Day 154- Epcot

It is a beautiful day; a little windy and cool, but beautiful! We are heading for Epcot today. It has been busy this weekend and we are hoping that Epcot is less crowded than the other parks. As we get to the parking lot, we realize it is going to be very busy. We hop on the tram and head for the park. We get our bags checked and wait in line to scan our MagicBands.

As we get into the park, we can already see how busy today is going to be. We get close to Spaceship Earth where we can see that the line and wait time is really long. Even the Fastpass+ line is rather long today. We walk around the walkway and carefully make our way through the crowds of people.

I think we will drop into the Artist Shop. It is so beautiful to walk into the shop and see the talent that goes into each of these creations. From the sculptures to the paintings, there are so many beautiful things to see here!

Now we are off to Starbucks to get coffee and tea to take with us as we make our way around the World Showcase. As we walk toward the World Showcase Lagoon, see the flowers that are being laid for the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival! I cannot wait! I love seeing the artistry that is put into all of these lush gardens. We walk on around and stop in France to see the beautiful design of the shrubs. I love these. Twinkie stops to get a picture, and then we see that there is a quiet place in France to sit. On the way, I must stop in and see what is new in Guerlain. As we exit, we sit where we can watch the Friendship boats as they come and go. There is a quiet serenity in this spot. I look up just as a lady is taking a picture of us. I realize by her expression that she recognized my kids from being on the Steve Harvey Show.

We sit for a few more minutes and soon, two men who work on the Friendship boats walk by. We realize that the sun is beginning to set and it is getting really chilly fast! It has been so peaceful here sitting and watching the boats come and go, but we must head out before the temperatures drop. It will be chilly tonight! As we are leaving, we can see the different areas being prepped for the Flower and Garden Festival! I am so excited to see how beautiful all of the flowers will look in the next few days!  

It has been a fun visit, and I am so happy to see all of the new flowers!

Day 69- Epcot and Chefs de France

Today is overcast with a light, drizzly rain. It is in the lower 70s with a light breeze. So, we grab our lightweight rain gear and debate on which shoes to wear; sandals or sneakers? We are going with tennis shoes, since cold, wet feet are not fun!

As we get to Epcot, we see that we get to park close! We are close enough to be within the Monorail track! We hop out, walk to the entrance, get our bags checked, and scan our Magic Bands. The Mickey and Minnie Christmas topiaries are so beautiful. People are taking quick pictures in the rain. When it rains, the PhotoPass Photographers stand under the entrance awning to keep the cameras out of the rain. The front garden is so beautiful!

I was timing how long it took us to walk to the France pavilion. Since we parked fairly close, it took us 5 minutes to get to Spaceship Earth. From there, it was a 5-minute walk through Canada and the UK to get to the bridge that crosses over to France. From the bridge, it is only three minutes of semi-fast walking to get to Les Chefs de France.

We have reservations for Les Chefs de France and are seated quickly. We love Les Chefs de France. We are seated beside the windows, our favorite! I love watching people walk by. Our waiter is great. He brings us our drinks and takes our order. He brings us gluten free rolls with butter to enjoy. Soon, our French onion soup is served. They have the best gluten free French onion soup. The French onion soup is topped with Gruyère cheese, roasted to perfection by the master chef. I forgot how wonderful this soup is – I love it!

We finish our delicious soup and get back into the misty evening. There is the perfect amount of people to be busy, but not too crowded. It is nice. We go to Guerlain to see what is new. We love this shop!

On our way to the bakery, we see the new Christmas decorations. I love these glittery snowflakes! We went to Les Halles Boulangerie & Pâtisserie to get a crème brulee for me and Tooti, and a macaron for Twinkie. We sit for a minute and enjoy our desserts. As we come out of the bakery, the ice cream parlor, L’Artisan des Glaces, is so cute!

As we pass the The Tea Caddy in the UK Pavilion, we hop inside to take a quick look around. We decide on some of Twining’s Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Loose Leaf Tea Blend in a cute little blue and gold tin to brew when we get home.

We make our way back to the front entrance. As we are leaving, we are shed our rain jackets; the air feels warmer tonight than it did earlier. It a pretty night, complete with a light, misty rain.

Day 67- Epcot

It is a chilly day and we are off to Epcot! We bundle up and head out for the parks. As we are passing through Disney property, we see 10 Osceola Wild Turkeys, and they are huge! We get to the Epcot parking lot, catch the tram, and are off to the front entrance of Epcot.

There are a lot of people going through bag check, we get our bags checked, scan our MagicBands, and enjoy seeing the new Christmas topiaries near the entrance! We see a young mom taking a picture of her son, and he is not smiling much. After she took the picture I offered to take a picture of both of them, they both smiled really big for a great picture. The Christmas decorations are so nice!

As we walk through Canada, I see that the Canadian Lumberjack Show will start in just 7 minutes. So, we walk up to The Mill Stage and wait to see them. They are really fun and did a great job today. They even carved little chairs out of a log with chainsaws! The chairs were so cute!

As we walk through the UK pavilion, I see Mary Poppins’ beautiful dress as she kneels down really close to a little girl, who is sitting on the tiny garden border. They are talking and the little girl is so shy. It is the most beautiful thing I have seen, Mary Poppins kneeling to speak to the little girl face to face. I love Mary Poppins and her love for children.

Now, off to France! I love seeing the Eiffel Tower as we walk up to the bridge. France is a beautiful pavilion and it has plenty of things to see. There are perfume stores, a most wonderful restaurant, an ice cream shop, a bakery to grab pastries and sandwiches, and plenty of places to shop! I sit for a minute as the kids take pictures of the Christmas decorations! There are so many people coming and going; it is fascinating to hear all of the different accents from all over of the world.

We realize it is suppertime, and try to get a reservation, but the soonest is an hour from now. A quicker plan is to go to The Land Pavilion and get dinner. We walk back through England, Canada, and the Showcase Plaza, then up and around to The Land. Yes, you can walk a few miles in just a couple of hours. Epcot is huge!

When we walk into The Land, it looks like a city. There are so many people walking and riding up and down the escalators, it really does have the feeling of a city. As we ride the escalator downstairs, the lower level reveals even more people! There is a pleasant bustle with all of the things going on. We get our meals at Sunshine Seasons and sit in the open area. It is busy, but there are several tables available. We enjoy our gluten free meals. I got the Power Salad, Tooti had the salmon, and Twinkie had the baked chicken. Their gluten free meals are spectacular, both in flavor and variety.

It is cold outside and Spaceship Earth is always so beautiful. It has been a great late afternoon at Epcot, and it is time to say, “Goodnight!”

Day 47- Epcot: Guerlain & Tokyo Dining

Today we are heading for Epcot! The weather is hot, but today there is a cool breeze. We get to the parking lot park about halfway down one of the very long parking rows! So, we cheer, and get out of the car as soon as the cars next to us get settled into their spots.

When you park, be careful to wait and see when the car next to you is stopped. There should be one on the left and one on the right, then, after they stop moving, you can open your doors and get out. If you open the doors to soon, you will be prompted by the parking cast to “close your car doors!” Also to get to the park/tram, walk down the aisle that is in front of your car, not the one that people are driving in on. This is for your safety and for the safety of the cars that are just entering into their parking spots! 😀

We have a friend from Dallas in town and we are meeting him at Guerlain in France! It is so very nice to see a familiar face from Texas! A fellow Texan and a good friend!

Oh, I did think we needed a snack if we were going to be out this long, so we went to Tokyo Dining. Tooti and I went a few weeks ago and totally enjoyed our dinner. The waitress was amazing and we got to see to see her again today. Twinkie was sick the other day when Tooti and I came, so this will be her first time to eat at Tokyo Dining, and she is so excited.

We arrive and check-in downstairs, and they give us our ticket. We climb the stairs and take a minute to look around at the Japan Pavilion. It is so very pretty! Now, we go in and ask for a table by the windows if one is available. Yay! We sit in the corner by the windows and have a wonderful cup of hot green tea. The chef is able to make our vegetable sushi gluten free, and of course the miso soup is gluten free!

The miso soup is perfectly hot, we enjoy sipping it as we chat and enjoy the scenery. Soon, our vegetable sushi is here and it is so pretty! I ask our wonderful waitress for a rubber band if she has one; I wanted to make my chopsticks like the ones they made me at Teppan Edo. That was the first time I had ever been able to use chopsticks!! Our waitress said, “Oh, you want special chop sticks!” Oh, OK. Yes, I would like those! When she returned, she handed me my special chopsticks. Then she handed Tooti her special chopsticks. Finally, Twinkie! Hey, look! Your special chopsticks have an origami Mickey on them!!! I love the Mickey on the paper!

It was a fabulous gluten free meal and our waitress was so sweet. I appreciate all of the work they do to make it possible and wonderful for us to be able to eat! Thank you Tokyo Dining and Disney World!!!

Now it is time to go! I thought I could go past the Kaki Gori stand, but I had to back track and get a strawberry Kaki Gori with sweet milk topping. Well, make that three! As we were leaving, four ladies saw our treats and asked what they were. We explained that it is like a snow cone with sweet milk on top; they were delighted and were going to get some too!

As we head through America, Italy, Germany, and the Outpost, we stopped for a minute and saw a drawbridge! I have never seen that before! The next thing we saw was the globe that they use during the IllumiNATIONS fireworks show coming through that area. The breeze off of the World Showcase Lagoon is very chilly!

The bridge is still up? The rest of the platforms that they use for the fireworks show tonight are coming out! It very interesting to hear the narration explaining some of the details of IllumiNATIONS, and fun to watch each piece begin to take their positions! Totally FACINATING! Soon, the drawbridge is lowered and the tons of people begin to cross from both sides.

We are enjoying our Kaki Goris and the walk to the front gate. As we get close to the Spaceship Earth, I love seeing how the sun accentuates the texture and angles in the ball! Anyway, I love to look at how the sun makes it look beautiful during the various times of the day in so many different ways! Rainy days have their own ambiance.

Oh, and I love the people that never let anything stop them! This amazing lady who we met, Dorothy, is a firecracker; she gave us a moment and wonderful advice! So, I had to get a picture with her!

Now, we walk to the parking lot, row 19, hop in our car, and drive off to get the puppies from school! The sky is just beautiful and the sun is shining! What a beautiful day, and how fun to see our friend Marcus from TEXAS!