So, as you can see, by Thursday of our trip, we had been to each park at least once. Whatever will we do??
Oh, right. Go back for more! Wooooo!
Thursday morning we had early breakfast reservations at Chef Mickey's, which is at the Contemporary resort. Since we weren't sure we'd be able to catch a bus that would get us over there by 8:05, we decided to drive. We piled into Bestie and C's rental car and were greeted at the parking lot by a lovely British man. Bestie and I agreed that he had the best accent ever and we wanted to take him with us, but alas, it wasn't to be.
The Contemporary, unlike Caribbean Beach or even Coronado Springs (where Hubby and I stayed for our honeymoon), is all indoors. Once we got in, it was escalators ahoy! They have the really skinny ones, so we had to go up single file (suddenly I'm thinking we should've pulled a Brady Bunch and started singing...).
Once we got checked in, it wasn't too long of a wait to get seated (it may have felt like forever because we were hungry and could smell food). Bestie and C hadn't been there before (or, at least not for breakfast; I can't remember for sure), but Hubby and I were seasoned pros at this point (er, yeah... after having been there once... a year and a half ago... whatever). I loaded down my first plate with every tasty thing I could find: fruit, cottage cheese, breakfast pizza, bacon, croissants, and - best of all - grits.
I may be a yankee (Wisco born and raised!), but dammit, I have southern blood running through my veins, and you just cannot get good grits in the north (with the exception of Cracker Barrel; they do a pretty good job). So when I find them, I go nuts. My second trip up to the buffet was for a doughnut and a bowl full of grits. Nom nom nom. (In case you care, I'm a butter and salt kind of gal; I take after my daddy.) By the time we left, I probably had grits coming out of my ears, but I was happy as a clam!
Chef Mickey's, like Tusker House, is character dining, so we had Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald and Pluto all stop by our table to say hi! Bestie wanted pictures with them all, so I took on camera duty. I told her it wasn't a problem, but that I wouldn't be getting up for any pictures because I had food, and nothing was coming between me and my food (particularly my grits). Thankfully, I have a bestie who wasn't in the least bit offended, and was just happy I was willing to take pictures for her. :)
After breakfast, we decided to take a ride on the monorail, since it comes through the Contemporary (yep, through it). We hopped on and just rode that darn thing around in a loop! From the Contemporary, your next stop is the TTC (Ticketing and Transportation Centre). Then it's on to the Grand Floridian and the Polynesian. Last stop is Magic Kingdom, and then you're back at the Contemporary!
We drove the car back to our resort, and then after a short break, hopped a bus to Animal Kingdom. As we were approaching, I went to grab my Key to the World and... uh... Crap! It wasn't where it was supposed to be. I freaked out, but Bestie, ever the optimist and Disney queen, just suggested we go to Guest Relations to see what they could do. A few questions later (my resort, where I'm from, etc) and I had a brand new card. Phew!
Our main goal was to hit up the Dinosaur ride, since we had missed it earlier in the week, but we started by checking out some nature trails along the way. Once we got to Dinosaur, Hubby opted out, but C hadn't been on it before, so the 3 of us headed onward. I, for one, love this ride. 1) I've always had a thing for dinosaurs. Blame my dad. 2) On my honeymoon, I totally realized that it was Hodges from CSI that does the intro and voice! 3) I know when the picture is coming up, so I can be properly prepared with a thumbs up.
The rest of the AK experience is a bit of a blur. I don't think we did any more rides, but we did go check out the nature trails in Asia. We got to see flying foxes, tigers, and all sorts of animals just hanging around. I had to go see my hippos on the nature trail, so Hubby and I left C and Bestie to sit and chill while we hoofed it through the African jungle so I could visit my hippo friends. Thankfully, they were being pretty playful, and kept swimming past the window. It's murky, and there are a TON of fish in there, but it's cool to see it anyway. Especially when they seem to be playing tag or follow the leader, and both wander past!
I think that's about all we did (except for getting more frozen Coke/other pop; that was something we did at least once a day) at AK, and soon it was off to Epcot. Our first goal was to find lunch, so we headed toward the World Showcase. Upon entering Epcot, we found the Flower and Garden Festival in full swing. There were flowers and plants everywhere! And the topiaries were insane... It was just beautiful.
We had lunch at the Cantina de San Angel, which is a quick service restaurant in Mexico that serves tacos and nachos. Getting a table was INSANE at this place, and the food was only so-so (although, I did really enjoy my cantaloupe popsicle!) so I don't know if I'd go back again, but I'm glad we had the experience. :)
We wandered from country to country for hours, with my only real goal being to visit the wall of Pocky in Japan. (OK, it's actually just a wall of candy and snacks, but there's a whole section of Pocky and it was calling my name.) We ended up getting some really delicious ice cream in France (go figure) while Bestie looked desperately for the magic rose. Sadly, we couldn't find it. Our best guess is that it's going to be a part of the new Beauty & The Beast restaurant (soon to come!) and that it's just not on display until then.
At some point I got my Pocky (and a bottle of watermelon Ramune; love that stuff!), and we encountered the Canada pavilion where a band was playing in kilts (the band name was Off Kilter - is that not hysterical?!). It was a bit of a mindf*ck, so we stopped and watched for a minute or two. We also stopped in at The Art of Disney, where they have AMAZING artwork to drool over.
One of the funniest things that happened, happened while I was in the bathroom right around England. There was a little boy standing there with his grandmother (mom was in a stall) and he was holding her hand, jumping up and down chanting, "Monorail! Monorail! Monorail!" (Not like The Simpsons; more like a little kid excited for ice cream or a pony ride.) From in the stall his mom says, "I spend the money, get the kids down here to Disney World, where they can do anything and what does my son want to do? The Monorail..." She didn't sound annoyed or put out; I imagine she was smiling and shaking her head instead. I turned to the boy and told him that I rode the monorail this morning and it was pretty awesome, so I understood! :)
Hubby was shocked (and a bit excited) that we didn't have dinner reservations that night. When I suggested we order pizza (which we had thought about doing the night before, but we weren't ALL that hungry), I think he was downright giddy. The four of us snagged our little table at the resort and Hubby ordered us a pizza and breadsticks. We spent a few hours out there, eating, drinking and talking. It was practically perfect in every way. :)