Florida Vacation Day 4: Epcot

Sunday morning, no alarm clocks were needed as the five girlies were up and at 'em in plenty of time to get us all to Epcot right as the Future World part of the park opened. I'm sure the excitement of being on vacation, going to Disney World, and sleeping in the same room with their cousins (over the course of the week, they all took turns sleeping in two bedrooms with two twin beds in each) all contributed greatly! It was exciting to be driving onto Disney property for the first time for me. We got decent parking spots and skipped the tram in favor of just walking so that we didn't have to collapse strollers or anything. Our trip took place during the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival, and while I'm sure that Epcot is always very pretty, it was absolutely gorgeous during our trip. It was so much fun to see the creative ways that so many characters and scenes were displayed with flowers and plants and other natural materials! I was so glad that we were able to go during the festival! Of course we had to get some family shots with Spaceship Earth to begin with! Too bad the girls were too excited to hold very still or look happy! ;) EpcotBlog01

As we walked further into the park, who did we see but Daisy Duck! Our very first character sighting! We got in line and the girls took turns having Daisy sign their autograph books and having their picture taken with Daisy. Mollie was absolutely NOT going to even get out of the stroller, much less give Daisy a hug. We definitely didn't want to upset her, so we totally let her be, hoping that she would warm up to the characters as the day (or week) went on. Natalie was a little timid herself, so Brad had to visit Daisy with her. EpcotBlog02

Our first ride was Spaceship Earth, which was the perfect way to start our day. The line was short, and the ride was interesting and not at all scary. There are even a couple of fun things at the end that gave us all some giggles. After that, we got Fast Passes for the Test Track ride and then just walked around looking at the scenery. I really just cannot say enough how much I loved walking around Epcot's World Showcase! It was gorgeous and so interesting! I haven't traveled much, and it was so much fun to feel like you were going from one foreign country to another. It made me want to travel to all of those places for real. Maybe I'll settle for another Disney trip again soon! :) We missed SO MANY things at Epcot that I really feel like the next time we go, it will probably seem like a brand-new place! EpcotBlog03 EpcotBlog04 EpcotBlog05 EpcotBlog06 EpcotBlog07

While we were wandering through the countries, we got to meet Belle in France, Mulan in China, and Snow White in Germany (where we stopped for lunch and had really delicious bratwurst and sauerkraut). Belle didn't seem to be especially talkative, but she was sweet. The girls still weren't feeling brave enough to visit with the characters on their own, so Brad went with them again to talk to Belle. EpcotBlog11

The girls love the movie Mulan, and I was excited for them to meet her. Her line was the longest we'd seen to that point (but it definitely wasn't the longest we would wait in by the end of the trip) and there was no shade. I felt bad for Mulan, dressed in all those thick layers! She seemed to be doing just fine though. She was really neat - she asked Natalie if she had seen her movie, and when she told her that she had, Mulan said, "Well, keep watching my movie, because you know every time you watch it, you become just a.little.bit.more.brave." Natalie has absolutely remembered that advice. I actually don't know what Mulan said to Mollie, but she became a fan superfast, and she literally snuggled into Mulan's chest. It was absolutely adorable. The photos I got don't quite do it justice! EpcotBlog13 EpcotBlog12

On our way back around to Future World, we ran right into the line for Snow White! Now, THAT was a long line (although still not the longest we'd wait in). I couldn't hear what she said to Natalie at all, but she greeted her sweetly right away with a big hug. I'm not sure why, but Mollie decided not to get out and talk to Snow White. Maybe she thought it would be wrong to hug another princess so soon after falling in love with Mulan? ;) EpcotBlog14

After sight-seeing and lunch, we headed back to Future World so that the adults and big kids could ride Test Track. Deb and I stayed back with Elizabeth, Mollie, Caleb & Levi. It sounded like all of the others really enjoyed the ride, and we were glad that we let Natalie go on it. The only other ride that our family did was The Seas with Nemo & Friends, which was a lot of fun and definitely perfect for even the littlest of our crew. We rode around in a big shell trying to find Nemo, mixed in with animated sea life as well as real sea life. It was a really unique idea and the kids loved it!

After Nemo, we raced back to United Kingdom in World Showcase so that Natalie & Mollie could meet Mary Poppins & Alice in Wonderland. Luckily, their little areas are really close together, so we met Mary at the end of her shift and Alice at the very beginning of hers! Mary was sweet, but still very much what you'd expect, ever-so-slightly stern and in charge. She was almost done chatting with Natalie (who wasn't really saying much back to her), when Mollie walked up too! She asked her name, and Mollie didn't respond. To that, Mary replied, "Well, if you won't tell me your name, I'll be forced to call you 'Natalie's Little Sister!'" so I said that her name was Mollie, and they posed for a little photo. EpcotBlog09

Sheila got all of the kids "First Visit" buttons to wear, and when Alice saw their pins, she said, "Oh, so I see this is your first visit here. I'll tell you something, during my first visit to Wonderland, I didn't know anyone, but I met SO many new and wonderful friends, so I have a question for you. Could I be YOUR new friend here?" The girls nodded, and she said, "Well, now that we're friends and I've signed your book, let's take a picture together!" EpcotBlog10

After meeting those two ladies whose movies are near and dear to Natalie's heart, it was quite apparent that our girls were done for the day. They were quiet and their eyes just looked like they could fall asleep at any moment. We considered some other rides or trying to meet up with the rest of the family, but the girls were just so exhausted that we decided to head back to the house. It seemed like as soon as we made the decision, they both totally conked out in the stroller, which really isn't made to be a sleeper for two. They slept all the way home and then let us relocate them to their beds where they took a nice long nap! EpcotBlog08

Eric was the birthday boy on Epcot Day, and he chose to have grilled steaks, hamburgers, fries, yummy corn on the cob, and fresh pineapple for dinner. After our dinner feast, the girls spent the evening playing in the pool - what else?! Mollie was really, really nervous about getting into the water. She hurried around here and there with her puddle jumper on forever, without touching even so much as a toe into the water the night before. She started off the same way again that night, but she had her eye on Levi's turtle floatie and finally asked if she could get in it. It was adorable watching her float around the pool with her puddle jumper plus the blow-up turtle. Natalie discovered jumping into the pool at some point and became totally obsessed with it. It was pretty much every night's business to DRAG the girls from the pool for showers and bed!

And, the day's obligatory Instagram phone download: RoadTrip3

Up next: Clearwater beach!

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