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Florida Trip Report/Epcot…. Day Five

Epcot. Nothing like it. Whether it’s Spaceship Earth welcoming you home, or the sounds that trigger the nostalgia that brings us back, there has always been something special about this Park. From visits past, I have been a part of every “entrance” they have had. Meaning, sometimes they opened early and just let everyone come in staggered…it was great. No “Black Friday” crowds where everyone is in a huddled mass in front of SE, it just flowed, and it made everyone feel a lot less stress to the start of their day. But now, again, that awesome half hour for Disney Resort guests, had everyone piled in the front, with the Cast Members doing their best to keep a path for the Resort Guests to enter early. Needless to say, it was causing a lot of problems, probably should honestly be monitored closer to Nemo and the other side by Guest Relations and not before Spaceship Earth. BUT I know Disney has their reasons.

Ready for Epcot today!!!
What crowds look like being held until Park Opening that are NOT Disney Resort Guests- 2.23.2022
This gal is READY!!!!!!!
Craig and Amy are pumped!!!

We followed the masses to “The Land” pavilion where “Soarin” was thankfully about a 20 minute wait only because of the second theater they added back when. We enjoyed our ride, soaked up some of the best soundtrack music in the attractions queue (Contact, Apollo 13, etc) and then headed for “Living with the Land.”  Already in the 40 minutes we had lined up, rode, etc, the line for that ride was at 45 minutes. I love that ride, but not that much, I would catch it later.  So we did what we promised to do, sit and chill as much as possible and soak up the atmosphere as much as we could. We found our favorite spot in “Sunshine Seasons” and dined on some Mongolian beef while we soaked up the music and vibe of our favorite building.  It. was. Awesome.

The Land Pavillion inside Future World at Disney’s Epcot Center
Soarin’ queue line in “The Land” Pavillion at Epcot Center
Sunhine Seasons Food Court in “The Land”
Sitting in our favorite spot at Sunshine Seasons
Sunshine Seasons sights and sounds

After that we headed to the Pixar Shorts film area, decided to watch it since “Imagination” was broken down.  I can’t tell you how much I miss “Honey I Shrunk the Audience” in this Theater. Some miss “Captain EO” which was cool, but my vacations with the little ones were with the latter. Mickey Mouse was hanging out in the pre-show area for pics, so that was a nice surprise, along with Winnie the Pooh on the lawn nearby. I love the Pixar shorts, and it’s such a nice sit in a park where there is a lot of walking (ESPECIALLY with the construction now).

Pooh hanging out on the Imagination lawn.
Mickey Mouse classic hanging out in the “Pixar Shorts” interior waiting area
The Imagination Fountains next to “Pixar Shorts”

Craig hadn’t seen the new Mouse Gears store, and yes, I will always refer to it as such, even if I still can’t remember half the time if it’s one word or two LOL. So we did a bit of shopping, walked around and got a taste of what was there before deciding. He liked the lighting, it does seem brighter in there, but it is just so contemporary now that it lost that special flair of magic they had with the animatronics and gears around the ceiling. It seems everyone is getting rid of carpet these days, and I get it, vinyl or whatever the floors are now are much easier to clean and take care of- no stains from Mickey bars and spilled Starbucks. But that being said, it felt generic. Nothing special or magical, and the same merch from every other Park, except a small section of Epcot specific items. I know you all remember back in the day when you could only GET Park specific items from THAT Park, but now with online shopping, Springs, etc.. nothing seems really special anymore. We wound up getting two “UP” tumblers, one for each of us, a red Mickey balloon sipper, a T-Shirt for Craig, and I picked out a 50th Anniversary zip-up hoodie. We wound up getting busy the rest of the day, so super happy we took the time to shop then. Since Monday at Springs, I still felt like the best merch can be found at “Disney Style” which is the old Harley Davidson store there- just my opinion.

The “Creations Shop” at Epcot Center, formerly known as “Mousegears”
He’s Epcot, I’m Magic Kingdom…. enough said.
Disney’s 50th Hoodie Sweatshirt
Disney’s 50th Hoodie Sweatshirt
UP Tumbler
Red Mickey Balloon Sipper
Fell in love with this Christmas ornament.

As we exited, we forgot “Club Cool” was right next door, so we took the opportunity to check it out since Kyra and I didn’t get the chance in October. Now here, I loved the contemporary look of it. No sticky floors, the machines were all against the wall, not nilly willy everywhere like the last one, and I liked the flavor changes. I still get a kick out of watching people drink the Beverly, and yes, they brought it back. Surprised the merch hasn’t come out for “Beverly” yet since they took advantage of the “Purple Wall” fandom at Magic Kingdom. This is still a great spot to try out new sodas, get something to drink for free, and it’s a nice activity to break up the day.

The NEW Club Cool at Epcot Center in Disney World
I really LOVED Moldova and China’s Coke taste… they were really fruity and fun!
Cheers to Club Cool being back open!!
Club Cool from the other side

Before the day got away from us, we walked to the front to get on Spaceship Earth. Our favorite ride to enjoy together at this Park, it was a must for the day.  We didn’t wait much, maybe 20 minutes, and it was as nice as always (Although I will always the older version with the kids in the classroom learning about bees).  It was a nice surprise to see that the interactive games were back up and running again, as the pandemic had shut them all down.

Spaceship Earth entrance, located in the front of Epcot Center
Our favorite ride at Epcot together!!!
So weird to touch “WI” again LOL
Up, up, and away in Spaceship Earth!
Spaceship Earth
The Renaissance on Spaceship Earth
It’s not a Disney ride unless it breaks down, hence I caught it on film, LOL
I always loved this area of the ride.

As the day warmed up, we found ourselves really just enjoying the casual walk around. We visited the Epcot Preview Center, which is closing, and watched the show again with another sit and chill. Honestly, the best part of this area were the tables and the air conditioning.

“Flower and Garden Festival” 2022 was starting the week after we were there.
The wall size Epcot mural inside the Preview Center.
Every time we see these Epcot Attraction posters, we want them. WHY are you not selling these Disney??!? They are displayed also in the Epcot Preview Center.

Our reservation at “San Angel Inn” was for 2:20 p.m. so we checked in and requested a table on the water. Every time I have ridden “Gran Fiesta Tour” during the decade of living there, I have looked at that Restaurant wanting to eat at a table on the water. Something alluring about the dim lighting, the soft music, the moving water…it just ticked a lot of boxes for me. They said I could have my dream spot if I waited another 30 minutes- which we happily did. We rode the ride, shopped, and then were called and seated. It was like Christmas morning I was SOOOOOO excited to sit there. Silly maybe, but it’s the small things in life we need to enjoy the most. We dined on chicken, chips and cheese, chocolate cake and red sangrias. Getting toasted in such an uber romantic spot with the love of my life had me on cloud nine. What only made it better, which I didn’t think it could be, was that my Disney bestie, Wendy, was hanging with us that day. She was in the Park and since we were still eating, I insisted she come and hang with us on the water. We bought her a white sangria and we toasted to us all being together again, chatted, laughed, and had THE best time. Two and a half hours later, we sauntered out, toasted and roasted and oh so happy. (Before you yell at me about holding up that table that long, they said it was completely fine, they were only at half capacity while we were eating dessert and having more drinks).

The view of the Restaurant from the boat ride.
“Gran Fiesta Tour” boat ride in the Mexico Pavillion at Epcot Center
The Market inside the Mexico Pavillion
Restaurant view from the Marketplace
SUPER HAPPY about our table on the water!!
The chicken dish was delish!
My face says it all!
My Red Sangria…. so yummy!
Chocolate Cake with Alcohol = Lit Amy
San Angel Inn Restaurant and View of the Ride
Wendy joins us for drinks…. so much fun!

Craig ran our souvenirs to the car, so Wendy and I had some alone girl time before Eric joined us and we found Craig again. We went and found a fellow blog reader who I was helping find a home here, Sarah, who was a doll and was super sweet and kind to give us time during her shift. We then rode “Living with the Land” and “The Seas with Nemo and Friends” before finding Craig upstairs in the aquarium.

LOVE meeting Disney friends who started out readers of this blog- so cool!
“Living with the Land” attraction in “The Land” at Epcot
“The Seas with Nemo and Friends” with Wendy

The rest of the night we hung out with Wendy and Eric, having such a great time chatting up life and Disney. Found us a great spot near the little bridge near Mexico for “Harmonious.”  We talked for an hour and a half waiting for the show, excited to see something new.  I made a promise to myself to leave my phone in my bag for the first time seeing it…I wanted to experience it without the lens. I LOVED the show- music was great, the fireworks were amazing, I LOVED LOVED they kept in the flare ones that go off around the perimeter of the water!!  I got the feels, and it was nice because the new ones at MK that I saw on my last trip, not this one, didn’t give me any. Wishes, Happily Ever After, Illuminations…they brought tears and goosebumps. Although I loved this show, I still think the classics bring the most feels.

Eric, Craig, Me and Wendy in front of Spaceship Earth
“Spaceship Earth” all lit up for Disney’s 50th Anniversary

Craig LOVED Spaceship Earth all lit up like a Christmas lawn ornament, and it does make it sparkle so much more now. It’s a beautiful sight to see on the way out. It was such a beautiful, chill, and relaxing day not only spent with my man, but with my bestie and her hubby. Onto Studios tomorrow, breakfast at Trails End, and it’s Packet Pick Up day!!

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I work hard at bringing the spirit of adventure for the purpose of inspiring travel all around the Country. Thank you for stopping by and have a day FILLED with Kindness!!!

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