March 16th

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March 16th, 2019              

For just the second time since Dad & Mom bought us all season passes, we returned to Walt Disney World for a day of full family fun. This time it was myself, Tara, Samantha, Drew, and Jayden who were joined by Grandpa Gary, Grandma Terry, Uncle Steve, Aunt Erica, and Marissa for a day of fun that would begin at Epcot for the International Flower & Garden Festival.

We had some time to kill before our first Fastpass time slot when we arrived at the park, so we opted to take advantage of Grandpa Gary's GM retiree status to speed through the line at Test Track. After designing our cars and taking them for a spin around the track, we headed off to Spaceship Earth to use our first Fastpass of the day. Unfortunately for me, I got stuck listening to the ride in Portuguese, as Jay thought it would be funny to switch languages just before the ride started. That meant that I had no idea what was going on, but it was good to experience the ride again before it is closed for refurbishment.

From there we headed off to Future World West to ride The Seas with Nemo & Friends attraction. While we were there, we decided to stop in for another viewing of Turtle Talk with Crush. This show was different from the version we saw in January, and honestly didn't seem quite as good. After the Finding Nemo attractions it was time for something a little more thrilling, so it was off to Soarin' Around the World and Fastpass #2.

Fastpass #3 was clear across the park, back towards Test Track, for a trip to Mars on Mission: Space. At this point we decided to slow things down a bit and take a stroll around the World Showcase. Before we opted to leave the park we headed back over to Future World West one more time for a character photo opportunity for Disney Credit Card holders (thanks mom!).

Earlier in the day we attempted to get the new cotton candy flowers that they were making in the China pavilion, but they were closed for a lunch break. We decided we'd get it now before we left, only that didn't quite go as planned. The line was longer than anticipated, and they had to take a break to clean the equipment just before we reached the front. Tara, Jay, and I stood in this line while everyone else waited for us near the Showcase Plaza Port of Entry. We eventually sent them off to get food while we waited, with the intention of meeting back up at the Magic Kingdom.



A view of Spaceship Earth from outside the entrance to the park.

A topiary of Mater and Lightning McQueen from the Cars movies spotted at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

Another look at the Mater topiary from the Cars movies.

Another view of the Mater and Lightning McQueen topiaries from the Cars movies.

A Daisy Duck topiary.

A close-up of a bee in front of the Daisy Duck topiary.

Rodney and Jayden worked together to design this car on the Test Track ride.

A penguin statue made from plastics pulled from the ocean by

The seagulls from Finding Nemo outside of The Seas with Nemo & Friends.

One of the sharks from The Seas with Nemo & Friends.

Some of the views from the Spaceship Earth ride...


Jay and Rod in the future on the Spaceship Earth ride.

Another shot of future Rod and Jay from the Spaceship Earth ride.

The sign at the entrance to Mission: Space.

Samantha posing with the topiary for one her favorite characters, Stitch!

Another shot of Sam with the Stitch topiary.

Drew, Samantha, Steven, Marissa, and Jayden posing for a picture in Epcot.

Two Disney dog topiaries! Pluto...

...and Goofy!

Mickey Mouse flowers inside the park.

Mickey & Minnie Mouse topiaries.

Donald Duck's nephews, Huey, Louie, and Dewey, in topiary form.

A Donald Duck topiary.

A closer look at Donald, as he eye's the bee on his forehead.

Samantha posing with the Elsa and Anna topiaries from the movie Frozen.

Sam doing her best Elsa doppelganger pose with the Elsa topiary.

A troll topiary from the Frozen movie.

Some frolicking Panda topiaries outside of the China pavilion...


A view from inside the Mission: Space queue.

Several Lion King topiaries grouped together.

Topiaries of Dopey and Snow White.

A close-up of a duck friend we made around the World Showcase.

Another shot of our duck friend.

Another set of Mickey & Minnie Mouse topiaries...

...and another duck friend.

Jayden posing for a photo with the Beast and Belle from the Beauty and the Beast movie.

A closer look at Jay with the Beast and Belle.

A Ms. Piggy topiary.

Captain Hook and Peter Pan in topiary form.

Some of the Winnie the Pooh characters in topiary form, including Rabbit...

...Winnie the Pooh...


...and Piglet on Eeyore.

Some of the Bambi movie characters in topiary form, including Bambi...

...Thumper and Flower.

A Figment topiary.

Samantha watching as Marissa and Jayden play in the jumping fountains...


Yet another bird friend wandering around the jumping fountain area...


A monarch butterfly spotted in the butterfly house created for the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

You just never know what you'll see in the parks!

A view of the roof of one of the buildings in the China pavilion.

Cotton candy being spun in the China pavilion...

...with layers being added...

...before it is shaped...

...and handed over to Tara.

Jay posing with the 5-layer cotton candy...

...before diving in for a bite!

A view of the Mexico pavilion.

A butterfly topiary spotted at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.


After grabbing food outside the park we met back up at the Magic Kingdom, where we were greeted by a nice, heavy rainfall. Since the line was relatively short, we opted to head to Space Mountain for a quick roller coaster ride. Grandpa Gary and Grandma Terry opted to stay behind, and unfortunately Steve and I ended up joining them. They pulled us out of the normal line due to his wheel chair and sent us over to the Fastpass line, only instead of going through that line to meet up with the rest of the group, we were given a time to return that wasn't to start until after they had completed their ride! Needless to say we were disappointed in how this was handled, and we didn't bother to use our new Fastpasses.

After most of us got off of Space Mountain, it was time to head across the park to Frontierland. We decided to head back there to ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad while the fireworks were taking place over the castle, but things didn't quite work out as planned. The line was longer than stated in the app by the time we got there, so some of us (Samantha, Marissa, Jayden, and Rodney) opted to take a quick trip on Splash Mountain instead. Even though we were drying out from the earlier rain by this point, we figured we'd be ok on this ride - boy was I wrong! I had never got this soaked on this ride before in my lifetime! Needless to say I was a tad cold for the remainder of the night.

We had time for one last ride before heading out of the park to prepare for the ride home, so we decided to make it the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train roller coaster. For many of us, this was our first time on this particular ride, as the wait times are usually excessive. Although we all enjoyed it, I would have liked for it to be a little bit longer... thankfully the cast members on the ride saw how much fun Steve had while riding it, and offered us the opportunity to ride it once again! It almost made up for our missed chance on Space Mountain!

That would be it for another enjoyable day at Walt Disney World. I know I am already looking for the next time we all get to return!


Magic Kingdom

A far-away view of Cinderella's Castle from across the park.

Rodney and Jayden posing for a selfie on the Splash Mountain ride.

A view of the fireworks in the Magic Kingdom.

A look back down Main Street, U.S.A. towards Cinderella's Castle.


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