I always talk about Epcot because it’s truly my home away from home. I worked in the Canada Pavilion many years ago. It is a part of the very fabric of my being! Yes….that’s dramatic, I know. But I love Epcot. It’s my favourite park at Walt Disney World. Most kids growing up would have disagreed with me, but even as a kid I loved going to Epcot.
Today, we’re at Epcot! YAY! During the holidays, Epcot has the Festival of the Holidays running. Very similar to the Food and Wine Festival, each pavilion will have their own holiday booths serving their local holiday cuisine. Each country showcases their holiday favourites with sample sized portions of oh so yummy treats. The World Showcase also has a cookie stroll during this time of year. Who doesn’t love a cookie challenge?! If you’re not able to experience the Food and Wine Festival (which I highly recommend) then the Festival of the Holidays is a good runner up!
We started off the day with a reservation at the Garden Grille located at the Land Pavilion. I chose this restaurant because it’s a character meet and greet. I’m not the type of person to queue up to meet characters and more often than not, the wait times are horrendous. This was a perfect alternative for Chloe to meet the mouse himself without having to wait in a line. With this restaurant you’re able to meet Mickey, Pluto, Chip and Dale. The restaurant also slowly rotates in a circle overlooking the attraction below, Living with the Land. Don’t worry if you get motion sickness, you don’t even feel the place moving! We chose an early breakfast reservation so we could start the day off right! The food was good. Pretty basic, but it filled you up nicely. We started off with mimosas, fresh fruit and sticky buns. Then they brought out breakfast on a massive skillet that we shared at the table. All in all, it was a nice way to start off our day here at Epcot.
If you don’t choose to book at this restaurant, that’s ok! The Sunshine Seasons Cafe is a great alternative and it’s a quick service option. This cafe has a wide variety of amazing meals and snacks! You can’t go wrong with dining here. Also, the World Showcase offers A LOT. Each pavilion has their own sit down dining and quick service restaurants. You’ll have plenty to choose from when it comes to lunch or dinner!
We wasted no time here. We went straight for the World Showcase to get our holiday eat and drink on! There are 11 countries in the World Showcase: Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, America, Japan, Morocco, France, United Kingdom and Canada. We started our adventure in Mexico. Every pavilion is a miniature version of the country and it immerses you in the culture and charm of each one. When Walt Disney created the World Showcase, it was his idea that Americans could meet people from around the world without leaving the United States. Each pavilion is run by representatives from that country so you truly feel as though you’re visiting Norway or France! You can learn about these countries from the men and women who are from there and that makes the experience quite unique.
As we travelled the World Showcase we ate and drank, stopped for photos and shopped in all the stores. Other than the holiday foods and drink, each country showcases their holiday decor and traditions. Despite the holiday fare being my main reason for checking out this festival, another is the Candlelight Processional. The story of Christmas is told by a celebrity narrator with an orchestra and choir. People absolutely love this show! And depending on who the narrator is that evening, it can make all the difference. I was lucky enough to sit in on this event when I worked at Epcot and the narrator for that evening was the one and only, Gary Sinise. If you get the chance to see this, please do! But it does fill up quick and seating is limited!
As the day fell to night, we were getting ourselves ready for the night time fireworks show, Illuminations. This is my favourite night show at WDW! And sadly, this would be the last time I ever watch it! They’ve since changed the show to Epcot Forever for a short period of time until their permanent night show is ready to debut. We found our place at the Canada Pavilion, our last country in our World Showcase adventure. Some of the best viewing spots for the fireworks are in Canada, Italy and Japan. Get to these spots early though. People tend to start saving spots quite early, or they did when it was Illuminations. Their new show, Epcot Forever is terrible. So I doubt it gets the same sort of crowd nowadays. But who knows….that’s just my opinion!
We had so much fun traveling the world today! Our Memory Maker definitely paid for itself! We have so many photos from the PhotoPass photographers and countless memories to share for a lifetime. I think Chloe now understands my love for this park. It can be experienced in so many different ways!
Oh…I should also mention that the World Showcase is not the only thing at Epcot. That’s just one part of the park. Future World East is home attractions like Test Track, a ride in which you become the test dummy for a car you design yourself! Mission Space has your flying your own NASA mission to Mars (very realistic with G Forces included, not for the faint of heart). Soon to arrive at Future World East is the highly anticipated (for some, not me) Guardians of the Galaxy.
Future World West is home to everything earth and nature related. Living with the Land gives you a behind the scenes look at how WDW is using innovative growing techniques for yielding crops. Much of what they grow here is utilized throughout WDW restaurants. Soarin’ is another attraction here that draws in major crowds. For some reason, people love this ride. If you plan on checking it out yourself, FastPass it. It is never shorter than 90 minutes to get on this ride.
Anyway, the point is, there is lots to see and do at Epcot. Not just the World Showcase. We explored it all! I made sure Chloe had a well rounded visit to Epcot today. She’s probably exhausted from all the walking. I know I am! We made our way to the exit and I always feel so sad when I leave Epcot. Oh well….It won’t be long until I’m ‘home’ again!
Back at the hotel for some much need R&R, but first….you guessed it….BEIGNETS! How is it that after literally eating everything all day has not filled us up to the point of bursting? I have no idea. But Disney calories don’t count! So beignets at bed time it is!
Stay tuned for our wild time at Animal Kingdom.
Until next time…