Saturday, February 28, 2009

Florida, Day 2: Epcot

Awoke to another beautiful Florida day, and realized we could see Epcot (and some of the other parks) from our balcony.

Got showered and out the door to the hotel shuttle to Epcot. Jennifer, Jonas and I had been here before, but it was once again new for Nellie, Tristan, and Zoe.

Based on a recommendation from Alex and Ella, we went right to Soarin' and secured FastPasses for later in the day. We then located Andy via text message and headed over to Test Track. We had Tristan and Zoe surprise Alex and Ella by walking up to them and talking to them. They didn't know that we'd also be in Florida with them. Wearing their best Prizer, they were completely unphased by the surprise turn of events.

We made some tentative plans to meet up later, and headed into Test Track, followed by World Showcase. We skipped Mexico since we can see that every day at home, and went right to Norway.

We rode like Vikings through Norway where Andy and Shelley, being much more Disney-experienced than us, schooled us on some very cool stuff.
(Jennifer getting schooled by Shelley)

First; the kids could collect these paper masks, and get them stamped, decorated, and festooned with a unique paper cutout at each country.

Second; the park had a Kim Possible-themed spy game that included communicators and missions and all kinds of international intrigue. And third: Epcot is the only Disney park that sells booze, and that maybe an alcohol-around-the (Disney) world is a pretty cool adult alternative to collecting masks and stamps. We quickly adopted that new mission, followed by some plum wine from China, and some Danish beer from Norway. (Denmark, Norway. . . all of Scandinavia is exactly the same anyway, right?)

Most of the rest of the afternoon is somewhat of a blur, not due to the alcohol, but rather to the wandering all over creation, hitting countries like China,

Chinese Sunset




as well as completing Kim Possible missions, eating Disney food, and riding on stuff like the aforementioned Soarin' (which the kids absolutely loved) and Mission Space, and meeting a buttload of Disney characters for autographs and pictures.

Miss Gilmore Goes to Germany

Jonas Deutschland

We had made reservations and plans in advance for everyone to eat dinner together in Morocco. This was kind of my idea, and everyone else was cool to go along with it. I wanted to go to Disney Morocco because a) I really like Moroccan food, and know something about it, and b) having visited the real Morocco six months previous, I was really curious to see how the Disney version compared.

We got there a little early, so there was plenty of time to take pictures. And I must compliment Disney on their architecture. They did a great job of making it look like the real thing, in my opinion.

Disney Minaret (Epcot)
Not Koutoubia

Real Minaret (Koutoubia Mosque, Marrakesh)
Koutoubia Mosque

Real windows
Walking on Glass

Fake windows

Pretty close, I'd say.

We even got to meet Aladdin, Jasmine, and Genie, who, not surprisingly, found Morocco the most appropriate of the Epcot World Showcase countries to hang out in.

Dinner was kind of a disappointment. The chef was alleged to have worked for King Hassan II, and the food was just okay. The decor was very realistic, but the food was overpriced, and the service wasn't very good at all. It was still a fun dinner with the ten of us, and it was great to have that opportunity to have that much extended family all in one place.

We got back outside just in time to watch the big multimedia light/sound/fireworks/fire show in the world showcase lagoon. It was impressive, to say the least. Here's Ella, still small enough to watch the show from Andy's shoulders.
Ella at the End of the World

We said our goodbyes to the other Roths, and made our way back to the bus parking lot near the entrance.

This spot holds a special place for me. It was here on February 12, 1985 that the Owen J. Roberts High School Marching Unit spent maybe three hours hanging out in this parking lot due to the fact that the charter bus company only sent one of our four buses to pick the 130+ of us after our long day of travel from Pennsylvania, and hanging out at Epcot. How can that be fun, you ask? When you're 15 years old, and on vacation with a hundred of your closest friends in Florida in the middle of winter, even hanging out in a Disney parking lot is better than whatever you would've been doing back in Pennsylvania on a cold February Tuesday night.
Epcot  Bus Parking
Epcot Remote Bus Parking 2

Next up, Day 3: The Magic Kingdom


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