Epcot’s Arendelle Construction Progress, Japan Children’s Day, L’Artisan des Glaces Ice Cream Review

Spaceship Earth - Epcot Walt Disney World

A relatively short post today, as Liesle & I stopped into Epcot this past Thursday, May 5th, for a quick tour around World Showcase. We also wanted to eat some of our favorite Flower & Garden dishes again before the festival wraps up at the end of the month.

As you can see in the picture above, we were greeted with beautiful weather — blue skies, not too hot. A great day, really.

We first stopped in front of the construction walls outside Norway, and I couldn’t resist pointing my camera over the wall to check on the progress.

The picture below is the result:

Norway Construction 2016 - Epcot Walt Disney World

Although the picture isn’t very rectangular (hey, it’s what you get when you do a burst-mode sequence over the wall and stitch the individual frames together later), it gives a pretty good idea of how things are progressing.

You can click on any image here for a larger view, but apparently there will be a new Anna & Elsa meet and greet area outside the Norwegian log cabin you see on the left of the picture. The top of the actual ride area is visible over the rooftops on the far right.

Disney has promised a June opening date for the new attraction, which will be nice to see since Maelstrom has been closed for a while now.

Japan Pavilion - Epcot Walt Disney World

The crowds over the last week or two haven’t been too bad. You can even see some empty concrete outside the Japan pavilion in the picture above.

Japan Children's Day - Epcot Walt Disney World

Apparently Cinco de Mayo wasn’t the only thing happening today. May 5th is also Children’s Day in Japan, or “Kodomo no hi.”

Japan Pavilion - Epcot Walt Disney World

They had the buntings out on display for the occasion…

Japanese Flags - Epcot Walt Disney World

…and Japanese flags all over the place as well.

Japan Kidcot Station - Epcot Walt Disney World

The “Discovery Experience” promised on the sign outside the pavilion consisted of answering some questions about Japan and writing them down inside a small pamphlet. Once you answered all of the questions correctly, you were eligible for a prize. Cast Members were on hand to help out if you got stuck.

Japan Kidcot Prizes - Epcot Walt Disney World

The “prize” consisted of some candy that seemed old enough that it could have been leftover from last Halloween. I had at least hoped for some Japanese treats, but oh well. ūüôĀ

L'Artisan des Glaces Ice Cream Flavors 2016 - Epcot Walt Disney World

After the “gross candy” experience we decided to cleanse the palate¬†with some ice cream from¬†L’Artisan des Glaces in France. I specifically wanted to try the Banana Lime, as it’s one of the new flavors available here. I was disappointed to see that the Lemon with Crispy Meringues is gone from the menu now, as it had been one of my favorites.

L'Artisan des Glaces Banana Lime Ice Cream Review - Epcot Walt Disney World

We opted for a double-scoop, with the Banana Lime on top, and Cinnamon with Caramelized Pecan on the bottom.

I’m normally a big fan of¬†L’Artisan des Glaces, so I hate to report that although the Cinnamon with Caramelized Pecan¬†ice cream was great, the Banana Lime flavor didn’t really work for Liesle or me. The tartness of the lime flavor clashed with, rather than complemented, the mellowness of the underlying banana. It’s not something I’ll be trying again anytime soon.

And here’s hoping they might consider bringing back the¬†Lemon with Crispy Meringues at some point. (Well, I can hope, can’t I?)

Star Wars T-Shirt Episode IV - Epcot Walt Disney World

Before leaving the park we stopped at Mouse Gear, where I was pleasantly surprised to see these cool Star Wars t-shirts. Notice how the Episode IV Tatooine poster above is *very* reminiscent of this Bjorn Aronson Disneyland Autopia poster from 1959:

Bjorn Aronson - Disneyland Autopia Poster 1959
Photo courtesy of Pop Culture Safari.

Star Wars T-Shirt Episode V - Epcot Walt Disney World

Wrapping up today’s post are these two t-shirts celebrating Episode V. The Star Wars shirts will run you $24.99, not including any discounts.

Tomorrow I’ll be visiting the Magic Kingdom for another round of RideMax Roulette, and I plan¬†to do a live Periscope broadcast of the day as it unfolds. Be sure to follow me on Periscope if you want to see tomorrow’s RideMax plan in action. The goal: Twelve attractions plus lunch by 1:30pm, including another rope-drop walk to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train!