Of course the Magic Kingdom is classic Disney, but my partner and I were probably most looking forward to Epcot. Neither of us had been to this park since we turned 21, and Epcot seems like one of the most perfect places within Disney World to almost get away from the “Disney” factor. The World Showcase is truly spectacular.
We hoped/planned for our Epcot FastPass+ selections to be Test Track, Mission: Space, and Spaceship Earth and that worked out perfectly. We got to the park around opening, not in time for “rope drop”, but since most of World Showcase doesn’t open until 11AM anyway being there super early wasn’t particularity important for us.
We got some PhotoPass pictures in front of the tree and wandered our way back to France. I got in line to meet Belle while my partner went into Les Halles Boulangerie & Patisserie. We then indulged in the bacon cheese roll (“Roule Lard et Fromage”) while the line moved along. Belle was in her Christmas attire – so beautiful!
After eating it was time for our FastPass rides. We essentially were able to do a ride, go back to meet a character, then back to do a ride, etc. This worked well for us, but it was a lot of walking! We met Snow White, who taught us to pose like princesses, Mulan, Anna and Elsa, and Alice! Something about meeting princesses in Epcot instead of MK is so much less stressful. Maybe just because it never felt quite as crowded. I had dressed up as Alice for a prior Halloween and showed her, it’s always amazing talking to the characters in such an interactive way.
We ate lunch at Coral Reef. We originally had Via Napoli reservations, but after Warwick Davis was announced as the narrator for the Candlelight Processional we decided we wanted to do a dining package for that. We ended up choosing Coral Reef based on available times. The atmosphere is amazing. Getting to dine next to that HUGE tank is so peaceful. You really don’t feel like you’re in a crowded Disney park anymore. It didn’t seem like there was a “bad” seat in the whole restaurant. We weren’t right at the tank but certainly still had a great view of all of the creatures swimming past. The package meal came with an appetizer, entree, and dessert. For the appetizers we got the crab cake and the grilled octopus, both were quite tasty. We both got the steak entree with a side of potatoes. This was good, but definitely not as good as the steak we had enjoyed at Mama Melrose. I suppose if you go to Coral Reef it makes more sense to get a seafood entree. The desserts here were killer though, truly oustanding. I got a key lime tart and my partner got the Bailey’s and Jack Daniels Mousse. Dang. I would go back here just to eat the desserts. Do they do takeaway for desserts? Because that would be worth it.
After lunch we went back to the hotel for a midday nap. When we returned to Epcot we just explored World Showcase to our hearts content. We heard some holiday tales around the world, and I finally found a PhotoPass photographer who could put Pascal on my head! This was my goal magic shot. I don’t look super cute, but I’m still so thrilled this happened!
We did the Wine Walk and explored France, Germany, and Italy, got chips and guacamole as well as a tequila flight at La Cava Del Tequila in Mexico, and ate the nudel gratin from Germany, which was maybe the best thing I ate all trip. The Candlelight Processional show that came with our dining package was a 6:45 start time, so we went over there around 6:15. The line was already pretty dang long! Even if you have guaranteed seats you may want to get there pretty early. We found most rows with lots of open seats contained 1 person who was saving the entire row for their family. Frustrating, but what are you going to do?
The Candlelight Processional itself was lovely. I am not religious, my partner grew up Jewish, so we definitely aren’t the target audience. But we both had a wonderful time. The choirs they use are so talented. It was honestly so lovely. I’m not sure I would pay to do it again, but I am very glad we did it once.
After the processional we had a bit of time to wander around, but essentially were just killing time until the Frozen Ever After Dessert Party at 830PM. We found they did let us in a bit early – I’m not sure how early they would let you, but we got there around 8:15. This is seated, and since there were only 2 of us we shared a table with another couple. There were loads of drinks and desserts there. The stand outs for me were the eclairs and mini tarts for food and the margaritas for drinks. Being seated right on the water we had an amazing view for Illuminations. This nighttime spectacular is being retired! So I am extra glad we paid the money to get the perfect experience. It’s also really nice to have a reserved seat and be able to eat/drink through the show.
After the show we waited for 15-20 minutes then headed over to Frozen Ever After! I have never ridden this since the Frozen overlay and I truly love Frozen. It was so cute! I was so happy. I was definitely singing along. I did *not* expect to get wet though, and it was kind of a chilly night, so be prepared to be a bit uncomfortable as you walk back to your transportation. It was pretty magical leaving the park after getting to ride the Frozen ride, as hardly anyone was left. It was so empty and quiet, and since it was night everything was lit up (and probably extra so for the holidays). If you have a good camera and understanding of photography this would be an ideal time to take some amazing low light pictures. And even though the park was nearly empty there were still PhotoPass photographers out!
We never did find time to meet Aurora from Sleeping Beauty, and I think you could spend a full week just in World Showcase and continue to notice new amazing details, but overall our day at Epcot was almost perfect. We got so much done and ate some of the best food we had all trip. I think Epcot is my favorite park!