Monday, April 30, 2012

Spring Trip - Day 8 - EPCOT

   

April 14, 2012

As happens on every trip, we have reached our final day, and this time there is no hurricane back home to keep us here. We start the day offsite this time, as my daughter's mother-in-law will be coming today to spend the day, and we all meet for breakfast.

When breakfast is done, we head to EPCOT for a final day at the International Flower and Garden Festival. There are a number of photos I still want to take, and I start right at the entrance.

Although Disney is known for its topiaries which can be seen year round, this time of year there are topiaries everywhere you look in EPCOT. And it starts as soon as you walk into the park. This year's entrance theme is Fantasia, and it is presided over by none other than Sorcerer Mickey.

We also take a moment to have a look at our Leave a Legacy tiles. We purchased ours way back when the program first started, and so our tiles are right up front. In fact it was so long ago that while we did get a cast member discount on it, it was a discount that our son got for us. Our daughter had not yet been working here, which puts the purchase back in 1999! That's me (with the beard) and my wife, and just to the left (as you look at the picture) is our son and daughter.Can you believe that my beard was actually that dark back then? It was!

We decide that while there was a line at Spaceship Earth, that we would wait on it and ride the attraction. It is a continuously loading ride and the line moves quickly. We are on in no time.

Next we walk over to The Land and get fastpasses for Soarin'. Our return window is later this evening, after our dinner at Le Cellier, so that works out for us. While we are here, we hop aboard the boat at Living with the Land.

When we exit The Land, we have a cast member take a photo of all of us together, and then it is time for my daughter's mother-in-law to start her trip home, so we say our goodbyes and head in opposite directions. We head towards The Seas with Nemo and Friends and ride our clamshell. We spend some time looking in the tank after the ride, and then meet my wife, where else, in the gift shop!

At this point, our daughter and her husband head over to Test Track (which is closing the next day for a rehab and rebranding) and see how long the single rider line is. While we originally planned on riding Test Track today before its coming metamorphosis, we decided instead to see the product of another metamorphosis, and head to Bambi's Butterfly House. We have ridden Test Track many times, but one of my stated goals for this trip was to take photos of the butterflies here, so when we next see Test Track it will be like these butterflies, transformed.

After getting some good photos here, we head towards World Showcase. We will be meeting our daughter and son-in-law at Le Cellier in Canada, where we have reservations, at dinner time, but now I want to spend some time walking through the Rose Garden getting some more pictures, as was my plan for today. Each year, EPCOT plants many different types of flowers around the park, but the roses are saved for the Rose Garden. All different varieties of roses are on display, and I take some time to photograph many of them.

Now my wife has an agenda (that doesn't include shopping) and wants to head over to Italy so I can photograph something in particular for our twin grandsons. Two of their favorite Disney characters are Lady and the Tramp, and when we walked around World Showcase earlier in the week, for some reason I just didn't see them. Time is getting tight, so we take the Friendship over and get the pictures.

We now have to walk quickly in order to meet the kids in Canada, so off we go. Along the way I get a text from my son-in-law that they are there and waiting for us. My daughter remarks that it is unusual that they got there first, because my wife and I usually get to where we have to be so early that we are always the first ones there. We are still on time now, but barely. We check in and soon are shown to our table.

After the type of meal that you would expect at Le Cellier (which is a very good steak house), we make our way back over to Future World and our date with Soarin'. When we get to the end of the queue, we request to be seated in the front row, so we wait for the next load and have our request accomodated.

It's now time to head back to the room, pack and get ready to go home in the morning. Our daughter drives us to the airport where we catch the first of our two flights for today (we went home by way of St. Louis same as coming down here), and arrive home on time.

Time now to think about our next trip down. Possibly this summer, but definitely in the Fall for the International Food and Wine Festival and Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party.