Day Seven: Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Thunderstorms, and Downtown Disney

Day Seven: Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Thunderstorms, and Downtown Disney

We left the hotel at 8 AM and headed for Epcot. We were able to park on the
row closest to the park at the end closest to the walkway. Parking has
really been a cinch on this trip. We headed through the turnstiles when
they let us in and found our usual spot by Innoventions in anticipation of
the Soarin' Stampede. Norm, a manager of some sort I assume by the way he
was dressed, came out and entertained the crowd with a nice comedy routine
and gave a young lady a small dog made out of a string of fake pearls. He
was really funny and a nice way to start the day.

Then Daniel came out. Daniel was way over the top and was very concerned
about all of us drinking lots of water and lathering on the sunscreen. He
and his fellow cast members did seem to genuinely like one another. Daniel
plugged Soarin', The Seas, and Living with the Land. They made fun of
Imagination because none of their cast members were there. Then, the CM
from the Character Spot chimed in with a plug for his area and they were
like, "Oh yeah, them." It was funny but probably only to me. Daniel talked
a lot with his hands and was really a bit much but you gotta admire his
enthusiasm.

We walked to Soarin and Connie and I grabbed FastPasses for 9:51. We rode
Soarin next to a family that had never been on and were worried about motion
sickness. We talked to them about what to expect and calmed the mom down a
bit as she was a little nervous about what the ride would be like.

After Soarin' we grabbed breakfast at Sunshine Seasons. I had a Croissant
with egg, bacon, and cheese, as well as a side order of potatoes – which had
way too much green pepper flavor. Connie got the breakfast platter and said
was very good, though felt the pepper was too strong.

We rode Soarin' again with our fast passes and then walked to Test Track.
We were able to walk right in, even bypassing the pre-show, in the single
rider line. I have noticed more "1st Visit" buttons and have talked to more
people in line who have never been on these attractions on this trip than
before. Good news, I guess, for the long term – but I was sort of hoping
the economy might keep the crowds lower this trip. It hasn't worked.

Connie and I then browsed MouseGear for awhile before heading over to the
Imagination Pavillion to get a few pictures of the fountain. We decided to
ride Journey into Imagination with Figment since Connie hadn't been on it in
many years. It was better than I remembered, but still pretty lame. Then,
we caught Honey I Shrunk the Audience and only had to watch 5 minutes of the
preshow. My 3-D glasses were pretty beat up and Connie said the same thing.
It made the show a bit hard to watch without closing one eye.

We had reservations at Le Cellier at 2:20 but I was hungry and so we walked
back to inquire about being seated now. I was told, "No problem," and we
had a table within 10 minutes. I got a bowl of Cheddar Cheese Soup and a
Steakburger with Cheddar and bacon. Connie got a bowl of soup and was able
to get the Mixed Green Salad that they offer at dinner. Our server, Annie,
was phenomenal and is the best one I've ever had at Le Cellier. I was so
full after the soup that I didn't even eat the bun. I should have just done
the soup and a dessert, I think. The gentleman dining alone next to us got
the New York Strip Steak and it was huge – so I will try that sometime, as
well.

I was still tired from yesterday and Connie was done with Epcot so I headed
back to the hotel and she took the boat to the Studios. I came back and the
maid was in my room so I took my laptop to the lobby and did some business
related things while I waited. I came back up about 30 minutes later and
took a nap. I was awakened by a loud clap of thunder; the power had gone
off a couple times too.

I called Connie and she was stuck underneath the Sorcerer's Hat, which had
been struck by lightning. She said that she had tried to take the Backlot
Tour, but it was raining so hard – and there was so much lightning that once
they left the load area that they turned around immediately and unloaded.
Connie said that the woman on the tram with her was upset and said, "I'm
already wet, why can't we just finish the ride!" She also said a woman
screamed at the cast member at the pin station under the hat three different
times about them not selling her daughter a pin she wanted in spite of the
electricity being off and the store being closed. It was probably good
that I was not there because after seven days, I've really had enough of
rude behavior especially towards cast members.

I met Connie at Downtown Disney about 6:30. She took a bus from the Studios
to Port Orleans (it was the first bus to arrive at the station) and she got
off there and noticed that the same bus changed its sign to Downtown Disney
so she got back on and rode over. We had dinner Earl of Sandwich (I got a
Ham and Swiss, Connie got Roast Beef) and then went to World of Disney where
I bought several things, including the $15 throw they were selling with
purchases over $50. It will go nicely with the one I have from last year's
trip. Connie walked through the Lego store but they had nothing new so we
headed back to the car to retire for the night. Tomorrow is a big day for
us.

TOMORROW: Universal Studios Florida!

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