Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Janelle Visits: Disney's Epcot

As I mentioned in my previous post, while Janelle was visiting at the beginning of April, we were able to sneak up to Orlando for a couple days for a girls weekend.  It was so much fun to have quality time with Janelle and not be distracted by the needs of my little guy.  We were able to pack a ton into our two and a half days.  It was pretty weird to not have Daxton with us, but I loved not having to push a massive stroller around Disney.  Our first day we drove up to Orlando, explored Gatorland, and then shopped and ate at Downtown Disney.  The next day we decided to spend the whole day at Epcot Center.  I was super excited to go since it was the International Flower and Garden Festival.  Disney always does such an incredible job and this festival did not disappoint!

One of the things I loved was finding all the topiaries spread throughout the park.  There were over 100 designed after different Disney characters, each covered in beautiful colors, flowers, and greenery.

(Warning this post contains a lot of pictures :)
The entrance to Epcot with Goofy, Daisy, and Donald catching butterflies...

Even though we arrived close to opening, there were already lots of people (the joys of doing Disney during spring break!)  One of the rides that didn't have any wait time, was "Living with the Land."  Even though I had been to Epcot several times, I had never ridden on it and I was very surprised by how much I enjoyed it.  It's slow moving in a boat and teaches you about preserving our Earth and new ways of safe agriculture.  I kept thinking how much my dad would have loved it, since it was so interesting. 

Next we had fast passes to the Finding Nemo ride.  It's one of my favorites there, because Daxton loves it so much.  We also explored the different aquariums afterwards.

Everywhere we looked there were gorgeous, vibrant flowers.  So many different kinds!  It made me actually want to garden...for about a minute or two...

Pluto, Mickey, and Minnie topiaries
I loved that Minnie's bow on her head were actually two lady bugs.  Such fun details!

Goofy and Donald soccer topiaries with different soccer teams from around the world represented.

Looking out at some of the colorful landscaping throughout the park...

We loved walking through "Tinkerbell's Butterfly Garden."  It was beautifully done and housed several butterflies.  We had visited Butterfly World just a couple days earlier, so we were underwhelmed with the amount of butterflies, but we were still able to see several.  What I loved most were the Fairy houses hidden throughout the gardens.  Looking closely, I was shocked by the painstaking detail that went into building these little homes.

Such impressive detailing!

After exploring the Butterfly Garden, we made our way over to Disney's Fast Track ride, which is my favorite at Epcot.  The past few times we've visited we haven't been able to ride on it, since Daxton is too little.  Janelle and I had a blast and were VERY grateful for our fast passes!

Afterwards we started to make our way to the World Showcase and found several beautiful topiaries along the walk...

Lightning McQueen and Mater (Daxton's favorite)

Phineus and Ferb

An entire scene of Fantasia was designed into several topiaries as well.

Making our way around the world showcase, we started with Mexico and ate some very yummy tacos, empinadas, and churros.  

Then we moved on to Norway, which is now where Elsa and Anna from Frozen are located.  It was crazy to see how long people were waiting in the line to meet them.  Especially since if you stand in the far side of the gift shop you can see them both perfectly.  I might feel it worth it if I had a daughter who was obsessed with them, maybe...

After Norway we walked down to China.  We lucked out with arriving just in time to see the Chinese acrobats perform.  It was crazy how tiny they were and what amazing things they were able to do with those tiny bodies!

After China we found some fun Lion King topiaries.  We loved the mane on Mufasa!

In Germany we found Snow White and her dwarves...

Kermit and Miss Piggy topiaries

This shot depicts perfectly why I was so glad to not be pushing a stroller!  I vow to never do Disney during Spring break again.  Way too many people!

When we arrived in Japan, three girl drummers had just begun their performance.  It was pretty amazing and took some serious arm strength with the moves they were doing.

The Kingdom of Morocco has always been one of my favorites.  I love all the tile and intricate detailing.  Plus they have great shopping.

The nerdy teacher in my came out when we passed the garden below.  I so want to plant in clear boxes like they did so Daxton can see the roots.  It's a great science experiment!
We also found Woody, Bambi and friends, and Mary Poppins as topiaries...

We found Sleeping Beauty in France...

And almost the entire cast of Beauty and the Beast as topiaries (my favorite.)
Belle and Beast

Sleeping Beauty and Prince Phillip and Cinderella and Prince Charming were dancing topiaries found on both sides of the bridge when we left France.

We also found Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Eeyor, Rabbit, and Tigger near England.

One of my favorites turned out to be Peter Pan standing on the top of one of the buildings in England.  Most people would walk right by or simply notice Captain hook and Tick Tock Croc below.

Having fun in England and then Canada!

Right as we were leaving we found a super fun Monsters University themed playground which Daxton would have loved.  The lighting is horrible in the below pictures, but Mike and Sully were pretty awesome as massive topiaries.

We were able to do basically everything by nightfall.  It was an exhausting day fighting crowds, but it was so much fun having Janelle with me.  I didn't mind waiting in lines, because we were able to talk and we didn't have a crazy toddler we were trying to keep calm.  I sure do love her and am so glad she was up for so many adventures on her visit!

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