Epcot is kind of a strange park. It doesn't have a lot of thrill rides -- it feels more adult than the other parks. I personally was looking forward to walking through the World Showcase Pavilions and trying out foods from the different countries. In hindsight, I should have planned our food a little better this day. Jessie, especially, needed a bit more than the protein bar I gave her at the hotel and she had a bit of a melt down after we left The Seas with Nemo & Friends. More on that later.
In an effort to check out the monorail, we took the boat over to the Contemporary and then road the monorail -- Mistake #1. This added WAY too much time to our travel time. The girls enjoyed riding it and it was nice to get a little mini-tour of Epcot when we arrived, but we had to switch trains and it didn't seem to add anything to the trip. I think we all would have been fine with skipping this.
At Epcot, we looked for a spot to have breakfast and grabbed coffee and cupcakes at Starbucks. We then headed towards The Seas with Nemo & Friends. Jessie noticed the Water Artist and we stopped to watch him for a little while. He even invited Maggie to help him finish Minnie's bow!
The Nemo ride was okay (Jessie got a little scared in the dark parts), but the best part was when we got close to the end and realized we were seeing REAL fish as well. The girls LOVED this part of Epcot and probably would have been happy to spend all day here. The Sea Base is 5.7 million gallon aquarium. They loved watching all the fish, looking for the rays, manatees and dolphins. We missed the dolphin show -- the overhead speakers were a little hard to understand so we weren't sure where to go to watch. We did catch the tail end.
We were also able to catch Turtle Talk with Crush while we were at Sea Base. This was really cool. Live talking with a cartoon character? The kids sat up front to really interact with Crush [Maggie wanted to go again because she couldn't think of a question the first time around and wanted to ask him something!]. The technology involved in a show like this is simply amazing [and we saw the technology again at the Magic Kingdom]. Crush even got annoyed when someone's cell phone went off!
We started walking around a bit trying to decide where to go next. Jessie wanted to be able to go right up next to some of the flowers and that's when the meltdown started. We ended up in the Land Pavillion where Rocky and Maggie were able to check out the Timon & Pumbaa Circle of Life [Maggie said it was boring] while I got them a Fast Pass for Soarin' [awesome per Maggie]. I got Jessie some food and we chilled for a bit and decided what she wanted to do next -- meet Alice in Wonderland.
We headed to the International part of Epcot and found Alice. We were the last people in line before her break -- a wonderful cast member, who had probably turned others away, let us stay in line for this time frame. Jessie was so excited [and I didn't realize she liked Alice so much], but very shy. She entertained the people ahead of us in line a bit -- after the meltdown, I was surprised she was in such a good mood. She did take a picture with Alice and got autographs for herself and Maggie, but she wouldn't talk to Alice. Same thing happened with Mary Poppins, though we almost didn't get a photo there! We met up with Rocky & Maggie in England and then headed to France for ice cream at L'Artisan des Glaces! We each got a cone to enjoy and then I got to start my Wine Walk! My post about the wines is on Fine Wines on a Budget.
Maggie decided she wanted to try to meet Aladdin and Jasmine, so we headed over to Morocco and ended up waiting about 35 minutes as they had just gone on break when we got there. We were all tired, hungry, hot and a little crabby at this point. The girls waffled on whether or not they wanted to meet them and whether or not they would get autographs or photos. In the end, Maggie got nice photos with them. We found a place to get slushies in Japan and then to Italy for my 2nd wine tasting and some lunch. Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar was the only thing open at 3 p.m. in Italy. The food (and wine!) was good, but the adult portions were VERY small. The kid's portions were almost twice the size. I had a panini with fontina and salami that was served with a wedge ceaser salad -- probably the best ceaser salad I've ever had. I also enjoyed the Chardonnay, Tenuta Di Nozzole Le Bruniche.
After deciding we were done meeting characters, we took the boat back to Future World to check out Journey into Imagination with Figment and Spaceship Earth. The girls enjoyed Figment, especially the interactive part at the end where they had the opportunity to jump and play where it was air conditioned! Spaceship Earth was almost exactly as I remembered it 15+ years ago. But the interactive play was new to me [maybe we skipped it as I was with friends]. And Maggie is now happy to tell people that the attraction is "a little outdated."
Epcot wasn't very crowded, which was a huge plus for us [none of us enjoy large crowds] and the bus ride back to the hotel was quick and much easier than attempting the monorail had been! I'm not sure I could have done much more planning to make our day smoother, other than nail down where and when to eat! We were still hungry when we got back to the hotel and I believe this was the night we ordered in pizza -- gotta love room service! [which I must say our room service delivery was top notch. I don't want to call him the delivery guy because his presence was much more than that. He treated our pizza delivery as if he were serving in the fine dining restaurant.]
And I did get my family picture [even if Jessie doesn't look thrilled -- at least she wasn't crying and it is pretty much her facial expression in all the family photos from the trip].