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A Magical Trip, Part Three: Epcot and Magic Kingdom

Posted Jun 25 2012 11:16pm

I’ve got two more recap posts to share with you before life goes back to normal around here. Although if I’m being honest, I do hope a bit of the magic will remain…

After a good night’s sleep , we woke up early to enjoy one more morning at Hogwarts castle.

After going on our favorite rides a few more times, we headed into Three Broomsticks for breakfast.

They offer several breakfast options, including an English and American platter. I decided to go with the latter only because I wasn’t sure what black pudding was…and after learning about it, I’m pretty happy with that decision! Has anyone had it before?

My American breakfast came with scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes and a croissant. Everything was pretty tasty, though you can never really go wrong with a buttery croissant.

I also enjoyed one final glass of cold butterbeer.

We explored Hogsmeade a bit more, trying to savor every detail.

And then we were off to a new world of magic…and mouse ears!

After checking into our hotel at Disney, we hopped on the monorail to Epcot for an afternoon of around the world exploration. I’ve always thought this was a fitting theme park for our family considering the giant golf ball at the front entrance.

Gorgeous, right? Our first stop was Mexico for a pick-me-up lunch at La Cantina.

Mama Bender and I both decided to indulge in margaritas. When in Rome Mexico…

It was delicious and refreshing! For my main course, I went with the chicken tacos.

Following lunch, we headed over to Soarin’ in The Land, a simulation ride that has you hang-gliding over California. It was peaceful and relaxing to feel as though we were dangling our feet over scenic views, including the Golden Gate Bridge, Malibu and Los Angeles.

Unfortunately the other main Epcot attraction, Test Track , was closed for repairs. Oh well, guess we’ll have to go back someday. ;) Instead, we headed toward the giant golf ball for a ride on Spaceship Earth , a slow-moving omnimover that transports you through 40,000 years, from the dawn of recorded time to modern day. We viewed prehistoric man, ancient Egypt, the Roman Empire and more before we discovered how we might live in the future.

Bobby and I were in the same car and had to laugh when our faces appeared on the screen. We chose to learn about our future “health” and this is what came up:

Looks like not much will change between the salads and goofy grins!

We walked around a bit more before heading back toward the world showcase. We went through Norway – and the Viking ship ride – and China before making a pit stop in Germany for BIER!

I had a Radeberger Pilsner , which was very smooth.

We savored our biers while meandering through Italy and Morocco , then arrived in Japan for dinner.

We selected Teppan Edo in honor of Eric’s birthday and Father’s Day for Papa Bender! It is a Japanese restaurant where food is prepared right at your table, much like Benihana (another birthday meal favorite of ours).

Everyone truly enjoyed their meals and I think the birthday boy was happy with dessert.

I can’t believe he’s 19 years old. I just can’t.

By the time we finished, it was just after 9:00 and the IllumiNations fireworks show was starting. We had heard that the show at the Magic Kingdom was not to be missed, and so we decided to sprint through the rest of the countries in hopes that we’d be able to make a monorail out of Epcot in time for their 10:00 show. It was an ambitious goal – you really don’t realize just how big these parks are until you walk through them all day – but thanks to a burst of energy from Mama Bender, we rallied and made it to the Magic Kingdom just in time.

The lights on Main Street U.S.A. dimmed, and Cinderella’s castle was aglow.

Pictures can’t do it justice. If you take a trip to Disney World, you must see the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom. Between the families singing along to “When You Wish Upon A Star” and the countless princess and pirate costumes, anyone will feel like a kid again.

We were lucky enough to be able to stay in the park extra hours, and took advantage of it by visiting some of our very favorite rides. Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin was top of the list. Here’s Bobby and Eric working on behalf of Star Command. :)

We also rode the Tommorowland Speedway , thoroughly enjoyed ourselves at the Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor show and spooked out at the Haunted Mansion before calling it a night.

Walking back through Cinderella’s castle was something straight out of a fairytale.

My fourth and final recap post will cover the last two days of our trip. I know it’s been nothing but Universal and Disney for the past week, but I hope you all are enjoying the posts and perhaps getting ideas for your next vacation. It has been fun to relive the magic on my end, that’s for sure.

In other, non-theme park news, Chicago has been pretty spectacular lately.

That is the view of a two-toned Lake Michigan from Jill’s rooftop. Today was absolutely perfect. It was a slightly breezy 75 degrees with no humidity and nothing but sunshine. We talked as business partners, we talked as friends. We talked about life, both now and in the future. Decisions were made. Goals were set. More on this soon but for right now, I’m still enjoying the moment.

I wish the same for you.

How have you been “enjoying the moment” lately?


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