This area of Epcot is so unique. There are eleven different country areas as you walk around the lagoon.
The cast members that work in each country are from that particular country, working at DW as part of their career program. In each area there are restaurants, shops, and some have attractions to ride also.
Right after our lunch in Germany, we stopped in China.
This area was beautiful.
The shopping area had all sorts of fun Chinese things.
I had the goal to collect a magnet in each country, but when I asked someone here if they had any magnets, they pointed me to some 'medicine magnets'. When I tried to explain that I was looking for magnets to put on our fridge, they didn't know what I was talking about.
I also have to be honest and say that the cast members in China were a bit rude. The country with the nicest and most helpful cast members? Germany.
We also stopped in and saw Mexico.
There was a group playing Mexican music so we stopped and listened for a while.
We still weren't hungry, but there were stalls selling street tacos that looks delish.
We had Fastpasses back in Future World, so we walked back towards the entrance.
The International Flower and Garden Festival was happening while we were here and we loved seeing all of the flowers.
There was this whole area that was set up for the Festival that we didn't get to, this place was so crazy big.
We met up with Mater.....
....then rode on Test Track again with our Fastpass. This was a good call, as the line was 35 minutes long.
Since we were way down at this end of the park, we decided to ride Spaceship Earth.
This ride is actually inside the giant golf ball - I didn't realize there was anything in it. The ride went all through history, and only had one small scene on evolution.
We also had a Fastpass to ride Mission: Space again. Good thing, as the line was 70 minutes long.
On our way back to World Showcase, we stopped at Mater's repair shop to get a little wet. This was the hottest day yet, and the misters were very welcome.
We started to the right side of World Showcase and headed for Canada.
There was a neat little path we went down, that made it feel like you were on a mountain trail.
There is a Circle-Vision show called O Canada! at the end of this path, but we got there right as the next show was starting and didn't want to wait the 20 minutes.
Canada is also where Le Cellier Steakhouse is. This is one of the best places to eat in World Showcase, but if you don't get your reservations in 6 months in advance, you are out of luck.
United Kingdom is the next country.
This really felt like (what I would think) England would feel like.
Our plan for eating the rest of the day was to eat our way through the World. When we saw something that met our fancy, we would stop and all of us share a plate.
So what else could we eat here, but fish and chips?
We also went through some shops and got some Twinnings Tea samples.
In one shop, you could look up your family crest.
We moved into France.
Of course the bushes were in the shape of characters from Beauty and the Beast.
The shops were very cute.
Here, Bookworm asked some of the cast members to say something in French to her. They obliged, and we spent the rest of the day trying to figure out what they said.
And what do you eat in France?
Next stop was Morocco.
This turned out to be our favorite land.
There were streets to explore and buildings with beautiful mosaics.
The shops really felt like outdoor markets. And there was this beautiful spicy scent in the air.
We stopped and had our best counter service of the day in Morocco.
A Shawarma Chicken and Lamb Plate. The flavors were delicious, and we ate the whole thing.
Japan was next.
The store that was in this land was the same chain of stores that my husband remembers going to in Japan.
We were starting to slow down, so we sat for a bit in the courtyard area. We weren't too hungry but used a snack credit to get a plate of noodles.
They called this 'udon' on the menu, but this is not udon.
The United States was next.
This was the most disappointing land. You would think that we would go all out, and have a mini Statue of Liberty, Grand Canyon, views of Alaska.... Nope. The only thing to do is the American Adventure (which I have heard is good, but we didn't want to wait in line for) and a big stage, where someone was playing heavy metal.
Yup, I guess that sums up America.
We did get some fries, (kind of American) and Mr. Lego used a snack credit for a red, white, and blue smoothie.
Italy is right next door.
There are some really neat statues to see (beware of nude ones) and the buildings are really Italian looking. There is lots of pasta, pizza, and gelato to eat, but we were realizing that we needed to pace ourselves with the whole eating around the world thing.
We then passed Germany, and went back to China.
It was getting dark now, and we wanted one last plate of food.
We settled for an orange chicken and beef chow mein plates.
The food was basically like Panda Express, but the best part was this ice cream.
All of the lands are lit up at dusk and quite beautiful.
The only land we didn't walk through was Norway. Part of it was under construction for the new Frozen attraction and it was pretty crowded in there.
The nightly entertainment at Epcot is IllumiNations.
I had read that it was worth it to see, but there were a few tricks. First, it is on the lagoon so you can see it from pretty much anywhere in World Showcase. But the cast members are very good at not letting you stop unless you are in a designated parade watch area, and most of these are taken up with Fastpass. We are not show kind of people, so we didn't want to waste a fastpass on it.
The other trick is that, when IllumiNations is over, you and at least 30-40,000 people are funneled back to the exit through Future World. No Bueno. There is one other exit at Epcot in World Showcase between Great Britain and France, which dumps you onto a path and then you can walk to Boardwalk Inn. We decided, that instead of fighting the crowds and standing in a massive bus line, we would walk to Boardwalk, get on a bus for Disney Springs, and then transfer to a bus to our hotel.
So while the girls and I ran down towards Future World to get one last souvenir, the boys headed to the bridge near the Great Britain side to stake out a spot.
IllumiNations was okay. The kids went across the way and saw it pretty well, but it was mostly a story of the world, with few high flying fireworks. There are some things that happen in the sky, but most of the story is told at lake level.
We then turned down a path and headed out of Epcot.
I was surprised that there weren't many people going this way - it was just a ten minute walk to Boardwalk Inn.
This area is really cute and has little shops on the waterfront.
We didn't have to wait long for a bus and made it to Disney Springs in about 10 minutes, then onto a bus that had no line, for Art of Animation.
This was a WAY different transportation experience from the night before!
So final word? We LOVED Epcot. In fact, I want to go back someday with my Sweetie. (Maybe we'll try drinking around the world?) I was happy that the kids didn't think it was boring - there aren't as many attractions as the other parks.
But this park really can't be done in a day. As I was writing this, I was shocked by how much we did in one day. And we had the off season hours, and were only there from 9am to 9pm. We missed at least 5 or 6 attractions that I would have liked to see, and we sped through a few lands. If we went again, I would definitely do Future World in one day, and then spend a whole day in World Showcase.
Stay tuned for Day 4 of our trip.....