01 of 10
A Day at Epcot's Flower & Garden Festival
I had been waiting all week to see Herman's Hermits perform at the Flower Power Concert Series, preview the beautiful flowers and gather a few gardening tips. The anxiously anticipated day arrived and local forecasters predicted an 80% chance of rain... now what do I do?
Grab my Mickey Mouse umbrella, rain poncho, waterproof camera and head out to the park! They've been known to give an incorrect forecast before.
Next Step: How Long of a Wait?Continue to 2 of 10 below.
02 of 10
How Long of a Wait?
With the discouraging weather forecast, my initial thought was that lines for the rides would be shorter than normal. This notion was quickly dispelled as I approached Planet Earth. The wait time was over an hour. Even Fastpass access didn't seem to offer much of a reprieve.
My guess is that once the light rains started, most people figured that was the best time to spend waiting in a line - especially where there was overhead protection from the elements. Longer lines were also found at Soarin' and Mission Space, Epcot's other popular rides.
Rain Disadvantage: Long queues for popular rides.
Next Step: Moving on to the World Showcase.Continue to 3 of 10 below.
03 of 10
Moving on to the World Showcase
Just on a whim, I decided to see if there was any way possible to dine at one of Epcot's most popular restaurants, Le Cellier Steakhouse at the Canadian pavilion. I have tried numerous times to get a reservation at this restaurant - even as much as two weeks in advance. To my delight they were able to seat us right away!
Now I know why it is so difficult to get into this restaurant - the food and service were superb! The warm, comfortable ambiance of the restaurant coupled with the piping-hot cheese soup made me forget all about the dismal, rainy day outside and my already saturated sneakers. The excellent meal continued with salad, steak and breadsticks that were simply out of this world.
As I left the restaurant I did inquire as to whether it is ever possible to get a take-out order of the soup. They said that so long as the kitchen isn't too backed up they are more than happy to put together an order of soup and a breadstick. Cost is around $6.00.
Rain Advantage: Reservations... may not be needed at some of the popular restaurants.
Next Step: Things that go unnoticed.Continue to 4 of 10 below.
04 of 10
Things That I Never Noticed Before
There was still an hour before the Flower Power Concert at the American Pavilion, so I wandered around Morocco - something I never really took the time to do before. Morocco doesn't have a show or ride, so except for the Restaurant Marrakesh and perhaps the belly dancers, this showcase is probably bypassed by many of the park's visitors.
Well, with the rain starting to come down and the flowers just not having the same radiance that would be found on a bright, sunny day, I decided to see what Morocco had to offer. To my surprise, I found that the Moroccan Pavilion is loaded with artistic and architectural treasures.
I have since discovered that the architecture of this pavilion was quite a source of pride with the designers of the showcase. King Hassan II took a personal interest in the pavilion and, prior to actual construction, studied a scale model for authenticity and artistic effect.
Rain Advantage: This is a great opportunity to explore some of the different countries and... check out their hidden treasures.
Next Step: On to the Flower Power Concert!Continue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10
On to the Flower Power Concert
I hurried on to the American Gardens Theater and was just in time for the 5:45 showing of Herman's Hermits! (For the record, please note that I was very, very young when his songs were popular.)
No lines, walk right in, sit right down... Five minutes into the show it was canceled do to inclement weather. Well, at least I got to hear one song before they had to leave the stage.
Rain Disadvantage: The rain tends to cancel many of the outdoor events.
Next Step: This is a good time to dry off.Continue to 6 of 10 below.
06 of 10
A Good Time to Dry Off
Fortunately, I was right next to my favorite Epcot show, The American Adventure. The show was getting ready to start and a small crowd was waiting just inside the pavilion - not nearly enough to even make a dent in the spacious 1024 seat theater. The inspiring 29 minute show gave me just enough time to sit back, relax and give my umbrella a chance to dry off.
Rain Advantage: You have a new appreciation for some of the attractions.
Next Step: Enjoy some of Italy's Imports.Continue to 7 of 10 below.
07 of 10
Enjoy Some of Italy's Imports
In addition to the Venetian masks and crystals, books, kitchen wares and chocolates, La Bottega has a great little wine shop. I figured this was an excellent time to sample some of the imported Italian wines that the shop offers.
Across the plaza next to the Bel Cristallo shops, I found a sheltered bench to sit where I could sip my wine and watch the parade of rain poncho's go by.
Rain Advantage: After several hours of rain, the crowds start to dissipate, providing an opportunity to relax and enjoy the scenery.
Next Step: Check out some of the Flower & Garden Demonstrations.Continue to 8 of 10 below.
08 of 10
Flower & Garden Festival Demonstrations
Of course the beautiful gardens and colorful blooms were not canceled because of the weather - but the rain did put a damper on the overall beauty of the Flower & Garden Festival.
Most of the outdoor demonstrations were canceled if it was raining, but the indoor events continued.
Rain Disadvantage: Many of the scheduled outdoor events for the Flower & Garden Festival were canceled.
Next Step: Getting Personal Attention.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10
Getting Personal Attention
With fewer than normal customers, I found that the vendors throughout the park had extra time to chat. For example, at this little kiosk, that was loaded with exquisite bonsai plants, the very friendly attendant took the time to provide me with a little history of the craft along while pointing out the different plant variations and growing tips.
Rain Advantage: Park employees, vendors and cast members seemed to have more time to chat with the park's visitors.
Next Step: In Conclusion.Continue to 10 of 10 below.
10 of 10
The rain did prevent me from doing and seeing some of the things that I had hoped for, especially those that were related to the Flower & Garden Festival. Some of the unexpected perks, such as being able to get right in to Le Cellier Steakhouse and taking the time to explore the Gallery of Arts at the Moroccan Pavilion did make my rain day at Epcot and interesting and enjoyable one.
Would I do it again? Sure - but next time I would wear water shoes or some sort of durable sandal... It was days before my sneakers dried out.
Next Step: The Start of my Rain Day at Epcot.