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: Hollywood Studios

Beginning with Hollywood Studios

To start my Walt Disney World diaries series I’ve decided to begin with the first park I visited on my May 2019 trip to Florida, Hollywood Studios. The last time I came here was in 2013 and A LOT has changed since then.

Toy Story Land

Entrance to Toy Story Land in Hollywood Studios, Orlando.
Entrance to Toy Story Land, Hollywood Studios

The first and most recent change to the Hollywood Studios park was the opening of Toy Story Land in 2018. On my previous visits to the park, I’ve ridden Toy Story Mania but this part of the park was non-existent. We began at Toy Story Land to see if we could get on Slinky Dog Dash as we were unable to get a FastPass for it but at park opening the queue was already 120 minutes long. We also had a look at the swirling saucers which was a 60-minute wait. Although both rides did look fun, the wait time was too long to wait in 35-degree heat as for my family they were not necessarily must-do attractions. The theming of the land was amazing but this was the busiest part of the park by a mile off.

Pixar Place

Photo pass photographer spot at Pixar Place, Hollywood Studios in Florida.
Photo pass opportunity at Pixar Place, Hollywood Studios

Another new addition to Hollywood Studios was the Pixar Place area. Although this area wasn’t big in terms of attractions this was a great spot for photo opportunities. There was plenty of photo pass photographers and the option to take photos with props as well as a Character Meet with Edna Mode which was a must-do for me. The queue was less than 5 minutes long. This part of Hollywood Studios was mainly home to The Incredibles and they also have a dance party with all of the characters.

Meet and Greet photo pass spot with Edna Mode at Hollywood Studios.
Meet and Greet with Edna Mode at Hollywood Studios

Meeting Mike and Sulley

Mike and Sulley photo pass meet and greet at Hollywood Studios
Mike and Sulley meet and greet, Hollywood Studios

After exploring Pixar Place we wanted to stay close as had a Toy Story Mania FastPass within the hour so we headed over to meet Mike and Sulley at Walt Disney Presents in Animation Courtyard. This was a museum which had a lot of information on Hollywood Studios. It also featured the expansion of Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge which is coming later this year on August 29th. They also gave a first look at the Aladdin live-action movie which was due to be released. The line for the meet up was very long – a lot longer than advertised! We then watched The Little Mermaid show which was right next door.

Star Tours and meeting Chewbacca

Chewbacca meet and greet, Hollywood Studios
Chewbacca meet and greet, Hollywood Studios

After our FastPass for Toy Story Mania, we then had to head over to Star Tours for our next FastPass. This has been at the park since 1987 but was revamped in 2010 and is a virtual reality ride. After Star Tours, we then watched my Dad’s favourite – Indiana Jones. This is a stunt show involving the audience and is worth a watch. I really wanted to meet Olaf who was quite close to Star Tours but the queue was quite a wait and my final FastPass was at the other side of the park. We instead decided to go to the Star Wars Launch Bay and meet Chewbacca which was only a 10-minute wait. We then ended the day with my favourite ride Rock’n’Rollercoaster.

Other things to do in Hollywood Studios

This was how we spent our day in Hollywood Studios but there are other things there which we did not do but have done previously. I’d recommend the Beauty and The Beast stage show, we would have watched it but the times clashed with our plans. I’d have liked to have tried the Toy Story rides but the waits were just too long and another popular attraction is the Tower Of Terror. Although this is a staple attraction at Hollywood Studios and I have been on it before it’s not really a must-do for me. I prefer the rollercoasters and again this gets quite busy. If you’re visiting Hollywood Studios you can always have a look at the Walt Disney World website for more details. I’d also recommend the Fantasmic! show especially if it’s your first time.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my time in Hollywood Studios. If you want to continue with the next in the series you can find Magic Kingdom here. If you’d like to skip to Epcot you can find that here.

Thanks for reading!