View Full Version : Mom's Disney Fix - Day Three

07-04-2002, 07:46 PM
Warning: If you’re looking for a short trip report, this is not it! graemlins/nono.gif

Saturday, June 29 - Epcot

Cast of Characters
Ellen – Mom to Ben and Trip Planner
Ben – Friend to just about everyone (6 going on at least 16)
Mallary – Ellen’s cousin, partner in crime and Ben's “mountain mama”

Just to make sure that Ben hadn’t been delirious from lack of sleep and that he wasn’t pulling our leg, I made sure to get the wake-up call this morning. Sure enough, it was Stitch! graemlins/clappy.gif I kind of missed Mickey waking me up at WDW, but Stitch is fun too! For breakfast we dug into our pile of goodies from the Main Street Bakery… I love chocolate croissants, and marveled at the size of the cinnamon rolls. Those things are huge!!! (I was also impressed the night before with the size of the ice cream sandwiches they make there… now I’m not exactly petite ;) , but I don’t think I could eat an entire ice cream sandwich by myself). I must publicly acknowledge that my cousin is wonderful, besides her not strangling my child (her training as an elementary school principal definitely helps there), every morning I awoke to the gurgle of coffee brewing in the coffee maker. graemlins/notworthy.gif

We got ready and once again did not have to wait too long for a bus (a nowhere near full bus… where was everyone?) for Epcot. Once again, we didn’t have long lines at Security or the turnstiles and headed right over to Innoventions West for the rope drop. Unfortunately, Test Track was down and the first Fast Passes were for 12:40 to 1:40. Since the times really did fit into our schedule, we happily got our passes and headed over towards The Land. We detoured over to see the new Journey into Your Imagination which was absolutely empty (one other person on the ride so we waited for another family). Having not ever seen the original JIYI, I can’t emit a totally learned opinion about the redesign, except to say that I thought that it was much improved over the last version. We liked seeing Figment here and there, however the music didn’t make that much of an impression (from what you all have said, I thought that I would walk away humming the tune). My one criticism of this attraction is that the effects from the smell section, make themselves apparent well before you enter that section of the ride. graemlins/sick.gif After JIYI, we played in the empty Kodak exhibit. We then headed toward HISTA. Ben was protesting, and it became apparent that all of a sudden (after having seen it twice and liking it), he’s scared of it — he was actually crying (face hidden, shoulders shaking and all) during the show.

On the way over to The Land pavilion I was stopped by a CM and asked about the turquoise ribbon pin that I had on my lanyard. I responded that it was a ribbon for ovarian cancer and he said he knew (big surprise, no one up here in NY has ever seen it). His grandmother had recently passed from OvCa graemlins/thedolls.gif and we had a short conversation; he told me that he would pray for me. Surprisingly, I wasn’t saddened at all by the exchange. His empathy was heartfelt and I was truly and deeply touched.

Soon we were bounding up the hill to The Land. The AC was much appreciated. We headed on over to the AP Lounge and got our reserved seating for the 5:45 showing of Shockwave, got put on the list for the AP seating area for Illuminations (Note to all AP Holders: You now have to get put on the list. Apparently they won’t just let you in if you just show your AP at the Illuminations viewing area.) Ben colored for a while and we took a few minutes to rest from the heat. Soon we were out and about and waited 15 minutes or so for Living with the Land (the longest we waited for any attraction on this trip besides fireworks). Next it was Food Rocks — one of our group’s favorites. By the time we got done, it was still early for our PS reservations at the Garden Grill but we asked if we could be seated anyway. There was no problem and we were seated just a few minutes later. What was interesting was that when we arrived, there was a group of children in chef hats and shirts making something at three tables on the lower rim (and their parents were busily snapping pictures of them). I asked what it was all about and was told the following: they had been doing a test run of a new “Disney Dining Experience” which consisted of a “Behind the Seeds” tour that culminated with the participating families picking some vegetables to be used in a salad. They then came upstairs to the restaurant, where the veggies were prepared into salad in the kitchen while the kids made the ranch dressing. The families then sat down to have lunch, which included two special desserts (one for the adults — it appeared to be an apple cobbler, and one for the kids which was hard to describe but it looked like a little flowerpot with “dirt” topped with marzipan flowers). They will continue testing and tweaking this and if it’s approved, it will be added towards the end of the year. I, for one, would be interested in this type of experience.

Lunch at the Garden Grill was very good and the attention from the characters was superb (though they were a little more busy than the first time we went). Ben went flying over to Mickey when it was our turn, and gave him a big hug like he was truly an old friend he hadn’t seen in quite a while. He clamored, “Mickey, you sent me a card! I’m here now!” (Poor Mickey didn't have a clue, but Ben didn't know that.)

After lunch, it was time for our Fast Passes to Test Track and off we headed. I was apprehensive and was made even more so by the different kind of tracks that I saw were to be tested. The very last thing I wanted to do was aggravate my hernias (ouch, ouch, ouch). By the time we made it to the loading area, I was actually nauseous. To tell the truth, I wasn’t sure if it was something I ate or just nerves. (The next morning it became apparent that it was something I ate. graemlins/sick.gif ) I used the chicken exit and found the waiting area (with seating!) in the air-conditioning, as it was really getting hot out.

After Test Track, we headed back to OKW with the same idea as the day before. We were the only ones on the bus this time… where were the crowds we expected? By the time we got back to our room, it was raining so pool time was cancelled. We hung out a little while, napped some and just generally took it easy. For once, a vacation at Disney actually felt like a true vacation (in terms of R&R, that is). :D

[ July 06, 2002, 12:31 PM: Message edited by: ElenitaB ]

07-04-2002, 07:55 PM
When we headed back to Epcot, we had to run for a bus which was not necessarily a bad thing… at least we didn’t have to wait! (In case you hadn't noticed, I'm a "glass half full" kind of girl.) We walked through Futureworld and then had to run to catch the Friendship boat. No need to as we soon discovered when the captain boarded with us (apparently they were in the middle of a shift change). By the time we got to the American Gardens Theatre it was raining pretty hard… thank goodness our reserved seating was under shelter. Again Ben protested having to wait for a “dumb show” but once it started, he was quite entranced. Good show (though it’s not something I would pay Broadway ticket prices to see).

What worried me was that we left the theatre area only to hear the announcement that the 6:15 presentation of Tapestry of Dreams was cancelled. :( I couldn’t miss one of my two favorite things at WDW due to a little rain (though I did want the CMs to be safe)! A little worried, we headed over to Teppanyaki for dinner. None of us had ever been at this type of restaurant and we were looking forward to the experience. The hostess gave Ben —master paper airplane builder— an origami frog. He was absolutely enchanted. He tried to strike up a conversation with two older boys (maybe 9 and 11) seating next to us in the reception area but they weren’t interested. In maybe 10 minutes, we were seated with these very same boys, their dad, and a mom and son (who did talk to us) who live in the same town as my stepbrother. Our chef was very good (Ben —who actually likes to watch Iron Chef— pronounced him “the best chef in the whole world”) but your tablemates really contribute to making or breaking your experience at this restaurant, which is a shame because the restaurant staff can’t control how their guests will interact. The food was wonderful, and Ben attacked his rice (with ginger soy sauce no less) with great vigor (this is the same child who tells me he's allergic to rice here at home). He loved his dinner and so did we. The food was very good and we enjoyed conversing with the mom and her son, but the rest of the people at the table were duds (sorry if you’re reading this…). In contrast, the table right across the way from us was having a grand time interacting among themselves, the wait staff and the chef. Oh well! I guess the only way to guarantee your experience is to bring 7 of your friends with you! (Any one game for the week of December 8?)

It wasn’t until we were outside that I remembered that I had left both my Intercot baseball cap and some shopping (I bought so much this trip that I don’t even remember what was in this particular bag graemlins/crazy.gif ) at our table. I went back to retrieve them, and when I went outside to meet Mallary and Ben, they announced that ToD would be starting in just a few minutes. graemlins/clappy.gif Needless to say, I was thrilled. We staked out a spot, but then spotted an even better one along the railing along the lagoon. We ran across the street as the first floats headed out the entrance next to Morocco. Mallary and I had both made wishes and deposited them in the Dreamcatcher’s basket (what can I say, we're children at heart). This was my little celebration and I was so very glad to be there and alive to enjoy it! I sang along the whole entire thing, and danced with Ben. Lots of the puppets visited us and it was truly enchanting. (I listen to the album constantly and played it at least once during every single day of chemo —my treatments lasted hours and hours.) A first for me: I didn’t cry; instead I smiled deliriously the whole way through. I was in Epcot heaven! graemlins/muscles.gif Tapestry of Dreams ended way too soon, but then we headed over to look for the AP viewing area in front of Italy.

Even if you don’t have an AP, the areas immediately next to the AP viewing area are great spots to see Illuminations. We got there early so Mallary and Ben went off to see if they could visit some more Kidcot stations. I sat and chatted with a woman from Georgia who was there with her grandchildren (no, not our Becky). We had a bench to sit on and watch Illuminations (but I game my seat up for a pregnant woman), and Ben shared some Tootsie Rolls with the CMs and the other kids while waiting for it to start. I hadn’t had dessert at the restaurant and got a tiramisu from the stand at Italy. It was very good. graemlins/tasty.gif (A shrink would have a field day with this… an emotional eater who doesn’t have a strong emotional response when she has food in her mouth [the whole food as non-prescription Valium thing]. I know that people from the Diet Club can relate, but the rest of you just think I’m totally graemlins/crazy.gif , which I probably am.)

It was then time to leave Epcot but knowing that we will be back in December made it much easier to say goodbye. We had a great bus driver back home (Milt was his name) and he told jokes the whole drive to OKW. As we were the very last people on the bus, he parked it and let Ben sit in the driver’s seat!

All in all, another great day at WDW! graemlins/thumbsup.gif

[ July 04, 2002, 07:58 PM: Message edited by: ElenitaB ]

07-04-2002, 08:22 PM
We'll be at Epcot December 12th but we aren't going to eat in Japan. We are going to try the ice cream social at the Land and Canada for supper. When it gets closer we'll have to try to get a meet together!

07-04-2002, 10:52 PM
Ellen - you might not have cried through the Tapestry of Dreams, but you got me a little misty. It made me so happy to think of you joyfully dancing with your son in your happy place. I understand how grateful you were to have that experience and it was beautiful for me to read about it. Thank you for being so generous and sharing. You deserve every happy moment you were having there. Mickey and company were working their kind of medicine on you! And they have powerful, good medicine. :D

07-04-2002, 10:55 PM
Another great report Ellen. Thanks a lot. Can't wait for day 4! :D

07-05-2002, 12:17 AM
Ellen, thank you very much for sharing. I'm certain that your wonderful attitude contributed to the magic. You have every reason to celebrate! Terrific report again...I'm anxious to read more! smile.gif

07-05-2002, 11:13 AM
Fabulous report, Ellen. Your ToD memories are truly wonderful. I'll never view the parade in the same way. Thank you for sharing the "importance" of it with us.

I'm glad you enjoyed Teppanyaki. We've always had great "guests" at our table. It really does make a difference. Although, my husband will strike up a conversation with a napkin. graemlins/thumbsup.gif I cannot wait until the next installment. (Btw - your reports are not long.)

07-05-2002, 11:55 AM
Thanks for the great trip reports. I am so glad for you that WDW was able to help you through some of your tough times with chemo. Many of my friends think I am nuts because we have spent most of our last few years on vacation at WDW but they just don't understand the wonderful memories and feelings that are evoked/created with WDW vacations. I really didn't either until my first trip (a gift from my grandma). I have taken so many "mental vacations" with WDW memories and it really has helped me through a few tough times too (fortunately not chemo). I really do understand. Thanks so much for sharing.

07-05-2002, 07:17 PM
Ellen, thanks for another great trip report. You certainly are a "glass half full" kind of person. What a great attitude.

I love listening to the TOD music in the car. It brings back great memories.

07-21-2002, 02:40 PM
Isn't Tapestry of Dreams great? ;) That's one of my favorites too. smile.gif Glad to hear Day 3 was wondrerful! Thank you for sharing your vacation with us! graemlins/muscles.gif

07-21-2002, 02:53 PM
This was a great report! It is good to know that they reopened the AP area for Illuminations, thanks for the tip! Your trip sounds very magical!