Walt Disney World
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
My foot felt better in the morning, but I didn't go for a walk as I had planned when I packed for the trip (I had planned to walk every morning because I had a 10K to walk on Sunday and didn't want to slack off). Linda and I went to the All-Star Food Court for breakfast, and I got a cinnamon roll.
We took the shuttle to EPCOT for our Magic Morning day. There were a lot of topiaries all over the place because of the HGTV Flower & Garden Festival opening the next day. Test Track was down, but we got fast passes for later in the day.
|Topiary at Entrance -- Time for BBQ!|
Our first ride of the day was Mission: Space. Hello, Gary Sinise! We chose the Spinning option, although it didn't spin nearly as much as I remember from my first time (I was there for a soft opening in August 2003, and there were many people getting sick then). I did feel like my face was peeling off, though. We sent video to each other and to Bro from a program that looked like we were running from aliens on the moon or Mars or whatever.
Test Track was up when we were done, so we got in the Fast Pass line, but the screen we were using froze when we were designing our car. We ended up with a default red one instead. The ride was fun, and there was a lot of interactive stuff available afterward, like using your car to race others on a digital track, and taking pictures which I never actually saw because I'm lame. Our car reached a speed of 64.9 mph.
|Designing Our Car|
Yay! The Jammitors! They are EPCOT's answer to our Trash Can Trio, and they're fun, too. I got a sticker. I was happy.
Linda needed to see dinosaurs, so we went to the Universe of Energy. I was thankful for the long-ish ride because we were sitting down after standing up for a while in the morning. Ellen DeGeneres makes me giggle. A dinosaur snorted at us.
|Pluto and Linda|
We shopped around World Showcase, and marveled at the menus showing the special food for the Festival, but none of it was available yet, so that was a bummer. Or maybe that was a good thing, because we were preparing ourselves for a wonderful dinner that night already. Anyway, around World Showcase....in Africa, there was a wood carver, but his name was not Andrew, as the sign told us. He was actually Andrew's brother, named Justus. He was carving an elephant figurine. I had my eye on the hippos, and decided to come back later. By the time we came back, though, Justus was gone, and I decided to wait until Animal Kingdom for hippo stuff. I also wanted a wall hanging of 4 cool animal masks, but refrained from getting those. We took a lot of pictures of topiaries. Here are just a few more of them.
|My Favorite Topiary|
|The Longest Topiary|
|The Coolest Topiary|
The fancy restaurant in France had a long wait, so we bought our lunch at Les Halles De Boulangerie et Patisserie. Yum! Yes, it was all baked goods, and everything looked divine. We stuck to our Dining Plan, which is really cool because it includes a drink, an entree, and dessert. Not everything is on the dining plan, but you can always add stuff if you'd like. I bought a Croissant Du Jamon (ham croissant), a Frangiopone (almond pastry), and a decaf cappuccino. The CMs at the counter (most of them) were actually from France, so I made sure to say "Merci!" Yes, folks, I took 3 years of high school French so that I could thank people in Orlando, Florida. We sat outside when someone offered us a table because they were leaving. Merci beaucoup! Linda had a Napoleon for dessert and it was nice and flaky, like my croissant. If I lived in France, I'd be fat on croissants and food made with lots of butter.
|Japanese people took this picture for us. I'm not kidding.|
We walked around World Showcase some more, and took pictures of more topiaries. I heard drums again, so we stopped in Japan and listened to Matsuriza. They play Taiko!
I was happy again. Then, of course, more drums were playing when we arrived at America. We stopped to watch the full show of the Spirit of America Fife and Drum Corps. It was really neat to see them gather a bunch of kids and have them recite the Pledge of Allegiance. We then went inside to see The American Adventure, and who should be performing in the lobby but the Voices of Liberty! Drums and a cappella in one day? Heaven! I was tired and fell asleep during the actual show. As we were leaving, one guy said that one of the American Spirits looked like Burt Reynolds.
|Smokey the Dragon in China|
Back to walking around World Showcase....we bought some jewelry made of beads, which themselves were made of recycled Disney paper. Even the "bag" that Thais used was actually a Disney map, taped up into a little paper bag. So neat! Thais was very nice, and said that everyone thought that the beads were Brazilian because her name tag shows that she's from Brazil. She wants to come to Los Angeles some day in the next year or so. Yeah, come on over and visit!
In Germany, we bought our Dining Plan snacks at the Caramel shop. I bought a Werther Chewy Caramel. Danke! (That's pretty much all the German I know. That and "Schadenfreude").Then I decided it was time for me to have some alcohol, so I got a mango margarita in Mexico. When we sat down to have our snack, I also downloaded a panorama app and took this lovely picture.
|View of the World|
We then went to The Seas, which I hadn't seen since they added the Finding Nemo effects. They're pretty much the same ones that were added to Disneyland's submarines, but on this ride, we ride in clam shells. We checked out the animals in the aquarium, and saw that a dolphin exhibit was about to start, so we watched Rainier match figures of Atlas, Wall-E, and a ferris wheel to whatever the trainer taught him. Rainier loved showing off for everyone.
Then we walked back to the entrance, and couldn't figure out how to get to the Boardwalk. We talked to a security guard, then after walking a little bit, decided to go back into the park to catch the boat to our destination. Oy, if I had just planned this better, we would have done much less walking, but I guess I got my exercise in for the day after all. We found a restroom at the Boardwalk Inn and changed into more appropriate clothing for dinner, then went to the restaurant.
Flying Fish Cafe is a favorite of our friends, so when we were making our reservations in advance, we planned our days around the available restaurants, as well as the Magic Hours for the resort guests. Flying Fish was the first reservation we made. It was the only one on our list that takes up 2 dining plan points, but we didn't plan on using any on the first night, so we saved it for this night. We were not disappointed at all. Not during the entire evening. While we were looking at the menu, I was trying to point out the Mac and Cheese. Linda thought I said "Korean Cheese". Is there even such a thing? Our server, Tony, was wonderful to us. The decor was whimsical. The food -- Oh my goodness, the FOOD! So here's what we had, and as per our dining plan, we had a drink, an entree, and dessert. I also added soup because I just couldn't resist it.
|The Fish are Flying with Parachutes!|
Sherry's soup: Soup of the Day: Roasted Butternut Squash Bisque with Florida Rock Shrimp, Winter Squash, Leeks, 5-spice Creme Fraiche, Prosciutto Cracklins and Mustard-Chive Oil. So, so worth paying the extra coin. I now don't want any other butternut squash bisque but this one.
|Bisque of Joy|
Linda had Native Rainforest Pepperberry and Wattleseed-crusted Kurobuta Berkshire Pork Tenderloin with Leek, Fontina, and Truffle-laced Trofie Macaroni & Cheese, Grilled Aspargus with Kiln-dried and Fresh Black Mission Fig, Port Wine, Balsamico, Bermuda Onion, and Trumpet Mushroom Compote. Linda was very happy. I had a taste of the Mac & Cheese, and it was way yummy.
I had the "Surf and Surf" Oak-grilled Herb-glazed Florida Coast Cobia and Laughing Bird Shrimp "Scampi" with Wilted Greens, Caramelized Cipollini Onions, Young Squash and Carrots, with an Elephant Garlic and Vermont Butter Sauce. Divine. I wasn't able to finish all of my vegetables, but I did a pretty good job with it. I wanted to make sure to save room for dessert.
|Surf & Surf|
Linda had Caramel-Chocolate-Brioche Bread Pudding with Vanilla-Praline Gelato, Spicy Pecan Brittle, and a Cinnamon Anglaise Sauce. I did not try it, but she enjoyed it very much.
I had the signature Flying Fish Cafe "Caramelized Banana Napoleon" with Crisp Phyllo Banana Mousse, Creme Caramel, Exotic Fruit Coulis, and Bitter Chocolate. It was beautiful. It was delicious. We were in foodie heaven.
|So. Very. Yum.|
|Tony and Sher|
Tony told us that we were the happiest customers he's ever had, so we totally made his day. I asked him if the Executive Chef was present because I wanted to pay him my compliments, and he didn't think so. I don't know how Tony missed him, because he's, like, 15 feet tall or something. Tony opened his eyes and found Chef Tim, and brought him to our table. We raved about our dinner and told him about our friends recommending the restaurant. He remembers our friend because our friend doesn't like cilantro. So he calls our friend "Mr. Cilantro". Linda and I now call ourselves "Mr. Cilantro's Entourage". I asked to see the menus again so that I could write down whatever we had, and Tony let me take both the regular and the dessert menus home. Yay -- free souvenirs!
|One Last Look|
After basking in our happiness for a while, we took the Friendship boat back to EPCOT. While on the boat, we were told several times when the last boat would leave. As we got off the boat, one of the passengers asked the CM, "What time is the last boat?" just to be funny. I laughed. I was happy and full.
We walked to the area between Japan and USA to wait for Illuminations: Reflections of Earth. If I wasn't already so happy and full, I totally would have bought the pumpkin spice funnel cake that was being sold nearby. It smelled really good, and the combination of pumpkin and funnel cake was quite tempting, but I couldn't eat any more that night. We had a great spot for Illuminations, and we enjoyed the show. Thank you to my friends for the viewing spot recommendation!
|Linda, waiting for Illuminations to begin|
We were so happy that we didn't care much about our long walk back to the shuttle. I was on a quest to find highlighters (to highlight where we'd been on our maps), and we stopped in the last store by the park exit. CM Michele gabbed with us for quite a while about weather and her experience of being terrified on the Dinosaur ride at Animal Kingdom. She was amusing. We were tired, and when we got back to our hotel, put our feet up against the wall. Ah, that felt good.
This was my favorite day of the entire trip. I heart EPCOT.
|Happy Girls on a Happy Day|
Line of the Day: "Her face is kinda messed up." -- Little Boy at Snow White and the Seven Dwarves Topiary