Meet Rare Characters at EPCOT!

My husband recently stumbled across a very cool thing in EPCOT’s World Showcase – he found a place where characters appear by surprise!

Between Canada and the UK, there is a small walkway that is usually blocked off with a huge, wooden gate.  That gate leads to the World Showcase Events Pavilion, which is closed off to guests when a specific event is not going on.  However, on lucky days, they open the gates and turn the path to the pavilion into a surprise meet and greet!

Apparently, EPCOT is the place to go if you want to meet some random characters (who are out to graciously train their new handlers ^_~).

We saw a number of rare characters too!

Gideon (Pinocchio)
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Rafiki (Lion King)
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and Captain Hook with Mr. Smee (Peter Pan/Jake and the Neverland Pirates)
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And they were all signing autographs too!

We also saw Mickey, Minnie, and Stitch – but we’ve met them so often that we decided to keep on moving for time’s sake.  I’ve also heard from other guests that Jack, Sally, Launchpad McQuack, and even Max Goof make appearances at these meet and greets as well.

In our case, we walked by around 2pm on a Saturday and saw this going on.  I’m not sure if that’s a time that you can bank on or not, but it certainly warrants a looksee to find out.

Because it is not formally scheduled or advertised, the lines are very, very short!  We actually saw four rare characters and got through three different lines in about 15-20 minutes!

Akershus Lunch Review

Recommended:  No for the food.  Yes to see the Princesses in one swoop.

Located in Norway, but surprisingly void of Anna and Elsa, I’m torn on whether or not to recommend Akershus, which is the only character meal available in the EPCOT World Showcase.

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If you are looking to collect a lot of princess autographs quickly, this would be the way to go.  A number of princesses, like Snow White and Belle, are not available for very hospitable hours.  Usually, you have to already know where they’ll be and line up a half an hour before they arrive to get your photo and autograph.  Typically, once the princess arrives to her outdoor station, the line to meet her has already been cut off.  Then, if it rains, the character doesn’t come out at all.  So, when thinking of Arkerhus in those terms, it is an easy way to meet five princesses in one shot.

They say the line up can change any time, but these are the princesses that we saw:

Belle meets you as you enter the restaurant.
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Then you’ll see Cinderella,
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Followed closely by Aurora,
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next is Ariel (in a green dress that she NEVER wears in any of the films – my daughter thought she was Merida because of that),
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and last is Snow White.
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Snow White only hangs around in EPCOT these days, and she is one of those weather-permitting princesses.  We’ve had trouble getting to her in the past, which is what brought us to Akershus in the first place.

However, be warned that there are NO Photo Pass photographers once you get to your table, so you will be on your own there.  There are also a lot of tables crammed into a little bit of building (Akershus was clearly built before Disney World saw the volume of tourist that is does today), so getting great pictures that show off the princesses beautiful dresses will not be a likely possibility.

We also felt very rushed with the time the princesses gave our table.  Much like Chef Mickey’s, we got about 2 minutes per princess in.  It was, hello, hugs, autograph, pose for photos, and goodbye.  They keep these characters on too tight of a schedule, it would be nice if the kids could have a few more sentences with each one and create a stronger memory of the event (like my daughter training squirrels with Rapunzel or teaching yoga to Merida).

The princesses also do a gathering/parade for all the little ones who want to join in.  That seems to happen at every character meal, and it’s always a cute touch.
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The Akershus building is magnificently beautiful.  It feels like an Old World castle that has been refurbished by a modern owner.  As you can see in the photograph above, the walls are stone, and put together in an uneven, ancient architecture type of style (something like Merida’s castle, I suppose).

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The artwork on the walls ranged from tapestry and flags to very somber paintings.

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And even the roof was magnificent.  My daughter said it looked like Elsa’s snowflake.  While the waiter denied any resemblance, I’d be surprised if the designers of Frozen didn’t find some inspiration in this building.
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The food is where the experience gets iffy for me.  Norwegian food is weird, if not gross.  At Akershus, there is a set price, and that include the salad bar, an entree, and a plate of three Norwegian desserts for the table.  Here’s a not-too-great picture of the Oven Roasted Chicken Breast.

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It came with potato dumpling and Brussels sprouts, but they had been cooked (boiled?) until they tasted the same with the same bland texture.  Definitely not my favorite meal from Disney, although my father highly recommended the meatballs.

The dessert portion of the meal was interesting.  They brought out two sets of the desserts, which included a piece of Apple Cake (not my cup of tea, personally), Chocolate Mousse (amazing, actually), and Rice Cream (no, not Ice Cream, a tapioca kind of warm, solid, goop – not a fan!).  Having two sets of desserts for five people, and only one of those desserts being any good, essentially leads to a fight over the Chocolate Mousse.  That is worth the fight, fork your children if you have to so that you can try a piece!  haha.  But, really, it would have been nice if everyone has a smaller sized sampler plate than making everyone share.  I actually missed out on the photo opp here, but I found a picture from DisneyFoodBlog.com to share.

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I also didn’t appreciate that we were a party of 5, we had made reservations months in advance, and we were crammed into a table for four.  There was not enough room for plates, the kids had to climb over people to get to the princesses, and the room we were in (the rounded room in the castle tower portion) was already a tight enough space without putting someone on the end like a baby in a high chair.  That was very poor dining management from whomever decided to seat us there…

So, if you’re looking for a good place to eat, skip Akerhus, there is much better places in the World Showcase.  If you’re looking for a guaranteed slew of princesses, this is your best bet in EPCOT.  It just depends on what you’re looking for.

Princess Run Half Marathon – Kids Races Review

Back in February we participated in our 3rd, and possibly final, runDisney race.  My kids signed up for the Princes Run’s Kid Races, and they had a great time.

Not surprisingly, the race featured a Frozen theme for the 5k and Kids Races.  I expected that to happen, but, had I know that Anna and Elsa would have been on the 5K medals, I think I would have signed them up to run that over the Kids Runs.

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This is what the Kids Races medal looked like, and it’s cute, but Olaf is so cheesy to me.  I would have liked it better if the PRINCESS races had princess medals, not goofy sidekick medals.  But it’s still cute, and you can’t really plan ahead for these things, so…

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You have to go to ESPN to pick up your packet, which includes race info, shirt, bib, and ears, if you ordered them.  There’s usually an expo nearby selling all sorts of race goodies.  Unfortunately, I had my eye on a Dooney and Burke Princess Run bag, but every single one of them had sold out the day before we ever got to Orlando.  That didn’t seem to be an issue at the Marathon in January, but I guess those Princesses fly off the shelves!

There is also a meet and greet opportunity near the packet pickup where you can meet Cinderella and a specially dressed Minnie.  Because they were unannounced and at ESPN, it only took 20 minutes to get through both lines (yay!).

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On the day of the race I entered a Starlord (whom everyone swore was Captain Hook – come on guys, Guardians of the Galaxy should still be fresh in your minds!) into the Mickey Mile,

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and a Coronation Anna in the 800 meter.

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As with previous races, the bibs come with a tear away tab for the parents.  You need to save this so that you can safely claim your child after the race.  They have security keeping the kids in the finisher corrals so that they don’t disappear or get abducted, and people who are not running cannot enter the starting corrals, so your kids are more than reasonably safe during their time away from you.

However, unlike the other two races we participated in, this one took place in the EPCOT parking lot instead of the ESPN Wide World of Sports.  I’m not really sure why they chose to do this, but I think I prefer the ESPN run area.  The EPCOT location was convenient for going to EPCOT after the race, but 1/4 of the parking lot was sectioned off for the event – just seems kind of odd to me overall.  Because of the way it was all set up, you really couldn’t see any vendors or giveaway booths until you were leaving the races.  Which, by the time the races were finishing up, the booths were all packing up, so that kind of killed part of the fun of the event.  I’m not sure who does the planning for these things, but when several hundred runners are still going through, you’d think vendors might stick around just a while longer.

They did keep the finisher photo zones in tact, though they were not well placed with the ever-rising sun.  Here’s a Starlord with his banana gun:

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Now, for those of you who are unaware, you CAN run with your children without having to buy an entry.  It’s a KIDS race, so you aren’t officially entered and you don’t earn medals or get shirts, but Disney respects that parents may want to run with/stay near their children.  In my case, I know I couldn’t keep up, so I send my oldest to run with my youngest.

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And, as always, anyone who finished the race earns their medal, which is a very colorful, rubber material.

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They also have the Marathon Foto people at these events.  The unfortunate part is that the photos are not complimentary and not part of your Memory Maker package.  They are actually quite expensive, as photos go, but you can still proof your images and decide for yourself if any are worth buying.  My memory may be fuzzy, but I believe they are $15 per digital image, or $80 for all images (per runner number).

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Overall, it was a cute event, but I hope to have the kids move up to 5Ks for the next time we runDisney.  My camera seems to have eaten my photos of the shirt and ears for the event, but if I find them I will edit this to post them later.  🙂

Where’s the Fire Review

Recommended:  YES!

I know so many people who will skip over a lot of EPCOT because they think their kids are too young to be amused, but you can really find cool stuff everywhere!  Case in point:  Where’s the Fire in the Innoventions building.

It’s hard to miss this game/exhibit, because it’s shaped like a huge house.  You enter, stand on your circle with your team members, take a flashlight/game remote, and GO!  You’ll move room to room working with your partner to deal with potential fire hazards before a fire breaks out.  Okay, that sounds like of lame, but it’s actually a lot of fun!

When the winning team is announced, you’re all done!  But, when you leave, you’ll be dumped out into a children’s interactive exhibit where they can practice a fire drill in a kid-sized home.  It shows the kids what a real fire truck looks like (since that’s where they meet up at – and it’s parked right there inside!) and it teaches them to go after the quickest, safest path out of their home in the event on a fire.

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Really, if you’re skipping this, you’re missing out!

San Angel Inn Restaurante Review

Recommended:  Toss up.

I came very, very close to cancelling our reservation at San Angel after hearing a number of bad reviews.  By a number, I mean that I posted a question about the restaurant and over a hundred people responded with their bad experiences, and only a few listed positive ones.  With that in mind, I had very low expectations when entering the restaurant.

Just to be clear, there are several restaurants named San Angel in the Mexico section of the World Showcase in EPCOT.  The one I am reviewing is the place inside the Mayan temple, the other two are La Hacienda de San Angel and La Cantina de San Angel.

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Like most other guests, I highly recommend sitting next to the water.  It’s very cool to watch the boats go by for the ride in Mexico.  Now, the place can be packed, so the only way to guarantee that you can sit by the water will be to book a reservation for as soon as the restaurant opens, and check in about 15 minutes early (as recommended).  We did that, we were the first ones to check in, and even though we didn’t get seated first, we did get an awesome table with a beautiful view of the water.

Now, there are three major complaints that I heard about San Angel Inn – it’s too dark, the tables are too small/tight, and the portion sizes are way too small for the price.  I tend to agree with all three of these points.  Most of my photos are blurry from a severe lack of light, and the small lanterns at the table just aren’t enough.

As is the case with most Mexican restaurants, you get complimentary chips at the table.  They come with an interesting green dip and a very, very watered down tomato based salsa.  I like my salsa chunky and fresh, and, in this area, I wasn’t too impressed.

I had the Pollo a las Rajas, which was grilled chicken breast served with red peppers & onion cream sauce, poblano rice, and queso fresco.  I didnt really stop and think that poblano rice was not the usual, brown/red rice that comes with most Mexican dishes, and it seemed like some of my rice was not fully cooked.  But, the meal got better with every bite, so I was not disappointed.  Although, considering how cheap foods like rice are, it would have been nice if they at least were overly-generous with that part.  There really wasn’t much side at all considering that it was $19.50 and a $9 plate at a local Mexican restaurant outside of the park would have been double the food.
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My husband asked the waiter for a recommendation, and ended up getting the Tacos de Carne – which he is still obsessively raving about to this day.  To quote the menu, it is grilled New York strip on flour tortillas, topped with chipotle pepper sauce, scallions and avocado.  He couldn’t get over how amazing the avocado made it.  Although, he was very sad that the three tacos are very, very small for the $21 price.  The photo below is not of a very large plate, and the tortillas were the smallest size I’ve ever seen (roughly half the size of Chipotle tortillas, if that helps as a sizing reference).  Just like with Be Our Guest, he left the meal still hungry.
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My daughter was very happy to find Cheese Quesadillas on the menu.  Those are her safety Mexican food that won’t “spice my tongue,” as she puts it.  Again, though, there wasn’t a lot on the plate for $8.50.

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Finally, my son had the kids Grilled Chicken with Rice.  Oddly enough, he got more rice than my husband and I combined.  His was probably the best value in terms of quality, price, and size of the meal at $9.50.
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So, I will say that it’s a toss up as to whether I would recommend San Angel Inn.  The food was definitely good, but there just wasn’t a lot of it offered, the prices are very high considering the amount of food you get, and it is dark with cramped tables.  Apologies again for the blurry images, that’s a side effect of the advance darkness.  But, overall, I’m glad to have went, but I don’t think that I’d book it a second time.

Nine Dragons Review

Recommended:  No.

Inside of EPCOT’s China, there is a beautiful sit down restaurant called Nine Dragons.

The portion sizes at Nine Dragons are quite large on entrees, but the food is heavy and more than any normal person could eat at lunch, which means that you’ll end up throwing a lot of food away (unless you’re headed back to the hotel after).

I personally ordered an appetizer, which would have been the perfect sized meal with a side of rice.  It was a special menu item, I believe it was called “Spicy Pork Bao,” and it was decent, but very overpriced for the size of two small sandwich-type items.
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My kids were torn on this venue.  My son ordered a kids meal with rice and love it.  He all but licked the plate clean (which was a cute panda plate!).
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My daughter wanted dumplings, which she’s ordered at other places several times and enjoyed.  The dumplings here weren’t to her liking, though.
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I have to say, overall, that I shared her look of disappointment in the restaurant.

Again, it’s lovely to look inside of Nine Dragons, but I don’t know that I would recommend it.  It’s just not very special in any way.  And, personally, I like Chinese buffets, or a place where I can order sweet and sour chicken with fried rice.  I know not everyone will share my preference, but Nine Dragon’s menu felt more like an upscale Golden Panda than something that was authentic Chinese dining.

The options on the menu are pretty limited, just like when you go through the line at the Golden Panda (ie all they have are a limited number of troughs to get food out quickly).  I don’t know what their kitchen structure is at Nine Dragons, but I saw very few items that I would be able to get at a real Chinese restaurant in any given city in the world.  In short, this restaurant wasn’t impressive to me and I don’t plan to go back again.

This part has nothing to do with the food, but I thought it was odd that the Chinese staff we interacted with had a horrible grasp on the English language.  I walked in and asked if they had a table for five, and the lady asked me to “please, in English.”  I had to repeat myself four times before she understood what a table for five meant, even while I was pointing to my hand holding up five digits.  Now, I don’t have a particular accent, and I’ve always been very conscious to speak properly – so if someone can’t understand me, it’s usually because they do not know English fluently.  The waiter was the same way, and we had to repeat ourselves multiple times on everything. It was like the staff had all studied English in school, but they had never spoken to native English speakers or had any real-life practice/usage of the language.

And, yes, I realize that EPCOT is set up to have people working in their home countries to make a more magical experience.  However, there are so many people in China who are fluent in English that it seems like a bad call to hire people who struggle with the language.  I can repeat myself a dozen times and maybe get my point across, but what about people with thick accents or who are from another country?  I mean, people come to Disney World from all across the globe, so that means many of the guests are not fluent in English.  Trying to communicate through multiple language barriers is so very difficult.  I expected a little better from Disney’s hiring on that end of things, and I’ve yet to have an issue communication with anyone else in the World Showcase.

Norway = Arendelle. Japan = San Fransokyo..?

It’s officially been announced that Norway’s Maelstrom will close down soon and reopen as a Frozen ride in early 2016. Many people are upset to hear that the old Norwegian ride from the 80s is changing, but I think it’s a good thing.  Frozen certain shows demand for a stronger presence at Disney World, and the ride in Mexico features Donald Duck and his amigos, so I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having a Frozen update.  Especially when Frozen was partially inspired by the Norway pavilion in EPCOT.

However, there are also heavy rumors (and just rumors, as far as I’m aware) that Norway will completely shut down and become the hub of Arendelle.  I’m not sure how I would feel about this, since Arendelle is a fictional location and Norway is part of the WORLD Showcase, not necessarily the World OF DISNEY Showcase.   I mean, yes, Frozen is a hot commodity, and it is certainly worthy of having a ride, but I’m not confident that having Mexico, China, France, Germany, and Arendelle is going to look as nice after the film hype has cooled down (pun intended).

However, this change in EPCOT makes me wonder – is Norway the only city that might change to a fantasy domain?

To detour for a moment, November will mark the release of Big Hero 6, which seems to be Disney’s attempt to bring in a Marvel animation and liven up their pool of relatable male characters for younger boys.  I mean, seriously, as a mother of an almost 10-year-old, Toy Story, Planes, and Cars lost their luster years ago for my son (he still likes the characters alright, but he’s moved on to where they are not his favorites by a long shot), and Peter Pan never held his attention.  Most other “cool” male characters in Disney are grown men and/or live action characters.  The characters my son has found interesting since age 6 are young, fast-talking guys, like Spider-Man, Ben 10, Hiccup, Ash Ketchum, and other active, intelligent, resourceful young men in the media.

So, I am very excited for my son to watch Hiro, from Big Hero 6, who is a robotics whiz that is actually a kid close to his age.  I kind of hope this movie will re-inspire him to do and play and create like he used to.  But, we’ll see how that goes come November.  I still really wish that we could get an intellectually advanced young girl as the main character of a film, and one who isn’t a nerdy stereotype in need of glasses.  That’s a battle for another day, though.

Back to EPCOT, when I saw the preview for Big Hero 6 I couldn’t help but notice that the main character is Japanese and the story is about giant robots (a very big theme in Japan).  The film is also set in a location called San Fransokyo – which is San Fransisco and Tokyo mashed up.  I haven’t followed the comics, so I’m not sure if this mash up is a fictional location, or a futuristic one where tectonic plate movements have made these cities collide.  But, whatever the situation, I know that Japan in EPCOT is one of the few locations without a character meet and greet (Belle and Aurora in France, Alice and Mary Poppins in England, Snow White in Germany, Mulan in China, Donald in Mexico, etc).  I also know that Hollywood Studios has a San Fransisco street that is usually pretty void of life.  I have to assume that this particular film has been created in such a way that it will help fill these voids in Disney World with new meet and greet stations.

While I’m not at all opposed to that idea by any means (it’s actually great market research to fill in those gaps!), it makes me wonder if Japan will one day be remodeled into San Fransokyo if Big Hero 6 becomes a huge success.  What do all of you think?  Will Norway eventually become Arendelle and Japan transform into San Fransokyo?  And, if so, is that a good thing, or is it conflicting with the educational purposes of the World Showcase?  I think these is a happy balance that can be established, no matter what changes happen at Disney World, and all I know for certain is that Disney rarely disappoints me.

EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival

I’m usually not big into gardening, but we happened to be in EPCOT during the International Flower and Garden Festival.  The event lasted from March 5th to May 18th in 2014, and, as of our last visit, all the decorative plants have been removed (I can see why, Mary Poppins was left behind and she’s very overgrown and starting to lose her girlish figure).  The greenery was very meticulous and beautiful, but I’m not sure if this festival is something to plan a vacation around.  If you’ll be at Disney World either way for their 2015 festival, it’s definitely a lot of good photo opps though.  At any rate, though, since a picture is worth a thousand words I’ll do this blog post as a photo show.

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And, they also had a butterfly tent/garden.  My daughter went in saying she was going to be a real princess by getting one to land on her finger, and, low and behold, without forcing it, this happened near the exit:
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The Countries of EPCOT (and which ones they should add)

EPCOT is typically considered to be the most educational park in the Disney World area.  Between the Innovations, aquarium, and World Showcase, there certainly is a lot that you can learn while enjoying your vacation.  Not to mention the incredible foods that you can find in each nation!

You can currently find the nations of Canada, United Kingdom, France, Morocco, Japan, a US embassy, Italy, Germany, China, Norway (rumors to close and reopen as Arendale in 2015), and Mexico.  And, just like in real life, not all countries are created equally. Norway and Mexico, for instance, have boat rides themed for their country of origin, whereas most other countries in the World Showcase do not.

Another example, Mitsukoshi, in Japan, is an incredible store that overshadows most of the other nation’s shops, offering not only a huge amount of retail space and options, but tons of goods that are authentically from Japan.  In comparison, if you go to the UK to shop, most of the items are things you could easily find at another store in the US, or, at least, another store in Disney World.

 

The current countries in EPCOT have been the same for quite some time, and many people say it’s time to make some additions.  I don’t think the Disney Imagineers would disagree with you, either, as they specifically designed the World Showcase to hold EIGHT more countries!

 

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I was shocked to see this map, honestly, because the World Showcase already feels so cramped.  However, now that I know the space is available, here are the nations I would select to fill those empty spaces:

  1. Turkey.  It is a nation we tend to not know much about in America, but Turkey has a marvelously rich history that goes beyond the Arabian Nights (actually, it would be a much more suitable place for Jasmine to be!).  More modern day Turkey has strong influences from Europe and Asia (as the country resides in both continents), including the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and the UK. 
  2. India.  Indian has always been a fascinating country with a beautiful culture.  Could you imagine getting to celebrate some of the awesome Indian holidays at EPCOT?  Holi, for example, is a celebratory day in India where people throw washable powdered paint (similar to the stuff you’d get in The Color Run, if you are a 5K person) at each other.  That festival alone would spice up the reputation of the World Showcase!
  3. Australia.  This whole continent has been previously ignored by EPCOT, and it’s high time we see some Aussie pride in the parks!  They could use the lake surrounding the World Showcase to represent a mini-Sydney.  However, with the UK and Canada already present in the parks, I believe Australia will be a tough sell for Disney, as they will likely want something very different from what they already have (it would be like adding in Korea – yes it would be different from Japan and China, but still seem very similar to tourists).
  4. Russia.  The historic building structures of Russia make this a must have country for the World Showcase.  Plus you have Russian food, holidays, and activities.  Plus, imagine all the cute, Disney-themed nesting dolls that would grace the Russian shops!  And, being that Russia is the largest country in the world, it seems only fitting that it find their place in Disney World too.
  5. South Africa.  This is another nation that many Americans know almost nothing about, but this is the nation of Nelson Mandela with a very diverse population (yes, this is the land of the “white Africans!”).  South Africa would be a wonderful way to represent a nation who has a Western foundation with loads of African influences.
  6. Fiji or Samoa.  There are no island nations represented in EPCOT.  Islands are unique because their people could have arrived to the island from anywhere, and their cultures have been isolated, so they develop in a more unusual way. 
  7. Egypt.  This is one of the oldest nations in the world, and it would offer Disney World the opportunity to place an icon Sphinx statue on the World Showcase (since the Mayan pyramid is already represented in Mexico).  It would also give Disney a way to reuse part of the Indiana Jones Stunt Show and Indiana Jones section of The Great Movie Ride, if, in fact, both of those attractions close as they are rumored to.
  8. Brazil.  Yes, I know that many people complain about the Brazilian tour groups, that are commonly filled with rowdy and rude tourists, but Brazil the nation has a lot more to offer.  First, South America is currently not represented in the World Showcase at all, so I think Brazil would be a much better addition to the Showcase than Spain.  Second, they have an incredible blend of African, European, and Native American blood lines, and, for the most part, the cultures have blended together and gotten along better than almost anywhere else in the world.  Third, they speak Portuguese, not Spanish, making it a little more flavorful than selecting any other Hispanic nation.  And, fourth, the rainforest is in Brazil.  I don’t really have a lot of logic as to why that’s good for the Showcase, the Great Wall isn’t in EPCOT’s China, after all, but, it offers possibilities to the Imagineers.

So, those are my thoughts in packing the World Showcase to the max.  If you have a different idea for a country that should be represented, leave me a comment below. 🙂

Easter at Disney World

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This post is long over-due, but we spent Easter at Disney World.  Somehow it seemed like a better idea to me than spending a lot of money cooking (we have no family around anyways). Disney World doesn’t pull out the stops like they do for Halloween and Xmas, BUT, there are a few neat extras in some of the parks.  For example, Magic Kingdom and EPCOT both get a photo opps with the Easter Bunny (this photo is from the UK in EPCOT, I hear Magic Kingdom had Mr. AND Mrs. Bunny).
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Before our trip I did some digging and found a little known secret even that Disney World has on Easter Day every year – the egg hunt!

If you call Disney, or ask Cast Members in the parks, 99% of them will have no idea what you’re talking about, even tell you that the egg hunt does not exist.  We were at the front of the rope drop, and the Cast Member that helps you scan your passes even said there was no such event.  But, as soon as we got to the UK in the World Showcase, there was a small sign that announced an egg hunt to start at 11am, and that multiple hunts would happen after that.  I assume Disney World doesn’t make a big deal of this event because space is very limited and they can’t accommodate every park patron flocking to the UK.

Be aware, you MUST wait in line and get a ticket before you are allowed to attend the event.  We waited in line for an hour to make sure that we got the first hunt so we could get to Animal Kingdom at a decent time.  Ultimately, it was an hour in line to get the tickets, than another hour for the event to start.  You are able to choose what time you want to participate though, if that time still has space available, but you must have all your participants for the hunt with you.  So, dad can’t take the kids on Mission Space while you wait in line.
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I believe they allowed 15 children (no adults!) to enter the hedge maze every 10 minutes, and they checked tickets before kids could enter.  They also told you a specific number of eggs you could collect before being required to leave.  If you pick up more eggs than allotted, the guard takes the extras away.  If you have an extremely sensitive child who has trouble following directions, I would not enter them in this event since parents may not hunt with their children.  There is only one way out of the hedge maze though, so don’t worry about letting kids go in alone.

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The hunt itself was over quickly.  The eggs were all filled with stickers or little toys, no candy whatsoever.  The Disney staff also provided little bags to gather your eggs in, so there’s no need to cart around a plastic Easter pale in the park.  It’s an event that I wouldn’t plan my vacation around, but if you are in Disney World during Easter, it’s definitely worth signing up for.

They also mentioned an egg relay and a hunt for smaller children, but I did not see or participate in either of those.

Final note on Easter at Disney World – once we got near the 2pm zone, every location we went to was packed to the gills.  Easter Day usually marks the start of a very heavy season for Disney World, as schools all over the country start having Spring Breaks, or, at the very least, have four-day weekends for Easter.  The second Friday in June is typically the start of what I call the “miserable season,” where schools have all let out and there are too many people in the parks to enjoy anything, even though it’s constantly pouring rain everyday.