Monday, March 7, 2016

Disney Trip #22 - Blog Friends at Magic Kingdom & Egg Hunting at Epcot

March 4th -

One of my dearest blog friends was down this way for a Disney vacation with her family, so we just had to make a Disney meet up happen. I've known Jamie for around two years now and we've never gotten the chance to meet until last Friday. I was nervous that it might be a bit awkward and Chris thought the whole thing was nutso, but thankfully it was great. So much fun in fact I'm planning on talking Jamie into joint Disney vacations from now on =)

We were aiming for a 9am meet up, but we were an hour late because getting to Disney on time is the hardest ever for us. I blame traffic. We finally did arrive, and we finally did meet up though! Aria was ready to frog march the whole party all over the place starting with Dumbo, but I convinced her that it was Reese's turn to lead the way. First up was a trek through the Swiss Family Treehouse where Aria sprinted through the entire thing leaving the rest of us in the dust. I think she was so excited to have a friend but way too shy to actually interact with her that she could only act like a crazy kid. She almost caught a duck...by the neck. (Jamie - she isn't like that ALL the time...promise!)
Walt Disney World, Adventureland, Magic Kingdom
Walt Disney World, Adventureland, Magic Kingdom, Swiss Family Treehouse
After our speed tour of the treehouse we all went on the Jungle Cruise. The girls started to warm up to each other a bit...an awkward timid friendship, it was pretty cute.  Reese even let me pick her up to show her something, which made my day. I'm pretty sure Aria wouldn't have had any of that.
Walt Disney World, Adventureland, Magic Kingdom, The Jungle Cruise
We all popped over to Columbia Harbor House for some lunch. Fries for Aria although she really just wanted ice cream. She knows we bend the eating rules when we go to Disney and she was prepared to take full advantage of it. I was mean mommy and made her eat her fries first though, and a grape or two. After lunch Reese and Charlotte needed to head back to their resort for a nap, so we got a few group shots before parting ways. All Aria could talk about was riding Dumbo (but really just playing on the play set beforehand), so we hit Dumbo up before making our exit as well.
Walt Disney World, Liberty Square, Liberty Tree, Magic Kingdom
Walt Disney World, Liberty Square, Liberty Tree, Magic Kingdom

Done with Magic Kingdom but not done with Disney World! We wanted to head over to Epcot to do the egg hunt. Last year we did it closer to Easter and they were completely out of maps. I was super disappointed. This year we made sure to go right when it first started, and we bought two maps. You can do the egg hunting without a map, you'd just go find the eggs without a set of stickers to stick on the map. But, with the map you also get a reward. They are only 5 or 6 bucks and they come with your choice of one of several Disney eggs. You don't even need to complete the map, and you get to keep it as well. The cast member just puts a stamp on the back and you can collect your egg before after or during your egg hunt. So, I got two maps to make up for not getting an egg last year. 
Epcot Easter Egg Hunt Eggstravaganza 2016, Walt Disney World
We started in Canada and worked our way around the world showcase. It was the only thing on our Epcot agenda so we took our time wandering around each country trying to find each egg. And, the eggs ended up being well hidden this year. This is our 3rd year doing the Epcot Eggstravaganza hunt and it was by far the hardest year. The previous years you'd spot the egg almost immediately or after a few minutes of searching. Japan was the hardest for us to find and it took us around 20 minutes to finally spot it. It took us almost exactly 4 hours to complete the map. We weren't expecting that at all based on the previous years. We even had loose plans of visiting Hollywood Studios to end our day, which definitely didn't end up happening.

Spoiler alert: There are pictures of the egg locations below, so if you have plans of hunting and don't want any hints walk away now!

Here we go...
Epcot Easter Egg Hunt Eggstravaganza 2016, Walt Disney World
Epcot Easter Egg Hunt Eggstravaganza 2016, Walt Disney World
Epcot Easter Egg Hunt Eggstravaganza 2016, Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World, Epcot, Flower & Garden Festival, Florida Fresh Watermelon Cucumber Slushy
We tried the watermelon cucumber slushy from the Florida Fresh food booth. I had a few sips, nice and refreshing, while Aria chugged the rest (so no gin in this one). 
Epcot Easter Egg Hunt Eggstravaganza 2016, Walt Disney World
Like I said, the Japan egg took us ages to find and I was so relieved that we (Chris) finally did that I forgot to even snap a picture. All Aria wanted to do was climb into the koi pond though.
Walt Disney World, Epcot, Japan Pavilion koi pond
Epcot Easter Egg Hunt Eggstravaganza 2016, Walt Disney World
Epcot Easter Egg Hunt Eggstravaganza 2016, Walt Disney World
There were a few little kids playing and chasing each other on the circular platform in the middle of Italy, so Aria joined right in on the fun. She even ended up running around with a little girl also named Aria. You never know when you'll find a group of buddies to burn off some energy with at Disney World!
Walt Disney World, Epcot, Italy Pavilion
Then we watched the big train village on the way to Germany for a while.
The sun was getting lower and lower.
We were impressed with the topiary dragon in China this year too. And, although we rarely get souvenirs Aria picked out a new friend to bring home from China this time. I've been meaning to post it on instagram, so if you want to see what she got be sure to check over there!
By the time we made it to Mexico it was completely dark out making it a lot harder to spot our last egg.
But, we finished up our map...and one of our favorite events at Epcot! I picked out the Cheshire Cat egg and Aria picked out the second egg, which I'll also post to instagram =)
We almost doubled back through the countries to try some of the different foods for the Flower & Garden festival that we skipped trying to finish our egg hunt up before we lost the daylight, but decided our feet were tired enough after 23,000 or so steps.
Epcot Flower & Garden Festival topiary
Walt Disney World, Epcot, Flower & Garden Festival, topiary
That's okay though because we will be back for the eating soon - the smokehouse in the American Adventure pavilion smelled particularly delicious!

The video from our trip:


No matter how many times we visit, I'm always excited for our next trip!

21 comments:

  1. Yay for seeing blog friends. That's so fun. The egg hunt looks like a blast. I love the map.

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  2. I'm so glad that you got to meet Jamie! Isn't she great? What a fun Easter Egg hunt!

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  3. That is so cool that you got to meet Jamie!

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  4. So so fun!!! Love that you got to meet one of your blog friends in real life! I am as always super jealous that you always get to go to Disney! We NEED to bring Hal!

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  5. That is SO cool that y'all got to meet Courtney! What an amazing day!!! Looks like SO much fun! 😄

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  6. It's always fun and weird to meet a blogger I think! And that egg hunt looks amazing. I would want the Disney egg too. Totally worth the cost if you ask me.

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  7. I'm so so glad we were able to meet and spend some time together! I forgot about the duck chasing- that was hilarious! And I am all for joint vacations to Disney! :) Your Epcot part of the day sounds like it was fun, but wow, 4 hours to find all the eggs! Love those pictures of the girls, especially the one where Aria was hugging Reese around the neck. LOL

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  8. The Easter egg hunt looks super fun! Love all the pictures!

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  9. Aria is such a Disney pro! I love that she wanted to lead the way. And how fun to be able to meet up with a blog friend. No better place than Disney for a meet-up! Cute pictures!!

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  10. looks like a wonderful time.. and the two girls got along great!

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  11. Holy cow so much fun! I would love to get to do that! And yay for blog friend meet ups! :)

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  12. So friend that you were able to make another trip and meet ups with Jamie. Reese and Aria together in those pictures is just too cute!

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  13. Fun seeing blog friends! I always worry about meeting online friends too, it's happened twice and I always feel so awkward! Glad that it went well. The egg thing is fun too! You guys always have the best time.

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  14. Glad to see that the girls warmed up to each other eventually! The egg hunt sounds like so much fun! I'm Canadian so I was interested in seeing what they would have set up for the Canada area.

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  15. I can't think of a better place for a blog friend meetup than DW! So funny that Aria went crazy with excitement though. Now I'm thinking maybe when we ever do plan a Disney World visit I need to time it with the egg hunt. Those are so cute!

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  16. Aria almost caught a duck by the neck?! Im beyond impressed! And was surprised by that sentence so I spit-laughed all over my phone haha. So glad you and Jamie met up! I was thinking about that the other day before IG pictures were up :)

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  17. You guys really do have the best times at Disney & I'm jealous that you are able to go as much as you do. I'll be down in that area in less than two weeks. We'll be hitting up Universal to visit Harry Potter & then to Daytona Beach for most of the trip. :)

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  18. I love that you guys were able to meet up - how fun! I always love reading your Disney recaps. The Epcot egg hunt looked like a blast. What a neat idea!

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  19. I love that you were able to meet up with Jamie! And how adorable to see Aria and Reese together. It's the best when these kind of get togethers happen.

    The egg hunt looks and sounds fun! I'm going to have to see if DL has anything similar to that.

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  20. So glad that you and Jamie got to meet up!!! I was hoping you would since she planned her vacation to DisneyWorld. I love the picture of Reese and Aria hugging! So sweet.
    I'm planning to take Mason to downtown Disney to do that egg hunt, hopefully in the next couple weeks. Hopefully they still have maps! If not, hopefully we have passes for next year!

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  21. Blogger meet ups are the best!!! And an egg hunt at Disney sounds amazing! Glad you all had such a fun time.

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