December 11, 2007
Through sheer force of will we managed to get up and out of the room in time to make it to Captain Cook’s Snack Company before they stopped serving breakfast at 10:30. Not much before, true, but enough that we were able to get some of the famous Tonga Toast, which used to only be available at the table service restaurant upstairs. Having had this very large and very sugary breakfast treat before, we knew to only get one serving to share (along with an egg and cheese croissant to balance things out). Then it was time to walk to the monorail to go to Epcot. One of the reasons we like the Poly so much is that it’s an easy walk to the Epcot monorail. Those folks at the fancy Grand Floridian can’t say that.
When we got to Epcot, I was so happy to see Spaceship Earth had been freed from the menacing wand hand. May it never return. We spent most of the afternoon doing the Yuletide Fantasy Tour, which took us to three of the theme parks, one of the resort hotels, and the giant building where all the holiday decorations are created. No pictures are allowed backstage so I have only my memories of the crates and crates of ornaments in what seemed like every color, finish, and size possible and the enormous wall covered with baskets of fake flowers, all arranged by hue. I could have spent hours there just looking at everything. I wish the tour had included more about how the different decorating themes are developed and less about holiday traditions, but I’m glad we did it because otherwise I’d never have seen that amazing warehouse.
The tour ran longer than we expected so I got anxious about making it to our dinner reservation at Artist Point on time. We briefly considered grabbing a taxi once we’d gotten back to our room and changed clothes (there are a handful of restaurants at WDW that have a dress code) but ended up taking Disney transport, figuring the worst that could happen is we’d have to wait longer for a table. A boat from the Poly to the Magic Kingdom and another boat from there to the Wilderness Lodge got us to the restaurant with five minutes to spare, and that was without having to wait for either boat very long. Once we got there, we were promptly seated and all my anxiety melted away. The food and wine were excellent as always; this was the best meal of our trip. We had a cheese sampler for a starter. I wasn’t thrilled to see a blue cheese on the plate when it arrived, as that’s one of the few cheeses I don’t care for overly much, but this blue was different. This blue was tasty. This blue didn’t say “mold” when I put it in my mouth, but “yum”. I had buffalo steak for my entrÃ©e and surprised Mr. Karen by finishing the whole thing even though I’m not usually that big on red meat. I finished all of the sweet potato side dish, too, but that was no surprise at all. For dessert I had a chocolate hazelnut torte with honey lavender ice cream, which was just perfect. Oh, and there was wine, too; wine with the meal and wine with dessert. The bill was a sight to behold but I thought it was well worth it.
I’d planned to return to our room to change out of my skirt and not as sensible as one might like for walking a lot shoes before we went to the Magic Kingdom that evening, but we spent long enough eating dinner and looking around the hotel that the boat back from Wilderness Lodge deposited us at the park entrance just before the fireworks started, so we went ahead and went in and watched from Main Street. Then, once we were in it seemed silly to leave again so we stayed and I just tried not to flash my underwear at other guests as I climbed on and off ride vehicles. It was Extra Magic Hours night, so there was a lot of climbing to be done. We were in the park until a little after 1 in the morning; thank goodness the hotel was just across the lagoon.
In our next episode: cheerleaders. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
One year ago today, I was digging into the numbers from my first 5K.
Two years ago, I was stressing on a Sunday.
Three years ago, I was off skiing in Colorado.
Four years ago, same story.
Five years ago, I was back from skiing in Colorado and provided a full trip report.