Trip report continued…..It’s hard to believe that nearly three weeks have passed since we were at Disney World and on the Disney Cruise! Sometimes I feel it was just yesterday, and other times I feel like we were never there! I suppose that means I am officially in the Disney Withdrawals. Thankfully, my next visit is not too far away. Tony and I will be at Disney World in October for the Tower of Terror Ten Miler! This will be my very first race ever, but THEE best way to begin is at my favorite place in the whole world!
Finishing up Day 1, Tuesday February 19th… So, we spent the day at Magic Kingdom. It was VERY busy the entire week. All the kids up north were on mid-winter break, which happens every year during the week of Presidents Day. And, there were thousands of people in town for the Princess Half Marathon as well.
Anyhoo, we made a beeline for the new Fantasyland expansion. We got in line for the Little Mermaid ride. The wait time was posted as 90 minutes, but it didn’t take nearly as long, it was more like 45 from the time we got in line, to the time we got off the ride. Not many of my pics turned out, as it’s dark and constantly moving in there, but here are a few…
By the time 6:00 rolled around we were pooped! I suppose getting up in the middle of the night will do that. So, we headed back to the resort for a bite to eat and to relax for the rest of the evening. The food court at Art of Animation is called The Landscape of Flavors, and this food court was supposed to be different from the other value resorts because it was supposed to have a wider variety and healthier options, as well as some ethnic food choices. The food was just ok. Nothing impressive. They had the typical 4 sections for burgers, pizza, salads, ice cream. The quick food/snack area. The only things I saw were different were the Mongolian Stir Fry – which never had a line, and a few people who sat close by said it was nothing special and that the meat was tough. There was a chicken sandwich option with black bean relish and feta cheese. And some decent sandwiches on foccacia- but they were all pre made so you couldn’t say “I don’t want this or that on my sandwich”. So, we got what we got, took it back to our room, and relaxed.
Day 2: Epcot here we come!
TIP: when waiting at the entrance for park opening swing far left or far right! For some reason, the crowds tend to congregate in the middle lines. We cut our time in half by getting in a line to the far right. And remember – there are two lines for each cast member standing there – they each man two turnstiles, so if line 2 is not filled, get in there! Likewise with the bag inspection at the gate – there are two lines for each table. so go to the left or right, even if no one else is standing on that side, and there are 10 people on the other! Don’t feel rude or pushy for doing so either. Guests and cast members have never said anything to me for hopping in/forming that second line, and I have seen many people do the same. AND – have all the zippers open and ready for the cast member inspecting your bags. It makes their life easier and gets you through the line faster. If you are bringing a stroller, have it all organized and easy to access for inspection. Take all of your bags, diapers bags, and coolers and have them ready to plop on the table – and only take what you know you will need for the day in the parks.
The one thing we were most excited to ride at Epcot this year was the new, revamped Test Track. They really did an amazing job with it. We went straight to Test Track as soon as the turnstiles opened! We walked over there, got our fast pass, and walked right in the regular line.
TIP: on every ride that offers fast pass, the “fun” queue line is the regular wait line. The fast pass line will have an abbreviated version of the regular queue or no interactive play things at all. So, take the time to go through the regular queue at least once, it is always worth the wait.
The new building, queue line, and ride itself is amazing! First, you meander through a bunch of future prototype vehicles. Then you get to the fun party. If you are staying at a Disney Resort you will use a Key to the World Card, if you are just a day guest, they will give you a special prototype card for the next part of the queue. There are RFID stations where you will follow the instructions on the touch screen, tap your card to begin, and then you get to design your very own prototype car. The information that is stored on your card will follow you through the entire ride, and the exit area where there are more interactive play things to indulge your inner race car driver. You design your car from head to toe- body type, color, extra things like special rims, decals, flames, etc. You also choose what type of performance you wish your car to have – fuel efficiency, power boost, etc. Then as you are boarding your ride vehicle – which are now an awesome electric blue instead of that prison jumpsuit orange – you tap your card on to another RFID terminal, and it loads your information on to the screen inside the car. Your ride will be based and rated on the performance of the vehicle you designed. You get placed – 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th on several testing phases in the ride – ability to withstand extreme temperatures, brake response, hairpin turns, etc. Then it’s out to the track for that exhilarating zoom around the outside. We love to make creative poses and faces when the camera goes off.
TIP: don’t spend the money to get a photopass pic of your ride! Just yank out your cell phone or camera and snap a picture of the screen. But, make sure you have it turned on and ready before you walk over there, because the images only stay on the screen for a minute or so.
After that, you walk through another interactive area, where you can tap your card on multiple RFID terminals to play games, virtually race your car against other cars, even pose for pictures with some amazing vehicles, which you can email to yourself at home!
I give the new Test Track two thumbs and two big toes up! We rode it 4 times during our trip, and it really was amazing. By the time we got off our first ride at 9:30, the wait time was 45 minutes, and fast passes were scheduled for 5pm that day, so plan accordingly. It is definitely as popular as Soarin, which has been going strong for many years now!
We then went on our way, trying another new attraction at Epcot, Phineas and Ferb: Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure.
This was a lot of fun. And a big improvement from the Kim Possible version. It’s similar in that you will use a provided cell phone for your mission, but there are new little twists. Sadly, I forgot to take pics.
But, I did take a picture of the new beverage that they are promoting to go along with this attraction: the Doofenslurper! It comes in a Doofenbeaker, and there are 3 flavors you can get: A strawberry lemonade, a lemon- blue raspberry, and a raspberry – lemonade, and they are all topped with a mango foam, which makes it look like an experiment gone wrong in Doof’s lab! It was very tasty, kind of like a frozen sourpatch kid, but not cheap! You will pay $9 for those puppies. There should be a “name-your-own-price-inator” Maybe we could wash dishes or something instead.
However, the souvenir beaker is a nice take home, and it is sturdy and well made. My only complaint is that there should be discounted refills. And, a little birdie told be you can get an alcoholic version at the food & wine festival!
We had lunch at one of our favorite restaurants – Via Napoli.
This is THEE place to get pizza at Disney World. It never disappoints. Your pizza will come out of one of the brick ovens, Etna, Vesuvio, or Stromboli.
We decided to relax a little bit and have an adult beverage, so I had a bellini, and Tony had a Moretti. He enjoys sampling beers from different countries around The World.
The rest of the day we toured the countries, stopping along the way to watch various performers. I really encourage you to stop and take the time to watch these little shows. They offer different ones all over the parks, and they really are one of the many things that set Disney Parks apart from any other park you will visit in the world.
Belly Dancer in Morocco Serveur Amusante in France
Check your times guides to catch these performances and more, they are not to be missed.
Later on in the day we stopped in France to have a snack at the new Boulangerie. It is a great improvement from the old one. The same menu, but there are restrooms, and a really nice, large seating area. It really helps with the congestion along the streets of the France pavillion. Tony enjoyed his creme brulee. One of his favorite treats to have at Disney World, and there are many places that offer many different flavors. I will save that for a future blog. Matthew and I were supposed to share this awesome, crusty, fresh baguette, but how much of it do you think I got?!
And, we stopped to see some old friends along the way. Sadly, Matthew has decided that he is too old for character photos, so unless I found a way to bribe him, it wasn’t happening.
We also love to do some photos among the beautiful backdrops all over The World. And, we had a little fun with some creative poses as well….
That about wraps up day 2. Thanks for joining me!