I promise I haven’t abandoned my September trip report, but before I proceed with it, I wanted to offer a quick rundown of my mini trip to WDW last week. I am lucky enough to make several trips to Florida … Continue reading
Tuesday, October 12.
With CP still feeling under the weather and both of us considerably more tired than at the beginning of our trip, we slept in today until 8:45. After some cereal, yogurt parfait, and hot chocolate/coffee mix we headed to the bus stop around 10am. Our Magic Kingdom bus arrived quickly and took us equally fast to the entrance of the park, so we were on the train to Frontierland in no time.
Our first stop of the day was Splash Mountain, whose wait was only 5 minutes and which in reality was nearly a walk-on. Our fast queue experience was marred only by the presence of the line-cutting grandma in front of us, but we both had forgotten about that after the intense soaking we received at the end of the ride. Naturally, our next stop was Big Thunder, which advertised a wait of 20 minutes and the promise of drying ourselves off in wind. Being wise in the ways of Disney Math™ we figured the line was really much shorter than 20 minutes, and indeed, we waited maybe 5 minutes to board. The kid behind us was apprehensive to ride for the first time, but by the end of her first ride through the wilderness, she was clapping and giddy, thrilled with herself that she had liked it. Next up was a walk through Frontierland and Liberty Square for another ride on Space Mountain, during which we confirmed that the left track is truly much smoother than the right side.
With lunch time approaching and hunger fast settling in, we decided the proper course of action was a tide-me-over snack at the Confectionary before heading to Downtown Disney for a real lunch. While munching on chocolate-covered pretzel rods we watched Pluto interact with children young and old, and then we headed for the exit to grab a boat to the Wilderness Lodge, which CP had never seen, and where we could catch a bus to Downtown Disney. We took a bathroom break in the very peaceful lobby of the Wilderness Lodge villas, wandered the grounds, and then caught a bus to Downtown Disney, where we went to the lovely Earl of Sandwich for a lunch of Caprese sandwiches while watching the day’s parade of crazily adorned BBB girls.
Sunday dawned hot and sunny, not that we were up to see it – neither one of us was up before 10am today, having stayed out late the night before. After a quick coffee/hot chocolate infusion and some trail mix eaten on the run, we grabbed a bus to Epcot and proceeded immediately to the Land pavillion to secure Fast Passes for Soarin’. Metaphorical running of the bulls over with, we meandered over to the Mexico pavillion, and made our way through to Norway, where we stopped for a sweet almond pretzel and a quick rest in the shade. We then proceeded to walk and shop, photographing some of the more interesting (or daresay ridiculous) things that caught our eye, paying special attention to the Steiff bears in Germany and the mesmerizing selection of chocolates in Italy.
We ended up in the Mitsukoshi department store in Japan, our first of many trips this week to scope the wares and see what would inevitably end up in our suitcase when we went home. CP is a dedicated Totoro fan, and we were saddened to see that Totoro merchandise wasn’t particularly well-represented.
With hunger settling in we headed to Morocco and snagged some felafel pitas and Casa beer from the Food and Wine stand. Afterward we browsed the Moroccan shops, but were driven out of the pavilion by a screaming naked baby running about. After walking through the France pavilion, we exited through the International Gateway and headed toward the Beach Club for a break and some dessert at Beaches and Cream. The restaurant itself was packed, so we settled for take-away sundaes and ate next to Stormalong Bay. The verdict of this much-heralded treat spot? Meh. Part of the problem is that my order was incorrectly filled, but the ice cream wasn’t all that good and I’ve certainly had better for less money. After browsing the Beach Club (and enjoying its air conditioning) we headed back to finish our tour of the World Showcase, browsing through the United Kingdom, and stopping to take pictures of ourselves (and helping others with their pictures) in Canada.
Good morning, Florida!
Against the advice of all pundits we slept in this morning – after all, we had endured a lengthy travel day and a late check-in. We’d survive.
First on the agenda this morning was a trip to the lobby to get the park tickets we’d purchased through Undercover Tourist added to our room keys. Then it was off to the Mara, the Animal Kingdom Lodge’s quick-service food location. We purchased refillable mugs, made a concoction of coffee and hot chocolate (about the only way to suffer through the Nescafe that Disney sadly insists upon selling throughout WDW), and grabbed a couple muffins to eat while we got dressed. By 9:30, it was off to the bus stop.
This is the point at which we want to cue the sound of a record scratch. All feelings of first-day giddiness came to a screeching halt upon seeing the bus line. Isn’t this supposed to be the low season, I thought? We joined the masses and felt a surge of hope when the Magic Kingdom bus pulled up, but those good feelings were quickly dashed by the line-cutters and those who legitimately had waited longer than us who then piled on and quickly filled the bus. Eventually we squeezed onto the second Magic Kingdom bus – does know one know what “move back” means? It’s really easy to tell that most people don’t use buses regularly outside of their Disney vacations – commuter etiquette was not in play this October morning.
In any case, we finally got moving and were let off outside the Magic Kingdom by 10:45 a.m. So, our first Disney morning wasn’t off to the quickest of starts, but hey, we were finally there, right?