As with the previous day, we didn’t start as early as we should have, letting the kids (okay, mostly the adults) sleep in a bit after the long day and late night yesterday. But we headed off to Epcot excited for slightly warmer temperatures and slightly smaller crowds.
We were parked about as far from the entrance of the park as you could imagine, which would become important twelve hours later.
We tram’d to the entrance, got through a huge security line, then got in an even bigger entrance line (it was MLK Day after all).
Because we had slept in, we didn’t have time for any rides/shows before our lunch reservation, so we made our way around World Showcase, with a few quick stops to check out some of the art in the Festival of the Arts booths, and made one double-exposure picture.
I didn’t line it up perfectly, but it still turned out pretty fun. We had a delicious lunch – predictably – at Via Napoli in Italy. Arancini, Quattro Formaggi pizza, and pasta. We were so full we even skipped dessert!
After that we – predictably – next stopped at the Mitsokoshi department store in Japan, always a favorite destination for the girls. They’ve remodeled a bit, but it’s still great. Leah picked out Link and Zelda plush, we got some Hi-Chew candy, and Aly picked out what she calls a “funky monkey” which will make an appearance once we change parks later in the day.
Figment, yes Figment, had a 30-minute wait for standby. That gives you an idea how busy the park was. We used our FP and had no wait at all.
Then it was over to the Land area for the always amazing Soarin’.
As usual, we waited for the top middle seats, and it was worth it. We used our 3rd FP of the day for the Pixar Shorts show, which I always forget how much I like. The middle short film, “Piper”, is adorable and funny.
We headed out of the park towards the Magic Kingdom monorail, but stopped for a quick picture with Daisy first.
On to Magic Kingdom
We rode the first monorail over to the TTC, then went down the ramp and back up (Leah with her usual enthusiasm) to board the Magic Kingdom Express monorail.
After a brief stop on Main Street for the picture above, we paused for a few minutes so Aly could FaceTime with her friend Meghan, which is where the funky monkey made an appearance. Leah spent that time jumping around with her new plush friends.
As we entered the park, we saw a lot of people streaming past us on their way out of the park, so we hoped the ridiculous wait times we had seen earlier in the day would drop a bit. As we entered Tomorrowland, hoping to hop on the TTA, we realized we were wrong – there was a very long queue for that ride. So long, in fact, that it had queues in places we didn’t even know that they ever used for queues. So we instead went on Carousel of Progress, which Leah has never been on, and Aly didn’t remember at all.
We had made FP for the tea cups back in Epcot, so we headed over there and checked-in so we could make another FP.
I mostly stopped riding the tea cups around the time I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia because the spinning stuff bothers me a lot more these days. The girls asked me very nicely to ride with them and asked me to spin them as fast as I could, so I did. There were several mentions of “I’m going to puke!” but we had a good time and it didn’t bother me for too long after the ride.
We had some time before our new FP, so we got in an actual line at Philharmagic, which is very unusual.
It worked out great, though, because we only waited in line for 2 or 3 minutes before going in to the show. And since it’s on all of our favorites lists, you know we loved it!
From there, we made the short walk to Uncle Doug’s favorite ride, it’s a small world.
I, of course, texted him some video from the ride so he wouldn’t feel left out.
You may recall from previous trips that Aly’s favorite ride is Pirates of the Caribbean. It was around 6:30 at this time, and we had FP for Pirates at 7, so we got in the 30-minute standby line, then rode in the front row at Aly’s request. We then rode again with our FP, noticing that the standby line had completely disappeared, so then rode a third time. For the first ride, we did cheesy smile pictures:
For the second ride, we did scared face pictures:
For the third ride, devil horns and tongues sticking out like we were at a heavy metal concert in the 80s:
At this point, it was almost 8, and we had 8:30 dinner reservations at Be Our Guest, back on the other side of the park. The fireworks began shortly before we got there, so we stopped near the carousel to watch. This turned out to be a great spot, because fireworks were going off on both sides of us. I have a bunch of pictures like this, where we’re looking in different directions:
We checked in to the restaurant, went inside, and waited, and waited, and waited. They apparently forgot us, because twenty minutes later, after we asked, they finally seated us. Leah got to carry Lumiere to our table, and we saw Beast shortly after being seated.
The food was excellent. Rachel had a salad and then french onion soup, I had french onion soup and the braised beef, Leah had mac and fries (shock!), and Aly had a steak and fries (shock). We had three desserts (lol), then raced over go get one last show at Philharmagic at 9:58 – two minutes before park closing!
With most of the park already empty, we stopped for the PhotoPass picture above, then got on the packed MK monorail to the TTC. The monorail from there to Epcot was not as busy, so we could actually sit. As we went through the middle of the Epcot parking lot, we started laughing at my lonely car all the way in the farthest corner of the parking lot, all by itself. I wish I had taken a picture.
After getting off the monorail, we ran along the path through the first two sections of parking lot. When we turned the corner to the lot where my car was, we realized that we still had just as far to go in just that one parking lot. After more giggling and running, we made it to the car around 11, completely out of breath and exhausted. 8.6 miles of walking/running on this day.
Back at the house, we collapsed quickly.