This next post in my series focusing on our November 2020 Walt Disney World trip is a good one. Day 5. Our first actual park day of the trip. And we hit it hard – opening and closing the park with no breaks.
I know. This is so not us.
So many questions, right?
Do we make it?
Do we have fun?
Are we crazy?
Why do you park in a driveway and drive on a parkway?
Read on for the answers to most of your questions…
Day 5 – EPCOT!!!
I mean, sleepovers are fun regardless, but sleepovers in Disney. Forget it.
We woke up and started getting ready for our first park day of the trip at around 7:00. The park we were visiting today didn’t open officially until 11:00 AM so we had some time to figure out breakfast. The original plan was to grab something at Contempo Café and bring it back to the room, but as we all started talking about how hungry we were it became pretty evident that wouldn’t do the trick.
Also – while my stomach was growling, I noticed this awesome picture in our room. If anyone is looking for something to get me for Christmas….
And I mean…of course Walt Disney World has a number of dining options for breakfast. But as I have said, we were really trying to eat outdoors only because of COVID. It was important to us to keep to this. We were willing to do whatever it took to stick to this rule. Nothing and nobody could steer us from…
Oh, there was walk-up availability at the Wave…of American Flavors, an indoor restaurant at the Contemporary?
Yeah, I used the My Disney Experience app to put our names in. When breakfast is involved, I am weak.
So we all left and walked over the bridge to the Contemporary!
And we took the elevator down to the bottom floor, to this place. With the breakfasts.
I mean, they have other meals there. But we were there for breakfast this time around. Eh, you know how restaurants work.
Anyways, we put our name in and were soon seated. First things first – coffee.
I will say, I know we were worried about dining inside but It felt hella-safe. We were spaced out really well in there. Literally NO ONE was near us.
Social distancing, son.
And as you can see from the picture above, the boys and Nickie got themselves some POG (Passion Fruit, Orange Guava) juice as one is wont to do at Disney.
For their main plates, Myles and Owen both ordered the American (two eggs, sausage, biscuit, and breakfast potatoes.) Standard stuff, but they both seemed to enjoy it.
Nickie got the Sweet Potato Pancakes with a side of sausage. She LOVED these and, because she graciously gave me a bite, I can confirm these were delicious.
I was wavering on my choice here. Did I go light or heavy? Eggs Benedict or Avocado Toast? Happiness or…well…happiness with a tinge of regret?
I went with the smarter, less fun choice – Avocado Toast (Avocado, Toasted Multigrain Bread, Caramelized Onion Jam, Watercress Salad).
OK fine….it wasn’t “less fun.” It was actually VERY good avocado toast. That caramelized onion jam was like, “What? Oh I am only like this awesome thing that tastes really good.”
And Jeff helped me out by ordering the Eggs Benedict anyways.
I mean. He didn’t really help me. He ate the whole thing himself. But like, I still got to adjacently enjoy it. In that it was next to me.
After breakfast? It was time to head to the parks. Specifically, it was time to head to EPCOT!
Like I said, the park opened officially at 11:00AM but word on the street was the parks were opening earlier. So we drove up to the gates at around 10:00. And it seemed we weren’t the only ones that got the memo.
They let us through at around 10:15 or so. And just as we were pulling into our spot in the lot, the rain started coming down. HARD. So we tried to wait it out as much as we could in the cars but at some point, we were like…we are gonna get rained on today no matter what we do.
So off we went.
First stop – temp screen and security check. Which went super fast. I also got yelled at for taking pictures of this part. So the day was already off to a smashing start.
And soon enough, we were through the main gates and came upon the “hottest girl in school.”
Right, you know…the hottest girl in school. In fact, Myles, Owen, and I were all wearing t-shirts saying such.
Being that we were there at rope drop, the plan was to get to what we had seen as the biggest wait as of late and ride it before the crowds hit too hard. And according to the app the past couple weeks, Test Track was the ride that seemed to have the longer lines at EPCOT lately.
Sounded good to us. So we walked on past Spaceship Earth towards Test Track. And on our way, we got a good look at the building for the new Guardians of the Galaxy coaster. All kinds of excited for this one and the building is coming along nicely.
As we walked on, it was hard not to notice the state of EPCOT these days. With so much construction going on, it feels a shell of its former self right now. Of course, construction means exciting new adventures are on the way but who knows how long the place is gonna look like this, honestly? Shutdowns and decreased revenues have made the future a little less clear. But eh, its still EPCOT right? And it still has a lot to offer.
Like Test Track for instance.
Well, for most of us, at least. Nickie doesn’t usually ride Test Track so she went off to do her own thing while we went to ride. I mean, eh, it shouldn’t take that long, right?
As I mentioned it was a little rainy that morning and while it had already stopped raining, the Cast Members up front told us there would be a delay. But we decided to get in line anyways, figuring it wouldn’t take too long.
And we got our first taste of an actual real-life socially distant line at Walt Disney World. As we lined up, it felt like we were pretty far back from the actual ride entrance. But because we were all 6 feet apart from one another, it wasn’t actually as long as it appeared.
I know. That was complicated. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out.
So yeah, it wasn’t actually as long as it looked.
As I mentioned, the Cast Members said there were going to be delays. And delays there were. We ended up waiting around 45 minutes or so to even get on.
Yeah, Nickie was winning the morning.
But we did finally get on.
It was fun times. And I must say, it was nice not being seated with anyone else besides those in my party.
After the ride was over, it was time for treats. And not just any old every day treat. Noooo No. You see, it was the Food & Wine Festival. Which meant that we had access to all these food booths, full of all kinds of yumminess.
Like, for instance, right outside Test Track was the Donut Box. Which counted Lobster Thermidor, Caviar, and Duck A L’Orange among its offerings.
Pfft, no. Donuts. They had donuts. Which I mean are just as good.
We got an order of the Sprinkle Burst Donut Holes with Purple Drizzle.
They were scrumptious. The donuts were sweet and had a little crunch thanks to the sprinkles. While the drizzle tasted very…. purple?
The four of us ate on the walk, but we did save some for this beautiful lady.
Whom we met over by Spaceship Earth. And since Spaceship Earth had only like a ten minute wait, we decided to hop in line.
Which was a good move. Since while we were underneath the geodesic sphere (look it up), the skies opened up and it started pouring. It was like a hurricane out there for like 3 minutes.
The line moved quickly and before we knew it, we were going inside.
Who’s ready for some learning?
Wearing our masks really made for some creepy future pictures of us. In the future, we will only have half-faces.
We had lunch reservations coming up in a little bit in World Showcase and wanted to do a little walking around before it, so we left EPCOT’s Future World and walked into Mexico.
Now, the two main draws of the Mexico Pavillion are Gran Fiesta Tour, a boat ride featuring the Three Caballeros, and La Cava del Tequila, a bar featuring tequila. And normally, we would hit both. But with the new COVID protocols in place, you essentially had to choose a path when entering the pavilion. Either towards the boat or towards the tequila.
And being a drunk. I mean, a father. A drunk father.
Point is, we did the boat. And when we got in line, we got to experience another COVID-era line invention. Wherever there were those tight switchbacks, they installed these plexiglass barriers.
Which by the way? I LOVE. I mean, if salads get sneeze guards, shouldn’t we too?
After we made our way through the human habitrail, we boarded our vessel and looked for Donald Duck.
I am kind of a sucker for dark boat rides so I kind of love this attraction. It’s super goofy and all over the place but there is something so comforting about it. Plus…oh crap THERE HE IS!!
It was getting close to 1PM and our lunch reservation was at 1:30 on the other side of the World Showcase so after leaving Mexico, it was time to do some word traveling.
Since time was somewhat short, we walked quickly through Norway and found ourselves in China.
And being that we still had a bunch of countries to make it through before lunch, it only made sense to fuel up. We stopped in at the Joy of Tea.
We got a couple egg rolls (since lunch was like 7 minutes away)…
…and a few of what I consider to probably be the best drink in all of EPCOT, Tipsy Ducks in Love (black tea, coffee, cream, chocolate syrup, and bourbon.)
On Day 5, COVID showed two different sides of its impact at EPCOT. For sure, the park felt MUCH emptier than we were used to.
But it did feel weird not being able to snack/drink and walk. Every time we had to take a bite or a sip, we had to find a location to veer off to so we could remain stationary. I mean, we got by of course.
But you know, it was just…. different.
Also, maybe COVID wasn’t the only thing keeping people away on Day 5. As we were walking through Morocco, it started to rain again. Like, Noah and the Great Flood-level rain.
We did our best to duck under coverings wherever we could but there was really no avoiding it. By the time we got to our lunch at Rose & Crown in the UK Pavilion, we were all kinds of drowned rat-ish.
We love this place. And the plan was to eat outside but Mother Nature was all, “nahhhh.” So we ate in the main dining room. We started our meal off with a Scotch Egg to share.
Jeff had never had a Scotch Egg before so I was excited to introduce him to the wonders of eggs and sausages and mustard and fried. Of course he enjoyed it.
And ok, yes…it was early afternoon. But we were in Disney so time sort of works differently there. Also, I have a drinking problem.
So I got a Single Malt Scotch flight to go with our Scotch Egg.
It was unavoidable. Lagavulin, Oban, and Glenkinchie. It had to be done.
I didn’t get pictures of everyone’s meal, but I did get a picture of Nickie’s beautiful-looking Shepherd’s Pie.
And of course, I got a picture of my entrée – the Chicken Masala Curry with Basmati Rice.
After lunch, it was getting close to meeting MORE FRIENDS!!! We were meeting up with the Hills on Day 5!
Gah, stop with that.
The Hills – our friends Missy, Eric, and Olivia that live in Florida. Doy.
The plan was to meet them over by the Imagination Pavilion, since Olivia was keen on riding Journey Into Imagination with the boys.
But we still had a little bit of time before they arrived, so Jeff, Myles, Owen, and I decided to head over to the Land Pavilion to jump on Soarin’ Around the World. Nickie had already ridden it earlier so she hung back.
It was basically a walk-on.
Unforch, after Soarin’, Jeff had to head out. It was womptown to say goodbye, but we were definitely happy we got to spend the time with did with him. Love that guy.
And we weren’t left to entertain ourselves for too long because the Hills arrived shortly after Jeff left. Well, Missy and Livi did at least. Eric was going to meet us later.
We made straight for Journey Into Imagination to visit with Figment.
And fine, Journey is a bit of a shell of its former self. But the song is still catchy.
After Journey, we walked over to The Seas With Nemo and Friends. And it’s a good thing these three don’t like each other or anything.
Ah Nemo. Another meh-ish attraction saved by an insanely catchy song.
We then walked back over to the World Showcase to get some Food and Wine Festival goodness.
Along the way? Fun pic!
We all knew what we wanted in our bellies so we went right to the World Showplace building.
Inside, there were a number of booths and while I was VERY close to visiting the Macaroni and Cheese booth, in the end we got what we came for at the Desserts and Champagne booth – the Liquid Nitro Chocolate Cake Pop!
We ordered four total. One for each of the kids and, erm, one for me.
Three of them were covered with crushed M&Ms and Myles got one covered with crumbled Twix.
This thing was GOOOOD. Like, really really really good. Yup, three “really”s. THAT good.
Myles also got a Frozen Apple Pie at the Appleseed Orchard booth.
Which I assume was good. Myles is not big with the food sharing.
We walked out of the Showplace and Missy said she had to exchange her popcorn bucket because hers was broken so we went to the popcorn cart in Canada to exchange it AND pick up some maple popcorn. Which Missy shared with us, including Myles. Because, you know, two wrongs don’t make a right.
Owen really wanted a slushie so Myles took him to Taste Track to get some sort of berry Pop Rock sugary situation.
Eric was coming to meet us near the Port of Entry shop so we did a little bit of shopping and then hung outside near the shop for a little bit. Scratch that. We did A LOT bit of shopping and then hung outside near the shop for a little bit.
While we were waiting there, Eric texted Missy that he was just passing “SSE” and would be there soon. We knew he meant Spaceship Earth, but Missy pointed out that “Spaceship” is actually only one word so she asked out loud what the extra “s” stood for.
This led to Olivia, Owen, Missy, and I coming up with a number of ideas. Sweet Spaceship Earth? Sweaty? Sleepy? Sneakers? Stinky? Scrumptious?
This went on for far longer then it should have. Like way into the night.
We know how to have a good time.
Eric soon met up with us and we headed BACK to World Showcase via Mexico.
We decided to go into the pavilion and, once again inexplicably, bypass the tequila line and take another spin on Gran Fiesta Tour.
We walked back out into the night and Myles said he wanted to stop at Karamell Kuche in Germany for a caramel apple. While he was there, he got Missy and Eric a chocolate caramel covered marshmallow.
Oh you don’t believe me? Well, here’s Eric eating it right here.
See? Told you.
The seating area across from Karamell Kuche was killing it with the lighting so we snapped a couple pics.
We had dinner reservations coming up in France so we continued our way around the countries. And when we were in Italy, Missy wanted to stop and grab some wine. And she also very nicely grabbed me a Limoncello Margarita.
That Missy. She’s ok.
When we reached France, I tried to get her back with an alcoholic slushie. But she refused.
That Missy. She’s an enigma.
Nickie, however, was more than willing to step in and make sure I didn’t drink alone. She’s a wonderful wife.
I got a Grand Marnier slushie and Nickie went for the Grey Goose option. Both with floaters.
Dinner that night was at Chefs de France.
Which is right next to this pretty fountain that I am sure I take a picture of on every Walt Disney World trip.
Let’s have some dinner.
The meal started with a baguette for the table. They always give a pretty good baguette at Chefs and tonight was no different. Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside with a nice chew to it.
For my drink, I ordered a Grey Goose martini, dirty. And erm – they got the “Grey Goose martini” part right. Not so much with the dirty.
It was still a nice martini though.
I had a bit of trouble landing on an appetizer. I do love the escargot at Chefs but being that Day 5 was ra and cold, I ended up going with the French Onion Soup.
Their French Onion Soup is incredible. Lots of flavor and they def do not scrimp on the cheese or the bread.
For our entrees, Nickie and I went splitsies. We both ended up with a bowl of French Onion Soup and we split the Boeuf Bourguignon (Beef braised in Cabernet with baby onions and carrots, served with linguine pasta).
Please excuse the presentation. This was post-split. I think this is probably the best dish offered at Chefs. I have had a few other offerings from there, but I go back to the Bourguignon most often.
And apologies, but those are the only food pics I have from that night. I must have been tired. Long day and all. But the meal was excellent. As always. Chefs is one of my favorite places to eat in all of Walt Disney World.
And bonus, we made these reservations late on purpose so the meal would take us past park closing. So after we left the restaurant, we were walking through a relatively empty park. Which is a nice, relaxing way to end the day.
What a great day Day 9 was. We put in a full day hanging hang out with so many people we love in the place we love. We ate great food, rode pretty much everything we wanted to (I mean, Frozen Ever After would have been nice), and made some awesome memories. Maybe we got a little wet, but it was totally worth it.
And when I say we put in a full day, we put in a full day. We were one of the first ones in the park and as you can see here, we were one of the last cars to leave.
And when we got back to the room, we got to catch the end of a really exciting Patriots game.
They won by the way – 30-27. A pretty awesome ending to a pretty awesome day.