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Trip Reports & Member Reviews Discuss Trip Report, Day 3-AK/Epcot, 2/3/06 (pt 1) in the Vacation Planning forums; Mickey and Stitch called at 7:45 to wake us up on this Friday, as we had an old-fashioned, park-hopping marathon day ahead of us. Friday is EMH day at Epcot, ...
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    Trip Report, Day 3-AK/Epcot, 2/3/06 (pt 1)

    Mickey and Stitch called at 7:45 to wake us up on this Friday, as we had an old-fashioned, park-hopping marathon day ahead of us. Friday is EMH day at Epcot, and we planned to stay as late as possible. But first was a quick jaunt to Animal Kingdom for two reasons: We had never ridden Dinosaur, and there were rumors that Expedition Everest was running.

    There was a little problem that day, though. It was pouring rain as we left. Now, I've seen it rain at WDW before, but usually in short bursts. The locals assured me that outside of hurricane season, full days of rain were pretty rare. Hah! We bought Mickey ponchos at the Pop gift shop and headed out.

    By the time we pulled into the AK parking lot, the rain was coming down in sheets. The lot was pretty empty andI thought that maybe the park had shut down until the storms had passed. We slogged through a couple of lakes to the front gate, and the park was very much open, but it seemed that we were the only ones there. I was reminded of Chevy Chases trip to Wallyworld in the first "Vacation" movie. The rain seemed to have scared off the Photopass people, we didn't see any all day long.

    As we trekked to Dinosaur, my heart skipped a beat as we got our first good look at Everest...the trains were running, and I heard people screaming from the ride...a soft opening! But we were closer to Dinosaur and my Dad doesn't walk very well (he usually gets an ECV, but he didn't think we'd be in the park long enough to warrant it here), so we rode that first. I was impresssed with the audio-animatronics here, and startled by the Carnosaurus at the end. The ride was VERY bumpy, though...it made the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland look like Small World by comparison, I thought!

    It was still pouring as we walked to EE. My socks, sneakers and shorts were saturated by this point, and I had to carry my camera bag under my poncho. The wife was getting a little agitated by the whole thing. She's pregnant, not able to ride anything remotely thrilling, and she's not a big AK fan as it is. The soaking rain didn't help things. But she knew how important getting on Everest was to me, so she persevered.

    But there was to be no ride on EE for me. As I approached the station, I noticed that there were no trains going by, and there was a group of CMs blocking the entrance...bad sign. Indeed, EE was suffering those dreaded "technical difficulties". It looked like the ride got stuck somewhere inside, as people were being led out of emergency exits by CM's. I was told that ride would be down for the rest of the day. I'm not sure if that was true, but my party was in no mood to hang around and find out. I bade EE farewell, knowing that missing it now gave me yet another reason to come back to WDW!

    We exited AK, got to the car, and regrouped for Epcot. It was still early, about 10:30 at this point. We debated going back to the room to get dry clothes, but the weather reports were saying that the rain would be around for most of the day. We drove to Epcot with the car heater blasting. (Cont'd)
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    Part II

    The rain let up a bit as we entered Epcot. While my dad was getting his ECV, I walked to the gift shop to get a rain coat for DD's Pal Mickey. The poor guy was dripping wet, and the CM's in the store dried him off and made a big fuss as they put his rain gear on. They drew a small crowd as they did so, and probably sold a few Pal Mickeys to the delighted children that watched.

    Speaking of Pal Mickey...we found him to be a great addition to our trip. Especially at Epcot, he has all kinds of tidbits about the countries, tells you when the World Showcase "Street Performers" are around, and alerts you to short wait times at certain rides. While we were in the Haunted Mansion, during the ballroom scene, he came alive and acted scared of the ghosts!

    Anyway, we always start Epcot off with a trip through Spaceship Earth, and today was no exception. After that, a visit to Crush at Living Seas. This is the 3rd time seeing Crush, and I'm still amazed by the technology. Of course, the day I decide not to film much and leave the camcorder in the locker, Crush calls on my daughter to ask him a question! She asked him about how he swims backwards, and he demonstrated.

    We walked back to the Electric Umbrella for lunch. It was crowded with people escaping the persistent rain. I figured that it would be a good time to ride Mission Space, since I had an empty stomach and was planning to snack "around the world" in the World Showcase. I left my ravenous party there and rode MS twice, after the second time I sent a "postcard from space" to myself at one of the kiosks in the Mission Control center. I used the single rider line both times and had no wait at all. Test Track was regrettably closed for rehab, and I expected MS to be more crowded, but it wasn't.

    Since my rides had gone so quickly, my party was still eating when I got back to the Electric Umbrella. I then collected all their park tickets and went to get Fastpasses for Soarin, which had a 60 minute standby wait accoring to the message board. Our ride time on the FP was for 5:15, a good 4 hours from when I got it. I put them in a dry place, linked up with the group, and we headed to Mexico to begin our World Tour.

    We rode Rio del Tempo, and my daughter began collecting her passport stamps and mask trinkets at the Kidcot station. We hadn't noticed the Kidcot stands on previous trips. Each country in WS has a stand, where a native of the country you're in sits with the children, talks with them and helps them color paper masks. The young man in Morrocco notice dmy Pink Floyd t-shirt under my poncho, and asked my daughter if she was a fan as well. She told him no, she likes the Beatles. He started singing some Beatles songs to her, explaining that he listened to English and American music to help improve his own mastery of English. Who says education can't be fun?

    We went from country to country, riding the Maelstrom and collecting more passport stamps. When we got to China, I finally gave in to my hunger and had an egg roll at the CS place there. When we reached Germany, I had my traditional bratwurst with sauerkraut, a slice of Black Forest cake, and a Lowenbrau. Danke Schoen, indeed!

    We stopped by the American Adventure to see the show. As many times as I've been to Epcot, I had never been to it. As with the Hall of Presidents, my daughter fell asleep, but I was entranced with the audio-animatronic Ben Franklin...he moved even better than the human Franklin impersonators we have all over Philly!
    I was very impressed with the presentaion.

    As night began to fall, we browsed the rest of the countries, with the ultimate finale being a dinner at Le Cellier followed by Illuminations. And the rain finally stopped for good!
    Last edited by sterm26; 02-20-2006 at 11:13 AM.
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    Part III

    We had a 7:20 ADR at Le Cellier, and it's a good thing we did. The restaurant was packed, and was turning away walk-in customers. We were seated very quickly. If I have a complaint about the restaurant, it would be the cramped space. We were jammed between two other parties, at very close proximity. The waiters had trouble navigating the narrow walkways with their trays, but they managed. Dinner was excellent, as usual. Our steaks were cooked to order, my dad ordered his without the demiglace that usually comes with it without a problem. But since the place was so busy, dinner lasted almost 2 hours. My party ran out to watch Illuminations while I stayed behind to pay the bill. I got out in time to see the finale. Oh well, I have the whole show on tape from a previous visit.

    By this time, the Extra Magic Hours had started, and we lined up to get our bracelets. We went to the Land pavilion to ride Soarin' There was a 45 minute standby wait, but I remembered my Fastpasses from earlier and pulled 'em out. The CM at the Fastpass entrance was not going to honor them, saying that FP's didn't apply to Extra Magic Hours. A supervisor came over and overruled her, I guess he noticed that we were still soaked and ratty looking, as well as our disappointed faces. My dad can do a hangdog look like anyone I know, and the fact that he was riding an ECV probably helped as well. We strolled down the FP lane to the jealous glares of the standby customers. My dad had not been on Soarin before (my family rode it in California). It certainly is a great ride! We wanted to go on again but the standby line was still long, and we felt it was a good idea to not press our luck. It was getting very late and it had been a long day. We made a stop to ride the Figment ride twice, then headed back to Pop to collapse and prepare for our final day in the World.
    Last edited by sterm26; 02-19-2006 at 01:06 AM.
    WDW offsite 1979, '83, '86, '87, '89,' 93

    ASMo November 2003 (Love Bug)

    Pop Century February 2005 (50's)

    Pop Century February 2006 (60's)

    Pop Century August 2006 (60's)

    Coronado Springs February 2009

    Disneyland August 1988 (L.A.)

    Disneyland August 2005 (Anaheim Plaza)


    "His name's Tron, fights for the Users..."

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    GaRain is offline I love a guy who can make me laugh!
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    I have to say, I love those kidcots. The niece and cousin had a great time making their masks around the world!
    Nothing to countdown to, so just smile and be happy everyday!




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    sterm26's Avatar
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    It's funny, we didn't realize that we only needed one mask. We were collecting masks from every country before the Kidcot guy in Germany pointed out that we only needed one, and that each country would add it's own decoration to the mask. We brought home about 5 half-finshed masks!
    WDW offsite 1979, '83, '86, '87, '89,' 93

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    Pop Century February 2005 (50's)

    Pop Century February 2006 (60's)

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    Coronado Springs February 2009

    Disneyland August 1988 (L.A.)

    Disneyland August 2005 (Anaheim Plaza)


    "His name's Tron, fights for the Users..."

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    butlers is offline Lost in Tenderness!!!!!!
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    wonderful, wonderful... will definitely have to stop by the kidcots fun stops.
    April 23rd, oh yeah it's gonna be ON!

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