Day 7: Epcot

We had the Princess breakfast at Norway this morning, so we woke up at the normal time, but obviously skipped breakfast at Pop Century. I was actually pleasantly surprised to see just how early the buses run. We boarded a bus to Epcot at like 7:15am, and got there no later than 7:25-7:30.

Our reservation was for 8am. The Cast Member let everyone with reservations in starting at about 7:45am. I have never seen the park this empty. We took the opportunity to get a couple pictures of Amanda with no people in the background, in front of the fountain and the WS Lagoon. (Of course, no people also meant no one around to take pictures of us together, unfortunately).

We got to Norway and checked in, and were seated a few minutes after 8am. Before we came to our table, of course, was a picture with Belle. (She was also the formal portrait the only other time I’d eaten here. Is that standard, or does it rotate?). We were then shown to our table, and introduced to our server. We helped ourselves to several selections from the cold buffet (salmon w/ cream cheese and capers. *salivate*), and our warm food came moments later. Scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, potatoes…. all very standard, but all very good. And our server was great about getting us refills of both the food and the drink.

About 10-15 minutes after we started eating, we saw the rest of the Princesses start coming out. Amanda didn’t realize that would happen – she thought that the photo with Belle was all there was. In succession, we saw Cinderella, Aurora, Snow White, and Jasmine. They timed them all very well, so that each princess visit was separated by about 5-10 minutes. We got a picture of Amanda with each one of them. Best line of the morning – a little girl at the next table was hoping to see Arielle and asked where she was. Without missing a beat, Jasmine replied “Oh she’s swimming under the sea with her father, King Triton, this morning. She couldn’t make it.” I love how in-character they are like that. 🙂

After breakfast, we sped-walked over to Innoventions Plaza. We got there JUST as the opening ceremony was starting. The characters were already out, and the countdown began. We followed the crowd to Soarin and got our FastPasses. Then we crossed the park back over to Test Track. The line was already showing 25 minute wait. We figured since we’d already done it once, we could do the Single Rider line. But the Cast Member working the queue entrance said the SR wasn’t open yet. Okay then, so we got into the standby queue. 3 minutes later, as we’re in the queue, we see people walking through the single rider line! oy. So we left the standby queue again, went into the single rider line, and got on the ride in pretty much no time flat. And to boot – we were assigned to the same car anyway, with her in the front row, me in the back.

Next up was Mission: Space. Orange team, of course. Really, what’s the point of the ride if you’re not going to do Orange? 😛 I still wish they would plus it a little so that the button-pushing actually mattered. Like if we forget to fire second stage rockets, we don’t make it to the slingshot around the moon, or something. I don’t know. I just hate the “computer override” thing.

We crossed the park once again and rode Living with the Land. I kept trying to figure out how/when we could fit in the Behind the Seeds tour, but it never happened. 🙁 Then over to Seas with Nemo. We didn’t spend too much time at the aquarium. I always feel like I’m missing something here. Like there must be another viewing platform I haven’t figured out how to get to. While we were in the Seas, we did go to Turtle Talk, which was awesome. Line of the show – Kid:”How do turtles catch their food?” Crush:”Uhm, we sneak up on the sea grass when its back is turned” hahahahah. I laughed out loud at that one.

Now back over to the Land once more to ride Soarin’ with our FastPasses. (Side track – I’ve infected my parents. Someone at my mother’s job is going to WDW soon, and was asking for advice. My mother told them to make sure they go to Soarin first thing in the morning, and to make sure you request seats B1. Awesome.) We also watched Circle of Life (Lion King is my favorite Disney film) before leaving The Land.

We went back over to Spaceship Earth next, which I’m guessing is Amanda’s favorite. Then over to Innoventions. We wanted to do another Disney Visa character photo, but the line was already ridiculous. So then we thought maybe we could do the Segway 5-minute instructional thing, but you need to be at least 16. Dang it. But we did end up doing two attractions at Innoventions I hadn’t done before – the Piggy Bank adventure and “Runtime”, where you insert yourself into a video game. Both were very cool little diversions, probably more fun than they should have been. 🙂 We didn’t earn enough to reach our retirement goal, unfortunately. Better luck in the real world!

Before we left Innoventions, we registered for another Kim Possible adventure. Then on to World Showcase. We went and saw O Canada. By now, it was about lunch time, and we were both coming very close to hitting the wall due to exhaustion and heat. So on a whim, we decided to try walking up to Le Cellier. To my amazement, they said no problem. We were seated within 10 minutes. I guess Le Cellier is only a hard get for dinner maybe? Lunch was very good, the steak was awesome. And it was just long enough in the air conditioning and seats to give us the recharge we needed to keep going around the WS.

We browsed the UK pavilion for a bit and listened to the British Invasion. Then on to the Kim Possible cart near the International Gateway. Our assignment this time was in France. Some really very cool effects in this one, one of which is very unique. After completing our mission, we had it give us another one. It gave us Germany. So we decided we’d just put it in our pocket and continue browsing WS, picking up the Kim Possible thing when we naturally arrived at Germany. We went into Impressions de France, and I confess I fell asleep. Again. I don’t think I’ve ever *not* fallen asleep in here. I only hope I wasn’t snoring.

We spent some time browsing both Morocco and Japan, but didn’t hang around for any of the live entertainment. Then on to the American Adventure. They’re apparently doing some remoddelling or reconstruction inside the pavilion itself. Big construction walls right where the Voices of Liberty would normally be standing. Their performance was terrific as always. The last song they sang was the Star Spangled Banner. Very slowly, people started standing up while they were singing. Eventually, we were all standing with our hand on our hearts while they were singing the national anthem. It was very cool, and a tiny bit surreal. (Amanda describes the singers as “scary good”, which I assume is a compliment.)

The American Adventure show itself was as phenomenal as ever. I did *not* fall asleep here, even though it’s darker and the seats are more comfortable than in Impressions de France.

Now on to Germany and our final Kim Possible adventure of the vacation. I had actually done this one once before, but for this mission we received different clues/effects. Like we had singing beer steins instead of the cuckoo clock or something. Very very cool way to add repeatability.

We went ahead into Italy, and stopped to watch the World Showcase Players perform “Romeo and Edna”. Always a fun diversion. Thankfully we were not picked to be volunteers. I think we skipped China entirely and did Maelstrom (did not stay for the film) and Gran Fiesta Tour. While we were in Mexico, one of the Brazilian Tour Group kids came up to us to admire our pins – specifically, Amanda’s. He got a little grabby, reaching out to touch her pins without asking permission first. That annoyed me. Then he started saying something like “Ohhhh they’re so beautiful please give me one! Just one, give me one pin please!!!”. Uhhh, no. That was annoying.

Then we started walking back toward the front of the Lagoon, opposite American Adventure. And another Brazillian Tour Group kid, same exact shirt, stops us and does the exact same thing. This time I step in front of the kid, between him and Amanda, and he actually has the cajones to chide *me*, saying “Hey let me look, let me look!”. I ordered him to go away, going so far as to swat his hand away when he reached up for her pins, and gave him a good shove away from her. Grrrrr. Crap like this does *not* make me happy.

We sat down about an hour before showtime and waited for IllumiNations to begin. Spectacular show as always, but for some reason the Inferno Barge never ignited. Amanda says the show is completely different depending on where you watch it from. Not entirely sure I agree with that, but I’m glad she liked it again the second time!

After IllumiNations, we followed the crowd out of the park. I pointed out the sparkly fiberoptic ground tiles on the way out. Over to the bus stop, and an utter mess. 🙁 This seems to happen nearly every time I leave Epcot at closing, going to Pop Century. For reasons I do not understand, they do NOT have enough buses making this route. We were there for about an hour before we finally got on a bus, and when we were finally picked up, the line behind us was at least another hour still. Why is it only Epcot that has this problem? It doesn’t happen at any of the other parks. Sigh.

The Good – getting into Le Cellier as a walk up
The Bad – Brazilian Tour Group kids and their “let’s see how many pins we can get people to give us” contest, and the buses back to Pop Century
The Magical – Amanda’s reactions at the Princess breakfast.

Thanks for reading. Days 8 and 9 yet to come. Hopefully some time before my next Disney trip…

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