Day three of my visit to Walt Disney World dawned and once again I drove myself down my new alternate route to Epcot. This time I arrived in time for “rope drop” although I should’ve paid a bit more attention to where I parked instead of texting while I walked to the front entrance. Apparently my faith in my new patented vehicle locator device overrode common sense. More on this later.
Rope drop was a cannon of paper streamers that immediately launched the smallest members of the populace out of line and scrambling after them. Bag check seemed to take longer than usual, perhaps because it was on the heels of North Korea testing a nuclear device. Your average park visitor doesn’t usually carry a nuclear warhead in their camera bag, but I guess you can never be too careful.
At last we were let in and I headed straight for The Land and Soarin’, having learned from yesterday’s reconnaissance mission. I immediately got a Fast Pass and then jumped in the short line for Soarin’. I was a bit apprehensive as most 3-D movies make me nauseous and I do not have a love of flying. Soarin’ immediately changed all of that. I believe what made it work for me was the “breeze” in my face and the smells so it wasn’t as if I were sitting in front of a monitor.
I was happy that I had a fast pass in my pocket for Soarin, but it would be another hour before I could use it. I walked over to The Seas with Nemo and Friends and took a ride with them. Afterward I spent some time viewing the aquariums before heading back to Soarin where I got yet another Fast Pass before boarding the glider for a second time. I could do this all day if the fast passes didn’t run out!
My second fast pass gave me a few hours to kill so I checked out Living With the Land, which was very informative. After passing through a rainforest-to-desert exhibit the ride takes you through the hydroponic gardens of Epcot where they farm fish that help fertilize the gardens. Some of these vegetables are used in the restaurants of Epcot.
I left The Land and headed to Spaceship Earth. If you’ve been with me since the beginning of my adventures you’ll have noticed by now that I like the calm, slow rides. No roller coasters for me. Spaceship Earth was entertaining although I could’ve done without the child in the seat behind me making a peace sign over my head as they snapped the ride photo. Yeah, thanks for that kid. Now I can’t show that picture.
Next I took a Journey with Figment. I would’ve loved to figure out a way to kidnap the little bugger. Luckily they sell Figment’s galore in the gift shop, however, I wisely chose to trade a pin later for a Figment Hidden Mickey pin and got my fix that way. Never buy the first souvenirs you come across because you can find bargains later.
My stomach started to gnaw at me so I headed into the World Showcase to find food. I decided that I wanted to try and eat at The Rose and Crown, but it didn’t open for another half hour. Perfect. It would take about that long to visit O’Canada. For those that haven’t experienced the 360 Vision shows, they’re all done standing up so if you’ve been on your feet all day keep that in mind.
I headed back to The Rose and Crown and picked up my pager. It actually didn’t take long at all even though I didn’t have a reservation. Apparently the key is arrive early if you don’t have a reservation. Once again I ordered Fish & Chips because apparently I am now addicted to malt vinegar. I also started with a wonderful appetizer of grilled scallops which were to die for. I wanted so badly for someone at the table next to me to order Bubbles & Squeak just so I could take a picture of it, but alas, most diners stuck with the amazing Fish & Chips and I really can’t blame them.
I wobbled out of The Rose and Crown and headed for my date with Soarin. I was again apprehensive because now I had a full stomach and wasn’t sure how all the swooping and soaring would go. Nevertheless I got in line (even with my Fast Pass) and was selected to be the Fast Pass guinea pig that carries the official badge for gauging wait times. Yay!. Well, almost yay because it was hot in the corridor leading to Soarin and my tummy wasn’t liking me much at all.
At last I reached the loading bay and sadly turned over my guinea pig badge. I strapped into the glider and off we went again. It was another amazing ride that my stomach was very glad to be done with. Even so, I stopped to check on getting another Fast Pass only to find that they had all been distributed for the day. Ah well, three times in one day is a feat in itself and I felt it made up for not getting to ride the day before. Time to explore The World.
I stopped in the UK again to watch a street puppet show. Apparently the puppets are unsuspecting bystanders which only made it funnier. This show was entitled “Romeo and Edna,” as apparently Juliet was indisposed. Our young lovers turned out to be in their later stages of life, i.e. AARP era. Nevertheless the show was quite entertaining and worth the brief distraction. Another tip for vacationers: Let yourself be distracted; you might be pleasantly surprised.
I must’ve backtracked at this point because the next photos in my journal are of my idols, Chip and Dale, where once again I got my picture taken with them. The photographer that graciously used my camera to take the photos dubbed me “Rapunzel.” I wonder if he saw me take my long hair out of my ponytail just so it would look nicer in the photos? I’ll also admit that I did try to lure Chip away but apparently their chipmunks are trained not to leave with strangers, darn the luck.
I continued my explorations of France (hated it,) Morocco, Japan, America (skipped it,) Italy (meh,) Germany, China, Norway and Mexico. Most of the countries had something notable to offer be it food, shopping or adventure. I also rode the ferry around the lake and got some perfect timing shots of the World Globe that came out with the fireworks barges.
I can share this, after a long day of trudging to and fro, it is disheartening to be sitting in Japan staring across the lake at China knowing that you have to trudge all the way back because you forgot to get something that you just have to have. Luckily when this happened to me I had already come to the decision that I was too tired to drag myself out of the park so I was staying for Illuminations.
It took about 40 minutes to walk back to China. I think it may have been because I got sidetracked into the Three Caballeros again in Mexico and Maelstrom in Norway. Honestly it’s not my fault. They just suck you in. That and I figured out that it was a way that I could sit down for a few minutes. My knee, which I had hurt a few nights previously, had decided it was time to roar in protest at me and make me feel miserable. I think it must’ve looked at my pedometer and saw the 8.5 miles on it. Stupid knee.
It was still about an hour and a half out from Illuminations and I needed to find a spot to watch from. I decided that a bench near Norway was going to have to do. As time for Illuminations drew nearer, the crowd increased. Most people passed on by but just before showtime a rude guy decided to try and stand in front of me so I had to hobble up from my bench and lean on the railing so that I could watch and record the show.
At this point I have to backtrack just a tad and point out that all day long I noticed sleeping ducks around Epcot. I found this a bit odd as ducks usually paddle around all day and gobble things up. This will become clear later.
Finally Illuminations began and it was awesome. At one point we thought one of the fireworks barges had caught fire, but apparently it was just part of the show. The show was well worth the wait and the finale was amazing. During my playback of the video it became clear as to why so many ducks nap during the day… when the pyrotechnic barge erupted in flames a duck can be seen paddling furiously away from the blaze. I suspect they don’t sleep well at night and lay around all day trying to recover from their fright.
Illuminations also marks the end of the day at Epcot and soon I was following the crowd out to the parking lot where I began to wish I had paid more attention to where I parked. I informed a park attendant that I had walked in from Stage 3 (I think) and he pointed me in the right direction. As soon as I saw my patented vehicle locator device waving proudly from about a 1/4 mile away I was thrilled that I’d remembered something correctly. I waited for the crowd to thin while I texted updates to my friends and then I headed for the hotel for a well-earned rest. Tomorrow, Hollywood Studios.