Hi, everyone! Glad you’re able to stop by for a look at the beautiful, sunny weather at Epcot on April 5, 2014! I have a lot to show you, including the new Muppets Scavenger Hunt that just started today. As always, I have lots of photos and video to share. If you were hoping for a look at the Flower & Garden Festival you can look here, this week is more about random fun in the park. Of course, this time of year you almost can’t take a photo without capturing some lovely flowers. So why don’t we start there?
Pretty, aren’t they? But just so you don’t miss the full experience, I grabbed a few seconds of the tram ride in. Doesn’t it feel like you’re really there?
We arrived just a hair after noon with a mission. I’d reserved a 12:10pm FastPass+ for Test Track, so we beat a path directly to that ride. While we were waiting I pulled up the My Disney Experience app on my phone and tried to update our choices for the rest of the day. I was able to make the changes I wanted, but while I wasn’t paying attention my hubby built us a banana yellow monster truck! (It scored a 119, in case anyone was wondering.)
This line is always a little painful. Since you have to design your car, there is no such thing as just “walking right on”. Even with FastPass+ we waited about 20 minutes before we were able to ride. At the time standby was 70 minutes, and single rider was a whopping 40 minutes, so FastPass+ was the best choice. But for you guys? No line and no waiting – just the best seat in the house for the best part of the ride!
Woo! I love Test Track! Next we wandered over to the Festival Center since we hadn’t been in yet this year. I was a big fan of the old Wonders of Life pavilion, so I’m always excited to get a glimpse inside each year.
When you step inside these flowers are just everywhere! I’m not sure about the story on these. We poked around a while and didn’t see a cast member to ask. The tickets on the bottom gave information about the flowers. It looked like something the American Hibiscus Society was putting on for today only. It’s amazing what you can find just strolling around Epcot!
The rest of the building is filled with shopping and stages for the HGTV stars present to audiences throughout the day. I wasn’t too interested in sticking around for the presentations, but, wow, were there lines! The shops were the most empty I’d seen all day, though. If you have Flower and Garden needs, head here!
Next we had just a little bit of time to kill, so we opted for a shady spot and a frosty treat. I know it’s a shame to get a standard snack when there are so many exotic choices around the World Showcase. What can I say, sometimes I crave the classics!
After a nice break, we cashed in our FastPass+ for Living with the Land. This was a great experience, we literally walked right onto the ride without any wait at all! Here’s a little snippet for you guys from one of my favorite parts.
Seriously, how pretty is it in this greenhouse? Did you know you there’s a tour you can book where you can walk through? It’s called Behind the Seeds. The tour is really fun, interesting, and affordable. Would anyone like to see a blog about it? Let me know in the comments below. It’s been a couple of years, and I wouldn’t mind going on the tour again for you guys.
Time to head back to the World Showcase! Of course, here is the obligatory shot across all the flowers with a monorail. This is the view I will miss the most once the Festival ends.
And now the whole reason I went to Epcot today: the new Muppets Scavenger Hunt! This sign up area is a little tough to find. If you’re entering the World Showcase and heading toward Mexico, it will be just before you get there on your left.
It’s very quick and easy to get started. The cast members give you a double sided booklet and explain you can either go on Team Napoleon or Team Sam Eagle. Of course, we chose Team Sam Eagle! (Doing anything else would be distinctly unpatriotic.) However, just by getting the booklet, you have the other mission on the back, so you can do both if you choose.
For Team Sam Eagle you begin your hunt in England, then move on to France, finally ending in America. For Team Napoleon you start in Germany, then move on the Italy, before again ending at the same point in America. I’d love to give a glowing review of this hunt, but we had a little trouble getting around. Plus, more than anything, we had trouble hearing everything. Here’s the first clue in England. When I picked up the phone, the band was playing outside, and I could barely hear. The cast member handed us a sticker for our book, so we shrugged and moved along.
Before leaving this area, I wanted to include a photo of the tea garden. Ashley had pointed out that I missed them in my Flower & Garden post, and she was totally right! These are way too cute not to show you guys! There are several of these sprinkled throughout the garden, and there are and presentations about tea three times a day on the weekends for no charge!
We stopped in France for our next stop on the Muppets Scavenger Hunt, but I’m not sure what happened. When we checked in at the sign, all the cast members just looked confused. Finally, one guy came up, pressed some buttons for us on a weird looking machine, and something lit up on the second floor of the perfume shop. They gave us our sticker for the booklet, and we just looked at each other confused. It seems they have some bugs to work out with this thing. Maybe it would have made sense if I could have heard the phone message in England? In better news, I did happen to catch the last few seconds of Mo’Rockin as we continued our walk around the world. (You’re welcome guys!!)
We knew we’d have to get to America to finish The Muppets Scavenger Hunt, but who can walk by Japan without stopping? We grabbed a couple bags of mystery snacks to try along the way. Japan is the best country to stop in for random goodies and sweets! If nothing else, you should stop in to just look at everything.
Munching on our treats, we wondered over to America just in time to catch Spirit of America Fife & Drum Corps. We didn’t have the best view, but I thought you’d like to see video, anyway. They do such a great job!
After this we went into The American Adventure. You see, the booklet for The Muppets Scavenger hunt showed this building as the location to end our hunt. Not only was it not the right spot… I had to ask two different cast members to finally find the ending point! Below is where you find Constantine locked up thanks to your hard work. Apparently there is some audio playing, too. I thought maybe I was just getting old, but a little kid came in just after us and got down on his knees in front of the speaker and still couldn’t understand! Like I said before, I think there were just some first day issues with the hunt today. Hopefully, it gets better.
So what’s your prize for catching Constantine? A mission complete sticker, a (paper) MBI badge, and a packet of watermelon seeds. Now, I’m not saying it isn’t worth doing, but I wouldn’t go out of your way for this one. Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure is light years ahead if you have limited time. But it is nice to see Disney trying to add new and relevant experiences in the parks.
After this, we walked around a bit. I grabbed some video so you could get an idea of the crowd levels. This is just in front of Italy heading towards Germany.
To save some time, we hopped on a Friendship Boat to get back to the front of the park. This ended up not working for us, as the IllumiNations barges were brought out and blocked our path. Still, it was nice to sit down and get a ride to the front, even if we had to wait a little. It was also neat to see the barges up close.
Of course, I couldn’t leave the World Showcase without checking in on Duffy. I think they have just about every single outfit available on this wall. I want them all!
I have one last photo from today, and it’s a weird one! Check out this bird hanging out on a floating planter at Epcot. I’ve seen a few birds doing this around the lagoon this year. It’s hunting! The birds land and crouch down just waiting for a fish to swim by. Isn’t that crazy?
That’s all from Epcot today. What do you think of The Muppets Scavenger Hunt? Any requests for my next blog? What park should I visit next? Please let me know in the comments below! As always, thanks for reading.