This year, my favorite park celebrated a birthday. Epcot turned thirty on October 1, 2012, and let me tell you, the party was huge! Anyone who was at WDW for the fortieth anniversary of the Magic Kingdom last year knows that there was what some were calling “Disney anarchy”. Thankfully, I can say this was not the case for Epcot. It was handled calmly, smoothly, and ended up being a lot of fun!
The morning started early with me and my family arriving at 7:30. Mark had wanted to be there early in order to get one of the vinylmations for the 30th. I had originally assumed that we would not be allowed into the park until 9am as usual, but the cast members let everyone in at 8:30 and the mad dash to Mouse Gear began! Let me just say that the craziness that ensued over the merchandise was out of this world. I completely understand wanting to get your hands on limited edition merchandise because it would be gone the next day, but some people were acting like their pants were on fire! Also, the vinylmations ended up being $75 for the 3” and $1800 for the 9”. Not willing to pay that price, Mark and I found some other cool things. We ended up buying a couple of limited edition pins, some shirts, and other neat things that now have a space on my walls at home.
Making our way to the Land for breakfast, we ran into the Be Our Guest podcast crew and some other friends, and we all ended up taking a trip through Living With the Land, followed by Mission Space, Spaceship Earth, Captain EO, and even Journey into Imagination. We had to dodge spotty rain showers all day, but there were points that I was very thankful for the rain because it was ridiculously hot that day. Something else I won’t forget was going to the Chase Lounge and getting to try the drinking chocolate. It was so rich, but totally delicious, and if you know me, you know that I love chocolate, so this was a plus for me and besides, it was Godiva. You can’t turn down Godiva right?
For lunch, Mark, the kiddo, and I split off from the group and went to Le Cellier as we had a reservation. We have given reviews on Le Cellier before, and this visit did not fail to amaze. On this trip, we tried Poutine. For those of you that don’t know what it is, it is made of French fries and cheese curds all covered in brown gravy. It was delicious, and oh so worth it. Believe me when I tell you that we ate our fill and could have rolled back to our room! Oh, and I can’t forget to mention, the moose desert they serve. The kiddo ordered this one, and he had so much fun with it. He kept making jokes about how he had eaten a moose. Kids right? Personally, I love the little special touches Le Cellier adds to their food to make it enjoyable for children.
After our amazing lunch, we had the opportunity to go to the Marty Sklar presentation. As I mentioned in my previous article, it was amazing. I won’t go into full detail again as I have already done so, but I am telling you, he is a wonderful speaker, and one that deeply loves Disney and it really shows. After that, the kiddo and I tried out the Agent P World Showcase Adventure. We only had time to go through France, but I have to say it was a lot of fun, and the kiddo loved it too because he felt like he was really helping Agent P solve a case.
Finally, it was time for Illuminations. We met back up with the Be Our Guest crew in Norway. When the fireworks started, we were all so excited. When “We Go On” ended, I heard Mark take a deep breath. He was really anticipating the tag that would be put on the show. It did not disappoint. Epcot Center music tracks were used to accompany the fireworks. We were all cheering and even tearing up a bit at the beauty of the show. What I felt sorry for were the poor ducks that hang out around the lagoon. They are used to the nightly fireworks, but the additions scared them, and we even have video of them flying away.
Overall, I would say that the 30th anniversary was a huge success. Yes it was hot. Yes, it was crowded. However, I think the pandemonium was managed much better this year than it was last year at Magic Kingdom. I really enjoyed getting to spend time with my family and my friends. For me, being at Epcot for the 30th anniversary is something I will never forget.