From what I have been reading this week, Saturday at Megacon 2014 was ridiculously crowded. This makes me even more glad that Debbie and I opted to take most of that day and make a trip to EPCOT Center at Walt Disney World.
I’m a HUGE Disney fan. I’ve been a bunch of times, and still enjoy going. My dad is a cast member (he works for ABC), and my parents are Vacation Club members. So it was really nice that Dad gave Debbie and I some free passes to get into the parks that day. I love that perk of his job!
Admittedly, it was a little rough for me to choose a single park to go to, since the Disney geek inside of me really wanted to stay for a week and go to all of them. And Universal. But this trip was really about MegaCon. So that meant picking my favorite park (Epcot), which happened to be Debbie’s favorite, too. We met my friend Cedric (we went to college together years ago), who has an annual park pass, at the park gates, and he joined us for the day! I consider myself to be pretty knowledgeable about the parks, but Cedric takes that knowledge to another level, so it was really awesome to have him with us. Thanks for showing us around, Ced!
The Flower and Garden Festival was going on at EPCOT while we were there, so it was nice to see all the fun shrubberies and plant sculptures. Here are some of the shots we took!
Lady and the Tramp were sighted at Italy in the World Showcase.
The Monsters Inc dudes were near the showcase entrance, by a well-themed playground full of munchkins.
I don’t normally stop for character pictures, but the line was short after we grabbed our fast passes, so we got photos taken with Mickey, Goofy, and Minnie. This was my favorite of all the shots.
Speaking of Fastpass, this system has changed a bunch since I was last at the parks a few years ago. Its electronic now, and the resort guests (and annual pass holders) get a full wristband of awesome to carry all their Fastpass data. It also let’s you pay for things in the parks, works as a park ticket, etc. And if you download the MyDisneyExperience app, you can access your Fastpass info there. Since we just had day passes, our tickets synced with the app, but the Fastpasses did not. Thankfully we had Cedric! Here’s a shot of the Fastpasses we chose:
You got to select one big attraction (we chose Soarin’) and two smaller ones to get Fastpasses for. And you can change it if you miss the times. After we got our Fastpasses, we went to stand in line for Test Track, which had received a revamp since my last visit to the parks. It’s now sponsored by Chevrolet instead of GM, and if you wait in the standby line, you get to design the specifications of your vehicle. Here was our awesome car!
The ride really hadn’t changed much, though they do compare your vehicle’s stats to some standard vehicle to see how your vehicle performed for all of the different tests (efficiency, speed, handling, etc). Neat and definitely more interactive and educational than the last version.
The Land was next up. We missed our Living Seas adventure do to the length of the wait at Test Track and me losing my park ticket card and causing a short detour to guest relations. The line there was long too, so we decided to try our other Fastpasses without my ticket. You will be pleased to know they let me in with my party for both!
There is something infinitely relaxing about the Living with the Land boat ride. I still enjoy this ride, and it is old. Kinda like Spaceship Earth, I guess, just classic. After the boat ride, we hit Soarin’, which is much newer and fantastic. Then we made our way over to the World Showcase to wander and eat. As part of the Flower & Garden Festival, they had set up food kiosks at the different countries as well as some of the other parts of the park. I guess the Food & Wine Festival from the fall has just started making so much money they figured they have to take advantage of this festival to do it, too. I’m not complaining, I love the Food & Wine Festival! There were also some other kiosk activities, such as kids making bottles with colored sand, and a butterfly garden to walk through, and some musical stages for different acts.
Debbie and Cedric had fish & chips for lunch from the England showcase. I decided to wait and partake in the kiosk food. When we got to France I had some yummy vegatable gnocchi with goat cheese, which I swore I took a picture of, but can’t find it to save my life. Cedric and I also sampled some “fruishi” in Japan, seen below. It was wrapped like sushi, but the rice was coconut rice, the insides were fruit instead of fish, they threw some whipped cream on the plate, and sprinkled toasted coconut and raspberry sauce on top. Quite yummy!
And we had the Piggylicious Cupcakes over in the United States showcase. The bacon was in the actual cake, which reminded me more of cornbread than cake, though it was still a little sweet. The real sweet part came in with the maple icing. It was topped off with some pretzel bits which added a nice crunch, and a bit more savory. Overall, a nice treat to try once, but I’m not sure I’d have it again – I’d rather have a funnel cake or something.
Once we finished walking the showcase, we headed for Spaceship Earth to cool down, and then took a few more pictures as we left the park.
Debbie and I had been planning on returning to MegaCon after EPCOT, but there was an awful parking situation at our hotel that wound up causing us to leave that night instead of the following morning. Regardless, it was a fantastic weekend! You would think this would have satiated my Disney urge for a while, but I have the urge to go again already… What are your favorite Disney parks? Rides? Resorts?