When I woke up 2 hours later I felt worse than when I’d gone to sleep. D’oh! But I shook it off, took a shower, and got all tarted up for my big day out with Jensey! Hooray!
I’d never done one of these – before I met Patrick, I always went to Disneyland by myself. Now we go together or, if we’re lucky, sometimes with other couples. But I feel like I’ve been let in on the secret of the Girls’ Day in the Parks, ‘cuz oh my gosh, hanging out with Jensey was SO much fun!
Note: I apologize for the copious amounts of photos I’m about to include. I’m already bad at whittling down the number of my own pictures, and with the Roots’ photos it’s impossible to choose!
Jensey whisked us over to Epcot in the Rootmobile and we booked it to Norway. We ended up being a leetle bit late for our 11:05 breakfast ADR, but it worked out OK thanks to the baffling check-in process.
First, you check in with the podium girl, but don’t under any circumstances proceed to the conga line of people creeping toward the Grip ‘n’ Grin Princess Photo Op that’s the first stop on your way to breakfast! Instead, you must mill around in front of the entrance, blocking the door, until at least five minutes have passed. Then your name will be called and you may go wait at the back of the line. No waiting in line before your name is called, though—and don’t even think of sneaking off to buy School Bread at Kringla Bakery!
Eventually we were dumped into the photo corral with Princess Aurora, who was very sweet and smiley and only once whispered “Help me!” under her breath. The PhotoPass guy took a shot with Jensey’s camera first, which was nice….
We did feel a little tricked though when the shot that PhotoPass chose for our commemorative folio and prints was the one where someone told us to pretend to be sleeping but Sleeping Beauty kept her eyes open and looked all lovely as we pantomimed drooling…
After shaking off Aurora, who was clawing at our arms and mouthing “Take me with you!” we were escorted to a table in my favorite spot—right near the busing station! I must have stamped on my forehead in code only Disney can read: “Seat this woman at the worst table in the house!”
Still we had a nice view of the proceedings. I’d heard that Akershus was a ghetto for, shall we say, inauthentic-looking princesses, but this wasn’t the case that day—those ladies were all gorgeous!
Our Meta Moment:
A cheerful fellow in hose came by and told us how breakfast worked: We could go to the appetizer/pastry buffet as often as we liked, and they would bring us an all-you-care-to-stuff-down platter of hot breakfast food. We went to investigate the buffet. As I’d feared, when you get the last seating time for breakfast, the pickings are slim:
By the time we got back to our table, the breakfast platter was already there.
As we were raising our first forkfuls, Belle came by and insisted on taking a picture with us. We set our forks back down and Jensey handed me her ginormous Canon EOS 5D Mach III Turbo ExXxtreme, which I gingerly hoisted like a loaded gun and then hung on to for dear life as it squeezed off dozens of shots in rapid succession (hope I didn’t hit anybody!).
We bid Belle farewell and were just about to take that first bite when… “Oh hello, Mary Poppins!”
“Well that was a jolly holiday. Now how about some grub—ooooor a photo with Snow White…”
By the time Jasmine came by our stomachs were growling, the food was ice cold, and a fly had actually tasted our breakfast before we had. I didn’t even bother standing up for my photo cuz I wanted to be that much closer to the food when it was over.
At last we got to tuck into our meal undisturbed, mostly because the restaurant was now closed…
The food was declared “meh” by Jensey, who is a big connoisseur of Disney breakfasts, and I concurred. I mean, for one thing, what kind of hot breakfast platter doesn’t have something sweet on it, be it a waffle, a pancake or French toast? The smoked salmon I scavenged from the buffet was very tasty, but I don’t even remember the other stuff.
However, one good thing about having the last breakfast seating is that you’re first in line when they put out the lunch buffet!
Although we’d only just wolfed down breakfast, I insisted on trying all the least identifiable foods on the lunch buffet just because I could. The biggest mystery were the brown slabs to the right of the yellow goo in this picture.
I ate it and I’m still not sure what it was — maybe cheese?
On our way out, Jensey got a few more shots of the place. It’s so pretty!
One of the thoughts that had woken me on the plane was the realization that I’d forgotten my doofy sun hat, which is a touring staple when you are as freakishly pale as I am.
So the first order of business after we rolled out of Akershus Princess Storybook Fantasy Festival of Dining: The Experience! was to get me a new hat. I did not have high hopes for finding anything remotely fashionable or even Mickey-free. However, the first thing we came across was a merchandise booth set up for Epcot’s Flower & Garden Festival, and there was a large display of sun hats – hooray!
I didn’t know it at the time, but this hat ended up becoming something of a mascot for my trip. I got so many compliments on it and on whatever outfit I was wearing with it, and nobody could believe I bought it at the park. The coolest thing is, I’ve been wanting a glamorous Audrey Hepburn-style hat for years, but I just kinda lucked into it that day.
Hat secured, Jensey and I staggered around in the heat for a bit trying not to sweat in front of each other. Seriously, it was 90 degrees out—I thought everyone said May had the perfect weather?
At any rate, I was totally in my element, because Jensey had told me to holler if I saw anything I wanted a photo of—which is exactly my touring dynamic with DH. (“Get a shot of those pretty flowers!” “Can you take a close-up of that?” “I want a photo of this!” [motions to a vast 180-degree vista]…)
Jensey was shooting all these gorgeous pix while we were wandering around and gabbing. The heat was starting to do us in, though, so I suggested we stop by the air conditioned festival center which, as at last year’s Food & Wine Festival, was inside the Wonders of Life Pavilion (i.e., way out in the boonies) and offered absolutely nothing interesting to do.
I was having a fabulous time talking Jensey’s ear off, but I felt guilty that we weren’t really doing anything. Then I remembered the To Do and To Eat lists I’d entered in my iPhone, so I looked those up to see if there was anything we could knock out while at Epcot.
A-ha! We could “Check Sunshine Seasons for peanut butter chocolate cake” that I’d enjoyed on two previous visits but which had been reported missing since last fall. So off we trudged to the Land Pavilion, all the way on the other side of Future World.
We took an air-conditioned short cut:
OK, so you know how there are those two looooong escalators down to Sunshine Seasons/the Soarin’ queue? Well, Patrick and I have this tradition of smooching every time we ride an escalator cuz it’s the only time I get to be the shorter one, and I can throw my arms around his neck like a movie heroine. So the escalator ride made me kinda sad….
As if that weren’t depressing enough, when we got to Sunshine Seasons, we found they STILL don’t have any peanut butter chocolate cake!
Bowed but not broken, we decided the next logical step was to do another thing from my To Do/To Eat list: investigate the peanut butter chocolate cake slice at BoardWalk Bakery!
Our journey took us past the Magical Music Days stage, where a group of adorably earnest junior high schoolers had just wobbled their way through “That’s How You Know” from Enchanted.