2 Parks 1 Day – Disney Epcot & The Magic Kingdom Fireworks #15

It felt so odd waking up knowing that this was our very last Disney day. At this point in the holiday, we had been in Orlando for exactly two weeks and I think everybody was a little bit broken physically. Our last day was of course the last park, Epcot at Walt Disney World Orlando.

As with my previous Orlando posts, I want to be transparent with you that our tickets to Disney World were kindly gifted to us along with some amazing FastPass enhancements. Usually you get 3 FastPasses per guest at Disney and we had been gifted more on top of them which allowed our experience to be even more magical.

We also had the absolute pleasure of a Michael’s VIP tour guide for all four of our Disney days which I’d definitely recommend if you are visiting Disney for the first time so please check out the review I did for them. Our guide, Brooke, was amazing at organising every last detail of our day, including taking us to the rides, organising our FastPasses and making sure we all had the most magical experience for all four of our Disney days.

We had been staying at the Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa for four nights. It’s a Walt Disney Good Neighbour hotel and was in the perfect location to access all four Disney parks quickly. This was our last morning and time to check out. The hotel has a secured room to leave your luggage in, so we made full use of it with our great amount of suitcases!

We then ordered our Uber through the app and headed off for our last day at Disney, to the Epcot park. Epcot is definitely the smaller park which is why we left it to the last to visit. We organised to meet with Brooke inside the park.

We arrived a little bit earlier than Brooke which gave us the perfect amount of time to pop to the restroom and smother on sun lotion. Although it was really hot, there was quite a lot of clouds in the sky.

The first ride of the day was a FastPass for TestTrack. Elsa had been quite excited for the ride after watching some videos of it but sadly the height restrictions were 102cm and she was just below that. Hubby, Eva and I joined the FastPass queue.

In my opinion TestTrack was quite an odd ride. I’m not sure if something technical was wrong but the actual ride part, where you sit in a six person “car”, seemed a bit slow. There’s one part where it reaches very high speeds but that’s over within a few seconds. I wouldn’t recommend this ride despite how excited we had been beforehand.

Whilst we was on the ride, Brooke had taken Freya, my Mum and Elsa to the indoor area of TestTrack. This has different areas to explore for children not riding the ride, they can design their own car just like you do during the TestTrack ride experience. It was nice to know that Freya and Elsa were not bored during their waiting time.

Obviously I have no previous times to compare Epcot to, but it was so beautiful with amazing topiaries of various Disney characters and gorgeous flowers planted. I think it had been the flower and garden festival a week before we visited or maybe they are always there?

We made our way to The Land which has some restaurants, Living With The Land which is a gentle boat ride that goes through greenhouses showing casing the amazing farming history and future. There’s also a Behind The Seeds bookable tour inside The Land too. 

Hubby, Eva and I had popped into The Land to ride on Soarin’ Around The World. This ride is suitable for people over the height of 102cm. You sit inside a giant glider aircraft with a 180-degree, 80-foot IMAX digital projection dome in front of you. It then glides you through different footage with smells, special effects and a graceful motion. It feels extremely realistic and absolutely incredible. I think that Freya would have loved it but sadly we couldn’t get her past the anxiety she felt about the unknown.

As we exited The Land we realised that it had been and was raining. This is a normal Orlando thing and it’s actually quite refreshing because the heat drops a little and you can cool off with the rain. You then rapidly dry once the rain passes with the return of the sunshine. It was during the second week that we got to truly experience this weather, it was actually quite fun.

Brooke met us after the Soarin’ ride and then took us inside to watch the Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival. This is another 3D theatre performance that lasts 18 minutes. It features three short films. One of them about a dog had my eyes all watery. It was so cute! These little 3D shows are a great way to take a short break from the sun (or rain for us at that moment).

Believe it or not, I get really nervous about rides and simulators but when I go to somewhere we possibly may never experience again, I am a true believer of trying everything once. This is how I felt about Mission: SPACE. It’s a simulator with two different ride options, basically Family Friendly and not-so-family friendly. One warning from me is that both of those options are not good if you suffer from claustrophobia.

Mission: SPACE is another ride suitable for 102cm and above. Eva was absolutely pumped to get inside the simulator which is just like a rocket or spaceship. I was terrified seeing the paper bag sick bags in front of us. It was a really good experience but definitely avoid if you feel any motion sickness.

We decided to do Spaceship Earth on a FastPass before heading to the countries of Epcot. Spaceship Earth is inside the huge iconic Earth. This is actually going to be closing for refurbishments next year (2020) so if you are heading for Epcot, it would be worthwhile to do this ride before it closes.

This ride is suitable for any height or age. It’s a slow ride that travels through the history of human communication. Like creating scrolls, computers and more. Elsa didn’t like this ride very much as it was quite dark.

We then made our way to the World Showcase. This is a huge lake with different countries situated around the outside. Each country has different attractions to explore, food stalls or restaurants and so much more! We decided to go clockwise around the lake and start with Mexico.

Inside the Mexican Pavilion is a beautiful marketplace. The girls loved wandering around and getting the “I wants” obviously. There’s a beautiful looking sit down restaurant inside the pavilion. The Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros ride is situated near the back. This is an all age/height gentle boat ride. I enjoyed the ride inspired from the 1944 Disney film.

The next country for us to visit was Norway. Home of Frozen Ever After. I love anything to do with Frozen, probably a clue with Elsa being named after the ice Princess. Once again the Frozen Ever After ride is an all height attraction suitable for all. Brooke our Michael’s VIP tour guide had reassured Freya that is was a gentle ride with a couple of small drops.

We climbed inside our Nordic boat and sailed through some of the beautiful famous Frozen scenes. We saw cute Olaf and Sven, the giant ice monster and his little babies. It was such a magical ride. Then the drop happened and I got absolutely soaked. I honestly looked like I had wet myself. It was hilarious! I loved it.

Brooke had asked us whether we wanted to go inside and explore any of the other countries. Stupidly I made the decision not to and I really regret it. I wish we’d taken even just 5 minutes to go inside the different buildings in each country. I think I had made the decision because Elsa was being a little stroppy and difficult during our last Disney day.

Instead, we carried on walking around and then made the decision to stop for some lunch. We stopped to eat in America. A safe bet for food. My Mum kindly bought us all food inside Liberty Inn. This is a counter style food place (basically a fast food restaurant) but it was in a beautiful building with bright windows. We all ate really well which was what I had hoped for. 

After our lunch we continued to wander around the lake, stopping for photos and enjoying the sights. We obviously had to stop in the UK for photos with beautiful Topiary statues of the Winnie The Pooh characters. It was so interesting in this area, there were tea shops, Fish and chips, pubs and hop scotch drawn on the floor. A little taste of home. 

We just had a few more things to explore before the end of our time with Brooke. After finishing our exploration of the World Showcase, we headed for Journey Into Imagination With Figment. This is inside the huge glass pyramid.

It was another gentle ride suitable for all, where it explores our senses and our imagination. We was quite surprised to be able to hop straight onto this ride. There was no queue and Epcot had started to really quieten down. When you exit the ride there are further things to explore called ImageWorks which is like an interactive lab.

What I didn’t know is that Epcot has a huge aquarium where you can experience some amazing animal encounters. The last ride that we did at Epcot was The Seas With Nemo & Friends. Elsa had actually fallen asleep at this point which was very sad, but the rest of us jumped inside a giant clam and headed under the sea. It’s a nice gentle ride where you can follow the Finding Nemo characters.

Straight after the ride Brooke was hurrying us into Turtle Talk With Crush. This is an interactive experience that totally blew my mind. The kids all sit on the floor in front of a huge “aquarium tank” screen. Then Crush comes up and actually interacts with the audience, asking questions and answering them. It was incredible and it had us all laughing.

We then had to say a very sad goodbye to our wonderful tour guide, Brooke, who had become part of our family for four days. Michael’s VIP Tours were absolutely incredible and I genuinely think that with her help, guidance and organisation skills we was able to be fully immersed in the magic of Disney. If you haven’t had the chance to read my full review of Michael’s VIP Tours, please do.

After Brooke left we definitely felt like we’d lost a limb. She was so brilliant at keeping the girls entertained, pushing our stroller and telling us where we needed to be and when. 

We had made the decision to head back to Magic Kingdom to watch the fireworks for the very first time and technically the last of this holiday too. This gave us the perfect opportunity to ride the Resort Monorail, as pictured below.

The monorail rides from Epcot to the transportation center, then you catch a different one to Magic Kingdom. The transportation Center was very busy. It was clearly prime time to be travelling to Magic Kingdom for fireworks most likely, but we still managed to board and arrive smoothly.

We had managed to still have some of the gifted FastPass enhancements left to use when we arrived at Magic Kingdom. As we still had some time before the fireworks, we utilised the FastPasses for rides.

The plan was to divide and conquer. Hubby took Eva to do the more thrilling rides like Space Mountain whilst the rest of us did our favourites. We rode on Speedway, Little Mermaid, Dumbo and Elsa’s favourite It’s A Small World.

Mum and I then had a mad dash to meet Hubby and Eva for the fireworks. We had thought we could walk through the castle but this was shut for safety reasons, so we had to rapidly walk around the outside of the castle to meet Hubby.

I won’t lie to you. The whole firework experience was the most stressful thing we had experienced the entire holiday. The sheer volume of guests gathering in front of the castle was astonishing! It was hard to get a spot with a good view. I ended up with Elsa on my shoulders and holding up my camera to film.

Once the fireworks began, it was incredible! I personally couldn’t see the castle as I’m too small, but watching it back on the video I had filmed was dreamy. They truly know how to do these firework displays.

When the fireworks ended we decided to take shelter from the crowds in Casey’s Corner. It’s a small quick service food place. My Mum had started to feel a little poorly with the heat and crowds. It was very overwhelming. We stayed in there for about twenty minutes to let the crowds die down before making our way to the exit.

Despite it being past 10pm, we still needed to pick up our luggage from Lake Buena Vista and move on to Wyndham. I will be writing a full review of Wyndham which I will link here when available. But let’s just say, we checked in to a family room which really wasn’t convenient at all for our guests. Thankfully the hotel moved us but we didn’t get everybody settled and to sleep until nearly 1am! Not a great way to end our wonderful last Disney day.

Anyway, I really hope you will take the time to watch my video from the day. I always think these allow you to immerse yourself in our family and join us on our days. I have loved watching our Disney days back over and am already desperate to return to Disney as soon as possible! I have truly been hit by the Disney magic.

I have two more Orlando blog posts in this very long series of travel posts. I hope you’ll pop back very soon to take a read.

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.

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