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Sunday June 17th 2007

Up at 6:00, dressed, coffeed and walking to Epcot's back-door by 7:45. That is such a nice little walk. Passed through security (yes they have a bag check at all the parks, sigh), and into the park for Early Entry at 8:00. Strolled through the empty England and Canada Pavilions, snapping pics along the way. For Early Entry, attractions in FutureWorld are the only ones open. We made a bee-line for Test-Track and got a FastPass to ride it later. That line is annoying for such a so-so ride. Instead we got into line for Mission:Space. 10 minute virtual walk-on. Regardless of how few people are in front of you, the minimum wait for this ride is 10 minutes, due to all the pre-show stuff. I got to be the Commander this time and discovered which buttons make noise. Once we were done it was still not time for our Test-Track FastPass so we got right back in line for another Mission to Mars!. I was Pilot on this trip. It really doesn't matter what position you are in, but it makes the ride more fun to play along. Upon exiting this time we got a FastPass to ride it again after 10:00 but never used it.

Got into the FastPass return line for Test-Track. We still had to wait about 10 minutes and I'm still not that impressed with the ride. I miss the old slow-moving World Of Motion frankly. Got a Mocha Slushie (it was terrible actually) and a muffin and had a seat for a bit. There was a Jesus freak sky-writing above us, pissed that us heathens were having fun at Disney World when we should be in church. He musta gone to an early Mass. Got in line to see Ellen's Universe Of Energy. Timed it wrong, so we ended up having to wait outside for what seemed like forever. Finally got inside and watched the pre-show movie which I guess is really part of the real show but doesn't feel like it because you are standing. Moved into the main theater and took our seats. Heard the safety spiel. Heard it again. Then the lights went out and the sound stopped. 101. Cast-member came in and told us the ride was down and we'd have to come back later. Sorry. Sigh.

World Showcase wasn't open yet (it was about 10:00) so we went over to see the new "The Seas with Nemo and Friends". It's not all new, just re-themed in the last few months. They re-opened the ride from the entrance into the aquarium proper and changed it into little clamshells that ride past scenes with the cast of Finding Nemo swimming around. Done quite well. They'd done the same thing with the subs at Disneyland, but I've not seen that in person yet. There are 'Mine Mine Mine' seagulls outside and we video-taped them for a bit. The line was a little long (20 minutes or so) but would only get worse. Once inside we checked out the various exhibits. Nice but nowhere near as interesting as the Monterey Bay Aquarium. They've done their best to make it interesting for the kids with Pixar on the brain. It got loud fairly quickly in there so we left in search of quieter climes.

Headed off in the direction of World Showcase, stopping every 5 minutes or so to rest feet. We walked along the pathways in front of the Land, which we skipped this time. They just opened California Soarin' inside and it's quite the hit here. Drew a lot of people away from Mission: Space Yay! We've ridden it a bunch at DCA and since it's a clone, didn't bother here. The rest of the land is a bit of a snooze so we saved valuable time by walking right past it.

Saved even more time by skipping the next pavilion too. The Imagination Pavilion used to be pretty cool, but they screwed up the Journey Into The Imagination ride and we've seen Honey I Shrunk The Audience too many times to count. We can walk right on that at Disneyland so no need to stand in line here. The arcade is dull compared to the Exploratoreum in SF. Walked right by, stopping only to snap a picture of the upside-down waterfall.

Got to the Great Britain Pavilion and snagged a table right outside The Rose & Crown. Once 11:30 rolled around I went inside and got us a beer and a shandy. There was a guy at the bar getting a whiskey shot and a beer. His phone rang and we all overheard him tell someone, presumably his wife, that he'd be there in a bit, he got lost running through Epcot. He got one more shot and then told us he needed to scoot off for a day at the Magic Kingdom with his family and needed the fortification. The Magic Kingdom is dry. Hilarious. We kicked back at our table and people-watched for an hour.

We went through the English shops one by one and were disappointed to see they'd pretty much become SOC shops. Hardly any good stuff that was both Englishy AND Epcoty. Either one or the other. They have a new Rose & Crown tshirt but not as nice as my old one so I skipped it. I got a shot glass. France beaconed from across the canal so off we went to the city of lights. Poked around in their shops for a bit and then stumbled upon Princess Aurora with no line. I was reluctant but Kel talked/goaded me into getting our picture taken with her. She was a little scary but I think that was the pancake. She asked if I'd been to her house in Anaheim and I reluctantly said yes but was not allowed in any more since 911... At 1:00 we watched the movie "Impressions De France" and as always it made me want to visit. The movie was made back in the 80s but holds up quite well. Not too many dated shots, since most of it is countryside and castles that have been there for eons.

We did some more shopping and then a couple of slushy drinks were enjoyed by the water. They were fairly weak. Morocco is next door and we were a little peckish so went into the Tangierine Cafe. I ordered a Lamb sandwich, Kel a Lamb wrap. Got a Moroccan beer and Kel had a Moroccan white wine. Real good. The tables are in a really pretty area with a fountain nearby where there was a photographer. Got our picture taken right after lunch. Saw the same guy later that evening and he took our picture again. It was getting a little warm so we walked back to the hotel for a bit of a break. It wasn't that far to go from Morocco.

Napped for a bit then I made the long trek to the gift shop for Saturday's loot. Came back, had a glass of wine on the veranda, then packed up and took a boat back to Epcot. (Saving the feet don't ya know). On our first boat ride, from the Studios to our hotel, our first mate was a guy who reminded me of James Cromwell. He got along quite well with the captain who was a younger guy in his 30s. Well on this Friendship Boat he was the first mate again, but his captain was a 90 year-old surly lookin' dude who could barely steer. There were marks all across the hull. we pushed off and headed across the lake to the Boardwalk to pick-up more folks. That hotel's dock has dedicated lines for folks, unlike ours which is just free-form. Anyway, picked them up then motored toward Epcot. Cromwell and the captain did very little talking and as we sped into the dock there was much eye-rolling on the mates part. We banged into the dock and Cromwell immediately went over to talk to his buddies, another crew waiting to take over. Would have liked to have heard THAT conversation. Somebody is retiring soon.

Once inside Epcot we walked right past France and Morocco and into Japan. Half of this pavilion is down for rehab and they took out the really cool bamboo fountain! All but one of the 4 restaurants were closed, but the huge shop was open. Spent quite a bit of time going through there. Got some beautiful chop-sticks, some cell-phone charms, and a bumper sticker. They have a sake bar in the shop and we bought a shot of some very nice clear cold sake. Got the name of it and plan on getting some next time we're at Happy Roll if Kim has it (she doesn't.. d'oh).

From Japan it was just a quick hop into the American Pavilion. Oh if only it was so in the real world! I hates the 8 hour plane trips. There was a Bon Jovi tribute band playing which thrilled the castmember manning the pin-trading booth. We bought some locking backs from her. At about this time it was getting to the point where we should be heading to Canada for our 8:00 reservation. We backtracked through Japan, France then over the International Gateway canal and through England. Quite a hike but made it faster than we thought. We were about 30 minutes early so we sat down. I took some pictures and Kel fixed her pins with her new locking backs. They come with a cute tiny little allen wrench. Popped into the big SOC shop at the entrance to World Showcase and picked up an Epcot googaw for our regular server at the local watering hole we frequent. Back to Canada and checked in for our 8:00 dinner at Le Cellier, Epcot's best kept secret.

We were seated in the Yukon area which was Lisa from Vancouver's section. At the table next to us were Larry The Cable Guy and his son Pugsley. We wondered why this area was the Yukon, as there didn't seem to be any distinguishing decor that set it off from the next section. Larry let us know it was called the Yukon because there's a "state in Canada called the Yukon Territory". Uh thanks Larry. The place was a little noisy with a HUGE group of about 20 in the middle of the room. There were 4 kids at that table singing. Ugh. Lisa took our order: For drinks I had a glass of Pinot Noir, Kel a Torontopoliton with a light-up Tinkerbell! Appetizers were the best damned Beer-Cheese soup (Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup) I've had since the last WDW vacation when we ate at the House Of Blues. The bowl was way too small! Kel had Duck Two Ways which frankly could easily have been an entree. The meat just fell off the bone and melted in your mouth. For entrees I went with the incredible Mushroom Filet Mignon and Kel the Herb Crusted Prime Rib. Oh man what a meal. The place started quieting down as the 9:00 Illuminations time crept up and folks wanted to get out to see the fireworks. Pugsley sent his to-go sundae back because it was missing some sprinkles. He asked Larry what Chambord was and Larry told him "it's a licker, like brandy". Sigh. They left and the place all of a sudden got classy. For dessert Kel had the Chocolate "Moose" which is a delectable chocolate wonder in the shape of a moose head. I had the Creme Brulee Sampler and it was fantastic. One side was vanilla bean creme brulee with a maple sugar crust and vanilla whipped cream. It was good. The other half was maple creme brulee with a maple sugar crust and cinnamon whipped cream. This side was the best!! I could eat a vat of it. Meal came to $134 plus hefty tip because Lisa was great. This restaurant has a 5 star kitchen and wait-staff with an unfortunate 2 star location and atmosphere. They have too many tables too close together and they let too many tourists in. This meal was easily as good as the one at Citricos but for the noisy children early on. Really the only problem with the location and atmosphere is the fact that, being inside a theme park, you can't expect to have a fully well-behaved adult clientele. But really the chef here would do well anywhere.

We finished up our meal at about 9:30, just as the masses were clearing out after the fireworks. Followed a small group of them home to the Yacht Club where we crawled into bed at 10:00.



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Page last modified February 04 2018 13:26.