Return To Disney: Part Two


DIS Veteran
Mar 23, 2000
The next day was New Year’s Eve and we were up early to check out of the Econolodge and into All Star Music. In hindsight we probably should have changed the day before, but I was trying to economize. There was only one person on at check-in when we arrived at ASMu and the line-up was growing. Finally after about 40 minutes a couple more CMs came out and the line started moving. A room wasn’t ready yet and with the new security measures, we would have to go to the front desk to get our room assignment when we got back from EPCOT after New Year’s, instead of being able to just phone in for it. I prayed there wouldn’t be another big line-up! At least we were given our room keys with charging privileges and we headed over to the food court for some quick breakfast. It was going to be a cool day, so we were prepared with hats, coats and gloves. Luckily it never got too cold that night!

By the time we finally got to EPCOT and bought DH his one-day ticket, went through security, it was about 10am. The park was packed, but we headed straight over to Test Track and got our Fastpasses for 4:20 return time! We headed into the exit area of TT to look at all the vehicles and discovered a new virtual attraction there called Dreamchaser. I don’t know if it was really worth the 30-minute wait (the attraction takes 20 people at a time and takes 5 minutes to view), but it was something different to experience. DH spent quite a while examining all the GM cars and trucks. From there we went to Ellen’s Energy Adventure, which broke down near the end, don’t know what happened, but we all had to get off and discovered that the ride was closed when we exited. Then we did Body Wars, Innoventions and Ice Station Cool before slowly heading over to USA for lunch at Liberty Inn. I’m amazed we managed to find a place to sit down and eat!

After lunch and wandering around WS we found a spot to view Tapestry of Dreams at 3:10pm. I don’t know if it was because the day was so dull, but I thought the parade was lacking in color. I still enjoyed the music and puppets, as always, and liked the new features!

We headed back over to TT to find a huge FP Return line so even though we were early, we got in it. By the time we got to the CM, our time had started. It took us about 35 minutes total, to get to the actual ride. DH enjoyed it so much he wanted to get back on through the singles line. We arranged to meet the kids afterwards as they didn’t want to go on again and DH and I got in the line, although I had thought of watching ToD again, hoping it would be dark enough to be lighted.

I should have gone for the parade because instead of going directly to those little viewing rooms before the ride, everyone was having to go through the pre-show garage area and we were well into that when the ride broke down. After a short wait, a second announcement was made that the “problem” could take some time and they didn’t know if TT would even be open again that day!! Well, we still had another 6 hours to kill until midnight so we wandered around WS, catching “Off Kilter”, “British Invasion”, two of my favorites and “Impressions of France”. At 7:30 there was an Illuminations show, probably my absolute favorite thing at Disney. There was also an area to pick up NY’s hats (great souvenirs!) and horns, a nice touch, I thought.

Afterwards, the kids wanted to do Maelstrom, so we stood in a long line-up for that. DH looked shocked when we came off it and the kids and I had a good laugh! Things were starting to get into gear for the big New Year’s celebration and we stopped and watched dance videos on big screens, live bands and enjoyed the evening.

Finally, the magic hour arrived. It was wonderful as we all watched another Illuminations show and then the final spectacular New Year’s fireworks at mid-night. What was even more magical was that we could also see MGM’s and no one moved as theirs lasted a few seconds longer than EPCOT’s. We all agreed that in spite of the huge crowds and long line-ups this was all worth it. I still don’t know if EPCOT reached capacity, but it sure seemed it.

Surprisingly, after our 14 hour “marathon” at EPCOT we had no trouble catching the Disney bus back to our resort~I thought we'd have to wait in a line for hours. Perfect timing, I guess. When we got back to ASMu I was able to get our room assignment right away. It was in Country Fair right at the back of the resort, past the piano pool. But we found it very peaceful back there and although a bit of a pain lugging baggage back and forth because there wasn’t a direct walk to the parking lot from our room area, we didn’t mind the walk to the food court. Dan and DH even saw an armadillo one night!
Armadillos are very common in Texas :)

What a marathon you had at Epcot. I think it is a tie between Epcot and MGM as my favorite park :)

Thanks for taking the time to post this, I had a lot of fun reading about your day :)

Annie&Hallie'sMom, apparently armadillos are a common sight at Fort Wilderness Campground. Dan said that it was about the size of a large pop bottle and actually stood up on its hind legs and looked around before disappearing into the bush.

I was actually surprised that my family lasted the entire day at EPCOT, Katholyn. I think they knew this was important to me, to spend NY's at Disney!


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