Monday, October 27, 2008

Our Disney World Vacation--Day 2, Part 1, Epcot

Monday, September 14

We went to Epcot again this morning. We stuck to Future World again like we had the night before. Epcot is designed into two circles, like a figure 8. The first circle is Future World, which has pavillions dedicated to science and technology. The back circle is World Showcase, which has pavillions for a variety of different countries. We never made it to World Showcase this time. The boys would have liked some of it, but it was a short trip, and we had to cut out some things. One of Tour Guide Mike's mantras is to "see the best of the best and leave the rest". You simply can't see everything at Disney World unless you stay for two weeks. You have to decide what your goals are and feel okay about not getting to everything.

Anyway, because we had been able to ride some of the rides the night before, we didn't try to kill ourselves getting to Epcot at rope drop. We also didn't use Tour Guide Mike's itenerary, although I did base our decisions on his principles. It's a good thing we weren't trying to get there early, because the buses didn't work out in our favor again this morning. We got to the bus stop at 8:15, but it took 25 minutes for a bus to come, and then we went to Fort Wilderness again. We didn't get to Epcot until 9:20.

Once in, I boogied over to Soarin' for FastPasses as fast as I could with Roo in the stroller. Chris took the boys to the restroom and then waited for me at Test Track. At Test Track, we got a Baby Swap ticket, and then Chris rode it with the older boys. The way Baby Swap works is that you tell the Disney employee at the front of the line that you want a Baby Swap. They give you a special ticket with the name of the ride and the date on it, and then you can come back any time that day and get in the FastPass line with that ticket. That way when one adult has to stay off the ride to take care of the person too small to ride, they can ride again later without waiting in a long line. If you have FastPasses for the ride, the first person can go through the FastPass line, too, but we didn't need them because we got there so early.

While Chris and big boys were riding, Baby Roo played in some fountains outside the ride.

I didn't get any good shots of him in the water, but trust me when I say he got soaked. It was hot and sunny, though, so he dried off. Almost every ride with a height restriction at Disney World has something fun for little ones to do outside of it, so that's fun.

As soon as the big ones were done on Test Track, I rode it. The spectacular thing about Baby Swap is that they let the kids who are tall enough to ride go again with the second adult. So Tigger and Piglet got to ride it again. Piglet was in heaven. He's obsessed with race cars, and Test Track is a ride with cars that go really fast. It's a ride sponsored by GM, and it shows you how they test new cars before they put them into production. You do some break tests with antilock breaks and without, go through hot and cold chambers, and other things like that, and then you go on a track outside where you go about 60 mph on banked curves in this convertible car. It's really fun. Chris said that Piglet was looking a little worried the first time, but riding it back to back allowed him to relax the second time, and he was telling me what was going to come up next.

Next we went over to the Land to use the Soarin' FastPasses, and we got a Baby Swap ticket again. This time I rode first with the big boys. Soarin' is another really fun, not-to-be-missed ride. You sit in a chair, and then when the ride starts, they lift the chairs up off the ground. There's a really big movie screen in front of you, and it shows views of what it looks like when you fly over different parts of California in a hang glider. (The ride was developed for the California park.) The seats gently sway the direction that you're flying, and there are some neat effects, like being able to smell oranges when you fly over the orange groves. You end up flying by the fireworks display at the Magic Kingdom at Disney Land at night. It's not scary at all but just a lot of fun. I tend to get nauseated at the Omni Theater and other movies that make you feel like you're moving with the picture, but this one didn't make me sick at all. They blow soft breezes at you the whole time, so I think that helps.

There's a good fast food restaurant called Sunshine Seasons with lots of stations featuring various styles of foods inside the Land Pavillion, so we ate there next. We had reservations for the full service restaurant in the United Kingdom pavillion for lunch this day, but we weren't that excited about it and decided to skip it. Eating a meal in a full service restaurant can be a big hassle with little ones, especially with it's a menu restaurant and not a buffet. Because all of the restaurants are completely booked during Free Dining, they were running a special that allowed you to exchange a full service meal for a counter service meal, and when you did, you got tickets for 2 snacks for each person in your party (so a total of 8 snacks for our family). We decided to do that for this meal. Since we were going to be there for 5 days and 4 nights, and you get the number of meals based on your nights, not your days, it was nice to have some snacks that last day in the parks. You can use snack credits for either food or drinks, so they came in handy.

Anyway, the boys both had a chicken drumstick, mashed potatoes, and grapes. Chris got some Chinese food and chips for his desert. I got a half of a chicken, mashed potatoes, and a yummy salad with apple vinaigrette, and I got a fruit cup for desert. It was a really good meal, especially since it was free. This half chicken was actually better than the rotisserie chicken I'd had at the Garden Grill the night before.

After lunch, Chris rode Soarin' again with the big boys, and I nursed Baby Roo and lost my cell phone. After I found my cell phone, we left the Land pavillion to go to the Imagination pavillion. Tigger really wanted to ride the Living with the Land boat ride again, but it had a 10 minute wait, and it's just not good enough to stand in line for. Unfortunately, he didn't think so and burst into tears when he realized we were leaving the pavillion. Chris and I realized that he was tired, so we were going to ride Journey into your Imagination and get back to the hotel right away for a nap.

The imagination ride is air conditioned, and it's cute for kids, but it's not worth riding if there's a line. It was a walk-on, so we did it. Then we played a few minutes in the jumping fountains out front. Here's a picture of the big boys in front of a big fountain in the area.

By this point, we were HOT. Chris saw some people eating ice cream bars and asked if our snack credits would buy those. I told him that yes, they would, so we stopped and had a cool snack. Chris had a Mickey ice cream bar (vanilla ice cream dipped in chocolate, shaped like Mickey), I had a Minnie bar, which is just a fruit bar with real strawberries, and the boys both had Itzakadoozie's, which are really fun spiral popsicles in wild colors.

About this time, Baby Roo fell asleep. We didn't really want to get on the bus because we'd have to get him out of the stroller and fold it up. We decided to take a unique route home. The boys really wanted to ride the monorail they kept seeing. Our hotel wasn't on the monorail loop, but we could ride it. We caught the monorail outside Epcot. You can push the stroller onto it, so Roo stayed asleep. Then we switched monorails at the Transportation and Ticket Center and got on the hotel loop. We rode that around until we go to the Contemporary resort. There's a boat that goes from the Contemporary to the Wilderness Lodge, where we were staying, so we went out back to the boat dock to catch that. On the way, Roo woke up, and I took his picture.

Roo showing off some stickers that a housekeeping lady gave him. He was very proud of them.
Chris with the big boys in front of a Mickey topiary at the Contemporary.

After our picture taking break, we got on the boat back to the Wilderness Lodge to take a nap. I think Chris tried to go swimming, but they closed the pool shortly after he got there. There is a second pool, but he just came back and slept. I walked around with Roo during naptime again since he wasn't tired but is always loud. I took pictures of the resort during his nap. I'll share those on the next post.

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