Posted by: JulieAloha | May 18, 2017

365 Gratitude Project – Day 138: Disney’s Epcot Center

May 18, 2017

Day 3 in Orlando, Epcot Center! This is a dream come true for me – I’ve wanted to go to Epcot since it was built over 30 years ago. As a child I watched every Sunday night Wonderful World of Disney special about this amazing structure and park and I wanted so much to see it in person, but Florida was a long way away and we had just recently been to the Magic Kingdom in Anaheim, so I filed it away in the back of my mind.

We started the day slowly, after having spent a full day in Disney’s Animal Kingdom the day before. We slept-in, watched TV and breakfasted. We went down to enjoy the pool in the early cool of the day and pretty much had it all to ourselves. Then we returned to our suite, showered and called Uber for a ride to Epcot.

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I almost cried as we walked up and saw the great silver globe before us and the monorail swishing overhead – from dreams to reality! There was a Flower and Garden exhibit going on all over the Park with beautiful floral displays and character topiary all around the world showcase.

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We started our tour in Canada and watched the 360 Circle-Vision film about Canada which was hosted by Martin Short. It made us feel right at home, particularly when they showed Vancouver, British Columbia and Victoria. Then we continued on to the United Kingdom where we saw topiary Peter Pan and Mary Poppins herself! We popped into a tea shop and picked up some shortbread, Mom bought herself a darling mug with sheep on it (she loves sheep!) and I bought some Twinings tea to take home. We ate lunch right by the water from the Fish & Chip shop – we had a few birdie visitors, three ducks lined up and waited patiently for a crumb to fall (though we knew better than to feed them) and an ibis joined us as well. We each had a cookie for dessert and hit the road again.

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The French pavilion was next, with topiary from Beauty and the Beast and a movie about France – we took every opportunity to evade the heat and direct sun, so we took advantage each air conditioned pavilion and shop.

There was a small area between pavilions where topiary from Lion King lived as well.

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The next pavilion was Morocco – I loved the tiled fountain and riad courtyard, the beautiful arched doorways and street shops. I chose a sea turtle henna tattoo and she added some glitter for decoration until it dried. From that moment I had to be very careful not to hit or wash my right hand for the next seven or eight hours. The henna paste dries and cracks off little by little, leaving behind the stain on your skin – it only lasts 7-10 days until your skin sloughs off, but I love the design and it’s fun to do something different!

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Half way through was the Japan, USA and Italy pavilions. We saw a bonsai display and watched a drum show at Japan. Then we took in the American Adventure film and afterward we were just in time to catch a music review at the American Gardens Theatre. We traipsed through Italy which was graced with Lady and the Tramp.

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Germany was next, with Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, then China and another gorgeous 360 Circle-Vision movie along with Panda and Dragon topiary.

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The Norway pavilion was fronted by Elsa and Anna as well as a Troll. There was a Frozen ride, but the wait times were far too long every time we checked. The Mexico pavilion had a boat ride for the Three Caballeros – very cute! – and I loved all the día de los muertos art in the gift shop. Between the two pavilions were stunning orchids and bird of paradise – I saw quite a few hummingbirds as well.

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Having finished the World Showcase, we perused the map to decide what to do with the remaining time since we knew by then we wouldn’t see the entire Park. We headed back toward the entrance and to the left to Future World West. We rode the Finding Nemo ride and then spent a bit of time in the Aquarium – absolutely lovely! There were huge schools of fish, sharks, sea turtles, dolphins and rays – the biggest tank is 5.7 million gallons!

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We went back to Mexico for dinner at La Cantina de San Angel, tacos de barbacoa for me and the tacos de pollo for Mom, then we parked by the edge of the lagoon to wait for the evening fireworks show, IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. (video on my Facebook page, Orlando Photo Album)

There was a little mix-up with Uber after the show – but we made it back to the condo and hit the hay – just one more morning and home.

16,160 steps today – 6.9 miles again.


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