Disney Travels Part Two: Epcot

This post is a continuation of my Disney adventures, if you haven’t read part one, you can do so here! Part one is all about my journey to Walt Disney World and Day 2 in Magic Kingdom. Today in part two I’m talking all about my experiences in Epcot!

What's it like to conquer Epcot from a wheelchair? Read all about it here!

Day 3: Epcot

Day three started with the decision to sleep in, because as soon as I tried to sit up, my body laughed and said “Oh no you don’t.” Nice, right?

An extra 75 minutes of sleep did me wonders, and my mom and I headed out with our cousins (who had also slept in). The rest of our family was already in Epcot!

Our first stop in Epcot was to meet Anna and Elsa in Norway. The line for this meet and greet is full of detail, and a feast for the eyes. The decorations were beautifully crafted and took us right to Arendelle, in that special Disney way.

How to tackled Disney as a teen with a chronic illness
Queen Elsa was very impressed with my reindeer-less sleigh, and Anna said I should go hook Sven up, just for fun. We actually got to spend a bit of time with each of them which was unique for a character experience! One of the families ahead of us even played hide and go seek with Anna.

Disney character experiences are the best! Read about everyone I met in Epcot here.
From here we went to get breakfast from the Norwegian bakery and I had, you guessed it, fruit! After our meal we headed off to try to meet up with the rest of our group, which proved to be so stressful that my mom actually hung up on me in frustration.

We rode The Seas with Nemo and Friends, and eventually ran into my family in the shop/aquarium that the ride ends in. The manatees were feeding and we got to see them playfully chasing their food! My sister is obsessed with manatees so I took some pictures for her, as at this point we still hadn’t located them. I spent too much time in the gift shop debating whether or not to buy a stuffed animal, and left with kettle corn. If you like kettle corn and salty flavors then I 100% recommend Disney’s kettle corn! I ate it everyday.

From The Seas we headed to The Land. The entrance to The Land furthers my belief that “accessible” doesn’t mean easily accessible. Just because a wheelchair can technically enter the building doesn’t mean it’s effortless. The incline to get into The Land was a bit ridiculous, and the curvature to the path may be aesthetically pleasing, but is in no way practical.

Nevertheless, we made it, and figured out how to make it to the bottom of the building to ride Living with the Land. Somehow, this ride is one of my favorites. I love seeing all of the fruits and vegetables growing, and the Christmas decorations were adorable!

On our way out of The Land, it took a while to get back down the ramp. In part this was due to it’s winding nature, but this was not helped by the human obstacles. A note to the parents whose kids were climbing around the rails, and the groups who decided to congregate on the ramp: these structures serve a purpose. There sadly isn’t enough room for even two chairs to pass each other on a typical ramp. You can’t just stand to the side for me to pass by, so please. I don’t want to hurt you, you don’t want to be rolled over or knocked into. Find somewhere else to stand around or let your children play.

Photo op in Canada in Epcot's World Showcase, and more!
From The Land we headed back into the World Showcase. Photo ops in Canada, shopping for tea and sweets in England, and we didn’t even make it to France! We were given false information that there were disabilities personnel at the World Showcase entrance and that the rest of my family could be added there. The cast members there told us to return to the front of the park, and I simply said no way.

Photo op in Canada in Epcot's World Showcase, and more!
On our way back towards France we ran into some characters, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen my dad as excited as he was when he got to meet and take a selfie with King Louie. At this point we realized we needed to go to lunch at Akershus where we had a reservation. I knew that it would be easy to go past England, Canada, and Mexico to arrive in Norway. Why did we go the other way? Everyone insisted it was shorter. Let me tell you: it was not. This girl knows her Disney! My poor mom basically ran me all the way around the world to Norway! And we arrived to only wait for everyone else; we couldn’t be seated without them.

Oh, Akershus.

Akershus was a must for us because we were traveling with two families with young children. While the food wasn’t my favorite, this restaurant is all about the experience!

Character dining at Akershus and more from Epcot!
We met Belle, Cinderella, Aurora, Snow White, and Ariel. When it came time for food, this meal wasn’t my favorite. Unfortunately we all found the green beans to be inedible, but the buffet of appetizers was taken full advantage of! I ate a lot of salmon to help fuel my brain; especially after fainting when the menus were being passed around.

Character dining at Disney, Akershus!
I’d like to note that I’m not detailing every time I pass out for you all, but don’t worry, it was happening. And yes, I still pass out while seated in my wheelchair! Fun times, I know. What can I say? Just another perk of my dysfunctional autonomic nervous system!

Character dining at Akershus and more from my day in Epcot!
Our meal lasted entirely too long (we’re talking HOURS here people) because, again, we were traveling with young children and their parents were insistent that they finished their meals. Because of this we missed out on some things we’d been hoping to do, such as shop in every country. Okay maybe I was the only one who wanted to shop in every country, but we missed out on shows too.

When we finally escaped Norway we returned to Mexico, where the adults began to drink around the world. We checked out some cool artisans, and then passed through Norway. The next country we really took some time in was China. I got a Buddha figurine to add to my collection! As we went to move on we realized that our disability fastpass return time for the new Frozen ride was coming up, so my sister and I began to make our way back to Norway. This involved her running back across a drawbridge that was about to be raised for fireworks and boats to pass through!

We waited around in the Norway shops, and found a convenient outlet in a corner to plug our phones in to charge. People probably judged us, but that’s fine. I got to read the tags on all of the Norwegian winter gear, and I learned that Scandinavians don’t mess around when it comes to winter coats. I also wonder why they were selling $400 heavy duty winter coats in Florida. I mean, it was cold, and I had my blanket wrapped around my legs because when you’re in a wheelchair you can’t do much to warm up, but it was 50 degrees Fahrenheit cold, not -40 Fahrenheit and we’re climbing up a snow covered mountain in our expensive coats cold.

We went through the Frozen line which was quite cramped, and could have been made easier to navigate via wheelchair in our opinion, but doable. This ride was amazing. The colors and animation and animatronics were simply breathtaking. The drops were more graded and manageable than Pirates of the Caribbean had been, and I would definitely go on this ride again. My sister and I may have annoyed the other people in our boat by singing along to all of the songs, but we apologize for nothing.

After the ride and smooth, easy transfers, we went to rejoin our family. Not, of course, before stopping by to say hey to Mulan in the Chinese gardens! I was so excited to see my favorite princess for only the second time ever! The first being all the way back in 2005.

A chronically ill teen's experience in Epcot
We caught up with everyone in Italy, where we looked in fancy shops at expensive things that we wouldn’t ever buy.

While my sister and I were in Italy the rest of our family had moved on, giving me the unique opportunity to have a conversation that went something like this:

My brother texts me “We’re in America, watching the candlelight procession.”

I text back “Leaving Italy, we’ll be in America soon.”

My brother responds “Mom had to pee so we left America, we’re in Morocco just past Japan.”

When else will you have an opportunity to have a conversation like this, besides in Disney at Epcot?
Next we shopped in Japan.

I could live in the Japan store, and I’m 100% serious. First of all, it has everything. It just keeps going and going and going. The floors were carpeted in Japan (wood in Italy) which made getting around a bit difficult for me, but I got through it with minimal amounts of self propelling. Second of all, everything is unique and/or adorable. Seriously, Japan has some great marketing strategies; make it cute and they will come.

I bought sushi socks and candies for a white elephant I was a part of (again this trip was in early December), and a couple other gifts. It was completely dark at this point and the exhaustion was real.

As much as I wanted to go to the other countries, we didn’t have the time or the energy. France was a bit of a bust after the excitement of Japan (shopping wise). My sister and mom got some macaron’s and I hung out in a shop that sold Disney France merchandise, but not a French store as Japan had.

*obviously Japan did not have a French store but the Japanese store is property of Japan, the store we ended up in momentarily in France wasn’t like that*

We made out way out of the world showcase, to find that there was only a ten minute wait for Joy and Sadness. At this point, I think you know that I am always down to meet a character. I was so excited to meet Joy and Sadness!

I met Joy and Sadness in Epcot! Read more to see what my Epcot day entailed.

Sadly, we had to wait while they took a break so it took a bit longer than ten minutes, but it was 100% worth it!

However while waiting in line, I had realized I needed food. One of the fun symptoms I have from my Dysautonomia is that I don’t experience hunger! I notice signs in my body that I’m in need of nourishment, such as certain types of pain and fatigue, instead of what one would normally experience with a craving for food or a growling stomach. By the time we reached the front of the park I was insistent on getting some sort of snack to keep me going. My family had split up and somehow found each other in front of the Electric Umbrella. My snack ended up being a full meal that the family shared as we rushed out of the park to miss the fireworks.

A chronically ill teen's experience in Epcot
In case you haven’t experienced Epcot fireworks before, let me clue you in as to why we were so desperate to avoid them:

1. They are up close and personal, being shot from the World Showcase Lagoon where there also happens to be a giant ball of fire. This means it gets HOT.

2. Fireworks are loud. Loud noises and I don’t get along.

Combining my already exhausted state with this situation would have been extremely… difficult. Intolerable? Intolerable.

Thankfully we were able to catch a bus home without waiting for too too long, and that concluded day three!

To read the final post of my Disney adventures, click here!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *