The exertions of the last few days resulted in me sleeping for a full nine hours, according to my notes. This pleased me. There was no rush to get anywhere this morning as I had once again built in a lazyish morning, unsure of how everyone and especially Freddie would be coping with the journey, heat and time zone change.
Speaking of the latter. I’d like to claim this as an act of planning genius however you wouldn’t believe me, but as I enjoyed my breakfast this morning in the villa I found a channel on the TV that was showing live coverage of Liverpool’s footy match. Freddie watched with me.
This was glorious and it ended (in glorious victory) just as everyone was almost ready. So I then took my usual seven minutes or so to shower and dress and still be stood waiting at the door for everyone else.
It was around 10am when we made it into the car. This included, and would on most days, at least one person coming back into the villa to get something they had forgotten just as I had set the alarm.
We were Epcot bound again (don’t question the plan) and we parked in Explore 78 amidst some serious heat. For the first time this trip we needed to get on a tram from the car. This meant collapsing the stroller, which I left to Tom as it was his honour to do so and not because I didn’t know how.
Security was busy. I know it’s necessary and a reassurance but jeez it can be a pain in the arse when all you want to do is get into the park and start doing stuff. It was about 10.30 when we got into the park and with a FastPass for Spaceship Earth at 10.50 we wandered some shops and loitered a for a bit until we could ride.
We scanned our bands at 10.45 and joined what turned out to be a ten minute wait.
As it always tends to, the ride stopped three times on our journey. In addition to this outrage, mine and Emily’s photos didn’t work. I await the results of my compensation claim.
Right, so with the first ride done and it being at least 11.30, clearly it was time for lunch. Regular readers will know what happens next. We stand around for a few minutes with me reciting all the options available to us for lunch before they are all ignored and we end up in Electric Umbrella again.
The beauty of eating so early is that the place wasn’t rammed and we quickly ordered.
Me and Louise – Brisket sandwich
Emily, Mikey, Rebecca and Tom – Burger
We all devoured our selections and then Freddie had a pot of something whilst the rest of us toured Mousegear for a bit. Rebecca and Tom stayed with Freddie, he wasn’t abandoned with a spoon!
Once we were all back together and fed we walked over to Soarin’ for our FastPass.
Rebecca, Tom and Emily went on first and the rest of us rested outside for a bit. There was a very odd rain shower for a few minutes which we missed as we had luckily chosen to sit just under the cover of the entrance to the Land.
We rode next with our FastPass taking just ten minutes, which wasn’t at all bad for Soarin’.
We did get called forward as a party of three which cut down the wait a little and allowed me to roll out my smug face as I “excuse me’d” my way to the front of the queue. Upon exiting Rebecca had messaged to say they had gone to Mousegear, as they hadn’t had a chance to look round when we did as they were feeding Freddie. I left Louise and Mikey at The Land and walked at a pleasing pace to get them.
Of course we then walked all the way back to Louise and Mikey as we were then going to ride Journey Into Imagination.
You may be shocked to discover there was no queue for this one. There was some mild concern that Freddie may not like the dark bit, the train noise and the loud blast of air, but he didn’t flinch and danced his way through every part of the song.
Continuing our theme of zig-zagging from one side of the park to the other as much as possible, Mission Space was next on the agenda. On the way, I decided we should do Crush as we were (relatively) close and I was confident there’d be no wait. Ten minutes saw us taking our seats and enjoying one of the hidden gems of WDW (in my view).
OK, now we were allowed go to Mission Space to use our FastPass. Freddie had been put to sleep by Crush so Louise sat out with him whilst the rest of us rode.
With a nervous Mikey wondering what Orange and Green meant, we were in, definitely doing Orange. Rebecca and Tom were assigned to one pod with me, Emily and Mikey in another.
Mikey’s anxiety was not helped by the briefing video (by the way, where has Gary Senise gone? This is unacceptable!), and the wait to board in the corridor.
The ride was as impressive as ever and Mikey felt suitably unwell afterwards which is always a good sign of it going well.
Time had marched on and now I had to as well. Our ADR for Via Napoli was imminent and there wouldn’t be time for us to stroll up there at the group pace, so I was despatched at full speed to check us in.
World Showcase was busy again and the ten minute walk was littered with body swerves, tutting and the occasional naughty word as I weaved my way through the eating and drinking hordes. I arrived, glazed in a nice sweat, with a few minutes to spare. I explained that everyone else would be here shortly and took a seat to wait in the scorching heat in the courtyard at the front of the restaurant.
Somehow I missed everyone passing me and got a message on my phone to ask where I was. I joined everyone at the entrance, confirmed we were ready and with just a few moments wait we were seated.
We had last eaten in the restaurant in Italy over a decade ago and had been very underwhelmed, so we were hoping for a better experience in the new version.
Pizza was very much the order of the day….
Me – Pepperoni
Mikey & Louise – Spicy Sausage
Rebecca and Tom – Large Marge
Emily – White Pizza with artichoke
This, at the risk of going overboard, was THE best pizza I have eaten in my life. Let me confirm what you are thinking too. That is quite a large sample size on which to base that conclusion. It was delicious.
We also discovered that Freddie likes pizza too.
This is Freddie’s pizza face and I think we’ve all been there.
Desserts were ordered –
Me & Emily – Shared a Tiramisu
Rebecca & Tom – Shared a Tiramisu
Freddie & Tom – Shared a Chocolate Mousse. I applaud Tom’s “two dessert” tactics.
Hmm, that reminds me of someone….
Mikey – Cannoli
Louise – Ball Things (may not be the actual name on the menu)
During dessert Rebecca and Emily asked if we could do Fantasmic that evening. This blatant disregard for the plan was shocking and went against all of their training. However, high on pizza and pudding, I agreed and right there and then secured a FastPass for Ariel at Hollywood Studios that we should be able to fit in before Fantasmic.
It turned out that we needed to “nip back” to the villa before heading to Studios as Freddie’s ear defenders (bought for fireworks shows etc) had been left there. Sat at the very rear of Epcot, in a World Showcase fuller than my underpants, there was no “nipping back” about it. Time would be short and we needed to get going.
It took a while to navigate the crowds and walk all the way down to the main entrance.
Next was the tram, then into the car, all taking too much time.
Why we then stopped at Walgreens (again) was beyond me but apparently it was essential. We bought some more toilet roll, amongst other things, so I could see how that might be essential without resorting to ruining the villa’s towels.
Time in the villa was strictly limited by me standing at the open door with the car still running shouting “hurry up” a lot and we were then on our way to DHS. Many other annoying delays like traffic lights and other cars/people inevitably increased my heart rate but we eventually arrived into the park, after the delay inducing long walk from the tram caused by all the work underway, at 7.20 ish. Freddie needed changing so I despatched everyone other than Rebecca, Tom and Freddie up to Ariel, clinging to the vague hope of getting into that before Fantasmic, whilst I waited for Freddie to have a clean bum.
We then walked up to meet everyone else, but upon realising that Freddie now needed feeding, Ariel had to be sacrificed and we sat on a bench whilst Freddie ate. With that done we walked all the way back to Sunset Boulevard and got some drinks and slushies on the way in to the show.
There was only ten minutes to wait before the show started and it became apparent very shortly after it did that Freddie was too tired to be putting up with it, so Rebecca and Tom took him out whilst the rest of us watched.
We met up after the show with Freddie safely tucked up in his stroller and walked to the tram stop. So that we didn’t need to disturb his slumbers, Rebecca, Tom and I walked back to the car and let the others tram it. We all arrived at the car together anyway.
We set off for home, and for some reason that I will never understand we stopped at Walgreens again. Home and bed at 10.30.
Till the next time….