Cast of Characters:
Me, 41 (Favorite Character Mickey)
DH, 41 (Favorite Character Grumpy)
DS, 9 (Loves Both Mickey & Stitch)
Day 4 - Tuesday, June 12, 2007
You guessed it – the wakeup call dings right on queue at 7 am – and the goal is to be out the door by 8:15 today, since Epcot is such a quick drive down the road. At least we’re predictable! I know, it’s VACATION and we’re not supposed to have goals, but I really want to be there for rope drop to hit Soarin’ first thing.
We make it in no time, park in Amaze, go through security and then wait for 20 minutes. Kyle wants to know my reasoning in getting here so early! He forgets how long it can take to get into the park if you're waayy back in the line! We make it into the park without incident, and as soon as the “official opening” takes place, we’re off with the rest of the cattle to Soarin’. We can see the CMs just ahead of us, and for the first time ever it’s looking good that we’ll be able to ride first instead of grabbing a FP.
Although we all enjoy Soarin’, this ends up being the only time we ride our entire vacation! I’m sure some of you think we’re mad, but my daredevil son would much rather use his FP opportunities on TT. Anyway, from Soarin’, we head over to Test Track, grab a few FPs and make our way to Mission:Space – Green Team, that is! As much as I would love to experience Orange Team, I’m just not willing to give up a few hours (or more) if it makes us sick-I am fearful after everything I've read here! The new Nemo ride is next (cute but nothing I’d wait more than 10 minutes for), and we wander around the aquarium for a bit before heading over to Test Track for our FP return. Yay TestTrack! The line is getting crazy, but we’re able to grab another FP before we board. We exit the ride & make certain we add the action photo to our PhotoPass. I really wish the other attractions would follow suit with this!
I’m getting a hankering for a strawberry margarita, so we move on over to World Showcase where we first join Donald in the new Gran Fiesta attraction (we’re pleased with the change, but once again nothing we’d wait more than 10 minutes for). Yay, I finally get my margarita, and we take a few minutes just hanging out, taking pictures. We creep into Norway to ride Maelstrom, but the line is quite silly so we decide to grab a FP for later. I can’t believe we’re getting a FP for this!
OOOPS, the time is getting away from us – it’s time to head back to The Garden Grill over at The Land!
We have never had a bad experience at this restaurant, and this time proves to be no exception. I just love the “farmer” characters here, and the food is a nice mix. Our server is wonderful, allowing us to order the same thing for DS at no additional charge (instead of ordering off the children’s menu). There are so many yummy things on the main adult menu here! Dessert is stellar, and DS has a blast making his own cupcake. I noted on our ressie we are celebrating our 16-year wedding anniversary, but nothing special is done. That's ok, we know from past experience that "celebrations" are hit-and-miss. However, I do miss their wedding vow renewal, which we did several years ago! DDE savings is $14.19.
We literally roll out of the Garden Grill at about 1:20 and since we’re so close, see if Figment is out for photos. No such luck, but we do ride the attraction (where the song becomes lodged in our heads for the rest of the day!).
It’s time to see what fun things MouseGears has. Well, all of a sudden the wind starts gusting, and while we’re having a PhotoPass taken prior to entering the shop, a CM races over to the Photopass photographer on a segway, telling her to take cover – a major storm is on its way. NOT what we want to hear, as we got stuck last year in Mousegears for over an hour with dangerous lightning strikes. We get into Mousegears, shop for a few minutes, purchase a pirate set for DS and decide what to do. We have two FPs in hand – TestTrack and Maelstrom. After the storm we saw from our hotel room the other day, we all decide it would be a good time to head back to the hotel for a bit. Yup, call us wimps, but we’re not messing around in the lightning capital of the world! Perhaps we’ll come back later . . .
We make it to the car in quick order as the skies continue to threaten, heading back to WL. We’re able to park & make it to the room before the storm hits. The problem is – not a big storm! Hey, that’s ok – DS wants to play for a bit, and DS and I sit out on the balcony, feet propped up, relaxing for a bit. The pool is closed due to lightning, so we just chill in our little corner of heaven.
At around 5:00, we’re rested & ready to go back out – but where to go?! Since we have two FPs in hand we opt to head back to Epcot to hang around World Showcase and catch Illuminations. I cancel the second ADR we had for The Plaza (no, we still won’t end up eating there this year) and we’re off!
Our first stop, Spaceship Earth. I mention to the guys that rumor has it the arm & Epcot decorations will be coming off, to which I hear a lot of complaining from them both. (I have since told them it’s really going to happen). We check the boards, and there are NO FPs remaining for the evening.
We were expecting this, as we encountered the same thing last year.
Since they are not handing out wristbands for EMH yet, we make our way to Maelstrom to use our FP. I ask the guys to trust me, and we save our FPs for TestTrack for now. Neither DH or DS has ever gone in the dark, and I really want them to experience it! We slowly make our way around World Showcase (it’s jammed) and the guys decide to grab something from Liberty Inn to eat. Slippery When Wet, the Bon Jovi cover band is playing, so we just hang out in America, enjoying the music for a bit while they finish their dinner. I’m not hungry (big lunch), but I do grab a brew.
Did I mention it’s wall-to-wall people tonight for EMH? We slowly browse in a few shops, and decide we’re going to watch Illuminations in China. Not a bad place, actually! Everyone is sitting down, so we pull a towel from our backpack and join the mini-party that's going on.
Illuminations is emotional and spectacular as always. We close out the production with big family hugs and kisses. Illuminations brings us back to the first time we visited with Kyle in 2000, and the music and show moves us all.
Did I mention it was wall-to-wall people? We hadn’t planned on being here for EMH when we planned our trip due to incredible crowds last year, but we wanted to grab a wristband so that we could at least TRY to do a few things (including our TestTrack FP return), but the lines were so long for wristbands we almost left! No kidding! Remembering that we had passed a place near the front entrance, we went there and literally stood in line for 30 seconds. Green bands in place, we walked right through to the FP TestTrack line, where they allowed us on. Stand-by wait time was something like 110 minutes if I remember correctly, so there will be no repeat ride. The boys declared that TT was THE BEST at night time, as I knew they would!
OK, we give. It really is just too crowded to hang at Epcot, so we take another turn on Spaceship Earth and decide to call it a night. We have an early morning wake-up tomorrow to encounter the Yeti, Dinosaur and Kali! Oh, and a hootin’, hollering time at Whispering Canyon! It's been another fabulous day - a nice pace without being too exhausted to enjoy the goings on around us.