For those of you who read my day 1 post, you'll know that I went to bed really, really late (or early depending on your perspective of things). This meant that when it was time to get up for our 8:20AM reservation at Ohana, I was running on 3.5-4 hours of sleep. My wife only got a 1 or 2 more hours than me.
Our reservation was at a time before the Magic Kingdom opened (9AM) and we needed to get to a park and hop over to the Polynesian Resort from there since there weren't any direct busses from our resort (nor is there any resort-to-resort busses anywhere). Since, I wasn't sure how the character breakfast busses worked and I got confusing info from the Internet, I decided to get up early enough to check with the concierge for our resort.
That meant I was getting up at 7:00AM. That alarm came early and it was rough waking up. I got dressed, put in my eyes (aka contacts), told my wife I was leaving and walked up to the concierge desk (thanks again Kitty-Chan for the good tip on which building to stay in).
I was informed that the busses started running at 7AM and would stop at "The Springs" stop to pick up people to take them to a park.
I went back to tell my wife and found that she was already up and almost ready for the day. I still had to put on my sun block. So, I had to undress again just so I could get proper coverage. Nothing is worse than a sunburn around the collar of your shirt of cuffs of your sleeves because you tried to apply sun block while your shirt was still on.
We walked over to The Springs bus stop and waited. While we were there, I took a couple pictures from the bus stop. It turns out that the Epcot bus was the first to show up. Since Epcot is on the monorail line and so is the Polynesian (after a switch at the Ticketing and Transportation Center), we took this bus.
We got off the bus at Epcot and noticed all the security around. There was definitely a lot of K-9 patrols. It was at this point that I remembered that they were doing a NASA Appreciation Day at Epcot for the most recent mission. They were dedicating a plaque at Mission: Space and doing some meet & greets. We made a mental note to come back after breakfast.
We had to go through the bag check hassle just so we could get on the monorail. When we got to the top of the gangplank, we were told by a lovely cast member that the monorail will be delayed because they were doing some official photo sessions with the Monorail AND the astronauts.
When the monorail finally arrived, we were still the only people there, so the pilot, Dominick, let us ride up front. Granted, it's not as cool as riding up front on the way back to Epcot, but it was still cool none-the-less.
When we got to to the Ticketing and Transportation Center (TTC) we had to switch lines so we could get to the Poly. We could've walked, but there wasn't clear signage on where to go to do that, so we just decided to take the monorail.
Once we were off the monorail at the Poly, it was easy to find Ohana. There was a huge wait to get checked in and then get your picture taken. The picture they'll later try to sell to you for $40.
What is my opinion of Ohana? I loved it. I like breakfast foods and this had it. I dined on excellent little Mickey-shaped waffles and sausage, bacon, scrambled eggs and biscuits. Plus, they give you a choice of beverages as well as a guava/passion-fruit blend juice. I also got a nice cupcake for my birthday along with a card signed by all the characters.
I once again got my pictures taken with all the characters and had a great time. I would definitely put this one above Cinderella's Royal Table. The only thing Cindy's has over Ohana is the ambiance of the locale. Ohana has them beat, hands down, on food.
Another opinion I have about Ohana is that it's not worth the money to waste a table service credit on this. With a 20% tip, my wife and I spent less than $50 for the two of us. You could get alot more for your money if you went to a lot of other sit down establishments.
From there we immediately hightailed it to Mission: Space. We didn't realize it but at this point, they were doing an official media/press event. I took some pictures and felt sorry for our fine astronauts since they had to sit out in the direct sun with those navy-blue jump suits on. I took some pictures, but my angle wasn't the best so I didn't get a lot of good shots.
At this point, my wife had been talking to a cast member named Pam who was very informative. She told us that there was going to be a Q&A session at the Mission: Space post-show area at 1:30PM. But we need to get there early if we want a good position.
At this point, we decided to have some fun.
We immediately jumped on Mission: Space since it had a short wait (10 minutes). We went on the Orange Team, of course! I love the Orange Team experience. Granted I get a bit queasy near the end when we are dodging asteroids like Han Solo in the Empire Strikes Back and when we get bounced onto the Martian Surface like a well played football into the end-zone, but it subsides fast.
After getting off Mission: Space, we poked around the store and I think Nancy found a hidden Mickey. We need to consult Steve Barrett's guide to see if it's been reported or not. After this we went over to Test Track because it was also listing a 10 minute wait. It was probably more like 15-20, but it went quickly. I like this ride. It's definitely in my top 10.
After Test Track we decided it was time to finally taste the infamous Italian Coca-Cola product called Beverly. I must say, that it wasn't as bad as I had been mentally preparing for, but I can say with 100% assurance that the longer you waited the worse the after-taste got. The initial taste was like a bad 7-Up, but it just got worse the longer you waited. I think my tongue started tingling. Well, I drank the entire shot glass of liquid they gave you, but Enchanted could only tolerate a sip before she poured the rest down the drain. After trying the Shasta product and finding it horrible too, we gave up. It was just too wasteful.
From Ice Station Cool we decided to tackle Soarin' next. The sign said a 30 minute wait so we decided to do it anyway. After standing in the line for about 5 minutes, we were informed, via an overhead announcement, that the wait time was being adjusted to 55 minutes.....argh!
We had to be subjected to the new interactive "distractions" 5 times before we got to the secondary queue. I must say that if the typical interaction with the interactive displays are anything like what I saw, Disney really missed the mark. Hardly anyone participated and there was alot of groaning and moaning each time it restarted it's spiel.
After Soarin', we hustled back to Mission: Space to catch the Q&A Session with the Astronauts. We grabbed a seat in the back of the post-show area. Then the cast member my wife was talking to earlier in the day recognized her and called her forward. She told her as long as we were willing to ask a question, she'd get us on the other side of the rope. So, we obliged. They led us to believe that people were expected to stay where they originally were put. But, Enchanted wanted to get closer so I could get good pictures. For, you see, I'm short.
I must say that my wife never ceases to amaze me. She managed to talk our way right up to the front and center of the crowd. She chatted up cast members and other guests and got us up there. There was another guy next to me who was taking official pictures for Disney. The guy with him happened to be from the next town over in Texas were we just moved from. He and Enchanted talked quite a bit while I took pictures. I managed to get a lot of good photos during this session.
So, we decided to use a snack credit instead of a counter-service credit because we were still somewhat full from breakfast. I pointed out to my wife the new ice cream joint which is serving Edy's ice cream. Enchanted got a single scoop in a waffle cone and I got a chocolate shake. The cast member who made my shake got a little over zealous with the milk and ice cream because when she poured it into my cup, my cup floweth over. A chocolate milk shake makes a big, big mess. There was shake everywhere. I can at least say it wasn't my fault.
After we got some ice cream in our bellies, we started to feel invigorated. So, we decided to keep plugging through EPCOT. The Seas with Nemo and Friends was our next stop. The Nemo clamshell ride wasn't open when we were at EPCOT last September. I must say that after the Submarine Voyage at Disneyland, this ride was a bit juvenile. But it was a nice respite from the heat.
After disembarking from our clamshell, we walked around the aquarium and then took in session with Crush at Turtle Talk. As usual, Crush was a righteous dude and laughs were plentiful.
After leaving The Seas with Nemo and Friends, we discovered that it had poured while we were preoccupied. It was still slightly sprinkling. We decided to check out the Pin Station to see if there was a pin dedicated to today's NASA events. We couldn't find one, but we did purchase a few pins anyway. Since we spent more than $55 on pins, we were eligible to buy a nice framed pin set for $15 which we took advantage of.
This was the point we decided it was time to head back to the resort. My wife wanted a nap before we headed to dinner.
While she napped, I started working on this post. I also continued to try and get pictures converted to JPG's from their original RAW format.
I woke my wife up at 6:00PM so that we could get to a 7:30PM ADR at the California Grill at The Contemporary Resort. Needless to say, we didn't get to the bus stop until 7:00PM. We caught the bus to EPCOT and by the time we got there, the sky had opened up.
I was sure that you could get a bus from EPCOT to The Contemporary. But I told my wife that I would run through the rain to check the board to see what bus bay we needed to transfer to. When I got to the board, I found out that there were no busses that ran to monorail serviced resorts.
So, I signaled to her to run to the monorail. We got soaked.
It took about 20 minutes for us to get a table and it wasn't a window table, but we didn't care. We had an awesome waiter by the name of Saad. He made sure we could go to watch Wishes while he held up our food.
When it was time for Wishes, the rain was still light, but we braved it out to the observation deck anyway. I setup my tripod and donned my rain coat. After the first few fireworks went off, the rain stopped and stayed gone for the entire show.
I think I got some good pictures from there. Time will tell once I can view them on a larger screen.
After dinner, Michael from Explore The Magic caught back up with us and we went to Downtown Disney. We weren't sure if the shops would be open or not but my wife wanted to check it out so that she could spend some money in the Scrapbook store while Michael and I took some pictures. Unfortunately, all the stores were closed since it was after 11PM.
We wandered around Downtown Disney taking pictures as we worked our way to Pleasure Island.
No sooner had we gotten into Pleasure Island and setup our tripod, we were approached by a Disney Security Guard. He informed us that it's against Disney policy to allow tripod photography anywhere on Disney property.
I find this very confusing because I've seen tripods all over the parks and I have had my tripod on the parks as well and no one has said a thing to me. I hope this is just one very rarely enforced rule and it really doesn't mean anything.
Well, we decided not to push our luck and wandered back out of Downtown Disney and came home.
Well, that's it for today folks. It's time for a little sleep for this very tired man. You know what happens when I don't get sleep, I turn into a much bigger grump than I usually am.
Keep it grumptastic folks!