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Old 02-06-2012, 07:10 AM   #1
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Fred and Wilma - They're Back and They're Child Free (Day 9 - Epcot)

Friday 3rd September

We were woken by our neighbours again – more screaming, crying and banging – at 7am. I was really fed up as we’d only had 5 hours sleep and we had tried to be really quiet when we came in that morning so as not to disturb them. Oh well, when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. We were up now so we may as well go to Epcot! After listening to the neighbours scream at each other the whole time we were getting ready, they then congregated in the hall right outside our door and started shouting there too. Eventually, I opened the door and explained that we had tried to be considerate at 2am and it was a shame they couldn’t afford us the same consideration, to which the ‘Mother’ responded that you shouldn’t expect people to be quiet at 9 o’clock in the morning. Gary appeared behind me and said ‘Yes, you’re quite right, but we have been listening to this for the last 2 hours!!!’

Anyway, not wanting to let it ruin our day, we stepped outside into the gorgeous (and already blazing hot) sunshine. The plan was to conquer Future World, do a bit of World Showcase and then return later for Illuminations and stay for evening Extra Magic Hours. We walked down the Boardwalk and entered the park through the International Gateway. I just love coming in to Epcot this way. I think it is because it is so quiet and such a beautiful walk, especially on a gorgeous day like today was.

It was already 9.15 so we headed straight for The Land and got Fast Passes for Soarin’, with a return time of 9.57-10.57,, then joined the standby line. There was a short wait and we were on the ride in no time. I have said it before and I’ll say it again – this is my absolute favourite non-thrill ride at Disney. It is so amazing and still gets a round of applause at the end, even after it’s 6th year at Epcot.

I was definitely suffering from tiredness today and people were irritating the heck out of me. I commented to Gary that there seemed to be more whiny and annoying kids around, to which Gary responded that maybe there were just two tired, less tolerant adults

We went on Soarin’ again, using our Fast Passes, then got some breakfast from Sunshine Seasons. Apple Danish and Diet Coke – the breakfast of champions! After lining our stomachs, we went to get Fast Passes for Test Track and then went on Mission:Space. We had a look in Mousegear and couldn’t find the purse that Natalie had asked me to get for her but I did manage to replace my (broken) 4-parks key ring that I’d bought the previous year. Test Track was showing a 40-minute wait but, with our Fast Passes, it was more or less a walk on. Everything else, at this point, was only a 5 or 10 minute wait. It really was very quiet this morning.

We walked back towards World Showcase, taking the decision to start our tour at Canada and work anti-clockwise around the park. Did this decision have anything to do with the fact that it was almost 5 o’clock somewhere and the Grey Goose Citron Slushie in France was calling my name? You decide.

We saw O’Canada for the first time. How have we been on 7 trips to Disney World and never seen this before?

Next stop the UK. Time for fish and chips from the Yorkshire County Fish Shop, which we shared.

And we bumped into a friend of Rhiannon's from the previous year.

In France, I had my picture taken with Aurora who was very approving of my choice of pink top. We popped into Boulangerie Patisserie for something sweet. Gary had a pain aux raisins, which he said was a tad dry. And I chose the chocolate mousse, which was lovely but incredibly rich and quite sickly. I couldn't even manage half of it.

And then I had to – just had to, you understand – have a Citron Slushie to wash down lunch.

We sat for a while and watched Server Amusant while I sipped my rapidly melting slushie. Bliss!

We took loads of pictures in Morocco

Including one of my favourite pictures from this trip

We watched the drummers in Japan

We really wanted to see Voices of Liberty at the American Adventure but they weren’t on until 2, so it was on to Italy where we went to have a nosey at the new Via Napoli restaurant and had some pictures taken by the Photopass photographer.

Gary also tried his hand at something more artistic

We did have a little giggle at this couple, too, as the guy spent ages setting up a tripod to take pictures of his posing partner. They were acting as though it was a professional photoshoot, much to the amusement of a small crowd who had formed to watch.

We were ready to leave now so we caught the boat from Germany across to Showcase Plaza

We left via International Gateway and strolled back round the Boardwalk. I just love the Epcot resort hotels for their proximity to the park. In fact, this trip was probably the one where we began to truly appreciate what a great park Epcot is. Back at the hotel, we decided to go to the pool. The main pool was absolutely packed so we hung out at the quiet pool for a while. Gary swam while I read my book.

Continued in the next post...
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Old 02-06-2012, 07:12 AM   #2
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Around 4pm, we went back to the room to shower and change. We were undecided about dinner so I suggested Manny’s. If you recall, we were going to go earlier in the week but my little heat stroke episode put paid to that. Gary wasn’t particularly keen but I managed to persuade him and we decided to give it a go. We managed to find it with no problems, although it is a good 30 minute drive from Disney, and there was quite a wait for a table as the place was packed (we have since realised that the place is always busy, a good sign if you ask me). We sat at the bar and ordered drinks – a Cosmo for me and lager for Gary.

After about 20 minutes, we were taken to a booth towards the back of the restaurant. We were messing around, trying to do differnt poses and, as I was laughing, I threw my head back and smacked it on the back of the booth. Gary managed to catch it on camera action-shot style!

Since we were OK for drinks, our server brought us out some gorgeous warm yeast rolls and complimentary salad.

There was so much on the menu, we were spoiled for choice, but eventually we decided to order a couple of different things and share. Gary opted for the char-grilled pork chops and ½ slab of ribs while I ordered a rib-eye steak. I had to order the steak medium-well as Gary doesn’t like it undercooked (heathen!) but, actually, it was still delicious. We both chose loaded baked potatoes instead of the usual fries. This was a great choice as they were huge and so yummy.

We were really stuffed but I fancied the apple pie so persuaded Gary to share. Unfortunately, this was a bit disappointing as it was quite soggy and had obviously been reheated in a microwave.

All in all, this was a fantastic meal and pretty reasonable at $53 inc tip. We would definitely be back.

We drove back to the Boardwalk, where we were a little peeved that we couldn’t find a parking space. Eventually, after driving around for ages, we found one but it was interesting to note that most of the cars in the parking lot had parking permits from other Disney hotels, not Boardwalk. Now I know that you can visit the other hotels but it was obvious that people had parked there so they could go to Illuminations and I would have thought they would make non-residents use the overflow car park rather than the main one.

Epcot was noticeably busier than when we had left earlier in the day but Illuminations was about to start so we hotfooted it around the lake until we found a prime viewing spot. Although it was busy, there were actually still a lot of spots around the lake where you could get a good view. This was to be the first time we had ever watched Illuminations from inside the park and it was amazing up close. I loved it so much more. Unfortunately, the night time/fireworks setting on my point-and-shoot was pretty poor and, even using Gary’s shoulder as a makeshift tripod, I didn’t get any good pictures.

Once Illuminations was over, the majority of people seemed to be heading for the exit so we sat for a while and let the crowd dissipate. Then we wandered slowly around the lake, soaking up the atmosphere and enjoying a drink or two.

We decided to ride Maelstrom, thinking it would be quiet. In actual fact, there was a long line and it was a good 20 minute wait. Still, we were in no rush. The film wasn’t showing – is it ever nowadays? On around World Showcase we went, stopping to try sombreros in Mexico.

It was only about 10 o'clcok now so we thought we would head over to Future World and see what the wait times were like for some of the rides. I then came up with the bright idea of seeing Captain EO so we decided to head over there. This proved to be the biggest mistake of our night (and the whole trip). Now I'm sorry to all (any of) the fans out there but this has got to be the biggest load of tripe at Disney World. It was complete rubbish and, had it not been for the fact that it was packed and we were in the middle of a row, I would have feigned illness and we would have made our escape. I can't think of anything good to say about it at all. I'm clearly missing something as people were clapping and cheering when it finished - or perhaps that was because it was finished

Eventually, our late night the previous night and the rude awakening this morning, combined with lots of food and a few drinks caught up with us and we were both flagging. We left Epcot and walked slowly back to the Boardwalk where we made as much noise as we possibly could while getting into the room, turned the telly up loud and shouted at each other for a while before lights out
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Old 02-06-2012, 07:41 AM   #3
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Wow some delicious looking food Joh.

Love wandering around World Showcase after Illuminations - a lovely way to finish a full on day.

Had to laugh at you making loads of noise for your neighbours on your return - that is exactly what I would do

Looking forward to seeing if they take the hint the next morning and keep quiet for you

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Old 02-06-2012, 09:04 AM   #4
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You'd never seen illuminations from inside the park before?!?!
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Old 02-06-2012, 10:54 AM   #5
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Where is Mannys?

I've read about Mannys many times & read lots of good reports about it. Where is it & how do you get there (we will be driving). We are going in April & would like to give it a try.
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Old 02-06-2012, 11:37 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Tammy Stringer View Post
Wow some delicious looking food Joh.

Love wandering around World Showcase after Illuminations - a lovely way to finish a full on day.

Had to laugh at you making loads of noise for your neighbours on your return - that is exactly what I would do

Looking forward to seeing if they take the hint the next morning and keep quiet for you

It was really lovely Tam - such a lovely way to sepnd an evening. I don't think I've ever really 'got' Epcot before but that really opened our eyes to it.

Originally Posted by Chilly View Post
You'd never seen illuminations from inside the park before?!?!
Nope, we had only seen Illuminations twice before that trip and both times were from a boat on an Illuminations Cruise.

Originally Posted by john storey View Post
I've read about Mannys many times & read lots of good reports about it. Where is it & how do you get there (we will be driving). We are going in April & would like to give it a try.
Hi John, Mannys is on the US27 at Haines City. The easiest way to get there is to head South on the I4 out of Orlando, then pick up the US27 going South. Once you near Haines City, you will pass the Southern Dunes villa resort on your left and then Mannys is a couple of miles further down on the right, just after a crossroads. If you can, try and call ahead, especially if there are more than four in your party as it is always busy. It is well worth a visit though
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Old 02-06-2012, 12:16 PM   #7
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Mannys or the wait times are going to go up.

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Old 02-06-2012, 03:45 PM   #8
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I have to go to Manny's one of these days
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Old 02-07-2012, 12:19 PM   #9
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Lovely day we stayed at the Yacht Club for a couple of nights on our last WDW trip and the location is wonderful.

Had to laugh at the bit about Captain EO. We saw it at Disneyland Paris last year. I am glad I have seen it but would I want a repeat viewing? The answer is an emphatic 'no'.
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Old 02-07-2012, 03:28 PM   #10
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I know exactly what you mean about Captain EO.
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Old 02-07-2012, 03:44 PM   #11
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yep add me to the 'not a fan of Cpt EO' list..
Bring back Honey I shrunk the Audience please...
Loving your trip report..just what I need on a cold day in Feb..

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Old 02-07-2012, 05:47 PM   #12
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I'm in agreement with you over Captain Eurgh. We saw it once and were bemused by the clapping before it even started. Don't think we'll be catching it next time. Not a fan lol

Your pics of Illumination ares lovely.

Well wern't your neighbours just charming, don't blame you for making a noise when you got back. x
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Old 02-09-2012, 09:27 AM   #13
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Love the sound of that Grey Goose slushy

What a great day Joh except for the noisy neighbours.
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