Our Last Day at the Parks: Epcot

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August 12th 2019
Published: August 14th 2019
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The Boardwalk from the Friendship BoatsThe Boardwalk from the Friendship BoatsThe Boardwalk from the Friendship Boats

We turn on the boardwalk by the dance hall to get to our resort, The Swan. You can see the swans from our resort in the background. It was easy to go back and forth from The Swan to the Boardwalk Inn where my parents were staying.
Today was our longest stretch at the parks with my parents. We got to Epcot around 10:30. We go took the boat from our resort, and it docks at the International Gateway entrance. It's currently under construction, undergoing an expansion, but Disney has done a nice job making it look nice enough with rolling carts of shrubs that block the view of construction.

We met my parents at Mouse Gear, a merchandise shop that's air conditioned, and then we walked over to ride on the The Seas with Nemo. Our FastPasses expired at 11:10am, but we made it in time. In this ride, my mom was seated on a wheel chair, pushed onto an accessible clam shell, and buckled in. It worked well. I'd argue this ride is the worst one we went on in all four parks. If you haven't seen the movie, everything that happens in the ride is just confusing and weird. Maybe it's that way if you have seen the movie. Anyway, I thought we were going to see real life aquariums and some Nemo stuff might be incorporated throughout. Nope. You move through the ride and see TV screens where the characters seem to be saying stuff from the movie. At least the ride was air conditioned, and we didn't wait to go on it! Afterwards, we moved to the next air conditioned building and used our next FastPass for Living with the Land. This was a much better attraction! It was hard to hear what all was being said, but, for the second half of the ride, we went through a green house and could see lots of interesting ways Disney grows produce. We also saw lots of produce we'd never seen before, like dragon fruit plants. Pomegranates are weird to see growing, too, as they hang down from tree branches like Christmas ornaments! I think we all liked this attraction.

After Living with the Land, we got lunch inside the same building. We ordered from Sunshine Seasons, and I think everyone enjoyed their meal. Getting a table was a bit of a challenge, but we lucked out! Afterwards, my dad went to the main entrance of Epcot for a smoke break while the rest of us went on Soarin'. He wasn't too interested in going on this ride because he dislikes heights, but I think he would have liked it. Whereas the
Ice Cream in NorwayIce Cream in NorwayIce Cream in Norway

That's Mexico in the background.
Nemo ride was probably my least favorite ride in all of Disney World, Soarin' is probably my favorite. It's weird because Soarin' is also a screen-based ride, and I thought the screens were really lame in Flight of Passage and The Seas with Nemo. For Soarin', you are seated in a chair and buckled in, and there's something over you that makes it feel like you're seated in a glider. Then, you're lifted up into a movie screen, and you glide over incredible sights from all over the world. I don't want to give the whole ride away, but I'll say it includes flying over glaciers and blue whales, as well as flying over the Egyptian pyramids. It's all so beautiful. I love it. My mom left the ride saying that my dad has to experience it. He still didn't want to!

We met up with my dad again, went back to Mouse Gear for a souvenir toy for Oliver from my parents, and then headed over to the World Showcase. There are many parts of the World Showcase I love. Disney really makes it feel like you've stepped into another country. They change the plants, the buildings, and the food. You can learn about the history or culture of a country, and there's usually a movie or a ride as well as live performers. What I don't like as much is how much of it is shopping-based. For example, while I think it's cool to visit the Mexico or France pavilions while in Epcot, I don't need souvenirs from Mexico or France. Maybe that's just me!

We rode the Three Caballeros ride in Mexico. It shows celebrations from all over Mexico. When we were done, we looked for churros but didn't have any luck. We ended up picking out ice creams by Norway, which is the next country after Mexico if you're going clockwise through the World Showcase. At this point, the wind was really kicking up. It's rained every day of our trip, but this was the first time it felt like a storm was coming. We ducked into Frozen Ever After in Norway to use our FastPass right when the rain really started coming down. I think it's a cute ride! After the Frozen ride, the wind was still blowing and the air was full of drizzle. We walked to the America pavilion and watched The American Adventure show for about half an hour. It was more about some of the cultural changes in America than about its history, which I didn't expect. When the show was over, it was much better outside, and the little food carts and such started opening back up. My dad treated Andrew to a funnel cake (his favorite). At that time, it was a little after 4pm, and we'd been in the park for over 5 hours. We made our way back to the International Gateway entrance and took the boat back to our respective resorts.

A few hours later, we met for dinner at the Boardwalk. My parents still had dining credits left that they needed to use (they received a free dining plan with their package), so they treated us to a pizza for dinner. It was still raining out, so we spent time at their arcade with them before we headed back to start packing.

We've had a fun week at Disney World. I think, out of everything, our stay at Fort Wilderness was my favorite part of the trip. I want to go back there! The main highlights from the trip were Hoop De Doo Revue, the Chip 'n Dale campfire sing along, walking through France with my parents, listening to Oliver's laughter on Flight of Passage and Joanna's laughter on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and catching the fireworks at the end of the night at Magic Kingdom.

There are also some things I learned. Although I'm so glad my parents got to come and spend this trip with us, I think it was too hard on my dad with having no smoking sections in the park. It's so hard to get in and out of the parks, and having the smoking sections outside of them just doesn't make sense. People who don't follow the rules smoked anywhere they wanted, but, for people who do follow the rules like my dad, it means they don't get to really enjoy the parks.

I think Disney World was also too hard with my mom not being able to walk. Although Disney does great with accommodations, it was a lot for her. Epcot was probably the easiest and best. Animal Kingdom was the hardest for her because of the rough ground. There was also stress throughout the trip with moving through crowds, getting on and off buses, and getting on and off rides due to her broken foot. In the future, if we ever have another injury like that happen in the family, it would probably be better to reschedule the trip altogether. I'm so glad they made the effort to come, though, and I'm glad we made these memories together. Our kids will never forget this trip!


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