Orlando Stories and Tips

Epcot Family of the Day!

Kids at Epcot Photo, Orlando, Florida

On our first morning, we got a wakeup call from Mickey, and the kids each had a jibbitz for their Crocs waiting on the nightstand. Mickey must have snuck in our room overnight and left those! My daughter hasn’t believed in Santa, the tooth fairy, or the Easter Bunny since she was 5 but she either believed this or never let on that she was only "playing along." A little Disney magic can go a long way. We had breakfast in our room and headed down to the bus stop to await the Epcot bus. A CM was there with hoola hoops and beanbags to juggle, but we hardly had time to do these as a bus arrived within 5 minutes.
We were at Epcot by 8:30 at the latest and headed over to the farthest open turnstile on the right. We were only about 3 families back, but I told my mom and husband that we would scoot over to another one if it opened and was watching like a hawk. I also told them we’d head to the right for Soarin’ after the rope drop which I expected about 8:45 from recent reports. Well, 8:45 came and went and no rope drop. I was still eyeing the turnstiles to the right and totally missed 2 CMs come up to talk to my husband. I don’t know what their original questions were, but by the time I turned around they were asking things like where we were from and where we were staying. I thought they were just being friendly because they saw we all had our "First Visit" buttons on which we all wore every day throughout the trip.
Then suddenly 1 of the CM’s was letting us through the turnstile. My mom was asking me what was going on. And I was dazed. When the CM asked us if we’d like to help them open the park, I knew we were family of the day, but my head was thinking but we didn’t even try to get here first! We don’t have homemade t-shirts! Shoot, our t-shirts don’t even match!! How can we be family of the day? There was probably someone else there trying to be family of the day and here we were without even trying and having trouble wrapping our heads around it. We got pictures in front of Spaceship Earth before the park opened and had a head start to Soarin’. Free ice cream later that day too.
We walked right on Soarin’-a paragliding over California simulation, Journey into the Imagination, Imageworks, then Mission Space, a NASA flight simulation. Mom & I went on Mission Space Green (the Lite version) while my husband took the kids on Orange. I would say I liked it because I would have if I hadn’t been so worried about the kids the whole time. To me, Green was so intense, I was sure 1 kid was throwing up and 1 was having a panic attack and screaming/crying to be let off on the Orange version. The whole time, I was wishing they’d tried the Lite version with us first. But I was wrong. They loved it!
Next, we headed to Akershus for 10:40 breakfast. You can read my review. Suffice it to say, it was the only bad experience we had at WDW but we chalked it up to an off day and moved on with the fun.
After breakfast, we walked right on Maelstrom, a Viking ship ride, then picked up a Kim Possible mission for Norway. We really didn’t care for it so it was the only mission we did during our visit. I think because it had us walking back & forth and back & forth. We went in & out of the Stave church 3 or 4 times. We finished that off, got our passport stamp in our Guide to the Magic books and headed to Mexico where we walked right on the Three Caballeros ride, then got our passports stamped there as well.
Next, we headed back to Future World and rode Sum of All Thrills, a roller coaster simulation which you create yourself, only a 10-15 minute wait. The kids really liked that a lot. Then we watched the Fountain show. We all enjoyed getting cooled off with the splashing. Next, we tried Cokes from many countries at Club Cool. We then walked right on Spaceship Earth, which the kids proclaimed boring. We live near Cedar Point and last year was my daughter’s first year she was tall enough to do a lot of the roller coasters. We found out we have a little adrenaline junkie on our hands so she was looking for the "good stuff." We then headed back into World Showcase and took pictures of some of the topiaries. Afterward, we had an early dinner at Le Chefs de France with audioanimatronic Remy from Ratatouille, who the kids really liked, and met Marie from Aristocats. Then we headed back to Animal Kingdom Lodge to prepare for our rope drop at Hollywood Studios the next day.

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