Part of the line up of scheduled posts that were due to go live during my vacation, was a travel blog outlining the highlights of each day. The subsequent problems with Blogger put an end to that idea, but I thought to myself 'what's topping me for writing them now asa reflection?' So here is the first of my Disney Travel Blog series; starting with Epcot!
The first ride of any Epcot visit has to be the Universe of Energy with Ellen DeGeneres. I love it! It's like a 45min sit down ride in the dark with the most important thing in Florida: air conditioning! It's also for that reason that lots of people don't actually like it. Some also see it as out dated, but I just see it as a classic ride that I will never tire of.
Next, I hopped over the plaza to The Seas Pavilion, which I'm actually embarrassed to say, I only found out existed last year. Usually I would just head straight to The Land Pavilion, not realising that there is anything beyond that point. So many regrets now! I rode The Seas with Nemo and Friends into the Pavilion, which was a nice ride, but it's the Pavilion itself I was most interested with. The Seas Pavilion is home to Epcot's own aquarium where you can see dolphins, manatees and all manner of sea life. I particularly liked this little sea turtle that came over to say HI!
After that it's straight up to The Land Pavilion, where my first stop has to be The Circle of Life. It is an environmental tale featuring characters from The Lion King, teaching people about the effects of pollution on the environment and how people are trying to combat the effects. Love it; must see it every time I am there. Then there is Living with the Land, which is a little boat ride through the Epcot greenhouses. On it you see all these different types of fruits, vegetables and grains being grown, along with aquaculture (fish-farming), the Biotechnology Lab and the Integrated Pest Management Lab. I find it were interesting that much of the greenhouse produce is used in both of The Land Pavilion eateries, kind of like a farm to table notion.
My final 'ride' highlight was that I arranged my Epcot visit to coincide with the grand opening of the Royal Sommerhaus in the Norway Pavilion of the World Showcase. You know what that means?! I met Anna and Else in their new photo-spot. And look at these cute little dolls that eagle eyed guest waiting in the queue can spot as they wind through the Royal Sommerhaus. These were the dolls that Anna played with during 'Do you want to build a snowman?' It's the little things, guys!
There's also a new store 'The Wandering Reindeer' which sells only Frozen Merchandise. I was quite excited by the prospect of there being some exclusive Frozen products but it's all just the kid's toys and dress up clothing that's all over the Magic Kingdom.
This year as part of my Epcot experience I had planned to eat around the world; stopping to have a bit in every country of the World Showcase. Did it go as planned? No, because I realised that I don't actually eat a lot in America. So instead I tried one from like every second country, also sharing each meal with my mum, as to not make myself sick.
From Refreshment Port at the Showcase Plaza, so known as that bit before Canada, I purchased the mystical 'Cronut'. It is best described as the flaky, buttery layered pastry associated with a croissant, but deep fried and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, like a doughnut. It was delightful, but could have been made better if they hadn't ran out of vanilla ice cream to accompany it. Ice cream makes everything better.
Next stop: United Kingdom. This place always makes me giggle as it's set up like a stereotypical English Village; all wooden beams and thatched roofs. I went to the Rose and Crown pub side for some fish and chips. It was actually a let down; all very bland and nothing special. I had been to the Rose and Crown before for fish and chips, but it was the restaurant side. I just assumed the food came from the same area, but obviously not as the fish was not as good.
America was my next foodie stop where I picked up this unusual beverage/dessert combination from the 'Fife and Drum Tavern'. It is called the American Dream and it is both red and blue slushy, divided by a layer of vanilla soft serve ice cream. I thought that this would taste really strange, but it was amazingly good. Both refreshing and creamy at the same time.
Germany did not have much that interested me until I entered the 'Karamell-Küche'. I know this as the land of Werther's Original Caramel. All the bakery snacks are sweets that include the Werther's caramel in some way. I didn't want anything too heavy and so I picked up this chocolate and caramel covered marshmallow. I really enjoyed it as it got the balance of chocolate and caramel to marshmallow ratio spot on, as it wasn't cloyingly sweet.
Next was China, which was tricky to pick something up as the other half of my travel party was an extremely picky eater. I thought these Chicken Gyoza from the 'Lotus Blossom Cafe', which I have wanted to try for like ever, would be a best bet. I enjoyed them as they were savoury, which I hadn't had in a while, and stuffed full of chicken and some kind of vegetable; it was hard to tell. They were not a hit with the picky eater however.
Last stop on the foodies trip around the world was in Norway. At the 'Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe' my choice was Norwegian meatballs, mashed potatoes, gravy and lingonberry sauce, and a berry cream puff. It was by far the best food option I had tried during the food tour. If you could only eat at one world Pavilion my recommendation would be here. Ten out of ten, would eat again.
That's the end of my Epcot adventures for this year! It was an immensely fun experience. It makes me wonder why people sometimes don't bother visiting Epcot; I'd rate it was good as Magic Kingdom!
Have I convinced you that Epcot is the Disney hidden gem?
Louise x x