We spent the full day at Epcot and still didn’t get close to seeing everything. It was the extra magic hours in the evening (the park was open until midnight) and we still didn’t make it all. We didn’t quite make it to midnight either, but almost! It was 11:30 when we caught the bus back to the hotel. But back to the morning…
We paid for breakfast at the hotel’s Pepper Market and it was good. Eggs, homefries, muffin and bacon and we were stuffed and ready for adventure. Then we grabbed all our stuff (more on that later) and headed for the park. Once getting there we got a locker and dumped everything we wouldn’t need for the day. And then we started touring. The “golfball” really is as fabulous to see as you’d think it was. We went on many of the individual country’s rides (Norway was excessively roughly bumpy for being a gentle water ride, the Mexican one was really a fun atmosphere), and had a general walk around the park.
Next stop lunch, and I was starving at that point. So we get inside and I made a bee line for the counter only to discover that Brian wasn’t with me any more. I turn around and he’s back at the entrance waving at me. He claims he tried calling my name, but I didn’t hear him. I was a woman on a mission, and that mission was food. I’d walked right past Mike and Jan and everyone! My best friend from highschool, Mike, and his family were also at Disney while we were there, and they got to stay longer :) . We’d made plans to meet up with them that evening for dinner, and the stuff dropped in the locker was presents for their daughters and for Jan. It was fun for Brian to hand over the key and say they’d have presents later! They were just finishing lunch as we got there, so we didn’t really eat with them, but “promised to meet up later in the day”!
We headed off and saw the Canada pavillion show, and Brian cheated during the little quiz while we were in the holding area. Canadian trivia is a lot easier when you’re Canadian! It turned out that the guy running it was from Brantford (the next town over from our hometown) and there were a couple of newlyweds in the crowd from Cambridge (our hometown)! It really is a small world. The movie was really neat, and made me extra homesick. Good thing I was going to be going home in a week! I paid WAAAAYY too much for an Aero bar, but it was worth it. I did a little more shopping at the Great Britian pavillion, including more Little Miss books to add to my growing collection. It’s a sad thing when it’s cheaper to pay the inflated Disneyworld price for them imported from the UK than it is to order them directly from someplace like Amazon.com! I also picked up some Penguins (of course!) and digestives to have sent back to our hotel.
We wandered around and along the way also found out where I could get one of those “first time visitor” buttons. :) We had used our Fastpass (for about the only thing it was needed for) for Soarin’, a new attraction where it’s very much like you’re on a hang glider and it was time for that next. It was really cool! Then we did the Finding Nemo section for a change of pace, and even caught one of the feeding sessions for the aquarium. I would have liked to have stayed for the dolphin feeding, but it was almost time to go feed us! First though, we took the ride through “the land” and got to see all the neat agricultural projects they have going. The greenhouse was fabulous.
Then it was a character dinner at the Garden Grill with the full Butcher clan: Mike and Jan, their daughters Lauren and Megan and Mike’s parents Brian and Debbie. A character dinner is one where you have different characters come by the table and take a few minutes playing with the kids. At ours we got to meet Chip and Dale, Mickey and Goofy. The girls *loved* it. Except when Dale (?) tried to pantomime he was going after Megan’s cupcake… :) The food was good, the talk really fun and a great chance to see the girls fully enjoying Disneyworld. I’m sure this trip is one they’ll never forget. For us, we then went on Soarin’ again, and then headed to try to see something Mike had loved earlier in the day, which was unfortunately closed. The heat was finally starting to wear us down, so we decided to see if we could find seats to see the IllumiNations show from, and we lucked out. A nice comfy bench, where we sat and watched the show. We were a little further back than I might have liked, but we saw about 95% of it, and it was worth missing the rest to be able to just sit and rest for a while.
After that it was one LONG walk around the full park so we could at least say we’d seen each country’s pavillion. Stopped in at the UK pavillion again for another Aero bar to get us to the gates (and bus back to the hotel) and discovered caramel Aero bars. I think I’m in heaven, and I think I’m *VERY* glad they don’t sell them here. Then back to the hotel, and crashed for the night into bed.