We have come to the last day of our Disney family vacation – Epcot. Time at Disney World flies by so quickly, and leaves you longing for more. By the end of our last day, we were all exhausted, not even wanting to make the trek back to our car, but we so badly did not want to be leaving the next day.
*If you missed the first 4 days of our trip, feel free to start at the beginning before coming back to this post! We spent our first day at Animal Kingdom, Day 2 at Hollywood Studios, Day 3 at Magic Kingdom, and on Day 4 we had brunch at Ohana, with Mickey’s Christmas Party that night.
I want to start this post with a couple of shout outs.
The first to our amazing Disney travel agent, Alicia. She has been SO helpful every step of the way. I think I originally contacted her a year and a half before we were planning on going, and she has been putting up with my hundreds questions ever since. I will talk more in detail about all the little things she did for us in a later post, but for now I want to say THANK YOU for being such a huge part in making our dream vacation come to life. (If you’re thinking of planning a Disney vacation, visit her website happilyevermickey.com and shoot her an email. I cannot say enough good things about her!)
Second to my parents for coming with us on this trip and being such a huge help with the girls. We would not have been able to do several of the things that we did if they hadn’t been here with us.
Third to Bushel and Peck Paper for these ID bracelets. The girls wore them just about every minute of every day. Audrey didn’t like to wear hers as much and kept taking them off, but I always had a few spares in the bag. It gave me a peace of mind that if one of them somehow wondered off into the crowd, that whoever found them would easily be able to get in touch with us. Thankfully they stayed very close by and we didn’t have to worry about that, but you can never be too safe when you’re in such a big crowd of people. These were just $10 for a pack of 10. I got two identical packs (total of 20) so that I would have extras.
And lastly to Sketchers for the most comfortable shoes EVER! I wore these Sketchers Ultra Flex sneakers every day and was surprised by the end of the week that my feet really didn’t hurt that bad. Sure, they were tired, but they didn’t hurt. I brought extra shoes, like my Sanuks and some Chacos, in case these didn’t hold up or wore blisters after walking in them so much, but I never felt the need to wear anything else. They have memory foam in the bottom and they’re stretchy on the top which makes them so, so comfy!
Day 5 – Epcot
Now, onto our final day at Epcot!! Before we left for the park that morning, we attempted to get a photo of the girls in front of this cute Mickey Mouse statue posing like him. The struggle of getting these girls to stand still and take a picture is real.
Since we were up so late the night before at Mickey’s Christmas Party, we were a tad slow to get moving that morning. We got to Epcot a little later than we’d hoped. The first thing we did was hop in line to see Anna and Elsa. There were only a few things on the girls must-do list for Epcot, and meeting Anna and Elsa was number 1. The wait was quite long though, so David and my dad stayed in line, while my mom and I took the girls to meet Joy and Sadness.
Joy and Sadness were adorable! Audrey was a little hesitant to hug Sadness (I think she was a little scared), but that made Sadness, well….sad….so Audrey gave her a sweet hug.
We got back to Elsa and Anna’s Royal Sommerhaus just in time to see them.
It’s like they were awestruck. Audrey kept trying to tell Anna that she had the same dress as her, but she couldn’t get the words out. She kept pointing to her dress but couldn’t say anything. It was the cutest thing!
Then Raley wanted Audrey to tell Elsa to “do your magic! Do your magic!” (because Audrey is dressed like Anna and that’s what Anna says in the movie) but she never would say it. So Raley ended up very quietly telling Elsa that Audrey was supposed to say “do your magic.” 😆 I’m so glad we were able to meet Anna and Elsa, because these were two that they’d said they were most excited about and they had been asking all week about it.
Next, we had a FastPass for the Frozen Ever After ride, with lunch reservations at Akershus shortly after (all of this is in Norway at Epcot, if you’re not familiar.) We got all the way up to the front of the ride – we were going to be the next ones on – and…the ride broke down. We only had about 15 minutes to wait, and they said it would take longer than that, so we hopped out of line and they gave us a pass to come back later. The girls were a bit disappointed, but we assured them we would not leave the park without riding the Frozen ride.
The girls decided before we left that for their “Princess lunch” they would dress up like Cinderella and Snow White. I quickly got them changed into these dresses before being seated for our royal lunch.
They got to meet Belle, Cinderella, Ariel, Snow White, and Princess Aurora. They also got to do a Princess March around the restaurant.
The food at Akershus was very good. They had a salad bar with an assortment of salads, cheeses, bread, and some traditional Norwegian seafood options (David and I tried a couple things. David tried more than I did. I’m just not a huge fan of cold fish.)
We enjoyed our entrees though. I got seared pork tenderloin with rice pilaf and mashed potatoes. David got the “kyllingbryst” – herb-roasted chicken breast with mashed potatoes and Gjetost pan gravy. They served an assortment of Norwegian desserts to finish the meal.
By the time we were finished with our meal, Frozen Ever After was back up and running, but even the FastPass line was very long. We decided to walk around a little bit and come back to the ride later.
*I’ll add this in here – I have always been a huge fan of Epcot. Strolling through the different countries, indulging on snacks and drinks from around the world, has always been one of my favorite parts of Disney. But I’ve come to this conclusion:
Epcot without children=favorite park.
Epcot with children=least favorite park.
Pushing around strollers through shops with antsy kids who want to actually be doing things, not shopping and simply taking in the atmosphere, is not my idea of fun. I’m making it a mission to take a trip back during the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, just me and David, so we can eat ALL the food, and stroll around at whatever pace we want to. Maybe we could venture over to Universal as well since I’ve never been.
This day was a particularly weird day. The plan was to meet Anna and Elsa and ride the Frozen ride before lunch, but because the ride was not working we had to make our way back to Norway to ride it. If you’ve ever been to Epcot, you know it’s a big circle, and Norway is the second country near the entry of World Showcase. We had made it around to Italy, where we stopped for some lemon sorbet and to let the girls run around in an open area for a minute.
We decided we ought to go ahead and try to ride Frozen, then back track around the other way to see some other countries afterward. Well….we got back to Norway to ride Frozen and it was broken down again. Ugh. So we started walking the other way around the World. We watched the guy doing tricks with the chairs in France, and took a break to grab a macaron ice cream sandwich and some macarons from the bakery.
We continued walking, but unfortunately we ended up skipping several countries because of time restraints. We made our way to Morocco to meet Jasmine, then booked it to make our FastPass at the Finding Nemo ride (this was a long walk!)
I guess part of the reason it felt like such a weird day is because we did a lot of walking, but I don’t feel like we really did much. We rode a couple rides, ate some good food, and met a few characters, but it sort of felt like we were walking in circles all the while.
The girls enjoyed the Nemo ride. When it was finished we booked it back over to Norway to (hopefully) ride Frozen Ever After, before getting in line to see a Candlelight processional. Thankfully the ride was working and we were able to get through the FastPass line fairly quickly (yay!) We all snuggled up together in the middle of the seat so we wouldn’t get wet on the ride.
We had hoped to be able to see the Candlelight Processional. It seemed like such a beautiful service – it’s the story of Christmas told by a celebrity narrator, accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra and a massed choir. We got in line about 25 minutes before the show started, but the Cast Member told us that we probably wouldn’t make it in to get a seat. The girls were antsy, and since we probably weren’t going to make it anyway (we wouldn’t have) we got out of line and grabbed some coffee. There were people who didn’t make it into the 6:45 show (the one we were hoping to make) who waited in line until the 8:15 show!
We were able to catch part of it from the top of the amphitheater, and it seemed like a beautiful show. I wish we could have seen more, but of course, the kids weren’t behaving, so we just walked on.
We had dinner reservations at Coral Reef, which was amazing There was an awesome aquarium lining one entire side of the restaurant, where we could see fish, sharks, sting rays, and a HUGE sea turtle swimming around.
The best part of our meal – the turtle cheesecake. I have never seen or tasted a cheesecake quite like this one. That piece on top is a pecan Florentine and it made the entire dish. Audrey had the little turtle shortbread cookie and was holding it, making it swim around until she saw the big sea turtle come back around in the tank. It was adorable, until she dropped the cookie on the ground. We gave her another cookie, but the turtle’s head had already been bit off and that just wasn’t good enough. Bless her.
We had considered trying to make it to watch IllumiNations, but decided we’d walked across the World Showcase enough times for one day. We made one last stop in the gift shop, then made our way back to our resort.
Overall, I am happy that we got to do several things, and meet several princesses, but there were things on our list that we didn’t accomplish like taking the girls through the aquarium, meeting Alice and Mary Poppins, walking through more shops, seeing the Candlelight Processional and riding more rides in Future World such as Soarin.’ I thought Raley would enjoy riding Soarin’ since it’s a simulation. I think next time, as good as our meals were, we will not schedule two table service meals in one day. All together this took about four hours out of our day.
Overall it was a good day, but boy were we tired! We tried to pack up as much as we could when we finally made it back to our resort, and crashed shortly thereafter.
The next morning we checked out of the resort around 8:30 and drove to my sister’s house in Prattville. We decided to stay there Saturday night, so that we could watch the SEC championship game and so we could break up our driving time a bit. We got to their house at halftime of the SEC championship game after streaming the first half through the CBS sports app while on the road. Talk about nerves! But Roll Tide!
After the game we watched Elf while eating warm, freshly baked cookies and drinking hot chocolate (my sissy is such a good little hostess). The next morning we slept in (as much as the girls would let us), hung out and watched the selection show, before grabbing some lunch and heading home. We actually made it all the way home from Prattville (almost 3 hours) without stopping once! That’s a record for us!
And just like that the trip was over. I feel like the week went by quicker than the time it takes to read these posts. If you’ve ever been to Disney, you understand the Disney high and the Disney blues that follow. I’m sure I’ll get past the Disney blues soon.
What is your favorite Disney Park? Do you have a favorite to do with kids and a favorite to do without kids? What is your favorite snack at Epcot? The macaron ice cream sandwich was pretty darn good!
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Have a great weekend!