One of the rules of a Walt Disney World vacation is TAKE CARE OF YOUR FEET. It’s a big place and there’s a lot of walking. On this trip, I failed to follow this rule on our very first day. I wore my hiking shoes on the plane and then in the Studios our first night and ended up with a big blister on my right heel. I guess I hadn’t noticed it forming because I was so excited to be starting our trip and distracted by meeting new people at the Reunion event and getting to do all the special stuff. Thus our second park day started with me hitting up the hotel gift shop for some Moleskin to make a donut bandage for my heel. Even with that and a switch to running shoes for the day, my foot still hurt, which was annoying.
The Reunion events for this day were all in Epcot, so that’s where we headed after breakfast. We had time before the first meet to ride Spaceship Earth, where the interactive part of the attraction gave me a new hairdo.
The first Reunion event of the day was a Test Track meet, where everyone gathered outside the attraction and then we all got into line as a big group. Unlike the night before at the Studios when we walked on an attraction after hours and our group made up the whole line, this time we were just regular guests in the standby line, but since the people around us were all Reunion attendees, there was never any shortage of conversation to help the time pass. This was also our first time riding Test Track since the big refurbishment, so the queue area was all new (and I thought much nicer than the old one). The preshow, where you work in teams to design a vehicle, was more fun than the old videos about car testing in the previous version.
After Test Track, Mr. Karen and I did some stuff on our own, including seeing the movie in China and having a small snack of taro soybean drink. We only had a small snack because the next meet was a lunch meet according to the schedule. When we got to that meet, though, it turned out we were not having lunch (the restaurant was not yet open) but rather doing a scavenger hunt. Based on verbal clues that were shouted out by one of the organizers, we were supposed to find each of the five podcasters from WDW Today somewhere in Epcot and get a picture with them, then report to a different restaurant to turn those photos into raffle tickets. This started out okay; we found the first few podcasters without too much trouble (though one was sort of by accident, as he was in a country that I was sure another podcaster would be in). But then things deteriorated: it was very warm, and I got overheated from racing around looking for podcasters, and I hadn’t eaten lunch, and my foot hurt from the blister, so my crankiness ramped up something fierce. I was sure I knew where the fourth podcaster was, but couldn’t find him there (turns out he was where I’d thought, but had hidden much deeper in his chosen area than the first three), and we ran all around looking for the fifth one (going right by the building where he was, we learned later), and I got more and more cranky, especially when there was some confusion about where exactly we were to meet to turn in our proof. It was most definitely not my finest hour and half. We did finally eat lunch once I’d gotten my three raffle tickets, and that, along with sitting in the air conditioning, helped me chill out literally and figuratively.
We went from lunch to the next meet, riding Spaceship Earth with an alternate soundtrack recorded by the podcasters (earbuds were provided for those who didn’t have them, but we had to bring our own phones and download the file). After that, we had a big chunk of time on our own before the evening event, so we did some attractions and looked in shops and watched the dancing fountain and ate dinner, as one does when one is in Epcot. This guy was hanging out in the greenhouse that the Living with the Land boat ride goes through.
Finally it was time for the big event of the day, a dessert party with Illuminations viewing. We met up in the Italy pavilion and checked in and got our wristbands and then were led across the promenade to a roped off area where tables and chairs and food and beverage were set up. We ate and chatted until showtime, at which point, we watched the fireworks and fire and water and projection show from our chairs. We’ve had good spots to see Illuminations from before, but never such comfortable ones. After the show ended, we were escorted to Test Track, where we got to ride with just our group. Then it was time to catch the monorail back to the Poly and get some sleep before our early morning the next day.
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