus we  have digital copies of all of our Belle pics so we can print as many as we like.  wdw201331620302344Have your camera ready once you are seated because all the princesses make their way around to sign and smile.  I believe the princess selection changes from time to time so try not to promise your little one they’ll meet certain royalty….unless you are wanting to teach a lesson in disappointment…which is definitely beneficial.  2013-11-12 13.43.33 Tobin was totally done by the time princess number two came around but he survived.
After our delicious lunch, we walked across the street and met Disney’s two newest princesses Anna and Elsa.  Lilly and I waited in line while the rest of the crew rode Maelstrom.wdw201331620358314This was such a fun surprise!!  The movie had not come out at this time but we had  watched ALL the previews and trailers repeatedly.  As you can see, Lilly and Anna dress shop in the same place.

Once all the princesses were met, we explored more countries.  We back tracked and sailed through Mexico.  The head of the family wanted to stop and meet Donald but the rest of us were tired of lines at the moment.  After Mexico we flew over to China.wdw201331620370650China was a GREAT stop for inexpensive souvenirs.  Tobin bought some Ninja nunchucks and a sword.  They were each about $6.  The girls bought these pretty parasols and had their names written in Chinese for $12 each.   2013-11-12 14.53.54After China, we strolled through the other countries stopping and checking things out as we wanted until we arrived in Japan.  Walt Disney World Photo Gallery DiscI had preplanned to stop in Japan and “pick a pearl”.  This was so fun.  We’d talked last year in school about oysters and pearls so it was perfect that they got to do this for themselves.  How does it work??
You walk in and go to the cash register and tell them how many pearls you want.  They cost about $17 each.  The cashier gives you a number and you wait in line.  When your number is called you let the person know how many pearls you are choosing and you choose.
2013-11-12 15.28.19I really didn’t think this guy would care about the exact pearl my children were picking or even try to keep them in order of whose is whose but he did!!  The pearl they chose is the pearl they got.    They loved doing this!!  Prior to our trip I ordered these necklaces for the girls to put their pearl into from eBay.  I snagged them for around $5 each when they are around $30 in the actual pearl store.Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 6.20.09 PMThere are lots of jewelry settings to choose from in the store and they can get pricey.  The girls loved their necklaces!!  For Tobin, I bought a small clear glass jar with a cork at Hobby Lobby for $1.  It was perfect to keep his treasure in.

After picking our pearls we continued our journey through the many countries.  We didn’t stop in all the pavilions.  The boys, especially, were getting restless.

We ran into Mary Poppins.  She was certainly supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

2013-11-12 16.25.42Tobin is so done meeting folks by this time so I have his book signed for him.  2013-11-12 16.26.22

More photopass picswdw201331620389941 Here is an example of Disney’s magic shots.  This was taken outside France.  wdw201331620393191_19

These were our only magic shots we had taken throughout the trip.  From my understanding, you can ask any photographer without a tripod to take a magic shot.  This photographer asked us instead.

By the way, we didn’t do any of the Kidcot funstops.  I suggest doing these if you have small children who will get bored while you are trying to enjoy World Showcase.  But in my opinion…..we can color once we get home from Disney.

After we finished our walk through world showcase we made a bathroom stop and a stop at the Cool Club.  Here, you can sample sodas from around the world.  After checking out the My Disney Experience app (which I highly recommend) we saw that wait times for Test Track were down to 30 minutes so the older crew conquered it.  You can barely see the top of Tobin’s head in the back seat.wdw201331620435048Lilly and I walked around, enjoyed the fountain, light and music show as it was getting dark.  We also went shopping in Mouse Gear and this is where we did the ONLY pin trading that we did all week and it was very simple and painless.  There was a cast member with a bulletin board full of pins and you could trade 2 per person.  The big kids also did Mission Space and loved it (they did the less intense version).  Then we all finished up our day with Spaceship Earth.  This was fun and educational.wdw201331720463645Epcot was super fun to us and it was a great second day in the world of Disney.  We did not do Captain EO, Innoventions nor Living With The Land but our day was full and we did get to do everything we really wanted to do.  Looking back….I don’t know that there is anything I would change other than spending more time in The Seas with the aquariums.  The schedule was a success!

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