Tuesday morning, we let the kids vote on whether they wanted to leave early, or stay at Disney. The Baby and the Boy were against going to see POTUS right off the bat. The Girl was more interested in returning, but the K had decided that he was going to have to be the one to drive all night and used his lawyer skills on the Girl to talk her into voting with the other kids. I texted Sister to deliver the bad news that we couldn't make it (I am in blue and Robert is the less-cool name of the K):
I felt sad to be missing seeing Obama, but we'd already seen Honey Boo Boo, which is essentially not at all the same.
So, decision made, we headed to Epcot. I think Epcot has the reputation of being the ugly stepsister of the Disney Parks. Naturally, I loved it most of all. Seriously. I went to Epcot (when I think it was still EPCOT) right after it first opened in about 1987. I was six, give or take ten years. My memory of that trip was that it was incredibly hot and we ate lunch in Morocco and the Disney cast members in that country were all Cuban or Puerto Rican, I guess because genuine Moroccans were hard to come by in central Florida. I'm sure that some of the rides were there, but we just went to the country showcase, as far as I remember.
Evidence that Epcot is a less popular park is that we got a parking space within easy walking distance to the entrance. I have parked farther from the entrance to Publix than we parked from the Epcot entrance. We scooted over to get fast passes for Soarin' which is one of the three popular attractions at Epcot. You have to be 40" to go on the ride because it's a simulation of hang gliding over California and not for little tots. The Baby tops out at 40.5" with her afro, but we were confident that she would make it.
|Baby with an afro|
|Yes, we drove 300 miles to see fish when we live in|
Atlanta, home of the world's largest aquarium!
One thing I haven't mentioned is the character experiences. One of the ways that Disney seeks to draw people to Epcot is that there are a lot of characters milling about and the lines seem shorter than the character meeting lines at the Magic Kingdom. This is a big thing that changed since I went to Disney as a kid. I don't think we saw any characters when I went to Disney. Oh, maybe I caught a glimpse of someone really obscure like Sneezy Dwarf, but that was it. Sometime in the intervening 20 years, meeting the characters became a big deal. Kids carry autograph books and try to collect as many signatures as possible from their favorite characters. There are character meals where you can expect that a bunch of princesses will show up and eat cereal with you, and there are designated spots where you can wait in line to have your picture taken with a character and get his or her autograph. Thankfully, the Boy and the Baby are freaked out by costumed characters so we didn't have to do any of the character encounters. This left more time for the rides, as far as I was concerned. Although seeing all the kids waiting in line to meet Donald, Daisy, and Minnie while we raced by to get to a ride made me feel a little bit like we were skipping the receiving line at a wedding and just eating the cake.
After Spaceship Earth, we headed to lunch in Mexico. Of course, it wasn't really Mexico, although we did get caught in a shoot out between rival drug cartels. Very authentic. We ate at La Cantina de San Angel, which was a quick service restaurant that wasn't too quick. During the wait, I amused myself by watching all the Louisiana folks in their Mardi Gras attire. Lots o' beads. Lots o' purple, green, and gold. Lots o' these shirts, which I had to research to understand:
So, this turns out to be a reference to your position on your Mardi Gras parade float so that your friends will know where you are. Good to know, except that the people wearing the shirts on Mardi Gras were at Epcot and not on parade floats at all. Oh, screw logic, laissez les bon temps rouler, y'all!
After Mexico, we pulled some fast passes for Maelstrom, which is a ride on a Viking ship. We had to kill about 45 minutes, so we checked out China, Mexico, and Norway and tried on lots of funny hats:
|Senorita el Nina|
|Pappa har ganske flettene|
We were getting close to our scheduled time for Soarin', so we left the remaining countries unexplored and headed to "The Land" where Soarin' is located. We were early, so we hit a nice little agriculture attraction called, "Living With the Land" that toured riders (ain't no walking tours at Disney) through greenhouses and fish farms. Right before we got on the ride, Sister called. She was sweetening the Obama deal by offering to get us a photo op. I was flattered that Obama wanted to have his picture taken with us, but I told Sister that we were still committed to see "Fantasmic" and eat a buffet dinner at 3:30 at Hollywood & Vine. If you want to know, I was holding out for Obama to give me a pony, a back rub, and to name me Blogger Laureate of the United States. I would have even split the baby (not the Baby) and taken the pony and a facial, but he wouldn't budge. Ce la vie!
We finally finished up with Soarin' which was totally fun and the Baby did not fall out of her seat or have any problems despite being a mere 40". I could see someone getting a little freaked out because you're actually suspended in the air and there's a big IMAX screen in front of you so it feels like you are actually in the movie. Very trippy.
After Soarin' we retired to the hotel so the kids could go swimming. Our hotel's pool had a water slide and, oddly, a pool side macaw which squawked periodically. The Boy was very taken with the bird and said this:
The Boy: If I had a bird like that, I would call him Marv and if he got really noisy, I'd just say, "Shut it, Marv!"
By the way, he tried to say, "Shut it, Marv!" in a New York accent, but he just sounded like he had a speech impediment. I'm pretty sure that the Boy was born about 100 years too late because his future is really in vaudeville, probably in the Catskills.
I'm going to wrap up tomorrow with our trip to Disney's Hollywood Studios which you know better have been fucking awesome since we gave up seeing the President to go there!