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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Going solo at Walt Disney World! is fun! (Day 5)

Hello again, and thanks for joining me on my travels!  Day five brought excitement, color, great music, fun company, and wonderful food!  What more can you ask for on a trip to Walt Disney World, right?  Well, here we day in EPCOT, and my first experience at the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival!

I was not really sure how early of a start I was going to get on this fifth day of my trip.  I had been going full force so far, and getting up pretty early.  But, once again I surprised myself and got up and going pretty quickly.  I actually arrived at EPCOT before the park opened, so I was very happy!

I headed immediately over to SOARIN' and went to the FastPass area to print a pass for myself, and then immediately got in line to ride for the first time on this trip.  My husband and I love this attraction.  This is actually his favorite thing to do here.  I did this in honor of him, and again the second time.  I thought about him during the "ride" and thought how happy it made him back in October.

 I always have to take this shot, no matter how many times I have seen it, and taken this picture.  The 4-Seasons hot air balloons inside The Land pavilion are so pretty, right?

After I completed my first "flight," I headed over to TEST TRACK!  This attraction was down for its major renovation back in October when we were there last.  We loved the old attraction, but the new version, in my humble opinion was fantastic!  I love the fact that you can design your own car, and see how it tests out in the different sections of the ride.  I went for power, and my car blew everyone else away in the speed test!   As a single rider, I got on this attraction twice in 15 minutes with no problem at all!

I headed back over to SOARIN' as it was time for flight #2!!  Just as thrilling the second time around.  As a matter of fact, I sat next to a little girl who was with her Dad and she was between us.   It was there first time at the attraction, and I was letting them know what to expect.  I thought she would be afraid, but she was so adorable.  She was oohing, and aahing all the way through!

After I was done, I headed over to the Radiator Springs display for the Flower and Garden Festival. I just love this section, as we are big CARS fans!  Mater is our favorite!

 These shots are of sheer beauty!  No words are really needed, right?

 I love the "floating" flowers!

After leaving Radiator Springs, I headed over to the get my picture with Chip and Dale!  Can't miss a photo op with these cute little guys. 

 I was kind of wandering a bit at this point, trying to make up my mind what I wanted to include over this way until it was time to head to World Showcase.  So, I thought I needed to try to get in The Seas With Nemo and Friends and Spaceship Earth first.  

Don't touch "the butt"!

After I left Nemo, I made my way to Spaceship Earth.  There was about a 20 minute wait, and for morning time, that's not too bad.  I usually try to head back to this later in the day after that early "rush" is over, but there was going to be no time for that today.   I just love this attraction!!

After leaving Spaceship Earth, it was now time to head over to World Showcase. 
Here are just a few of the things that distracted me along the way............

Inside the Tinker Bell Butterfly Garden.......beautiful!  Love the butterflies just all over, landing on you, etc.

After a reluctent exit from the butterfly garden, I walked over to the display set up for Oz, the Great and Powerful.  Of couse, after taking some pictures of my beloved Monorail!

 Are there really any words necessary for this picture?

Beautiful display!

After getting taken away in the balloon.........

I made my way into Canada!

Then on in to the United Kingdom pavilion.  Some great topiary displays found here!!  I also met Alice and took lots of pictures.  This pavilion has always been one of my favorites.

After my conversation with Alice, just across the way, was the topiary display for my buddies, Pooh and Friends!!

 Here is my all time favorite....Eeyore, with little Piglet aboard for a ride.

Tigger is ready to bounce!

After making my way out of UK, I took a walk over to the France pavilion.
Again, we find along the way stunning topiary displays, and once we get there........Oh!  What I found!

Here I am with the Beauty and the Beast display!  I just love it!

After wandering around France for a while, I made my way over to Morocco.  I made the decision to have lunch here.  I ate at the Tangerine Cafe', and to be really honest......I should have waited and gone with my first instict and had my sushi in Japan.  I really didn't care for the food here at all.  I am not really into middle-eastern cusine. 

This was lunch......the chicken wrap, and sides, (the green stuff was terrible!) and couscous with orange...that was ok.....and of couse baklava for dessert.  That was yummy.

PhotoPass photographers to the rescue once again!

After leaving Morocco, I took a stroll to Japan.  I think the Japan pavilion is one of the most beautiful and peaceful pavilions in World Showcase.

I was in luck! It was just a little after 2:15pm and  Matsuriza, the Japanese Taiko drummers were performing when I arrived!  Wow, they are such a delight to listen to!

The koi pond is so serene!

 After Japan, I got to the 1/2 way point at The American Adventure pavilion.  Who was waiting for me?  That Rootin' Tootin'ist cowboy himself......Woody!  Love this topiary display.......

Then of course, not far away was that not so nice, Lotso Huggin Bear.....

Of course, as an American, I have to love the American Adventure pavilion.  I love the show......and was not able to wait for the next one.  So, I was not sure if I was going to catch it on this trip.

My next stop was Italy.  this pavilion is beautiful, and I thought they did a great job with all the floral displays that were just all over!!

And I love the view from this side of World Showcase Lagoon!

Onward I traveled to Germany!  Oh!  Just what I have been waiting to see, wearing my Snow White top, here is the the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs topiary display!

Once again.......PhotoPass photographer to the rescue!  As a matter of fact, these are some of my favorite shots of the trip!

 YES!  The freckles are out (SUN SUN glorious sun!)

Wandering in Germany........

Finishing up in Germany, I wind up in China.  I think this pavilion is unappreciated by many, including myself.  I have never really taken the time to explore it, until this trip.  I changed my mind.

 Are you familiar with the legend of Prince Min?  No? Look it up.  It's a fascinating story!

Also located in China, is the kiosk called "Joy of Tea." Now to many you would think that you would just go and get some tea here.  That's not all they serve!  As a matter of fact, you can get a potent concoction called "Tipsy Ducks in Love" and it is delish!!!  It contains tea (of course) coffee, bourbon whiskey and chocolate!!  And yes, it really is good.  Now, you can get it sans whiskey......but who would want to? Unless you are under 21 of course and then you don't have a choice!

Photos courtesy of DisneyFoodBlog.

Here is me, toasting my readers with my very own Tipsy Ducks in Love drink!  YUMM!!!!

After leaving China, and finishing up my wonderful beverage, I headed to Norway.  Stopping first to take a picture of one of the Friendship Boats out on the water. 

I will be back in Norway later, for dinner with my friend Beatrice at Akershur!

On to Mexico, and perfect timing for my trip, on Cinco de Mayo!  I would be meeting up with Beatrice a little after 3, so I have some time to spend in Mexico.  As I walked up I was greeted by the Epcot Marionetas playing wonderful music!

With the special celebration going on for Limited Time Magic, The Three Caballeros, Panchito, Joe and Donald were making an appearance for photos!  Wow!  I can't believe it!  This was so much fun!!

 Loved getting a hug from Donald!!!!!!

Of course, I then had to go on the Gran Fiesta Tour.  I really love this attraction!

After I left Mexico, I headed back to Norway to wait for my friend.  I say at the Stave Church and waited for her.

First we stopped off in China to take some pictures.  We spotted Mulan, and got in line.  It was not long which was great!  I have never had a picture with Mulan before.

 We also got some great pictures with the floral dragon in the pond......this is so beautiful!

 We made our way back around World Showcase to Italy, and I got the topiary shot I had missed earlier.....Lady and the Tramp!  I just love this one!!

We also caught "Sergio", the Italian mime,/clown/juggler at his 4:30 performance.  Wow, he is really good!
After we watched him for a bit, we went into the pavilion, and I suggested we to into Tutto Gusto for a nice glass of wine.  I needed to get off my feet for a bit.  I had been going full-on since 8am when I left the resort.
Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar is a small place that is adjacent to Tutto Italia Ristorante.  We had a wonderful relaxing glass of wine, and nice conversation.

 Cheers to Disney friends!!

Both Bea and I love the wine bottle chandelier in the back over the bar!!

As we walked out of the Italy Pavilion and near the American Adventure, Tommy Roe's 5:30 show was just about to start when we got there.  He was awesome!  So many great songs I remember from my childhood.  Having a big sister, who listened to this music, made all this stick in my head!  So very glad I did not miss this!!

 After the show was over we walked back over to Norway.  We got in line to ride Maelstrom, and then went into the Puffins Roost to browse around.  We had our dinner reservations at 7pm at Akershur.

As we stood in line, the Cast Member was coming out and calling out the names of each party.  He would announce that they were ready for the "Royal ____ party"...which was pretty cool.  As we moved up, I waiting with camera ready.......and got him just as he was calling, "the Royal Banas Party."

As we stepped to the other side, waiting to get is what I saw.....

As we waited our turn to enter, I was getting so a little girl ready to meet princesses for the first time!!  Not really sure who we were going to get to meet made it all that more exciting.

First came our photo session with the beautiful Belle!

Then, after we were seated.......the Princesses came to our table one by one.....they did so rather quickly so we were able to get pictures out of the way even before we had dinner.  I think that is great!!

First was Cinderella!

Next came Princess Jasmine!
(I will tell you a funny story about her in the next installment of this blog!)

The beautiful Snow White was our next visitor!

Last to the table was my favorite of all, Ariel!

Dinner was very good.  I had the roasted chicken, and Bea had the Swedish Meatballs.

And for dessert, we got to split these goodies!!

After dinner was over, I had to say goodbye to my friend, as she had to work the next day, and had a drive to get home.  I was going to watch Illuminations, but opted out.  As I came up to the American Adventure pavilion, I noticed it had a 9pm time posted for its last show of the night.  I missed it earlier, and gave it a go. 
Surprise......of all surprises.......... only 3 other people in the show besides myself!!

After I left the show, the fireworks were over, the park was clearing out, and I had a long walk to the bus.  Once again, my feet had been tortured long enough that day.  9am to 9pm on my feet, was just almost too much.

So, I took my time as it seemed there were many who were not in a hurry.  I stopped to take some night shots of a few different topiary.  They look so different at night all lit up.

I also stopped at a pin location as I totally needed to get my 20th Anniversary Flower & Garden pins.  I wanted to get a Duffy for the festival, but totally forgot about that.  I have one from Food and Wine, and wanted one from this festival as well, but now I don't have one.  I am a bit sad.

It really was a wonderful day, I loved Flower & Garden, and had a great time with my friend.  I hope you enjoyed the little tour, and seeing all the great pictures I was able to take.  Next up, is my last full day at Walt Disney World.  More fun moments ahead......more princesses, and another fun time with a very sweet friend!  Stay tuned!!  Until then, "see ya later pal!"


  1. It looks like you have had a really wonderful experience at the flower and garden festival. I know you were in flower heaven. It looks as if you got so much done that day. I enjoyed exploring along with you via your pictures and your story. Thank you, Kris

    1. Yup! I sure was, and that was my main reason for taking the trip at this time of year! I would love to go again to see it someday! Thanks again for reading!!

  2. Flower and Garden Fest is my most favorite season at EPCOT. I'm so glad you managed to see it. I do hope the food booths happen again next year, but I also hope F&G does not turn into the Zoo that Food and Wine Fest has become.

    1. I don't know van. It all depends on what part of the week you go. We were at F & W this past October, and mid-week. It was really not all that "zoo-y" really! Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for the next installment coming up over the weekend!

  3. i just love your blogs Kris!! you are a great writer my dear, feels like i was right there with you. thank you for sharing.

    1. thanks so much Christina....I appreciate that very much! Glad you enjoyed my little tour!