Cast of Characters: Steve (thatÃ¢ÂÂs me) Ã¢ÂÂ 33 Aaron (my SO) Ã¢ÂÂ 25 Trip Date Ã¢ÂÂ 1/31/01 Ã¢ÂÂ 2/4/01 Resort: All-Star Music Jazz Building Day 4 2/3/01 Ã¢ÂÂ Full day at Epcot and Ã¢ÂÂdrinking around the worldÃ¢ÂÂ Epcot would not be open until 9 a.m. this morning, so we got to sleep in until 7 a.m. (unfortunately for me, 7 a.m. is sleeping in). I watched more Disney propaganda for awhile (the Disney Cruise line looks really great doesnÃ¢ÂÂt it?) and took a shower and got dressed. I was planning on sneaking out of the room and getting a real breakfast Ã¢ÂÂ eggs, bacon, Mickey waffleÃ¢ÂÂ before Aaron got up, but he woke up and I waited for him to get ready. By the time we were ready to leave, it was already 9 a.m. DidnÃ¢ÂÂt take long for a bus to arrive and we were at Epcot by 9:30. I wanted to go on Spaceship Earth, but the line was too long already (probably only 15 minutes, but as we were now used to just walking on it seemed long). We walked over to Test Track and were surprised that Stand by time was only 10 minutes. We didnÃ¢ÂÂt even have to wait 10 minutes as we were the last two people who got in the little room with the preview film. We had a great ride as this was the first time we had been on Test Track when it didnÃ¢ÂÂt break down! We then went on Body Wars (not the greatest ride, but itÃ¢ÂÂs fun to see a young Elizabeth Sue in the film). Aaron wanted to take me someplace fun for dinner, so I suggested we do the German buffet as we had never done that. We went over to the information booth and were able to get 6 p.m. reservations. We were both craving nachos from the cantina, but the World Showcase did not open until 11 a.m. Oh well, we only had ÃÂ½ hour to wait so we just kind of hung around the entrance to the World Showcase and we were glad we did. All of a sudden, we heard music and the double decker bus with all the characters were heading our way. As there were no crowds, we were able to get our pictures with Esmerelda, Pinocchio, Mushu, Baloo, Terk, Goofy, Mickey, Minie, the Genie, Rafiki, and Pluto! Got all this done in about 10 minutes. We then went to the cantina and got some nachos, then went to the other booth a little farther and got the 4-layered fruit flavored margaritas we love! We went back to the cantina and enjoyed our snack while fighting off some very persistent birds that wanted our food. We decided that we would go through the World Showcase counter-clock wise for a change and looped around to start touring Canada. I had a coupon for a free beaver-tail that I got off the companyÃ¢ÂÂs website months ago. Stand was closed during our visit during Thanksgiving so I was happy to finally redeem coupon. I had the beaver-tail with cinnamon and sugar and it was delicious. Aaron doesnÃ¢ÂÂt like them, so I got to eat the entire thing. We then made our way over to England and had a couple of sweet hard ciders. We caught the tail end of the England World Showcase Players who were acting out a King Arthur skit, then it started to rain! Fortunately we dressed appropriately and continued over to France. Nothing was really going on in France, so we strolled through Morocco and then over to America where they had advertised that there would be some special exhibits for Black History Month. Aaron (who is african-american) was especially interested in seeing what Disney had to offer in the way of Black history (brochure stated that there would be special food, arts & crafts, and entertainment). The food was kind of a disappointment and I thought insulting (bar-b-que chicken sandwich, corn on the cob, and pecan pie was the representation of Ã¢ÂÂafrican-americanÃ¢ÂÂ food). We saw some of the Ã¢ÂÂarts & craftsÃ¢ÂÂ and they were extremely overpriced wood carvings you can get at the local flea-market. On the positive side, they did have a stand where you could make African bracelets for free (at least I think they were free). We then caught Ã¢ÂÂThe American AdventureÃ¢ÂÂ which I absolutely love ( the song at the end of the show Ã¢ÂÂGolden WingsÃ¢ÂÂ is on the new Disney cd we bought). Aaron does not really like this show as he thinks it sugar coats the way blacks have been treated in the past (canÃ¢ÂÂt argue with him, but hey itÃ¢ÂÂs Disney). I did notice that when they do a montage of scenes the Ã¢ÂÂAmerica beats JapsÃ¢ÂÂ which was shown on a newspaper someone was holding has been removed (or else I missed it). I always thought that would have offended Japanese visitors. We were kind of hungry, so we had some burgers and fries at the food place. A special treat was waiting for us at the American Garden Theatre. We had read that there would be a group featuring Sisaundra Lewis would be performing music inspired by African-american artists. I thought it would be something like African music from the Lion King or gospel, but boy was I wrong. This woman and her group were fantastic. She sang songs from Chaka Khan, Whitney Houston, etc. Then she had one of her backup singers come forward and she sang an old Michael Jackson song (Shake Your Body Down To The Ground). Show only lasted ÃÂ½ hour, but singer said each show her group did was different and to come back. We came back an hour later for the next show and once again it was great. She sang Ã¢ÂÂI will surviveÃ¢ÂÂ and a bunch of other songs. Too bad more people did not attend the shows, but it looked like the people who were there really enjoyed the performances. Anyway, we hit all the countries and kept on having drinks (shot of Jaggermister in Germany, then a liter of German beer, then a Viking size beer in Norway, then another 4-layered margarita in Mexico). In between the drinks, we did go on Ã¢ÂÂMaelstromÃ¢ÂÂ in Norway and the boatride in Mexico. We wanted to see the Chinese acrobats, but due to the weather they did not appear. We did wander through an exhibit in Japan that compared American baseball to Japanese baseball and that was very cool! We went to our 6 p.m. buffet dinner in Germany. We were seated right away and made our way to the buffet where we loaded up on sausages and potatoes. The apple strudel that had for desert was very good, but the dinner as a whole was just okay. Some sausages were kind of nasty, but some were good. We each had one of the huge glasses of beer! Buffet cost $18.95, but the same thing at lunch was only $12.95. We should have had lunch there, then just snacked for dinner. After dinner we saw some of the interesting characters in Italy (not sure what they are called, but the costumes are beautiful) and we had some pictures taken with the King and Queen. After that, we decided to head back to the hotel and skip Illuminations. We quickly caught a bus and were back at the resort in just a few minutes. For some reason I decided I wanted a piece of chocolate cake from the bakery at the food court and bought a piece to take back to the room. I ate it in about 2 minutes then went to sleep. Next up: Final day at AK and trip home!