I woke up early for our first park day, thinking of all the ways my family had managed to plan such a big surprise. About a month before our trip, Ken had suggested going to Epcot instead of Animal Kingdom for our first park since we would have the most energy to visit the countries than later in the week. Come to find out, that was just an excuse (though a logical one) to switch parks because my family wanted to go to Epcot over Animal Kingdom! With it being such low crowds, the order didn’t matter to me – but I can’t believe how easily tricked I was!
Anyway, Ken and I went to check in at Pop Century while my family finished getting ready. The plan was to meet up and share a car to drive to the parks, since Ken and I got free parking for staying on-site. However, a villainous GPS and an excessive number of drug stores near Disney World meant we ended up just meeting them at the front gates. Ken and I had to take care of a few things, like exchanging old tickets before we really got started.
By the time we were ready to enter Epcot, it was about lunch time. We grabbed a bite to eat at Sunshine Seasons. It’s tradition in my family to ride Living with the Land at least once every trip because it was my late grandfather’s favorite. My family hadn’t been to the parks since his passing in 2013, so this was a way to make his memory a small part of or vacation. As we made our back out to Future World, we waved to the closed doors of Soarin’.
We worked our way through the Imagination Pavilion, visiting Figment and the new Disney & Pixar Film Festival, before embarking on our adventure about the world. The Flower & Garden Festival had not officially started, but several of the garden arrangements and topiaries we’re on display. As we wandered through each country, we took the time to literally stop and smell the roses.
With the sun setting and our energy waning, it was time to end our day at Epcot. Due to time constraints, we drove to the Polynesian, rather than taking the monorail as we had originally planned. We made it in time for our reservations at ‘Ohana and got an amazing table by the window. I was so excited to share one of our favorite restaurants with my parents! It was good, but something just seemed a little off… Nothing major, just little things like not getting a hot towel to wipe your hands after the wings. When it was time for the fireworks, the lights were dimmed and then brought right back up. While nothing was wrong, per se, the little things that make ‘Ohana special we’re missing. We have had some truly wonderful experiences here so I’m hoping it was just an off night. The food was good and we left feeling pleasantly full, so I’ll still call it an overall win.
Never Grow Up!