Walt Disney World Diaries: Epcot

Walt Disney World Diaries: Epcot

 

For the third addition to my Walt Disney World Diaries series, I’ve moved on to Epcot. As a child, this was my least favourite park as it has the least rides but it has moved up in the ranks. I now love exploring the different pavilions and taking advantage of Epcot’s photo opportunities.

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

Lion King topiary
Topiary of The Lion King, Epcot.

 

One of my favourite things about visiting Epcot at the time we did (May 2019) is because of the Flower and Garden Festival. I’m fortunate enough to have experienced this on two occasions and it’s so interesting to see all of the different topiaries in the shape of Disney characters. Not only does it mean more photo pass spots, but also more characters to discover around the pavilions.

Beginning at Mexico

Mexico, World Pavilion
Mexico at Epcot

I prefer to begin the World Showcase in Mexico, which has improved a lot since I last visited. Inside of this beauty is filled with Coco themed merchandise, sugar skulls and the Three Caballeros ride. This is one of the most beautiful pavilions in my opinion but not many people think to look inside and explore.

Let it go

Frozen ride at Epcot
Frozen ride, Epcot

Frozen was my first FastPass as it is one for the whole family and it’s a ride I hadn’t been on. My dad was obsessed with the Norway area. My sister and I had a photo opportunity in front of the Elsa and Anna topiaries before moving on.

Characters around the park

Photo with Goofy at Epcot
Goofy at Epcot

As you move forward through the world pavilion each country has its own charm and own characters for example in Germany you can meet Snow White and drink German beer. In China, you can meet Mulan and explore a Chinese garden. In between all these exciting places we found some of the main characters such as Mickey, Goofy and Pluto through one of the side lanes and although photo pass photographers weren’t there, it’s a good way to get a photo and avoid queues. 

Reminds me of a place I’d been before

Morocco, Epcot
Morocco, Epcot

One of the most photogenic and beautiful countries featured in the world showcase is definitely Morocco. After visiting the city of Marrakesh on my volunteer trip last year which you can read here, some of the pictures bare similarities. However, the Disney version was much cleaner and safer. You also get to meet Princess Jasmine here if you missed her in Magic Kingdom.

Not my England

England pavilion, Epcot
England, Epcot

Although the Morocco pavilion is quite similar, the England pavilion, in my opinion, is very far away from my England. This may be due to the North/South divide and myself residing the in North but Sunderland certainly is not this pretty and peaceful. 

Your personal healthcare assistant at Epcot

Baymax meet at Epcot
Baymax meet, Epcot

After exploring the World Showcase we headed back to the other pavilions. The other FastPass I had for the day were Soarin’ which was at the land pavilion and then we went to the sea pavilion and rode the Nemo ride. The sea pavilion is especially good for kids interested in marine life as it has real sea creatures and a Bruce the Shark play area. We then went to Nero’s workshop and I met Baymax and there’s also the option to meet other characters such as Vanellope, Wreck-It Ralph and Joy and Sadness from Inside Out. 

Finish the day with Fireworks

Fireworks at Epcot
Fireworks at Epcot

After meeting Baymax we walked over to see if we could get on any of the bigger rides which were Test Track and Mission: Space. Unfortunately, this time around we couldn’t but they are both rides I have done in the past. This park is very difficult to get FastPasses for as there are not many rides so I’d definitely prioritise which of the more popular rides you would prefer. In this instance, we had chosen Frozen and Soarin’ as we had not ridden either of these previously but when I visit again I will make sure Test Track is on my list as this is probably my favourite in the park. We then ended the day waiting for the fireworks and the Illuminations: Reflections of Earth is the show currently at Epcot which is being replaced in October 2019 by Epcot Forever so keep your eyes peeled!

This concludes the third edition of my Walt Disney World diaries. If you would like to read about the other parks you can click here to view my post on Magic Kingdom or here if you’d like to read about Hollywood Studios. Be sure to look out for my final addition featuring Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

Walt Disney World diaries: Magic Kingdom

The second park, Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom is hands down one of my favourite places in the world. It basically says what it is on the tin and if you ever get the opportunity to go, you should. On this trip the second park we visited was Magic Kingdom and if you would like to read the first part of the Walt Disney World diaries series you can click here

Beginning at Adventureland

An image of Adventureland, Magic Kingdom
An image of Adventureland, Magic Kingdom

There are two ways in which people usually venture around Magic Kingdom you either begin at Tomorrowland or Adventureland. Due to Adventureland normally being the least busy we began there. I immediately got early FastPasses for Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Carribean and The Haunted Mansion. In Adventureland, you will find a series of rides and the shops are mainly featuring characters such as Aladdin and Moana. There’s also an Aladdin and Jasmine meet near the Magic Carpet ride.

Tangled at Magic Kingdom

The Tangled bathrooms, Magic Kingdom
The Tangled bathrooms

Between Adventureland and Frontierland we rode Pirates Of The Carribean, you also have the option to meet Jack Sparrow. Next, we headed to Frontierland which is home of Big Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain before then heading to Liberty Square. Liberty Square is home to my sister’s favourite ride, The Haunted Mansion, which we usually ride several times if possible. Magic Kingdom was so busy our only option was to keep booking fast passes as the queues were enormous.

We stumbled on an area which was not there the last time we visited and was of particular interest to me as I am a huge fan of the Disney film Tangled. Right next to the Haunted Mansion I noticed horseshoe prints with the name Maximus, if you have seen the movie Tangled you will know this is the name of the horse. As we got closer to the top of the bank I saw a Tangled theme bathroom and the Tangled tower along with several hidden Pascal’s you can find around the area.

It’s a small world after all

It's a small world, Magic Kingdom
‘It’s a small world’ ride, Magic Kingdom

After the Tangled area, we had a fast pass booked for an old school classic – It’s A Small World. This ride is in the Fantasyland area which also features the Peter Pan ride, Winnie the Pooh, The Little Mermaid, Mad Tea Party, Carousel, Phiharmagic and the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. This area is also full of character meets with Disney Princess’ so a lot of photo pass opportunities are available. I also really like the Beauty and The Beast area in Fantasy Land. This features the Be Our Guest restaurant, where you can dine with the beast. There is also a meet with Gaston as well as the Tales with Belle attraction.

Tomorrowland

Stitch meet and greet, Magic Kingdom
Stitch meet and greet, Magic Kingdom

We ended the day visiting Tomorrowland. Although, we did visit the small circus area for some snacks which I will show you in another post. We immediately headed to the Stitch meet as he is my sister’s absolute favourite and she was eager to get a photo. This meet was my favourite as the cast member really interacted and we got a lot of good pictures. We then headed for the Buzz Lightyear ride which is one of my favourites. Similar to Midway Mania in Hollywood Studios, it is a competitive shooting game. You also get a photo pass on the ride.

Buzz Lightyear space ranger spin, Tomorrowland
Buzz Lightyear ride, Magic Kingdom

I will suggest trying to get a ticket including a memory maker. Our tickets were from FloridaTix and it was included in with the price. This means you get all ride photos, meet and greets and photo opportunities within the parks.

At last, I see the light

Tangled photo pass opportunity, Magic Kingdom.
Tangled lantern photo pass, Magic Kingdom

We finished the evening with my favourite photo pass opportunities across Disneyworld – the Tangled lanterns. There is also Happily Ever After which is a show projected on the castle with music and fireworks.

Top Tips for Magic Kingdom

Cinderella castle, Magic Kingdom
In front of the Cinderella Castle

If you are visiting Magic Kingdom, go early. There are lots of attractions, meet and greets, photo opportunities and it will take all day. In my experience, this is always the busiest park so it’s definitely worth utilising fast passes or spreading it over several visits. There are also some incredible snacks, some of which I will show you in a future post. Also, just take the time to look around at some of the incredible theming, find the hidden mickeys and the tiny details that make the park so special.

I hope you enjoyed this post and if you missed my previous post about Hollywood Studios you can click here. If you want to read the next addition and head to Epcot you can find that here.

 

Thanks for reading!