Friday, March 08, 2013

The House of Mouse, continued . . .

Ready for a day of fun
Day 2 found us up and at 'em. After a wonderful, peaceful breakfast in the club lounge, we hopped the shuttle back to Epcot. We had purposely scheduled our park visits so as to explore Epcot first, because we worried  the little man might revolt if we insisted on taking him there after he'd seen the Magic Kingdom. I think it was a wise plan, but Clay was a bit disappointed to be going back to Epcot for a second morning. We hadn't ridden many rides on our first afternoon, and he mentioned that Disney World was not what he thought it was going to be.

So on day 2, we made it a point to show him more of the kid-centric attractions. We came in right when the park opened. While hubs took little man to get in line for The Seas with Nemo and Friends, I got us FastPasses for Soarin'. We rode Nemo two times back-to-back with no wait. This is a fun continuous ride that blends real fish in real aquariums with Nemo characters. Very well done. After the ride, we explored some of the aquariums for a bit. Pretty soon, Turtle Talk with Crush had its first showing of the day. I loved the way the computer generated character interacted with the live audience. Fun!

What a handsome Italian stranger!
Our next stop was Spaceship Earth. This was the first line we'd really stood in since arriving at Disney World. We maybe waited for about 10 minutes, and then we were off. Clay really loved this ride. Afterwards, we spent a little time at Innoventions (We played the fire hazard game, right inside the door. We learned that we are miserable firemen.) before heading towards Soarin' to use our Fastpasses. Soarin' was amazing. No wonder people love it so much. You really do feel as if you are aloft. The illusion is extremely powerful, and Clay has mentioned certain details of this ride again and again since we got home from our adventures.

We'd heard that Seasons was a good place to stop for lunch, and we weren't disappointed. What I loved about Seasons was the variety of healthy food available. Roast chicken with veggies, pork chops, fish with rice, and interesting stir frys provided plenty of nutrition, and this was only a counter service meal. (Plus, the desserts were huge and delicious!)

We got healthy lunches and then decided to head back to the hotel for a midday nap. (This was a brilliant idea, and one we repeated every day. I can't imagine how Clay would have managed the demands of the trip without a midday rest. Even hubs and I took advantage, as we were completely beat!)

Prior to our trip, I'd ordered a special delivery for our room - a pair of ears with Clay's name embroidered on the back. The package also came with an autograph book, pen, and a few snacks. The card read "Welcome to Disney World. -from your favorite mouse." The gift was waiting for us in the room when we came back for our break. We also had a message from Goofy on our voicemail, welcoming us to Disney World. Little man was enthralled by both. He wore his ears A LOT during the trip, and it was completely adorable.

That night, we had reservations in Epcot for dinner, so we headed back. I'd booked us at Tutto Italia in Italy. After squeezing in another ride on Spaceship Earth (no wait this time!), we arrived and were seated promptly. We ordered. Clay's fruit cup came out. Then we waited. And waited. And waited. We'd been there for nearly an hour, and our food hadn't arrived. Our waiter apologized, but the bloom was unfortunately off the rose. Our food finally came, and though it was good (I had fish with asparagus, Clay had pasta, and hubs had lasagna.), it was hard to enjoy it after the service had been so poor. We finished our meal and left. When I return to Disney World, I will not visit this restaurant.

The phone's for YOU!
The long wait had sucked up valuable park time, but we decided to make the most of what time we had left. Clay picked up the receiver in one of the iconic red phone booths in the U.K., and he was delighted to hear someone chat with him in a British accent. Quite by accident, we also stumbled across Winnie the Pooh and Tigger in the U.K. They were tucked inside a building, no one seemed to know they were there, and so we stopped to meet them and have our photos made. (We were extremely lucky that Clay didn't care much about meeting characters and getting their autographs. Characters were everywhere and so were the loooong lines to see them. He only wanted to meet a few specific characters - Mickey Mouse and Goofy - and we'd already scheduled a breakfast with them. Whew!)

By this time, guests were already staking out spots for Illuminations. Hubs decided to head back to the hotel, and, since we'd seen Illuminations the night before, Clay and I chose to catch an evening showing of The American Adventure, which was a wonderful show mixing animatronic figures with film. (I got a little verklempt at the end of it. And I also wondered if they have to edit it periodically as some of the individuals featured endure public scandal. Lance Armstrong has a screen-wide close up in the closing tapestry.) After the film was over, it was back to Coronado Springs for the night.

More to come . . .

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