Posts Tagged ‘Epcot’

Tours of Epcot: Behind The Seeds

by on April 16, 2014

Do you love Living With The Land at Epcot? I don’t know what it is about this quiet, little boat ride that holds my attention. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s one of the few attractions that still feels like the Epcot from my childhood. The Behind The Seeds Tour at Epcot offers guests the chance to walk through the greenhouses seen on the boat ride and take a closer look. While just taking a stroll through this location is worth the price of admission, the tour offers some great “edutainment” about the future of gardening. 

To sign up you simply need to purchase tickets at the desk in the Soarin’ boarding area. We’ve done the first tour of the day in the past for fear they would sell out. However, this time we showed up just 30 minutes before the last tour of the day and were able to join with no issue. Then we just had to meet back by the desk five minutes before our tour time. The below information contains lots of spoilers about the tour. If you’d like to be surprised, you might want to scroll down to the bottom past the numbered sections.

The tour begins when your guide whisks you to a backstage location to explain the tour rules. First, guests are encouraged to ask as many questions as they can. Your tour guide is normally an intern here on the college program with a shocking amount of botany knowledge. I was very impressed with our guide and the frequent questions she was able to answer! Rule number two is that photography is not only allowed, it’s encouraged! I was excited about that one because I often get lectures on tours because they see my big camera coming. It was nice to be welcomed despite the fact that we were in backstage areas. The final rule is the most important: do not touch any plants. This one seemed obvious to me, but what I hadn’t thought of the reason they make this request. In the greenhouse they have exotic plants from all over the world that many people have never been exposed to, and likely will never be exposed to again. The Behind The Seeds Tour at Epcot is not a great time to find out you’re wildly allergic to some rare plant! So that no touching request is just as much to protect you as it is the plants.

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Epcot After Hours Alcohol Tasting Events Begin April 17

by on April 10, 2014

Epcot After Hours alcohol tasting events

Drink up! Epcot After Hours alcohol tasting events begin April 17. (photo courtesy Stacey Lantz)

Do you like Epcot? Do you like staying late at Walt Disney World theme parks? Do you like adult beverages? If, like us, your answer to all three questions is “heck yes,” then Epcot has a new treat for you. Beginning on April 17, several venues around World Showcase will begin holding Epcot After Hours Wind Down alcohol tasting events on select nights after the park officially ends operations for the day.

The after hours events will run from 9:20 p.m. (immediately after the end of IllumiNations) until 11:00 p.m., and are scheduled to run every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening. Each tasting session will cost $35 per person (plus your park admission), and includes wine or spirits samplers and small bites at one four different locations.

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Frozen Out: Searching for an Elsa doll at Disney World

by on April 10, 2014

Elsa doll Disney World

Searching for an Elsa doll or toy at Disney World? Join the club! (Photos by Seth Kubersky)

My family up north doesn’t necessarily share or understand my theme park obsessions, but every so often they call upon my Orlando expertise. Recently, my young niece lost her mind over Frozen (much like half of America, it seems) and wants an Elsa doll more than life itself.

Unfortunately, it seems Barbie-sized “Sparkle Princess” figures of this frigid sister are scarcer than snowmen in summer, as toy stores throughout the New York and Philadelphia regions are chronically out of stock. So I gallantly volunteered to play the heroic uncle by finding one and bringing it to her during my upcoming visit. Surely it would be simple to find an Elsa doll inside one of Walt Disney World’s infinite gift shops…or so I foolishly thought.

I was so wrong.

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Celebrate Earth Day at Walt Disney World

by on April 9, 2014

©Disney

©Disney

Earth Day (April 22) is always special, but Walt Disney World makes it even more so, because both Epcot and Disney’s Animal Kingdom get in on the celebration.

Starting at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the park puts on an exciting party…The Party for the Planet. Here, guests can experience a myriad of activities to help them learn how to connect with nature and be more conscious of conservation efforts. This year’s event revolves around the upcoming Disneynature movie, Bears, which debuts in theaters on April 18. Some of the fun guests can participate in includes:

  • Pick up a Party for the Planet postcard, which will found at a display located in the front of the park.
  • Learn about the brown bear – a tie-in the movie, Bears.
  • Take part in nature activities.

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April 5, 2014: Epcot Observations and Muppets Scavenger Hunt

by on April 7, 2014

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?

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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? :)

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Interactive Games at Walt Disney World

by on April 4, 2014

When you only have a few days to spend at Walt Disney World sacrifices have to be made. With so many shows and attractions to experience I think the interactive games in the parks are one of the first things to be cut. However, some of these are worth the time to explore. Today I’ll be ranking these from “lowest priority” to “can’t miss” and sharing a little bit of information about each. All of these games are included in your park admission so take notes on what you’d like to play on your next visit!

IMG_1714#4 – A Pirate’s Adventure: Just because this one came in 4th doesn’t mean it isn’t tons of fun! The reason I ranked it low is because the missions take very little effort, it’s short, and it seems to be targeted more for smaller children. Located in the Magic Kingdom this game is played entirely in Adventureland. It’s very easy to pick up a map and start a game. Simply stop by the sign up station located just past the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Once there you’ll be able to choose your mission and grab a map just by swiping your park admission ticket. Even if you don’t want to play grabbing a map is very quick and they make a nice, free souvenir. Captain Jack will surely sign your treasure map and that would look great in a scrapbook! If you decide to play you’ll be sent to a location on your map to start your mission. You can expect each mission to take about 15 minutes to complete. During this time you’ll visit 5 or so locations and experience 30-45 seconds of activity at each stop. There’s nothing needed from you with this one, you’ll just be watching the story unfold. You aren’t missing a ton skipping A Pirate’s Adventure but if you have an extra 15 minutes why not stop by? Especially if you have little kids they might just love it!

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Sounds Like Summer Concert Series Returns to Epcot

by on March 31, 2014

Sounds Like Summer Concert SeriesThe Sounds Like Summer concert series is returning, yet again, starting this June. These fun concerts take place at Epcot’s America Gardens Theatre, which is found at the American Adventure Pavilion. These concerts feature tribute band performers that are extremely talented, singing classic songs you know and love.

Seven acts will light up the stage this year. Each band will perform for a week at a time. This year’s concert line up includes:

  • June 8-14: Hotel California – A Salute to the Eagles
  • June 15-21: Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey Tribute Band
  • June 22-28: Good Vibrations – A Tribute to The Beach Boys
  • June 29-July 5: Don’t Look Back – Boston Tribute Band
  • July 6-12: Stayin’ Alive – A Tribute to the Bee Gees
  • July 13-19: Slippery When Wet – The Ultimate Bon Jovi Tribute
  • July 20-26: 2U – A Tribute to U2

Show times are at 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m., and 8:00 p.m., with the exception of July 4, when show times are at 5:15 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 7:45 p.m., and 9 p.m. Do keep in mind that shows are subject to change.

Best of all, the Sounds Like Summer concerts are included with Epcot admission.

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Innoventions Uncovered

by on March 30, 2014

In the comments of a recent post, one of our awesome readers asked for an article about Innoventions. This spot is nice for hiding from nasty weather, and most of the exhibits are pretty interesting. Not to mention it doesn’t draw big crowds, making it a perfect spot for the heat of the day. So what’s worth seeing, and what gets a skip? Check out below for my opinions. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Innoventions West

IMG_1294The Great Piggy Bank Adventure: This one is a must see for me. We even stop by and play pretty often. At the start of this game you are assigned an actual piggy bank that you carry with you through your journey. He is the cutest, fattest little pig! I wish they were for sale! Once you have your piggy bank, you take him through a series of virtual games in your quest to become a financial smarty pants.  If you’d like a sneak peek of The Great Piggy Bank Adventure you can visit online. Game Rating: 9 out of 10.

 

IMG_1292THINK: I’ve been through this exhibit several times, but I still just don’t… get it. There’s a large video wall, a movie that plays on a loop, and touch columns that walk you through an interactive tour. The focus of the exhibit is efficiency and sustainability through technology. Unfortunately, I find this one to be pretty boring and highly skippable. Game Rating: 3 out of 10. 

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Epcot Observations: March 23, 2014

by on March 26, 2014

Despite the overcast skies, Sunday, March 23, was a beautiful day to visit Epcot. But it wasn’t the first park I tried that day. At 8:30am I was rolling up to the parking plaza for Magic Kingdom, but it looked more like a parking lot. The crowds were unreal, with bumper to bumper traffic several lanes deep. I chose to stay in the left lane and head straight for the exit with my fingers crossed crowds would be more manageable at Epcot. Luckily, they were, and I have lots of fun to share! For starters, check out these flower beds!

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But, I’m getting ahead of myself! I took several photos of the deep lines at bag check and entrance gates. I’m guessing those aren’t as fun to look at as the topiaries at the park entrance. Sorry for the odd angle, but this was just mobbed with folks taking photos! (Don’t worry – there are lots more coming!)

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Adventures at Epcot with Walt Disney World Annual Passholder Advance FastPass+

by on March 21, 2014

Walt Disney World regulars rejoiced last week, as the rollout of advance reservation FastPass+ features finally reached all WDW annual passholders. That means that all Disney World annual passholders should be able to access the My Disney Experience website or mobile app and make FastPass+ bookings up to 30 days ahead of time. Previously, I shared my experiences using FastPass+ as an annual passholder making same-day reservations using in-park kiosks, as off-site guests still must do (at least for now). Now, I’m going to detail my personal adventures with week #1 of Annual Passholder advance FastPass+ reservations.

Getting Started with Annual Passholder Advance FastPass+

First of all, if you haven’t already, log into MyDisneyExperience.com and set up an account. Be sure to link your account to your valid annual pass using the ID number on the back of your pass, or voucher number if you have not yet redeemed an online purchase.

Next, visit the Magic Band page to customize your RFID wristband. You can select a color and name, verify your shipping address, and receive confirmation that your order has been received.

According to the webpage, Magic Bands should start shipping to annual passholders shortly.

Until your Magic Band arrives, you can continue to use your RFID-enabled credit-card-sized annual pass to enter the parks and activate FastPass+ sensors.

If you carry a smartphone in the parks, be sure to download the Apple or Android app. The iPad app is probably the most efficient platform for scheduling and adjusting FastPass+ reservations, but the website and phone apps work fairly well.

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