Spaceship Earth Epcot Walt Disney World

Exploring Epcot

Rumors are flying lately about all the refurbishments at Epcot. After our recent trip, I’m sort of relieved to hear it. Just like our days at Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom, I had a solid park plan for our day at Epcot. What I didn’t know was how much Epcot has changed since I was last there and how much that plan would be affected.

I was lucky enough to score a character breakfast for Miss O at Akershus for 8:25 AM Wednesday morning. The park was scheduled to open at 9 AM that day, so while we were getting in before rope drop, we wouldn’t really be in a position to beat the crowds since breakfast would take at least an hour. We already had one early day rope dropping Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom, so at least we got to sleep in a little? No matter what, I figured we would still already be in Norway, having already done the long walk through Future World to get there, and hopefully the line to meet Anna and Elsa would still be short and the wait for Frozen Ever After wouldn’t be quite so insane that early in the morning.

Frozen Ever After Walt Disney World Epcot Norway

I’ll say it again..150 minutes?!

My nephew, Mr. A, had no interest whatsoever in meeting princesses, so it was just the three of us rushing from our room at the Art of Animation Resort to get to the shuttle that morning. Which, of course, we missed. I tried to keep my cool as we debated what our options were and finally decided on grabbing a Lyft, until I saw a Minnie Van go by and HAD to try it. Because DISNEY.

When we finally got to Epcot, we hustled straight to Norway to check in for our reservation and, although, we were a few minutes late, we didn’t have long to wait until we were seated. After a fantastic character breakfast, we headed over to the Royal Sommerhaus to meet Anna and Elsa with less than a 10-minute wait. The rest of our family met us outside of Frozen Ever After and we boarded a boat in less than 10-minutes. Despite our missed shuttle, Epcot was off to a great start.

Test Track was next on our park plan, and since Miss O had zero interest in anything that goes that fast, she and I headed over to Mouse Gears, one of my favorite shops, to see what we could find. That’s when the rain started and Test Track temporarily closed. Hmmm…now what?!

We had an 11:55 FastPass+ for Soarin’ and a 1:15 FastPass for Living with the Land, so we were set for those. Neither of the kids wanted to meet Baymax in Hiro’s workshop and even though I really did want to meet Baymax, I let it go in favor of riding the Seas with Nemo and Friends. Nemo was pretty cute and both Miss O and Mr. A could’ve ridden it all day.

Baymax Hiro's Workshop Epcot Walt Disney World Big Hero 6

At least I still got to see him and snag this pic.

Once we pried the kids away from Nemo, we explored SeaBase. The aquariums were cool and I love Manatees, so it was a nice break, but honestly, I swear I remember that area having more to it. We tried to get the kids to do Turtle Talk with Crush, but Miss O was not having it. Oh well, this day was clearly going to be about flexibility.

I love Journey Into the Imagination with Figment, so we checked the line on the Disney app and confirmed it wasn’t too long. The kids loved the ride, even though we ended up with skunk in the smell room. I was a bit confused when we got off the ride and there was almost nothing in between the ride and the gift shop. Though I knew we were in the “What If” Labs area. I seem to remember more activities in there and it looked really empty. Miss O didn’t want to do anything there anyway and we quickly devolved into a tantrum. I calmed her down and got her to eat a banana, while Mr. A was busy having his own struggle with the Star Wars photo experience that is also in that area.

I realized it was past snack time, and even though we ate our fill at breakfast, I was starting to get hungry. Because Mr. A and I have so many food issues, we knew we’d have the best luck at Sunshine Seasons. They had lots of healthy options for everyone and I was able to find something gluten-free that was more than a sad salad. Food definitely did the trick and we were ready for our next ride.

While we were eating, we had a perfect view of the Soarin’ and Living with the Land wait times, both of which were way less than we anticipated. After lunch, Living with the Land was only a 5 minute wait, so we changed our plan and got in line. The kids had a good time pointing everything out and Miss O was busily reading all the signs. We finished just in time for our Soarin’ FastPass reservation and walked right in to the queue.

Sure enough, the second Miss O saw the rig for Soarin’ she decided she wanted NOTHING to do with it. If I hadn’t done it before, I would’ve been bummed to step out, but honestly, it’s not my favorite ride, so I’m good.

Once we were all back together, we realized we were way ahead of schedule and our next FastPass+ was for Spaceship Earth at 2:20. No matter, the World Showcase was up next and I was excited to get to Mexico, one of my favorite countries, to see what was added for Coco. Hubs was excited for the Grand Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros. I love Mexico, the culture is so vibrant and rich. It’s one of my favorite countries to visit. The food is amazing, too, so I was sort of bummed we didn’t get to eat there.

Epcot World Showcase Mexico Mayan Temple

On our way from Future World to Mexico, Mr. A spotted Pluto and instantly fell in love. It was so cute to see him want to meet Pluto so badly that of course we stopped! Miss O had no interest, so we stopped into the little gift shop to poke around a bit and then the sky opened up.  It was pouring, Mr. A was next in line and Pluto was hustling for backstage. We felt so bad for Mr. A. The cast member gave them the next times Pluto would be out and we assured Mr. A, we’d make it happen.

Once the rain cleared up enough to be tolerable, we continued on to Mexico. The additions for Coco were right in the main lobby and it was really cool to see the life size ofrenda. I would have liked to mill about in the indoor plaza a bit more, but everyone wanted to go on the ride, so off we went. It’s not one of my favorites, but you really can’t argue with a cool place to sit while you’re in Florida.

Mexico World Showcase Walt Disney World Epcot Dia de los Muertos

Rather than go back into the plaza, we headed to China. Miss O wanted to meet Mulan and our timing was such that we got into a very short line to wait. The sky did not look friendly, so they moved us inside. I didn’t mind so much because her backdrop is gorgeous inside and it gave us a break from the humidity, which was starting to mount. The rest of our family explored the shops and after a very lovely visit with Mulan, we rejoined them to figure out where we’d go next.

China Pavilion World Showcase Walt Disney World Epcot

Weather-wise, this was shaping up to be our rainiest day and it was really starting to affect how we enjoyed the park. The clouds were definitely darkening and it looked like this rain shower might be bigger than the last. I love visiting Germany, England and Italy, but I never bother with the USA because I live here, so why? Japan has a huge amazing shop, so I figured it would be best to wait out a big store there. With lots to look at and a robust toy section, including Hello Kitty, Pokemon and puzzle erasers, I figured Miss O would be happiest there for a long stretch. While I did miss the some of my favorite countries, the storm was definitely longer this time and we needed every inch of it to keep Miss O from getting bored.

Once the rain let up a bit we decided to brave it and headed for Morocco to meet Jasmine. My in-laws went with Mr. A in search of Pluto to try again and finally got to meet him!

Pluto Walt Disney World Epcot

We met up with our family and decide to spend the next rain shower in France with some delicious ice cream, even though our FastPass+ window for Spaceship Earth was about to close. I wasn’t too worried about the line for Spaceship Earth, since it doesn’t really get more than 10 minutes anyway. The ice cream was well worth it and we all needed a snack and a spirit boost. We knew it would rain, but this day was starting to feel like an all-day poncho kind of day.

We were closing in on our dinner reservation time at Coral Reef, so we skipped Canada and went straight towards the big silver ball. It’s so impressive and gorgeous as the light changes. Sure enough, it started raining again, but the wait was minimal when we got to the Spaceship Earth entrance and we walked right on the ride.

We were let out into Project Tomorrow, where there are a few fun games to interact with. Most of the offerings were new to me, but here again, I felt like something was missing. The kids played a cool light and motion enabled shuffleboard type game moving different types of energy to different parts of their game city called Power City. It held their attention for about 5-minutes then they moved on to Super Driver, a racing simulation that showcases systems that help people avoid motor vehicle accidents.

We still had time before our dinner reservation, and we wanted the kids to experience Innoventions, since they both love science so much. This is where my disappointment really set in. The Colortopia exhibit was fun and the kids were able to paint and explore with color, but that was really the only thing over there. We decided to go explore the other side, only to realize that was used to be the rest of it, was now a character meet and greet with Joy and Sadness. I would have been up for it, but Miss O and Mr. A were definitely not. Inside Out is such a great movie, but Miss O and my nephew have empathy that’s off the charts. Miss O was devastated after we watched that movie.

Fortunately, it was close enough to our dinner reservation time that we decided to see if they would seat us early. Thankfully, the staff at Coral Reef can see when a family is done for the day and they seated us about 10 minutes earlier than our reservation time. After sorting out our orders, I indulged my grown up Disney-side and sipped on this amazing drink with a color changing LED cube in it called a Magical Star Cocktail and Miss O fell asleep on the booth seat next to me.

Magical Star Cocktail drink Walt Disney World Coral Reef beverage

Dinner was amazing, but I was feeling pretty beat myself. I excused myself and Miss O after dessert and we left everyone to enjoy the Illuminations show while we went back to the room. We stopped for a quick PhotoPass photo of just the two of us under Spaceship Earth and then crashed as soon as we got to the room.

Day three at Disney World was a long one and we spent most of it ducking rain storms. I also spent a lot of it wondering where all the cool stuff I remembered had gone and when Future World started to look so dated. I hope the refurbishments bring Epcot back life. It really was one of my favorite parks. I went to sleep hoping the next day at Hollywood Studios would be a little more dry.

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