Friday, March 2, 2012

Disney Day 5: EPCOT

By Day 5 of our trip to Disney, we had worn out the kids, and my feet.  So, we headed on over to EPCOT after a slower morning and breakfast, but still managed to enter the park by 9:30AM (the park opened at 9AM).  We also decided to let our daughter have a rest from all the walking, and picked up the DOUBLE stroller.  Yes, 8-year-olds are too big for strollers, but after three days of parks -- she was whip tired;  we decided it was a good compromise.

 We plotted our course by the Unofficial Guide, and sent daddy to get Fastpasses for Soarin' while the kids and I headed over to Test Track.  Unfortunately, by the time we arrived at Test Track, the line was already over an hour.  So, instead we headed back across Future World to the The Seas with Nemo & Friends.  A very tame ride, but it also had a very short line.  We checked out the Nemo exhibit a bit, and my son found another toy set (Nemo, of course) to spend his souvenir allowance on.
Part of the Nemo exhibit
 After Nemo, we met back up with Daddy -- who had to queue up just to get Fastpasses for Soarin'(!) -- and decided that we should check out Mission: Space.  The lines were not too bad, but my son did not meet the minimum height requirement, so this was a daddy/daughter ride only.  So, Mission: Space has two "missions" -- one that is more tame, and one that is more wild.  Some fellow vacationers on the bus ride to EPCOT said that the wild one spun you around a lot, and did not recommend it.  So, daddy and daughter did the tame mission, and well... they thought it was kinda lame.  Oh,well.

Since our Soarin' fastpasses were in the afternoon, we decided it was time to see the World Showcase.  First, we stopped off to sign the kids up for Kim Possible -- the kids get a cell phone, and are "secret agents" on a world-wide adventure to solve crimes!  Our Kim Possible start time was after lunch, so first we picked up Fastpasses to Test Track, then we headed to the World Showcase.  We started on the left side, with Mexico, and picked the first restaurant we saw to have lunch (we must have been hungry!).  It was one of the best Quick Service meals we had -- authentic(-ish) tacos with the best churros I've very had.

 After lunch, we picked up the kid's Kim Possible cell phone in Norway, and were off on our first secret agent mission in China shortly after that.  The Kim Possible adventure was amazing.  The kids could easily follow the instructions, and the cell phone triggered interactions with objects in each country.  China had a painting cricket, animated Terracotta soldier, and a monkey statue that rose up out of the water!  After China, we let the kids do one more country mission, and we headed off to Germany.  Germany's mission included a villain with a campy German accent, miniature zombies, singing steins, and a little girl bonking our villain through the clock tower.

After much fun with Kim Possible, we wandered through the rest of the World Showcase, making it back to Soarin' in time for our FastPasses.  However, we were a little bit puzzled upon arrival.  The entrance to Soarin' had a long line for the FastPass riders, NO line for the stand-by riders, but a time listed of 200 minutes(!) as the wait time.  What???

We queued ourselves up, then some very friendly and apologetic cast members explained that Soarin' has two theatres, and currently one is not functioning.  So, they have shutdown the stand-by line, and are ONLY allowing Fastpass riders on. But... our wait was still expected to be about 45 minutes.  Boo.  So, we waited.  It was a long, slow line, but the Disney cast members were very cooperative and helpful.  And after we rode Soarin', we were glad we stuck it out -- it was probably one of the best rides in the Disney Parks!

After Soarin' we had some time to kill before our Test Track Fastpass time, so we checked out the Innoventions area.  It was similar to a hands-on museum, and the kids did a piggy bank savings game that was quite cool.

By the time we got over to Test Track, my feet were DONE.  Did I mention I have flat (and I mean pancake-flat) feet?  Ouch!  But, I toughed it out, and we rode Test Track.  It was part ride, part advertisement for General Motors(!), but it was pretty fun.  And the ride exited into a GM showroom, where the kids and daddy ogled a Camaro.  However, this all reminded me a little too much of work... (I work for an automotive supplier!) 

Everyone was quite tired by now, but we still had reservations for dinner at EPCOT at Akershus in Norway: a sit-down dinner with princesses!  We had a late evening reservation, but I hoped the restaurant could squeeze us in a little early to ease our sore feet.  This time... no such luck.  Everybody wanted to see the princesses!  They had a solid booked schedule, so we had to wait until our reservation time.

Fortunately, the wait was well worth it.  The princess dinner was magical.  I thought that it was mostly the girls who went ga-ga for the princesses, but this night was all about my 5-year-old son.  He was just all flirty and blushed and adoring of these regal princesses.  He was particularly taken with Cinderella.  First, when she came to the table, daddy and Cinderella discussed my boy's sword handling skills.  Nothing was better than hearing he is a good warrior from a princess!  Then, while the princesses lead their little parade around the room, Cinderella looked over and said "Hello again, Prince."  And that was it.  I think my little guy has his first crush.

Very, very happy son.

My son's reaction after Cinderella said "Hello again, Prince."

After a regal evening with the princesses, we dragged our tired feet back to the resort.  Fortunately, the next day we had no amusement park to wander!


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