Day 206- Butterflies at Epcot

Today is beautiful and it is a hot 90 degrees this afternoon. There are beautiful clouds in the vibrant blue sky and a good breeze. The kids went to Epcot last weekend with some friends and they got to hold butterflies in the Butterflies on the Go Butterfly exhibit. It sounds so fun and so cool to get to hold a butterfly. So, we decide to go to Epcot because I want to get to hold a butterfly!

We enjoy our drive to Epcot. There is a light crowd as we arrive and go through the main parking gates. The parking attendant is filling in vacant spots near the front. That is great and will make our walk a lot closer.

As we walk to the entrance, we get our bags checked and MagicBands scanned. Now, we enter into Epcot and see the beautiful topiaries for the Flower and Garden Festival. Goofy eaters the plants while Pluto smiles and Daisy holds a fresh bouquet and greets you as you enter!

The first place I look for is the Butterflies on the Go exhibit, so we walk up around the right side of Spaceship Earth, pass Fountain View, and walk on around to see the butterfly exhibit.

As we walk in, we begin to look at all of the beautiful flowers and the little houses full of chrysalises. It is amazing to see the different stages that the chrysalises are in and even the ones that are empty. You can see various stages of the butterflies’ life cycles as you look at the flowers, chrysalises, and the butterflies.

I see someone holding a butterfly and I am so excited to see one this close. Soon, they are about to leave and they gently pass the little orange butterfly to us. I was so excited to hold a real, live butterfly!! It just sat there on my pointer finger and I could just look at it for a little while. Then, I handed it to the kids. They have held one before, but this is the coolest thing I have ever done! Soon, we have several families gathering and I ask if they would like to hold this butterfly. These butterflies are so cool! You just gently put a finger in front of their tiny legs, and they crawl right on to your finger. Please, whatever you do, try not to touch their wings, as they are very delicate, and there are signs to remind of this. It is too cool to feel their little feet crawl onto your finger!

I had just handed it off when we tried to catch another one, and a mom called me the “butterfly whisperer” and then three landed on me. It was SO cool!

I am watching these kids enjoying the butterfly when I hear a little guy say, “Oh, there is a caterpillar!” in the best British accent. You really can see every stage of a butterfly’s life in here! I ask his dad if his son would like to hold the butterfly, and he is so appreciative. Then, Twinkie sees his older brother is trying to catch one with one of the KidCot paper Duffys. She let him know that his little brother is holding a butterfly, and maybe his brother would let him hold it if he wanted to. He jumps up and goes to hold the butterfly.

The kids hand it back to me and I show the next little one how to get the butterfly to walk onto her pointer finger. Her dad is so excited and takes her picture. Then, her brother wants to hold it, so they ask if I can help them. I am so happy to show them how to transfer the gorgeous orange butterfly from one pointer finger to the next. The smiles on their faces as they get to share the butterfly with someone show how truly magical this moment is. Soon, they are leaving and another family comes up and asks for help learning how to transfer a butterfly from one person to the next. This is so much fun!

The last family actually sat down in a group and got a picture with their young son holding the butterfly! Everyone is all smiles and it makes for a beautiful, absolutely amazing picture. A little girl stops me and wanted to show me all of the butterflies flying around the top of the butterfly exhibit. That is so sweet. So, I ask the little girl’s parents if they would like to hold the butterfly. The young son was more than glad to hand the butterfly off to her. She is so excited and her parents snap a few pictures of her. Then, there was a grandmother that isn’t sure how to get to hold it, so I show her to put her pointer finger in front of the butterfly and gently move it to let the butterfly step onto her finger with its front feet, and then lightly turn her finger to help it step its back legs onto her pointer. They are so excited!

Amazement and awe fills the faces of young and old, of moms and dads, and even of grandparents as they experience the delight and joy of getting to hold a delicate butterfly. As I am getting ready to leave, there is a young pre-teen girl sitting so still; she has been there for a while and starting to look disappointed. I ask her if she wanted to hold a butterfly. She said, “Yes,” and sounded a little disappointed. So, I told her that there is a dad in the red shirt, and a dad in the blue checked shirt holding a butterfly. We walk over and her mom is so excited that they will get to hold a butterfly. A dad handed off the butterfly to me, so I turned and helped her get the butterfly on her pointer finger! Her mom’s eyes lit up and she started taking pictures of her.

This was the most rewarding day. I love seeing so many visitors get to hold these precious butterflies. To see the gracious sharing of these little butterflies from one family to the next is so cool. I was so grateful that someone shared a butterfly with me. I wish everyone could experience this amazing adventure.

Well, I need to get something cold to drink, so we go the Fountain View to get some Starbucks coffee and tea. I get an iced tea lemonade on this hot evening. We get our coffees and teas and find a place to sit for a minute to cool down. There is a great spot in the shade where we can watch the fountain water dance to the music.

Soon, we head for the front gates and walk a short distance to our car. It was a fabulous evening with all of the butterflies. Good night, Epcot, we had so much fun today!

Day 149- Epcot, Seagulls and Coffee!

This is an absolutely beautiful day to be at Disney World! The sun is shining as we begin our day! I think we will head for Epcot. It is not too busy as we drive up to the Epcot parking entrance. As we drive onto the parking lot, I can see we are going to park at the far end of this parking row. Once we park, we decide to walk to the park entrance.

As we begin to walk, the family who parked beside us has a little one melting down. I stop and say, “Hi!” and they begin talking about how the little one did not want to ride in his stroller. As we are talking, they mention that they are going to walk and not take the tram since they have 2 strollers that they would need to fold in order to board. I mention that we are going to walk to the entrance too. They were a delightful family to chat with: the mom and dad, their daughters, and the grandkids. I knew they were going to have a wonderful day!

We say our goodbyes, go through the bag check, scan our MagicBands and enter into Epcot! We make our way through the crowds and around Spaceship Earth. We see Starbucks on the right, located in the Fountain View. The lines today are not very long, so we stop and grab a coffee. It is pleasantly warm outside, so I order a Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher with Raspberry Syrup.

As we leave Starbucks, the music is playing, and the big water fountain outside is giving a great show. We head for the World Showcase Lagoon and turn toward Canada.  We notice that the flowers are going in for the annual Flower and Garden Festival that happens March 4th through May 17th.  Can you spot the Hidden Mickey shape in the flowers?

The Canadian Lumberjacks are beginning a show as we walk through Canada. I hear the lead lumberjack let everyone know that there is a Canadian Lumberjack photo opportunity, and see the team strike a pose! Many in the crowd are laughing and taking pictures. It is a really great place to stop and see these Canadian Lumberjacks.

We make our way through Canada and now walk through the United Kingdom. I see Alice greeting guests, and soon we see Mary Poppins signing an autograph book for a little girl. As we walk up toward the bridge to France, we see Cinderella taking pictures with little ones. We have never seen her in this area, and are surprised that Tinkerbell is directly across from her talking to a little girl. It is so much fun to see Alice, Mary Poppins, Cinderella, and Tinkerbell all near the United Kingdom pavilion. After a moment of watching and taking all of this in, we begin to cross the bridge to France.

I stop on the bridge and look across to an area with benches that we have seen regularly, but it is usually packed with people. I told the kids that the benches were empty, but I was not sure how to get down to that area by the water. Twinkie said that she would take the lead and she found the path, past the fish and chips shop, to that little peninsula. We picked a bench and sat for a few minutes as we were greeted by a swarm of seagulls flocking toward us to see if we had brought any tasty snacks that they could snag.

As we sat, we realized that as people tried to bring their food into the area, the seagulls began swooping down and trying to get their food. After several failed attempts by the seagulls, a young couple made it to a bench with their food, just as seagulls swooped down again. I hollered and said that the birds were after their food. The couple laughed and turned toward each other to block the swooping birds. It became even more interesting about 30 minutes later as we heard the gulls squawk. We looked up to see a couple with their child across the way, close to the fish shop, looking out over the water as they were trying to share a fish dinner. The dad waved the seagulls away a few times. The lady swatted a seagull off of the wall and we could hear the swat. Soon, a seagull swooped down, flapping its winds just in front of her face; it even looked like it touched her. We heard them say something about one of the seagulls bothering their child as the dad turned, leaving his fish dinner on the wall. Two seagulls instantly swooped in and grabbed a big fish filet! The dad hollered, and turned to swat at one seagull, when another swooped and grabbed some French fries in a fast swoosh. The dad hollered at the seagulls again as a cast member approached and started talking to them.

We decided that there had been enough action going on, so we walked back up to the walkway, and headed for France. Our mission today is to walk around the World Showcase. It is fun walking “around the world” on such a beautiful day.

We go through France, Morocco, Japan, The American Adventure, Italy, Germany, The Outpost, China, Norway, and Mexico as we finish our 1.1 miles around the World Showcase Lagoon. There are no clouds now, and the sky is so very blue. I enjoyed seeing so many families having fun. Today it seems like there are a lot more grandparents with their families and grandkids. I love seeing the three generations interact. I love seeing grandparents having just as much fun as the kids! As you enjoy your vacation, it’s fun to look around and notice the wonderful families who are here with you. There are some really amazing families enjoying their time here at Epcot today!

Now we make our way back to the park entrance and walk out to our car. It has been a wonderful afternoon. It was so fun seeing all of the characters and countries today!