Souvenirs & Finale
As anybody knows, no trip to Florida is complete without at least some souvenirs. It's nearly impossible not to find something interesting (and affordable) when browsing through the endless number of stores.
Back in 2011, Jessica and I "built" a dinosaur when we took our first trip to Florida as a couple. Before leaving on this trip we decided ahead of time that we would take a look at the options and seriously consider making a second one. As you can see in the photos, we made a Woolly Mammoth. This one was named Willie Woolly, and he's dressed for a safari. The last picture has him posed with Rex, the Spinosaurus that we made in 2011.
This particular item caught my eye because I'm a sucker for vintage souvenirs from Epcot. Although this is what I suspect to be a charm bracelet, what makes this pretty awesome is that all of the charms are the old logos for the Future World attractions in EPCOT Center. All of those logos have been removed as the attractions have been upgraded, and some of those rides no longer exist. To top it off, this bracelet is mounted on a vintage postcard for EPCOT Center as well.
I'm going to find a small frame and hang this on my wall.
In case you're wondering, from left to right the logos are Spaceship Earth, Communicore, Universe of Energy, The Land, EPCOT Center (in this case it's for the 30th anniversary of EPCOT), World of Motion, Horizons, The Living Seas, Wonders of Life, and Journey Into Imagination.
The only weird part is that the charm representing Epcot isn't the classic logo for EPCOT Center. And just what did the old logo for EPCOT Center look like?
Here's the classic logo for EPCOT Center on my new shot glass that's now sitting on my desk.
I actually first saw this shot glass in Epcot back in 2011. They had this logo and style available in a pint glass (or tumbler cup) and the shot glass. Back then I thought about it but skipped purchasing it, and since that point I regretted it. When I spotted this on our first day while in a shop in Downtown Disney, I didn't think twice before grabbing it.
Speaking of drinking and Epcot, that brings us to the next souvenir --- an Epcot World Showcase wine glass. Recently I've been broadening my horizons and been enjoying a glass of wine with meals, so this wine glass seemed to be a natural choice. A silhouette of the World Showcase countries lines the glass, and underneath them are alcoholic bottles from those respective countries.
This hat also caught my attention with that vintage logo for Walt Disney World. Considering my love affair for those resorts and theme parks, and the fact that I own and maintain this website, Florida-Project.com, how could I say no? It's vintage. It's Disney. It's something that I would actually wear. 'Nuff said.
My wife had the desire for one of the caramel apples shaped like Mickey Mouse. She decided on this one with the Reese's Pieces, though she didn't enjoy it until after we got home from Florida. I'm not an apple person myself (mainly because I'm allergic to them), but I tried a small part and it was pretty good. The candy pieces were excellent, of course.
Were these all of the souvenirs? No. I bought my wife a shirt with the Marauder's Map from Harry Potter, I got myself a cool bookmark from Universal Studios Florida (it's still rare for me to find souvenirs at Universal --- most of the items just don't look appealing), and we picked up a few other souvenirs as gifts for family and friends. The souvenirs mentioned above are the only ones that I bothered to photograph.
This was another successful trip to Universal Orlando and the Walt Disney World resorts.
The days were long, the Florida sunshine was hot, and many miles were walked each day, but we still had a lot of fun. As usual, I can't wait until the next Florida vacation.
The new Diagon Alley expansion in Universal Studios Florida is just as impressive as it sounds. Universal really did a fantastic job with building this expansion. It's just a shame that adding Diagon Alley meant removing Jaws and Amity Island. But when you consider the amount of attention that Universal received when adding the first Harry Potter expansion in 2010, and this second one in 2014, the company has definitely made the correct moves. The extra attention and income has helped provide funding for other expansions throughout the theme parks.
This trip was also more of a learning experience for going on vacations like this with my wife. We're two different people when it comes to the Florida theme parks. While she enjoys and appreciates them, she doesn't go all gung-ho like I do. The next theme park trip will definitely be different and more enjoyable for both of us.
And when is the next trip to Florida?
Right now the crystal ball is still a bit foggy. This part is known though ---- it's been a while since we've set foot inside of a Disney park. The itch to do so grows with each passing day.
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