Monday, 23 May 2016

EPCOT And The World Showcase Part Two

Sunday 24 April 2016. We met up with the family for breakfast at the resort and then caught a bus to EPCOT. There's a few Disney characters to meet along the way but we'll have another look at the World Showcase during our visit.

Grace wanted to meet Joy and Sadness from the recent Disney/Pixar film Inside Out. Eddie was fancying a ride that had a very long waiting time and we said we'd take Grace whilst he and Gill went on that. We took her off in the right direction, saw a sign saying "Character Meeting" or something similar and joined a half-hour queue. With ten minutes or so to go we realised we were in the wrong queue and that we should have gone into the opposite building. We were now queueing to meet Mickey, Minnie and Goofy...

We could hardly jump out of the queue at that stage so we met up with the aged trio (Goofy is 84 and Mickey and Minnie are both 88) and figured we would just have to queue for the other characters later. Grace was quite happy to meet them anyway - she loves Minnie Mouse especially and had not so far had the chance to meet her.

The queue for the Inside Out characters was 45 minutes so I said I'd go to our rendezvous point and meet Gill and Eddie whilst Miss Franny took Grace and joined the queue. It took me half an hour to find Gill and she said there were two lines for the ride they had gone for. The one for two riders was 90 minutes and the one for a single rider was an hour. Eddie had gone for that and was still in there.

I explained what had happened and left her to wait for him and then follow. I went back thinking that I wouldn't have long to wait. After sitting outside the entrance for a further half hour I was wondering whether they had come out a different door and I'd missed them. After an hour I was pacing up and down, but then they came out with Gill and Eddie who had gone in a different way and had been told they could wait near the exit and sneak in when they saw Grace and Fran have their turn.

In the film these characters occupy the brain of a little girl. Joy and Sadness control those emotions and two more characters, Fear and Anger make up the full team. Sadness had seen Grace's long hair and used it to dry her (Sadness's) tears! Whatever had caused the hold-up in the queue, Grace had weathered it without her own brain coming under the control of Anger, causing tantrums!

We split up for a bit after this and Fran and I went to resume our look around the World Showcase that we had started but had to rush the other day. This is the interior of the Aztec pyramid of Mexico where it is always twilight. We looked through the market stalls and watched a craftsman carving wooden animals.

Then, heading for the rear of the room, we took an eight-minute boat ride through the Gran Fiesta Tour starring The Three Caballeros. This is a slightly different theme and content from our previous visit in 1993.

Outside, the sound of mariachi music drew us over to watch and listen to this group of dancer and musicians. We hadn't too long to stay and listen as we were meeting up again for a pre-booked meal at the Norway Pavilion.

We visited the real Norway in 2013 (and will again in 2017) and we appreciated a chance to recall slowly sailing up the fjords and walking around wooden buildings and shops in both Stavanger and Bergen.

A row of shops in particular reminded us of the old town areas of those two cities.

We didn't find any buildings with grass on the roof though. The Norwegians use goats to keep the grass from growing too long on the roofs!

Also authentic were the many trolls in the shops. I wasn't taking any chances this huge one might pass on a cold...

We were booked at the Princess Storybook Dining at the Akershus Royal Banquet Hall. Belle from Beauty and The Beast is the first to welcome us and then Grace tries out her throne as we wait to be seated.

First around the tables is Grace's absolute favourite Princess - Princess Aurora from Sleeping Beauty. She was awake, but she certainly was a beauty. After this, she could easily be my favourite as well...

Cinderella too is no slouch when it comes to beauty - Norway must have first pick of the actresses playing these princesses!

Snow White and Arial, the Little Mermaid (the version with legs) make up the full compliment of princesses for the day. Grace wants to see Aurora again (good girl!) and after enquiring, she comes back for a return visit to talk to Grace and give her a hug. Then she goes back to whichever table should have been next on her tour, much to the surprise and disappointment of everyone else on the other tables in our alcove...

The meal over, we split up again and we continue our stroll through the pavilions of the World Showcase. Looking through the Chinese Gateway into the Chinese Pavilion. The circular blue-roofed building contains a 360 degrees screen and shows a 14-minute film Reflections of China.

The Morocco Pavilion where we had a wander through the shops, a much more relaxed experience than it would have been in Agadir, where we were bombarded with people trying to drag us into their shops.

At Morocco there is a viewpoint over the lagoon. One of the ferry boats from the Showcase Plaza, the edge of the lagoon closest to the park entrance and Future Worlds, is coming in to the landing at Morocco.

Approaching the France Pavilion. The bridge takes you over a waterway. I'm not sure if it's a river or a canal (which is more likely) but you can get a boat from here to Disney's Hollywood Studios and some EPCOT resorts.

The Canada Pavilion. We went in to see another of those 14-minute Circle-Vision 360 degree films about Canada, narrated by Canadian actor and comedian, Martin Short.

Some of the topiary sculptures for the Flower and Garden Festival. Bambi and friends.

We went back towards the main park and waited to catch a photograph of the Monorail on this part of the track that circles the Future Worlds between dropping passengers off and taking on new passengers to and from the park.

Snack time before leaving the park. Apple pieces and a coffee.

Disney World Holiday Index

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