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Trip Reports & Member Reviews Discuss Jenn's Trip Report - Day 3 - Part 1 in the Vacation Planning forums; Day 3 - Epcot & Garden Grill Let's just start day 3 out with a photo shall we? Ahhhhhh sooooo happy to see that darn wand gone. I loved it ...
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    BamaJenn's Avatar
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    Smile Jenn's Trip Report - Day 3 - Part 1

    Day 3 - Epcot & Garden Grill

    Let's just start day 3 out with a photo shall we?



    Ahhhhhh sooooo happy to see that darn wand gone. I loved it when I thought it was up just for the millennium celebration but when it never came back down I slowly started to hate it. When I heard it was coming down I was beyond happy. Now I am truly loving taking photos of SSE again!!

    But, I digress... Epcot... y'know it's funny, there really is very little to enjoy at Epcot with a 2 year old but somehow we managed to fill the day there and only leave for a short nap back at the hotel.

    First up... the new Spaceship Earth. I was REALLY skeptical going into this. SSE is and will always be one of my favorite attractions at the World so I was incredibly nervous about the changes.



    Let me tell you... I was SOOO wrong to go into this expecting to be disappointed. Oh my GOD I love the refurb. The AAs are incredibly smooth now and the subtle changes are even better. Like for instance the cave painting that now animates while looking nothing like a movie or having anything obvious to explain how it's done. Or the fact that the boats in the trading scene now move with the waves of the 'ocean' beneath them. I love everything about this refurb... everything. From the very first moment where the cave people screen has been changed, to the new scenes and changes to the old ones, to the touch screens at the end and how they manage to cut your head off and put it on an animated character to the face recognition at the "e-mail your photo to your friends" screens of the post-show. It's all fantastic. So fantastic we did it three times. I must admit at first I was a little "ugh" about Judy Dench's voice but by the end and after enjoying the entirely new script, I was hooked.















    After SSE we headed over to the Seas with Nemo & Friends. As usual Aaron loved it and as usual there was the annoying person who took flash pictures through the entire thing. That has now become my absolute biggest pet peeve. Anyway... we hopped onto the ride with no wait and hopped right into Turtle Talk next. After waiting like a sardine for about 20 minutes in the room (as they said to feel free to look around -- hah!) we were finally seated. I was really looking forward to Aaron's reaction but the front area with the children was simply too packed for me to sit with him and we ended up back in the rear looking through tall adults. Unfortunately this meant Aaron finding nothing of value and fussing the entire time... so we had to leave.

    After our failed attempt at Crush we headed over to Imagination, first stopping for a potty break at the restrooms at the rear of the building. Very few folks hit them and they are always clean and empty... just what I like in a Disney restroom. LOL!!

    While back there we noticed this odd little stage sitting there. No explanation of what it was, we just moved on.



    After imagination we played in the new Imageworks for a bit. Someone please tell me, why in the WORLD did they remove the ability to e-mail your silly photo to your friends/family? That was always one of our favorites so when we saw an open kiosk we ran to it... spent about 10 minutes making our photo as cute as can be... and then found ourselves with nothing but a start over button. I guess this and the changes to the "sound room" were what the big "demolition" was back in January that I was so worried about.



    After leaving Imagination it was Bill's turn for a potty break so we headed back behind the building. This time we noticed music coming from the hidden speakers on either side of the little stage and soon groups of folks, very well dressed, and a camera crew, came piling out of the gate. Anyone know what was going on here or who these people are?




    (everyone wanted to shake this guys hand, in the white, so I'm curious who he is)

    Then it was time to head over to the Land for lunch at the Garden Grill. We checked in a little early but we had reservations for when it opened so we wanted to make sure we beat the crowd of people who didn't and created a huge wait line trying to make them last minute.

    The addition of the chicken to the meal was a nice change but removing the stuffing wasn't... I loved that stuffing. Oh well. The food was really good and I loved the potato casserole. The dessert I wasn't so fond of though... at first the guy said "Apple Crisp" and I was like "Wahoo!! Love that stuff." and then he said "oh no wait it's..." and said some berry thing. We got a little puffed pastry with some strawberries. I wasn't impressed. Still, it's one of our favorite meals because we love the family style setting and the characters come by over and over and over again which Aaron just loves.









    After lunch we headed over to Living with the Land to relax and digest. This was the longest line we experienced the whole trip (about 20 minutes). I guess it gets folks packed in who came in to hit Soarin and found a long wait and grabbed a fast pass instead?

    After the Land we decided to do a couple more things before heading out to the room for Aaron's nap. We were having a good day so far and wanted to continue it before crowds found their way to the World Showcase, so off to Norway we went, stopping to check out some of the Flower and Garden festival topiaries on the way.




    Melissa - I thought of you when I took this... I'll send you the full resolution one if you want. LOL!!

    Once we hit Norway we popped into line at Maelstrom. It looked like a long wait but they simply had the queue inside closed and the line went straight into the boats from the outside, so only a few minutes were we waiting. This time I finally remembered to grab a shot of the hidden Mickey my step-son caught about 4 years ago. I always forget!!



    This was Aaron's first time on Maelstrom and he loved it! He was yelling "weeeee" as we dropped. Too cute. He's going to love Splash Mountain when he's tall enough!!

    After Maelstrom we headed next door to Mexico to hit the Gran Fiesta Tour. So many people still have no idea this exists so once again we walked right on. I still really enjoy this refurb. I think they did just enough to make it "kid friendly" while keeping it's charm.



    Then it was time to make our way back to the resort for some R&R (if Aaron doesn't get a nap he is NO fun waiting for the night shows to begin LOL). But... before we left... we decided to hit SSE again (ride #2).



    Head On Over to Part 2 of Day 3!!
    Last edited by BamaJenn; 02-23-2012 at 02:57 PM.
    Sometimes all you need is a reminder that out there lies a better place... a better world... a Walt Disney World.
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    disneyfanatic101's Avatar
    disneyfanatic101 is offline Trying to Get Back Into the Swing of Things!
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    I wish they did the pics of our faces when we went in Dec. But it wasn't "officially" finished yet. Is that screen with the SSE tiles outline in SSE?

    This is the pic I'm talking about:
    Adam ~ A Proud D23 Charter Member!

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    BamaJenn's Avatar
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    Yep Adam that's the screen on SSE. It's what shows up after they've done your "future" animation. It's kind of like a screen saver until you exit the ride.
    Sometimes all you need is a reminder that out there lies a better place... a better world... a Walt Disney World.
    Visited In: 1983, 1988, 1989 x2, 1991, 1992, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 (passholder), 2007 (x2 x3), 2008, 2009 (x2), 2010, 2011 (x2)
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    disneyfanatic101's Avatar
    disneyfanatic101 is offline Trying to Get Back Into the Swing of Things!
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    Thanks! I thought it was on the dome of SSE when you start to turn around. I don't think we had that on our screen in December. I think it went back to the questions.
    Adam ~ A Proud D23 Charter Member!

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    Keasmom's Avatar
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    Jenn, great so far. Still waiting on the rest of the room story though, maybe in the later installments. Love reading this.
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    BamaJenn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keasmom View Post
    Jenn, great so far. Still waiting on the rest of the room story though, maybe in the later installments. Love reading this.
    Congrats on being the first person to catch that. DH caught it last night. I decided not to get into it because I was so frustrated BUT the short version is... we didn't end up with mousekeeping any day but the 2nd and when we left our trash and towels outside the door so Aaron could nap, with Mousekeeping right next door, they ignored it and we had to call to have it picked up. When we came back that night it was picked up but no CLEAN towels had been left. It was just ridiculous. First time I've not tipped mousekeeping in a long time.
    Sometimes all you need is a reminder that out there lies a better place... a better world... a Walt Disney World.
    Visited In: 1983, 1988, 1989 x2, 1991, 1992, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 (passholder), 2007 (x2 x3), 2008, 2009 (x2), 2010, 2011 (x2)
    “Detail is there to make you believe in the reality of the story you’re immersed in.” - Joe Rohde
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    Sorry that the mousekeeping wasn't very good. That's strange that they didn't pick up the towels or leave clean ones. I hope it was just a fluke event.

    I'm really looking forward to riding SSE. We didn't get to ride it last time (it was a short trip and by the time we got to EPCOT a lot of the rides in Future World were closing). Last time I rode it was over 20 years ago. :eek:




    Staying on site this year

    Previous trips 1986 & 2003

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