Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Test Track Trauma and Triumph

Disney Diary - Day 3
Sunday, July 17, 2011

So this day was our first Epcot day.  I was really excited about this park because I was relatively confident that Katie would be able to ride the 3 "big" rides at this park: Soarin', Mission Space, and Test Track.  I was also hoping that since Katie was going to ride them that Sean would put on his big boy pants and try them too.

So we rode the monorail from the Contemporary to the TTC and then changed monorails to the Epcot monorail.  I so love watching out the window of the monorail when you swing around inside the park before getting off - gives you a nice view of the park from above.  It was especially fun in 2007 when we got to ride up front in the monorail, but they don't let guests do that anymore because of an accident in 2009 when a monorail driver was killed. :( :(

So we got off the monorail and again it was hot waiting in the sun for the park to open.  AND we got in the wrong line, which I seem to have a terrible habit of doing at all places WDW or not.  *sigh* So it took us a bit to get in the park.   Once we were in we walked right to Soarin' and got our fastpasses.  I went ahead and got FPs for the whole family even though Sean was swearing he wouldn't ride on the hopes that I would convince him by the time we came back to ride.  Soarin' is my absolute favorite ride of everything at WDW and I really wanted him to be able to do it with me. 

After we secured our Fast Passes for something like 11:30a, we headed to the other side of the park for Mission Space and Test Track.  Sean didn't want to either despite my urging, so Alex, Katie and I left him sitting on the bench with the water bottle in the shade to ride Test Track.  Up to this point, Katie was pretty excited to ride it.  As we walked up to the ride you see the cars zoom past over head of the ride entrance.  Sean, who was still standing there was going on and on about how fast they were going and how you weren't gonna get him on there no matter what.  *sigh* We got inside and in line and Katie started to express doubts about wanting to ride - I think because she heard all Sean's complaning about the speed etc.  So I'm trying to be reassuring and moving her along in line, hoping she is gonna be okay.  I knew she could handle it, that it wasn't that scarey, but she just kept getting more and more afraid.  Finally we were right outside the loading area (where they show you the little movie about the ride) and she was crying and saying she didn't want to ride.  I didn't want to scar her for life, but I didn't want to get out of line either.  A lady in front of us in line talked to her a bit about her kids and how they were younger than her and had been riding a long time and it isn't scarey, etc.  That seemed to calm her a little and we stepped into the movie area where they show a short film on what happens during the ride.  When she watched that, she relaxed considerably.  She got on the ride and had a blast!  I was so close to caving and getting out of line with her, but I'm really glad I didn't.  She did great and she talked about doing that ride again for the rest of the trip.  It was her favorite!

So after hearing how well Katie did on Test Track, Sean agreed to do Mission Space with us.  So all four of us got to do Mission Space together, which was a lot of fun.  Katie was the Navigator - I don't remember what everyone else was, probably because I was focused on her the whole time.  She was very concerned about pushing the buttons the whole time.  Even though I told her it didn't matter and if she didn't push the button at the right time, the ride would still turn out the same, she kept getting all anxious about pushing the buttons.  Finally I just said, "Mom will do it for you, don't worry." So I did her buttons for her.  She was a little more nervous than she had been on Test Track (after she got over the crying in line) but she did good and liked it okay.  I think she would do better a second time now that she knows what to expect.  Oh, and we did the Green version - I have been known to get car sick now and then, so have always been to afraid to try out the Orange version.

After that we went over the Nemo and Friends Pavaillion and did Turtle Talk with Crush, and the Nemo Clam shell ride.  Both were fun.  We snapped this photo outside of Turtle Talk - apparently I didn't take many other photos this day.

After Nemo and Crush, we had just enough time to do Soarin' before our lunch reservation.  No dice on getting Sean to ride, and after doing it again, I'm sort of glad I didn't convince him.  His main fear of rides is height, and although I suppose you aren't really that high on Soarin', you certainly feel as though you are.  It is very convincing to your senses that you are truly soaring in some type of glider, so I think he really wouldn't do well.  Bummer cause if you can get past that it is an awesome ride.  As Alex, Katie, and I were in line for Soarin', Katie started to get nervous again like she did on Test Track.  This time she got nervous BECAUSE of the little movie that shows you what to expect on the ride.  She was geting fussy and scared and saying she didn't want to ride.  I knelt down and looked at her in the face and asked her if she remembered how she was scared at Test Track and that was okay?  I told her I wouldn't take her on any ride I thought she'd really be scared of - that I knew she could do it and to trust mom.  She bucked up and got on the ride.  Luckily, it turned out she really loved this one too!

After Soarin, we had time to just stop at the gift shop outside Crush/Nemo and buy her an autograph book.  I wanted to get her one soon anyway so she had it for character meetings for the rest of the trip, and it seemed like a good time to reward her for being so brave on Test Track, Mission Space, and Soarin. :)

So we went to our lunch reservation at Le Cellier at the Canada pavillion in World Showcase.  I had the Filet Mignon with Mushroom Risoto.  Sean had the Salmon.  Alex had a burger, and I think Katie had a kid's pizza.  The Risoto was very good, Sean said the Salmon was just okay.  Alex wasn't that pleased with the burger, but I think that is because it had a lot of extra fixings on it he doesn't usually eat.  I also had to try the Cheese Soup, which was good, but a little salty I thought. (which is saying something cause I like salty things!)  This restaurant gets a lot of praise on the various WDW sites, but I thought it was just okay.  The highlight of the meal for me was the Red Maple Smoothie that I had for my drink.  It was raspberry smoothie with a splace of sprite and very yummy.  The table breads were also very tasty, particularly the pretzel bread, which I hadn't had before.  For dessert I had the seasonal sorbet, which was peach.  Sean had the Campfire Smores, which he said was hard as a rock, and he didn't like the marshmellows (yeah, I know, why order smores if you don't want marshmellows?) Except for the Campfire Smores, nothing was bad, it just didn't live up to all the hype, and with all the other choices at WDW, we likely won't go back to Le Cellier.

After lunch we did SpaceShip Earth - a real family favorite.  We love all the funny pictures they do putting your headshot on a bunch of figures and poses.  Yeah, we're easily amused.

Lunch at Le Cellier really took a long time, so it was already something like 1:30p.  We didn't get to all the stuff I wanted to do this day because of that lunch reservation - another reason to skip it in the future.  So after SpaceShip Earth, we headed out of the park and back to our room for a little downtime.  I had wanted to leave the room by 3:15p so that we could see Lights!Motor!Action! at Hollywood Studios.  Even after 3 trips to WDW, we have never seen this show.  By the time we got back to our room though it was already after 2 - so leaving at 3:15 and seeing LMA just wasn't gonna happen.  I think we were all secretly glad because it is a show in an outdoor arena that is pretty sunny - and of course it was HOT.  So we soaked up the cool in the room and the pool until about 4:30p before heading over to HollyWood Studios.   We rode the bus there and arrived just in time to see the last showing of the evening of Beauty and the Beast.

I cannot believe we waited til our 3rd trip to see this show.  It was awesome.  Very good live performance - and Katie really liked the dancing as she could recognize several of the dance moves and technique she is learning at her dance classes.  Of course, the technique of these dancers was way superior to the girls in her class, but we'll keep that between you and me. ;)

After Beauty and the Beast, we did the Muppets 3D show and the Big Movie Ride.  We also tried to do the Little Mermaid show, but the wait/time was just too long during the times we were in that area of the park.  While we were over there though, we wandered into one of the gift shops and I snapped this picture of the cross stitch kits they sell near the Academy of Animation.  I managed not to by any new stash, mostly because I was remembering how little real estate their was in my luggage!

While we were back at the Animation Academy, we decided to do the drawing class they hold back there.  So much fun!  They were teaching Tigger, and I thought we all did a pretty good job with it!

After the drawing class we rode the bus back to the hotel and settled in.  Alex and I had planned to attend Magic Kingdom's extra magic hours this night and we debated back and forth on whether to go.  We were both tired, our feet hurt, etc.  In the end, we dragged ourselves out of the room and to the park at about 10:30p.  This was just dumb.  The EMH didn't really start until midnight, because regular park hours were til midnight.  So when we got there, there were still long lines.  We managed to ride Buzz and the PeopleMover (Alex wanted to see the inside of Space Mountain again) and not much else.  The wait for Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain were each over an hour.  We got some smoothies at Auntie Gravities for snack credits and walked over to Pirates of the Carribean.  The smoothies were wonderful and lasted just long enough to complete the walk across the park.  We did Pirates with hardly any wait and then left the park before the true extra magic hours even began.  Lesson learned - only do EMH when you can actually do EMH!  We had a lot of fun at them in the past when they were earlier like starting at 10pm.  midnight to 3am was just too late for us after two long park days.

Next up: more Epcot, Princess Breakfast and Cape May Cafe Buffet 


Susan @ Real Girl Designs said...

I'm glad you were able to convince Katie to go on Test Track! Major triumph, indeed!

Erin (moviemuse) said...

Sounds like a good day overall. Good for K for trying those rides! I still haven't done Mission Space due to my issues with simulators (I have to be careful on Soarin', too, but I love it!), but it sounds like I might be okay on the green. Just not sure I'm brave enough to risk ruining a day at Disney if it makes me feel ill.

Erin (moviemuse) said...

Forgot to mention that I was not at all impressed with Le Cellier when we ate there either. Funny that *so* many folks rave about it!

shelleyfaythe said...

Jenn come back and blog we miss you!