Disney Recap - Epcot

Friday, June 05, 2015

Epcot was the last park we visited, the only one we visited twice, and the one I had most been looking forward to. Honestly, although I loved it, I think I hyped it up a little too much in my head over the last 20+ years. It was amazing to explore, but overall, I loved the Magic Kingdom a little more. That said, the World Showcase was my favorite thing at Disney World, and I only wish that we had more time (and money!) to spend there.

Additionally, we were there at the end of the Flower and Garden Festival, so we got to enjoy all of the beautiful gardens and topiaries.

Where We Ate

La Cantina de San Angel (World Showcase, Mexico)

Tom's nachos at Cantina de San Angel
We came in determined to eat our way around the world (which didn't quite happen, even over two days), and we started in Mexico. Tom got the nachos (minus jalapenos) and I got the empanadas de queso kids meal. Both were tasty.

Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe (World Showcase, Norway)

We were actually at the Norway pavilion on Norway's Constitution Day, which was really cool, as there were a lot of Norwegians there celebrating. I tried the school bread, a cardamom bun filled with vanilla custard and topped with toasted coconut, and it was my favorite thing I ate throughout our entire trip. I had some friends recommend the lefse, but we didn't have a chance to go back to Norway the next day.

Sommerfest (World Showcase, Germany)

I tried the nudel gratin, basically baked macaroni and cheese; it was good, but not quite as good as my granny's. Tom got the frankfurter without sauerkraut, which I didn't try.

Boulangerie Patisserie les Halles (World Showcase, France)

Tom and I both got the roule lard et fromage, a bacon and cheese roll, which was delicious. I also tried the frangipane, a puff pastry with almond filling, which was also very good.

Kabuki Cafe (World Showcase, Japan)

While I probably should have tried the kakigori just to try something new, it had been a long time since I'd had green tea ice cream, and it sounded really good.

Fife and Drum Tavern (World Showcase, The American Adventure)

On our last day in the parks, as we were waiting to watch Illuminationts, Tom finally got the giant turkey leg here that he'd been wanting to try all week. I didn't try it, as it did not look appetizing to me, but he LOVED it.

What We Did

Future World

  • Circle of Life: An Environmental Fable -- This conservation film featuring Simba, Timon, and Pumbaa was actually a lot more interesting than I thought it would be.
  • Club Cool -- This little area sponsored by Coca-Cola allows you to try different Coke products from around the world. My fave was Inca Kola (from Peru), and my least favorite was Bibo (from Souh Africa).
  • Ellen's Energy Adventure -- The only time it rained during our park touring was while we were on this ride. It was surprisingly long (45 minutes, including the opening film). It was a little stale (as I expected it to be), but it was amusing, and we didn't regret riding it.
  • Journey Into Imagination With Figment -- I've heard a lot of disparaging comments about this ride (and Figment in particular), but I actually enjoyed it. I did think that the taste and touch labs would have been much more interesting than Figment's house though. The ImageWorks Lab at the end was cool too; it was fun to make music just by waving my hands!
  • Living With The Land -- I loved this little boat trip! It was informative, and it was interesting to see the greenhouses where Disney grows some of its food!
  • Mission: SPACE -- This was the first thing we did at Epcot, and we loved it! I wish it was longer (I felt that way at most rides, actually), but it was a blast (<---unintentional space pun).
Mission: SPACE (and a Buzz Lightyear topiary)
  • The Seas with Nemo & Friends -- I love Finding Nemo, and I loved all the tanks of fish, but I thought the ride was actually pretty pointless. I did like the EAC tunnel though.
I found Dory, y'all
  • Soarin' -- One of my absolute FAVORITE rides at Disney World. Tom was nervous at first (a recurring theme -- he's really not a theme park kind of guy), but as soon as he realized how subtle the movements were, he loved it too.
  • Spaceship Earth -- A lot of fun. I enjoyed looking at the different scenes, Judi Dench's voice was very soothing, it was fun to go backwards (though it was slow), and I'm pretty sure I saw a Forsworn Briarheart (from Skyrim) in one of the scenes.
  • Test Track -- We almost had to miss it due to rain, but it opened back up pretty quickly. It wasn't really what I thought it would be (I figured it was pretty much all one giant speed test, but it actually tested many different aspects of vehicles). Unfortunately, even though I touched my MagicBand to the pole, our car didn't show up on the ride, but it wasn't a big deal.
World Showcase
  • Mexico Pavilion  -- We rode the Gran Fiesta Tour. It was okay; I would ride it again (I love boats), but it wasn't my favorite thing. The pavilion itself was great; the simulated open-air market was absolutely lovely.
  • Norway Pavilion -- For some reason, despite the fact that I have much more of a hereditary connection to the UK pavilion, I felt very connected in Norway. I enjoyed the exhibit on some of the inspirations for Frozen.
a statue of King Olaf II, patron saint of Norway
  • China Pavilion -- The China pavilion was absolutely beautiful, and there were many lovely items in the shops. We didn't stay for the film because our feet were killing us and you have to stand up the whole time (for some reason, standing seems to be more bothersome than walking).
the gorgeous ceiling in the Temple of Heaven-based building that houses Reflections of China
  • Germany Pavilion -- The shops were very interesting; it was cool to see all of the carved cuckoo clocks and different steins.
  • Italy Pavilion -- I was too full to get gelato, but we did sit by the fountain and enjoy some of the performers.
  • The American Adventure -- The show was good, but not as good as the Voices of Liberty choral ensemble.
  • Japan Pavilion -- I could have spent hours inside the Mistukoshi store. The pavilion was lovely, and the drummers were awesome.
  • Morocco Pavilion -- I thought the Morocco pavilion was the most visually interesting of all the pavilions. I loved getting to explore all of the different nooks, and the shops were very interesting.
the gorgeous Morocco pavilion
  • France Pavilion -- Lovely, but somewhat underwhelming. 
Belle and the Beast topiaries at the France pavilion
  • United Kingdom -- I loved the shops, and I got to discuss tea at the tea shop with a British visitor who hated his hotel tea. Tom enjoyed The British Revolution's performance while I shopped.
  • Canada -- The Canada Pavilion was beautiful, but there wasn't much to do. I wish they had a counter service restaurant (back when Le Cellier was a cafeteria, I heard that they had maple syrup pie, and that always sounded really good).
the waterfall at the Canada pavilion
  • Illuminations -- Great, but not as great as Fantasmic!.
Overall, even though I came in with extremely high expectations, Epcot, for the most part, lived up to them. I can't wait to go back (and try some more of the World Showcase restaurants!).

Part 1 - Trip Details and Resort Hopping
Part 2 - Magic Kingdom
Part 3 - Hollywood Studios
Part 4 - Animal Kingdom and Downtown Disney

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