That NEVER happens.
Thursday, December 5th, 2013
Ok so you probably have guessed it. Today was Epcot day! FINALLY!
Not only was it Epcot day, it was surprise day for my mom. We had planned a Candlelight Processional Lunch Package months ago and this was the only reservation we kept from my mom during our entire planning process. I'm not really sure why I decided to keep it a secret, I just thought it would be fun. I will be honest, the Candlelight Processional is not something I've ever been all that interested in. Yes I love the Christmas story, yes I love celebrities, yes I love candles.....I dunno...I guess I've always just been too busy doing other stuff and haven't wanted to stop to get in line or pay the extra to secure my space. But I knew that she would just be OVER THE MOON about it.
So this trip we decided it was time to experience it. At least once. And luckily I was able to snag a Biergarten lunch reservation for it which is the cheapest one possible. Good news also, I LOVE Biergarten. So it's really a win win for everyone involved. So again I am cheating with my "only eat at different restaurants" approach, but I justified it in the fact that the Candlelight Processional package was new to me. So there!
We arrived at Epcot fairly bright and early. We rode Spaceship Earth right away and had fastpass plus selections for Soarin and Test Track anywhere from 9 to 11. Luckily I made the reservations before the dreaded tier system was put into place! We were stopped twice during our Test Track ride for several minutes. I have not had a seamless ride on Test Track in several years. And no, it wasn't raining.
Some entrance photos...
We headed into the World Showcase as quickly as we could. It really is my favorite place in all of Walt Disney World. I am happier there doing absolutely nothing than I am racing from attraction to attraction anywhere else. Since lunch was in Germany at 12:30 and it was already after 11 we headed to the left towards Mexico. We made our way slowly through Mexico and Norway, skipped China as it was nearing lunch time and arrived in Germany.
I said that I would kill Norway in one of the popular Kill Marry Refurb Blog Hops from Mouse on the Mind and This Happy Place Blog.
However for some unknown totally out of the blue reason, Norway was growing on me this year. Still no clue why the change of heart.
Pics on the way...
Our next destination was Italy and a place I had been looking forward to for quite some time. The Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar. And let me tell you, I was not disappointed. What a perfectly quaint and cozy space! I could literally hang out in here for hours, well that is if the drinks weren't outrageously overpriced. But we are in Walt Disney World.
You can read more about my time here in my recent blog post: Completing the Disney Bucket List: Tutto Gusto. But long story short, I ordered the Crisp Italian Whites wine flight and found a new favorite that I hope to find in my area someday.
After having a nice snack, we needed to quick get over to the United Kingdom because it is my cousin's favorite pavilion. We love to shop there as well. I will agree it typically has more items that appeal to me than some of the others.
Ashley Judd was our narrator and I really enjoyed her performance. She seemed very genuine in her telling of the story and she was in tears a couple of times throughout. I can only imagine how powerful the music is when you are standing right in front of it.
Overall I did like the show. I know people who say it is a must do for every trip to WDW during the holidays. I am not sure I would go that far. If you can get a seat without paying for the dine package maybe...but then you are waiting in line upwards of 3-4 hours ahead of time. I can't see myself doing that. I can't see myself paying $40-$60 per person for lunch either. Biergarten was "cheap" at $35 but some of the restaurants we were looking into like Chefs de France wanted $60 a person. Yikes!
But that doesn't take away from the fact that I enjoyed the show. I just don't think I will do it every year and will probably wait several years before booking a dining package again.
We hung out at La Cava for a good while and what happened next was unfortunately less than stellar. I had the bright idea (since I was trying new foods/restaurants) that we should get counter service dinner at....wait for it........the Electric Umbrella...
Yeah, not good at all.
I am not sure if it was the magnitude of food we had stuffed ourselves with so far this week, or just that the food here was that bad. But we all ate about three bites of the stuff, decided we were no longer hungry, and went out to the special viewing area for Illuminations that we were privileged to from the Candlelight Processional package to wait for the show.
One thing I will say about getting the package was that this viewing area right at the entrance to the World Showcase is definitely the best view I have ever had of this show. We arrived pretty early as well because we weren't sure what to expect as far as crowds, and we were right up front and center. It was absolutely amazing, and I am sure I don't need to tell you how the holiday Illuminations is like Illuminations times ten, or Illuminations on crack as I like to call it.
A great ending to a GREAT (yet tiring) day. We all passed out immediately when we got back. We didn't even hit up our concierge lounge.
Missed Day 3?
Find it here:
A December Trip Report - Day 3