Saturday, October 18, 2014

Epic Disney Weekend Day 2

This was going to be one long day. There was a lot on the itinerary and Holly had been tweaking the Fastpass+ (attraction reservations made online) to optimize our day. Today's plan included:
  • Parisian Breakfast event in Epcot as part of Food & Wine Festival
  • Having our first experiences with the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and The Frozen characters in the Magic Kingdom
  • Seeing the new(ish) Magic Kingdom Parade
  • Seeing one of the last performances by our favorite Epcot band Off Kilter
  • Having dinner at The Brown Derby and seeing one of the last nights of the Frozen fireworks in Hollywood Studios
  • Going to the Top of the World Lounge for a drink before hitting Magic Kingdom again until 1am.
Let's see what happened….

Getting anywhere from the Old Key West is a challenge. Epcot wasn't too far so we decided to leave the room at 8am. No buses for Epcot came around so we hopped an Animal Kingdom bus to get to the lobby and call a cab. As soon as the cab came a bunch of buses were stacked up and of course one was for Epcot. Since we needed to go to World Showcase we had the cab take us to Beach Club and then we walked over to the International Gateway entrance. We made our reservation almost on time.

The Parisian Breakfast event was held in Chefs de France and cost $40/pp including tip and tax. Upon arrival we were each handed a mimosa and shown to our table which we shared with one other couple. We ordered coffee and hot cocoa from our waiter and then went to one of the four buffet stations. Lots of pastries, cheeses, jellies, etc. everything was very good and we tried everything at least once. The wait staff was very attentive and came around often enough to refill your beverages - including mimosas! Upon exiting the restaurant we were each given a gift bag with an odd assortment of items (check the video).
Time for the monorail trip to Magic Kingdom! We arrived a few minutes before our Princess Fastpass+ so we rode the carousel. Our wait to visit Anna and Elsa was less than 5 minutes. Standby people can wait three hours for the same experience. We also experienced the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. It's a dark ride with some roller coaster elements. Not too thrilling, but the dark ride effects were amazing. We killed some time on Haunted Mansion, eating snacks from Aloha Isle, riding the TTA, etc. we staked out a parade location in Frontierland, then the five minute rain shower came. Not too bad, just enough to moisten and annoy us.

Unfortunately it was enough to cancel the parade that day. Off to Peter Pan for our Fastpass+ then leave the Magic Kingdom for more Monorail rides to Epcot.

The first thing we did in Epcot was to visit the Art of Disney Store. Love that place. Next, Dave had to go into Club Cool (Where you get free samples of Coca-Cola products from around the world) for a few cups of Inca Kola from Peru. Finally, we found a beer cart by The Land and grabbed some Yuenglings for the walk over to Canada. Food booth lines at this time of day looked rather busy. We avoided the temptation and headed over to the Off Kilter area. With the benches gone we had to sit on the ground to wait out the show. While there some folks brought over a good bye poster to sign.

To provide some background: Off Kilter is a band that played in the Canada Pavilion of Epcot for 17 years. They were recently axed along with several other performers to make way for new entertainment. We have spent a lot of time watching Off Kilter over the years and could not believe this was going to be our last show. Fortunately we got to share the moment with some friends we met through Team AllEars. Off Kilter came on stage - with both bagpipe and fiddle players and gave it their all like the professionals they are. The place was packed and everyone was singing along. We may have had a tear or two form in our eyes - especially when they sang "The Wild Rover". After the set the band hung out for photo opportuntities. Getting rid of Off Kilter will definitely cut down on the number of beers we purchase in Epcot.

Their set ended close to 6pm and we had 6:30 ressies in the Studios. We decided walking would be quicker plus there was a chance for a beverage at The Boardwalk. We were five minutes late, no big deal. We scored a nice table and had an excellent meal. Dave's tip: Always get the pork.

After dinner we stepped Into the Tune-In Lounge for some beverages then found our way to Hollywood Boulevard to get a good position for the fireworks. We were right in front of a Jumbotron installed by the tip board just for the Frozen Summer Fun. The show included a video Olaf with some clips from the film plus pictures taken around the park all day. Anna and Christof started the firework show then introduced Elsa to show off her ice powers. At times, it snowed on Hollywood Blvd. This was the first time we have seen fireworks at the Studios and they were great! After that we headed to the bonus late performance of Fantasmic!

At this point we decided to quit while we were ahead. It's far to The Contemporary and Magic Kingdom area. We decided to skip the park/Top of the World and go to our hotel bar and unwind. The Gurgling Suitcase was not a lounge, but a counter in a closet. Inside there was seating for about 8, but there were plenty of picnic tables outside. When Disney builds DVC hotels they seem to assume you don't want to have a nice place to sit and have a drink - that's what your room is for. When we were ready we took the half mile walk back to our room rather than wait for a stupid bus to come.

One more day left on this trip - including 3 sets from the band Hanson!

Here's some video from the day:

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