Tuesday, April 15, 2014

After getting a good night’s sleep we got up and took the bus to Magic Kingdom where we hopped on the monorail. Our breakfast reservation was at Ohana which is in the Polynesian resort. It wasn’t very crowded and ironically, since this is the date of the Boston Marathon, our hostess was from Boston (and she’s a Bruins hockey fan!). We had seen all four characters—Mickey Mouse, Stitch, Lilo, and Pluto within 15 minutes of being there. I was a little disappointed in the service as I had to ask for my coffee twice and I had to ask for the fruit plate as they never brought it. Overall though the food was great. I am not a fan of pineapple normally but the pineapple here was just fantastic!

Since we were at the Polynesian we went to their counter service restaurant and purchased our refillable mugs. We also did some shopping at the Polynesian gift shop which was called the Bo-Tiki. For spending a certain amount they had a Disney backpack which you could buy which was always one of my favorites but they haven’t had that promotion in a while so I had to get this new backpack.

It was then back on the monorail which we took to the transportation and ticket center so we could get on the other monorail to EPCOT. The Flower and Garden Festival at EPCOT is the main reason we come this time of year and EPCOT never disappoints. The park was crowded much like Magic Kingdom was the day prior which made taking quality pictures of the topiaries more of a challenge but we managed to get great shots.

After taking some pictures we used our first fast pass to ride Mission: SPACE after which we went to the Wonders of Life Pavilion which serves as the festival center. I was beyond thrilled to see that there are three Flower and Garden Festival limited edition pins of which one features Peter Pan and Captain Hook! I was happy to add these pins to my collection!

Tinker Bell’s Butterfly House was our next stop but interesting there were no topiaries in the house itself. Tinker Bell is by herself outside of the butterfly house but no other fairies with her this year. We then went into Innoventions to the Chase Visa Character Meet and Greet where we got pictures with Minnie Mouse and Pluto (it is almost always those two characters when I go to this meet and greet). We then used our fast pass to Spaceship Earth and by this time the wind had picked up and dark clouds had moved in but no rain so far. After Spaceship Earth the sky was looking more ominous and while we had intended to go see Figment, we passed and went to the Land Pavilion as Figment had a 20 minute line which was outside.

As we approached the Land Pavilion it began raining but we went unscathed. We waited in line for Living with the Land and when entering the green house we could see that it was pouring rain. It was odd to be on the boat ride through the green house when it was pouring rain as that area is usually bright by the light of the sun but it was dark due to the weather. We then went to Soarin’ which we did have fast passes for which was fortunate as the wait time was 170 minutes!

Even with the fast pass we had a long wait for Soarin’ but the good part was by the time we got done, the rain had subsided. We then went back to Journey Into Imagination with Figment which only had a five minute wait followed by Captain EO. I had to say being at Captain EO made me feel old. I remember seeing this attraction when I was 12 years old and it was fairly new. The technology blew us away at the time as it was cutting edge. I sat in front of kids who were seeing Captain EO for the first time today and they kept laughing thinking the technology and overall premise was silly. Now I know how my Dad feels when I say I don’t understand things from his generation.

Being thirsty we stopped at Club Cool where we tried some of the sodas from across the world. I haven’t visited this area the last few trips and I was pleasantly surprised that they changed several of the sodas. Many of them were VERY good!

After our quick refreshments, we went to the Character Spot and had our pictures taken with Mickey Mouse, Goofy, and Minnie Mouse. Then it was off to one of my all time favorites—Duffy the Disney Bear where we got our pictures with my favorite bear!

At this point, we walked around World Showcase starting at the Mexico Pavilion and went completely around solely for the purpose of taking pictures of the topiaries that are out for the Flower and Garden Festival. I was pleasantly surprised with a few new additions including the Troll near the Norway pavilion as well as Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy. Having faces on Snow White & the Seven Dwarves as well as Beauty and the Beast was really cool. It was also nice to see Mary Poppins with a topiary and Bambi, Flower and Thumper made their return to the festival. I was disappointed they were not out last year and they looked great in their new home in the Canadian pavilion. My favorite, of course, is Peter Pan who sits atop of the British Pavilion looking down on Captain Hook.

We then had dinner at the Electric Umbrella (we had chicken nuggets and meatball sandwich). I then got our picture from the Chase Visa Character Meet and Greet. The photographer who waited on me decorated the picture for me with a Flower and Garden Festival border and he added the autographs for Minnie Mouse and Pluto. The print came out great. This is a really great perk of having the Chase card in that not only do you get this exclusive meet and greet but you also get a free print of the picture that is taken by the photographer.

As we walked out of EPCOT I got my picture taken in front of Spaceship Earth since the crowd had died down a bit and there were flower and garden topiaries behind where I stood. Before I got to the front of the park, however, another cast member asked me if I had eaten in the park, which I did so I answered yes. She asked me if I would take a survey. I laughed and said I would as I frequently get asked and am happy to oblige. The cast member thanked me and said I had a kind face and that is why I probably get asked to take surveys. She looked somewhat desperate to get people to take surveys so I was happy to help her (and the company) out.

The bus stop for Old Key West is quite far out at EPCOT but there was only one other family in line for the bus back so we had no problems with not having seats. When we got back to Old Key West we filled our mugs for the night (and I was pleasantly surprised to hear that they keep the soda refill area open 24 hours at this resort). It was fairly early for us to get back to the resort but after a busy two days we needed the rest.