Laura and Lee's Spring Fling

April 28-May 4, 2002
Part 3

Wednesday, May 1 - Downtown Disney, Epcot

We had breakfast at the Boardwalk Bakery, then went to Downtown Disney to shop. It's a lot nicer and quieter at 11:00 in the morning than it is in the evening! We got matching 100 Years of Magic polo shirts at World of Disney...awwww. :-) We stopped in at the Art of Disney Store, where I thought I was doing pretty good getting to the $500,000 mark in their "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" computer game...until I found out it was the Kid's edition.

It was almost 11:30 by then and we were going to go to Wolfgang Puck's Express for lunch...but it wasn't open yet!!! This despite the signs outside that advertised *breakfast*. We did go into "Gourmet Pantry" and picked up a couple of slices of cake to have later - I got the turtle cake and Lee had german chocolate.

Back to the Boardwalk where we went up to the room to drop off our shopping bags and leave the cake in the refrigerator, and then we walked over to Epcot and had lunch at the bakery in Norway. It was another hot day, so something a little lighter was really what we wanted. We each had an open-face sandwich (turkey for me, ham and cheese for Lee) and I had some fruit...we also got some lefse (potato flatbread that's spread with butter and cinnamon sugar, then rolled up) to split, though we ended up eating it later.

At that point we went to the American Adventure to see American Vybe - the *other* acapella group that performs there. They perform mostly music composed in the 20th century. I'm sure they probably got tired of seeing us in the audience - we saw them 8 or 9 times over the next few days. :-)

Both American Vybe and Voices of Liberty were performing that day, only 30 minutes apart...which meant only about 15 minutes between shows. In between shows we saw the Drum and Bugle Corps once, and also watched some artisans at work - I don't know if this was part of Flower and Garden or not, but in the shaded area to the right of the gift shop, they had various craftspeople demonstrating their skills - at that time we watched a glass blower.

Then it was back into the nice, cool, air-conditioned American Adventure, where we sat on the nice, cool, marble, floor to watch Voices of Liberty.

I went back to the room after that, but Lee stayed in Epcot and went to do Circle of Life and watch the fountain dance. After he came back and napped we went back to Epcot and caught American Vybe's last show of the day. Afterwards the group stayed behind to talk to guests, and we spoke with Stephanie, Lee's favorite. :-) She mentioned that she'd seen us there earlier, and we told her how much we enjoyed seeing them perform, and that she'd probably be seeing us again. :-)

We headed to Morocco and got caught in the beginning of Tapestry of Dreams, but were able to get across the parade route to have dinner back at Tangierine Cafe - have I mentioned that we really like that place? :-)

It was kind of an early evening - we went back and enjoyed the cake we'd gotten earlier in the day, and watched The West Wing.

Thursday, May 2 - Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Jiko

Today we'd decided we would take our life in our hands and brave the trip to the Magic Kingdom...aka Stroller Hell. We took the bus and actually arrived at park opening.

One thing I'd thought would be fun to do today is to take a picture of Tigger wherever we happened to be on the hour - there's more on that on Tigger's page. It was 9:00 when we were in line trying to get through security.

There's only a few things on our "must-see" list at MK...we went to Buzz Lightyear to get a FastPass and then went over to get in line for the Pooh ride. I know a lot of people don't like it, but I think it's very cute - especially when your "hunny pot" car starts bouncing when you first encounter Tigger.

We went over to Space Mountain - which actually had a pretty long line, but we made it through in about 30 minutes. I'd promised my Evil Twin Pam that I'd do the "Dying Goose" on Space Mountain for her...and I did. :-) It wasn't nearly as much fun without her, though! By the time we got out, the posted wait was 40 minutes.

And then we were off to infinity...and beyond! :-) The line wasn't too long, but since we had a FastPass we breezed right through. Lee did pretty well, but my score was we did it again since the standby line was only about five minutes. My score improved, but still was disappointing. I always blame it on Lee turning the car just as I'm lining up a shot. :-)

Lee wanted to walk through Fantasyland (I don't know why), but it was still early enough (around 10:30) that the crowds weren't too bad, though the lines for Dumbo and Peter Pan were VERY long. Lee pointed out that Small World had only a 5 minute line, and I told him to have fun. :-) (He didn't ride it, either).

In Adventureland we did the Aladdin Flying Carpets and Pirates of the Caribbean, and then went up into the Swiss Family Treehouse. I'm not sure we'd done this at Magic Kingdom before...certainly not since the rehab several years ago. The engineering that goes into that structure to make it LOOK like a tree, yet still support all that weight, is pretty impressive!

Our attraction count was certainly up - we'd done six different attractions and it wasn't even noon yet! :-) On the way out we stopped inside the Exposition Center to play the "Stories Behind the Magic" game for the Magic Kingdom - we'd done the rest of them back in December. We missed one question, but got the rest of them.

From there we took the resort monorail back to the TTC (Transportation and Ticket Center) - thus violating our #1 WDW rule: Avoid the TTC! :-) But we were going in the opposite direction of most traffic, so it wasn't bad. (The Express Monorail doesn't take people BACK to the TTC at that time of day - only brings them FROM the TTC, unloads them, then goes back empty to the TTC.) We took the monorail over to Epcot from there, since we hadn't done that in a while.

Today's lunch was at The Land food court - I discovered their veggie wrap sandwich in December, which I like very much. From there we hot-footed it (literally, as this was our hottest day so far - got up to 93) back to the American Adventure to catch American Vybe's first show. There were VERY few people to watch them - but they said it was a quality audience. :-) Unfortunately the American Adventure was only running once an hour, at 12:30, 1:30, etc., and American Vybe was performing at 12:45, 1:45, etc., while Voices of Liberty got the lead-in shows at 1:15, 2:15, and so on. So American Vybe had pretty small audiences for its shows most of the day.

Just like the day before, the rotunda was cool and so was the floor, so we actually watched American Vybe three times and Voices of Liberty twice. We really enjoyed both groups, and saw each perform several songs that we had not seen before, including what American Vybe said was the premiere of their version of "Joy to the World" - the Three Dog Night ("Jeremiah was a bullfrog...") version - not the Christmas carol. :-) In between shows we watched the artisans again - saw the same glass blower as well as a potter - we saw the potter take the pot he was throwing on the wheel and have it basically fall apart on him - he said he was not having a very good day.

Anyway...all of that was a nice way for us to spend part of a hot afternoon.

We went back to the Boardwalk around 3:00 and got cooled down and cleaned up before heading back out around 5:00 since we had 5:30 priority seating at Jiko for another dinner. We were seated at the table NEXT to the one we had had on Sunday. :-)

We tried some new dishes this time - for appetizers we had the "Taste of Africa", which was three kinds of bread and three kinds of dips. There was a flatbread, something that was more like pita, and a third I don't remember. The dips were a type of hummus, one that was something like a pesto, only made with a kind of spinach and some peppers, and a red dip that was a little hotter, which had cayenne pepper in it. The other appetizer we tried was the lentil pastilla, which has lentils in a crisp phyllo pocket. That was pretty good, and the lentils weren't spicy like they usually are.

For main courses Lee had the pork chop, served with asparagus and other veggies, and I had the steamed Lake Victoria Perch, which was served with "pap" (their corn meal mush, though this was done more like polenta), but no vegetables. Both of us enjoyed our dinners, but we preferred the main courses we'd had on Sunday, and the bacon and onion flatbread over the "Taste of Africa".

We passed on dessert, figuring we'd get something in Epcot or the Boardwalk, but went out to the savannah just outside the lobby to see what animals were there. Emma, who is one of the "Animal Care Specialists", aka keepers, was out there talking to guests, and we talked to her for probably 45 minutes. She told us all sorts of interesting things about the animals, their personalities, how they care for them, etc. For example...

We had a wonderful time talking to Emma and seeing the animals - at that time of day there were Ankole cattle, wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, gemsbok, and eland.

It was 8:00 when we left...we went back to the Boardwalk and walked into Epcot to see Illuminations again. It was a very nice night for fireworks, and we noticed some effects that we had not seen on Sunday. The perimeter fireworks worked (they don't seem to work about half the time lately) and the lasers were much more visible than usual. After Illuminations we stopped at the Boardwalk Bakery and I got one of their yummy brownies for dessert. (I think they have the best brownies on property.)

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Text and photographs copyright © 2002 by Laura Gilbreath. All rights reserved.

Laura Gilbreath
Last updated 5/19/02