States visited: 49!

visited 49 states (98%)
Create your own visited map of The United States
Miles driven so far -
LOOP 1 (Aug 2009 - Aug 2010): 29,000
LOOP 2 (May - August 2012): 10,800

Highest altitude with camper: 11,158ft (I-70, CO)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Saturday April 11th: Epcot

We had a slightly later start, by our standards this week anyway! We did arrive at the park just after 9 and headed straight to Soarin’ for a FastPass. Mission: SPACE was our next stop as the line for the Green Team (milder ‘journey’, no spinning, as opposed to the far more intense Orange Team experience) was only 5 minutes. I went on with Jake, Caitlin and Becca while Nate played in the Space Base. Caitlin was so nervous before we went on, it was another ride that set you up with loads of hype and options to get-out. In the end, she was fine of course, although she did press all of her buttons on the console the moment they lit up!

Dave and I switched, Becca and Jake went back on again. Once off, the older three and I played in the Advanced Training Lab – our team lost, apparently we didn’t have as lightning fast reactions as the other team.

The Seas with Nemo and Friends was a neat ride/attraction. The school of fish making pictures as we waited in line was fun to guess as well.

We were lucky to have timed our trip during the flower show, there were some awesome flower characters throughout Epcot, as well as a butterfly house and various character ‘gardens’. It really was beautiful and so well put together.

Thankfully, I’d been successful in reserving a table for lunch for the Princess Storybook Dining at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in Norway. We had two complimentary photos taken with Belle from Beauty and the Beast and during our meal, met and had photos with: Sleeping Beauty; Cinderella; Snow White and Ariel. Snow White pulled Jake to one side and told him to look at the camera as she planted a very RED kiss on his cheek! The kiss stayed on for the rest of the day and many cast members commented on it, some even guessed it was from Snow White by the shade of the lipstick.

After eating, we went on the Maelstrom Viking boat voyage, we managed not to get wet!

As we came through the gift shop (almost all rides let out through their relevant gift shop in Walt Disney World!), we spotted the masks in Kidcot Fun Stop. The kids colored in the masks, got their Norway stamp and tag, then headed to Mexico for their stamp and tag. We had planned to get more later in the day but never managed to find the time so just ended up with those two.

We were excited to see and have photos with Chip ‘n’ Dale, as they were the characters we had a photo of Jake with 9 years ago and we hadn’t seen them around much during the week. We really did well for photos with the characters this week, the character dining helped of course but even without that, we saw quite a few. If we did it again, the girls would definitely wait in line to see Tinkerbelle in her hideaway.

*unfortunately camera on wrong setting again*

We went back to Imagination! to watch the Honey I Shrunk the Audience show. Dave and I remembered this one from our previous visit and were therefore prepared for the mice – Caitlin curled up in a ball on her seat after they ran over her! Nathan, bless his tired little heart, fell asleep, complete with 3D glasses on, only to be rudely awakened when the dog slobber flew out at us, he was not impressed!

However, it was worth waking up to experience Soarin’. This was a fantastic ride and very easy to understand why FastPasses quickly disappeared for this early in the day. Nate likened it to Diego (Go, Diego, Go!) on his hang-glider and was therefore very excited to fly. If the line had been shorter, we’d definitely have gone on again, we all loved it.

Living with the Land had a non-existant line when we came off Soarin’ so we went on the boat voyage through greenhouses and a fish farm: very informative and interesting.

Jake had been desperately waiting to get back to The Seas to see Turtle Talk with Crush, well worth the wait. He was so funny and it was great to see and hear him interacting with the audience. The kids got to sit right up at the front on the carpet and ask Crush questions. Surprisingly ours didn’t raise their hands, usually they’re so eager with questions! We came away having had an ‘awesome, dude’ experience!

The aquariums filled with manatee, dolphins, fish etc captured our interest and we spent some time admiring them before going to play in and around Bruce – his mouth and teeth were BIG!

Tori, Outbacker Hootbob’s daughter, is currently working in Epcot. We managed to catch up with her after lunch and then she begged to get off work early to hang out with us for a while. She’s a sweetie and the girls especially loved having her to play with.

We used parent switch for the kids to have a couple of rides on Test Track. I was lucky enough to go the second time, which meant receiving a running, second by second, commentary from Rebecca on what was about to happen! She kept telling me to keep smiling as well because my photo was going to be taken any minute – talk about a back(front) seat driver!

While we were on Test Track, Nate was able to play in the Innoventions area. He loved climbing in and driving the trash truck. This was another area we were able to send a certificate to our email address. We had done this after for the Nemo area as well as emailing a very short space video from Mission: Space.

We took plenty of pictures of the Ball (Spaceship Earth) at various times during the day, as well as the two fountains. As it got dark, some of the paving stones lit up with tiny lights, very effective. They do such a great job in Disney of adding magic to the whole experience and really focusing on the little details of everything.

We stepped on the moving runway into the REIMAGINED! Spaceship Earth ride. This was fun as they took our photo on the way in. As we continued on through the story of history, at the end, we answered questions on our ideal way of life. Our photo was then added to their interpretation of our answers – I lived in a very ‘green’ house and cycled everywhere! Once off the ride, our photos appeared on an enormous map and we were put into our relevant state, we could see how many people had visited that day from which areas.

Our original plan of the day had us coming back to the condo during the afternoon and for dinner, then returning to Epcot for the fireworks and light show. However, we were once again sucked into doing as many rides and shows as possible and somehow, the evening rolled around and it was time to secure our viewing spot for the show: IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. I’d read that the best place was the Rose & Crown Pub, unfortunately, although we were an hour ahead of start time, all pub tables were gone – this would’ve been a good end to the holiday: beer in hand, sat in the pub! We did snag a good spot closeby and enjoyed a light ‘meal’ (baked pots/pretzels) while waiting.

The lights, fireworks and lasers were awesome, I’m so glad we stayed. It did make for a long final day but was worth it.

Poor Nate had had enough as we started to leave. He rode on Dave’s shoulders and before we had reached the Ball, he had fallen asleep, head resting on Dave’s head – very cute, probably not comfortable though!

I cannot believe how quickly a week flew by. We really filled our vacation with wonderful and fun memories. Unbelievably, the final photo count exceeded 2,000 pictures, it will be quite a job sorting through them! We do plan to buy the photo CD of the pictures on our PhotoPass (over 100 of them!) as the professional pictures have us holding Simba and Tinkerbelle and include all 6 of us in front of the castle, ball, tree of life as well as with various characters.



Anonymous said...

Brits on Tour Family

I so much enjoyed your blog!!!! See you at Twin Streams!!!


Wild Homeschool Family said...

Looks like a WONDERFUL time had by all!


Anonymous said...

Loved the blog and the pictures! I really loved the picture of Nate asleep on Daves' head. What a cutie!