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Old 03-07-2009, 12:33 PM   #16
eandesmom
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Epcot!

Wow, I am so behind on this! Darn job getting in the way of my trip report, what is up with that!

Our plan, upon arrival, was to grab TT FP's, dumb the bags in a locker and grab some lunch. With the weather having pretty big swings and knowing we would not want to leave to go back to the Fort to get jackets, we had packed a bag to get us through EMH. We grabbed the FP's and were a bit taken aback to see they weren't until 4:30! I'd been to the World 3 times previously, and DL many times and Scrooge grew up near DL. We have never had that kind of gap on a FP. It was probably noon at this point. This was our first taste of the Presidents Week crowds.

Now, I love Epcot. Love love love it. One of my favorites for many reasons. But I cannot stand the layout of Future worlds. It is not intuitive, it always feels crowded and just isn't as pretty as the other parks. The WS more than makes up for it but I tend to find myself frustrated at times navigating FW. This happened right after grabbing our FP's. For some reason we thought lockers would be at, I don't know, guest services? Information?. Nope. Inside the camera shop. In retrospect it was kind of funny and it did help us find lockers super quick everywhere else but it was really annoying at the time. However, as with everything, there was a silver lining to the 20 minutes "where in the world are the lockers" tourists looking lost saga.

After finally finding them, and stowing our stuff, Scrooge came back to announce that there was NO wait at Spaceship Earth! Lunch plans abandoned for the moment, we took off! Now I've been to Epcot probably 6 times over 3 different trips but none of us had ever gone on Spaceship Earth. Sad I know. I think we thought it was dated or something or were just too busy heading straight to TT or to the WS for good. Clearly we'd been idiots and were missing out!

It was SUCH a great start to the trip, a perfect perfect first ride. The kids absolutely loved it. We had been fearful that Tink and Steven might find some things at the World a bit cheesy, or dated and we might get some teen/tween attitude. They were just as captivated with it as the rest of us and in a small way I feel like it set a super positive tone for the trip that never left us.

This is a lame picture but...as our first ride of the trip, I had to include it



By the time we finished it was 1:30 and the gang was seriously hungry so off to the WS we went. You can read about our lunch here, in post #8. We were on the DDP and hit Tangerine Cafe and Cantina de San Angel. LOVED Tangerine Cafe and the dining setting at the Cantina was lovely (as long as you didn't feed the birds). The food reviews for the Cantina were less glowing but the gang ate everything.

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2095766

While eating, we enjoyed these guys


Full and happy it was off to the rides! We tried to go get FP's to Mission Space and it wouldn't let us. I didn't remember what the timing rules were but knew on past trips we'd been able to have more than one at a time. Like idiots we thought this meant we couldn't get another set until after we went on TT which bummed us out as that was quite a ways away and the FP's would be gone by then. We clued into the 2 hour thing much much later in the trip, I don't know how I missed that in all my research but rest assured, it won't happen again. If we'd have waited another 30 minutes we could have gotten them but oh well.

Thankfully the wait at Mission Space really wasn't that bad, 20 minutes for green and 30 for orange so we just went for it.

Our kids are funny when it comes to rides. When we went to the world in 2005 it was just the 2 little ones, they were 4 and 5 at the time. We took them on EVERYTHING that they were tall enough for. Wall-E missed a bunch but Goofy went on everything. A couple of things freaked them out (taking my 4 year old on ToT was not a mommy of the year highlight for me...lol) but for the most part, they were ride rockstars. The big guys on the other hand, are, well, wimps. They avoid intense rides like the plague but had been getting better about it. One of the reasons we decided to skip Universal Islands of Adventure (though Scrooge and I LOVE it) was that the "thrill" rides really aren't what Steven and Tink love. We may have converted them on this trip but I'm getting ahead of myself.

At any rate, Tink is completely paranoid about the unknown. Every ride has to be dissected before she gets on it so she knows what to expect. Except I don't always really remember! She is always fine once she gets on it but she kills me before It's pretty cute actually. So 4 of us headed into green and two into orange (Scrooge and Steven)

Going in...


Coming out


In between those pictures, we had a blast on the ride. However immediately afterwards we went into the main area to wait. It was PACKED. And...Wall-E has a tendency to wander. He was given some pretty specific instructions. We (all 4 of us) headed into a corner and started playing the little astronaut game, Goofy on one computer, myself and Tink on another. Somehow Wall-E thought weren't there and...LEFT THE BUILDING.

I was wrapped up in my own astronaut attempt to save the other astronauts and thought he was with his brother (and had just given him VERY strict instructions to stay with us and his brother and had reminded his brother and Tink to help keep track of him) Yes he is 8 but...he is in his own world, completely oblivious to what is going on around him. He pulled a similar stunt at Christmas but I digress.

Right then, Scrooge and Steven show up and we start talking about the ride, the game we were just playing and I realize...no Wall-E. We split up to go look. Scrooge finds him outside, crying, talking to a CM about how he has lost us. Now...the good news is he knew what to do and had found a CM right away and he does know my cell phone number by heart. But...suffice to say for the remainder of the entire trip I did make my second grade eight year old hold my hand, every day, everywhere we went. I can blame it on how crowded the Mission Space Pavilion was but the reality is that he probably walked right by me and kept going. It's dark in there and hard to see but he's done this in broad daylight. It's scary!

Drama resolved...off to more rides.
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Old 03-07-2009, 02:34 PM   #17
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How scary! Thank goodness he knew exactly what to do and found a CM. I agree completely about EP. It's almost like FW and WS are 2 totally different parks. If it was that busy in Feb, I can't imagine what it will be like in May!!!! Thank you for the update, looking forward to hearing more!
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Old 03-07-2009, 03:34 PM   #18
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Enjoying the trip report! We were there from the 16 to the 19.
We usually are summer people- but was very surprised about the crowds!
Felt like summer, but without the heat! Actually, wished it was a bit warmer down there!
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Old 03-07-2009, 03:38 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by msce2 View Post
How scary! Thank goodness he knew exactly what to do and found a CM. I agree completely about EP. It's almost like FW and WS are 2 totally different parks. If it was that busy in Feb, I can't imagine what it will be like in May!!!! Thank you for the update, looking forward to hearing more!
I've been in June twice and in November (during F&W!) and have never seen anything like it with the crowds. The bummer is in reality, school breaks for the foreseeable future are likely our best bet. The good news is that really, for the most part, we really "did" 3 out of the 4 parks quite well but the MK was pretty brutal. So I need to go again. And soon!

I can dream right?
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Old 03-07-2009, 03:41 PM   #20
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The weather WAS all over the board!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eeyore18 View Post
Enjoying the trip report! We were there from the 16 to the 19.
We usually are summer people- but was very surprised about the crowds!
Felt like summer, but without the heat! Actually, wished it was a bit warmer down there!
Thankfully we'd packed appropriately but it did get pretty cool in the evenings and I found myself layering in the morning, stripping during the day (ok not literally but...) and then layering up again at night. In six days I went from tank top to parka! I wouldn't have minded it a bit warmer as well, it will make me reconsider Feb as the month to go but, on the flip side it was a REALLY nice time to get away from home at, we've never done a full week at that time of year and I liked it.
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Old 03-14-2009, 02:27 PM   #21
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Test Track or Bust!

After finding Wall-E we headed off to enjoy the park. We still had a little bit of time before our FP's were ready for TT, and frankly I was still shaking. so...snack time! We tried the Fountainview Cafe first but the line was so hideous we headed off to Sunshine Season instead. Espresso may not have been the best idea for me, still shaky from the lost kid episode but it did taste great!

Soaring still had a 2 hour wait, no thanks! So snacks, then a ride in some clams to see Nemo. Some serious playing with the squirting fountain for everyone including Scrooge. You can see Tink trying to "get" him.



Then...Honey I Shrunk the Audience. So far, our timing, as long as we skipped the "big" rides was amazing. Walking right on!

After that the line had gone down at Fountainview so Steven got the first of many many trip smoothies.

FINALLY....it was time. It felt like it had taken all day. OH WAIT! It had.

Which meant,
.
.
.
.
.
.

MY favorite Epcot ride. Test Track!



Love those dummies.


Tink was freaked out about the concept. Check her out in the picture! This picture kills me everytime I see it. She actually liked the ride and had fun. This was the first in a series of Tink looking petrified pictures on the trip. I think this is the best picture of it though!




Look at me grinning like an idiot.


We actually video taped the ride (as you can see with Scrooge holding up the camera), it's a riot to watch!

After TT, and plenty of gift shop poking around, it was time to head towards the WS. First, a stop in Mexico to ride with the Three Caballeros.

I confess to being entirely lame in the past about really checking out each country in the WS. So we went "into" Mexico as I've not done much more in the WS than eat, drink and watch Illuminations. And really, there is nothing wrong with that! It was nice to see the TS restaurant, the kids kept asking why we weren't eating there and were mesmerized by the fact that it looked like we were outside, but we weren't.

The ride CRACKED me up! All those old cartoons...set in a Mexican "It's a small world". So cheesy it was absolutely delightful. Everyone got a kick out of it except Scrooge.





Next. The Biergarten, an Illuminations Fiasco AND.....some "first" lanyards aka the creation of the pin monsters. To be followed by.....the souvenir that got away and EMH Rocks!
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Old 03-29-2009, 12:39 PM   #22
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Our first day dawned beautifully! Sunny and 70 at wakeup was a perfect way to be greeted. We sat outside on our deck while the big kids slept.

Enjoying breakfast on our deck


Our views






We decided, once the lazy people were up and finished playing around, to walk through the Fort and take the long way to Epcot. While we could have just grabbed a bus and gone straight to Epcot, it was EMH day and I wanted to at least SEE where we were staying.

Playing around with the towel hats...



On our stroll we went by the swimming hole (otherwise known as the quiet or cabin pool). The "Big" pool is under a major reconstruction. The fun part of that meant we had access to WL's pool and we planned on hitting that later in the week.





We enjoyed walking through the fort, seeing the cabins, then the RV's and tent sites. The Fort was quite full!

Then it was off to the Marina to catch the boat to the MK.

View from the dock, the beach at the Fort



Waiting for the green boat



It's a pretty boat ride, one we did many times. Seeing the abandoned River Country is something else...a movie should be set there and Discovery Island was just beautiful. It was also nice to be "up close" to a few of the MK resorts.


Sailing by the Contemporary.


And finally, the MK is in sight!



Two short monorail rides later and


Epcot!

Or as Wall-E says...Ecpot. While the child still can't say it right is beyond me!



Next...the reality of WDW during President's week and moving Illumination hours
Oh My Gosh... Tink looks like the girl in that cruise commercial... where the family is trying to find the girl's smile. ????? and they catch it on camera, and then it's GONE! Cute pics.
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Old 03-29-2009, 12:57 PM   #23
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Oh My Gosh... Tink looks like the girl in that cruise commercial... where the family is trying to find the girl's smile. ????? and they catch it on camera, and then it's GONE! Cute pics.

Awww! Thanks Lots of pics of her smiling as the trip went on. Thanks for peeking, inspiring me to get back to this TR! Funny though as I'm about to start a PTR! Whoo hoo!
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Old 03-29-2009, 01:08 PM   #24
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Awww! Thanks Lots of pics of her smiling as the trip went on. Thanks for peeking, inspiring me to get back to this TR! Funny though as I'm about to start a PTR! Whoo hoo!
When are you going back? How do you stay soooo organized? I was really on top of it for our Sept. trip but then Hurricane Ike hit us and I got a little off-track for the Dec. trip and just "winged" most of it... we still had a blast, but like you said you started shoving your toiletries in any available space on the morning of... yea, kinda like that A LOT though! Glad I inspired you.
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Old 03-29-2009, 01:25 PM   #25
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The Biergarten, an Illuminations Fiasco AND.....some "first" lanyards!

3 weeks later..yikes! Time to pick this back up

After riding with the 3 Caballeros, Scrooge and Steven headed back to our locker to get our jackets, we'd known it would cool down and it was definitely time for another layer. The rest of us headed over to check in at the Biergarten. We noticed crowds forming around the WS and just figured it was normal dinner time. Should have been a RED FLAG! but we were clueless.

Upon checking in we were informed that they would not seat us until our entire party was present. Rats, hadn't realized that and we could have gone in right away! Instead we went back out into the courtyard and I ordered a beer for Scrooge and I from the "Bier" cart. A very very yummy Spaten Ocktoberfest. That took forever to get but was worth the wait.

Kids entertained themselves by the fountain.


Upon Scrooges and Steven's arrival we re-checked in and then had to wait another 15 minutes. It was a very enjoyable meal and a great dinner show, a great "first night" dinner. My pictures are pretty crummy, low inside light




The Bavarian cheesecake was the bomb!!! During dinner we kept an eye on the time, not wanting to miss Illuminations. We rushed to pay our bill (server kind of fell of the map towards the end of dinner and headed outside.

To.find.the.WS. EMPTY!

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaatttttttttttttttttttttt t???????????????

I had specifically timed our ADR's so we would be done eating in time for the 9pm Illuminations based on no less than 3 different calendars I had consulted. I had not however re-checked those calendars in the past 21 days. We'd chosen Epcot for our first day for EMH. The EMH part was still correct but THEY MOVED ILLUMINATIONS to 8pm!

Illuminations is our FAVORITE fireworks in the world and DH and I were devastated. None of the kids had a clue. While Goofy and Wall-E had seen it before, they were 4 and 5 at the time and didn't remember what they were missing.

The worst part was now it was 9pm and I'm realizing that our entire week of ADR's was now potentially in conflict with all the fireworks shows (well MK and Epcot, we couldn't get a fantasmic package and the wait with 4 kids, no matter how cool that show is, just wasn't worth planning on doing plus it wasn't on an EMH night).

I felt ill.


I still feel ill.


I have to go back and fix this for the next trip.


So...morosely we strolled around the WS and dove straight into....THE FIRST LANYARD.

Somehow we had missed this on other trips but not this one.

Right by the America Pavilion we hit a pin cart and a wonderful wonderful CM who educated the kids on the joys of pin trading, hidden mickeys and special CM only pins.

He went so far as to point out HIS hidden mickey pin and Fast Pass pin...basically telling the kids (without saying so directly) to ask him to trade. It took a lot of hinting until finally, Goofy asked to trade for the hidden mickey!

It was a ton of fun. Here they are with their new bling.



That eased my pain a little. We strolled around the rest of the WS, saw a mug I really wanted in the window of a shop but didn't go in. Figured we would be back in 2 days for dinner anyway.

I know better! When you see it, you BUY it. Now known as the souvenir that got away. A white mug with mickey heads in each countries flag. 2 days later, after dinner, on a non EMH night...that shop was closed. MUST GO BACK AND GET THE MUG NEXT TRIP! (hey any excuse for another trip, right?)

We headed over to Soarin to see if now that it was EMH we could actually get on. It was still a 60 minute wait! We decided to do it as it was the only "main" ride we still hadn't been on and we were concerned about getting back to it later in the trip. Glad we did as we did not really do any Epcot rides again though we did go back to the WS for dinner 2 days later.

Even though it was drizzling on the way out we made it back to the cabin, full, happy and ready for some good sleep and a new day of adventures. A very very good day, missed fireworks and all.


Next...VALENTINES DAY at the world!
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Old 03-29-2009, 03:28 PM   #26
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Great TR, cant wait for more

Last edited by saratogadreamin09; 03-29-2009 at 03:33 PM.
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Old 03-29-2009, 03:32 PM   #27
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.
After showing this picture to my family we are 100% positive my dad is in the background We were eating in Mexico when the band was playing and we were at EPCOT that day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 03-29-2009, 04:22 PM   #28
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After showing this picture to my family we are 100% positive my dad is in the background We were eating in Mexico when the band was playing and we were at EPCOT that day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OMG that is so funny! My Dh and the older boys were in line getting CS food, I took this while Tink and our youngest and I headed off to Tangerine Cafe for our late lunch. Small world!!!!!!1
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Old 03-29-2009, 06:09 PM   #29
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I love FW...so this report caught my eye. Don't wait three weeks to update!!!!
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Old 03-29-2009, 08:44 PM   #30
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OMG that is so funny! My Dh and the older boys were in line getting CS food, I took this while Tink and our youngest and I headed off to Tangerine Cafe for our late lunch. Small world!!!!!!1

it is LOL first I was reading the TR thinking "wow we were there the same time" then I saw this pic and I was like "i remember that band" then I noticed my dad


i dont know if i said this before but great TR, cant wait for more
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