Community Rank: Jetsetter
Join Date: Feb 2001
Tragedy & Triumph: Beth’s Trip Report – Day 2: The Rain Will Let Up In A Few Minute
Wednesday, September 5th
For some reason both Steve & I woke up around 2 AM and were really wide awake. I was so awake, that I thought maybe it was 5 AM. But it’s not. So we just talked in the darkness and giggled about being in WDW again. By 3 I was back to sleep (Steve stayed up reading till about 4).
When I woke again at 7, I decided to get up. Most of our trip was planned to be relaxed. No rushing. No Surprise Mornings. This is quite a change, as we are usually up by 6 and out the door by 7!
I grabbed the newspaper and my passporter and headed out on to the balcony. It was another muggy overcast morning (this was going to be a trend). It was very peaceful out on the balcony and I could see the monorail glide by in the distance (heading for the Contemporary) and hear the whistle of the Walt Disney World RailRoad. Lots of birds around (one practically landed at my feet) and it’s kind of noisy in a good, animal kind of way. If it weren’t so hot and muggy you really would think you were in a resort in the Northwest somewhere. There are so many trees!
Finished writing some observations and read the paper. Went back inside around 8 and Steve got up. We took our time in the shower and getting dressed. We didn’t leave the room until after 9 (which is really late for us!).
Wandering down the hall to the elevator and spot David from the night before. Turns out he and his parents are in the room 2 doors down from us (what a coincidence!). They are only staying at the WL for a few nights, then moving to the Beach Club before heading home at the end of the week (after all they had been here for 2-1/2 weeks by now!). Sadly, this was the last time I saw David (I never did meet up with him or his parents again).
We wandered down to the lobby and to check out the bus stop. But I didn’t want to take the Epcot bus. In my book, the way to arrive in Epcot is via monorail…especially for your first time into the park! So we slowly made our way to the boat dock. We take the boat to the Contemporary, check out the shops on the concourse level (Steve makes a card trade and I eye some pins). Then we get on the monorail to the TTC and once there change to the monorail for Epcot.
On the ride over we get our first view of the construction that is really getting underway at Mission: Space. I still miss my beloved Horizons (I’m a sap – this was one of the first things we did on our Honeymoon), but I’m glad to see that something is getting underway there at last.
Once inside Epcot, we passed by Spaceship Earth as there was a LONG line (we don’t do lines! J ). Instead we went into Innoventions (which we rarely do) and sent 2 electronic postcards to friends.
Then we wandered over to the Living Seas. I have to admit that this place is looking better (could it be because of the rumor that a new sponsor is almost on board?). We sat for the film (and it rained and rained and rained…This would also turn out to be the story of our entire vacation, but I’m getting ahead of myself there). Took some time to check out the various fish. They really seemed healthier than they had in the past. Although I thought the Manatee area kind of smelled yucky.
Before I knew it, it was time for our lunch at the Coral Reef. Another new restaurant for me. And I am always nervous when it comes to new places (and old places). We made our way to the side of the building and into the Coral Reef. We didn’t have to wait too long before we were seated right down front next to the tank. Again the fish looked really healthy. But I felt no guilt about ordering their “fellow fish” for lunch.
Our server was very conscious of my allergies (I think more so than the chef). Holli made very sure that I got what I wanted –the Mahi Mahi. YUMMY! Steve had a shrimp and veggie thing. It was very good. And the butter shaped like fish was pretty amusing too. The Coral Reef lunch ranks up there as one of the best meals I’ve had at WDW (of course I’m really pleased to say that this entire trip was full of wonderful dining experiences. I ate more than I’ve ever eaten in WDW and for me, that’s saying something). I give the Coral Reef a big thumbs up (and made a special note about the excellent service of Holli when I paid the check).
After lunch we headed over towards Mouse Gears and did some window shopping (yes, we made it out WITHOUT any purchases! But this was just our first time in!). I needed to find a bathroom and we decided to head over to Wonders of Life. On our way we noticed the new sign for Universe of Energy that was going up, but not yet completed (was completed by the end of our trip – and I would have taken a photo, but it was pouring that day).
We spent some time in Wonders of Life just playing around with the little displays they have. All of the fun visual stuff that we have never really done. We did not do any rides, but we did play around for a good 20 minutes. Steve thinks the playing card King looks a little like my dad, so I took a photo of him standing next to it (will have to see how that comes out!).
When we stepped out of WoL, it was getting a bit dark (hmmm…a sign of things to come). We bypass Test Track (very hard for me to do!) and head into World Showcase, going to the left, as we had dinner ressies at Canada that night (figuring we’d make the full circuit).
Can’t pass Mexico without a ride on Rio Del Tiempo. They were still doing some construction on the pavilion so you have to enter from the side. Rumor also has it that the ride will be changing soon. Still incorporating a lot of what it currently has but featuring the 3 Cabelleros! Don’t know if it’s true or not, but…I still like the ride. It’s relaxing and a cool place to go when it gets hot.
Over to Norway. Steve was just going to shop, but I talk him into Maelstrom. The sign says 10 minute wait. The sign lies. We don’t wait more than 5 max. Love this ride, even if it is a little short. When we finish, the doors to the short film had just opened, so we pop in and watch that. I really like it (even though you can tell it was done in the 80s – just look at some of the fashions on the models) and it is very short. Afterwards Steve got his chance to shop and buy a cd (he came away with 4 from WS that day!).
Walking over to China and walked right into the movie. Again, no wait! This is a long one. I like the Wonders of China, but 18 minutes is a long time for a circlevision movie and too many people bring little ones who are not up to it.
Over to Germany for a bathroom break (and so Steve can shop and purchase more cds!). I use one of my calling cards (I had 4 freebies – 30 minutes each, but unfortunately they deduct 4 minutes automatically if you use a pay phone. But I can’t complain as they were free give aways. And I didn’t expect that I would be using the phones that much.) to call my mom. Then I hand it over to Steve who calls one of his buddies who always calls us when he and his family are in WDW (yes, we have gotten phone calls from Spaceship Earth, Le Cellier and the TTA!).
Steve does another cd purchase in Italy before we head into the American Adventure. We manage to get a space on one of the benches before the Voices of Liberty sing. They are so good. And did you know the “leader” (the man who directs as well as sings) is also the “voice” of Epcot. Have a listen next time. When he speaks you can tell he is the gentleman who makes announcements about Illuminations and such.
Sat right down front for The American Adventure so I can get a real close view of the audio-animatronics. I always cry at the end during the “Golden Dreams”. Today was no exception.
We walk out of the show and it is POURING!!! And guess where the umbrella and ponchos are? Yes, I brought them. And yes, they are still in my suitcase! We did some shopping in the gift shop in the hopes that it would let up. After all “the rain will let up in a few minutes.” Usually that is the case. Today, however, it was not! We waited and waited and waited. And finally gave up and just ducked out into the rain!
I’ve got to admit that I was in a foul mood with all the rain. I put Grumpy to shame. We ducked into Japan to shop, but it was very crowded in there (guess everyone had the same idea) so we didn’t spend too much time there. Back out into the rain, through Morroco and into France for the film Impressions De France (arrived with only a few minutes before they would start the movie). I really love the classical music that goes along with this one (although when I hear Carnival of Animals I can’t help but think of a yo-yoing flamingo!).
We were hoping the rain would let up when we came out. But it hadn’t. However, the living statue was in the gift shop dining area. I LOVE the Living Statues. So I wanted to watch for a while. Unfortunately, not a lot of people were interacting with the statue.
Well, you knew I wasn’t going to let that last for long!! I may be wet and looking like a drowned rat, but I am going to have Steve take a photo.
Guess it must have been a really slow day for the statue, because did I get abuse from him! After Steve took the photo, the wanted a kiss. So I gave him one – aimed for the cheek, but you know how the statue quickly turns his head! (and I feel for the statue – I could see how thick that white make-up is!). Then the statue stole my bag. Every time I went to reach for it, his arm went higher and higher (he was probably sorry – the bag wasn’t that light!). I kept saying please and even got down on my knees to beg. But the statue wanted to hear a louder please! So I said it very loudly and he indicated that he wanted another kiss! Finally after this kiss, I got my bag back and was able to walk away. I think the whole “interaction” went on for about 10 minutes. But I asked for it. I wanted to play. And right after I was “let go” the statue left (to thunderous applause).
By now the rain was letting up, although it was still very wet out. We did some shopping in the UK and could hear the British Invasion playing. (I know a lot of people love them, but as a true devotee of the British Invasion movement, they just don’t do it for me. I think they are actually one of the weakest groups in the park).
I was getting a bit hungry and I knew we had PS for Le Cellier. It was about 5:45 and I couldn’t remember if our PS were for 6 or 6:30. So we decided to walk over and ask. It must have been the weather, because the place was practically deserted (it’s always packed when we’ve been there and don’t count on getting a walk in. The word has gotten around that the food is excellent here). We didn’t even get to ask what time our PS was because we were seated right away. Our server, Elaine, who I think we actually had back in May, was excellent and got Chef Jason out right away to speak with me about my allergies. I ordered the prime rib, while Steve tried the infamous Cheddar Cheese Soup (which is unfortunately made with chicken stock, so it is a no-no for me) which he ADORED and the filet. He also consumed 2 Molsons. I only mention this because Steve NEVER drinks and now for 2 dinners in a row he’s had something. Surprise.
Not only did Chef Jason talk to me about what I could eat, he also delivered the food to our table! And let me tell you it was DELICIOUS. It was less pepper-y than it has been in the past, which is fine by me. I don’t think I left a speck on my plate. A wonderful dining experience (especially for someone who never feels comfortable dining out. This trip was probably the first time I felt comfortable at most of the places we ate and really relaxed. This is something that NEVER happens. And it is quite an accomplishment!). Chef Jason also came by during the meal to make sure that things were ok (and Steve asked him when they were going to return the mushroom “injected” filet to the menu. He had that last September and still raves about it).
I was a little chilly, so I ordered coffee topped with Baileys! Ummmmm! And Elaine brought me a HUGE cup. Thank you Elaine! Now I’m all warm inside and out!
We had initially thought about staying in the park for Illuminations, but it was only 7 and we had been in the park since 10:30. Plus the rain was still coming and going, so we decide to head out.
Before we leave, we have to check out the Art of Disney. Hmmm….seems that there are a lot more attraction posters that we’d like to have (but we only have so much wall space!). We end up talking to one of the CMs there for quite a while before heading for the bus stop.
Turns out we got our own private bus back to the Lodge. Now that’s service! And the perfect way to end our first full day in WDW.