Monday, October 6, 2014

Disney Trip 2014: Epcot (Part 1)

For our second full day at Disney, we visited Epcot.

Shortly before we left for our trip, I was able to get a reservation for breakfast at Akershus with the princesses.  I originally had a late lunch reservation there, but I thought we would prefer breakfast.  So I searched and searched daily until I finally found an open time!   Before we left, I redid our touring plan, and the new plan worked out pretty great.

I bought the girls these princess nightgowns to wear for our princess meal.  I was afraid it would be weird for them to run around Epcot in their nightgowns, but I really don't think anyone could tell they were nightgowns.  Plus people wear all kinds of crazy things at Disney; no one was going to look twice at their nightgowns!  I figured the nightgowns would be more comfortable than the typical Disney dress up gowns that are scratchy and hot.  I brought extra clothes in case the girls wanted to change, but they kept their gowns on all day!
Our breakfast reservation was at 9:20 in Norway in the World Pavilion.  The park opened at 9:00.  I wasn't sure if they would let us into the park before opening for our breakfast, but I thought we would give it a try.  We arrived at Epcot around 8:30, and found a line with a sign that said "Breakfast Reservations."  We checked in there, with probably about 15 people already in line.  The lady told us we could go ahead and go in to the park.  50 minutes before our reservation!  

It's really fun to be in a Disney park when it is empty.  It feels like a completely different place.  We got our picture taken in front of the big ball, and then wandered around and explored a little.  Since our reservation wasn't until 9:20 and we were not in a hurry, we decided to send Daniel to Test Track first thing.  (Isla was too short to ride it, and Audrey and I didn't want to ride).  As soon as the park opened, he walked to the ride and was very FIRST in line!  

An empty park!!

While Daniel was riding Test Track, the girls and I went ahead to Norway to wait for him at the restaurant.  The girls found a little pavilion where they could play while we waited.  They were pretending to be princesses.  Isla kept holding her dress out with her hands and twirling around, because she told me "that's what princesses do!"  It was so adorable!

Yet another failed attempt to get a nice picture of the girls in their dresses:

Daniel met up with us right in time for our reservation, so we checked in and after just a brief wait, it was our turn to dine with the princesses.

First, we posed for a picture with Belle.  As a part of our meal, they gave us a printed portrait package with this pose.  We got one 8x10 and four smaller prints as well.   I do wish we could have gotten Isla to cooperate for at least one family picture, but this was about as good as it got!

Then we were seated at our table.  For breakfast, there was a buffet with pastries, muffins, bagels, fresh fruit, and cold cheeses and meats.  Then they brought out a hot plate served family style with eggs, potatoes, bacon and sausage.  We had plenty to eat, and it was all fairly good.  However there was nothing extra special about the food, and it was definitely not worth the $142 bill at the end!  Fortunately, this was covered by our free dining plan, so we did not have to pay for it.  I do think it is the most expensive breakfast I have ever eaten in my life though!  

People don't come to this restaurant for the food though.  It's all about the princesses!  Each princess comes to your table to greet you and give autographs and pose for pictures.  (I don't know how they keep track of what princess has visited what table, but they do a good job keeping track of everyone to make sure all the tables see all the princesses.  We went to four character meals, and every character visited us in a timely manner at each meal.)  At Akershus, they also have a princess parade, where all the kids can go march around the restaurant with the princesses.  The parade started as soon as we sat down at our table.  Audrey almost chickened out, but we convinced her to join in with the parade.

As we enjoyed our meal, the princesses then started to come around to visit.  Snow White was first to see us!  She tried to be sneaky and pose behind Isla for a picture, but Isla could not be tricked.

Next up:  Cinderella.  This was the third time for us to see Cinderella on our trip (and it was only Day 2), but since Isla was wearing a Cinderella dress, she was most excited to see her on this day.  I just don't have any pictures that show her excitement.

Then the princess that Audrey was most excited about:  her twin for the day, Aurora!  And we managed to catch a smile on camera from Isla while Aurora was talking to the girls.  This is how Isla looked every time she was watching the characters, that is until the characters tried to give Isla her own individual attention.  Most characters took the hint that Isla wanted to go unnoticed, and they gave her plenty of space.

Last to visit our table was Ariel.  Ariel didn't quite get the hint from Isla, and she got down next to her to try to chat.  Isla was not a fan.

It was 10:45 when we finished eating and meeting with all the princesses.  The World Showcase at Epcot officially opened, so we decided to hang out for a few minutes until it was open.  Coming up in the next post:  we tour the world (and the rest of Epcot)!


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