January 20, 2016
Well, plan to get a good night's sleep was a bit of a bust. My brother taught us a new card game and we stayed up until after 11:00 playing. Then I woke up at 4:00 a.m. and I couldn't fall back asleep. Unfortunately, that's par for the course for me. It's also why Tylenol PM is my friend when I fly. I watched some Jane the Virgin on my iPad for a while and finally gave up trying fall back asleep around 5:00.
I spent the next hour or so tiptoeing around my brother's apartment trying not to wake him up while I got ready to go the airport. We left his place around 5:45 a.m. It had snowed overnight and the roads had that super fun greasy feel to them. My dad navigated it well and dropped us off at MSP Terminal 2 around 6:15 a.m.
Since e checked in online yesterday and we only have carry-ons which means we didn't have to go the ticketing desk. We went straight to security and found it completely empty! I don't think I've ever seen it like that. It was awesome.
After we got through security, our first stop was Caribou Coffee to get some caffeine. I don't like coffee (unless it's more milk and sugar than coffee), so I opted for some iced tea.
I really love my luggage tag, you guys.
My mom upgraded us to 1st class for our flight. It's a splurge she saves her work bonuses for. She really hates flying so any extra comfort she can have is a good thing. I'm lucky enough to enjoy it with her. Sun Country has a nice 1st class that's not too expensive and we really enjoy it when we get it.
Baileys and Hamilton - 1st class done my way
Breakfast in the air
Our flight went by quickly which is always nice. I didn't get any sleep, but that's okay. I think my happy endorphins kept me going all day.
We got off the plane and got to the mini-monorail just before it left. Down at DME, we walked right onto the bus and were on our way in about 15 minutes. While waiting on the bus, I got our room text. No luck with our request of building 2 or 5. Our request wasn't honored last year either. I know there's no guarantees, but after two tries I don't think we'll try faxing again. Thankfully, POFQ is a nice compact resort and there's really no bad buildings.
On our way!
POFQ - My favorite resort
After adding PH to our tickets at the POFQ concierge, we headed to Epcot. First up was Spaceship Earth. SE was the first attraction I rode with my family on our very first trip. It's still my favorite attraction at Epcot. It just makes me happy.
SE is definitely my favorite icon to photograph.
After we thanked the Phoenicians, we made a beeline for one of our favorite snacks - buffalo blue cheese popcorn! There's a popcorn stand sort of near the Imagination Pavillon that has flavored popcorns. The buffalo blue cheese is tangy and a little spicy and we love it. We've been looking forward to having it for a year! We've even tried to recreate it at home with mixed results.
So very orange, so very good.
As we got our popcorn, I could hear the Rocketeer music start up at the Fountain of Nations. We headed that way and watched from a bench nearby while we munched on popcorn. It was a sunny bright perfectly wonderful Epcot moment - the kind I'll be thinking about in a couple weeks when I'm stuck in the house because it's -10 outside!
From there we headed into the World Showcase. We wandered our way around slowly, pausing briefly to mourn the loss of the Maelstrom.
We stopped in the China Pavillon and shared the Lucky Combo at Joy of Tea at my mom's request. The egg rolls were fine enough but nothing special. The curry pocket was tasty. We chose the caramel ginger ice cream and it was incredibly gingery. I'm not a big fan of ginger, but it was still a tasty treat.
We stayed in China to watch "Reflections of China," which I hadn't seen since our very first visit over 19 years ago!
At the American Adventure, we were still feeling peckish but wanted some protein and veggies. Once I got over the shame of eating in America, we ordered the Red, White and Blue Salad with chicken. It was surprisingly tasty and it was nice to eat something lighter. Of course, I couldn't leave without getting a jalapeno cream cheese pretzel. We took the pretzel with us and watched the the American Sound Machine perform. They weren't too bad!
We kept walking and snacking. Our trips to Epcot always seem to end up focused on food. Anyone else? Our next stop was France for the croque glacé. It was our first one ever. We got vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce. We both liked it, but I think I like the chocolate macron ice cream sandwich just a little bit better.
We strolled through the shops in the UK Pavilion next and I managed to somehow resist buying all the Doctor Who merchandise. It was hard though!
I did not buy this fez in Morocco, but I was tempted because fezzes are cool.
Our day had been long by this point and while we thought about backtracking to Test Track or Living with the Land, we ended up choosing to just keep wandering around the World Showcase and relaxing.
World Showcase Sunset
Back in Mexico, we rode the Gran Fiesta Tour. We walked right on and enjoyed reminiscing about our first trip when the ride was El Rio del Tiempo. We also got to hear a very serious little girl behind us explain in great detail why the fireworks in the attraction weren't real fireworks. So cute! I thought the new audio animatronics at the end were cute.
We arrived in the China Pavilion once again and stopped for a break. My mom called my dad back home to check in and I did some people watching. Always a fun pastime in Disney World!
We managed to time our stop just right and caught the Jeweled Dragon acrobats. They're always fun to watch.
After we walked around the German Pavilion, we decided to head to Italy and see if we could get seated early at Via Napoli. Our ADR was at 8:30 p.m. and we showed up around 8:00. We were seated by 8:10! It was awesome. We got calamari as an appetizer. I just figured out I like calamari last year at VN. It was delicious again this year. For our pizza, we got a half pepperoni and half funghi pizza. I'm such a sucker for a good pepperoni pizza and VN is my absolute favorite.
Pepperoni and mushroom pizza
We walked out of VN just as Illuminations was starting. Having seen it many times in the past, we decided to watch as we walked to the park entrance. I adore the Illuminations music and it's always great to actually see the show. It's one of my favorites.
We got to the POFQ bus stop and had about a 10 minute wait for a bus. Not bad at all! And the bus wasn't too full, so we even got a seat.
Back at the resort, we stopped in the food court for something to drink before heading to our room. POFQ is so lovely and relaxing at night.
We were in bed soon after we got in our room. It had been a wonderful first day! I was super excited for the next day because we have a pre-RD ADR at Be Our Guest in the morning!