Monday, May 21, 2007

Disney Day 4 Continued: World Showcase and Beaches and Cream

After our afternoon break, we went back to Epcot to have dinner and to see the World Showcase. It was close to 5pm already when we arrived at the park, so we figured we’d eat first and then really get to seeing the World Showcase. I did take a few pictures of the flowers on our way to the back of the park where the World Showcase is – Epcot has a flower and garden show every year about this time and the flowers and topiaries are just gorgeous!

I had heard good things about the fish and chips at the Yorkshire Fish counter service outside the Rose and Crown pub in the United Kingdom section. Being a good Catholic girl from Wisconsin, I love a good fish fry, so we decided to try that. The fish was pretty good, but a tad on the greasy side for my taste. Also there was really no place to sit and eat it. We tried to just pull up a piece of curb and eat like we saw many other families doing, but we choose poorly and ended up being in front of a Tiger topiary and people kept stepping over and around us trying to have their picture taken with Tiger. We moved down the curb a little way, but that didn’t really seem to help and generally we couldn’t really relax while we ate. Katie had fallen asleep on the way to the park in the stroller, so she didn’t eat at all right then, and we saved her some fish and chips (fries) for later.

I wanted to buy an Epcot passport and have it stamped at all the countries. This seemed like a fun touristy type activity and after I bought the passport I spent a lot of time putting in all the stickers in the darn thing. Once we got ready to start actually looking in the countries though, Katie woke up and we spent another 15 – 25 min. getting her fed. Finally we started touring the countries. The bad thing about the passport was that it had us looking just for the kidcot stop to have it stamped and we probably missed out on really exploring the better stuff in the World Showcase. I have to admit to not really remembering anything I saw there. Katie had a blast though coloring a mask they give you to take to each country and get stamped. (This is free too, so a much better deal than doing the passport.) We only saw Canada , UK, Morocco, and France before it was getting dark and we were getting tired. Also we had wanted to head over to Beaches and Cream at the Beach Club resort to try their big ice cream dishes. Sensing that everyone was losing their patience for the hunt and seek of the passport stamps I suggested we just go ahead and get our ice cream before it got any later. No argument from anyone – image that!

We walked out of the International Gateway at Epcot and took the walkway to the Beach Club resort. We asked no less than 3 cast members for directions to Beaches and Cream before we finally got there – the trick was to go through the pool area – the entrance was on the other side. We just wanted to eat ice cream outside, and the wait for a table was something like 30 min., but we discovered that you can only order an ordinary sundae or a cone to go – no big sundaes or ice cream dishes. Sean really wanted the Banana Split and was really looking forward to it, but when we found out we’d have to wait 30 min. for a table he decided he’d pass. Alex ordered a hot fudge sundae and I had a choc waffle cone. Once we sat down to eat, I could just tell how disappointed Sean was at not having the Banana Split and watching me and Alex eat our ice cream. I went back over to the woman taking walk ups and explained the situation. I asked if there was anyway we could get a Banana Split to go – put it in another container, whatever. The main problem was that it was in a glass dish. She called over her manager and the manager was sort of snippy and just refused. After a few minutes, finally the hostess figured out we could probably come right in and sit at the counter if I was willing to hold Katie on my lap. Well, yeah! I was so grateful to this hostess for helping out and getting us in at the counter. Katie was sharing my ice cream anyway, so having her sit in my lap was no big deal. Sean got his big Banana Split, and for him this was probably a highlight of the trip!

After filling ourselves to the gills with yummy ice cream (All four of us ended up helping Sean finish that huge Banana Split!), I looked at my watch and realized it was about 8:50p. Since Epcot closes at 9pm, I began worrying we wouldn’t be able to get back to the park in time before they closed the International Gateway – and then how would be get back to our hotel? I knew the monorail would run for awhile after the closing, but wasn’t sure how to get to the monorail if we didn’t go through the park. So we booked it back to the International Gateway and got in just as Illuminations (night time fireworks show) was starting. Again, not the best view as we were coming late and everyone else had staked out their views well in advance. We could see most of the fireworks though and it was fun to watch all the countries around the World Showcase light up near the end of the show. A nice cap to the evening. Then it was rush in the pack of people out to the front of the park and onto the monorail, which actually went pretty quickly and smoothly for the number of people. We went to bed still full of ice cream and feeling pretty happy. We decided though that since we were going back to Epcot in the morning and we’d seen all the “headliners” we wanted to there, we were going to sleep in a bit the next day!

Next up: More Epcot and some Animal Kingdom

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