Lara's quick weekend trip
Cast of Characters:
Me, Lara, the Trip reporter and Disney fanatic
Mom, Lynne, the one being drug along, willingly, though
Dad, Robert, a last minute add due to my “injury”
For the Flower and Garden Festival of course. That, and I now have an annual pass burning a hole in my wallet – what better excuse can you need? Actually, I did want to try to go down when my friend Summer was going – that didn’t work out. Then, my other friend Amber told me she was going at the end of April – unfortunately, not the weekend I wanted to go! Why that particular weekend? NELSON!!! I have been a big fan of these guys since the big hair days….I just love them! So, I beg my mom, we ask my dad and now we have plans and are going!!!
I made reservations for us at Pop Century – this is gonna be a bare bones trip, spending is limited! I have stayed here one night, but the last time my mom saw it, it was being built during our Spring Training trip, and we saw it as we drove to the Wide World of Sports. Unfortunately, no AP discounts on this weekend either – bummer! So, 2 nights booked at Pop, no special anything.
I already am an AP holder, so no need to worry about that for me. My mom, however, wants to buy the minimum she can get away with. We stopped by the Disney store, and I was really hoping they sold those 10-day park hopper no expiration passes, but alas, they do not. The most they have is the 7-day, and I don’t think that would cover this trip and our trip planned in November (we really want to see the Christmas displays!). So I convince her that the AP is the best bet, and hey, it will be good until next April.
Like I said, bare minimum. Since we are driving, we will bring some breakfast items with us. Will eat at QSD (quick service dining) for most of the time. I did tell Mom that she should pick one sit down place for us to eat – anywhere. I sent her to AllEarsNet.com to check out their section on dining. If you don’t know about this site, what is wrong with you? Debbie has all the menus from EVERYWHERE on Disney property! I told mom to look it over and pick something she wanted to try. I was expecting Boma or something like that. But she called me at work and was all flustered! “Are you kidding me? I didn’t know there were this many places to eat at Walt Disney World!? Tell you what, I just want a character meal – you pick it out!”. It is not like I did not tell my family about options when planning our last family trip – I think they just tune me out half the time when I start talking Disney World. Well, I look through everything and I ended up picking the Garden Grill. Lunch with Farmer Mickey should be great. On our last family trip, I took everyone to breakfast at Chef Mickey’s. Mom ended up seated in the corner and got no character interaction. That is all she wanted. I think we can do this. I also think she will like the place as it looks over The Land and rotates as well. Kaitlin, my niece, is very jealous!!
My mom had heard me talk about the tours I had been able to take on other trips. She sounded interested, so I started looking into some tours – mainly at Epcot. Since it was the Flower and Garden Festival, I thought we should take the Behind the Seeds tour. I booked this for the 2 of us before lunch scheduled at The Garden Grill. This way, after a walking tour, we wouldn’t have far to go for our lunch reservation.
The only other real “plans” on this trip was to spend as much time in World Showcase as I could. I really wanted to explore. But I really wanted to try to catch as many Flower Power shows as I could.
I even bought some stuff for my scrapbook in preparation for the pictures from this trip. I plan to have a few pages focuses on just the countries in the World Showcase. I bought stickers for London, Mexico and France. Not many other options though….
The Tuesday before:
I woke up at 4am with pain shooting from my neck down my right arm. I just sat up, rubbing it and hoping it would feel better. Pretty soon, I was in so much pain, all I could do was sit there and cry. My mom got up when she heard me and tried to rub my neck for me too, but nothing was helping. I called into work, and then called my Doctor’s office. I went in at 11am, in excruciating pain. They prescribed some meds for me and did this hot treatment on my shoulder. I thought everything would be fine and I would be back at work the next day.
In the meantime, Dad had decided that we should drive down Thursday after work and stop halfway and get a room for the night. So Mom started some web searches on hotels in Tifton and Valdosta. We really didn’t find anything that worked.
Wednesday was worse, I called the Doctor’s office and asked if there wasn’t something they could give me just for the pain. Nope, they sent me to the hospital for x-rays. I have to say that this was one of the most painful experiences in my life – as I almost passed out on the floor as these women moved my arm and neck around to get the shots they needed.
By Thursday, I was no better, and I was sent back for more x-rays as I was “uncooperative” the day before. Dad had been telling us that we were not going to make this trip. I was determined, so he said he was going too. Well, fine.
Thursday afternoon was spent in the ER. Yup, the emergency room. They gave me pain pills, different meds and blood pressure medicine, as my BP was 168/108 by that time. Wow, I was in pain, couldn’t they notice that? We weren’t leaving that night.
We decided we would get up super early Friday to take off. I did try to call Pop Century to see if we could get an extra room – 3 grown adults in 1 room really wasn’t going to work. They said they did not have any available, but to check again when we check in to see if anyone had canceled.
Day 2 – Saturday (part 1)
I was up before the alarm – oh, who am I kidding, I was never really asleep. Got up, took a shower and got ready for the day. Today was to be an all Epcot day, our tour, our lunch and hopefully some Soarin’. I wanted us to be there close to park opening.
But pretty soon we were all up and I wanted to go and check in. We dove up to the front and I ran in while my dad ran in and filled his resort mug with coffee. Now I know I have the room, and I have the card to call and check on the status later today. We are off to Epcot, but not there before the gates opened.
We are instructed to drive all the way down and park in the furthest lot from the entrance to the parking lot, but at this time, since we are all fresh, it is not too much of a walk to the entrance of Epcot. We make it through bag check and I direct my parents over to The Land. Some ladies were walking near us and kept asking each other where that flying ride was – I told them to just follow us.
We head into The Land and it is crowded, but not insane like it was last time I was here in February. I head straight for the fastpass machines for Soarin’ and we get some for later. Then, after seeing that the standby time was only 20 minutes, we got in line. I don’t think it even took us that long. Pretty soon we were soaring over California (2nd row), and my parents loved it. After getting off the ride, I went in search of the check in for our tour. Dad found it before I did, over by the entrance to Soarin’.
We had to wait a little while before the start of the tour, so mom and dad got some breakfast, I just got water. A little restroom stop and we sat and waited for the rest of the tour to show. There were only 2 other people in our group, a mother and her daughter who was maybe 11 years old. I don’t remember the name of our tour guide, she was very nice though. We put on our nametags and headed BACKSTAGE!!
Once back in the gardens we were shown some of the stations where they count bugs – yup, actually count insects, what a tedious job. She then took us through the whole Living with the Land ride – backwards. We saw how they grow all kinds of things and actually got to touch and taste some of it! We also were given a tube of ladybugs to set free on some of the plants. It was an interesting tour, to see things from the other side, even watching the boats pass by as we walked through – waving and smiling at us.
I was able to get some good pictures of the mickey and Cinderella pumpkins, but the award winning tomato plant was not longer there, he had gotten sick and passed away – AWWWWW.
After the tour, we used our fastpasses to ride Soarin’ again. This time we got into the front row!! In the middle, no less!!! So, we had another great ride and then headed upstairs to The Garden Grill.
Once we checked in we were given a beeper, so we took a seat and I rested my arm, I was really aching at this time. We waited maybe 15 minutes and the beeper went off and we were seated in the upper section. I was kinda bummed about that, as you don’t have that great a view of The Land from here. But my parents were both ok with it. I put my mom on the outside seat so that the characters would have the most reaction with them. Our waitress seemed very busy, but nice. I did tell her to go ahead and bring the kids plate too. If you don’t know, this is a family serve style, all-you-can-eat restaurant. I really don’t like anything that is on the menu, but this one was for my mom and it was totally up her alley.
Mom and Dad really enjoyed the catfish and the veggies, and ended up getting another plate with these items, as well as the cheesy potatoes. I enjoyed my mickey mac-n-cheese and chicken fingers. We also had a great time as pretty much all of the characters made it around at least twice. Mom got some great hugs and Dad even got some high fives and fist punches from Pluto and Chip!!! We had a great lunch. Cute thing was, our waitress brought the kid’s desert out to me as well – decorate your own cupcake! I had a good time with this and mom even took a picture of me icing my cupcake!