We have arranged to meet Dave and Bev at Epcot for 9am. On the surface, this seems a little crazy after our late night the previous evening. But we have been getting to the parks late each day, and it’s just too hot and busy. We know it makes a big difference to get there early, so we make the effort (and it is a bit of an effort) and get to Epcot for 8;30. As we enter the car park, we think ‘great’, we are at the end of the row, but nope, the car in front of us gets the prime spot and we are sent the mile or so it is along to the bottom of the next row. can’t complain really though, we are parked in the third row so we are pretty close to the front.
We line up at the turnstiles and wait to be let in. A 8:45 they open the gates and we start in, someone jumps the queue, and a few words are had. It’s made all the more annoying/amusing when their ticket doesn’t work and we all have to wait behind said queue jumper whilst they sort it out. We do eventually get in, and we get a prime position right at the rope.
At 9am, they do a countdown and then we all march quickly towards the Land. Phil goes in to get fastpasses, whilst we find Dave, Bev and the kids. They are quickly found and we join in the Soarin’ march. It’s quite funny. At the other parks people run to the first ride, but at Epcot they make you walk (presumably due to the stairs in the Land), so there is a sort of race walk effect as everyone heads off. Phil gets fastpasses for everyone and then we walk in the standby line. It’s posted at 20 minutes but it doesn’t seem that long. We’ve never actually done the standby line before, so we get to experience the interactive queues for the first time. there is some sort of game involving trying to find a bird but we can’t manage to make it fly and just keep hitting a rock!
We are through to boarding very quickly and are then asked to wait for the next ride as there are so many of us. That’s ok though, because it means we will get to be on the top row. I’ve never ridden this on the top before, and it definitely improves the effect if you don’t have feet dangling in front of your eyes! It is quite high, and with the film being about flying, you would think I should be scared, but this ride doesn’t bother me in the slights. Now, if they did a ride about standing at the edge of a cliff, that would be a different matter.
When we come out of Soarin’, we have 20 minutes to wait before we can use our Fastpasses, so we decide to sit in Sunshine Season’s and have a coffee. We all get danishes, and coffees etc, and when we leave, we’ve get 1 snack credit remaining. I am quite pleased with myself that we’ve used them all up. We did use quite a few on things like bottles of water which are probably not the most cost effective use of a credit, but I’m not going to worry too much about that.
So, coffee’s drunk, danishes eaten, and we set back off onto another flight over California. This time we enter the opposite cinema, and Dave tells me we are seeing the film from the other side, and I actually spend 2 or 3 minutes wondering how that is possible before i realise i’m being wound up….. Worrying really that I even considered it, but you know, it’s Disney and everything is possible!
On this ride we are in the middle row, and the feet definitely make a difference. If you have the opportunity to ride in the top row, it’s definitely worth doing as you can immerse yourself more into the experience, rather than wondering where that guy has washed his feet recently!
Photographic evidence is pretty scarce this morning so some of this might have happened in a different order, but I am fairly sure we went over and secured some Test Track fast passes , and then doubled back to see Captain EO. I am sure this was playing when I visited as a child, but I don’t remember seeing it. It’s quite a bizarre story, but Michael Jackson was amazing back in day, and I enjoyed the music and the dancing. I would have liked to see ‘Thriller’ in 3D, I bet that would have made an amazing 3D experience (although to be fair, not one I would have been able to get Katie to watch, and she did watch this)
After the film, we went around to see Figment and Journey into Imagination, and wait, what’s this??? There is a line! We’ve ridden this 100s of times, and there is never a line. Ok, it’s not a long line, but it’s still quite a shock to the system. We hop on board, and enjoy the ride, and when we get off, the Imagination Lab is empty. Which is quite bizarre. The longest line I’ve ever seen for the ride (which admittedly wasn’t long), and yet there are no people in the play area at the end and thats normally packed.
They have changed some of these exhibits. There is a Memory game on one wall, like a massive ‘Simon’ which you might remember if you are as old as me. It’s so big that we have 3 of us trying to operate it, Phil’s doing the colours at one end, Molly’s in the middle and I’m at the far end. We are doing ok until Molly gets bored and wanders off, and then it all falls apart.
We had back across the park to use our fastpasses, (you can see how we have planned and executed an effective plan around the park that doesn’t involve criss-crossing or retracing out steps….) and head straight onto Test Track.
This is fast. Faster than I remember. I am starting to wonder if I’ve just blocked all the fast and scary bits out, as I’ve been surprised at the speed off a few rides. Or maybe they speed them up in August to get more people through the rides quickly? no, I suspect I am just losing my memory. Katie and I are sitting in the back and our hair is whipping around us , which looks really silly.
It’s lunchtime , but on the way into lunch we stop at Club Cool and try some drinks. Both myself and our friend are called Beverley, so it’s decided we should do a toast to the Beverley’s with the Beverly. I have no idea why we all agreed to this, as I’m pretty sure everyone present had tried it before, but we stood in a little circle, chanted 1 2 3 and tipped back the Beverly to universal disgust.
OMG, it’s foul. Everyone immediately tried to find something different to remove the taste. I find a drink from Germany that wasn’t too bad, it was a sort of Orange Coke drink.
My memory is failing me, but at some point before lunch we also go for a ride on Spaceship Earth, again with no queue. This has been a brilliant day for rides without queues.
For lunch, we opt for Sunshine Season’s. This has always been one of my favourite places for lunch, but like most places we’ve eaten the menu’s seem to have been scaled back. I am sure in the past I’ve had 2 different chinese meals, with some rice. But they don’t offer the mixed platters anymore, so I end up with Cashew chicken with 2 sides. I am not sure i need rice AND noodles. However, it is one of the places that offers some goods kids options, and Molly is able to have sweet and sour chicken on the kids meal. It comes with a drink and the obligatory cookie. This cookie now completely offends her, so she opts for grapes.
Someone else has chicken and mash, I think Katie had a pork chop. Phil had a salad. For a counter service place, there are some pretty decent options on offer. For my pudding, I have a Key Lime pie. It was all very nice, and we will probably eat in here again. We like all the different options. Food photos
After lunch, Molly wants to ride Living with the Land, and yet again, a line. I can’t really complain though, as we have been in Epcot for about 5 hours and basically walked onto ride after ride. It’s been a very good morning from that point of view. Living with the land is a great choice for after lunch, as you get to sit down and allow your lunch to digest for 10 minutes.
Our final stop for the day is the Living Seas. We walk into Nemo and there is absolutely no line. This is quite a new ride, with the longest queuing area I’ve ever seen, but I have never seen a line for it. It’s a cute little ride, and we are singing along as we leave ‘in the big blue world’, we are off the ride and straight into Crush’s Turtle Talk. We’re right at the back of the theatre, but there was no waiting here either, so I’m happy with that. I’ve seen this a few times, and sometimes it’s funny and other times a bit flat. Unfortunately today, it didn’t work quite so well. Mainly due to kids putting their hands up and then forgetting what they were going to say. It is very clever though.
It’s just after 3 as we leave Turtle Talk, and I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m exhausted. We say goodbye to our friends and we head off. The girls get Mickey Bars on the way out, using up our last snack credit , and then I have to pay for the other one….. This is a going to be a shock to the system 🙂
We take a quick look into the Art of Animation shop. They have a few things celebrating 40 years of Magic Kingdom including some old ride posters. They have a nice tin set, but it includes the Haunted Mansion which I wouldn’t be able to display in my house due to my DDs complete phobia of the ride. I do fancy something though, but I’m going to keep on looking for now.
We make our way back to the car. Journey 5 had seemed so close this morning but at the end of a long day ‘Every Person Comes Out Tired’ is definitely holding true. We head into OKW and discuss dinner. We are supposed to be eating at Wolfgang Puck cafe but we are all really tired and noone fancies the menu. I take a look online and am able to book a table at Olivia’s. interestingly it tells me I already have an ADR for Wolfgang Puck and makes me cancel it, which is fine, we don’t want it, but I don’t think it used to do that.
The plan now is to do some laundry whilst the kids swim, and then pack. What actually happens is Phil takes Molly swimming and Katie and I have a nap. We have a very lazy few hours and then I wander around to the pool and do some laundry. I sit in the shade and read my book, then pop the clothes in the dryer and go back to my book. 30 minutes later I go back to check and I haven’t actually switched the tumble dryer on……. So, I switch it on, and go back upstairs to get changed for dinner. On the way around to dinner, we stop back and collect the laundry.
Olivia’s is OKW’s table service restaurant. It’s at the front of the resort but in our case this means we still have to drive there. It’s quite a relaxed, laid back sort of place which is exactly what we want. Noone is in the mood for a fancy meal. Katie’s really tired and doesn’t fancy anything of the menu so the waiter offers to get her a burger and fries, which is ideal, just what she’s in the mood for. I have a chicken with Mango Sauce, and Phil has an enormous Prime Rib. Raw. And Molly has Mickey Pasta with tomato Sauce.
My chicken is absolutely delicious. Phil seems to enjoy his steak, but I can’t really look at it. It’s not just a little bit rare, it’s barely seen a flame. He does eat it though and declares it lovely. For dessert, I choose Chocolate cake with a raspberry sauce, Phil has the Key Lime Pie, and Katie has Banana Bread Pudding. Molly has a Make your own Sundae. They are all delicious but the Cake with Raspberry sauce was disappointing, I was expecting some significant sauce but it was just 2 or 3 drops decorating the plate. We end up sharing the desserts around, and surprisingly my favourite is the banana bread pudding which I wouldn’t have chosen since I don’t like bananas. The key lime pie is also very good, and the chocolate cake is well, just chocolate cake really.
I hadn’t been sure about booking Olivia’s as I hadn’t read much about it, but on this evening it was perfect. Very relaxed, nice food, but not too formal. Which was just what we waned.
After dinner (which would have been exactly $100) the kids and Phil went shopping and I went over to settle up our room charge bill. I’d been charged for the internet each day, but when I showed my DVC card they removed all the charges, so it wasn’t too bad at all.
The kids come over to find me, and do a particularly bad job of hiding the purchases. It’s a good thing they don’t have any important secrets to hide 🙂
We head back to the room, and rather than pack, we all collapse into bed. This vacation malarky is hard work and we are tired!