Day 3: Epcot
We spent our third day at Epcot. Our morning looked similar to our Magic Kingdom morning. We did not pay for Genie + this day. We did, however, have to enter the virtual queue for the new Guardians of the Galaxy ride at 7:00am.
How virtual queue works:
BEFORE 7:00 am – In the My Disney Experience app, click on the hamburger icon at the bottom right, then click on virtual queue
If you have a park reservation for Epcot that day, the option to enter the Guardians queue should pop up. Click “Join Virtual Queue” and select who in your party will be joining the queue (everyone should be preselected.)
We used a watch that counted seconds, and as the time came to 6:59:58, I’d pull down on the screen to refresh. This should load right at 7:00am, then click join. Be quick – groups go fast. We got group 35, which had a boarding time of 9:40-10:40. They don’t tell you the boarding time right away. At first it just has a group number, and then later it gives you a boarding time. Keep checking though, because our estimated boarding time started at around 12:30, but then it moved up to 9:40 after park opened. You definitely don’t want to miss your window.
Tip: Don’t use resort WiFi when trying to refresh and join the queue, or when selecting Lighting Lanes. It slows it down because so many people on the WiFi are doing the same thing at 7:00am
If you don’t get in the first time around, they open the queue again at 1:00pm. Set an alarm for 12:58 and do the same thing at 1:00. (This happened to us in 2021 with Rise of the Resistance, and we were successful getting a boarding group at 1:00)
We walked out the door about 7:10 and walked toward the Skyliner. The line to get on the Skyliner was pretty long already, but the line moved quickly. We loved staying at Art of Animation, mostly for access to the Skyliner. It was so much easier than the bus, mostly because it was constantly moving and we didn’t have to fold up our stroller (you only have to fold it if you have a side by side double stroller).
We were on the Skyliner at 7:30. We got to Epcot around 7:50. We were through security and walking toward Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure by 8:00. Early entry wasn’t technically until 8:30, but they dropped the rope before 8:00. We snapped a few pictures in an empty France (so pretty!) before heading to get in line for Remy. The line moved quickly and we were on and off the ride by 8:33, three minutes after early opening. This is a huge reason I love rope drop – we had done the ride with the longest wait before the park technically opened.
Another reason I love the Skyliner – it drops you in the BACK of the park, rather than the front. The Skyliner unloads at the International Gateway, which is right next to France. This made it quick and easy to hop in line for Remy. Had we had to walk from the front, we definitely would not have gotten through as quickly.
Now we had to make a decision – do we walk to Norway to ride Frozen or do we stay where we are and try and meet some characters at 9:30? The Frozen Ever After wait time was already at 40 minutes, and we figured by the time we got around there it would be even longer. We decided to wait and do Frozen later, and instead went into the Beauty and The Beast sing along, which was starting in just 10 minutes.
(Remember how I said I traumatized Hannah with It’s Tough to be a Bug? Going into the Beauty and the Beast theater scared her and she wouldn’t stop crying and hiding her face. David stood in the back with her the whole time. I felt so bad😟)
By the time we got out, we had about 10 minutes until Belle and Jasmine were scheduled to come out for pictures. We were first in line to meet Belle. Belle is Audrey’s favorite, so she was very excited! I had her wear her Provincial Belle dress from Taylor Joelle to Epcot because this is one of the only (if not THE only) places to see Belle in her blue dress.
As soon as we got done meeting Belle, we rushed next door to Morocco to meet Jasmine, hoping she would still be there when we got there. There was no one in line and we walked right up to meet her! Raley loves Rapunzel and Jasmine right now. We knew we’d be able to see Jasmine at Epcot, so I chose her Jasmine dress from Presley Couture for this day.
Meeting these two particular princesses were a top priority, which is part of the reason we stuck around France rather than try and ride Frozen. We didn’t know what the rest of the day would look like and if the timing would work out for us to see them later. There were also less people in the park at 9:30am than there would be later. I think we made the right choice!
While David and Hannah stood in line waiting for Belle to come out, I took Raley over to Morocco to take some pictures in her Jasmine dress. I love Morocco at Epcot. It’s got so many cute little areas that are even more beautiful when it’s empty.
By the time we had met our favorite characters, it was time to start making our way toward the Guardians of the Galaxy ride. We walked toward the UK and Canada pavilions on our way toward the front. I wanted to stop in the UK and snap a couple pictures of Hannah and her sweet little Alice dress (her Alice dress is from Taylor Joelle also, but it looks like it’s now retired.) I was hoping to get a picture of her with Alice, but for some reason Alice wasn’t coming out for pictures that day. We were able to catch Mary Poppins though. Mary Poppins told the girls they needed to keep their rooms tidy. #goat
We made our way to the very front of the park where the Guardians ride is. David and Audrey went through the virtual queue line while Raley, Hannah and I scanned for a rider swap and waited right next door inside Connections Eatery. While we were waiting, we decided to go ahead and get lunch for the kids. I grabbed a few slices of pizza at Connections for the kids to eat while we switched off riding. Audrey decided she didn’t like the ride – it was too fast – so I rode solo, then David rode again by himself using Raley’s band.
If you’re wondering if this ride is worth it – IT IS! It combines the best of fast coasters like Space Mountain or Everest with the side to side motion of Remy or Minnie and Mickey’s Runaway Railway. I’ve never ridden anything like it. It’s incredible – our new favorite ride.
While David rode a second time (it takes about 30 minutes to get all the way through, even in the LL), me and the girls walked to Canada to get me some lunch (poutine from Refreshment Port!) and then walked to Mexico, where I grabbed a bombon margarita topped with a toasted marshmallow (yum!) and then hopped on the Gran Fiesta Tour. This is a cute little ride, that almost always has a low wait time, although Hannah hated this one too. I think had she not been scared previously, she would have loved this ride, because she loves Donald.
By the time we got out, David had made it back to us, and Hannah was looking very sleepy. We decided we were going to ride Frozen Ever After next, and by the time we walked from Mexico next door to Norway, she was already asleep. David decided to sit out of Frozen and let Hannah rest while I took the girls and waited in line. Seeing how she reacted in the Gran Fiesta Tour, I think she would have been scared by the Frozen ride anyway.
This line seemed to take forever. The posted wait time was 60min, but we waited closer to 75 I think. The line seemed to move at a snail’s pace, which made the children very cranky (and me too a little bit).
When we finally got off of the Frozen ride, the wait time to meet, Anna and Elsa was actually pretty low. I think it was about 25 minutes, which was down from what it had been for most of the day. We decided to go ahead and get in line to do that, otherwise we probably wouldn’t get another chance. The girls have always loved Frozen, so this was something that they were excited to get to do. Hannah walked right up to Anna and Elsa to talk to them also.
From there we made our way around to the different countries. This is my favorite part of Epcot. I love taking in all the different architecture and buildings and shopping in the shops. Raley said that she was most excited to do this also. She finds other countries and cultures interesting and I love this about her. She loves the fans and the umbrellas in China and she’s obsessed with Paris/France.
At several of the Joffrey‘s stands around the park, they had different flavored frozen drinks with Boba balls. They had a lemonade/blue raspberry flavored drink with Boba balls at the Joffrey’s in America, so the girls each got one of those.
Near France was this little Encanto booth for Festival of the Arts. They had this really delicious spicy Ajiaco soup. I’m glad I tried it because it was delicious, but it was a little bit hot to eat an entire bowl of soup. If you like spicy, you would probably enjoy it. It had chicken, potato, avocado, corn and creme fraiche. So good!
If I had more of an appetite, I would have ordered just about everything at the French Festival of the Arts booth. We ended up getting the warm brie in a bread bowl, which was amazing. We also got the molten chocolate cake. I was the only one that liked this. It was more bitter than other molten cakes that we’ve had in the past and it had some different fruit flavors with it, which I don’t think David or the girls liked. Not the best I’ve ever had, but I still enjoyed it.
Are after we filled ourselves up on these things, we made our way to Future World to ride Soarin’. Audrey and David waited in line for Soarin’ first while Raley, Hannah and I rode the Finding Nemo ride and walked around the aquarium. Soarin’ only had a 20 to 25 minute wait at this time so we didn’t have to wait long. Once they were done, Raley and I rode using our rider switch passes, and David, Audrey and Hannah rode Nemo and did the aquarium.
By the time we were done with this, we realized that the sun was about to go down and we never got a picture in front of the big ball. Because of all the new things they’re building, they have the park blocked off in a way that you have to go around one side or the other to get from the front to the back. You used to be able to walk straight down the middle from Future World to World Showcase, which made it easy to get pictures from both sides of the ball. Now you have to take the long way around to get to the front.
By this time, there wasn’t much else we wanted to do. It was around 6:30pm. The light show wasn’t until 9:00. We decided to skip out on the light show since we were all pretty beat. We grabbed some fish and chips at the Yorkshire County Fish Shop to share, then made our way to the Skyliner to head home.
We always love Epcot, but it’s alooooot of walking. We tried to avoid the back and forth today, and tried to explore sections at a time, but there was some back and forth with our Guardians time being so early in the day. If I had had it my way, we would have had a later boarding time for Guardians, and got to explore the countries in the back of the park early in the morning when it wasn’t as crowded. But at Disney you just have to go with the flow!
Thankfully, tomorrow is our rest day, so we’ll get to let our feet rest and recharge a bit!
In case you missed it:
All Things Genie+
Day 1: Animal Kingdom
Day 2: Magic Kingdom
Day 4: Disney Springs and Art of Animation
Day 5: Hollywood Studios
Day 6: Magic Kingdom
Family Disney Vacation 2018
What we wore:
Raley’s Jasmine Dress: Presley Couture
Raley’s Jasmine Ears: Main Street Mickey Shop
Audrey’s Belle Dress: Taylor Joelle
Audrey’s blue bow: Emma Bean Bowtique (color: Tee Shirt Blue)
Hannah’s Alice Dress: Taylor Joelle
David’s Star Wars Shirt: Amazon
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