Our first day in Walt Disney World we met life long friends that I went to school with that now live near Orlando for a day at Epcot Theme Park with our four children between us. They are WDW pros and it was our first experience ever at a WDW theme park for our holiday. What better way to show us the ropes while catching up with friends. We weren’t sure what to expect or how to really make the most of one day at the theme park using the app but it didn’t take us long to catch on with a little guidance.
With all the walking that needs to be done at Epcot we had plenty of time to catch up on the years that have passed us. We try to see each other if we both visit our home town at the same time or if we are near vacationing somewhere like we did this time. It’s hard with so many miles between us but as soon as we get together it’s like we have never been apart. Those are true friendships to cherish forever. Our kids got along so well and by the end of it wanted to do everything together.
Epcot was the one theme park I didn’t know what to expect having gone there as a child myself so many years ago it’s really changed and grown. I love the aspect of different cultures in each area. We thought it was humorous we met our American friends in the England area of Epcot only by accident. Typical we go to America to see them and they have to come to England to find us. (bad joke).
The weather was absolutely perfect for us the whole day. It’s a lot of walking as Epcot is big so for our first day we thought it was the best choice in terms of testing out little ones feet as much as mama’s baby bump and what I could handle. We did get a single stroller rental just in case it got too hot and little legs needed to take turns in it. Even sometimes they both hopped on it while day pushed.
Around each corner you are entering another country and another culture. The detail that they have gone to was impeccable. I only wish we had had more than one day there to take it all in.
Upon getting there at opening which I recommend as it does get busy, if you want your Starbucks (a fanatic like me) you best be prepared to get in a long line. Even though the park wasn’t busy yet we waited 35+ mins from lining up and then waiting for food and drinks. If you are in a hurry not recommended as it look like a short line but it’s not and they will tell you it’s only 15 mins. This happened numerous times throughout the parks if we wanted a quick ice coffee while we walked around.
The merchandise store by the fountain was fab and the kids got their first Disney hats and ears. Mommy may have got some too. When it Disney do as they do. I had only prepared one matching day for us with t-shirts but being there I wish I had planned different ones for each day.
Figuring out where to go and what to look for in terms of character meets and Disney photo passes was a lot easier and smoother than I anticipated. You look for Disney Staff in Cream Tops with a Camera around their neck, using every corner or big attraction will have one standing there. The lines move FAST so don’t be put off. The Photo Pass is worth every single penny. Get one!!! You just use your magic band and you can download straight off the app on to your phone to share your adventures while they are happening. Brilliant idea. Magic bands are a must to for photos, tickets, passes, dining, etc What an invention. I will be sharing all the app details in another post.
For lunch we booked the Chip ‘N Dale Character Dining with our friends in tow. It was the best food I have ever had and the proportions were amazing. My kids love, love the chipmunks so they were over the moon when we told them who were were going to meet at lunch time. There may have been a surprise visit where Mickey Mouse snuck up on my son buttering his bread roll and in every photo looks like Mickey is getting threatened and knifed bless him. But a memory, we can’t stop laughing at.
At age 4 and 6 years old, they were the perfect age to take to Walt Disney World, Florida. We kept going back and forth when we found out we were having a third baby whether to book it now or wait until baby was older but we didn’t want their innocents and that magic of seeing each “real” character be gone. I think my son would have had about a year to go before he was old enough for the bigger rides and less of the characters. MM was the perfect age not too young where she was more tired than enjoying herself. She had enough energy and excitement on each ride, seeing each character to keep those little legs going for those long days at the parks. I can’t say never but I can imagine after waddling around seeing babies crying, screaming, uncomfortable, being carried despite having a stroller because it was so hot to sit in, that it’s not easy taking babies to WDW if you don’t have to so we made the right decision. Although we have the Disney bug now so can’t say I won’t ever take little man when he is a toddler just to go agains soon.
I love the layout of Epcot with the fountains and lake in the middle. The kids found a water fountain that jumps over their heads on the path and thought it was just about the best thing ever.
We met Anna and Elsa and went on the Frozen ride which we used our fast passes for and worth it. Then it was off to see Nemo Under the Sea ride which the kids thought was brilliant. We also got in line to meet Alice in Wonderland, Mary Poppins, but to my daughter (and hubby if he admits it) the best character meet was seeing Donald Duck. My daughter is obsessed with ducks period so a life size Donald Duck just about knocked her off her feet. Daddy can speak “duck” of course too so she just stood starstruck watching Daddy speak duck to Donald and everyone had a good laugh. You can also meet Snow White in Germany, Belle in France and Mulan in China.
We were still suffering from jetlag and traveling to America the night before so we didn’t make it to the Illuminations Show that evening. We were all dragging our feet even the adults by the time it was dinner time. We said our goodbyes to our friends as we would see them the next day at our hotel for a swimming playdate. Once we worked out how to use the Disney Bus system it was a breeze finding our hotel bus and hopping on to head to bed.
After a quick bite at the hotel somehow we managed to fire up some energy and the kids got in the pool for an hour before we all crashed out. It was a fab first day in Walt Disney World and we absolutely loved our hotel Animal Kingdom Lodge…. you can see more about our hotel here. We had animals right out our window. That’s how you end a good theme park day to me.
Check out our video adventures at WDW Epcot Theme Park below: