Ever have one of those weekends when you really don’t have plans? This weekend was one of those. With the weather predicted to be a washout, we thought about just staying at home. But when we got up on October 1 and the weather wasn’t too horrible, we piled in the car (with umbrellas) and headed over to Epcot for the visionary park’s 35th anniversary. We weren’t the only ones–the line of cars extended as far as the eye could see.
When we arrived, we got a special Epcot 35 button and a unique map for the day. We unfolded the map, and it was a neat poster souvenir.
We had no interest in buying merchandise, but I think we were the only people in all of Walt Disney World who didn’t. The line for I Was There merchandise stretched from Innoventions all the way to the main entrance. On the other hand, this was the “line” for Spaceship Earth.
Since we were there before the official 35th anniversary ceremony, we decided to wait around for it. There was still a light drizzle, and we wondered if the rain was going to cause all sorts of problems for the ceremony. A section in front of the stage at the Fountain of Nations had been taped off for people to stand, but because we wanted to keep our umbrellas up and didn’t want to be stuck with wall-to-wall people, we found a space off to the side. The crowd about 15 minutes before the ceremony wasn’t too bad, and the rain had started to taper off.
But by the time the ceremony started, it was packed. Because of the crowds, you couldn’t see anything going on at the stage, the audio wasn’t the best, and the ceremony wasn’t anything spectacular, but I did enjoy the performance by Voices of Liberty singing a medley of classic Epcot songs.
Once the ceremony was over, we headed for Living with the Land, which is really the quintessential Classic Epcot attraction left (along with the first half of Spaceship Earth). In the greenhouse, they had a really nice touch for the special day.
Looking at the times guide for the day, there was a note about a China National Day scavenger hunt for that day only. It sounded like an interesting activity for our daughter, and so we headed on over.
Back in the Kidcot station in China, we picked up a scavenger hunt guide, and wandered through the pavilion looking for clues and asking Cast Members all about their country and its history, symbols, and traditions.
The Buddha statue in the China pavilion had been greatly blessed by the generosity of people visiting for the day, so we added some money with wishes for good luck and happiness.
While my husband and daughter wandered around and finished the quiz, I wandered through the exhibit on Shanghai Disneyland. Every time I’m in there, I see something new. No question, a visit to Shanghai Disneyland is on my bucket list! Two of the new sights I saw were the animal rock sculptures and the Wooley. Aren’t the Wooleys cute?
And with the small sculptures, I can only imagine how impressive the actual ones must look in person. I would love to build these for my own yard!
I found my husband and daughter getting the last question answered in the main dome area. If you haven’t ever looked up there, it will take your breath away.
After stopping by the Kidcot station and getting a certificate of completion for the scavenger hunt, we decided to make our way out of the park, but I wanted to stop in Mexico real quick to see the new exhibits being put up about Dia de los Muertos.
Although they don’t get a lot of attention from most people, I absolutely adore the museum-quality exhibits in the countries that have them, and wish all countries in World Showcase had their own unique museum exhibits. Many of the artifacts in this exhibit are on loan from institutions around the world. I know I want to go back and spend more time looking at each individual piece.
On the way out, there was one more “exhibit piece” I wanted to see. In one of the window displays at Mouse Gear, they had this friendly figure. I still hope that they give the Imagination pavilion an overall with all the love that its fans have for the way it used to be.
And speaking of nostalgia, I have to share my newest Halloween decoration….or maybe it should go out at Christmas? Whatever holiday I put it up for, I may just hide it in different windows of the house from year to year, just to keep the black cat tradition of the Osborne Lights going strong.
Fall temperatures should be arriving soon in Florida, which I would prefer much more than the possibility of Hurricane Nate coming to visit. With cooler temperatures, there’s so much more joy to visiting the parks for longer trips. There always seems to be so much to do and so little time to do it all. Perhaps that’s why this sign from the Mexico pavilion resonated so well.
But with little time or lots of time, it is up to each of us to decide how we use it–and so keep working on making each week your Best Week Ever.