We got to EPCOT just before the park opened, known as “rope drop” to WDW regulars. Here’s what the entry lines looked like on this relatively slow morning:
We headed right to Test Track, with Aly saying the whole way that she wasn’t going to ride it after what happened on the Mine Train last night. I reminded her that she had been looking forward to the part where you design your car, and also that’s she’s been riding and loving Test Track since she was three years old.
That didn’t matter though – no way she was riding it. I did convince her to go through the pre-ride car design experience with us and then wait at the exit, instead of waiting outside the whole time. She did end up enjoying that part, as did Leah. Their car designs were a bit different, lol.
The line moved pretty quickly, and Leah loved her first ride on Test Track (she wasn’t tall enough on previous trips).
One of the highlights for Aly on our previous trip was the Universe of Energy ride/show, which only she and Rachel had done, since it’s a 45-minute commitment, and Leah probably wasn’t ready for that back then. This time, however, she was, so I got my first experience of this show hosted by Bill Nye and Ellen, where I “learned” about the energy sources on our planet.
We had seen some really long wait times for the new-ish Frozen Ever After boat ride, which used to be the Norway boat ride, so we zipped over there to get in line as the sun started to really warm up the day. The “Trust Jesus” skywriter was working as well, making it a normal Disney trip.
The line actually wasn’t bad, probably 15-20 minutes, thankfully indoors in the shade. Leah and I got put in the front row of the boat, which means we got a bit wet, but the ride was actually quite fun. Leah was singing along loudly most of the time!
With that out of the way, we were already thinking about lunch, so we continued around the left side of World Showcase, with a brief stop at China to see Mulan.
Along the way to lunch at Italy, we stopped to see the trains in Germany, and posed in one of the Festival of the Arts picture frames for a PhotoPass picture.
We arrived a bit early for our lunch reservation at Via Napoli, but were seated fairly quickly.
As with our last few trips, Via Napoli did not disappoint. It might be Aly’s favorite restaurant across all of WDW. We ordered the salumi and arancini appetizers – so good that Aly ordered another arancini appetizer to be her entree. I had the candele pasta, and Rachel had a pizza, and we had two desserts. All were great. On our way out of Italy after lunch, we caught the last few minutes of the juggler show, then headed to Japan.
The Japanese pavilion has a large Mitsukoshi Department store, where the girls used their gift cards to get several new plush toys. On the plus side, we got away without doing the pick-a-pearl, which is fun to do once or twice, but we wanted to skip this trip. We also ran across a PhotoPass photog outside the store who had us do our secret agent poses.
As we continued around the countries, we just missed seeing Jasmine in Morocco and then Belle in France; their lines were cut off just as we arrived for both. Rachel headed for a bathroom, and I found a PhotoPass spot at the fountains in France, where I tricked the girls into pretending they liked each other 🙂
As we crossed into England, we spotted Alice in Wonderland, who Leah really wanted to meet, but she had a really long line, so Leah said “it’s okay just to see her so we don’t have to wait.” Bonus!
On our way back to the front of the park, we stopped off at Club Cool, where they have Coke-owned pops from around the world, which you can sample for free. Several of the flavors were new this go ’round, and Rachel, Leah and I all had a new favorite: the Frosty Melon, which is apparently a Fanta flavor somewhere. Aly liked that one too, but her favorite is still Vegita-Beta.
From there it was over to the Living Seas with Nemo, where we again rode in clamshell cars. Once inside the Living Seas, we headed right to Turtle Talk with Crush, which we haven’t done for a long time. Leah loved it, though she was a bit disappointed that she didn’t get to ask Crush a question.
As we headed out of the park to go do some daytime swimming, we hugged the left side hoping to catch Daisy in a spot we’d seen her in the past, and we did. She loved that Leah was wearing the same colors, so that was a fun little stop on our way back to the car.
We also stopped at the PhotoPass spot right at the entrance to get another family shot with a little extra magic added later.
We then spent some time at the pool, which thankfully felt a lot warmer during the day than it had on our previous couple night visits.
A few hours later, we drove back to EPCOT, and headed straight over to Soarin’, which was a blast as usual.
We then ate dinner at the Seasons restaurant area inside the Soarin’ pavilion, then made our way over to the character spot, where we had a FastPass to meet Mickey & friends.
I tried something different this time around, shooting video instead of still photos, since the PhotoPass photographers were already taking pictures.
After another quick visit to Club Cool, we took another spin on Soarin’, because the line was very short – it had a 10-minute posted wait time, which I’m not sure I’ve ever seen before.
On our way out of the park, with only a few minutes left before the park closed, we rode Spaceship Earth (inside the big golf ball), which chronicles the history of human communication and tries to peer into the future, circa 15 years ago. Leah said, “That was mostly boring.” We lingered in the post-show area for a few minutes checking out some of the games, then we were informed we’d have to head out since the park was closed. We did and then headed back to the room for a good night’s sleep before our last day.