I couldn’t wait to get back to Epcot! It had been way too long, and I had a list of things to see and do. Once again, we were out the door as early as possible. I have to say that getting through security this day seemed longer than the day before at Animal Kingdom, but it was all good once we were in and headed to our first Fastpass.
I know that Epcot has been going through a lot of changes and construction. Walls were everywhere around Spaceship Earth. Honestly, I don’t remember every single detail of how it looked when I was there before, but it was exciting for me to see all the new things too. I just remember taking it all in. I love Epcot and I was so happy to be there again.
Lucky for us, the line for the picture in front of Spaceship Earth wasn’t too long, so we were able to get many great photos through Memory Maker. The photographer didn’t seem to be bothered that the line behind us was starting to grow as he asked our family who was related to who and separated us into different photos. I didn’t mind; I love that he took the time to make sure everyone had their picture taken with their significant other and family members. I’m not sure the people waiting behind us were as happy about it!
We were visiting Epcot during the Food and Wine Festival. Most of the adults in my family were anxious to get to the World Showcase to begin experiencing it all. However, before we started eating around the world, we had our Fastpasses to get to!
Our first Fastpass was for the Seas with Nemo & Friends. As we made our way onto the ride, the seagulls outside yapping, “Mine! Mine! Mine!” had everyone laughing. After watching this on YouTube, I was happy to board the shell and experience this first-hand. I remember Alex laughing as they were telling us to keep our legs, hands and fins in the shell at all times. This ride was relaxing and the perfect way to start our day at Epcot. Michael was looking at everything, smiling and I knew he was enjoying it. From there, we made our way to Turtle Talk with Crush. This was adorable and Alex was trying so hard to get picked to talk to Crush! After it was over, he told me that next time he is going to sit closer to the front!
I’m going to be honest, our next Fastpass was for Soarin’. This was the one Fastpass that I really wanted and was so happy to get. I couldn’t wait to get on! To say I was excited is an understatement. As we were in the queue waiting our turn, I took a selfie with my sister so we could remember this moment forever. I’m quite embarrassed to say this, but the ride scared the hell out of me! I’m not sure what it was?? I knew very well that it was a simulated ride and there would be dips. I watched countless YouTube videos of the ride; I knew what to expect. What happened?? I guess my nerves got the best of me (and my sister too). Gabe sat on the end with Michael next to him, Alex, my sister and then me. The moment that ride swept up, that was it! I had a total panic attack! I closed my eyes for a few minutes and took a few deep breaths. However, the best part is the amount of screaming I did! So much so that, at one point, Patty said to me, “Joann, we are the only ones screaming and holding on for our lives!” LOL! I looked down at my boys and Gabe. They were totally enjoying it! Michael was smiling, Alex was laughing and Gabe shot me a look like ,’please get ahold of yourself!’ I totally ruined it for myself and I have no clue what the heck came over me! I’m not kidding when I said I came off that ride with my legs shaking! What the heck, Joann?! I can laugh about it now and, believe me, my whole family laughed the rest of the day! It’s ok though. When I did open my eyes, it was beautiful! I will get on Soarin’ during our next visit to redeem myself! Ok, enough with that! I’m so embarrassed!
After calming myself down, we decided to head over to the World Showcase to experience the Food and Wine Festival. We all decided that instead of having a sit-down lunch, we would sample everything we could at each of the pavilions.
We started off in the Mexico Pavilion. We sampled the empanadas and had a little sangria. The empanadas were delicious! We really took our time, sitting down when we could, just enjoying every moment of the festival. I was happy that the boys didn’t seem to mind our slow pace and Michael enjoyed sampling all the food as well. Alex is, of course, another story. Speaking of Alex, he wanted to check out the inside of the Mexico Pavilion. We had watched the movie, “Coco,” in the summer and all of us really enjoyed it. The Mexico Pavilion was always a favorite of mine to explore. Alex was excited to see all the “Coco” items in the Art of Mexico shopping area. He immediately picked up one of the ceramic skeletons, as well as the “Coco”-themed wooden guitars. He loved it! We probably spent a good 40 minutes there, just taking it all in. Before leaving the pavilion, we decided to board the boat cruise for the Gran Fiesta Tour.
We continued to make our way through the festival, sampling everything. For the most part, everything I tried was delicious. I really enjoyed it. I didn’t do too much ‘drinking around the world.’ LOL! My niece and her fiancé; however, were prepared to enjoy everything, as you can see by the shirts they were wearing.
If you remember the Epcot goals I posted last year, I was so excited to visit the Japan Pavilion and, more specifically, to Pick a Pearl! I was so excited that I completely lost my family as I made my way straight to the counter to get my pearl! I really thought everyone was right behind me, but apparently, the Pokémon toys totally distracted my son, Alex (and everyone else).
I didn’t really have any kind of strategy as I looked over the oysters. (Seriously, I wasn’t digging for gold here.) I picked the first one I laid my eyes on. I must admit I was a bit nervous, but anxious to see what kind of pearl I was getting. When the cast member opened it, I had no idea what she said (in Japanese), but all I could see were two beautiful pearls! I hit the jackpot! Okay, so maybe not the jackpot, but I think you can understand how excited I was to get TWO! After picking the two pearls, I walked over to look at the jewelry available to have my pearls set into. I immediately picked up a ring and knew that was how I wanted them set. I was told to come back at a specific time, and it would be ready for me to take home. My husband was able to find me just as the cast member was giving me the pearls and was able to take a video of my special moment.
As we continued through the World Showcase, my sister and I were able to escape to Norway! I told her we needed to try the Schoolhouse bread and she was all for it. It did not disappoint! I’ve been researching trying to find a bakery near me that makes it and I did! I haven’t visited it yet, but I’ll let you know how it compares when I do!
My dad had told my son, Alex, that if he found a souvenir he wanted, he would buy it for him. All Alex wanted to do once we left Animal Kingdom the day before, was have his face painted. So, when he noticed it at Epcot, he wasted no time in letting my dad know he found what he wanted. I love that he picked out such a detailed design and it came out great too! He was such a happy boy! There wasn’t much more he could ask for that day, except to meet Goofy! And this lucky boy was able to do that too!
Alex had been on such a kick trying to get all the characters to sign his autograph book! He needed to get Goofy; that’s all I heard the day before. So, when we walked over to the bridge and noticed Goofy posing for pictures, he couldn’t get there fast enough. But the line! Ugh, the line was so long! I knew there would be no way of avoiding it but, thankfully, my brother-in-law said, “I’ll stand in line with him.” By that time, I had to go back to Japan to pick up my new pearl ring!
Just as I returned to still find Alex waiting for Goofy, they informed us that Goofy had to take a break. Of course he did! LOL! Thankfully, it was just a short break and Goofy was back. I got in the line with him as Gabe waited on the side with Michael. I can’t say it enough. Michael was so great at waiting patiently for everything and he barely used the rental stroller. He wanted to walk the entire day!
When it was Alex’s turn to finally meet him, Goofy was being is usual goofy self. Goofy grabbed Alex’s autograph book and walked over pretending he was going to throw it in the trash can. Alex was laughing saying, “No, don’t do that!” Goofy then walked over to the bridge and, this time, pretended he was going to toss it over the bridge. Alex was giggling so hard while telling him, “No, Goofy!” It was adorable to watch and Goofy was just so much fun to be around. We took a few pictures and he finally autographed both boys’ books. Alex had a huge smile on his face. He finally met Goofy!
As you can tell by the clouds in the Goofy photos, there was a storm coming in. I thought I was so prepared! No worries. I had our ponchos and it would be just a small shower and move quickly. Wow was I wrong! It came down in buckets! I had no warning and I just wasn’t fast enough to get the ponchos out. Let’s just say, everyone was dry as I was handing out the ponchos to everyone else while lucky mom was getting drenched. Ugh. I hate being wet and my plan (or excuse) to purchase a new Epcot t-shirt was so I could be dry, but that never happened. We had more Fastpasses to get to!
Our next Fastpass was Journey into Imagination with Figment! It’s an oldie but a goodie that has been a favorite of mine since my first visit to Epcot. I even took a Figment plushie home with me that year! I wish I had kept it. The boys loved it too! After Figment, it was over to the Land for our next Fastpass for Living with the Land.
Our very last Fastpass for the day was Spaceship Earth. Honestly, it was the best way to end our day. I can’t say enough about how much I enjoyed Epcot! Having my family with me to enjoy the day made it that much more meaningful. Epcot has always been my favorite park and it’s definitely still up there!
I’m looking forward to the next time we visit Epcot because there will be so many new and exciting things to see and do. Until then, I’ll just have to relive the memories through all of our amazing photos!
Have you been to Epcot? What is your favorite thing to see and do? I’d love to hear in the comments below!