Obervations: Epcot April 10, 2014

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Date: April 10, 2014
Crowd Level: 3
Weather: 77°F at 5 p.m. with no rain

It’s time for a walk around Epcot during the middle of what is Spring Break season down here. I actually started out in Future World this time around, which is kind of rare for me as I like to come in the back gate at the International Gateway. I took some shots of the entrance topiary, but instead of focusing on the characters I wanted to catch the riot of wildflowers around them. To my surprise, there are glass flowers intermingled with real flowers, and they’re fantastic! Here are a few shots.

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Even though the resorts and other parks were pretty crowded this week, Epcot was the park to be in on this particular day, and the crowds were really manageable. We got to the park around 4 p.m.

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I stopped into the Art of Disney store for a minute because I like to see if there’s anything I can’t live without. Most times I can make it out without a purchase, but this time there were some really cool character keys that featured, among other characters, Anna and Elsa. A character key is a cel that shows how a character is drawn and includes rough sketches and color keys for the characters. I nearly missed Anna and Elsa because they blew out the door, but if you can’t find them in-store, the link is here: http://www.acmearchivesdirect.com/category/649/Character-Keys.html. They have a bunch of other Disney characters as well.

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Over the past year or so, Disney has been introducing the concept of Steampunk design to its guests through merchandise, art, and even the Maleficent Dragon float in the Magic Kingdom’s Festival of Fantasy Parade. Steampunk refers to a design style that features steam-powered machinery and technology as it may have been conceived in the Victorian Era. Disney has some really cool merchandise, including artwork and figurines like these:

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If you haven’t already heard, Disney is now selling MagicBands to day guests who wish to buy them for their trips. Each band is $12.95, and all the colors are available at many of the retail locations around Walt Disney World. In what I think is an unfortunate twist, Epcot Pin Station has lost half of its pinventory to the bands. According to Cast Members, the Downtown Disney pin station will be the best place for the largest variety of pins from now on.

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Over at MouseGear, the Vera Bradley bags are back in stock in more styles than just the tote. No one was rushing the display as I’ve seen them do in the past, so hopefully they remain long enough for those who want to buy them to get a look.

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Wait times weren’t horrible for the evening, and the Land pavilion was pretty tame.

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Across the way, I snapped a picture of the Buzz Lightyear topiary because I always seem to miss it.

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I made my way around World Showcase with my son, hunting for the Easter eggs that have been placed in each pavilion as part of a series of Easter events taking place in the parks. There is a similar hunt at Disneyland if you’re interested. It’s guaranteed the most fun you’ll have for $5 in any of the parks. I won’t spoil all the locations for those who haven’t hunted yet, but here’s a picture of one of the eggs just for fun.

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The crowds were a little heavier back in World Showcase, with the worst crowding at the usual pinch points in the UK and Mexico pavilions.

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But it wasn’t so crowded that I couldn’t get a few nice pictures in the Japan, Canada, and UK pavilions.

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We closed out our night by working our way back through Future World, which is getting a new paint job that I can’t say I’m fond of, even if it does remind me of Neopolitan ice cream. Hopefully they’ll change the neon color from pink eventually.

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I’ll leave you with one final shot of the Fountain of Nations. If you haven’t seen this “performance,” take a minute some time to watch. Until next time, keep it magical.

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Posted on April 17, 2014

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