Well hey y’all!
Yep, I am STILL writing about this trip.
The one that happened in July.
I know. I have no excuse.
I mean. Work and what not I guess. But that won’t fly here. That won’t erase the shame I feel.
“But Wayne, you don’t get paid to write this blog or anything.”
Hm, you know what? You’re right, inner voice. You guys need to back off.
Just read your stupid post.
I mean, um.
Day 7 – Another EPCOT Day and SO MUCH Guardians of the Galaxy
Day 7 started, as so many Disney mornings start these days, with business to attend to. Disney has really turned going to Disney into a full-time job.
But eh, you know…
So up I was at like 6:30AM. At least I was still waking up to this…
Which was nice.
And the reason I was up so early on this day? Today was an EPCOT day. Which meant highest priority was securing a virtual queue spot for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.
If you need a refresher on what that all entails, please feel free to check back on my Day 3 post.
I don’t wanna bore you with all those old details.
I’d rather bore you with all new details.
So yeah, I went on the MyDisneyExperience app and did my thang. This was the result.
Yeah I mean, not too bad right? After I secured our Cosmic Rewind situation, we all went ahead and got ready for our last park day.
I know guys.
We made it to the park by 8AM.
And immediately got in line for Test Track.
And guys – guess what? It wasn’t broken. Like, we got in line for Test Track when the park opened. And like, there was no announcement the ride was closing down.
Unheard of these days.
When we got down to building our vehicles, I paired up with Owen and Myles paired up with (surprise, surprise) Hannah. His girlfriend.
This was Myles and Hannah’s ride.
And here was what Owen and I created.
It’s kind of interesting how similar they both look now that I see them side-by-side. Though I will say it’s like someone took Myles and Hannah’s car and said, “eh not fabulous enough” and then made ours.
We boarded our vehicle at around 8:30AM. And as you can see, all of us were excited. Except for Myles.
Who had fallen asleep.
Probably on account of how boring his car was.
And then, I mean. We tested that track.
Afterwards, we met up with Nickie over in the newly-opened Connections Café for a snack. On account of she’s not a fan of the whole testing tracks thing.
Which I mean.
So being that it was Starbucks and all, I grabbed a cold brew cold foam of some sort.
And I paired it with a Double Smoked Bacon, Egg and Cheese Sandwich.
And as you can see, Owen got himself a Vanilla Bean Crème Frappucino and a Liege Waffle.
Which he obviously enjoyed. You can tell because his thumb is in the “up” position.
I also got us all a cookie to share. And I mean, it’s pretty clear the girl at the register had a wicked crush on me.
I mean, look how she wrote my name on the cookie bag.
I am super flattered. But I’m a happily married man.
Next stop was World Showcase.
Where a lot of fun stuff was happening. I mean, we stopped and got pretzels for one thing.
And for another thing, we met up with Lani.
And for yet another thing?
We found ourselves in Norway. Which is where the attraction Frozen Ever After is.
And that’s a really fun attraction, you guys.
I mean, their faces kind of creep me out a little bit.
But I should just…
Let it go.
See, that’s a song from the movie.
After we left Arendelle in our rear-view, it was off to see the hottest girl in school.
If you’re excited to learn, gimme a thumbs up.
Oh whatever Owen and Hannah.
Here we goooooooo….
It really is an educational attraction. Like, check this guy out. Did you know this guy was the first guy to ever say, “suns out, guns out”?
And this right here? First time someone pretended to be reading a book to avoid interacting with someone else.
This here was when the world found out Garfield hated Mondays.
And this was the first airing of the It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Christmas special.
Yeah dude. Super educational. What a vast and wonderful world we live in.
When we exited the attraction, Myles MADE US stop so he could get some pictures in front of a wall.
So vain he is.
And weirdly, when I gave into my vanity a few years back, Myles gave me all kinds of guff about it.
Like LEGIT guff.
Man, I wish when I had to post pictures of myself, I could just post pictures of myself from 2018. Dude was killin it.
At this point, I got the notification that our Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Virtual Queue time was up.
So like, let’s go rewind. Cosmically.
I have already regaled you with tales of this attraction and all its attraction-ness here so I won’t bore you with how much I enjoy this ride.
What I will bore you with is pictures of the queue.
Commence boredom now.
Here’s a picture of us before the room where shizz goes sideways. And you’ll note Myles making an “L” above my head. Which he assures me was because we were going left. It was in no way to signal I was a loser.
I believe him. On account of I am a winner.
And here is the room where we are transported and then this dude goes back in time and then we go back in time because Rocket made us go back in time.
Yeah man. Shakespeare this ain’t.
But incredibly convoluted story aside, this remains an insanely fun attraction. This time around we got “Disco Inferno” by the Trammps. So I mean, we’ve had “Conga” and we’ve had “Disco Inferno.” Out of the two, “Disco Inferno” was the best soundtrack for the ride but it’s a small sample size.
I know. Because I work in research.
Yeah. Research flex.
It was getting rather close to lunchtime but not quite close enough.
So a snack was in order.
It was as good a time as any to hit up an EPCOT Food & Wine Festival booth. This time around, we found ourselves at Flavors From Fire.
We shared the smoked Corned Beef with crispy potatoes, cheese curds, pickled onions, and beer-cheese fondue.
Or should I say the PICKLED ONIONS with a side of corned beef. Dude, those are A LOT of pickled onions.
Is what I am saying to you now.
That being said, this is a rull good Food & Wine offering. The corned beef is very tender and I mean beer-cheese fondue.
Guys, beer-cheese fondue.
I paired my share of the corned beef with a Swine Brine. The Flavors From Fire menu simply lists this drink as Swine Brine featuring Jim Beam bourbon. But guys, there is a bunch of wtf going on in this drink.
Thing does have Jim Beam, sure. But it’s also got lemon juice, apple cider, AND Dijon mustard in it. Plus, as you can see from the picture above, it’s topped with a piggy wing.
I OBVIOUSLY had to try this.
And you guys? This thing was gooooood.
The Dijon mustard was probably the scariest part of the description but, honestly, it was super subtle. The biggest taste contributors were the apple cider and the lemon juice. Kind of reminded me of a whisky sour. And the wing was delicious.
My belly full of bourbon and pork, I was ready to take on another attraction before lunch.
Let’s go to France!
And like, aside from the profuse sweating, I really love this picture of me and Nickie. We both look all kinds of rawr.
We had an anytime FastPass left over from some kind of time when some other ride broke down so we used it to take a spin on Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure.
And yeah, I still contend this is a pretty enjoyable attraction. I heard a bunch of mixed reviews going into this one and it exceeded my expectations.
Thanks Remy. Your ride is magnifique.
I’ve been teasing it long enough.
It was time for lunch.
And lunch today was at a spot none of us had ever dined at before. Which was an exciting proposition.
Lunch today was at Space 220!
And Space 220 is as much an experience as it is a meal. On account of you dine in a space station 220 miles above the earth.
So, when you check into the restaurant, you are given a pass to board the Stellarvator, an elevator designed to get you into space within a matter of minutes.
And the Stellarvator has circular windows on the floor and ceiling so you can watch your departure from earth and your arrival at the Centauri Space Station.
And I mean, OF COURSE I took a video.
So cool, right?
After you exit the Stellarvator, you get your first look at the space and, I mean, it’s pretty impressive. Like, check out the Growth Zone, a circular rotating vegetable garden.
I mean, it’d be more exciting if it was a circular rotating candy garden but still, cool.
And then once you get your first look at the restaurant as a whole…it’s something.
The restaurant is lined with floor-to-ceiling “windows” offering a view of Earth and the space beyond.
Congratulations random parent and child. I just made you Internet famous.
And like, there’s all kinds of activity happening out there. Like space shuttles and astronauts walking their dogs.
We were eating in the lounge today so we were seated a little ways in back.
Nickie and I sat together at one table and the kids were at another. So there was a good amount of…
I also loved this silverware.
When our waitress came over, Nickie and I (surprise, surprise) wanted to order some drinks. I wanted to get a specialty drink and Nickie simply wanted a Blue Moon. You know, cuz space and moons and what not.
After we put in our orders, our waitress asked to see our IDs. I think maybe because people age differently in space?
I showed her mine but Nickie realized pretty quickly she forgot her license back at the room.
So the waitress said she couldn’t serve Nickie. Which, ok…fine. But also, like, not fine? On account of we are both parents of a full-grown adult?
Also though, not only did she refuse to serve Nickie but she did it without once breaking character. Like, I guess there is a problem with young astronauts getting their hands on alcohol in space ports or whatever the what.
It’s bad enough not being able to get a drink, but to be told about the increasing problem of fake space IDs in space bars by space bouncers on top of all of it was just the last little bit of indignity.
We would have walked right out.
Except for the fact that I could still get a drink.
I mean, there’s always a silver lining.
And, you know, an unsupportive husband.
Annnnnyways. Space 220 has a pretty extensive cocktail menu, full of cool space-themed drinks and all that.
I, of course, asked if I could get something off the kids’ drink menu, but with alcohol. On account of I have the mind of a 12 year old but the liver of an 80 year old.
But in my defense, it came with Pop Rocks and trading cards.
So yeah, I ordered the Moon Rocks, made with coconut, blue cotton candy syrup, lemonade, moon dust (?), moon rocks (translation: Pop Rocks), and the aforementioned pack of Space 220 trading cards.
It was a good drink, super sweet obviously. But I would really never say that as a complaint. Cotton candy is my jam. Like when it comes to cotton candy, I’m all…
And I found the best use of the Pop Rocks was to pour a little bit in your mouth and then take a sip. It was fun AND painful.
I should also cover off on the Space 220 cards while we are here. The cards all depict original artwork and focus on spacey things, like food in space or technology in space or space in space. And the kids also got drinks that came with some cards as well.
And Owen ended up with I guess a rare card. It was a white card that or whatever and his waitress told him it was one of the rarer ones (which was true) and that maybe he could get some money for it (which seems less than true.) You see, as I looked more into it, there were for sure some expensive eBay listings for these cards for like 100’s of dollars but none actually sold for any of this kind of money.
It’s like when that whole thing went around about old Disney VHS tapes with the black diamond selling for 1000’s of dollars. Or that one time in that chat room where that dude promised me all that money for locks of my hair but even after I sent Ziploc bag after Ziploc bag all I had to show for it were a couple bald spots and a letter from prison years later telling me how he learned in therapy that was “troubling” behavior on his part.
The world is a disappointing place.
Wait, where was I?
So we also ordered food.
Since we were in the lounge, Nickie and I decided to split a few items from the Flight Bites menu.
We ordered the Chicken on Waffle (Fried Chicken, Smoked Bacon and Roasted Corn Waffle, Spiced Coleslaw, Bourbon Maple Glaze).
The Blue Moon Cauliflower (Tempura Fried Cauliflower, Housemade Hot Sauce, Blue Cheese Dust).
And the Astro Deviled Eggs (Free-Range Eggs, Maple Glazed Bacon, Scallion, Pickled Shallots, Micro Cilantro).
All of which were delicious. I mean, if I had to rank them, I would probably go cauliflower, eggs, waffle. But honestly, they were all three pretty close and all three would be solid choices on our next visit.
So yeah, aside from us having to pay for the actions of some underage space punks looking to score some space alcohol and the disappointment that our piece of cardboard wasn’t as valuable as we initially thought, solid experience at Space 220.
Once we finished our meals and paid our bill, we found our way back to the Stellarvator, which brought us quickly back to Earth.
When we got back outside, the skies were looking rather threatening.
So Nickie and I made the decision to leave the park but the kids wanted to hang out a little longer so the two of us walked on towards the exit while the kids headed over to World Showcase. As Nickie and I were walking, the rain started so we had some decisions to make. Back to the resort? Disney Springs? Another hotel?
We ended up hopping on the monorail and taking it over to the Grand Floridian since we hadn’t been there yet this trip.
I love coming into the Grand via the monorail. It’s pretty impressive getting your first look at the hotel from the second floor.
As per tradition, our first stop was Basin on the second floor for a quick scrub.
I also picked up a couple bars of fancy soap to bring home. On account of fancy soap is my jam.
Yep, fancy soap and cotton candy.
But our main purpose for stopping at the Grand wasn’t soap. Our main purpose? It was this…
Aw yeah, the Enchanted Rose Lounge.
Such a great spot and, thankfully, one that understood Nickie was over 21. We took a spot at the bar and ordered up two of our standards – a Grey Goose martini dirty and a Grey Goose Cosmopolitan.
The drinks definitely did not disappoint and it was real nice, having some time for just the two of us. Good drinks, good conversation, beautiful wife. Pretty nice.
And you know what else was nice?
My next drink.
On account of it was a Lagavulin.
Look at this pretty thing.
And beyond the conversation between the two of us, we also struck up conversations with the bartender, the waitstaff, and our fellow patrons. Sitting at a good bar is legitimately one of my favorite things to do.
We got into an especially deep conversation about food and restaurants with one of the waitresses about restaurants of the world. She had visited some pretty great places in New York and Chicago and we talked with her about our visit to the French Laundry in Napa (which you guys can read about here).
And of course, the drinks kept coming but we switched from the hard stuff.
According to my timestamps, we spent a little over an hour and a half at the Enchanted Rose and it was pretty magical.
While we were getting ready to wrap things up, we got back in touch with the kids, who said they were heading back to Animal Kingdom Lodge because Hannah wasn’t feeling all the great so we paid our bill and headed out.
However, on our way out, I had a bit of business to take care of. Since the plan was to hit up EPCOT later due to us being able to take advantage of some Extended Evening Hours (as we were staying at a Deluxe Villa), I was able to get into another virtual queue for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.
Which I did.
And right. 290 minutes. Nearly 5 hours, right? But keep in mind, Extended Hours didn’t really start until 9PM, which was like 3 hours from when I secured it. And given this was Extended Hours, there was a good chance we would be eligible to jump in the queue right at 9PM.
On our way out, the Grand Floridian though.
There was not only live piano music going on and just being delightful.
But check out these folks.
Legit living their best life. Cards, piano, Grand Floridian.
When we got back to the room, we walked in on Hannah packing up. Which is womp-town but her flight was pretty early the next day.
And yeah, she wasn’t feeling up to heading out to EPCOT that night. So rather than going out for something to eat, a few of us took a walk down to The Mara to get some food for dinner back in the room.
Like the Signature-Blend Bacon Cheeseburger (Signature-blend Ground Beef, Bacon, Cheddar, Berber Spice, Lettuce, Onion, and Tomato on a Brioche Bun served with French Fries).
And an old favorite, the Tamarind Barbecue Pork Sandwich (Tamarind-seasoned Barbecue Pulled Pork on a Brioche Bun with Kool Slaai (Coleslaw) topping on the side and served with French Fries).
And a couple Cheese Flatbreads.
All of which, great stuff. The Mara continues to stand as one of the best food courts in all of Walt Disney World.
And OF COURSE we had to get dessert – Zebra Domes FTW!!!
The Zebra Dome is a little bit of heaven. Chocolate Mousse baked with Amarula Cream Liquor-coated White Chocolate drizzled with Chocolate Stripes and Chocolate Shavings.
It was a really nice dinner. We set up around the table in our room, which was all kinds of cozytown.
Plus, check out this view.
It was obvs squad super unfortunate that Hannah wasn’t feeling good. Myles and Nickie stuck behind to keep her company while I went back with Owen and Lani to EPCOT to take advantage of the Extended Hours. Like, literally. We didn’t board our bus until 9PM.
And guys, check out this bus. Posh as all get out.
We were at the park by 9:20ish and I mean. EPCOT at night.
We hadn’t gotten the all-clear to jump into the virtual queue just yet so the three of us, for some reason, decided to go on the hurliest ride in all of Walt Disney World – Mission: Space.
Look at these guys, so full of hope.
Now, I mean. We could have totally gone with Green, which is the less intense mission.
But also, pffft….we’re stupid.
I kid, really. I honestly never think this ride is as bad as I go in expecting it to be. It was fine, you guys. Totally go do it.
Plus, the three of us were, like, totally cracking up this other family that was next to us. On account of we are hilarious.
So it was a good situation all around.
And by the time we got off, I got the notification that it was time to head over to Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind for our third time this trip.
And you know what? If I had the chance, I would have ridden it Ga-MORE-a.
Oof, I really hated that one.
We ended up getting in the queue at around 10PM.
AND we got to see the giant turkey leg.
So good times all around.
I think we ended up making it on the ride at around 10:45. It was a bit of a long line since we had only a two hour block for Extended Hours which kind of just put everyone in the line at the same time. But eh, 45 minutes wasn’t too big a deal. We didn’t really have anything else we NEEDED to do.
Plus, as mentioned before, the three of us are intensely funny. So we had a lot of fun in line.
And we planned the best on-ride photo pose. We all were tasked with doing some sort of karate when the photo was taken. And yeah, it was great. But also, as I said in an earlier post, we didn’t spring for Memory Maker this trip. And I mean, this series has taken me months to finish so obvs our photos all expired.
But just imagine it.
Oh and guess what song we got?
By the time we exited the ride, we were pretty much at the end of Extended Hours but we did stop in Creations to grab a couple souvenirs.
It was 11:15PM by the time we walked by this beauty for the last time this trip.
And I mean, that was Day 7 you guys.
Our last planned full day of this trip.
Which would be sad except for the fact that I italicized “planned” in that sentence back there.
That’s what us literary folks call “foreshadowing.”
Until Day 8 – see ya pals!
Last post – Day 6!