Tag Archives: EPCOT

A Quick Trip

18 Sep

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

What a couple of weeks this has been. First my husband’s sinus infection that I worried was Covid, then a quick trip from North Carolina to Florida, which seems a little crazy since we have a late September road trip to prepare for.

But and it’s big….I love free and we were gifted a free one night stay in a family suite at a Disney World resort and we would get to spend some days with our daughter. Plus, since Covid, I have been building up a nice nest egg of credit card points that would pay for our food.

What I didn’t factor in was Florida heat in September. We were spoiled with the cool mountain temperatures.

Florida does not have fall. Well at least not until December.

We chose to visit our favorite park, EPCOT and arrived there around 12:30 pm. This is our first trip to Disney with a handicap parking pass. I am so glad my husband has one or we would have never made it into the park. I’m not sure if it was due to Covid or shortage of staff but the trams were not running. We had to take a lot of rest stops. I think my husband is now ready to accept a motorized scooter that was offered to him.

I enjoy the fabulous landscaping in all of the Disney parks. This trip I was surprised at the flower choices. Coleus in different colors were used liberally, accented with caladium, canna lily and penta. There were also plantings of flowers that reminded me of field flowers. They were all beautiful.

I forgot to mention that Disney World is limiting attendance at the parks and requires advance reservations for entrance. We were pleased to be able to reserve both the entrance and lunch in one of the country themed restaurants. We chose Germany. I had checked out the restaurants online and noted that the Biergarten Restaurant was currently serving an all inclusive buffet, minus alcohol. That was extra. With online check in using an app no lines were necessary and that was a plus. The Disney dining app even gave us a count down to check in time notification. That was quite helpful and we resting at a table with an umbrella after the walk to get near the restaurant.

Once our name was called, a funny thing happened. Our party and another one were booked for the same time and had the same first and last name! Only ours was a party of three and they were a party two. It took some paper shuffling for the cast members to straighten it out.

The meal was delicious. I enjoyed the beer and cheese soup and their version of Mac and Cheese. The desserts were yummy too. I filled a plate with one each of the desserts (they were small) and we tried them all. My husband enjoyed a couple of them so much he had to have his own slices. He is very sweet to let me share pictures of him with food.

Our sugar binge is over, done, history. For now.

The Biergarten also had entertainment. Here is a short clip. I imagine this would be a fun restaurant with a large group of friends or family. How do they manage to blow those long horns?

After lunch we received notification our resort room was ready. Once again, check in was done in the app so no line to wait in. It took us awhile to make it to the park exit. When we were close to the parking lot, our daughter went ahead and brought the car to pick us up.

We stayed at The Art of Animation. By the time we arrived there I was too hot and tired to take a photo of the outside. Our building theme was Cars, as in the movie, Cars and the room decor was cute. Along with a queen size bed, the suite had a queen Murphy bed that by day, masquerades as a table.

Thoughts about Covid and Disney. Masks are required at all indoor spaces and some people wore them outdoors as well. It was easy to be socially distant for us, but we did notice that people waiting in lines were not maintaining distance outside. Since I didn’t go into the buildings, I don’t know what it was like indoors. There were a couple of rides we would have enjoyed but we decided to pass on them at this time.Except for the area around Mexico (which I am pretty sure was because people were trying to find a way to get a cold Margarita) we didn’t feel crowded. In the evening, we visited Disney Springs, the restaurant and shopping district. Masks were worn outside there, more so than in the park.

This trip was planned several months ago. The morning after arriving in Florida, we learned our son in North Carolina had Covid and was admitted to hospital and was placed on a vent. We were scared. I cried a lot the first day. Yet I was thankful to be in Florida with our daughter so that we could face this together. So we could pray together. He was in a small local hospital and they were looking for an ICU bed for him in a large facility. We prayed for that bed, thinking he would go to Mission Hospital in Asheville. We were kind of stunned when we learned he was transferred by air flight over 280 miles to Duke University Hospital in North Carolina. The number one hospital in the state. I am thankful God’s ways and thoughts are higher than mine. Yesterday was 10 days on a vent and the reports had been up and down. Then we received the call. Our son was off the vent, breathing on his own and talking. We almost had church in the parking lot of Sam’s Club. His wife is going to be allowed to visit him soon and that will be good medicine for both of them.

Our son may have a long recovery ahead and we will continue to pray and give thanks. Through all of this, we have been blessed with comfort that for us, can only come from God. One of my favorite passages in the Old Testament is about the twelve spies sent to check out the Promised land. Ten of them returned saying no way, no how. Those dudes are big. But two, Joshua and Caleb said yes they are but our God is bigger. The Israelites went with the opinion of the 10 and that didn’t turn out too well. A month ago, I made a magnet for my refrigerator that reads, “The Israelites saw giants but Caleb and Joshua saw God.” Daily and sometimes, minute by minute I prayed, “The doctors see Covid Pneumonia but I see God.” That was my comfort, is my comfort and it is available to everyone.

My final thought. I am trusting that our son will recover completely. I grieve for the many, many who have lost people they love to this horrid virus. I like this verse in Romans12:15

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.

May our days soon be filled with more rejoicing and less mourning due to this virus.

I'm a winner

After my retirement, I decided to re-learn the canning and preserving skills I learned from my mother but hadn’t practiced for twenty years. I titled the blog Old Things R New to chronicle my experience.  Since then I have been blessed to have six other bloggers join me, DiVoran Lites, Bill Lites,  Judy Wills, Louise Gibson, Janet Perez Eckles and Melody Hendrix

In addition to blogging, I work as the publicist/marketer/ amateur editor and general  “mom Friday” for my author daughter, Rebekah Lyn. I also manage her website, Rebekah Lyn Books  

My 2021 goal is continue touse my love of photographs and words to be an encourager on social media. You can visit Real Life Books and Media You Tube Channel if you would like to view some of the mini-videos I have created for our church, Gateway Community in Titusville, Fl.

Coronavirus…I'm Not Afraid of You!

22 Mar


Judy Wills

WOW!  The world has tilted off its axis!  The coronavirus has hit, and panic has hit the streets!  COVID-19 has caused the most vicious panic I’ve seen in my lifetime, and I really don’t understand it.  Thank you, media for all this hype and hysteria!! 

NCAA College basketball games (The Final Four) that were scheduled are cancelled.

The Masters Golf Tournament has been cancelled – well, at least postponed.  It has been played every April since 1945, with cancellations only in 1943-1945 due to World War 2.  Some opine that it might be held on April 16.  We’ll see…

Courtesy Google search and TMZ Sports

The NBA has suspended all games until further notice.

But the worst – for Fred and me – is that Disney is actually closing its parks! 

 Disneyland in California, started Saturday, March 14, 2020, until the end of the month.  Disney World and the parks in Orlando, and Paris, France, started Monday, March 16, 2020 until at least the end of the of the month.  And the Disney Cruise Line is suspending all new departures until the end of the month.  I feel sorry for all those people who have reservations to fly down here for a week’s vacation at this time!

Oh well, life goes on.

However…neither Fred nor I am afraid of the coronavirus!

First of all…we believe in a God who is BIGGER than this virus!!

Second, we actually went to EPCOT recently (one last time before they shut down for a few weeks), and thumbed our noses at the virus!  Of course we took precautions – we washed our hands several times while at the park, and we used hand sanitizer frequently.  Amazingly – Disney has set up portable hand-washing stations throughout the park, in case someone is not close to a restroom where they could wash up.  I’ve never – in all the years we’ve been going to Disney, have seen such.  Very convenient, and thoughtful of Disney to do such.

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There are other precautions we always take before going to the parks – or anywhere that we will be around a crowd of people.

And just for your information, Disney World is undergoing a MAJOR renovation!!  Here are pictures of some of what they are doing.  They have added walkways where there were none; they have blocked off areas that are under destruction/construction – and show that EPCOT at least, is going to look totally new!  In a way, I’m sorry to see it go.  As we heard one guest telling HIS children as we were leaving, “when I was little we came here and I saw….”  His children won’t ever be able to say the same thing.

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Mouse Gear was on the left, and that was the walk-through between buildings.

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Behind this barrier was the old Universe of Energy building.

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Again, the old Universe of Energy building.  The signs are cute, but…

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Not even close to the original park exit.

Again, life goes on.

But we aren’t about to let that old coronavirus stop us!!  We understand Disney Springs will remain open, so we’ll have that “Disney” outlet to give us our Disney “fix” during the interim.

So there! Mr. coronavirus….TAKE THAT!! ha!

Description: Boxing, Icon, Silhouette, Sport, Fighter

Courtesy Pixabay

 UPDATE “Latest information about Disney Springs is that all Disney-owned stores and hotels at Walt Disney World have been closed.  So I guess our Disney “fix” will have to wait until this pandemic is over.  Shucks!”

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Flowers and Gardens

14 May


Judy Wills


One of our favorite things to do at Disney is go to EPCOT for the Flower and Garden Festival every year.  They do such wonderful things with flowers and topiary.  I have known what topiary is for quite a while now, but when our son-in-law asked what it was, I told him that I couldn’t describe it, but there it is, right in front of you!  The shapes and designs that Disney artists make with wire and vines is simply amazing!

I’m not going to write much about this event, but I do want to post some of those amazing and beautiful pictures – just in case you aren’t able to see them for yourselves while attending this Festival.  Each year Disney adds some topiary they have been working on, and the theme is new each year, as well.

So, with that in mind…………ENJOY!


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Christmas in Florida

15 Dec


 Judy Wills




 Even though I DO love a white Christmas, I’ve come to really love Christmas in Florida.  We’ve both had our fill of snow, and so the sand and grass and beach and…Florida suits us just fine. We thoroughly enjoy Christmas at Disney, as well.  We’ve been a bit disappointed in recent years, however, that even Disney has bowed to some of the political correctness that is abounding now, and have left off some of our most cherished decorations.  We do enjoy that they include the traditions from around the world.

We usually have at least one of our daughters and her family with us at Christmas – occasionally both daughters and their families – and we always make it a point to go to Disney.  Not just to “do” the theme parks, but to see the decorations.  One of our favorite sights is the Osborne lights at the Studios.  Amazing.

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One of our favorite things to do is to park at EPCOT and take the Resort Monorail to the resorts on that line, get off, see the decorations at that resort, and then on to the next resort.  It’s fun, it’s free, and we get some gorgeous ideas from them.  Of course, there’s no way we could duplicate the life-size gingerbread house at either EPCOT or the Grand Floridian.  But it’s fun to see.

Another free thing to do is Downtown Disney.  Actually, we like to take friends there who aren’t really into the theme parks, when they come to visit us .  That way, they get a “taste” of Disney without having to spend the money and all day at the park(s).  We like to walk the length of the entire area and back.  And at Christmas time, they decorate the whole area with fun stuff.

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Seems we never get tired of doing the same thing – especially since most of the decorations are the same as the previous year – and the year before that – and……

Another favorite resort we like to visit is the Shades of Green.  If you’ve never heard of that, it is a resort on Magic Kingdom property, and is solely for military – active duty and retired.  If you’re wondering about the name – it is called Shades of Green because every branch of the U.S. military has a uniform that is a shade of green.  Hence the name.  We like to stay there for our anniversaries each summer.  They also decorate, but a lot of the time it is “military” themed, and quite interesting.

So, as you can see, there is a lot to do around Christmas time for us in Florida.  We usually have some time to spend with my brother and his family, and that is always a most joyous time for us.  This extended family business is wonderful!

Christmas in Florida…………yeah, it’s great!

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