Part of my strategy for making this trip more relaxing and thus more Patrick-friendly was abandoning our usual touring style, which involves getting up early and making it to the park for rope-drop to avoid the crowds, along with highly calibrated dining reservations scheduled on either side of popular meal times. So on our first morning at Walt Disney World, not only did we sleep in, we wandered into Kouzzina for a late breakfast without a reservation!!! We waited about 10 minutes for one of the numerous empty tables. I know there must be some staffing-related reason they do this, but it just looks like they’re being difficult.
Once again, I felt duty-bound to order something Greek-ish from the menu, so we split…
We forgot that Disney serves that chewy turkey bacon or we prolly woulda ordered the chicken sausage. Like dinner, breakfast was just OK. Actually, Patrick had a strongly negative reaction – he thought it was flavorless and overpriced (12 bucks). I liked the artichoke spread, but the hash was tiny sweet potato bits smothered in onions and peppers. We were still hungry, so I ordered the kids’ Mickey waffles and Patrick ate the three-piece fruit salad it came with.
You might do OK here ordering the traditional Disney breakfast items, but I don’t think any of it’s gonna knock your socks off.
After breakfast, we ambled down the BoardWalk toward Epcot. Along the way we saw…
And what’s this…? A Disney wedding?!
And Randy Chapman!
Dear Whoever You Are,
Sorry we accidentally stalked your wedding.
We got into Epcot just after World Showcase opened and pretty much had the place to ourselves – bliss! In France, we stopped in at the pretty Guerlain store where I can never find anything to spend my money on despite trying really really hard.
We also spotted a random guy dressed like Santa Claus posing for pictures with people. I said to Patrick, “Hey, let’s take a horribly backlit, awkwardly posed iPhone shot of me with Fake Santa!” and here it is…
While Patrick was checking out one of the French CMs’ pin lanyards, I decided it would be a hoot to learn how to say “May I see your pins?” in the language of each country on the World Showcase. I typed each phrase into my iPhone notepad phonetically, with varying results. For example, in France when I said what sounds like, “Preesh vwah voo peens?” I got lots of smiles and nods of approval. But my mission came to a grinding halt in Morocco, where the CMs don’t wear pins.
Patrick’s mission in Morocco, it seems, was to take lots of pictures from crazy angles!
I looooove this fabric on the benches in the museum. I think if we ever get to real Morocco, I’ll be coming home with a lot of fabric…
Wouldn’t it be cool if you could go up on the second story here?
Another cool second story.
Forgive us for taking all these pix … we just love the place!
On our way to Japan we happened upon an interactive part of the Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure right as it was being activated. It made us want to try the game sometime — the various animatronics they’ve added to the pavilions really fit the theming and add interest.
Now I know you’re supposed to wait to buy your souvenirs til the very last day of your trip, when you’ve had a chance to see everything, but when we set foot inside the Mitsukoshi Department Store, its Japanese Cute Rays zapped us and we went on a mad shopping spree. Each thing you see is cuter than the last, and you must purchase it ALL!
Did I mention they had an entire display unit dedicated to Domo? Finally!!! I can’t believe it took an entire Target ad campaign to get the buyers for the Japan Pavilion gift shop to be aware of Domo!
*Zen Shopping Break*
Back to shopping!!!!
After that we needed to step back and contemplate the error of our ways in this lovely rock garden…
…where, it turns out, no photography is allowed – whoops! It was in the gallery, and they had an exhibit of really gorgeous pictures of Japan that you will have to imagine with your *mind*!
Back outside, we lavished a little more photographic attention on the pavilion.
Someday, I want a koi pond of my very own… in the backyard of my house that looks like Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion and has a room themed to each of the park’s different lands…
Oh yeah – and at some point I tried asking a lanyard-wearing Japanese CM “Peeng oh misaytay kudasai?” and was politely slapped across the mouth.
Off to America!
In the America Pavilion, I listened to the story of Hanukkah while Patrick snapped pictures of pictures.
I also learned how to request a pin trade in American: “OMG, may I C UR pins? LOL! TTYL!”
Our stop in Italy was cut short when I made a total fool of myself by asking a dreamy Italian CM, “Vidair-ay le too-ay speel-ay?” and accidentally got his number.
Only two pix here.
On our way to Germany, we happened upon what at first appeared to be a bucolic scene of holiday splendor.
But something sinister was lurking just under the surface….GARGANTUAN KILLER LIZARDS!!!
It was almost time for our lunch reservation at Coral Reef, so we dashed down to the Germany boat dock and waited and waited and waited for a Friendship boat. Turns out you can be late to your reservation and no one cares!
They tried to seat us at crummy table for four up on the gloomy, crowded top level, but I pointed out they had a table for two next to the tank and they switched us. Whew!
We split the Lobster Bisque to start.
When I saw they no longer had my beloved pepperjack cheese grits on the menu, I panicked and had us split the Apricot-braised Beef Short Rib with crushed Yukon Gold potatoes, snap peas, sweet peppers, and barbecue glaze.
It was OK, but the sauce had some spice in it (saffron? curry?) that I don’t like. We were in a seafood restaurant, fer cryin’ out loud – I shoulda ordered the dang trout!
After lunch, Patrick requested a stop outside The Livng Seas With Nemo & Friends for a photo op or 15…
(You may be wondering, “What was Lurkyloo doing during this endless interlude?” The answer is, “Staring into space and thinking about cake.”)
This photo series wouldn’t be complete without the villains, so….
Once inside Living Seas, I got distracted by the man in the tube, and when his presentation was over, Patrick was gone.
I had no cell phone service and was starting to feel like a certain little girl who got lost at Grass Valley K-Mart while her parents were shopping and, not having the sense God gave a donut hole, became convinced they had simply left her there.
Fortunately, both of us are nutty about manatees, and we were soon reunited at the feeding demonstration going on at the top of their tank. Whew!
While we were upstairs, we discovered a part of the Living Seas that we had never seen before! I don’t know how we missed it, but did you know there’s a big, well-marked glass hall that goes to a circular bank of windows into the tank? Even better, going around the circle is so disorienting that when you get back to the hall, you think you’ve found a second hall to yet another part of Living Seas you’ve never seen before! I coulda gone around that thing for days…
Awright, let’s wrap this up with a few more fish pictures and move on to the next part of the day.
Back to the World Showcase! We wanted to see Mexico in all its holiday glory.
On our way in, we noticed that one of the Animales Fantasticos artists had just started a small, affordable-looking piece, so we bought it on the spot and asked them to send it back to our hotel so we could surprise ourselves on Christmas morning with the results (a tradition we started on our honeymoon!).
Inside the pavilion was gorgeous.
We took a spin on the Three Caballeros ride.
(Panchito didn’t show up for his yearbook picture…)
We tried to get shots of the new tequila bar cuz the atmosphere is so cool, but they’re a little blurry.
I also dusted off my high school Spanish to ask one of the CMs, “Puedo mirar a sus pins, por favor?” and she replied, “Been a long time since high school, eh?”