I’m going old-school and recounting our Disney trip with recap after monstrous recap. You can read about the start of our trip here, as well as Day 1 and Day 2. Our photos from the trip can be found on my flickr page.
Back when we were initially planning our trip, and trying to figure out what kind of park tickets we needed, Mike innocently suggested that we skip Epcot (or, as Eli would say, Epicot). To say that I reacted negatively to the suggestion would be an understatement. I would’ve been nicer had he suggested we have an open marriage. I love Epcot that much.
Needless to say, the rest of the family does not share my love of this particular park. They like it alright, but it doesn’t have the same appeal as the others. I made the mistake last time of saving Epcot for last – perfect for me, but kind of a downer for everyone else. So this time I put Epcot smack in the middle, and it was a good choice. Well, at least it seemed like a good choice until about 1/4 of the way through the World Showcase.
We decided to take it easy that morning and not set an alarm. We’d had two mornings where we wanted to get to the parks before they opened, followed by packed days and late nights. It was time to relax just a little. If I had to do it over again, this is where I would’ve added one more day to our trip and made this day a park-free day. Instead we took our time getting ready and it worked out just fine … until about 1/4 of the way through World Showcase.
Epcot is actually two parks in one: Future World and World Showcase. We started in Future World and made our way through nearly everything we thought the kids would enjoy. If you have kids with a decent age difference between them, Epcot is a good park to divide and conquer. Eli and I spent a lot of time at The Seas with Nemo & Friends while Mike and Elena hit up a few attractions Eli couldn’t do, like The Sum of All Thrills. There are some things everyone should do together, though. Soarin’ for one – such a cool ride. We weren’t brave enough to try the advanced version of Mission: Space, but we had a blast on the gentler version.
You never know what rides look lame but will be a bit hit. We did Living With the Land, which appears to be a boring boat ride, just for the chance to sit down and chill for 15 minutes. The kids LOVED it. At the end you go through a greenhouse where Disney “scientists” are growing all kinds of crops in innovative ways. The kids were screaming and pointing at produce like they were rock stars. Only at Disney … And just the other day Eli said Spaceship Earth, the 30-year-old history lesson inside the “giant ball,” was his favorite ride of the entire trip. Kids, they’re so strange.
World Showcase is my happy place. I love the different countries, I love all the little shops, and I love the food. If only I had a bottomless stomach (and wallet) to go along with it.
Last time we tried to use the Kidcot Fun Stops to keep Elena interested throughout the Showcase. Well, it kept her a little too interested, and slowed our pace down to a crawl. This time I was excited to try Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure, an interactive scavenger hunt using characters from Phineas & Ferb. If we had kept up with it, we would’ve been through every single country in World Showcase in 30 minutes. BAM! Let’s hit the pool, Mom!
In happier times, before my Phineas & Ferb-induced rage set in.
So this was where I had my meltdown. I might or might not have threatened to throw the secret agent device into the World Showcase Lagoon. When Elena and Eli weren’t fighting over the device, they were screeching at me to HURRY UP! WE HAVE TO FIND THE NEXT CLUE! as if the lives of every single park patron depended on it. I pulled them very close and spoke in that quiet, demonic whisper that every mother uses when she’s about to say something horrible but make it look like she’s whispering sweet nothings into her children’s ears. You’ll know it’s a ruse when you see the death grip she has on their arms and the look of fear in their eyes. She’s not saying nice things, I promise.
In so many words, I insinuated that after planning this dream vacation of theirs for six months, packing for nearly a week, and spending hours in various lines and rides, mommy would just like 2 hours of this vacation to tour the fake world she could’ve seen for real with the amount of money we just spent on this trip. AND NO MORE WIRE HANGERS.
We promise to behave! Don’t leave us here!
And then Disney magic sprinkled over all of us and we spent the rest of the day in peace and harmony. Or, they spent the day behaving out of fear and Mike brought me a beer from Germany and everything was pretty good for the rest of the day. One of those scenarios.
So if I had to do it again, I’d probably do Epcot first. Or do Future World and some of World Showcase together, then send everyone else back to the hotel and enjoy the rest of it myself. But I wouldn’t give up the memories of this particular day at all. It wouldn’t be Disney without a meltdown here and there. And this is who we are as a family, warts and all. Our kids fight, I’m overly sentimental about the O Canada! movie, and Mike knows when to save the day with alcohol. Can you laugh about it later? Then that’s what the best family memories are made of. That, and ridiculous photos.
Next up: Magic Kingdom! Finally, a day without mishaps or meltdowns!