Thursday, June 21, 2012

Disney World 2008: Day 8

New Epcot Does have Good Things (But Tuna Isn’t One of Them)
Hey, guys! Throw us down a Peanut Butter sandwich!

Sunday began with the Grand Floridian character breakfast.  Anabelle very happily greeted Pooh and Tigger again, as well as Mary Poppins and Alice.  She found the Mad Hatter too loud, even though when he saw the look on her face, he screamed in terror and ran off.  I took a picture with him, sort of a “Dueling Funny Faces” before he went to the next table to pull a girls hood over her head.  The combination of excitement and fear reduced Anabelle’s breakfast to a couple bacon strips and a bowl of chocolate chips, setting up some spectacular sugar crashes for later.

Our only long monorail ride of the vacation took us into Epcot, where we started with two trips into Spaceship Earth at Anabelle’s insistence.  We did the 3D assemble a body game, which went a lot smoother with Grandma helping Anabelle to not press the release button right after the pick up button.  This worked much better than her original tactic of yelling at the video game. (Yeah, that’s from me too.)

Grandma used the logic of, “I’m older and can be more rude than you,” to get our Soarin’ FASTPASSes for later in the day, and then it was on to the Imagination ride again.  Anabelle finally got to a working sticker picture machine to make a funny face photo afterward.  The reason she didn’t find one before is we all assumed they were touch screens.  

Can I get a, “Duh”?

We returned to the Living Seas. (Don’t care about that name change either.)  This time, after coloring a shark of course, Anabelle accompanied me into the tank hallway for some quality Daddy-daughter-fish time.  Then she was off to the Mr. Ray quiz consoles, trying to get the e-mail certificates in as many languages as possible.

Once we saw Anabelle loved Star Tours I had been building her up for “Flying to Mars”. Mission Space became a viable option once they introduced the, “Much less likely to kill you if you have an undiagnosed heart problem” line.  Though I believe they just call it the “Green” or “No Spinning” line.  The attraction was a hoot.  Nice tributes to both the old Mission to Mars and Horizons in there.  Plus the ride itself is a lot of fun.   Anabelle took to it immediately, and not only hit her own buttons on time, but took her role as Commander seriously.  When they announced the engineer had to do something, she yelled, “Dad, that’s you, hit the button!”

She played in the spaceship playground thing for a little while.  But we needed to get back to Soarin’, and more importantly, a bathroom.  We promised her we’d come back, and also let her play in the fountains outside Mission Space.

It was pushing lunchtime and Anabelle was heading for a crash on the line, but luckily Soarin’ was a good experience for her too.  I learned something interesting.  When the ride first lifted off, and I could see I was a few yards off the ground, my normal fear of heights started to kick in.  However, when the movie started, and it looked like we were hundreds of feet off the ground, I was fine.  I’m sure there’s some psychology student who could get a thesis out of me.  (For this, and other reasons, no doubt.)

We came out into the Land Pavilion, and its fancy schmancy counter service area.  There were a couple of tuna options and a turkey and Muenster sandwich.  Things looked promising. However, they were not.  No one really liked the tuna fish, Anabelle didn’t like the tuna steak in my salad, and the sandwich had a dressing that was equally unpopular.  Lunch was kind of long and painful, and eventually we gave up after she ate some untainted cold cuts, and finished the second milk that Grandma bought her.

As holders of the Disney credit card (you can tell) we were entitled to a personal character greeting and photo.  We found the secret hidey-hole for it in Innoventions, and waited our turn.  Within the cartoony decorated room was Mickey, Minnie, and Anabelle’s archenemy, Goofy.  Apparently, all the high fives at Chef Mickey’s were forgotten and she cowered in the corner.

“Because he wasn’t wearing the cool chef’s outfit anymore.”  Why didn’t I know this?

Goofy went to the rear of the room and did an excellent impression of a statue while Anabelle greeted the First Mice.  He managed to sneak into the back of the pictures, tickling Rosa and I on the ears to keep things entertaining.

I stayed and watched Anabelle play in the fountains while the women folk did some more shopping.  Water didn’t shoot too high, but between sitting on them, inverting her head into them, and standing in the mist, she had a very good time.  She managed to make friends with a little girl about the age she was on her last visit, and also organized some unruly boys into a line to take turns at the big fountain in the middle.  Yet another ill timed bathroom trip led to a fall and knee boo-boo that could only be healed by another space flight.

Anabelle was ready to return to Mars, but Rosa had her fill of simulators for the day. She went to pick up our free picture while we were space bound.  This time, we discovered all the other buttons in the capsule light up, so we were pushing everything.  After another successful and fun mission, Anabelle vanished up into the space tubes for a while.  We later found out she had continued her role as pilot in the space ship at the top of the tubes, while “the boy in the orange shirt” was the commander.  She’d ask him which buttons do which things, and they flew all over the galaxy.

While we were in there, the “McGinley Epcot Downpour” hit right on schedule.  Of course, I had the bag with the ponchos in it. While Anabelle was boldly going, I went to rescue Rosa.  After returning, we spent a bit more time in the space pavilion to send video post cards. Afterwards, it was over to Test Track to color Anabelle’s last Kidcot thing.  We didn’t ride it because, as good as Mission Space and Soarin’ are, I’m still boycotting Test Track until they bring back the World of Motion, or at least Magnetic Levitation Man.  Then, despite all indications that it would be a bad idea, we embarked on the Second Epcot Death March.
Well, that's a bad sign.
It started innocently enough, with a double trip on the Mexico boat ride.  One of my mother’s friends suggested that a cheap and fun souvenir is a collection of the flattened pennies makeable in many machines in the parks.  This theory has two requirements to work:

(1) You have to not buy every single penny in every single machine.
(2) You have to also not buy a large number of other souvenirs. 

Even though neither of these was true, Anabelle and Grandma decided now that they bought the folder to hold them, Anabelle should have one penny from each country.

Considering we were in the middle of the food and wine festival, it would have been a great idea to stop for dinner somewhere along this trek.  Thanks to the fiasco at lunch, however, we decided anything unusual would remain uneaten, and sadly, there was no pizza in World Showcase at the time. Early on we passed a mother and daughter with a tray of Chicken McNuggets and fries.  I think my mother scared the spittoons out of them when she appeared out of nowhere and asked, “Where did you get those?!” The startled woman answered (incorrectly) that it was outside of World Showcase.  Then the chase was on… 

Rosa was determined to feed her child, and did not appear to be stopping.  Anabelle and Grandma were on a quest for pennies, slowing down only when they learned the Japan and China ones are at the International Gateway. (Cultural thing?  Who knows? Not the people who work there. The people in the gateway were from South America, we got sent in a giant circle through Japan before they told us it wasn’t there, and we certainly weren’t asking the marionette guy in China for any details.)  In Germany, every biofeedback mechanism my body had was screaming at me to have a beer and a bratwurst. I didn’t want to slow up the quest so I ignored them.  This was a mistake that led to my own meltdown as we ended the Death March.

When we rounded Canada, to the tunes of the (probably worth stopping to see under other circumstances) heavy metal bagpipe band, it started to rain again.  Not pour, just enough to worsen the mood.  We kept going and couldn’t find the McDonalds.  Luckily, Grandma had a glass of wine in France, which preserved enough of her mind to realize we must have missed it, and asked someone.  Based on the directions, I figured out it must be the fry place we saw the other day.  We got Anabelle her food, and then after random emotion filled discussions about what we were going to eat, crossed back to Mexico.  There amid tacos, quesadillas, and Dos Equis on tap, sanity returned.  The sad realization of this night’s eating, was that they didn’t differentiate between adult and child for counter service meals on our plan.  If we knew that sooner, things would have been much better.  A lesson to store for next time.

The night ended there with a final Mexico boat ride, allowing us to make it back in time for the Water Pageant yet again.  Due to the wind, it was freakishly close to the dock. Those things are twenty-five feet tall!  I’d have guessed half that.  Apparently, they were always further away than I’d thought.
Yeah, another shot of this thing. It's awesome, deal with it.

Please Click Here to return to the Introduction which has links to the other Disney Days.

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