Friday, January 6, 2012

Winter Break at Disney World - Day 3

December 28, 2011 - Today is a day which we will spend at EPCOT. (Yes, I know that it is now officially Epcot, but it should still be EPCOT otherwise it loses its meaning.) As we will most of this week, breakfast is at the food court at Port Orleans - Riverside, and we head over to the park about mid-morning. Our daughter will meet us there around mid-day so for the morning we are on our own. We get to the park and my wife makes her usual stops at the Art of Disney, the pin station and Mouse Gears.

Future World is rather crowded, as you would expect this week, so we decide to head over to World Showcase, where we will be meeting our daughter. As we walk around, I have my camera and continue to try to find new ways to take pictures of things that I have photographed many times over our many visits in the past. You can see some of those photographs here.

We continue around World Showcase lagoon, and as my wife checks out the shops in the pavilions as we pass, I continue to look for photo opportunities. While she is in the store at Japan I take this picture. (Actually I took quite a few pictures, many of which you can see at the link above.)

By this time, we know that our daughter will be coming in to EPCOT through the International Gateway, and we make up to meet her in France. My wife has a few things she hopes to pick up there, and it is the closest place once my daughter comes in. Since it is so crowded, rather than go all the way in the back with my wife into the store, I park my scooter near the fountain, which is where I am when my daughter spots me.

It's now lunch time, and since we have a dinner reservation after 6:00 PM this evening, we decide that we should get something for lunch. We have no reservations, and it is obvious that there will be no walk-ins at Le Chefs de France, so we discuss our options. We decide that Mexican food sounds good to all of us, and since there are three different options in Mexico, that sounds like the best place to try. We decide that since San Angel Inn is part of the Tables in Wonderland program (a food/drink discount) and I have bought in to the program, that would be the first place we would try. My daughter heads into the pyramid and quickly informs us that we will be able able to eat there, and should be seated shortly, so my wife and I head in. We are seated quickly and proceed to have a very enjoyable lunch.

Next on the agenda is Mouse Gears, as my wife has a number of gifts she wants to buy, and I want to get a sweatshirt for this evening as it will be getting quite a bit cooler once the sun goes down. This will be my one (planned) purchase this trip. I actually decide on a 40th anniversary fleece jacket which catches my eye.

From there since we are in Future World we decide that the Universe of Energy would be a good attraction since it accommodates quite a few guests at a time, and is a 37 minute sit down ride. (I do think it is time to refresh it though - Ellen's Energy Nightmare has gotten a bit old.)

Dinner time is now approaching and we decide to head back to World Showcase where we have reservations for Tokyo Dining that evening. None of us have eaten there before, so this is a new experience. We are given a table which would have been perfect for viewing Illuminations had it been three hours later. The food, the ambiance and everything were quite good and it is definitely a restaurant which we will return to in the future. (And yes, it too is on Tables in Wonderland.)

As we exit the restaurant, the previous Candlelight Processional program is ending, and we had planned on getting on to the standby line to catch the next show. We pass the line for those with meal packages, and it is huge. The standby line is actually quite reasonable and we get on it to wait. When we are let in we find we have very good seats. Although Christmas is not our holiday, we always enjoy the Candlelight Processional for the music, and this year is no different. It is, however, the first year we get to see Marlee Matlin as the narrator. (Pictures of the Candlelight Processional can be seen here.) A video of some of the music is below.


The original plan was to then stay to see Illuminations (and photograph it) but by the end of the show, I was getting a bad chill and my foot was starting to be quite painful, so we decided to call it a night, and head back to the room.