|Even though we'd been up all night, we were excited to be on our first adventure at the Epcot Center.|
Today was all about Epcot, and even though we were tired, we wanted to make the most of it. We were at the park by 9 am, and the first thing we noticed were the gardens. Epcot is huge, with a massive lake in the middle. A trail that's over a mile long runs around it, and there are many countries represented by small villages. All throughout Epcot in the Spring there are hedges trimmed into the shapes of the characters: Peter Pan standing on a building, Beauty and the Beast in a planter box, and of course, Mickey. We took pictures at a bunch of them. There are also really pretty flowers everywhere, and the lake is filled with waterfowl. It seemed Mark had more fun looking at great egrets, cormorants, and osprey than he did riding the rides. It is so hot and muggy in Florida, but no one seemed to mind very much, and Seth and Dax took turns in the stroller. Mark was a trooper as always, and he never complained once. It was 97 degrees the first day in Florida, but we made it through.
|These hedges are growing all over the Epcot Center. The gardens and flowers are really beautiful.|
|Mom especially liked the color of these flowers and butterflies.|
Our first ride at Epcot was Frozen, and the line was about an hour, though it shortened to half that later in the day. The boys aren't into the princess scene, but this was there first real ride, and it was amazing. We went on a boat, which had some pretty good up and down sequences. Mark got surprisingly wet from the splash, and everyone came out laughing. We were amazed by the animatronics. They have come a long way from pirates chasing women around in circles. It was difficult to tell that the machines weren't real people. Things certainly changed for the boys after that first ride. They had been pretty timid at first, not really sure what to think. When two Vikings came by, none of the boys would get near them, and all stepped skeptically back, but after the joy of that first ride, Dax ran right over and posed with them. Then we knew the boys would be all right, so we started our trip through the countries of Epcot.
|This is the castle in Norway next to the Frozen ride.|
|Seth and Grandma posed with Elsa and Anna. |
Because it's early in the season, most of the hedges aren't fully colored.
|The boys had a great time being with their cousins on this trip.|
|We weren't sure we wanted to bother with Frozen, but we ended up really liking it.|
|The animatronic characters are amazing.|
|Dax totally changed after we rode that first ride!|
We started in Mexico, and there was even a little ride called the Three Caballeros. It was a nice gentle boat ride that didn't do much but go past scenes of Donald Duck and his two Mexican buddies singing songs, but the boys thought it was great. Then we continued around the loop. First was Norway, where we'd done the Frozen ride. They have actual Viking artifacts there. Next we stopped in China, and the nice girl at the kiosk drew a picture of a panda in each passport. We continued on through Germany and Italy. In Germany we watched the miniature trains drive for a bit. We rushed through Italy because we had to hurry back for Fast Passes. In America, we caught the last half of some singers that were amazing. They were singing classic American songs, and we enjoyed listening to the tight harmonies. We watched a historical movie with Ben Franklin and Mark Twain. It showed some of the history of America and the accomplishments there. Dax and Seth fell asleep because the jet lag was catching up. We had made it halfway around the lake before it was time to find some more rides we had scheduled. Seth slept in the stroller while we hurried back to the front of the park.
|We loved the World Showcase at Epcot. This is the temple in Mexico.|
|Inside another building we did the Caballeros ride and passed this temple.|
|Seth posed in front of the Chinese pagoda.|
|Each of the workers was so nice. Disney does a great job at customer service.|
|Germany had this cool statue. I think it was more famous for beer, though.|
|We thought the best thing in Germany was this cool train set.|
|We also met the Seven Dwarves.|
|There wasn't much in Italy. Mostly we looked at the architecture.|
|When we first entered the America Show, these singers were harmonizing on traditional tunes. |
Their sound was absolutely amazing.
|Buzz Lightyear was standing outside Mission Space.|
|Dax became a roller coaster lover at Test Track.|
|Seth loved designing his own car.|
|Of course, Lightning McQueen was outside the Test Track ride.|
|Look at those smiles! And for the Nemo ride!|
|There were some nice effects on Nemo.|
|Right before dinner, the boys found themselves being dinner for Bruce the Shark.|
|Seth and Dax didn't hesitate for a second when Pluto showed up. They rushed right into his paws!|
|Our boys aren't always good posers, but those smiles are genuine.|
|We are so grateful that Grandpa chose to do the character dinners. |
They were expensive, but we loved them!
|This restaurant rotated at an almost imperceptible speed.|
|Dad had to tell everyone that this was Dale. The key is the red nose.|
|Chip, with his black nose, was a hit with the kids, too.|
|Mom has taught Mark to use the camera so we can get a few pictures of us together.|
|Mom thought these pictures taken in Project Earth were hilarious.|
|The ride took your picture and edited you in to the displays.|
|It taught you about how to treat the environment and take care of the earth.|
|Mom mostly liked it because she took the cutest picture!|
|The boys ended up saving the future at the end of the ride.|
|I'm not sure we needed this many pictures of Project Earth, though.|
|Grandma and Grandpa look thrilled to be a part of the program.|
|We all wanted to visit Morocco after walking the streets in Epcot.|
|We didn't spend a lot of time in Japan, but Seth liked it.|
|There was a Koi pond that Mark and Dax really enjoyed. Dax was asleep or he would have enjoyed it, too.|
|After Knowledge Bowl, Mark was excited for the artists in France.|
|Mom loves Belle, so she jumped right in for this picture in France.|
|Dad thinks he nailed the Beast pose.|
|The whole World Showcase is awesome. Maybe the rides aren't as good as Magic Kingdom, but we loved Epcot!|
This is in the United Kingdom.
|Canada had a totem board, but Dax was asleep, so Mark's feet participated.|
|Dad found the final place to take a picture of our epic Epcot adventure.|