Day 7: First Full Day at Epcot

I woke up early and decided to do a little laundry and read until Patrick woke up (the curse of staying at a DVC resort is that you feel compelled to do laundry constantly because it’s FREE!). I took my book down to my fave common area, the Solarium, but they had the TV on full blast (with nobody in the room) at 7:30am, and I couldn’t figure out how to turn it off. I moved to the Breezeway, but people kept parading through there like it was noon. So I ended up back in the Drawing Room, where we had our meet ‘n’ greet – just right!

Patrick woke up and had some cereal, and then we headed for the park. It was so nice to be able to walk over to the International Gateway for park opening. Since neither of us had been to Epcot since we were kids (getting married there doesn’t count), we planned a full day to explore. As soon as the rope dropped, we raced off to Test Track while everyone else dashed for Soarin’. We ride Soarin’ Over California all the time at DCA, so that was one crowd magnet we managed to avoid on our trip. Along the way we got tons of congratulations and comments on our hats. Test Track was fun, but my favorite part – the high-speed loop at the end – felt like it was just getting started and then the ride ended. We found that a lot with the thrill rides at Disney World (Expedition Everest excepted).

Then we rode the orange side of Mission: Space and didn’t die. Hooray!!! Really, most of my tummy weirdness at the beginning was just fear from all the horror stories I’d heard. Once again, just as things really got interesting and we landed on Mars… the ride ended! Patrick was bummed that we didn’t get to tool around the surface and explore. From there we went to Spaceship Earth, which I’d never ever been on. I really liked it! I love how many rides with animatronics there are at Disney World.

After that, we rode The Seas with Nemo & Friends, which I think really needs to be experienced before you see Disneyland’s version on the submarines. It was kinda boring and short (I don’t mean to be a D-land snob – we found many things at Disney World that we think are done way better than at “our” park).

Inside the Living Seas we looked at a bunch of unidentified fish and the back of a manatee. We couldn’t figure out why nothing in the exhibits is labeled. Even the tiniest local aquariums tell you what you’re looking at.

We ate lunch at Sunshine Seasons in the Land cuz I’d heard it had good variety for a counter-service spot. The “airport food court” theming is kind of a head-scratcher, though. Didn’t all of us see one of those on the way to Disney World? The nice lady at the Spring station told us we could take two cookies from the bakery for being newlyweds, but I also tried the peanut butter chocolate cake – OMG, it was amazing! It was better than our wedding cake! Light, moist, and the peanut butter wasn’t gummy and fake-tasting. It became my dessert, the way some people latch on to Norway’s School Bread or the Dole Whips. I’m not sure why I didn’t take a picture…

We couldn’t believe how soon we finished Future World, considering we’d wanted to see it all. The Imagination Pavilion was completely closed, as was the body one, and we decided to save Ellen’s Universe of Energy for when we had 45 minutes of our lives that we never wanted back… Off to the World Showcase!

Canada was, of course, lovely. The new Circlevision movie was pretty cool, despite Martin Short (he kept the mugging to a minimum), and it made me want to go back to (real) Canada – so I guess they succeeded! Patrick loved the shop…

In England we got dissed by Alice for taking a picture of her as she walked to her picture location – sorry, lady! In France I went on the hunt for perfume, thinking I would get something to remind me of our trip every time I wore it. Unfortunately, they only have a very small selection of exclusive perfumes, and none of them knocked me out. Chanel was debuting some new fragrance at Epcot and passing out samples: It smelled exactly like the soap in the restrooms – ick!

We watched France’s Circlevision film and of course decided we had to go there, too. (This became a theme.) We also lined up to get chocolate mousse at the bakery on the recommendation of a fellow DISer who is obsessed by it. It tasted like it was made from powder, and we ended up pitching it (of course this DISer also eats All-Star food court pizza for every meal – hee hee!).

In Morocco we stopped to marvel at how different everything looked from our wedding day. In fact, it hardly seemed like the same place! One funny thing happened – I began whining about how the Roots hadn’t taken any pictures of us in front of the fountain and how I wished I’d asked for one (this was before we got our discs and saw that they managed to get 1,500 excellent pictures without sticking us in front of the fountain…). So we decided to use some of the leftover foreign coins we’d brought from home to make a wish in the fountain, and Patrick wished we had a picture in front of the fountain. Just then a couple walked up to us and asked if they could take our picture in front of the fountain cuz they loved our wedding ears!!! It was spooky!

In Japan we watched the candy lady make a wolf and explored the Mitsukoshi department store. We bought our first souvenirs, two cute stuffed animals (I think they’re from Pokemon – don’t tell anyone…).

In America we were set upon by a very tenacious and slightly annoying cast member who first dragged us over to hear a congratulatory phone call from Mickey and Minnie (apparently Mickey is as enamored of cake as I am!) and then insisted we sit down in the middle of the Rotunda and stay until the Voices of Liberty showed up. I was kinda creeped out by how demanding he was, so we sneaked out, but when he saw us outside, he started freaking out about how we had to come back and sit in that spot. Finally Patrick said we should humor him, so we ended up with a front-row seat for the Voices of Liberty, and they made a big fuss over us and sang us “When You Wish Upon a Star” – it was really quite moving.

Then another CM came to get us and took us in an elevator to the American Adventure show. We got to pick out our seats before they let anyone in to the theater – sweet! In Germany we poked around the Biergarten and the shops. I made Patrick take a picture of the Arribas Brothers’ $37,500 crystal-encrusted castle so we wouldn’t have to buy it.

We kinda skipped Italy because we were running out of time before our Le Cellier reservation. I was really looking forward to this one because I’d heard so much about the food. Boy was I glad I’d made a reservation 6 months in advance – while we were waiting, we saw them very snottily turn away several groups who walked in without ADRs. In fact, it felt like the whole place had the air of a successful business that doesn’t have to try very hard because the customers will come anyway. As many people have pointed out, the tables are squeezed together to get the maximum number of customers in (why can’t they just expand the building?). The service was perfunctory, and each course came out before we finished the previous one – no secret that they were trying to rush us out.

And, the biggest offense, NO FREE DESSERT! Boo! OK, of course we were not entitled to a free dessert just for spending thousands of dollars to marry at WDW (hee hee!), but it sorta underscored the indifferent service. Actually, a bigger bummer was that they no longer serve maple creme brulee, just vanilla. What’s the point? I can get vanilla creme brulee at every restaurant on property… However, all that complaining aside, the food was fantastic and I am a sucker and I totally want to go back!

After dinner we buzzed through China and Mexico, knowing we’d be back to give them a proper look later. We rode the Three Caballeros ride, and Patrick modeled a sombrero.

We decided to skip IllumiNations (sacrilege, I know) and get some ice cream at the Beach Club Marketplace to take back to our room and eat with cake. We sat on our balcony eating cake, watching Wishes over the Magic Kingdom, and listening to the soundtrack to Disneyland’s “Believe… There’s Magic In the Stars” cuz it was the only fireworks music I had on my iPod!

Day 8: Behind the Seeds Tour + Parasailing

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