Thursday, January 19, 2006

Day Three AM - Epcot/Downtown Disney

This morning my wake-up call came at 5:45 AM as it was a morning Magic Hour at Epcot. I had coffee as usual in my refillable mug (got to get my money’s worth). We were out the door by 7:10 AM and on the bus 10 minutes later. It was a fairly short ride to the Park. Epcot is divided into two sections, the front section is called Future World and the back section is called the World Showcase. Future World opens earlier than the World Showcase so that’s where we began our day.

We first headed over to Test Track and picked up a FP before joining the queue. This ride was very fun. It simulates the testing an automobile goes through after production. It the longest, fastest ride of all Disney rides. You go through hairpin turns, bumpy terrain, heat testing, speed through a freezing chamber, a braking test, a couple of others before ending up with the speed test. Most of the ride takes place indoors except for the last test where you rush on to 50 degree banked curves at 60 miles an hour. It’s very exhilarating.

Next stop was Soarin’ which was located on the other side of Future World. At Disney’s California Adventure, this is one of my favorite rides and it was brought to Florida as part of Disneyland’s 50th Anniversary Celebration. Upon exiting the ride, we were able to pick up FP’s for Soarin’ before heading back over to Test Track to use the FP’s we had picked up earlier.

By now we were getting hungry, so having learned our lesson the day before we decided to use one of our counter service meal credits and split breakfast. We choose to eat at the Electric Umbrella, which seemed like the only place that served breakfast. We shared a cheese omelet (somewhat rubbery tasting), bacon, hash browns, and a biscuit. For our beverage we got a bottle of water for later. The total would have been $8.48 if we weren’t on the dining plan.

After eating, it was time to use our FP for Soarin’ so we rode it again. Once again, an excellent ride. Next door to Soarin’ was a ride called Livin’ with the Land. We picked up a FP for it before walking over to ride Spaceship Earth. This ride is inside the huge geosphere that is located at the front of the park. The ride itself was a little boring as it explores the history of human communication. But it was kind of interesting to know that we were moving through the large sphere. We found much of Epcot to be on the educational side, although they did a fairly good job of making it entertaining as well.

We had some time before we could use our FP’s for Living with the Land, so we browsed through The Art of Disney store looking at the different pieces of Disney art. Now it was time to ride Living with the Land, which is a boat ride through different scenes displaying the latest developments in aquaculture and desert farming. It was interesting and educational.

It was a little after noon and we decided to take the Monorail over to the Ticket and Transportation Center, where we thought we could board a bus that would take us to Downtown Disney. We soon discovered how wrong this decision was when we exited the Monorail only to discover that there weren’t any buses to board at that particular location. We ended up walking over to the nearly Polynesian Resort and wandering around for a while before we located the bus stops at the front of the resort. After a short wait we boarded the bus bound for Downtown Disney.

Once we arrived, we began working our way through the shops. About half way through we stopped for lunch at the Earl of Sandwich, a very popular, reasonably priced eatery that served a variety of hot and cold sandwiches. We wisely decided again to split a meal so we ordered the hot Hawaiian Ham Sandwich, which contained barbequed ham and pineapple on a delicious roll. We also order a lemonade, which I drank, while Jason drank the water from this morning. For dessert we split a homemade brownie. It was plenty of food and the short break reenergized us somewhat.

Continuing on with our shopping we ended up at the World of Disney Store where we did the majority of our shopping as we could get a 10% discount by showing a Disney Visa card. We also decided to have our purchases shipped directly to our house, thereby eliminating the need to pay the 6.5% sales tax. The very nice young lady that rang us up turned out to be from Salem, OR and we commiserated together on the difference in climate between Oregon and Florida.

By now we were very tired and it was time to head back to the resort for a rest. After dodging a brief rainstorm, we ran to catch the bus and settled down for the short trip back to the resort. Once again it was time for a shower and a nap before we began the second half of our day.


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