Being re-introduced to Disney World (11/5-7)

Lizgistix

Don't follow me, I'm lost too
Joined
Sep 13, 2019
Hi. So, small confession: I haven't been to a Disney park in approximately 10 years. Within the last year I just recently have been to Disney Springs. Heck, last time I was there, Pleasure Island was still around, but I digress. Other family members have been to Disney, particularly MNSSHP, but I haven't been in a very long time. New Fantasyland? When was there an old Fanta....oh....right.

2 trips to Disney Springs later and I've been bitten by the Disney bug again. So if I'm going to take a vacation, albeit 2.5 days, I'm going to do it right.
Sorry, budget planners, no value resorts this trip. We're going big. We're going grand. We're going.....okay not that grand, but we will stay somewhere I haven't been before, so that will be fun and exciting!

Who's going: Liz aka me (40-something single lady) & Mom
Where we going: Hollywood Studios and Epcot
When we going: Nov 5 - 7

Things we did for the first time: Annual Passholders, staying at this resort, Toy Story land, Galaxy's Edge, Fantasmic, Food & Wine Festival, met characters, pin trading, Via Napoli, character breakfast

Trays up, we're taking off!


11/5/19
Day 1, Part 1: It's crunch time, baby!
Day 1, Part 2: We made it! We made it!
Day 1, Part 3: The OTHER Endless Hallway
Day 1, Part 4: I'm impressed with your accuracy!
Day 1, Part 5: This is the Fastpass line?!

11/6/19
Day 2, Part 1: Turn it up to rabbit!
Day 2, Part 2: Food and Wine but no wine and just food
Day 2, Part 3: First time pin trading!
Day 2, Part 4: (too much) Food and no Wine
Day 2, Part 5: Pizza Pizza

11/7/19
Day 3: ECV drag racin' and free wheelin'
 
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Lizgistix

Don't follow me, I'm lost too
Joined
Sep 13, 2019
11/5/19
Day 1, Part 1: It's crunch time, baby! :scared:

Wake up, make coffee, shower, get dressed, realize everyone is still asleep. Yes, even the dogs.
Finally get going a little later than expected. Stopped at the rest area on I-4 to let the dogs out. From there, it's 15 minutes to the main Disney World exit (not that I've timed it or anything).

First stop: Best Friends Pet Resort.
I wish I had taken some pictures but I was in the moment and taking it all in. It's a cute exterior with oversized hydrants and pictures of Disney cats and dogs. We grabbed everything for our 2 furbabies and went inside to check them in. While I am pleased with the service and amenities, the check in process was painfully slow. I guess that's to be expected. They went over policies and I initialed in several places. They checked both dogs for fleas, then took off our collars and put on a paper collar with their names on it. I think the dogs started to worry they were at an animal shelter. Then they took off our leashes and used one of their collars and leashes. Shadow's legs started to shake. I worried he thought he really was at an animal shelter and we were returning them. I almost started crying because I don't want our furbabies to be scared. They're at Disney! Oddly, when it was time to take them back to their suite, they went right along with the staff member. No tugging, no refusing to leave, not even a goodbye! Hmph!

No time for tears, Liz, there's still more to do and you're on vacation!

Right! Okay, on to step 2: Disney Springs
We pulled into the lime parking garage and found a super close spot by the escalators. In fact, it was the same spot when we went earlier this year. Woah! I went over the plan with mom. "Okay, so, I know where to go. All you have to do is strap on those in-line skates, grab onto my belt, and hold on. Better yet, just hop on my back, that might be faster." :rotfl:

We take off down the escalator and into Disney Springs. Hang a left at The Polite Pig, hang a right at Zara, and then straight towards the Visitor's Center. WAIT. Hold up. "You wait here, I'm going to check out this Disney Ticket Center location a few stores down. If it's right, I'll wave you over." So I power walk a few store fronts down where a nice gentleman greets me. I explained to him that I bought two annual passes online that I need to activate and if I do that here or at the visitor's center. He assured me it can be done right here and in fact, they have an available associate who can do just that right now. So I wave frantically to let mom know to come down this way. We get up to the counter, I show the nice lady the barcode from my email. She activates our annual passes and gives us the physical cards, as well as a booklet of current discounts and deals. The process took, maybe, 10 minutes at the most. Probably 8. It went very fast and very smooth, I was mucho impress-o'd. Now with APs activated, and magic bands ready to wear, we can go to the resort!

Where are we going? Stay tuned for the next installment! :joker:
 
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Lizgistix

Don't follow me, I'm lost too
Joined
Sep 13, 2019
Day 1, Part 2: We made it! OMG I'm at Disney World!

Where was I? Ah yes: pets boarded, APs activated, now to head to the resort and get the ECV.

Thanks to Google Maps, the drive around Disney World isn't as confusing as it used to be. Heck, I would have never even thought about using Bonnet Creek Parkway, but it worked for us a few times this trip. So we take off from Disney Springs and several moments later arrive at...

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We're here! We're here! Omg I'm at Disney World! We pull up to the main entrance and get our luggage out and put it on a cart. I tell the nice gentleman that our room isn't ready yet so we have to check our luggage. Mom gets out and waits while I go park the car. Of course, the next available spot in handicap parking is near the service gate, but what can ya do? As I get back to the main road, I wonder, "did I put the placard on the rearview?" SOOOO, I turn around and walk BACK to the car only to find out that, yes, Liz, you did put it up before you left. I still double checked that I locked the doors, too. Hey, some times you need to check these things three times just for peace of mind!

Before making the trek back once again, I snapped a picture of the Skyliner from the Boardwalk parking lot. Wow, I'm really here!
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Okay, on the original picture which is way way larger, you can totally see the Skyliner. Kind of.

As I walked back up to the main entrance, who should be there but Buena Vista Scooters. Gosh, what good luck! Now we can go ahead and pick our ECV up and really get this vacation started! So I text mom that the scooter is here, so she can come on down and give it a test drive. She gets comfortable and we walk back into the resort to take a look around the lobby and admire our surroundings. We find the elevator and head down to the Boardwalk Boardwalk and really admire the view we have of the area. Wonderful, wonderful view. I can't believe I'm here at Disney!! We go check out the scary clown pool and take in the Villas area before walking down the rest of the Boardwalk over by Jellyrolls and Atlantic Dance.

It's lunch time, and I'm not too eager to get to the park just yet because I want to see if our room will be ready soon. This way we don't have to go, then come back, then go back. We can just go, boom, done. So, since it's around lunch time, I decided we could go try Big River Grille and Brewing Works for lunch. They had tables available, so we parked the ECV outside, and went inside for a lovely lunch.

And boy howdy was it ever! We started with the asiago , artichoke and crab dip that was so wonderful. The bread it came with was a little, uh, crunchy? It was a little toasty. I'm sorry, the official word off the menu is crostini. Yeah, it came with those. It was really good, though. Mom had the Brewer's Club sandwich, and she raved about it. I had the Kobe burger, which I made her try a bite of. I don't think I've ever had kobe beef. It was so good. It was so, so good. During lunch we tried dipping our kettle chips into the dip, and that worked really well, too! Near the end of lunch, I was just eating spoonfuls of the dip straight because it was really good and I was running out of room and didn't want to fill that space with more carbs.

We passed on dessert and continued strolling through the shops. We ducked into the main gift shop to find mom a plastic card holder for her AP that attaches to a lanyard. they had a choice between Baymax or Villians. Since mom seems to personally like the Evil Queen (this concerns me as her child), she opted for Villains and was a little too excited to have something where the Evil Queen is front and center in the image. (again, as her child, I'm slightly concerned)

Just then I received a text. Our room was ready! :oops:
 
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  • Lizgistix

    Don't follow me, I'm lost too
    Joined
    Sep 13, 2019
    Day 1, Part 3: The other Endless Hallway

    We received the text that our room was ready, so we headed back to the lobby to Bell Services and asked them nicely if they could bring our luggage up. We also asked where the other elevators are that go up the rooms. The very nice man explained how to get to them and they were actually near the other elevator that only goes down to the Boardwalk. Handy!

    So we head up to the 3rd floor and begin walking towards our room. Down one hallway, and take a right. Then down another hallway and take a slight left. Then down another hallway and take a slight left. Then down yet ANOTHER hallway. You know the Endless Hallway in Haunted Mansion? It felt like I was walking that. It kept going and going and going and, heck mom was in a scooter she didn't care, but me on the other hand was wondering if I could hop on the back and hitch a ride.

    I should mention that I had originally booked a Garden View room, and then about 30 days before arrival decided, you know what, this is my first Disney trip in nearly 10 years. Let's go bigger. Let's do this right. We're at the Boardwalk, it has a great view of the lake, let's go for it and change to a Water View room.

    ...so I upgraded to a Water View room, and long walk aside, it was one of the best decisions I made for this vacation. ::yes::

    Finally we get to room 3223. Easy to remember. Upon arriving, the phone was ringing and I scrambled to get it. It was Bell Services wanting to double check what was written on our tag. I guess the gentleman who originally handled our luggage put down there were 5 pieces when in actuality it was only 4, so he wanted to make sure they weren't forgetting anything. A few minutes later there was a knock on our door and our luggage arrived. I jokingly asked how hard I would have to twist the guy's arm for him to accept a tip, thinking he would have to refuse twice before accepting it, but he didn't put up a fight, so I slipped him a shiny new quarter and thanked him for his prompt service. :rolleyes: (it wasn't a quarter, this isn't the 1950s)

    Before getting settled in, we both had the brilliant idea to take some pictures of the room before we messed it up with all our stuff.
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    Fancy, right? There's a couch to my right which I would have taken a picture of but that's where all our stuff is, so unless you want to see two pillows, a suitcase, and a pink Under Armour dufflebag.....:rotfl: Also to my right is the TV and where we parked the scooter. Just beyond the beds is the bathroom with 2 sinks, little bottles of shampoo and conditioner and body wash. Little bottle of mouthwash, little boxes of soap, and a travel kit with q-tips, and some other stuff. Mom probably has them in the guest bathroom at home now. Oh and there was a closet and a counter type unit with a Keurig and in the pull out drawer were glasses, coffee cups, and then k-cups of coffee, green tea, and English breakfast tea! Fancy, right? ::yes::

    Next is the view. My goodness what a view! :lovestruc
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    The red/white stripe awning is the Boardwalk Bakery, if that helps give you an idea of where we were. Just out of sight, or if I had taken a 3rd picture, you'd be able to see ESPN, but heck, this is good enough! Side note, we did have a patio with a table and two chairs, but the chairs were on opposite ends. If you put the table in the middle, neither chair could reach the table, so one person could use the table while the other person had to use the floor as their table. But still, THIS VIEW! :woohoo:

    We freshened up and made sure we had everything we needed before heading out to the park. APs, check. Magic bands, check. Water bottles and cooling towels, check and check. Cell phones, check. As they said in Sixteen Candles, "let's go boogie!"

    Sorry for a shorter chapter just about the room, the next chapter is the park, so let's go to Hollywood Studios!
     
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    Lizgistix

    Don't follow me, I'm lost too
    Joined
    Sep 13, 2019
    Day 1, Part 4 - I'm impressed with your accuracy!

    We took the boat over to Hollywood Studios because it was there, it's a long walk, and I'm out of shape (tomorrow should be fun). Mom is armed with her purple magicband. I'm armed with my resorts exclusive Cinderella's Castle magicband that I'm convinced is going to do something fun and exciting because it's limited edition..or maybe release...it's limited something. Darnit, just make a pretty color light or a sound or something to justify the extra cost associated with it!

    We get through security and I have everything in ziploc bags to make it easy for the nice man to look at all my stuff. We go up to the entrance and I excitedly put my magicband up to the mickey and put my finger in the reader and the lights are spinning and I'm all excited in anticipation and suddenly the light turns.....




    green. WELP. :faint:

    As we stroll down Hollywood Boulevard, it really hits us both that we are at Disney. We're inside a park. We're inside Hollywood Studios! We are at Hollywood Studios! Omg! Let's go ride Tower of Terror. Okay, let's one of us go ride Tower of Terror. The wait isn't that long, maybe 25 minutes I think. It wasn't bad. I'm in line to ride Tower of Terror! I'm getting to ride Tower of Terror once again! OMG! So naturally I take in how the outside queue is supposed to be unsettling in it's layout and supposed to make guests uneasy. As I get inside the door, I once again take in the sights of this queue and remember how much I loved it last time I was here, and how I still love it now. I just love this ride in general. I looked around at everything, taking in it all but not knowing much about Twilight Zone episodes to get any show references. As I entered the pre-show, my giddiness began again. It was just as i remembered, and I recalled the Mickey doll the little girl is holding in the video. Then we entered the boiler room queue and when everyone kept walking left at the split, I went right into the other line. As I got up to the loader, to be fair to the shorter people in line, I asked for the back row.

    Now here's where my previous theme park anxiety kicked in. I'm very much pooh-sized. Seatbelts on rides have been the reason I stopped going to theme parks because I didn't like doing the walk of shame. I was legit worried I wasn't going to be able to get the seatbelt to fasten. Imagine how I felt when I was able to fasten that seatbelt with no problem at all. I was ecstatic! I was beyond ecstatic. I was on cloud, no, cloud 10. I'm able to ride a ride I love and I fit into the seat and we are a go for Tower of Terror! As the door closed and the ride began, my excitement level went through the roof and I had a huge grin as our ride car went up to the first scene.

    I love that ride so much. :lovestruc

    I met up with mom at the exit with a stupid huge grin on my face and I thanked her for getting me a bottle of water. Around this time, it was getting close to our first fast pass window, so let's meander over to Toy Story land and ride Midway Mania!

    The lovely cast members at the fast pass entrance said we could take the ECV through the queue and to give this pass to the next CM we see, so we did, and then I did, and he directed us to go this one direction so we went that way and then we went this other way and then we were in the special loading line for the ride and it was all a big blur but the next thing I realized we were almost next in line to load. So we get in and I slightly worried about the lap bar but it closed fine, so we put our glasses on and prepared for our first ride on Midway Mania.

    Couple thoughts here. First of all, I think if you go on this ride, you can skip arm day at the gym because this ride is an arm workout! Second of all, I'm a gamer. I play first person shooter games, primarily Overwatch. I like to think I'm going to be really good at this game because I have lots of aim practice and I had a strategy for how to shoot quickly. In my head, this was going to be a piece of cake. I'll hit 400k points no problem!

    So we get our totals at the end, and I'm thinking I probably did an amazing job.
    Mom: 68,000. Accuracy: 40%
    Me: 120,000. Accuracy: 25%
    Okay, in my defense, I was playing the numbers. I figured if I fired a lot of shots really quickly, I'd rack up a good score easily. I was going to quantity over quality. I turned to mom and said "I'm really impressed with your accuracy." I mean 40%! Maybe mom's a gamer and I didn't know it. I can't really see her playing Call of Duty, though.....

    After Midway Mania, we still had plenty of time before our dinner reservation, so since we were in the area and the wait time wasn't that bad, I decided we should go ride Alien Swirling Saucers! And by golly, I am so glad we did. I have never laughed so much on a ride before. Every time the car would swing left, I'd slide into mom, crushing her against the side, and every time it would swing right, she'd end up squished against me. I was laughing so much I nearly had tears. That ride is so much fun and it's a really cute ride as well. It's not as wild as the spinning tea cups at Magic Kingdom, so that's a plus, but it is so. much. fun. 10/10, would recommend! I think that rhymed.

    We still had time before dinner, so I thought while we're over this way, let's go check out Galaxy's Edge! I was not prepared for this area. Nerd Liz was not prepared for this area. I thought I was prepared but as soon as we crossed over and the immersive themeing began, I was in complete awe. I lost count how often I said "omg" and "wow this is amazing". And then I saw Storm Troopers! And they were harassing a guest! Omg. I'm seeing Storm Troopers with my own two eyes! They're right there! This is unbelievable!

    Well, I thought that was unbelievable. But then I saw this....
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    Now this is unbelievable! :oops:

    And I thought that was unbelievable. Until I saw this and nearly soiled myself.
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    Good golly gosh of all things sacred and holy, I'm looking at the Millennium Falcon. I am physically looking at the Millennium Falcon!
    Wait, let me blink and pinch myself.
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    Yep, Millennium Falcon is still right there in front of....OMG, Storm Troopers! And they're headed this way. Okay, okay, be cool Liz, be cool. You're not affiliated with anyone yet. You're just a guest! You're passing through. Just passing through. Not suspicious. Don't look suspicious, Liz! :scared1:

    As soon as they passed, we high-tailed it out of there, because that's totally what people who aren't suspicious would do. On the way, I happened upon a beverage station and completely forgot about the themed bottles, so OF COURSE I had to stop and get one.
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    I mean, I drank it of course, but it's really comforting to know that even in a galaxy far, far away, one can still get a Diet Coke. :joker:
    (and a Dasani, which I don't know why I didn't take a picture of it. I have the bottle, why didn't I take a picture of it?)

    Anyway, yes, and shortly thereafter, the rain that was scheduled to arrive in the afternoon showed up around 6:30-ish.
    Also we have a dinner reservation for 6:50 at 50s Prime Time. GREAT TIMING! :scared1:
     

    Lizgistix

    Don't follow me, I'm lost too
    Joined
    Sep 13, 2019
    Day 1, Part 5: This is the fastpass line?!

    We left off at the edge of Galaxy's Edge, over near Muppets 3-D under a covered area attempting to assess our next plan of action. We had to get to 50s Prime Time for our dinner reservation but it was pouring down rain. Also the direct route had a parade going through, or what looked like a parade. Something was going through, so we had to go a different, longer route. Let me check a map real quick so I can explain it better.

    Okay, here we go. I believe there was a Star Wars parade of sorts passing through that area, which would have been a more direct route to 50s Prime Time. Instead, to get around it, we turned right at Sci-Fi Drive-In and walked along ABC Commissary until we arrived at the main hub area. From there we turned right, walking towards Dockside Diner and around the lake to the right before finally arriving at 50's Prime Time, which had a swarm of people huddled under the awning. We tried to dry off a little and I went inside to check-in.

    We were actually met by a hostess outside who was making sure people who had reservations were checking in, and if it was close to their seating time. I assured her we had a 6:50 reservation, so she let me inside to check in. We checked in and asked for a TV table. We were told it might be a little bit of a wait for one, which I said we were fine with. We hung out in the lounge for a bit until they called us back to be sat.

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    Now, mind you, I've eaten here before but mom hasn't. In fact, I think we found some decorations that we either have at home or once had at home. I loved that the TV model was "Disney" and it was a fun loop of old tv shows that cycled through during dinner. Ah yes, I haven't watched "Dennis the Menace" in forever! We did a little bit of research before leaving on this trip, meaning we watched a few videos of people dining at 50s Prime Time, so I knew as soon as we sat down to set the table and no elbows on the table. I was ready to be on my best behavior! I wanted to make mom proud in front of our server, Cousin Leanne. Fortunately, Cousin Leanne was not a mean server, she was actually really cool and laid back. I think she would be the person who would have watched us kids while mom and dad had a date night.

    I ordered the meatloaf and was actually underwhelmed. Yeah, that's what it looked like before I started eating. Mom wanted the chicken noodle soup but since I had her listed with a dairy allergy, and the noodles included whey, the chef wouldn't allow it. I forget what she ordered but Leanne was able to substitute in a fried chicken breast in her meal, and surprisingly, the fried chicken was really, really good. I guess they marinate it in it's own chicken juices or something. I don't remember what the secret was. I even cleaned my plate and didn't get a "Clean Plate Club" sticker!
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    So, my overall opinion of 50's Prime Time:
    Atmosphere/Decor - 10
    Food - 6
    Overall experience: 7
    I probably wouldn't go back. I hear Sci-Fi has a turkey club that's to die for....😉
    During dinner, a family approached us and asked if we were going to Fantasmic, and if so, they have 2 tickets as part of a dinner package they aren't able to use, so I gladly took them. I think she said with these we'll have better seats than with our fastpasses.

    Speaking of Fantasmic, it's nearing time to go check in for that. Thankfully the rain stopped.
    We left 50s Prime Time and headed back down towards Tower of Terror where we were met with a crazy long line out on the street. "Surely this is the stand-by line" I thought to myself. Then a cast member loudly yelled that the line not on the sidewalk is for fast pass and dining package guests only. So much for that. Wow, really? This line is massive! (I didn't realize how big the seating area was)

    Eventually the FP/Dinner Package line started moving, and it was a bit frantic. Also it's a very long walk from the street entrance to the theater. We passed through a few more areas where guests were funnelled in different directions and finally arrived at the line for dinner package guests. The very nice CM had us pull up to a roped area, where another CM will take us to the wheelchair/ECV viewing area. He directed us where to park and instructed me to sit on the bench directly in front. Naturally, I was worried about blocking mom's view because I'm tall and she's not tall, but she assured me she could see fine. I also didn't like I was sitting in front, so once the show started, I couldn't look over and see her reaction to any key show elements.

    Oh, the dining package seating area was pretty much right in the center. We had a great view. We weren't down in front close to all the action, which would have been nice, but we had a great overall view of everything.

    Fantasmic itself was really neat but slightly hard to follow. The fireworks were really neat. The projections on the sprayed water was really neat. The cast of characters was really neat. It was pretty neat. I'd probably do it again.

    However, the walk back to the main street seemed to take forever! I felt like the theater was in a different time zone considering how long of a walk that was! We eventually made it back to Sunset Boulevard and ducked into a shop to do some pin shopping before we left. I bought a few pins of rides that I loved this trip and of course bought a Galaxy's Edge pin. I showed my 'passhole' slider to a cast member and she started cracking up, then called over a co-worker to look at it. 😁

    We hit up a few more shops on the way out but didn't really buy much. I was going to buy some Skyliner merch, but I remember the store at Boardwalk also had Skyliner merch, so we'll save that for another day. We slowly trudged out of the park and over to the side to take a slight break before continuing on. About a minute later we see the Friendship boat pull up. Knowing the boats run until an hour after closing, we thought this was the last boat of the night, so we both booked it over to the dock to try and catch the boat.

    We were greeted by a super nice young lady who is on the Disney College Program, and she put the ramp down for us so mom could get onto the boat. We sat down inside, the only people on the boat. By then the fog was rolling in, which I thought was from Fantasmic but no, it was normal nature-made fog. The boat had to go to Swan/Dolphin, then Yacht/Beach, before going to Boardwalk, so we rode the boat the entire way. It was nice to sit down and relax.

    Once arriving at Boardwalk, I chatted a little more with the nice lady in the DCP while mom scurried off without me. After a lovely conversation, she and the boat captain wished me a good night. We all waved and I headed up the ramp to meet up with mom.

    Spoiler: we would end up seeing this lovely young lady again the next day and I ended up writing an email compliment to Guest Services after we arrived home. (11/17 update: I received an email response that my email was forwarded to the appropriate team lead to have them give to her, so I hope she is rewarded in some way because she helped make this vacation memorable :lovestruc) I just wish I had remembered her name!

    Oh, right, the trip report: we traveled down the other endless hallway back to our room and passed out.

    Get some sleep, Liz, tomorrow is Epcot Food & Wine! :flower:
     
  • heaven2dc

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 26, 2003
    I am having such fun reading your TR! You have such a great writing style and your sense of humor is awesome :) I had to chuckle at the last post when you said your mom scurried off without you. It reminds me of my dear aunt who always went ahead of us on her scooter (she loved having one on our trip).
     

    Lizgistix

    Don't follow me, I'm lost too
    Joined
    Sep 13, 2019
    Sorry for the delay! I've been a little busy (and tired) with work. I've been meaning to continue and begin day 2, it just takes some prep work and a solid block of a few hours time...
     

    Lizgistix

    Don't follow me, I'm lost too
    Joined
    Sep 13, 2019
    Nov 6, 2019 - Day 2, Part 1 - Turn it up to rabbit!

    Hello! Sorry for the delay. Okay, so we finished day 1 and now it's on to day #2. The full day at Epcot to experience yet another first for me: Epcot Food & Wine! Are you excited? I'm excited. I've never been!

    Naturally, we woke up at the bright hour of 7a-ish and didn't get going until 8:30-ish. We're not morning people. Armed with our water bottles, cell phone charging bank that we won't end up using, and other necessities, we headed down to the Boardwalk level to make the long walk over to Epcot but first we must stop for breakfast at the Boardwalk Bakery.

    'Tis a lovely place inside with big display cases of their offerings. I opted for a sandwich for breakfast, which came with chips and I think a bag of apple slices. Mom had fruit and I think a muffin. Oh, and she ate my apple slices. (thanks, Mom!) I thought I'd share and let her have one or two. In the end, I only had one or two and she had the rest. I was really looking forward to those, too, especially ever since the self-serve kiosks at McDonald's where I found out you can add that to your order so now I always add on a bag of apple slices to my order. Big Mac, large fry, oh and apple slices to make it healthy, please. :rotfl: Wait, I done got myself side tracked.

    Okay! We're back on track. We made the long, arduous trek over to Epcot and through security at the International Gateway and holy fazolis, there's character meet and greets happening right now! There's Mickey! There's Minnie! There's Donald! Bummer that there's no, oh wait, Goofy's up there! How cool is that! We just got into Epcot and right there are 4 characters to meet. This is awesome. Gosh, I love this place. :love:

    But we don't have time for character meets just met, loyal readers, we have a schedule to loosely follow! So mom, turn the ECV to rabbit and let's book it to The Land to ride Soarin' before the line gets too crazy! :moped:

    We made it over to The Land and I believe the standby line was 30 minutes. Not the worst, and we have the time, so let's do it! The nice CMs told us we can take the ECV through the queue all the way up to the loading area. I have to say, of the CM costumes, the ones for Soarin' are pretty darn sharp. I think I told two CMs that I love their costume. Also, did I mention Soarin' is my favorite ride in Epcot? It's so wonderful. :love:

    But check this out! And you probably knew this already but I didn't. Okay, so we're riding on Soarin', right? We're moving our feet as we're flying like everyone else, right? When suddenly, specific Magic Candle Company scents finally made sense...or scents, if you will.
    When we were Soarin' over India at the Taj Mahal is when I smelt the roses from the air freshener and that's when it hit me about the 'Soarin over....' scents. When we soared over Africa, I smelled the fresh cut grass. When we soared over Fiji, I took a deep breath and took in the scent. It was truly magical. In fact, it was so magical that once we were off the ride, we stopped at a nearby gift shop so I could buy a really awesome Soarin' pin.
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    After leaving The Land (we'll return later in the day), we still had time to kill before our FP at Spaceship Earth, and Journey Into Imagination had a very low wait, so I figured, why not? I knew it wasn't going to live up to expectations since they changed it but how bad could it really be? HOWEVER, before this trip continues any further, we must stop at this food cart just outside of The Land to try: A MICKEY PRETZEL! and cheese sauce, because obviously.

    So we're eating this Mickey pretzel, minding our own business, when suddenly my mom eagerly gets my attention.
    "Liz, look!" she exclaims.
    I look up from my cheesy pretzel-y okayness to see Merida walking towards her character meet spot.
    EHRMAGERD! :eek: She's walking by, she's waving, this is my one moment to interact with Merida so naturally I yell out "I LOVE YOUR HAIR!"
    She yelled back "thank you!" and waved. :love: We had a moment.

    After finishing the rest of my just-okay pretzel, we head over to Journey Into Imagination. I prepped mom that the ride has been changed since we last were on it, so it may not be as good as we remember. In fact, it wasn't as good as we remember it. It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't as wonderful as it used to be. I understand we missed riding it during the attraction's dark ages when it was really dreadful. I mean, this was okay, but it was kind of lacking. Still, it passed the time we needed to do something with before our FP, so it wasn't a total waste.

    Once back outside, we made our way to Spaceship Earth for our fast pass. Naturally, I totally forgot about the Pluto meet and greet I wanted us to do so we could tell the puppers that we met Pluto. The CMs outside Spaceship Earth were a little less than pleasant but they were nice enough to kindly direct us to the ECV entrance off to the side and up a ways. We were definitely in good company as there were a number of ECVs parked inside and there is even a waiting area to stage us before we are lead up the ramp and onto the exit platform to load. I'm undecided about how I feel about the video that plays in the ride vehicle near the end. Oh, and as we passed the burning Rome section, I leaned over to mom and said "there's a candle at Magic Candle Company of this scent." "Really?" was her response. I guess some people like it.

    Alrighty, this concludes the Future World segment of our day (for now). This seems like a good post stopping point, since after we exited Space Ship Earth, we headed towards World Showcase to begin our Food and Wine adventure in eating too much!

    But first...another pin. :teeth:
    456255
     

    Lizgistix

    Don't follow me, I'm lost too
    Joined
    Sep 13, 2019
    Day 2, Part 2: Food and Wine but no wine, just food

    We have a fast pass in about an hour for Maelstrom Frozen Ever After, so we began making our way towards Norway. As we ventured towards the Food and Wine booths, I began taking in the sights and smells until I realized, WAIT! This is one of the booths I wanted to stop at. Whoops! Mom, merge left, merge left, merge left.

    (btw, I'm totally using my itemized room bill to keep track of the order of the booths we went to, and I might be using the guide I bought from DFB to remember what we ate since I don't have my festival passport with me, although we both do have a passport and we did use the stickers to keep track of where we went to :teeth: . Mom liked that.

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    So here we go, stop numero one-oh
    Islands of the Caribbean - this was a Liz-only stop, and I wanted to have the jerk-spiced chicken. I've had jerk chicken before, and I really like jerk chicken, so why not enjoy some jerk chicken while at Epcot, right? I enjoyed the heat. Mom doesn't do spicy, so she declined.
    The Alps - OF COURSE WE'RE GETTING THE RACLETTE SWISS CHEESE! I don't do pickles, so mom was on cornichon duty. The melty swiss cheese was yummy and totally worth the wait while they melted and scraped.

    As you can guess, by this time we made it to Norway but we're early for our FP! But we're here! But we need to kill time! So what should......we're going to meet Anna and Elsa. :teeth: Okay, so the queue for this meet and greet is the cutest! You go into a house and it's decorated with Anna and Elsa stuff and there's this really nice painting of the two of them with mom and dad that made me kind of sad, but the overall theme of the place was super cute. The line itself moved well, too. We weaved through this area. Then we went to this area.Then we went through these doors and OMG ANNA AND ELSA ARE STANDING RIGHT THERE! :scared1::faint:

    I must have acted like the biggest blubbering dork but omg they were both soooo nice! Elsa's makeup was amazing and she was so pretty! Anna was the bomb and I love her personality and I had so much fun talking to both of them! Can you tell I've never actually met or stood next to any other Disney princesses before? AND THEY WERE MY FIRST! :faint: They were so great to talk to and leading conversations so you were never like "uh, what do I say to her?!" and I did tell both ladies they were very pretty and I also asked Anna what was going on between her and Kristoff (this was before Frozen 2 came out so don't spoil it for me!) and she said she didn't want to come on too strong and scare him away, which I totally get because I've done that.

    Okay, so now we're both on cloud 9 after meeting Anna and Elsa, time to go ride Maelstrom Frozen Ever After! We took the ECV through the line, and y'all, we saw the sweetest thing at the boarding area. One boat ahead of us was a family where the daughter was confined to a wheelchair. We watched her dad physically pick her up and carefully step down into FEA boat and sit her between him and mom to ride. The smile on her face made my eyes misty, it was so sweet and she was so excited to ride! We talked about this with the couple in the row in front of us and we were all moved to tears. :sad:

    Side note: I love how the queue for FEA is nearly the same as Maelstrom, with the village and everything. I wish they still had the viking mural with the hidden mickey. I also love that you don't have to watch a movie afterwards. Speaking of afterwards, let's go check out this bakery I've heard so much about!

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    Yep, that's the school bread I've heard so many good things about, and now I know why. It's delish! The inside has a cream filling just like the dollop on top. Fortunately for me, mom hates coconut, and this thing is at least 50% covered in coconut! So, being the good daughter, I cut some of the bottom half off so mom could try the school bread. I believe she had a cream horn as well. The service inside the bakery was a little chaotic and confusing, if I could be a little honest. The young ladies were nice, though. I'm used to CMs in general and had to remind myself that we're in the Norway pavilion and these nice young ladies are actually from Norway.

    Okay! Let's keep 'er movin'. On to more Food and Wine but no wine and just food.

    Africa - this was another Liz stop for the Kenyan coffee tenderloin, which I think was decent. I don't remember a strong coffee flavor and the thing on the bottom was kind of weird.

    Germany - Oh my goodness, Germany. This was a both of us stop. We tried the apple tart, which was just okay but what we both really loved with the Schinkennudeln. We tore that up, it was SO GOOD! I believe mom looked up a recipe for it after we got home and I think she's going to try and make it one night.

    Japan - another me stop. However, I decided to only get one of the two things I wanted to try here. No, I wasn't about to try the frothy ramen. No, I wanted to get the spicy roll but since I've had sushi, I went for the item I've never had before: the teriyaki bao bun! It was good, I enjoyed it. Mom tried some and I explained to her this is an example of Japanese street food.

    Brazil - Yay, a both of us stop! Well, a stop for something I thought we both would like, which was the seafood stew, and holy macaroni was that good! The scallops were small, though, but it had a good flavor and we both enjoyed it very very much.

    France - Ah yes, the France booth. Something for both of us but not for us to share. Mom had the creme brulee, which she said she enjoyed, and I went way outside my comfort zone and I had the escargot croissant. I've never had escargot before and this croissant had 3 big ol' marble sized snails inside it. While it was an experience, for sure, I don't think I would ever order that again. It didn't gross me out or make me sick, I just didn't care for it again after I finished what I had. It was fine for a once experience. Also we sat down on a bench over near where Belle was meeting but we didn't really want to get in line to meet her, although she looked very pretty! :love:

    After this, I needed to step outside of the park to take a break, and after typing this far, I kind of need to do the same thing so I am going to stop here. On our way out of the International Gateway, mom got in line to meet Minnie and get her picture taken, so that was nice! :goodvibes
     
  • Lizgistix

    Don't follow me, I'm lost too
    Joined
    Sep 13, 2019
    Day 2, Part 3 - First time pin trading!
    Okay, we're back! I left off after the booth in France and mom getting a picture with Minnie Mouse. I posted a picture of it to my facebook so all her friends could see, and of course mom was aghast and how her hair looked. I politely informed her that noone is caring about how her hair looks in this picture, they're more interested in seeing her with Minnie. Moms, what can ya do, amirite?!

    Mom also let me try riding the ECV to give me a little walking break and wow that thing is a lot of fun to drive! I felt like I was playing my own version of Mario Kart. Good thing I'm good at driving video games because I was taking those curves around the planters like a champ. We arrived at the nicotine replenishment area and sat for a good 20-30 minutes while I brought my level back to normal (don't judge). It provided some nice time to people watch and talk to others doing the same thing.

    On the way back in to Epcot, we passed by the Friendship boat area and who should we see but that really nice young lady CM we met the day before on the DHS boat who is on her DCP. She remembered us! This time she was standing near the boat and holding the pin trading life preserver. I noticed she had one of the Epcot icon hidden mickey pins I was looking to collect so I asked if I could trade one of my pins for it. I reached into my bag to pull out my stash of pins to trade and asked if there were any pins she would like in particular. She said she wasn't too particular, so since she's such a lovely young lady, I looked through my stash to find a cute pin that I think she would like. (I'll save the ugly pins to trade with other CMs). I forgot which pin I pulled out to trade, but she happily accepted it and traded me for this pin:

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    I miss World of Motion, and I love retro Epcot, so I absolutely had to have this pin. I was absolutely fine with doing a trade, but then she (I wish I wrote down her name!) reminded me that I can trade 2 pins per cast member, and if there was something else on her pin preserver that I would like to trade for. I wasn't seeing any other pins that were jumping out at me until mom pointed out there's a Minnie pin that looks like a Mickey pin I have, so I thought "oh! yeah! that would be neat!" So I dug into my bag again and I think this time I pulled out a Stitch pin and asked if she would like to trade, to which she replied "I love Stitch!", so I traded her for the Minnie pin, pictured below:

    456892

    How cute is that?! :lovestruc
    I didn't do any other pin trading this trip (pin buying on the other hand...:rolleyes1) but oh my goodness, that was so fun! I recommend this to anyone new to pin collecting and trading who may be intimidated by trading with collectors who have been doing this for years. With CMs, it's low stress for beginners and a really fun experience. Plus, there's a low chance of rejection, so you're not going to feel dejected or possibly embarrassed!

    Okay, let's stop here and we will pick up again with the continuation of the Food and Wine, a few more rides, and another 3/4 walk around World of Showcase. (I'm not in shape for all this walking. Where's the ECV side car?!)
     

    Lizgistix

    Don't follow me, I'm lost too
    Joined
    Sep 13, 2019
    Day 2, Part 4: (too much) Food and no Wine
    We hiked back into Epcot, up the hill of the International Gateway and down into the United Kingdom. Upon rounding the gentle curve, we saw the lovely Alice from Alice in Wonderland meeting with guests. Omg! How cool is that! Then I remembered, hey wait, hold the phone, there's 3 character meets here. Let's go see how the lines are! To be honest, I'm surprised and pleased with how long the line for Alice was. I mean, kids these days with their Frozen and Moana, I thought for sure they wouldn't know who Alice was. We drove through the UK garden (mom likes gardens) towards the back of the pavilion and came upon the meeting area for Mary Poppins. MARY POPPINS! These kids even know who Mary Poppins is! The line to meet her was long, too, and mom was so touched with the way she kneeled down to be on the same level as these little kids and really talk to them at their level. She thought that was really thoughtful. Then again, British people are known for being really polite, just like Canadians, which is probably why they're situated next to each other. :idea:
    We also passed the meeting area for Pooh, which was also a bit long. Unfortunately this area was inside and despite the outside windows, we were unable to see inside and get a glimpse of Pooh. Oh, bother!

    On our way out of the UK, we passed the Ireland booth, which was another stop on our my Food and Wine itinerary. This time, since it's mid-afternoon already, and we have dinner reservations booked, I wasn't feeling like we should keep eating savory foods, so instead of the cheddar cheese and stout dip that I intended to have, we opted for the chocolate pudding with Irish cream custard. And that....was disappointing. I think it was my expectations that caused it to be a miss. It tasted like a mini chocolate cup cake baked in a tin, flipped upside down, with sauce poured over it. I was really disappointed by it. In hindsight, maybe I should have opted for the Baileys shake...that was tempting. :sad1:

    We approached the Canada booth and the plan was the mushroom filet for mom and the cheddar cheese soup for me, but again, a few hours before dinner. We need to make room in our bellies, so instead we decided to skip it and keep going. Instead, we continued on towards Shimmering Sips where I wanted us to try the cheesecake trio. As I approached the cashier, I recognized the young lady. "Wait, I've seen you before at another booth." Yep, the lady who took my money over at the Islands of the Caribbean booth when we first started was now waiting to take my money at Shimmering Sips. I didn't have high expectations for this trio. Really, the only reason I'm buying this was for the raspberry cheesecake. We loves raspberries. We used to have a raspberry bush in our yard back home in Wisconsin. We go out of our way and drive 30 minutes to a grocery store in another suburb because they're the only store in our area that sells Pepperidge Farms raspberry turnovers! We descend on Culver's when the custard is red raspberry. We love raspberries. Where was I again? Oh, cheesecake. Yeah it was lame. The raspberry flavor was okay, the chocolate was okay, and the plain was plain, so I guess that was spot on? :upsidedow

    We back tracked a little bit and headed over to the Hawaii booth where I really really wanted to try this pork slider that I heard so many great things about. It was here where I realized we probably should have ended our Food and Wine adventure with the cheesecake. I ate the slider, I thought it was interesting and different, but my tummy was like "we're done. no more after this." Mom didn't try this because she doesn't do spicy and she really wasn't interested in trying it.

    From here we walked around going from shop to shop trying to find where the AP merchandise was. I thought it was at one of the two stores near World Showcase, and yes there was AP merch there, but the free AP magnets were at a different location. So we were sent to Mouse Gears. We headed over there and browsed the pins and asked around and then were told, oh, well, you're close, but it's actually outside in the breezeway. Sooooo, we walked through Mouse Gears and outside and finally found the area for the free AP magnets. I would later find out that this area was crazy mobbed with people while we were in World Showcase and we missed the huge line that was here. It was still kind of hectic with people going all over the place and two different lines and we just wanted to get our free magnets and go. We were directed to the table and we showed our APs and IDs and received our free Remy AP magnet. I asked if they had any of the Minnie AP magnets left because mom really likes Minnie, but unfortunately they were out. But still, hey, another first for us: getting free AP merch! :teeth: Ya know, some of these Disney veterans take this stuff for granted because they've been doing it for years but for us first timers, this was really neat. Mom asked about the other line and I told her it's a different free gift for people who have been to 4 Food and Wine festivals. (I forget, was it the coaster set?)

    We still have time to kill, and we're over on this side of Future World, sooooo, should we kill some time and ride Nemo? I guess. We haven't been over here since it was The Living Seas and had Seabase Alpha.
    456919

    ...I really just wanted an excuse to show this pin off. Did I mention I love retro Epcot?
    The nice CM told us we could take the ECV through the queue, but the queue itself was a little dark. In fact, as I'm walking behind mom, I see her ECV start hitting the side wall of the queue. I started frantically tapping her shoulder and saying "stop stop stop. You're hitting the wall." So I told her to back the scooter up away from the wall, and she starts backing the scooter up and runs it over my foot and up my leg! :scared1: "Mom, stop! stop! stop! You're driving it over me!" So I told her to turn it sharp right to get away from me and the wall. I then take over and lead the way through the queue to the loading area. In her defense, she can't see that well in dark areas but still, how did she not know she was running me over?! I guess she thought the line had a speed bump or something. :confused3

    We get on the ride and I'm obviously in a bad mood. This ride didn't improve it. Nothing like the old days where you were going through the giant aquarium. No sea life. No scuba divers. If Journey into Imagination was lame (other people's opinions!), I would consider this a complete waste of time. Sure it had Nemo and friends, but I didn't think that was worth riding for. I expected much more than digital screens. Also there's no hydrolaters! I was very disappointed.

    To try and improve on things, we walked back towards The Land and asked if we could ride Soarin' again. I love Soarin' and would ride it as much as possible, crowds permitting. Mom reluctantly agreed. I later found out the ride makes her a little queasy. Yikes! I had no idea! Ya know, earlier that day at the gift shop outside of Soarin', a CM told me the same thing and that's why he's never been on it, too. Dang, and I really love that ride. Once again, I did not hesitate to tell a CM that I love her Soarin' costume. It's so sharp and business professional looking! After Soarin' (you've said Soarin' too much already, Liz) we thought it would be fun to ride Living with the Land because it had no wait. Again, haven't been on it in a very long time.

    It wasn't apparent at first about the changes to LwtL until part way through the ride when it dawned on me, wait, this ride used to have a CM talking at the front of the boat. There's no CM talking. Well that's crummy. However, the Food and Wine tie in to Living with the Land was really nifty! We traveled through the different areas of the green houses and through tunnels connecting them, and past the fisheries (BIG FISHES!) and the lab they have on-site, but I really loved seeing signs posted as we passed by. Like, this particular vegetable growing here was used in this particular food item at the India booth. Or this vegetable was used at the Active Eats booth, etc. Seeing vegetables (and other things) growing in-house that were used for things we ate around Food and Wine was really, really neat. I enjoyed that very much. It tied it all together, I thought. I enjoyed that so much I stopped being put-off buy the lack of a CM boat tour guide! Plus it was a nice long boat ride, and having a chance to sit down and relax was lovely.

    Okay! Let's take a break and we will start again with the long walk around World Showcase again to get to our ADR in Italy. Why I thought this would be a good idea is a mystery to me. Where is that ECV side car?! 😭
     
    Last edited:

    Lizgistix

    Don't follow me, I'm lost too
    Joined
    Sep 13, 2019
    Day 2, Part 5: Pizza Pizza
    And we're back! Hi. We're in Epcot. It's night time. The crowds have increased a decent amount since this morning, and now it's time to make our way to Italy for our ADR at Via Napoli! As mom happily drove her ECV and I hobbled in the direction of World Showcase, we stopped at the pin store and had a great interaction with one of the CMs. I asked her for a celebration button because we are celebrating our first trip to WDW as annual passholders (to me that's a big deal), so what she gave us was the button that I posted at the very very beginning of this thread. :teeth:

    I also bought some pins. I won't bore you with details about what I bought and why.


    ...yes I will.
    456974
    I mean, OF COURSE I had to buy a Food and Wine pin to commemmor...comemor...to celebrate my first Food and Wine festival! That was a no-brainer.
    In addition to those, I also purchased
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    because I also collect pins of my favorite rides, and of all the PotC pins for sale at this location, this was the best looking in my opinion. It's so iconic!
    I think (details with pin purchases are a little fuzzy for this day) I also bought
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    because it's a really great Frozen pin with everyone (and Sven is such a cutie, I really need that baby Sven plush), along with
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    because Pascal is my new favorite animal side kick. I mean, have you seen Tangled?! Have you seen him modeling the dress and carrying the candle and being so cute and adorable! :lovestruc Yes I know I just praised Sven, he's a close second for favorite animal side kick. I think the 3rd place spot is either Raja or Iago....the Gilbert Godfried Iago, just fyi.

    Also, I needed to beef this post up because I didn't take any other pictures that night, and people like pictures, so I have to give the people what they want!

    Where was I? Oh yes, I bought some pins and then proceeded to trudge around World Showcase AGAIN to get to Italy for our ADR at Via Napoli. Why Via Napoli? Because I read all the hype about flour from Italy, the iconic pizza ovens, traveling around Florida to find water that closely resembled water from Italy, etc, etc. The original plan was no ADRs, and we would just eat from Food and Wine booths and call it a night, but a few weeks before the trip, I thought this would be a great addition to the night and with no future trips to Epcot in the plans (we have 2 other parks to still visit), I thought it would be better to not miss this opportunity and it would end the night on a high note.

    We bobbed and weaved our way through Mexico (people really like drinking in Mexico) and past all the other booths that we went to earlier that day. We were passing through the Germany pavilion again when I suddenly remembered about the Werther's caramel corn. Well, the line was quite long and we were getting close to our reservation time, so I reluctantly decided against buying a bag. :sad1:

    Arriving in Italy, we walked to the back of the area (it's a long walk when you're tired), past the fountain, parked the scooter off to the side, and went in for our dinner reservation. We were seated fairly promptly and I remember the staff were all dressed very nicely, especially the men. Very polished. As we sat down, the table next to us received their large pizza and mom's eyes bugged out at the size. The first lady to approach our table was the bread and water lady. We declined the bread as we didn't want to fill up before pizza, and think I drank half of my water shortly after the lady left. Now, I had been drinking water from my water bottle all day, but even with that, I don't think I had enough for the amount of walking and sweating I had done today. Plus, I had been drinking a fair amount of Diet Coke. I think we opted for iced tea as well, and I drank like a fish.

    We both ordered individual pizzas, I think mom went for the standard plain and I wanted the spicy italian sausage. My original plan was to do a large pizza, half pepperoni and half italian sausage, but I think we were both kind of hungry but not too hungry, so two individuals was just enough for both of us (and I'm a big eater, so that should tell ya about how much we ate that day). Our pizzas were interesting. They weren't like American pizza. It didn't have that large ring of crust at the end. It was flat, mostly thin crust if I remember correctly, and it wasn't heavy. It didn't sit heavy, if that makes sense. It was a good balance of dough, sauce, and toppings. There wasn't too much dough.

    I sat facing the ovens, so I really enjoyed watching the guys working and moving the pizzas around and stoking the fire. I was trying to figure out what kind of ovens those were. I'm thinking coal? I mean, they're brick ovens and it looks like one big oven with 3 openings but I was thinking they're heated with coal. After our pizzas and feeling satisfied but not overly full, we decided to give the tiramisu a try since we're fans and our lovely server said it's very similar to the tiramisu her mom makes back in Italy. I mean, how could you not agree to that? Sure! Again, it was very nice, we enjoyed it much, and were undecided if it was better than the tiramisu from the Greek deli at home. Yes I know it's probably weird to get an Italian dessert at a Greek deli. Oh! The tiramisu at Via Napoli wasn't coated in, shoot, what they put on top. Nutmeg? There wasn't a heavy coating of it. There wasn't "tiramisu" in nutmeg sitting on top. In fact, I don't think it had nutmeg on top. I could be wrong, the details are a little fuzzy at this point. It certainly wasn't bad and of course we would order it again.

    Unfortunately for us, by the time we were done with dinner, Epcot Forever was going on. I think we tuned in when the kites were flying over, so we didn't get to see everything, and considering we were viewing from the back of Italy, we didn't get to see what was happening, if anything, in the lagoon. We did get to see fireworks, though.

    Then, it was time to go......find a bathroom. I thought for sure there would be a public bathroom somewhere in Italy but I couldn't find one! Let me check the map real quick. Okay. Yeah. We should have walked right over to Germany and there were bathrooms right over there. Instead we continued around World Showcase (we had to walk to the International Gateway anyway). I remembered from reading online that the bathrooms at American Adventure were a hidden gem as they were out of the way and really nice, so that's where we decided to go so I could go. (too gross? sorry) Yep, they were tucked away and they were nice! We sat on one of the picnic tables for a bit before I mustered up some energy to continue our journey. As we passed Morocco, I explained to mom about how better people plan their dinner reservation at one of these restaurants that face the lagoon and time it so they're eating or seated for dinner when the night time show is happening.

    We continued trudging around World Showcase, eventually arriving at the International Gateway and a short time later, arriving at the Boardwalk, which wasn't as bustling and busy as I was under the impression that it would be. We made it back to our room and were in bed not too long after.

    Well, okay, mom went right to bed. I changed into my casual sweatpants and a loose tank and went down to the nicotine replenishment area over by ESPN where I sat for about an hour and caught up on social media. I could hear Jellyrolls across the lake and tried my best to figure out what songs they were playing. I lol'd when I realized one of the songs was Ginuwine "Pony". :rotfl:

    ...and that concludes day 2! Next, day 3 (obviously) which includes checking out of the hotel, Liz driving the luggage to the car in the ECV, Liz freewheeling on the ECV while mom sits in the Boardwalk lobby as we wait for the dude to come get the scooter, character breakfast at Cape May, and riding the Disney Skyliner! Oh, and picking up the puppers. :lovestruc
     

    Lizgistix

    Don't follow me, I'm lost too
    Joined
    Sep 13, 2019
    Day 3: ECV drag racin' and free wheelin'!

    Goodness, it's been a minute since I last updated this. I hope I remember everything. Also, this is now 2 trips ago!

    Okay! So, it's day 3. It's check-out day aka the worst day of any Disney vacation. But fear not readers, Liz isn't just packing up and heading home, oh no! We have another first to experience: first character meal!

    That's right, Mouseketeers, I booked us a breakfast ADR at Cape May Cafe across the.....lake? lagoon? at Beach Club. We trekked on over and checked in about 15 minutes early. Found a place among the strollers to park our ECV (it's like Small World lite over here with the number of strollers) and no sooner did we sit down did my phone buzz alerting us our table was ready.

    We were situated in the little room to the right as soon as you walk in. Cozy! Not as ideal as the main dining room but we had a clear shot of what character was going to be approaching since we could see down the line of tables in the main room. I rushed to the buffet to load up on some typical breakfast fare including, yet another first, Mickey waffles! Side note: when I was planning this trip, I thought to myself "I haven't been to WDW in a very long time and darnit, I'm getting me some Mickey waffles!" Once I came back to the table, mom went to get her plates.

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    Another side note: despite there being a bunch of kids at this restaurant, and knowing I'm not a big fan of little kids (I share Pete's stance on kids. I like kids, I just don't think yours are as cute as you think they are). Oddly enough, the little kids didn't annoy the heck out of me. They weren't really running around either, which I appreciate. I did enjoy watching the character interactions at the tables in our little room and seeing them interact with the kids. That was nice, it made me smile. We did get to see each character once, and two of the characters (I think Donald and Daisy) we saw twice. I kind of ran out of things to talk about the second time around. It was more like "oh, hey! you still good? you still having a good time?"

    I did take a selfie with Goofy. It's nice to meet a character as tall as I am.
    Overall, breakfast was nice. The character interaction was great, and we would totally do this again but only after we try some of the other character breakfasts. (I really want to meet Flynn)

    After breakfast, we headed back to Boardwalk for some last minute shopping before it was time to return our scooter. I guess Buena Vista was delayed at another resort because we were waiting a while for them to come get it. We had packed up our things and were sitting in the lobby when I had a brilliant idea. Hey! Mom can wait in the lobby and enjoy the ambience, and I can take the luggage down to the car.

    Then I had an even better idea: why don't I take the scooter, we'll load me all up, and then I can drive it down and drive it back to the lobby. So we loaded me up My duffle on the floor. Pillows on top of that. Souvenir bags on top of my lap. Wait, no room for mom's suitcase. Oh! It's rolling. I'll just steer with one hand and roll the suitcase with my other hand!

    So off I went, like a motorized mule, down the side walk and over to the car to load it up. Then, since Buena Vista hadn't called yet, I thought, heck, let's see how fast this scooter can go! So I wheeled down to one side of the parking lot. Turned it up to rabbit, and peeled out! Well, I mean it eventually got up to speed. It kind of felt like drag racing. I'm sure people on the Skyliner were laughing at me, and the people I passed in the parking lot probably thought I was some kind of idiot who doesn't get out much (I don't, btw).

    Buena Vista finally showed up to get the scooter, so that meant it was time to go home, right?

    Wrong-o! I had still more fun planned. The free kind! We loaded up into the car and headed over to Hollywood Studios not to go on any rides or anything like that....to go ride the Skyliner!

    So we got to Hollywood Studios and walked over to the Skyliner and took a fun and magical ride over to Carribbean Beach. Then we hopped off and took a ride to/from Pop Century and Art of Animation. Then we hopped off and took a ride to/from Epcot. Then back to 'tha beach, then back to Studios. It was great! It was fun! It was great fun! We met some lovely people along the way and really enjoyed the new mode of transportation.

    470554

    Then I believe after this, we drove over to the Pet Resort to rescue the puppers and headed home.
    The end!

    (geez, now I have 2 more trip reports to write after finally finishing this one)
     

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