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!

New York Travel Guide Day 4: Madame Tussauds and travel terrors!

Welcome to the last edition of my New York travel guide which includes my trip to Madame Tussauds as well as a collection of travel tips and travel terrors relating to my trip to New York City. I also have part one, part two and part three you can go and look at. This post is all about my trip to Madame Tussauds and my travel nightmares coming home.

Cute kitty in Petco

My final day

So our final day was predominantly spent shopping in New York. I really wanted to visit PetCo for some goodies for my darling angel Tigerlilli and was very sad looking at the pets up for adoption. We also visited the Korean part of New York which had an abundance of skin care and face masks – I am a big fan of Koran skincare! We did also explore the bigger department stores such as Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s but huge busy places really aren’t my cup of tea! My favourite shop was Bath and Bodywork’s.

The Flat Iron Building New York
The Flat Iron Building

We also saw the Flat Iron Building whilst trying to find Forbidden Planet although it was good to see I wouldn’t make a purpose of wandering that far out without a metro pass unless you’re in that area anyway.

Rupaul Charles waxwork Madame Tussauds
Rupaul Madame Tussaud’s

We also visited Madame Tussaud’s during the evening time and naturally I gravitated straight towards Rupaul! It was full of waxwork models and some more interactive attractions. 

Marvel 4d

We went in the Marvel 4d show which was really good, there was another interactive experience but it involved zombies and this did not sit well with my younger sister. I really enjoyed the waxworks you could really interact with such as the ET one below.

ET waxwork Madame Tussauds New York
ET 

My holiday hell!

The hulk Madame Tussauds New York
The Hulk

So, although I did have a great time, the thing which ruined my holiday was the dilemma’s we faced on the way home (and my next phone bill faced after). Upon travelling on the bus back to Stewart airport we were informed our flight back to Edinburgh was cancelled with no explanation. Another passenger approached us and showed us a text he had received this morning and said they had arranged another Norwegian airlines flight to get them home but my dad hadn’t received any communications from them.

Ghostbusters

Things not going to plan give me major anxiety so this was such an inconvenience. I had to call Norwegian airlines from America who offered me a flight from JFK to Stockholm which had one seat for a family of four, then another flight to Paris which was even later. Then the flight to Edinburgh from Paris was too late as messed with everyone’s plans and work commitments so I ended up opting for a Newcastle flight from Paris which got us home at 3pm but my dad would still have to go to Edinburgh to collect his car. I was ten contacted again and told the Paris flight was delayed and I would miss the Newcastle flight so I had to then fly to Amsterdam before Newcastle.

New York City
NYC

Instead of an hour coach trip from Manhattan to Stewart Airport then a direct flight to Edinburgh followed by a drive home for lunch time I had a coach trip from the airport and back, a taxi ride to JFK airport, a flight to Paris departing at 2am instead of 10:30pm, a flight to Amsterdam and then I finally arrived in Newcastle at 11pm. This was 13 hours later than my estimated arrival. My dad then had to travel to Edinburgh via train to retrieve the car. We were also subjected to tired old planes with no entertainment and although we paid for reserved seats we could not sit together.

My top travel tips for New York

  • Pack for literally anything it could be sunny one day, snowing the next
  • Get discounted entry into some of the main attractions such as the National History Museum (Read travel guide posts 2 or 3)
  • Don’t buy a travel pass for the subway (see travel guide 2)
  • Avoid Norweigan airlines

Thank you so much for reading my travel guides if you would like to visit part one, part two or part three please do so! I hope you’ve enjoyed my insights and if you have any New York related questions please feel free to ask!

Cara x