I was invited to Disney Social Media Moms Conference in Orlando, Florida and that was one I couldn’t miss going to! Last week I headed to Disney World for it, along with the family.
It also meant I might have the chance to see the Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival held yearly. Which for me, was something I looked forward to. Magic Kingdom? You can all have that, I wanted to see the urban gardens.
You can be into Epcot within a few minutes walking time, making this a most pleasant experience to visit a park. The path leaves the hotel, and winds along the lake and beach, then heads up the lake to the gates. Coming back in the evening is quite nice, especially if there is a breeze on the lake.
The hotel lit up at night:
The Boardwalk at night from our room –
I got to visit Epcot first on Thursday evening, for our conference opening reception, dinner and then a short walk to a dessert buffet & VIP seating at IllumiNations. That was quite fun, the firework display was amazing…and being in a VIP area, well, it is hard to say no to that 😉
The next day flew by, filled with conference things, then on Saturday we did other things. Saturday evening I asked Kirk if I could go off and do stuff by myself (although I dragged my oldest along with my for part of the way). We headed out as the sun was getting low. One thing stood out: Epcot is so much nicer on the body than the other parks. It is relaxed, it has a different vibe. And you don’t feel crushed by people.
The gardens, which I had gotten a peek at on Thursday evening, were fantastic. The colors were amazing!
The urban gardens didn’t fail either. I’ll admit I was jealous that green peppers the size of my hands were hanging in front of me. Although it being 94* had something to do with that….unlike back here at home.
The whimsical was all over, tucked into beds and corners throughout the World Showplace.
The Japanese gardens were quite neat. I love the starkness of them.
Koi ponds are something I love, but realize that I would never take care of it well enough.
Loved the tiny zen gardens, and under the display was a massive one (not visible).
I’ll just keep dreaming I could have a crystal clear pond and not foul it up 😉 The last time I had a pond was at our old house, and it was the local raccoons drinking hole.
The really impressive show off was the Mickey displays –
Ford and I found plenty to visit and look over, having fun playing “tourists” to each country.
Gorgeous pond/lake at China Pavilion, but oh way too much upkeep to even dream of it.
And looking across at the flowers, I felt no guilt over how many flowers I buy yearly. Because in reality I buy so little when I look at this!
Catching it at sunset is amazing!
I am so glad I got the chance to see the gardens and more so, to see it as the sun set.
And oooooh, did I mention Dole Whip? Yeah, I deserved it!
The colors made the humidity and the heat (almost) worth it.
Although every time I walked under a Monorail section the inner kid in me would start humming “Monorail” from the Simpsons 😉 That’ll break your mood!
Looking across the lake as the sun settles –
I was exhausted by the time the sun set, and I had two small boys and a Daddy to feed, and no idea what to do. I had logged over 17,000 steps on my pedometer and wanted to get my feet up.
So I introduced the boys to something called “room service”.
It was easy, fast and I got to plop down on the couch and zone out. The boys loved it. And honestly? It was good food at some of the best prices in the park. Cheaper, better and easier than going out? Oh yes.
The kids meals came with desserts. The push pop cupcake was the winner. So totally pretty!
Sunday morning, on Mother’s Day, I got out of bed at 5:15 am (that would be 2:15 am PST btw….) to do a fun run with a bunch of the ladies. It was worth it!
Representing the PNW in Florida – and getting to go into Epcot before dawn, before the park is open? Even better!
I am not one who normally puts fun with run, but I really enjoyed it. Maybe it was the mood, being with so many other ladies, but it got me moving!
“Paris” at dawn, on the way back out of the park pretty much everyone stopped and went out onto the park, although our handlers I am sure were not happy with us 😉 The sun was coming up and the lighting was amazing!
And I got my medal, thankyouverymuch (and thanks to GoGosqueeZ for sponsoring it), and yeah, finished my “hard-core” 2 mile fun run before the sun came up all the way – and was briskly getting warm with every step back to the hotel, as the temps headed to 80* and beyond (as we were leaving on Sunday, it went to at least 94*). A fun weekend that I loved being invited to attend!
PS: If you’d like to read about my thoughts on traveling/flying with our youngest son and his food allergies, please check out my recent post on our other blog.
FTC Disclaimer: This trip was compensated by Disney, although all opinions are mine.