The title says it all. Epcot! The park for the day. There is just too much to do and say about this park. We spent the first half of the day here, then went to lunch. On the way out, for our break, we rode one more ride. We returned later in the day and stayed until the fireworks began, and came home tired and sore. Epcot has to be the park where the most walking is done.
Our day began with the drive into the park. This year we are traveling with my mom who is disabled, and is in a scooter for the duration of the trip. She has a handicapped parking permit that hangs from her rear view mirror. My personal preference, when dealing with this extra added feature, is to drive to the designated area, select a parking lane and then add the placard on the mirror. I dislike having it on the mirror while I am driving as it interferes with my line of site.
As I approached the person that was directing us to a parking area, my wife flashed the blue placard at the attendant. At the last minute, she realized we were trying to get to the handicapped parking lot. She said to hang it from the mirror at that time. I explained to her that it interferes my line of sight. Her reply was classic: “It’s ok, this is private property.” Uh, does that mean it’s alright to not be able to see while maneuvering around the parking lot as long as I am on private property?
Once inside the gates, we did the rope drop scamper to Soarin, and got a fast pass. We rode in the standby line immediately afterwards. This was my Mom’s first time on this ride, and it didn’t take long for her to realize there was too much swaying and lifting for her. She expressed she wouldn’t be riding it again, but was happy that she atleast tried it. We went to Living with the Land next for the comfort and ease. It was good to have a settled ride.
Now, my goal has been met!! Last year, when I left WDW, I weighed 330 pounds. My wife and I had gone through the line, during our trip, for The Sum of All Thrills. We designed a rollercoaster and walked up the stairs to ride our mega ride. We secured our carried items in a locker, then boarded the ride. My wife was settled into the ride, with the monitor in place, when they started lowering the monitor over me. The monitor wouldn’t reach the clasp, and they apologized with a result that I was too large to fit on the ride. I was disappointed and embarrassed. I walked back down the stairs upset. That was 2010.
I made it a goal that I would lose some weight and attempt to ride it in 2011. My son and I walked into the queue, designed our ride, and the infamous walk to the robotic arm had me wondering if I had lost enough weight to fit on the ride. I locked my phone and my son’s fanny pack in the locker, then sat in the seat. My scrawny son had absolutely no problem with the monitor locking over him. Then they came to me and lowered the monitor. It locked in place with room to spare! I rode the Sum of All Thrills with my son, and was able to create another memory with him. To those that are wondering what weight was lost to accomplish this goal; I lost a total of 92 pounds. I may have been worried whether or not I lost enough because I know I have a lot more that needs to be lost in order to get to my ideal weight. Perhaps in the years to come,…but that doesn’t matter as much anymore. I got to ride, and I was proud.
Next, we headed over to Mission Space. I have ridden the Orange side before, and was sure I could handle it with my son; meanwhile, my wife was sure she could only handle the Green side, so we went our separate ways. I don’t know if it’s the fact that I was hungry at the time, or if the extra pounds I had the last time padded the affect, but I will willingly admit: I cannot handle the Orange side any longer. My son loved it, I did not. Those little baggies in the cockpit were looking pretty enticing. So, from now on, it’s the green side for me.
Time for lunch was quickly approaching, so we started making our way into the World Showcase. Before we got there, however, we decided to stop by and visit Figment on his Journey into Imagination. After the ride, we walked to the UK, and checked into Rose & Crown Pub and Dining Room for lunch. Our table wasn’t ready yet, so we stopped at the bar for a Black & Tan. I tasted it, and my wife finished it; then we went to the table. Lunch was delicious, but tempers were rising in the high heat and sore feet. We left the UK, heading to the front gate when we decided to stop at Test Track.
It began to rain, and lightning was in the area, so Test Track was temporarily closed down. We rode Spaceship: Earth instead, and it was a good slow ride for an after lunch atmosphere. After the ride, we went home for a break; which included a swim and some rest before heading back to Epcot.
I don’t know what it is with the attendants in the parking lot today, but they were exceptionally crabby today. On the way into the parking lot, at 15-20 mph, the attendant went to great lengths to let us know we were going way too fast. The posted speed limit is 15 mph, so I was just going by that. He didn’t stop flagging me until I was rolling at about 3 mph. My Mom’s scooter could go faster! Determined to not let it phase me, we found a parking lane and started into the park.
Since my Mom isn’t a fan of the rides in this park, we met up with my brother and traded the scooter rider for his son. Then we headed for Test Track. As we stood in line with this newbie, I explained the rough road test, the heat and cold chambers, the corrosion chamber, the hairpin turns, and the crash test into the wall at the end. He believed it all!! He soaked it in, and the pre-ride show emphasized it all. He was nervous, as each test proved true. Then we lined up for the crash test. I looked back at him and let him know it was about to happen. He braced himself for impact, and when the wall opened up to let us out on the track, he relaxed and learned to love the ride. We went right back onto it and rode it again.
After the second ride, we decided to head over to Soarin and use our fast passes, obtained earlier in the morning. We requested B1 for what we consider to be the best seat in the house. Front row, center, no feet dangling over our heads. Once that was completed, we made our way into the World Showcase again. We met up with my brother and his family in France, where we collected the kids and my Mom to allow some time for him and his wife to spend together. The kids were hungry anyways, and wanted hamburgers and hotdogs, so we took them to the American Adventure Pavilion. We left my Mom and the kids there and my wife and I headed over to Tangierine Cafe, in the Morocco Pavilion. We took our order back to the American Adventure Pavilion and ate dinner with the rest of the family that had come along with us.
When we were getting cleaned up to go meet up with my brother and his wife, a gentleman came over to take our trash and talk a bit. He then took our tray away, and we sat a while longer, communicating with my brother about where to meet him again. When we were all standing to leave, my Mom gasped loudly. We all whipped our heads over in her direction, and she explained that she had left her scooter key on the tray that the guy had taken away. I went to the front of the restaurant and explained the situation to them, and they went to see if they could find it. It turned out it was the manager that had come out and taken the tray away, so they went to get him. He walked over to the trash can and there it sat, and couple of plates down. The key was removed from the trash and taken to the kitchens where they cleaned and disinfected it before its returning. Bravo to the staff that helped us out in what could have been a bad night. My hat is off to them and their willingness to help.
We met up with my brother 15 minutes before the start of the fireworks, and then made our way out of the front gate for the night. It was a beautiful day, and a great ending to it. Tomorrow is rope drop at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
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