Disney World: EPCOT

DID YOU KNOW: EPCOT stands for Experimental Prototype City Of Tomorrow? It was initially supposed to be a real experimental city where new technology would be tested and people would actually reside there, but when Walt died the idea was scrapped and here we are with beautiful EPCOT theme park!

The Park

This park is hands-down my all-time fave Disney Park. Why? There is SO much to see that the World Showcase itself is worth the money. As you walk between the pavilions showcasing numerous countries around the world you almost feel submerged in the countries culture, music, food, and atmosphere. Another fun fact: Anyone working in the pavilions in EPCOT must be from the actual country itself. Here is a break-down of our fave pavilions:

Mexico

With Spanish music playing, Mexican food being served and the gorgeous scenery, you almost feel as if you’re in Mexico (except the pyramids are a LOT bigger IRL). Here they have little shops and restaurants as well as a meet and greet spot where you can snap a pic with Donald Duck in a Sombrero!

China

Again, the architecture, music and food is outstanding and they really do a great job at keeping it as realistic as possible. We didn’t spend a whole lot of time in the Chinese pavilion, but you can grab a pic with Mulan here and sight-see around some of the buildings!

Japan

Gorgeous architecture, really yummy food and traditional music bring the Japanese pavilion to life. It’s very inspiring and makes me want to travel to go see the real deal! This pavilion has some shops and restaurants you can check out too!

Germany

You guessed it – BEER HEAVEN! The architecture was incredible, the music was beautiful and the beer was SO TASTY. Not-so-fun-fact: They asked us for our passports as a form of ID while buying drinks here, I’ve never had that happen anywhere else as usually our Drivers License is sufficient. Here you can meet Snow White or enjoy a German Buffet and Yodeler!

Other Sites

EPCOT is incredibly beautiful. They have some great rides too, like Test Track, Soarin’, and the new Frozen ride. They also seasonally have gorgeous garden hedges sculpted into your favorite Disney Characters and decorated with colorful flowers. The monorail can also be spotted transporting people to and from parks and resorts which gives EPCOT a cool futuristic vibe.

 

New York City

Guys! This is so, so late – like REALLY late – but I realized we hadn’t done a story yet on our New Years trip to New York. I am sure you’ve been following on Instagram (hopefully!) but if not, here’s the run-down:

Getting There

Getting to NYC from Ottawa was hell – literal hell. We made it after all but it could have been WAY better than what it was. Firstly, there is no train that leaves from Ottawa to New York directly, so we had to be driven from Ottawa – Montreal (2 hours). There, we waiting for over 4 HOURS for our delayed (FROZEN) train. It was so cold it couldn’t move, welcome to Canada!

After we got on the train we were delayed 1.5 hours at the border to the USA and again for another hour in Albany to attach another train car they LEFT BEHIND in MTL – incredible. We didn’t arrive in NYC until after 3am.

Accomodations

We stayed in a home rental in Brooklyn, which was super nice with modern furniture and only about 20 minutes or so from Manhattan. I HAD photos of it on my old phone, which is now toast – so sorry but you’ll have to do with these pictures of the Manhattan Bridge and Dumbo Brooklyn.

It was WAY cheaper than any hotel or motel we could have got, especially for that time of year – and it was an entire HOUSE! I would recommend doing a home rental for your next trip if it’s feasible.

Empire State Building

A word of advice – DO NOT GO UP HERE WHEN IT IS SNOWING. Not only is it a billion times colder (probably an understatement) than on the ground, but you can’t see very far when it’s snowin’ and blowin’ way up in the sky. It is beautiful and we made the best of it, but boy was it FRIGID!

Times Square

This was what it was all about! Good ol’ Times Square. It was crowded, and cold, but just to be there in the middle of it all was incredible. We did a whole lot of walking, and I was a dumb dumb and wore HEELS to walk around NYC. Nonetheless it was a great experience and we even saw Steve Harvey (from far, far away LOL).

Brooklyn Bridge

Again – COLD (are you getting the theme here?). It was ridiculously cold and windy up here. It was also crazy crowded (notice a bunch of people in our shots, how dare they LOL). It was super cool to walk the bridge (we only went half way) and see the NYC skyline from the other side. I would recommend going in the summer though, or at least when it isn’t 20 below zero.

New Years Eve

The moment you have all been waiting for… THE ENGAGEMENT! Guys, I had NO IDEA Marco had this planned. It was crazy surprising and I couldn’t have asked for any better. He proposed to me at the countdown until 2018. New Year, new plans and new big things to look forward to! So many people were taking pictures and videos of us, it was insane. FYI – the wedding is being planned for 2019 – so stay tuned for that!

Disney World: Magic Kingdom

Hola and welcome back to our adventures! It’s been a while (Since January) since we’ve taken a trip – and oh, did we miss it! This time, we went to Orlando, FL for two full weeks. We did Disney, Clearwater, NASA, and more and had fantastic weather to boot – we couldn’t have been happier.

Getting There

We actually DROVE down to Florida from Ottawa in Canada, which for those of you who don’t know, is a 22+ hour drive – or about two days of driving including stops. It was super cool to see the foliage, scenery, and cultures change on the drive down (as well as the temperature getting HOTTER!).

Magic Kingdom

Our very first Disney park was MAGIC KINGDOM (you know, the one with the Castle?) and we had pretty good weather for it. It was sunny and super hot. We were in the park from open to close, which is 9am – 9pm (a 12 hour day!) but I’m glad we got to do so much and see almost everything we wanted to see. We did the teacups ride (above), saw an incredible fireworks show (below) and went on many, many other super fun rides! The atmosphere, theming and interactive cue lines were amazing, even though line-ups could be long sometimes – they didn’t seem too bad with all the cool stuff you can do while proceeding through the lines!

 

Fireworks Show

We managed to get a great spot for the fireworks/projection show at Magic Kingdom. They do these shows EVERY night, which is crazy! The music, projections and fireworks were very well done and we were incredibly impressed with the show overall and how the crowds were managed. Lots of people, but well organized! Getting back home after the show was a lot better than we anticipated as well.

 

The Food

So, we HAD a plan to make our lunches ahead of time and bring them into the park with us to save time and money from waiting in lines and purchasing food there ($9.00 USD for a hot dog?!). That didn’t go so well for our first day because we FORGOT our lunch! Regardless, we got some good hot dogs, a giant turkey leg (for Marco, of course) and a yummy slushy complete with Disney silly straw! The meals were ok, but we packed our lunches for the remainder of the trips!

The Culture

Disney World’s Magic Kingdom has different “areas” or “zones” throughout the park which all signify different cultures or time periods and the zones are very well themed. The theming is what makes Disney World so special. Characters only appear in zones that are relevant to their “theme”, the music is theme specific, what they sell in the shops, the food, the architecture – EVERYTHING! Way more interactive and “magical” than your typical amusement park.

Character Meetings

Meeting Characters is super cool and fun – especially if you get to meet your fave Disney character! We found the wait times were pretty lengthy for a quick meet and greet and photo-op – we are adults after all. The characters are always IN CHARACTER – no matter how old you are, so prepare for some cheesy conversations and funny comments straight outta the films. I endured the 45 minute wait to meet Ariel from The Little Mermaid because she is my all-time fave, but we didn’t bother to wait for others. Unless you are a kid, or with a kid, it’s a long wait time for a photo!