This morning we had problems getting up to speed. Not a big problem, but we need to keep our fastpass times in mind.
We had a great spot on the parking lot and didn’t even need to hop on the tram to get to the entrance. That’s a good start!
Just beyond the entrance we had pictures made by a photographer. A great invention, Disney Photopass, it gets all four of us in pictures!
Since we had until 11AM to get to Spaceship Earth, we first visited Test Track, which actually was open today! The stand-by time was still manageable as well.
Miriam didn’t know Test Track had been updated and was (positively) surprized! We had to – in groups of 2 – design our own concept vehicle and then test it. Samantha and Miriam did one on looks, pink, flowers, showy gadgets and oh yes… speed! They did well, they finished before us, but Geordi insisted on an efficient, green car, which cost performance.
We had sufficient time left to get to Spaceship Earth before our fastpass expired. Again together with Samantha, Miriam designed her future, and Geordi and I ours. Don’t pay too much attention to the pictures…
Soarin’ is one of our favorite attractions in EPCOT, so we obviously planned a fastpass for this one too. We really wanted to be at the front (top) row for once, and thanks to a friendly castmember we finally managed to do so.
Next up: the most interesting HP office. It’s called the Red Room and is inside Mission Space, since HP is the sponsor of the attraction. And HP employees can, by showing their employee id, cool down, play a game or drink something there. And with the heat outside (it was H.O.T. outside again) this was very nice.
We could also make a few movies there. You can also do that downstairs after the ‘flight’, but then you’ll have to queue up.
*Houston we have a Problem…* (click picture)
Once cooled down, you get a special HP fastpass and boarding tickets for Mission Space. We chose the not-so-intense (green) version this time. We – again – landed our spaceship safely on Mars!
Now it’s time to finish our trip around the world which we started last week. We started in Mexico, where we did a boattrip with ‘The Three Caballeros’!
From Mexica we went to Norway, but the queue for ‘Maelstrom’ was a bit longer than we thought the ride is worth, so we skipped it.
From there we went to China, to have a look at a scale model of (part of) the terra cotta army.
From China to the ‘Outpost’ and then on to Germany. Whenever there was a Photopass photographer in a country, we had a picture made. The funny thing was that the same photographer was making the same round as we were. I think we’ve seen him (and he us) at least 4 times!
After Germany we made a stopover in America, as the ‘Fife & Drum Corps’ was just starting their presentation. And that is always great to watch!
Before going in to the “American Adventure” we returned to Italy, since we skipped that country for our American stopover.
Some countries have a (small) attraction or ride, some only have shops and performers.
After Italy we finally went to ‘The American Adventure’. It shows a quick summary of the American history (and secretly allows Miriam to take a quick powernap…)
Since we’ve seen all countries now (Morrocco, Japan, France, England and Canada we did before), we thought it was a great point to leave the park. To hang around to view (again) IllumiNations didn’t appeal to us. We felt more like eating at ‘The Outback’ and then just do whatever.
When we passed Canada, Off Kilter just started a session. They’re a Canadian folkband that play a lot of Scottish/Irish music. And… some of the bandmemberd wear kilts. We’ve first seen them here many years ago, and since then somehow always missed them. So we stopped for a bit to watch them play. It was fun to have seen them again.
Now a beeline to the exit!
It seemed like the temperature just kept rising. Especially the (very short!) part across the parking lot was bad! Quickly start the car and A/C to MAX.
On our way home we stopped at the Outback to make a reservation. That’ll save us a lot of (unnecessary) waiting later on!
In the townhouse we freshened up a bit and releaxed until our reserved time.
Reserving a table was not a bad idea, as it was packed when we got back, with a lot of waiting people. Miriam was surprized we got a pager as well, and had to wait. In Europe we’re not used to that, when we reserve a table, it will be reserved for you, and you’ll be seated immediately. Luckily it was less than 10 minutes (whereas walk-ins had to wait 60+ minutes!) before we were buzzed and led to our table.
We had a very nice server, who took great care of us. Today we all got something from the Wednesday Specials menu. It’s a reduced choice 3-course menu for a fixed price. Miriam and I had sirloin and the kids Parmezan Crusted Chicken. As starter I had onion soup, and the rest a salad. It all tasted great!
For dessert Miriam had carrot cake, and the rest of us cheesecake.
For Miriam and I this is the 6th time in Kissimmee, and we’ve seen the Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway (US192) change over time. From a road PACKED with – as we called them – ‘incorrect’ souvenir shops, selling (amongst others) Disney stuff that was just off (cheap fabric, crappy printing), to what it is now. Since the hurricane passed through, a lot of these shops have disappeared. Some parts have been rebuilt, but a lot of lots have been demolished and left open. Obvious is that the ‘big guys’ survived and the little crappy ones have gone the way of the Dodo.
We wanted to show the kids one of those ‘incorrect’ souvenir shops. The shop turned out to be better than we expected. But we still got to show them what we meant. But this store also sold better quality stuff. I even found two (genuine) pins I liked. Even Samantha found a Stitch pin, but that was part of a bundle. The teller checked the lose pins, and since it wasn’t there, he just got a pair of scissors and cut open the tie-rap on the bundle. Sam happy as well…
So now back home and relaxing, another day tomorrow!Weather in EPCOT at time of posting: 35 °C, scattered clouds, wind 205° at 14km/hr.