What a fantastic day!
She’s been loving it, mostly that she doesn’t need to think, I’m just guiding us around.
The plan: Club breakfast, bus to rope-drop Hollywood Studios, 12:05pm lunch at 50s Prime Time. 4:05pm Savi’s, 6:45pm Oga’s. Try to get an ILL for ROTR and a G+ for SR between 2:30pm and 9pm
As it happens, 49 year old me isn’t 28 year old me, much to my chagrin. Today was excellent, in that we adapted well, cut the day a bit short, and we’re happy to have done so.
The day actually went mostly to plan: we had a satisfactorily mediocre breakfast from the club lounge of spam, French toast sticks and omelettes, then caught a Minnie Van to the parks for EE. At 7 I grabbed LLs for Tower of Terror, and ILLs for Rise of the Resistance. We first rode Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railroad, and what a delight! This was my first time on a trackless system and it was just lovely. It also has one of the best pre-shows, and the details on the exit are also extremely clever.
Unlike yesterday, we had to work a bit to get what we wanted in, but managed Rock’n’Rollercoaster just before the park opened for everyone. Then, Tower of Terror which remains one of my faves, thought L was affected negatively, and needed a few minutes to recover.
We then headed to Toy Story land to do out next LL, Midway Mayhem, which is a delight! Our intention was to get the 10:47 drop for Slinky Dog Dash, but it didn’t appear. Instead, we found a quiet place to sit and hydrate for awhile.
We then hit up Star Tours, which is completely different than I remember, but wow, rough, and left both of us needing a minute.
Next up: a fun, funny and delicious meal at 50’s Prime Time Diner. We each had the sampler, plus some onion rings. The food was amazing but very filling, we could easily have split one serving.
We got out just in time for the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular at 1:15, and at 1:17 managed to get a near immediate SDD LL, with the intent of arriving very late to it, after we’d done some Galaxy’s Edge.
Which brings us to GE. My talents as a true and spirited vulgarian were in ample use, because fuck me sideways, this was crazy. It’s such a maze, full of life and crazy detail, is seriously feels like you’re in the Star Wars outer rim. We had a LL for Smugglers Run, and as it was our first time we decided that engineers was the best choice, to get a sense of the ride. So great! The wind effects when damage happens is great, and “fixing” the damage makes it stop. So clever and fun. L and I didn’t realize we were a bit motion sick until we were off it, the tasks help keep focus away from the wobbly.
Then, it was time for Rise of the Resistance, and what the actual fuck, you guys. YOU GUYS!! FUCK!
Star Wars really is about the two worlds, a the scruffy Rebellion, and the sterile Empire, and this just transports you between them. Walking out after being captured genuinely had me muttering “what the actual fuck” over and over.
This was beyond just a ride, to me. It was such an immersive experience I can barely find words to describe it, let alone how it made me feel. Just: wow. Wow. Fuck. You guys!!
At this point, we rushed off to use our LL for SDD, then hustled back to Black Spire for our 4:05 reservation for Savi’s Workshop. I was really impressed with the entire thing, and it made me feel attached to my lightsaber more than I’d expected. It was really special.
This is where exhaustion rears its head. We needed food, and grabbed another LL for RNR, but while eating at ABC Commisary (grilled cheese that was way better than it had any right to be, and the farrow salad was really nice) we decided to call it, despite a 6:45 Oga’s Cantina reservation. We both were so overwhelmed and tired, we just decided we needed to leave.
I think that’s part of what’s making this trip so special: we’re not letting plans get in the way, or pushing ourselves to breaking. Now we’re back at the hotel, sore and happy, and both excited to do RotR again.
Day 3: killed it dead. Magical death.
The plan: Walk to breakfast at the Grand Floridian Cafe, followed by a spa morning to treat our poor footsies to some TLC. Then some free time, do some exploring, then back for a 7pm dinner at California Grill. I’ve booked a PP for Epcot, so if I’m feeling ambitious, I might try to grab a VQ and/or ILL for Guardians of the Galaxy, and just pop over for that.
Taking a rest day was such a great idea. This was my first really great night of sleep since we arrived, and it felt so luxurious to be able to take our time wandering over to the Grand Floridian Cafe for breakfast. I’m not sure I’d be comfortable staying at GF, but hot diggity is it a gorgeous space. The Grand Floridian Cafe was lovely and bright, a perfect place to enjoy some mimosas with our eggs Benedict and Grand Breakfast. It was all excellent, but those cheesy hash browns, when topped with a bit of hot sauce, were a stand-out.
We then killed some time wandering the shops, and getting our pictures taken upstairs.
We then made our way to the spa for a simply mind-blowing massage and some much-needed quiet time. This was such a treat, and I think I’m including it in all future travel plans.
After returning to our hotel from cloud 9, L was feeling like relaxing and suggested I make use of the Cosmic Rewind boarding group I secured in the morning alone (BG1 using BG1!!). So, I headed over to Epcot to do just that. I clocked in at 3:01, it came up blue but they let me in.
This ride is so gorgeous. The queue is great, the preshow both fun and dramatic, and the ride itself both smooth and exciting. I was worried I’d get motion sick, but was mostly ok. It really does feel like a better Space Mountain, and I wonder what this and Tron mean for SMs continued existence.
When I walked into the park, I booked a LL for Soarin’, to make sure it wasn’t going to be too rough on L, so this was entirely altruistic and I won’t hear anyone suggest otherwise. I got Concourse B row 1, because I’m not an animal, and it was great fun.
Then, it was back to the hotel to get ready for dinner at California Grill. So far, not a single restaurant has misfired. This was another spectacular meal, happening just at sunset. I had the Duck L’orange Pizza, Oak-fired Filet of Beef, with the Grand Marnier Crème Brûlée, L had the Braised Beef Short Rib Wontons, the Pork Tenderloin, with the cheese plate.
The food was vey, very good, and the wine pairing choices were perfect. The crème brûlée was more like a crème caramel, there was nothing to crack, so while not what I expected, it was still delicious. By the time we got back to our hotel around 9:30 I was basically already passed out.
Another amazing day, and a really good sleep fell upon me.
What a beautiful sunset!
All your food looks delicious.
What a great couple of days!
That’s a really great way to start a perfect trip! Love it!
I love this!
What perfect timing with the sunset! What song did you get on Guardians?
Right?! It was magic!
I was too overwhelmed to take in what song it was. I’m not great with remembering titles at the best of times, and whizzing around the galaxy didn’t help.
Sounds like another fabulous day. It’s really hard to beat dinner at Cali Grill, especially with an amazing sunset view like you had. Love the GotG ride photo. Front row is having a blast, back row is just trying to hold on until it’s over.
So happy you’re having such a good time.
The plan: Bus to Animal Kingdom, grab breakfast at Pongo Pongo, get into Nomad Lounge for lunch, and an 8pm dinner at Jiko. AK closes at 7pm.
Once again, this went largely according to plan, but with a siesta in the middle. Because I’m so old and broken.
We took a MV to the park, having a quick club breakfast to tide us over, and made it into Animal Kingdom just as EE started. I’d booked a Flight of Passage ILL and a Navi River Journey LL, so we headed to Africa to do Kilimanjaro Safari to see the animals while they were feeling frisky!
First impression of AK: whoa. It’s just… so detailed and gorgeous. Second impression: whoa. It’s just… so goddamned humid. This was a much slower day than the previous ones, because so much of it was just looking around in awe.
We got on KS shortly after 8, and it was spectacular. Neither L or I are zoo people, really, but it was really fun to do, like an actually informative Jungle Cruise.
After that, we wandered back to Pandora for a real breakfast: the sausage egg biscuit sandwich, the French toast sticks, and two Pongu Lamia. It was very tasty, and fueled us up for exploring Pandora.
First up was Navi River Journey, which was a beautiful and pleasant way to digest a bit. I know this ride gets a lot of grief, but we both just enjoyed the quiet, cool beauty. Then, it was off to Flight of Passage. It really lives up to the hype, I just found the 3D didn’t work well for me the whole time. ¯_(ツ)_/¯ Afterward, L was pretty motion sick, so we sat at the Canteen for a bit and decided to talk it easy for a bit. I got a LL for Festival of the Lion King, which started at 11—right when I needed to get on the wait list for Nomad Lounge. So, as the show started, I waited 2 or so minutes then added myself to the wait list with a 50-minute ETA, and hoped I wouldn’t get called sooner. The show was so great, and some audience members were really into it. Like, sing-along, know the dance moves, wave obsessively at the cast into it. My kink is not your kink and that’s ok.
Sure enough, Nomad called us 55 minutes later, and there was a some good food to be had! We had the Gobi Manchurian and the sliders, with churros for dessert. This was a idilic setting, outside but cool and we were fed well.
After lunch, it was time for Expedition Everest, a ride I’ve been excited about for literal years. Maybe I built it up too much, and maybe it was partly technical issues, but it felt very stilted, and the disco yeti never appeared, it was dark, so I felt a bit that I missed the climax of it all.
By this time it was 2-ish, and we were kinda beat. But we decided to get wet in Kali River Rapids. It’s short, but has one really great drop that soaked us both. Then, homeward, taking the bus back to the Poly.
Once home we both crashed hard, taking a nap and enjoying the bed/ac combination. Feeling a lot better post-siesta, we headed to Animal Kingdom Lodge to have dinner at Jiko.
I feel like the indulgences of the last few days had finally caught up with us, so while we were both excited to dine here, neither of us was particularly hungry. K ordered the Wild Boar Tenderloin appetizer as a main (but still sized as an app), and I had the Injera Basket, which I only ate about a third of. Both were so, so good! And by only picking at a meal, I had room to enjoy some dessert, the Malva Pudding, which was practically a revelation. I could eat nothing but that for forever I think.
And that end another grand day! I’m sad we didn’t drop Dinosaur!, but we just ran out of steam. We’d planned to go back to AK later in the vacation but some douchebag named Ian is throwing a spanner in the works, though I’ll have more about that tomorrow.
this made me laugh out loud
Hope you are able to stay safe!!
I feel this so much. Nothing like a couple days in WDW to realize you are no longer as young as you think you are.
The plan: Walk to the TTC and monorail to rope-drop EPCOT. Mostly eating stuff from the Food and Wine booths, but have a 4:10pm “dinner” at Space 220. I hope to get both a VQ and an ILL for Guardians of the Galaxy.
Once again, after a short club breakfast, we executed the plan basically perfectly. The walk to the Epcot monorail was quick and pleasant. I again got BG1 for Cosmic Rewind, and also bought an ILL for it. I also got a LL for Test Track.
My general strategy for today was leverage my knowledge about the drops to get Remy and Frozen later in the morning/early afternoon, and make the day feel mostly like we were wandering about, doing whatever happened.
We started, of course, with Spaceship Earth! It was right there, a walk-on because of EE and a good introduction to the original idea of Epcot. It shows it’s age a bit but was still a delight.
Next up: Cosmic Rewind!We did the BG first, in order to enjoy the queue. The was Conga, and L loved the ride, with no major issues! As it was my second time, I already loved it but this time I was able to kinda settle in and look at the details. “I hate milk!” had me laugh pretty hard.
For some reason I look evil on the CR photos without fail.
We then went to Test Track, and after designing a car… it shut down so they have us an anytime that didn’t include Remy or Frozen. I was excited to use the anytime hack but the park was so quiet there was no benefit. Whomp whomp.
We were starting to feel a touch peckish, and it was coming up on 10:30 so we headed toward Mexico to ride the Gran Fiesta Tour while waiting for the food booths to open. Cute! As we headed into Norway, I remembered School Bread, so we went into Kringla to get some, and a rice pudding. This was a wise idea, filled with insight and smart, uh, smartness. Both were delicious but the School Bread was really perfect, a lovely texture, not super sweet.
At this point we didn’t want to stray too far from Norway because the drop was happening soonish. Smelling Karamell-Küche drew us in to get some fresh caramel corn ().
We drifted through China and the House of Good Fortune, then spotted the India booth and the Paneer called to us! We ordered that, and the Potato Pea Samosa, and we’re pretty happy with our choices. I think several claims were made about how gorram smart we were. The paneer was really nicely sized and went well with the mango ketchup, and the samosas, while maybe not as crispy as I’d like, made up for it with great flavour and a nice heat that built over time.
Shortly after eating, we got a LL for Frozen in the morning drop, right on schedule! I’d never been on Maelstrom, so the whole mechanic was a surprise to me. The effect is really great, zippingish through the tunnel. The theming on this is really great and of course I’m humming the songs on our way out.
We headed next to The Land to do Soarin’, which we both loved, then the Living With the Land boat ride which was super interesting and enjoyable. We then made it over to Journey Into Imagination which… well, I miss the Dreamcatcher. But it was cute and funny, and is in desperate need of some TLC. Hopefully the upcoming Figment meet and greet is a sign of further improvements.
Just as we got off JII, the drop for Remy payed out, so we made our way there via Canada. Walking into the mercantile there was like walking into a shitty tourist store at home, so I guess they nailed that! France looked so far away, as the effect of the Eiffel Tower was so good.
Remy’s was… disappointing. It may be because of the 3D, or maybe because the screens were so close, but it never felt as immersive as I expected it to be. There were some great moment, but as a whole I think MMRR was far more effective at bringing us into the environment and story. I wanted to love it, and just didn’t.
It was then time for our CR ILL so we went back there for our second amazing ride of the day!
We never did make it back to TT, and even reading the warnings for Mission Space made our stomachs turn, so we found a bench and people watched until our 4:10 reservation for Space 220. I feel that we learned our lesson yesterday, and successfully managed to keep our hedonistic tendencies in check in order to properly enjoy dinner.
Space 220 was always something where I expected we’re paying for the experience and the food would be good but not great. Both L and I were blown away by the entire meal! We were sat close to the EI dows, and had a really great view of the action. My brain really accepted we were in space and it made me a bit wobbly! I had the Blue Moon Cauliflower, the Filet Minion and the Short Cake. L had the Centuari Caesar Salad, the Short Rib and the Carrot Cake. We also indulged in a Nebula and the Big Tang, both of which were tasty and potent.
Over the course of the day, Hurricane Ian became a more central topic of conversation, not just with cast members, but overhearing snippets of conversation around the park. There was a definite change in the feel of the mood in the park. By the time dinner was finished, Disney had announced that the parks would be closed Wednesday and Thursday. This has thrown our plans into disarray, but we’re feeling optimistic about the whole thing. Disney is a pretty good place to be for something like this, the staff is excellent, and while I expect we’ll see some dramatic wind and rain, I expect to come out unscathed. I only hope the rest of Florida gets through as best it can too.
You have such a great attitude about your entire trip! Even when things are going awry, it’s obvious, you are just making the best of it
I’m an optimist by nature, and just want to be happy all the time. I’m glad to have a beautiful person sharing all this with me, and whatever happens we have stories for a lifetime.
I also agree MMRR>Remy and love the rice cream in Norway. Hope y’all enjoy the day even with Ian coming to visit.
Your trip sounds amazing so far. Sorry that Ian is wrecking havoc with your plans. I hope the impact is minimal so you can get back to the fun!
I am really enjoying your report. Love the way you are walking us through your trip with the plan and the what you actually did. Seems like a great trip so far. Bummer about the Hurricane obviously. Stay safe and thanks for sharing.