Tag Archives: Epcot

Dining with Royalty

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“I am a princess. All girls are. Even if they live in tiny old attics. Even if they dress in rags.  Even if they aren’t pretty, or smart or young. They’re still princesses. All of us. Didn’t you father ever tell you that? Didn’t he?” – The Little Princess

A royal invite!

A royal invite!

Last night my princesses (and princes) dined with Disney royalty. We had dinner reservations for Akershus, a restaurant in Norway (Thank you free Disney dining!). There you are invited to dine on traditional Norwegian dishes like smoked fish, kjottkake, and rice cream dessert in castle-like surroundings.

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When we arrived we were ushered in to meet Belle and have our picture taken with her.

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We were then seated and as the meal was served the princesses worked their way around the room to meet the princes and princesses dining with them. I only stayed long enough to get some photos before I had to excuse myself to stroll around the world showcase while everyone else ate. (My stomach just wasn’t ready for meatballs or smoked salmon.) 🙂

Here is a look at this royal meal…

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Ariel asked the kids if they had feet and if they had used them a lot today. :) Yes, yes we did!

Ariel asked the kids if they had feet and if they had used them a lot today. 🙂 Yes, yes we have!

Snow white was darling! Our photo mats are officially filled. We can't wait to frame them with a Disney photo when we get home.

Snow White was darling! Our photo mats are officially filled. We can’t wait to frame them with a Disney photo when we get home.

Snow White commented on the fact that Grace was wearing Dopey's favorite color.

Snow White commented on the fact that Grace was wearing Dopey’s favorite color.

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As soon as the food arrived I made my exit. Everyone said it was a wonderful meal...I'll take their word for it :)

As soon as the food arrived I made my exit. Everyone said it was a wonderful meal…I’ll take their word for it 🙂

 

 

Around the World in…8 Hours!

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Yesterday we were back at Epcot for round two. This time, rather than spending time in future world, we spent our entire day in the World Showcase. It took us 8 hours to travel from Canada to Mexico, taking the most indirect way possible through China, Morocco , France, and a few other countries along the way.

Knowing we were going to spend our day at the World Showcase we took advantage of the fact that is didn’t open until 11:00 am and we slept in. For the first time since vacation began a week ago we weren’t up with the birds. It was needed. The day before we spent the day at Magic Kingdom. The crowds had been minimal up until that point but the combination of it being a Saturday, being Magic Kingdom and not one of the other parks, as well as it having “magic hours” until 1:00 am made it a crowded place. It was also our hottest day since arriving in Florida. Halfway through the day the heat got to be too much for Miss Molly so I took her back to the hotel where she napped for three hours. When she woke up she felt better so we returned to meet up with the family.

That night we didn’t arrive home until 12:30 am. Everyone was exhausted so it worked out well that we didn’t need to be at the park the next day until 11:00. Everyone slept in until 9:00 am and woke up feeling much better.

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When we arrived at the park we began our adventure on the right side of the lagoon in Canada. Our first stop was the kids’ area where they all decorated fans to have stamped as they traveled around the world to the different nations. The boys also had their coins with them so that they could have a penny pressed from each country.

Decorating fans...

Decorating fans…

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Our first stop was Canada, where watched “O Canada,” a 360 circle vision film about Canada. This was also our first food stop of the day.

With our dining plan we receive 7 free snacks a day for our family. We have been saving the bulk of those free snacks for our “nations day” so that we could eat our way around the world. Stealing a friend’s idea, we bought a sampling of food from each country and each tried a bite. This became our lunch/dinner for the day.

In Canada we had maple sugar candy.

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Our next stop was the United Kingdom. Here we stopped for a bit to watch a great interactive comedy troupe called “The World Showcase Players.”

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Our food was fish and chips, which was enjoyed by everyone except Miss Molly.

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We also met Alice…

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The next nation in our trip around the world was France. This is the country we ended up spending the most time in, due in part to “Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure.” We stopped at the booth where the kids received a transmitter and a mission to perform. We chose to do ours in France. The kids loved it!

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Other activities in France included shopping…

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Trying perfume samples…

This perfume is the first in the world made entirely out of food and no flower extracts.

This perfume is the first in the world made entirely out of food and no flower extracts.

And of course eating. You just can’t visit France and not try the delicious French pastries. Here we bought a Napoleon, Citron, Mousse Au Chocolat, and an Éclair. When Ozzie bit into the Éclair he said, ” Mmmm, I think this is better than a twinkie.” That is a high compliment coming from Ozzie. 🙂

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Morocco was the next stop on our tour.

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Here we feasted on baklava…Yum!!

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Japan was next…

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When we arrived at Japan Toby informed the girls that he had a surprise for us. Here, at the Japan pavilion, you can “pick a pearl.” Toby paid for Gracie, Molly, Joy and I to each pick an oyster and get a pearl. The entire process was a lot of fun. We all made our choices and our treasures were revealed one by one.

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Our treasures...

Our treasures…

In Japan we decided that rather than buying a food we would try some traditional Japanese drinks instead. (Everyone was thirsty) Some were better than others. 🙂

Rusty didn't like that one :)

Rusty didn’t like that one 🙂

Our next nation was the United States. This marked the halfway point in our journey. Here we had the joy of listening to the “Voices of Liberty,” (they were amazing!) and watching a show called, “The American Adventure.”

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Here we dined on funnel cakes, of course!

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Our next country was Italy. This was a quick stop. We only stayed long enough to get our Italian lemon ice and keep on walking…

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The next stop was…Germany!

As we were walking around Germany I was telling the kids about living there as a child. Halfway through my description Ozzie interrupted me with the question, “So, how’d you like living in China?”

I’m so glad my children listen to me when I talk. 🙂

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Here we feasted on pretzels.

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Next stop was China. We knew we wanted to watch the Jeweled Dragon Acrobats so we found a seat before the show began while Toby went to pick up our snack for China- eggrolls.

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As we were leaving look who we met…

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By this point in our journey we had two nations left.

In Norway we had lefse to eat which was rolled flat bread with butter, cinnamon and sugar.

The big hit at this nation was the Maelstrom ride.

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Momma's little Vikings.

Momma’s little Vikings.

And our final stop…drumroll please…Mexico!

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Here we rode “Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros” and ate nachos.

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By this time it was almost 8:00 pm. Everyone was ready to put their feet up. Every wonder how many miles it is from Canada to Mexico…10.3 miles. You thought it would be more, didn’t you?!

Well it felt like more. 🙂

It was a good day.

“I want to travel the world with you: go to every country, every city, take pictures and be happy.”

Day 1- Epcot

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The day began with tears…

but not sad tears, happy ones.

After walking out the door by 8:00 am we made it to Epcot, parked the car, and were standing in line to get in by 8:30.

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The excitement was palpable. especially with Ozzie whose emotions rest so close to the surface. He was literally shaking with anticipation. Minutes before 9:00 the morning welcome began. Over the loud speakers music began to play as we were welcomed to Epcot in many languages. As the song came to its finale, cannons of confetti and streamers were shot into the air and the gates were opened. I looked over to see Ozzie crying. He smiled at me through his tears, “I’m just so happy,” he said.

I suppose for Ozzie and Tyler, who have had so few good things happen in their early years, the magic of Disney can be overwhelming.

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Our first stop, after walking though the front gate, was Test Track. The little boys have been talking about Test Track for the last week after seeing videos of the ride online. Both my little boys are car lovers. They both moved in with us bringing huge collections of matchbox cars as their prize possessions. Tyler is always scoping out the “coolest”car in the parking lot wherever we go while Ozzie spouts out facts about its engine size and manufacturing history. So when they found out that there was a ride at Disney World where you could design your own can and then test it by riding through a series of obstacles they couldn’t wait.

The ride did not disappoint!

Ozzie designing his car.

Ozzie designing his car.

Rust and Tyler worked together.

Rust and Tyler worked together.

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Our next stop was mission space where the kids got to act as astronauts on an important mission.

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Other favorite rides included: Soarin’, Journey into Imagination with Figment, and Living with the Land.

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We decided to spend the entire day in Future World and save the World Showcase for our next visit in a few days. We wanted to be able to take our time and allow the kids all the exploration time they wanted. We knew that Ozzie was going to love the science behind so many of the exhibits and we were right. He especially loved all the exhibits about storms and weather.

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Halfway through the morning we stumbled across a little known gem called, “Club Cool.” Inside this building they offer free soda, and not your run of the mill soda but soda from around the world. We went inside to sample. They offered local favorites from different countries. We took turns sampling and sipping each new soda and then voted on our favorites.

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IMG_0798 (2)These were the final votes for our favorite flavors:

Grace, Molly, Ozzie, and Tyler voted for Thailand,

Rusty voted for Zimbabwe.

Toby and I voted for South Africa.

Although we couldn’t agree on the best, we all agreed on the worst:

Beverly from Italy.

It was horribly bitter and tasted like aspirin dissolved in soda water…Yuck!

The Beverly soda.

The Beverly soda.

As we were walking over to the Seas pavilion after our soda taste test we heard Tyler yell, “Look, squirrels!”

We looked to see where he was pointing and saw this:

:)

🙂

If we thought Ozzie was excited by the science at innovations it was nothing compared to Tyler’s excitement over the fish at The Sea’s aquarium.

"Fish are friends, not food."

“Fish are friends, not food.”

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Here the kids got to ride “The Seas with Nemo and Friends,” watch a dolphin show, and meet Crush the sea turtle in a cool interactive animation show called “Turtle Talk With Crush.” In this show Crush calls on kids from the audience to ask him questions. The kids sit in the front and parents in the back. I couldn’t see my kids but I knew Ozzie was being called on when I heard Crush say, “Little dude with the goggles, what’s your question?”

Ozzie asked him if he knew where Nemo was. 🙂

It was an adorable show and Ozzie was thrilled to be picked!

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By afternoon everyone was ready to sit and take a break from the walking. We paused to watch a street show and use our free snack for the day on a cold treat.

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For dinner we had reservations at Biergarten restaurant in Germany’s pavilion. As you walk into this restaurant it looks like you are in a German square during an Octoberfest celebration.

It looks so real that at one point Ozzie said to me, "I guess it is getting late. Look, the moon is already out." I had to remind him that we were indoors. :)

It looks so real that at one point Ozzie said to me, “I guess it is getting late. Look, the moon is already out.” I had to remind him that we were indoors. 🙂

The food was SO good! We stuffed ourselves with all sorts of German favorites like: pork schnitzel, potato dumplings, nudel gratin and black forest cake.

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While we ate a polka band played and invited the diners to come down and dance. Ozzie didn’t need to be asked twice. He was ready to dance.

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Our meal ended just in time to find a spot outside for the firework show: Illuminations. After watching we started back to the car. By this point Tyler was ready for a soft bed. He kept telling us how much his legs hurt. We knew that Epcot would be a big walking day but were curios just how much walking we would do so Toby put on a pedometer before we left. When we arrived at our car Toby announced our total for the day…

9.14 miles!

No wonder everyone’s tired.  🙂