This morning we eagerly got up and put on our outfits for the day. Today we’re Disney Bounding as characters from Alice in Wonderland. KG is Alice, Kris the Mad Hatter and Justine the Queen of Hearts. As a whole, we looked pretty freakin’ adorable. Like seriously adorable.
After what’s become a pretty predictable breakfast routine we were on the bus and headed to Magic Kingdom. This wasn’t our main destination for the day, but as Wonderland characters we wanted to snap a few photos aboard the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. Upon arriving at the park we made a beeline straight there. On the way we ran into the White Rabbit. The one character we were missing! It was perfect!
Next we took a spin on the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. This involved lots of spinning and even more individual photos. It was just the perfect backdrop. There were also a number of photo opportunities on our walk back out of the park. I found some hedges to pose with around the castle and KG looked in awe at the Cheshire Café. Kris was sure to get plenty of photos when she was surrounded by her teacups.
As this was all we came to Magic Kingdom for, we left and started our journey to Epcot. And what a fun journey it was, full of ferries and trains! We boarded the boat to take us to the monorail station and were the only people on board. Funnily enough, there aren’t many people leaving Magic Kingdom at 10 am. As we left our private ferry everyone looked at us like weirdoes (they were all on their way to Magic Kingdom & didn’t get where we were coming from!). Our assortment of headgear didn’t help. Hats, Bows, and Crowns! Oh My! The next step was the monorail that dropped us off right outside of Epcot.
Epcot, or the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, was created to show new ideas and new technologies. This was the second park opened and is almost twice the size of Magic Kingdom! This park consists of two parts: Future World and World Showcase. As a whole it has the feel of what you’d expect to find at a World’s Fair. The World Showcase features pavilions from eleven countries around the reflective lagoon (but more on that to come!). We started with Future World.
Kris had perfectly planned our Fastpasses for the day, as per usual. After taking a number of photos with the Epcot ball or geosphere (which is actually the home of Spaceship Earth) we were off to our first ride: Test Track. While in line we got to design our own custom car. Our car was pretty and purple and sparkly (on KG’s recommendation) with lots of power (on Kris’s). Unfortunately it didn’t handle very well and didn’t score well against the others. The actual ride was a blast (though our head accessories didn’t enjoy the outside speed component!).
Next we used another fastpass and headed to Mission: Space. We chose the more intense experience for this, which may have been a mistake. Not quite, but after riding this one we all agreed that we do not want to go to space. This ride was very different from anything else we’ve ridden so far. Seated in a spaceship and strapped in, we were launched into space. The simulation included a pulse-pounding liftoff followed by the weightlessness of outer space. It was enough to make you a little nauseous and excited for when you had your feet back on the ground.
Next, at the Universe of Energy, Ellen and Bill Nye taught us all about energy. We didn’t have high hopes going in, but it turned out to be more exciting that we thought it would be. Sitting in large car-like things we time traveled with Ellen and Bill Nye back to the time of the dinosaurs to learn about the origins of energy. The coolest part was the dinosaurs, which thankfully were a lot less scary than the ones on DINOSAUR!
Continuing through the Future World we made our way to Spaceship Earth, or the big ball at the entrance to the park. This ride takes you through the history of communication, from the Stone Age to the computer age. The highlight was the end of the ride where you get to choose your future and decide how you want your journey through history to end. Kris rode in her own cart for this one, but funnily enough she picked the same future as KG & Justine. Great minds think alike! After this ride and learning about energy from Ellen we needed a break. It was a lot of learning for a Disney vacation.
Our next stop was The Sea with Nemo and Friends. Before we headed inside we snapped some photos of Nemo and Dory in the oversized reef. This ride took us through one of the world’s largest saltwater aquariums while riding in oversized clams. We really wanted to all ride together, but it was quite tight fitting us all in on this one. There were some neat parts at the end where they could show Nemo amongst the real fish in the aquarium. A very interesting technological feat!
We then took a detour to meet some characters. Using the handy Walt Disney World app we knew that both Mary Poppins and Alice would be out soon. KG had the chance to meet Alice as Alice and we couldn’t miss it. This was our first trip to the World Showcase. After hurrying past Canada (Justine was struggling a bit with the pain that seemed to be getting worse in her leg) we arrived in the UK and found ourselves in line with Alice. Alice was the most adorable and appreciated each of our outfits. There was much excitement about her and KG being twins. She had plenty of compliments for all of us but Justine was the main focus of her attention. She was very polite so as to not upset the Queen!
Just around the corner we found Mary Poppins. Mary was exceptionally charming. Mary complimented the hearts on Justine’s stockings and let her hold her umbrella. With KG they discussed how you should always smile and say practically perfect. And with Kris, the two of them talked about how a proper lady always needs to be wearing a hat and how you should always have on your best posture.
It was in line for Mary Poppins that we used our handy app to see that Sleeping Beauty was going to be in France in about 30 minutes. We decided that had to be our next stop, as France was just a bridge away from the UK (just over the channel 😉). When we arrived there was already a line, but there was still some space left for a few princess-loving adults. While we waited KG grabbed us some delicious crepes. Yummy! She also took this opportunity to scope out Belle. There was a chance we could make it to Belle after Aurora, but it would be tight. Back in line we took this opportunity to snap a few Wonderland selfies.
Aurora was dressed in her winter attire, which we found funny, as it was practically summer weather for us Canadians. While getting our photos, Sleeping Beauty called everyone darling and told Justine the importance of crown accessories.
Unfortunately by the time we were done the line had already been cut off for Belle. We tried for Aladdin & Jasmine next, but that line had been closed too. So instead we took this as an excellent opportunity to get our first glimpse of Morocco. The Whovian in Kris & Justine greatly enjoyed the abundance of fezzes.
Not wanting to get too far ahead of ourselves, we turned around and headed back to The Land. Our next attraction was the Living with the Land boat ride. This relaxing trip took us behind the scenes and taught us all about various farming techniques. One of the highlights included the Extremely Hot Pepper (as it was labeled). We also saw some banana trees, a monkey puzzle tree, and learned about vertical farming and aquaculture. It was very educational, but not boring educational like Justine and KG thought it might be (Kris remembered loving it as a child).
Upon leaving The Land it was time for our next snack. This time it was a Mickey shaped pretzel. Again, yummy! We ate in the sun before heading to Journey into Imagination with Figment! This had been one of Kris’s favourites when she visited Disney World when she was younger and she was very excited to see her friend Figment again. KG & Justine were less thrilled. After waiting in line for longer than we would have liked, we boarded our car and went on a journey of sight, smell and sound. Kris loved every moment. KG & Justine thought it was simply ridiculous. But it seemed exactly like what Baby Kris would have loved.
It was time now to head back to the World Showcase. This had been the part of Epcot Justine was most excited about. Let’s tour the world!
First up was Canada. The Canadian pavilion featured a hotel very reminiscent of the Victorian style hotels we have throughout our country. There were also totem poles and a display that we suspect was the Rocky Mountains. And then there was the Paul Bunyan Lumberjack show. This gem consisted of 4 lumberjacks in plaid performing stunts with axes and chainsaws, log cutting competitions and log rolling races. We’re not sure this is exactly the image we want the world to have of Canadians but it was highly entertaining. We were very curious as to whether or not the performers were actual Canadians so we stuck around and asked for a photo at the end. Turns out they all were.
Next to Canada was the UK. It had come time for our daily photoshoot. The UK pavilion was the perfect backdrop. The architecture here takes you from the streets of London to an English cottage. There was hustle and bustle as well as relaxing cobbled streets.
There was also a hedge maze and abundance of flower gardens that were practically perfect for photos of our Wonderland characters. I chased KG through the maze before we each struck a pose amongst the flowers. We also explored a number of the shops and Kris found some tea and teacups to pose with. Our photoshoot took us towards France. Just between the two countries we snapped a couple more paired shots; KG and Kris sharing some tea and Kris being annoying over Justine’s shoulder. Justine wants to find a frame for these photos, they’re some of her favourites.
As well, on the bridge to Paris we smiled for a photo with the Eiffel Tower and looked longingly in its direction as Kris and Justine reminisced about actually being in France (on the trip that started this blog). The French pavilion did a very good job of making us feel like we were back in Paris. The waterfront was filled with carts that were similar to what you would find along the Seine and the buildings all looked like you’d find them along the Parisian boulevards.
By now it was time for more food. And time to embark on our evening activity – drinking our way around the world… or more accurately: the World Showcase. There are 11 countries represented in the World Showcase, and what better way to see the world than having a traditional drink and/or some authentic food from each?
As we had already passed the first three we continued to Morocco. Don’t worry, UK, we’ll be back for some British beer before the night is over!
The Morocco pavilion is filled with amazingly crafted buildings with terra cotta tiles and replicas of historic mosques. We started strong by sharing a lamb and chicken combo plate and a beer… or two beers… For some reason we were given two beers when we only paid for one. All the better!!! Either we were just too adorable they couldn’t resist, or more likely we confused the poor Moroccan at the restaurant when we asked for one beer and multiple cups. Either way, that extra beer definitely didn’t go to waste.
Next came Japan. The Japanese pavilion itself is beautiful, full of authentic looking pagodas and amazing gardens. While there we witnessed a Japanese drum show, which was very neat. Inside the buildings was the busy madness that we expect you’d find in Tokyo – Hello Kitty and Anime everywhere! But at the same time there was an abundance of traditional Japanese items. All in all, it was quite overwhelming.
Our drink of choice here was sake. Justine has a bottle of sake at my house that she was excited to try, but if it tastes anything like this did, she never wants to open it! That is because this sake tasted like rubbing alcohol and soy sauce. It was disgusting and burned the whole way down. And each of us only got a small sip; we can’t imagine how awful a larger taste would have been. Yuck! All three of us had reactions that may have been similar to when Justine tried Guinness in Dublin.
Luckily enough we were soon to be greeted by the pride of America. ‘MURICAN! Suddenly it was star-spangled banners and deep-fried food everywhere. Which is exactly what we needed. The extra-large funnel cake we found the second we stepped into America took the taste of sake away. It was probably the best deep-fried item we’ve ever had, just for that reason. KG also needed a bit of a caffeine pick-me-up, so she got some coffee, with baileys… obviously. This was also the perfect location to snap a few photos of the lagoon. It had become dark on our travels and now the ball of Spaceship Earth was lit up. That, along with the reflective lagoon and the world pavilions provided an excellent backdrop.
The next country on our trip was Italy. On this visit to Venice we simply walked through. It surprisingly looked a lot like Venice (though we overheard someone saying it looked a lot like Venus). Kris and Justine spent a lot of time reminiscing about that trip. They were sure to tell KG not to walk through the two columns at the entrance as they were told while in Venice that it is bad luck to do so.
Germany was a quick visit. But it was long enough to notice that decorations had been painted directly onto the sides of the buildings. This was weird, but something weird that Kris and Justine saw a lot of in Germany.
A lot of time was spent wandering through China. Entering through a large arched gate, we found ourselves surrounded by ancient looking temples and a garden oasis. It was like we had stepped directly into the Orient. The stores were full, but not quite as overwhelming as Japan. Here we were greeted by panda themed everything! In China it was time for another snack. We grabbed some chicken and rice and, of course, another beer. Chinese beer was definitely something we hadn’t considered to be a thing before. We were pleasantly surprised by how much we enjoyed it.
Next: Norway! This was a perfect opportunity for us to check out where we’d be having dinner tomorrow night. We counted a number of princesses in the window and couldn’t wait until we could join them. Kris had bought KG and Justine a Princess Storybook Dinner in Norway for their collective birthday presents and we were all very excited for it.
The final country around the lagoon was Mexico. It was at this point in the day, which was much later than we thought we’d make it, that we decided we no longer cared about our Disney Bounds. It was windy and it was cold. We each pulled out another layer or 4 before continuing. *Side note – if you’re going to Florida in February be prepared to layer. We had brought plenty of clothes, but if you layered them together they definitely weren’t our best outfits.
In Mexico we discovered an Aztec pyramid of wonders! We made our way inside and were completely amazed. It was twilight inside with a smoking volcano and Mayan pyramid in the background. There were shops, restaurants, carts selling jewelry, clothes and leather goods and even a mariachi band playing inside. It was a party! Mexico will be remembered for trying on a bunch of sombreros, both big and small and posing for some ridiculous photos, because obviously, have you not read our other posts? The alcohol was definitely getting to us by this point and things had taken a ridiculous turn.
Now for a drink to celebrate Mexico! We seriously contemplated some tequila, but after some debate we decided this probably wasn’t the best decision. In the end we picked up a Mexican beer. We were sure to drink this with some excellent Aztec architecture as our backdrop. Back outside it was freezing. Luckily, by this point in our evening, we had consumed enough that the alcohol was able to help keep us warm.
As Mexico was the last country around the lagoon, we needed to turn around and head back. You don’t actually have to turn around, you can exit the World Showcase and head back to the remainder of Epcot from either end, but there were still a number of countries that we needed to fully experience… We had a plan.
First we were back in Norway. This time we took the time to explore… everything was Viking or medieval-themed, including an old wooden church. As we explored the church, we could see the inspiration for Frozen. This made us excited as we then imagined Elsa and Anna everywhere. Next we decided we needed a shot in Norway. We had said no to tequila, but were intrigued to know what this country had to offer. We ordered something traditional, and weren’t surprised when they wouldn’t split the shot in 3 for us. This made it slightly more difficult, but we managed. But no need to worry – the little we got was more than enough as it was disgusting… like sake-level disgusting. Kris said she imagines this is what gasoline tastes like.
Next came China, which we quickly passed by since we had spent time exploring it early. And then we were in Germany again. We split a grapefruit beer (which was delicious) and then had some fun at Snow White’s wishing well. Being our classic lady, Justine took a classic photo at the classic wishing well. KG pretended she was a broken-hearted princess making a wish… and then there was Kris. Kris threw herself at the base like she was drunk, which she just might have been. The resulting photo looks like she passed out – very classy! We like to think of it as a progression of our night.
But we weren’t done yet!
Next we were back in Italy – as we didn’t grab a drink on the first trip through we definitely needed one now. It was easy to find somewhere selling an assortment of Italian wines, however it was rather overwhelming for the three of us who were a little tipsy and aren’t good at picking wine at the best of times. This issue was rectified when we asked the Italian man working there for something cheap and white. To which one of us then commented, “Just how we like our men”. Lol. The Italian man serving us probably wouldn’t have sufficed, though he did get a good laugh out of it. The wine was delicious. We could have done shots of it, and wished we had gotten more than one glass to share.
Next we returned to Japan and quickly walked through. No more sake please! Morocco had already been checked off so that was another brisk trip. And then we found ourselves walking the streets of France again.
In France we found some cheap wine at a little cart. Do you think you can actually buy wine from a cart in France (cause that could be dangerous!)? By now we were pros at splitting a glass and each knew the perfect amount to take. We essentially each got a shot of wine in each of these countries. Yum!
Next came beer in the UK. We were running short on time so this one was quick. We got a pint to share and continued home to Canada.
The stage was set. We were in our homeland with enough time to grab one final Canadian brew. Then we could enjoy the tastes of home while watching the fireworks! Except Canada was having none of that… damn you Canada! Our night was ruined when we got to there. Ok, ruined is a little dramatic. But all of our plans came crashing down. Justine went to find a spot to watch the fireworks while Kris and KG went to buy a drink. They found a beer cart just down the path and ordered a beer. The girl asked for our IDs, much as every other alcohol seller had throughout the park, and told us our government issued Canadian driver’s licences would not be sufficient. What? It had been good enough in every other country! The girl told us that as a fellow Canadian (actually a fellow Albertan… she was from Calgary and obviously knew our Albertan IDs were real) she knew that it a Canadian driver’s licence was not good enough for buying liquor. It had to be a passport. Who carries their passport around while drinking in a foreign country? We still stand by how wrong this chick was. What a load of crap. This is why Edmontonians hate Calgary.
Nothing could dampen our spirits though! The fireworks were quite spectacular and also very different from the ones we saw at Magic Kingdom. These were focused around the lagoon and a large golden globe that spun in the middle of it. It fit the Epcot theme perfectly.
Once the fireworks had ended it was time to start making our way home. We hadn’t gone far when we realized how badly we all had to pee. And it was difficult to find a bathroom for once! Apparently as soon as the fireworks end they usher everyone out of the park as quickly as they can and don’t let people go to the bathroom! Luckily enough we found one right outside the main gates.
During the final trek to the bus Justine thought she might faint from the pain in her leg. The pain had subsided while we were ‘drinking-around-the-world’ but then we left the magic boundary of the Disney Park and the pain returned. She likes to describe the feeling as being stabbed in the leg by a dagger. It was a relief when she finally got to sit on the bus. The ride back was filled by Kris and KG telling our neighbours about the awful the Canadian who wouldn’t let us drink in Canada. We definitely hadn’t forgotten about that yet.
The night wasn’t quite over. It was a struggle when we got back to the hotel. Justine couldn’t get her dress off. Kris couldn’t figure out her tights. And for some unknown reason, KG’s blazer was choking her (How does a blazer, that is very open at the neck, choke someone???). Eventually we got that sorted, amid numerous giggles, and it was time for bed.
All in all, we each only had a couple drinks, but I’m not sure anyone else could have had a more ridiculous day in a Disney theme park ☺.
Thanks for reading!
– Justine … & Kris … & KG!
(February 18, 2015)