Monday, September 22, 2014

Trip Report: [Day 3] Epcot + DHS - Breakfast with Donald and Drinking Around World Showcase

We started our third day in Orlando bright and early at Epcot's park opening.

Epcot Opening

As soon as we entered the park, we joined the crowd headed straight for Soarin'. It was the mad rush of the day, and we did a speed-walk pass around a Japanese tour group when they briefly stopped to collect themselves.



Spaceship Earth

While we successfully walked onto Soarin' with at most a ten minute wait, we did not beat the crowds to Test Track. My guess is that everyone secured a FastPass+ reservation for Soarin' (both are Tier 1 attractions at Epcot), so they went straight for Test Track when we were on our Soarin' race. I had made all of our FastPass+ reservations at Hollywood Studios for the day because we had park-hopper passes, and I believe Hollywood Studios to have more FastPass-worthy attractions than Epcot.

Test Track had a 60 minute wait, and we didn't have 60 minutes to kill before our breakfast reservation at Cape May Cafe. So we skipped out on Test Track and instead walked right onto Mission:Space.

I then warned the others that we were in for a long, hot walk to the Beach Club Resort for our breakfast ADR. We prepared for the journey by taking a nice restroom break at what I believe to be one of the largest, cleanest, coolest, and often least-crowded restrooms on the park.... the Odyssey restrooms.

Odyssey

Epcot Monorail

World Showcase doesn't open until 11 AM, so it was a great time to get photos of the country pavilions without people.

Canada Pavilion

Canada Pavilion

UK Pavilion

UK Pavilion

UK Pavilion

UK Pavilion

Rather than hopping on the Friendship Boat, we kept walking.  The long haul is from Future World through World Showcase.  Once you're out of the park, the Beach Club Resort is just a short walk away (also, the boat drops you at the dock shared with the Yacht Club, so then it's a bit of backtracking to the Beach Club Resort where Cape May is right off the lobby).

Yacht Club

Beach Club

Breakfast - Cape May Cafe

To check-in, I waited behind a family who didn't have a reservation and was trying to decide whether of not they should wait an hour to eat.  They debated for a few minutes right at the podium.  I'm not sure if they realized that I had a reservation and just wanted to check-in, but they were preventing me from doing so.

Beach Club

Cape May Cafe is a character breakfast. There are only three characters who attend - Minnie, Donald, and Goofy. However, the rate of their rotation is pretty quick. It might have been because we had a later breakfast reservation, but the characters circled the room three times while we were dining.

Cape May Cafe

There is a great breakfast selection at Cape May Cafe. Really, I think everything is good.

Cape May Cafe

Cape May Cafe

Cape May Cafe

It's not a Disney breakfast without Mickey Mouse waffles...

Mickey Waffles

And, of course, another birthday cupcake...

Cape May Cafe Birthday

Cape May Cafe Birthday

Cape May Cafe Birthday

My favorite area of the Beach Club Resort might be the airy, light-filled hallways.

Beach Club

Cape May Cafe

It was a lot of walking that morning, but thankfully, Max was much more comfortable in his new shoes...

Nike Shoes

We took a break from walking and took a Friendship Boat to Hollywood Studios.

Yacht Club

Yacht Club

Boardwalk

Stormalong Bay

Yacht Club

Walt Disney World Dolphin

Hollywood Studios

Frozen Summer Fun was in full swing at Hollywood Studios.  I had watched the sand sculptor create Olaf from a big pile of sand on my Independence Day Trip when Frozen Summer Fun first launched on July 5th.

Frozen Summer Fun

Our first FastPass+ reservation was for Star Tours. Natalie is a big Star Wars fan, so we had some fun in the gift shop after the ride building Droids. You can choose colors of the body, legs, and arms. Also, you can add cute Disney-themed hats.

Build A Droid

Build A Droid

Build A Droid

Build A Droid

Build A Droid

Build A Droid

Sunset Boulevard

Our next FastPass+ was for Tower of Terror.  I was really disappointed that I missed the live actors posing on the bench on the terrace. The wait was only 20 minutes, so we immediately did stand-by after riding, but the actors had left when we returned.\

I love Tower of Terror.  It might be my favorite attraction at Walt Disney World.  It feels wrong to choose a favorite attraction... it's like choosing a favorite child.  So we'll just say that Tower of Terror is definitely a contender.  I love the adrenaline rush of free-falling and not knowing exactly what will happen next.  Add that to the original story and excellent theming, and you have what I consider to be an exceptional theme park attraction.

Sunset Boulevard

Tower of Terror

Tower of Terror

Our final FastPass+ of the day was for Rockin' Roller Coaster, another one of my favorite Disney attractions.

Rock n' Roller Coaster

Epcot - Drinking Around World Showcase

We returned to Epcot later that afternoon to explore World Showcase as much as possible in one evening (fully exploring World Showcase really requires an entire day).  Also, drinking around the world really made me sad that I'll be missing out on the Food & Wine Festival this year.

First stop - France.

France Pavilion

I ordered the Grey Goose Grand Marnier Orange Slush.

Grand Marnier Orange Slush

And Max had the Kir Royal.  We were both disappointed that some of our favorite French drinks are exclusive to the Food & Wine Festival.

Kir Royal

France Pavilion

Continuing counter-clockwise around the lagoon, we arrived in Morocco.

Morocco Pavilion

Max and I ordered white sangria while Rachel got a Henna tattoo.  The 3D texture peels off, leaving flat temporary ink that lasts a few weeks.

Henna Tattoo Morocco

On to the United States Pavilion!

United States Pavilion

Here they offer beer and cider.  I feel like there should be some whiskey mixed-drink options.

Beer Goggles

We were eating dinner in Japan, so we skipped ahead to Italy.  I had Prosecco (left), and Max had a Bellini (right).

Prosecco and Bellini

Dinner - Tokyo Dining

I hadn't made any dinner reservations for today prior to the trip (because I wasn't sure where we were going to spend the evening), but on the Friendship Boat from Hollywood Studios to Epcot, I used the My Disney Experience app to search for dining reservations in World Showcase and found availability at Tokyo Dining, where I had dined earlier in the year as part of the Candlelight Processional dining package.

We were seated quickly at a table overlooking the lagoon.  What a great view!

Tokyo Dining

To drink, I had the Cherry Blossom Martini.  How lovely!

Cherry Blossom Martini

Natalie ordered the Garden Salad (mixed greens, tomato, and cucumber) which looks delicious.

Garden Salad

I love sushi with roe, so I ordered the Dynamite Roll (California roll with wasabi mayonnaise sauce topped with tuna, yellowtail, salmon, and smelt roe).  Such beautiful presentation -

Dynamite Roll

Dynamite Roll

Max had the Spicy Crunch Roll and Volcano Roll.

Spicy Crunch and Volcano Roll

Volcano Roll (California roll with spicy chili-mayonnaise sauce with tuna, yellowtail, salmon, smelt roe, and tempura crunch) -

Volcano Roll

Spicy Crunch Roll (spicy salmon and tuna mix, cream cheese with green onion and sesame seed) -

Spicy Crunch Roll

Rachel ordered the Bento Box.

Bento Box

And Natalie the Tuna Tataki.

Tuna Tataki

Max was skeptical about the Green Tea Cheesecake, but I convinced him to try it.  So good!

Green Tea Cheesecake

And they topped Rachel and Natalie's Chocolate Ginger Cake off with what other than a birthday candle.

Chocolate Ginger Cake

After dinner, we spent a ridiculous amount of time in the never-ending Mitsukoshi Department Store.  Natalie was in heaven.

Max and I watched guests Pick a Pearl.

Pick a Pearl (Japan)

Pick a Pearl (Japan)

And then we dipped out for some Frozen Beer.

Frozen Beer (Japan)

After Natalie got her postcards stamped at the Japan Pavilion, we were on our way....

Italy Pavilion

Why not resume our drinking around the world by repeating Italy?  I got Fior D'Arancio, and the Cast Member remembered me from before!  It was a little sweet for my taste, but Olaf liked it (and I'm rather certain that Disney would not approve of this photo)...

Olaf Summer Fun

Onwards to Germany, and the garden of tiny trains!

Mini Trains in Germany

Natalie and Max hit Germany with Jaeger Shots.  We aren't playing around, anymore.  This drinking around the world just got serious!

Jaeger Shots

Jaeger Shots

Jaeger Shots

Time for me to go crazy... with a Tequila Flight in Mexico! Only three of those are mine...

Tequila Flights

It was almost time for Illuminations. Max's favorite drink is the Dragon Berry Colada which they serve at the Food & Wine Festival, but I had also seen on the menu at the Refreshment Port (at the front of World Showcase near the Canada Pavilion). So I left them holding our fireworks spot over the bridge in Mexico while I went to the Refreshment Port to bring back some Dragon Berries.

Well, it turns out that it's a Dragon Berry Refresher, not a Dragon Berry Colada (it's not frozen)... just another reason I'm really sad about missing the Food & Wine Festival this year!

Illuminations

After Illuminations, we were able to see the Frozen Fireworks from Hollywood Studios -

Disney Fireworks

Disney Fireworks

We spent a bit of time at Mouse Gear (which I consider to be the best in-park Disney Store) before heading back to the Hilton.

Spaceship Earth

NEXT: [Day 4] DHS - Attempting the Kitchen Sink and finding the Greatest Souvenir EVER