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Trip Report I swear this is the last time... COMPLETED

tonystark

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
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Just got back and had the best trip in recent memory! Time for me to go through my MANY bad, blurry, horizontal AND vertical pictures and prepare them for this... TRIP REPORT!
 

tonystark

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Let us begin! We left home around 8:30 AM. It was a peaceful drive, and for the approximate 13 minutes we were on I-4, 'twas smooth sailing. Before we knew it, we were passing by these
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And heading for....
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Even though my grandma is an AP, we decided it would be best to park at the hotel and see if our room was ready, and then leave the car there and hop onto a bus for Epcot. It was 11:24 when we passed through here
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Our first FP, for Spaceship Earth, wasn't until 12:50 so I felt like we had ample time -- even though I would have to make a quick pitstop at the front gate to activate my ticket. Last time I tried to activate my ticket at the hotel to save time, I was told they couldn't do it there due to it being a FL resident ticket, so I didn't bother asking this time. As we drove by DHS, I saw a bit of Galaxy's Edge that made me laugh. The spires were just stuck up out of the building, floating... I hope there's a little more tree cover in a few years
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We pulled into Coronado Springs at 11:28, still roughly on schedule, and I got my first view of the new tower in person. I think it fits in perfectly fine at Coronado Springs, and I can be a pretty vocal critic of the decisions made by Disney in recent years, so that's a rare opinion for me to have.
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I just liked these cactuses as we walked over to the check in area... Unfortunately, our room was not quite ready, but the CM knew what building we were in, so we drove over to Ranchos to park the car for the rest of the trip, and scramble onto a bus. We arrived at the bus station in record time.
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But who knew when the bus was coming, because the screen at the station was down. I thought I would be sneaky and check MDE instead.
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Times currently unavailable, cool, cool, cool! Resigning myself to wait however long it took, I decided to entertain myself with the local wildlife.
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I don't mind lovebugs at all, they don't freak me out -- sure, I might duck if I see one flying at me out of the corner of my eye, but that's because I'll mistake it for a wasp and believe my life is in danger. After identification, I'm chill with them. There were a ton, and our drive to and from WDW was complete with a soundtrack of en masse love bug death against the windshield... pop... pop... pop...
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12:12 PM. I was getting a bit peckish at this point because I don't eat breakfast (bad, I know, I know) but knew I would have to stay strong for a couple more hours before I ate something. Settling onto the bus, I was happy to look out the window and watch as we drove to Epcot, because we were finally, truly, on our way!
 

tonystark

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Cue up the angelic chorus as the bus pulls into the stop, and we begin our walk to the front gate. 3... 2... 1...
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Ahhhh, there it is! We experienced what was perhaps the fastest shuffle through the Epcot security line in my life (how fortunate!) and there was no one in line at the ticket counter. Unless I blinked and missed it, the CM didn't even scan the barcode on the email when I handed my phone over to her. I tapped my hotel-issued blue Magicband and was good to go. It was time to go through the gates... I told my grandma she could go through the AP entrance and that I wouldn't be offended, but she said she wanted to go through with me, so she waited in a much longer line just to hang out. A green Mickey appeared, as did a green fingerprint-but-not-a-fingerprint, and I was granted an unobstructed view of The Epcot BallTM!!!
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This was at 12:33, so maybe our FP actually started at 12:05??? I don't remember LOL. Enjoy those Leave a Legacy monuments since they are apparently working on getting rid of them this weekend. If it's something they could do overnight, I would have preferred it to have been done last weekend so I could have an unobstructed walk up to SE, but if it involves scrims, I'm glad it's being done after I'm gone! We got into line for SE with apparently plenty of time to spare, regardless of when I set our FP time. 373680
Those lights were on, and bright, which was a nice touch. The last couple of times I was at Epcot, I don't recall them being on during the day -- or if they were, they were so dim that I didn't notice them. I then got to see my current phone background.
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I absolutely LOVE this mural, maybe it's the anthropologist in me, but its summation of the progression of humankind is just... *chef's kiss* perfect. Also, blue is my favorite color, so it gets points for that. But... man, this ride on SE was rough! The opening bit with the projection of the hunters versus mammoth was so dark that I could barely make anything out at all. We came to a complete stop 3 times, and I managed to grab a photo of my 2 favorite SE characters.
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He's still working on this statue 😢😢😢🤧. It reminds me of when I wrote my senior research paper in college... a long, never ending process... except his has been going on for MANY YEARS and mine was only a matter of months. You go, artist dude... You'll get to her torso one day, I just know it.
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Go-go boots girl checking her clipboard which must document how many times SE breaks down in one day. I trust that she will be the one to come up with a solution.
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My favorite part of the descent. My grandma also hates the screens of SE, and this go-round, the camera for our pictures wasn't working anyways. Instead, we both looked to the sides and stared at all the black sheets covering up those aspects of the ride that the Imagineers no longer want us to see. After disembarking, I made a dumb decision to waste my money!!!
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My BOY!!!!! I linked him to my account once we had ventured over to the Land pavilion, because we still had a few minutes before our next FP.
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Presented by Nestle 🤧🤧🤧🤧
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Last time there was not a blue curtain. Now there is a blue curtain. Progress. Magicband secured, blue Magicband tucked into the waist pack to be forgotten, it was time to board our flight.
 

tonystark

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I was so HUNGRY by this point, but it was time for Soarin'. I always enjoy this ride, and heard that FOP was like it but more intense... I guess you'll have to wait to find out how I fared on FOP.
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We got row C, and towards the side -- so unfortunately, I got the full curve of the Eiffel Tower and Taj Mahal. Still a fun ride, though, and very relaxing. Last time, I was in B smack dab in the middle, so I'd never experienced The Curve. It didn't ruin the ride for me at all, though. As we were walking off the ride, my stomach was RUMBLING, so we decided it was time to eat lunch. I wasn't in the mood for hamburgers or anything, so it was time for a walk around world showcase in search for food.
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Our wanderings took us to Morocco, and since I enjoyed Tangierene Cafe last time I ate there, I suggested it to grandma. She got the chicken wrap, I got the kefta wrap.
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SOOOOOO good! I'm never disappointed when I eat here, and those fries were great even though I hadn't been in the mood for fried food. Grandma was pleasantly surprised and loved her meal, she said she would be back -- and since she's going back to WDW this weekend (lol) with my grandpa and aunt, I'm sure she will eat here soon. While I was eating, I was granted an audience with a Disney Duck.
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Yaaaas girl, those angles!!!
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The AUDACITY!!!! I escaped unscathed from this interaction with very bold ducks, and it was time to wander back to the Land pavilion, happily full, for our final planned FP.
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We were ready to truly live with the land!!! With a FP, we strolled right on. My favorite part of this ride is definitely the little farm house with the dog barking and the rooster on the mailbox, the sun rising in the distance. I love it!
 

PolynesianPrincess

Well-Known Member
Following along!

Quick service in Morocco is always SO good!! That's one QS we always make! Not sure about our trip in Sept though since food and wine will be in full swing but if we have to do a quick service while we're at Epcot, Morocco will be it!

I hate the curve on Soarin. It doesn't ruin the ride but it definitely just makes it look super weird!
 

tonystark

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Following along!

Quick service in Morocco is always SO good!! That's one QS we always make! Not sure about our trip in Sept though since food and wine will be in full swing but if we have to do a quick service while we're at Epcot, Morocco will be it!

I hate the curve on Soarin. It doesn't ruin the ride but it definitely just makes it look super weird!
I must admit to not trying a single thing from the Flower and Garden festival, though there are a bunch of those little food stops. I decided I'd rather pay $15 for a full meal than blow more money than I meant to on little samples of things, though I was tempted by the chocolate macaroon/macaron? in France! As for Soarin, yeah, it does come across as super weird -- I don't think the new movie was on when I was last at Epcot? Or if it was, I was sat in the middle so I didn't get the curve.
 

tonystark

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
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The pineapples were ready to go -- I could smell them from where we were sat on the boat!
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I SO wanted to hop off the boat and eat that strawberry. I KNOW it would taste good. I just know it. Alas, I remained on the boat, and it was a good thing I did because for the first time I saw...
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Someone ACTUALLY working in the lab! Never in my entire time of being alive have I seen someone working in that lab. I mean NEVER. I was stunned. What was she doing?!!! Who knows what secret projects she's working on.... After we finished with LWTL, I pulled up MDE and got another FP to travel to. For a ride I had not been on since I was a child. I could only remember one thing about it, and it's the skunk smell bit. I've read all over people's hatred for the current iteration of this ride.
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I must admit... I disliked it as well. I found Figment's voice to be really annoying (probably the point) but thankfully the skunk smell part wasn't working.
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He does have cool merch, though, especially the shirt. While we were walking out of Imagination, a CM asked us if we wanted to pose for a photo -- they apparently had a Haunted Mansion one (I was wearing my Ghost Host hat, as I always do at WDW). My grandma and I decided why not, so we posed as both the butlers and twins statues. The CM pasted our faces where the heads would go. I made a particularly dour expression for the butler, and my grandma was laughing so hard off to the side that it took us a couple of minutes to get that picture taken because I couldn't keep the expression up with her laughing. Unfortunately, while our picture was excellent, we didn't bother to buy it -- but I think both of us regretted not purchasing it, because it was REALLY good. I grabbed another FP for us -- on this trip we only stood standby for 2 or 3 rides that have FP and 3 rides (maybe 4?) that doesn't have FP. It was really great luck.
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The spatula right between that penguin's eyes. I can't look at this for too long, because it just makes me angry -- which is probably the point. Why would you throw a spatula into the ocean? A flip flop? WHY....
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Mine... Mine... Mine... It's a big blue world... etc. This ride is cute, but I'd never go out of my way to ride it. The angler (?) fish was working today, which was pretty neat as it was broken the last time I rode. We were about to make our way around the World Showcase, but my grandma wanted to stop in the butterfly tent. I obliged.
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Look at all of those different color chrysalises! chrysali? Who knows!!!
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He was just chillin', drying his wings. Everyone else was trying to get a pic of the monarchs or the tiger (/zebra? black bodies yellow stripes. you know the ones) butterflies, but this guy was photo READY. Butterflies seen, we made a quick pitstop at the front entrance to snap a few photos of me for the 'Gram (I'll spare you) before we moved on.
 

tonystark

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
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Mouse Gear FAILED ME this trip. There is a shirt that EVERYONE is wearing. I'm not kidding, everywhere I looked, someone was there, wearing it. Mouse Gear didn't have any smalls left, and the medium went down to my knees, so I made it a goal of the trip to find this shirt in a small and purchase it. Did I succeed??? I'll tell you, yes. But it was not until the final day!! We wandered over to the former Energy pavilion and Wonders of Life. My grandma was wondering what they were going to do with WOL and didn't quite understand when I tried to explain the plans for it. I guess it's probably just a playground with neon lights, huh? This side of the park is SO empty, it's sad.
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I think it was this point that I stumbled upon a FP for Test Track for 6:00ish, and I grabbed it -- could not believe my luck. I hadn't been on the ride in YEARS, the last time I rode it there was still the hot/cold test, so whenever that was. We continued on to the World Showcase to pass some time until then.
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I love this ride, I find it really relaxing and never turn down an opportunity for some AC.
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After leaving Mexico, I wanted a little snack... Something I had been craving since my last visit to Epcot. It's just so good, sweet, but not too sweet. Any guesses?
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SCHOOL BREAD! It's absolutely delicious, and I'm pretty sure it's only $3.99? I feel like I'm getting quite the steal when I buy one. I shared a little with my grandma, but she doesn't really eat sweet things, so I basically ate the entire thing. However... people were ordering something new, and I was tempted, believe me.
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I don't know if the pictures do them justice -- they were MASSIVE cookies. Huge. And they would heat them up in the oven before serving them to you 😪😪😪 maybe next time... Whenever that is!
 

tonystark

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
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Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that is a full sized cup of water that I got for free from the Norway pavilion. I was pleasantly surprised, and more than happy to drink the entire thing. It was a nice day outside, it bordered on hot but never actually got there.
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I wish I lived in that village, lol. The next couple of pictures were taken just because we were passing through. We ended up walking through the entirety of World Showcase to kill time before our FP.
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Me: if I had the self esteem to wear this shirt, I would buy it.
Grandma: ?????
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I love Christmas as much as the next person, but I was on the hunt for my SHIRT and not for Christmas decorations!!!
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In my opinion, orange is in fact the best flavor of the Publix Greenwise sparkling organic water (organic water????) line, but I didn't need to see a bottle of it floating in the water with all the pretty floating flowers.
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And now his watch has ended 😪
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But his has just begun... It was finally time for our FP, and I was trying to remember if I found Test Track scary or not... I couldn't remember so it was time to just throw caution to the wind and get on.
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This car is ugly lol.
 

tonystark

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
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Upon arriving at this point I realized that I wanted to create the ugliest car in the world. Its ugliness would naturally lend to its sheer power, as all the other cars would bow to its masterful ugliness. My grandma agreed. In fact, when you get to design the top of the car, she wiggled her finger up and down to make it rather mountainous, but Bob Iger's computer scientists knew that would be too powerful and denied our request, smoothing over our design before we were allowed to customize.
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It was much bumpier than this!!! We were laughing super hard, because the customization options they give you in five minutes are enormous, and I wish I had 10 minutes to create a true monstrosity. I was almost finished, time was running out, and my finger frantically scrolled through the decal section for the finishing touch. Just as my finger hovered over the butterfly and flower decal, Bob Iger's computer scientists knew that I would create the ugliest car in the world that would simply be too powerful, so the clock ran out.
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My baby... We actually came in first place out of the group and I believe our final score was 212? This ride was really fun!!! I honestly liked the testing things that came before the power speed test -- reminded me of my mom's driving LOL... After Test Track, we grabbed a FP for Spaceship Earth and made our way over there.
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My sister finds the Epcot ball itself rather disturbing so I send her pictures of it zoomed in to freak her out. Naturally, we came to a complete stop for a couple of minutes, and my phone simply could not handle the lighting situation so I got this creepy pic.
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I could hear their little hydraulic fingers clicking 😪. That man has been teaching for so long... The same lesson, too. After SE, we went to take more pictures of me for the 'Gram!!! I will also spare you from these though they were particularly well received by my adoring fans (that's me being facetious don't worry my ego is not that inflated).
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*chefs kiss*
We made our way to the World Showcase, our Illuminations plans forming up very nicely -- my grandma has a routine for her Illuminations viewing, and I was more than willing to oblige. On our way to our viewing area, we saw a wedding party!!!
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Everyone was clapping and cheering for them, it was lovely. My grandma made her way to the restroom and I snapped this picture which I thought was pretty ironic given it was in front of the bathrooms.
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Here is me and my favorite topiary... Winnie the Pooh stan in the house!!
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tonystark

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
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Time for dinner? I didn't have rabbit... We made our way to the fish and chip shop, which was not very busy -- surprising to me given how soon Illuminations would be beginning. In fact, while we watched Illuminations, there were at least 3 or 4 other tables that were just empty, meanwhile there were a bunch of people watching on the bridge...
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I'm not a big fan of fish and chips, though I am a big fan of savory pies... So I went with the chicken and mushroom pasty, which I believe is a limited time offering. It was good! The gravy inside was nice, and there was a generous amount of chicken though not as much mushrooms as I would have liked... I would order again. Grandma got the fish and chips, naturally, and wandered over to the pub to get her traditional glass of red wine that she apparently always has while watching Illuminations.
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Uh.... HELLO.... They started playing the Illuminations pre show music, and I was outraged. They've changed it!! I know this because I would listen to the pre show music while I studied, given that it was over an hour and easily repeatable. I don't know how to describe the new pre show music except that it was really bad. I still cringe as I think about it. I'm also not one for firework photos but here you go...
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While Illuminations is my favorite show, I did not shed tears even though it was my last time seeing it likely forever... I'm not one to cry at Disney, I think my adrenaline and need to go go go keeps that from happening. We made our way to the exit, and I decided it would be madness to go to EMH at MK, because I was tired and devil past-me had scheduled an early morning for the following day. I also know that I get terrible sleep the first night I'm in a new place, so I was setting myself up for misery on the morrow... Best to avoid.
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Spaceship Earth at night... simply the prettiest.
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That was as close to @riverside as I would be getting to this trip!
 
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