Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Wrapping it Up!

We've come into the last 48 hours of our Disney trip.   These next two days could not be any more different from each other, even though we spent them both in the same park.

On Saturday,  we were first in line at the International Gateway ready to tackle Future World.  This put us in great position for the first Soarin' or Test Track ride.   Instead of hitting either of those right away we went to the Epcot Character Spot.   We've never been there before and this is absolutely the best time to hit this location.   The characters  were very interactive and did a lot of playing around with us and on their own while they had down time.

After "The Spot" we hit Test Track and Mission Space again.  We really took our time this morning just walking around, shopping, trading, etc.  We even played a game or two in Innoventions.  When World Showcase opened we grabbed a few random food items and stopped at La Cava.   Holly expressed interest in their infused tequila flight, and Dave won't turn down a visit to La Cava, so we went for it.  We got four samples in our flight:  Tanteo Jalapeño, Tanteo Cocoa, Tanteo Tropical, and Centenario Rosangel Hibiscus.   We have to say they all tasted pretty much the same.  Since we decided to enjoy these by the fountain, we missed seeing Len Testa from Touring Plans and WDW Today Podcast go into La Cava.  Dave's cell reception was bad in the pavilion so we didn't Len's tweet offering free tequila until we were at The Odessey.  Nuts.

When we left Mexico we could tell the park was crowded.  Really crowded.  For now that was ok since we had back-to-back events:  Jamie Deen deminar and the Shake It Like the French Grand Mariner tasting (both covered in a prior post).  

Once the deminars were done we needed some lunch.   The park was packed.  Every line was deep.  Last time we've seen World Showcase like that was during the inaugural Wine and Dine race party.   We think the low temperature brought out all the residents.    Our only chance for food ended up being the really bad pizza at the Via Napoli window.  Why can't they have regular slices?

Dave was excited for today's Eat to the Beat Concert:  Howard Jones.   We got to the theatre with plenty of time to spare.  Holly left for the restroom and to grab a pretzel - it was a 20+ minute excursion.    Dave left upon her return and made it back just in time to see Howard walk out.   We were sitting next to Len Testa and had a fun convert before the show.  Overall Howard's song choices were good but he was not the most engaging performer.   We caught the second set and had the same feelings.   No need to see the third set.

We took a trip over to Off-Kilter's 7:30 and it was nuts.   A huge dance party broke out for about 1/2 of the set.   Folks on people's shoulders, others dancing real crazy, etc.   Fun to watch.   Dinner was scheduled for 8:15 at Bistro de Paris, but we just couldn't do it.  The new fall menu was not that appealing and we were starting to crave some simpler food.   We went back to the Boardwalk and ate at Big River Grill.   We scored bar seats that kept us from having a 90 minute wait for a table.

The next morning we found ourselves back in line for Epcot's rope-drop.  We were scared of a repeat of the day before crowd-wise.  We did some Future World activities - nothing major.  We were lucky enough to find a photo op with Genie and see the Fountain Show at the same time.    Dave's camera also came back to life today!

We had an early lunch at Via Napoli.   Great addition to Epcot.   We split the 4 Cheese pizza and a pitcher of La Rossa.   We can get La Rossa by the bottle at a local restaurant, but it's not as tasty as it is on draft from Via Napoli.   After lunch we went to La Cava, sat down and ordered drinks.   We had a nice time just chillin' and talking to other folks at nearby tables.   Most of the talk was about Food and Wine Fest. 

The crowds today were light!  Yes!   We hit some food and drink favorites during the day and continued a new tradition:  Pick a Pearl in Japan:   This is a fun experience largely because of the big deal the cast members make about it.  Mikukotshi is one of our favorite stores in WDW.  In January, Dave plans to buy a kimono from there.  Here's some video of Pick a Pearl:

We visited other favorites:  The Rose and Crown Pub, Off-Kilter, and the British Airwaves (not really a favorite but they occupy the time between Off-Kilter sets).  Dinner came from food booths.

Overall it was a great last day and relaxing end to our trip.

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