Day 3: Epcot
Oh, Epcot. I really cannot say enough great things about Epcot. We all loved Epcot.
Because we drove to Disney World from South Carolina, we decided to drive to Epcot instead of taking the bus from Wilderness Lodge. (Wilderness Lodge isn’t on the Monorail but has a very convenient, quick boat ride to Magic Kingdom. But the only way to get to the other parks is via bus. And we were not big bus fans on our first night.)
It was super easy for us to drive. We arrived at the park at 9:00 a.m. and parking was easy and we were right inside the park at 9:05. Dealing with our big stroller was so easy because we had our own car. I would definitely choose to do it this way every time.
When we entered Epcot, we had our photo taken in front of Spaceship Earth (the big iconic Epcot ball). Then we saw Pluto! I love Pluto and his happy face. The line to meet Pluto had about four families in it, so we jumped right in.
We took advantage of the Memory Maker package that allows you to pay a one time fee and any time you see a Disney photographer, you have them take your picture, scan your Magic Band and all the photos automatically show up in your My Disney Experience app. It was totally worth it. Any time we rode a ride that had photos, we had our bands scanned so we could have the photo. My account has over 100 photos in from our trip. We definitely got our money’s worth out of the Memory Maker.
Anyway… the boys loved Pluto!
And then a few minutes later as we walked farther into Epcot, we saw Chip and Dale! And they went nuts for Chip and Dale!
We jumped on The Seas with Nemo and Friends ride and rode it three times because there were no waits and the boys just loved it. And then we did Turtle Talk with Crush. Hudson had a little bit of a meltdown during the wait time for Turtle Talk, but he ended up loving it.
We did the Michael Jackson “Captain EO” experience. It was a whole lot more cheesy than it was “classic,” but Todd and I got a good laugh out of it. And we did the Imagination ride with Figment and the boys really liked it.
Then we started off around the lake into the World Showcase. We tried to take it all in but the boys were hungry, and they were begging for mac and cheese. With all the amazing food in the World Showcase, they chose mac and cheese in the United States.
Todd and I waited until we could sample things from France, Italy and Mexico. Well worth the wait! We also passed the line to meet the Frozen characters in Norway. And even on the slowest day ever, the line was 4 hours long! No, thank you. My boys didn’t even know the difference.
That day, we rode everything we could. We had a Fast Pass to ride Soarin and it may have been my favorite ride in all of Disney World. Hudson was tall enough, but Hayes wasn’t. We also did Mission: Space and it was incredible! There are some really great rides at Epcot and I just loved the pace of the whole day. We had a lot of fun.
We went into one of the character meet and greets to meet Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy. Again, no wait at all. It was amazing and we got a good bit of time with each of the characters.
These pictures can speak for themselves!
Goofy was so tall! And my boys couldn’t get enough of him!
This right here was the highlight of my whole trip. Minnie Mouse has some big fans in the Carroll boys. She ate them up and they loved every bit of it. They laughed. She was hugging them and ticking them and they just didn’t want to say goodbye to her. They loved her so much and it was the sweetest thing to see!
(All of these pictures were taken by the Disney photographer and were in my Memory Maker account. The best!)
We seriously rode everything at Epcot and it was one of my favorite days of the whole trip. We skipped naps that day and no one even dozed off in their strollers. We ended the day by eating at Coral Reef for our “table service meal” for the day. Coral Reef was good and had a great view of beautiful aquariums form inside the restaurant. We did choose to purchase the Disney dining plan and it was such a great decision. It made everything so easy and even though Hayes was free for the trip (until he turns 3 in May), he got plenty to eat, too!
Please don’t skip Epcot on your trip because you think it’s just for adults. It was such a fun day for us!
Shay Shull says
Epcot has always been our favorite! I love, love, love the World Showcase! So much fun Carroll family!
Epcot is the best!!! We were in Disney this past October and I could not believe how much easier it was to met characters versus MK. Plus I love the World Showcase. We could spend 2 days there because we skipped a lot of the Imaginarium and front exhibit items. Did you stay for the firework show? They have the best!!
How fun and magical! I just love the way the boys are looking at the characters, especially Hayes! Such precious memories!
The pictures with Mickey, Goofy and Minnie! I mean. I just can’t. It’s too much cuteness. I’m so glad y’all had this sweet time together!
I am loving your recaps! We leave on the 17th, so I am getting so excited. I’m glad to see you thought the Memory Maker was a good investment, ha. We bought that too, for the first time! Keep these recaps coming! 😉
Crystal Seed says
Oh, I am so excited for our trip after seeing these pictures. We got the magic maker picture thing too, so that makes me so happy.
Question about the rides at Epcot, were you and your husband able to switch turns riding soarin’? Because Hayes wasn’t tall enough. My husband and I are trying to figure out how we can ride that one. Thanks!!
Hi! We went to Disney for our littlest boy’s Make a Wish trip recently, and Epcot was his favorite. He loved Test Track and we all loved Soarin’. We had lunch in France and just had the best day there. It is definitely not a park to miss:)
Epcot is one of my favorites too. Good comment about the buses – we’ve done Disney twice and had to rely on them because even though we drove, we met family there who flew. When we went this past summer we gave up the last day and paid for cabs. I’m enjoying these trip recaps as we are hoping to go back in 2015 and considering staying at Wilderness Lodge.
These pictures are the absolute sweetest! Their little faces are so precious! What an amazing day! That’s so great that the park snapped pictures of the boys and loaded them into your Memory account! What a great feature!!
Epcot is my absolute favorite! I adore World Showcase!! And a day at Epcot is busy, but always so chill. We were just there in October and I’m reliving our trip through your posts. Love reading your recaps. Wishing we were there again :)) Can’t wait it read about the rest of your trip!
I love your re-caps! Epcot is so fun! My boys LOVE Turtle Talk too! And Soarin’ is one of my very favorite rides. I thought it would be different from Soarin’ Over California (at Disneyland) but it’s the exact same ride. I think they need to re-do the movie and make it more pertinent to WDW. Just my opinion!
Sarah @ The Teacher's Wife says
Oh man, seeing all your sweet memories is really giving me the itch to plan a trip!! Captain EO?? I have memories of that as a kid!! So funny!
A few more questions! Sorry! 🙂 My girls will be about the same age as your kiddos were when you went. Do you think it was worth it or do you wish you would have waited a year? I know it depends on the kids, but we are having the hardest time trying to decide for our almost three year old! Also, did you use only one autograph book for both boys or did they each get their own?
Thank you so much for your review!!!
This whole trip looks so fun! I’m always so amazed at Disney’s innovation and commitment to making trips as stress free and easy as possible. We live a few hours away from Disneyland and love to hop over there as often as we can.
And I can’t resist saying that the grapes Hudson is eating most likely came from our farm! We supply all the washed/destemmed grapes for Disney. A little piece of Central California in Florida!
Those photos with Minnie are just the sweetest! Glad y’all had a good trip.
The first picture of them with Minnie, where Hayes is looking up at her, is just too cute!! What a fun time! Did you take a lot of photos yourself? Just on your phone or did you carry a camera?
I completely agree about Epcot! We took our little ones in December (4 and almost 3) and they loved it. Plus we loved the margaritas 🙂 We did our dinner inside of Mexico by the Donald Duck ride and the kids absolutely loved it. We also LOVED our meal. We did stand in line for the Frozen princesses (because my kids are utterly obssessed) but happened to wonder upon it when it was only an hour wait. We couldn’t get over how MUCH they looked like the Frozen characters. Both my husband and I have always loved Epcot, so I was very much excited to see that my children did too! Looks like a great visit that y’all had! In the future, if you’re taking extra family members, we rented a townhouse (complete with our OWN pool) in Windsor Hills which was literally the Magic Kingdom exit. Our entire stay for a week was $575 for a 3BR 3Bth townhouse. We were beyond happy with it and it was SUPER close to the parks.
Ashley @ Fancy Ashley says
Looks like a super fun trip!
In This Wonderful Life says
looks like you guys had SUCH an amazing time!!! Oh the happy smiles!!
I can’t wait to take Knox & Sloane!!!
Great pictures! Definitely made the Memory Maker worth the purchase. I think I’m going to try it for our trip if for nothing but the ride photos. It’s just the two of us but I’d like to have pictures that will include both of us and that will be done well.
Epcot is a great way to spend a day. I’m already thinking that we will spend a lot of time exploring it. It will probably get the 2nd most amount of time after the Magic Kingdom.
Katherine @ Grass Stains says
I came over from Pinterest Told Me To, and I was excited to see this post because we just went to Disney World last week! We only missed you by one week. 🙂 I can’t wait to read all of your posts … I bet we did most of the same things. I have four kids … three boys ages 11, 9 and 5, and a 2-year-old daughter. I took more than 2,000 pictures during our week, so I’m not going to be able to start blogging it until next week. I’m also a scrapbooker, so I’m trying to figure out where on the MemoryMaker portion of My Disney Experience I can download all of the general Disney park photos that come with our purchase. Did you figure that out yet? I need those for my scrapbooks. So nice to meet you!
Just a little FYI: If you take the boat launch from Wilderness Lodge and then, instead of going on to Magic Kingdom, disembark at the stop for the Contemporary, you can take the Monorail to the Ticket and Transportation Center. Got off the Monorail there and board the Monorail to Epcot, and you can still get to Epcot on Disney transportation without ever setting foot on one of those awful buses! =)