Saturday, December 14, 2013

Disney: Last Day - Holidays Around the World at Epcot & Park Hop

Disney Recap: ArrivalEpcotAnimal KingdomMagic KingdomHollywood StudiosEpcot Holidays

Our last day at Disney, Friday the 29th, we chose to go back to Epcot for: 1) Holidays Around the World 2) Candlelight Processional 3) Soarin' and 4) the only Agent P adventure mission the kids didn't get to complete: Mexico. We did all that and so much more!!!

Upon entering, we went straight to Soarin' to get FastPasses (back at 7 PM) and then hopped right on Living with the Land: "Gain a newfound appreciation for where your food comes from on this cruise through the living laboratories of Epcot... See firsthand how Disney’s horticulturalists are using innovative growing techniques and cross-breeding high-yield crops with the goal of sustaining our growing global population." We were fascinated to see how lots of our favorite foods grow. (We like "dorky" science stuff. ;-))

We then headed back over to Test Track. The FastPasses were out for the day, and the line was over an hour long. (FastPasses let you come back later & go to the front of the queue via a special entrance; you can get one every two hours or whenever you've used your last one. The FastPasses for the "major" rides run out FAST early in the morning for the whole day when it's busy, like a holiday week. They are really worth it, b/c most of those big ride lines are about an hour long. We tried to never wait more than ~15 min for anything.) This was the *one* major ride that we voluntarily chose to wait in the loooong regular line for, even w/o a FastPass, b/c it was the last day, and it was JB & Will's Epcot favorite.

Excited to start our Holidays Around the World!

And by that, I mean *eating* holiday *specialties* around the world! We began with holiday waffles two ways: one savory waffle with stuffing in the batter topped with turkey, gravy, & cranberry relish, and one sweet potato waffle topped with pecans, mini marshmallows, & caramel drizzle. Awwww, yeah!

France: gingerbread ice cream (Glace au Pain D’Epices) from L'Artisan des Glaces - amazing. It was not cloyingly sweet, but actually refreshing!

Germany: Werther's Hot Salted Caramel Drink... Yeah. It was as decadent as it sounds.

Family love!

Norway: we each had a bonus FastPass we never used from Monday when Mission: Space broke down, so we used it to skip the 45-minute line and rode the Maelstrom, again. :-) (Those passes wouldn't be accepted at Test Track or Soarin', so this was the next best!)
We also enjoyed another turkey creation with cranberry relish, but this one on a delectable fluffy bun instead of a stuffing waffle. We were sweet & shared...mostly just so we could keep trying one of EVERYTHING!!!

The kids conquered the Mexico Agent P secret mission (they had a BLAST doing the other six countries Monday) and then we decided to walk away from the holiday treats for a few minutes to do Spaceship Earth, again.

Susie's favorite ride: STARBUCKS! :-D

We caught the ferry directly across the lake to get to America...

...in time for the famous Candlelight Processional. "Each night, a celebrity narrator tells the biblical tale of a savior born to a virgin in Bethlehem. All the while, gorgeous choral pieces are woven into the narration as an orchestra and choir provide an inspirational backdrop with songs of hope and joy." Our celeb narrator was Gary Sinise!
You can buy extra special packages to guarantee you a seat, but we paid nothing extra and had a fantastic view of the entire production from the front row of the standing crowd area. We walked right up just minutes before it began and slipped right into place. :-)

What treat did we celebrate with next? Candy Cane Cocoa :-)
Snuggles & smiles in Morocco

Fountain fun back in France!

We also stopped to eat more than just sugar. :-P Les Halles Boulangerie & Pâtisserie was delish! I had rich pumpkin soup in a freshly baked French bread bowl. Pure heaven!!!

It was finally time for Soarin' - the ride "everyone" talks about being sooo amazing. It's a hang-gliding simulator that lifts you up and lets you feel like you are soaring across California: over beaches, ski slopes, the Golden Gate Bridge, an orange grove (where they wafted a little orange scent through the air!), etc. It was just a tad overhyped for me personally, but I *DID* love it!!! (Just not more than the coasters, like Everest ;-))
Soarin' Selfie before lifting up:

We also did "all the stuff on that side" of Spaceship Earth that we never made it to on Monday: Journey Into Imagination With Figment (apparently I remembered nothing of this from 25 years ago, aside from the vivid colors & what Figment looks like :-P) and Sea Base, which houses the 5.7 million gallon Caribbean Coral Reef Aquarium with sea turtles, angelfish, dolphins, rays, sharks, etc., The Seas with Nemo & Friends ride, and Turtle Talk With Crush, which was one of the cutest things ever! Dude... ;-)

Because it was the kids' first time & we wanted to see EVERYTHING in EVERY park, and we didn't have any dining reservations actually forcing us to hop around, we really didn't take advantage of our Park Hoppers. (Next time, we'll hop often to the things we KNOW are our favorites!) But since it was our last night, we really wanted to do it!

We said goodbye to Epcot...

...and hopped on the monorail around 9 PM to the Magic Kingdom (open until 1 AM our week!) We originally intended to ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (our MK fave :-)) one last time...but it was so cold, again, and that one sprays a mist...so we opted for one more sail on the inside ride (& my childhood fave) Pirates of the Caribbean. :-)

We finished the night and our monumental Disney week with the Wishes Nighttime Spectacular fireworks show...

3 comments:

  1. Figment was overhauled after our childhood, so I'm not surprised you don't remember it. :-/ I much preferred the old way. Hooray for memory making.

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  2. How fun!!! I bet it was fabulous at Christmastime!
    You look gorgeous in the pic where you're holding our Starbucks cup!

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  3. I took a pic for you, Phyllis, in the middle of it! :-) I know Figment's your fave!!!

    You are SO SWEET to say that, Kellie!!! :-D

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