January 2014 Disney Trip: Part 5

You would think, following a long history of not bringing warm enough clothes to Disney parks, that I would learn. I have a whole collection of sweatshirts and jackets purchased at Disney parks because I was an idiot who did not pack any. And keeping this in mind, I checked the weather before we left, and I figured with lows in the upper 50s I wouldn't need anything more than a sweater. I had heard things about the east coast and a polar vortex, but I figured that was the northern east coast. Surely that did not apply to Florida.

Ria's Guide to Dressing for a Polar Vortex When You Are an Idiot Who Didn't Pack a Jacket:

1. You did, at least, have the forethought to bring tights. Wear one pair of tights. Attempt putting a second pair of tights over those. Quickly abandon that fruitless attempt.

2. The thickest socks you brought. Or if you only brought two pairs of relatively thin socks, wear them both.

3. The running pants you bought literally the day you left home because you had the mildest inkling that long pants might serve you better than capri yoga pants. Bless you, mildest inkling.

4. You did not bring any long-sleeve shirts, per se, but you did bring long-sleeve pajamas because Disney hotel rooms are freezing. Because THAT you remembered. Put on long-sleeve pajama shirt.

5. Over that, put on T-shirt you had intended to wear today anyway.

6. Step on to patio to see if this is adequate. It is not.

7. Put on cardigan with elbow-length sleeves. Arms becoming cumbersome.

8. Also put on fuzzy hooded sweater.

9. The only shoes you brought were ballet flats because you don't believe in running shoes. Realise two pairs of socks do not work with the shoes. Take off one pair of socks, put on shoes. Hope that is enough. (Spoiler: it is not.)

We all got up and headed to Epcot bright and early to spend some time in Future World. We went directly to Soarin' on the park's opening, then headed over to the new Test Track. The new queue is delightfully old-school Future World and the new ride is not very different (as far as I could tell the track itself is 100% unchanged) but the whole Tron-esque computer-y business is pretty cool. The best part is designing your own car, which it turns out we are really bad at. The crowds were still really light, so we went on Test Track twice, with utterly failing car designs both times. They looked cool, though.

I called this one Robocop
We decided our main failing with Robocop was the lack of flames
We quickly found the crowds, though, when we stopped for breakfast at the new Fountainview Starbucks. We ate breakfast perched on a nearby windowsill because seating is something that happens to other restaurants, apparently. After breakfast we poked around Mouse Gear, and I found Maleficent horns! They pretty much did not leave my head for the rest of the trip.

We had, at this point, exhausted all the worthwhile things to do in Future World, so we once again found ourselves waiting for World Showcase's opening on the steps of the Mexico pavilion. We rode Gran Fiesta Tour before heading to our lunch reservation in Italy.

When Ben discovered Via Napoli wasn't counter service, he asked if we could make a reservation, so I checked and found an 11:30 lunch reservation. Thanks, whoever canceled last-minute! We got in a little early but were still seated right away. A waiter asked us what kind of water we wanted and we thought he was taking our drink order, but it turns out before a different waiter comes to get your drink order, you get to choose sparkling or tap water. The waiter seemed kind of annoyed that we didn't already know that, which was slightly off-putting, but everything else was wonderful. I got - what else - an Italian margarita, which was slightly different from the one sold at the gelato counter outside, but still delicious. I also got my favourite Italian food ever, arancini, as an appetizer. And totally ate 2/3 of it before remembering to take a picture.

We got a truly enormous pepperoni pizza that was absolutely delicious. I'd never had Naples-style pizza but if that's it, sign me up forever. It was so delicious. The restaurant is also beautiful, all the natural light is lovely, and the wood-fire ovens are pretty neat. We definitely plan to go back.

After lunch we intended to head over to Hollywood Studios. As this was our last time in Epcot on this trip, I ran back to Mexico to grab one last margarita. I met up with Ben and Adam back in Italy and then we headed over to the boat to take us to Hollywood Studios. I learned you can't take alcoholic beverages out of the park so the guys helped me finish my margarita (oh the brain freeze) before the next boat showed up.

We saw a boat pull up to the dock and ran over to get in line. After several minutes of not loading, we were told the boat was being taken out and the next one would be by in about 20 minutes. We decided it would probably be faster to just walk to Hollywood Studios, so we set off through the Boardwalk. A lovely couple from Louisiana also decided to leave the line; they were looking for the Boardwalk resort, and we offered to show them the way. It's faster to walk than take the boat from World Showcase to the Boardwalk anyway, I think. We continued on to Hollywood Studios.

Maleficent horns!!
This was our first day with FastPass+ reservations, and getting them was the biggest pain. I didn't want to put Ben on the FastPasses for the rides he didn't plan to do (Tower of Terror and Rock 'n' Roller Coaster) but it wouldn't let me make more than one reservation. I selected reservations for those two rides, and then on the next page everything was called "Experience 36" and assorted other numbers. It wouldn't show me the names of the rides until I confirmed. After three go-rounds of confirming and canceling reservations, I finally got all three of us Star Tours, Tower of Terror, and Rock 'n' Roller Coaster FastPasses, even though the only ride all three of us would be riding was Star Tours. Sigh.

So we went to Star Tours first. When Ben and I were first dating, we were discussing Star Wars (as you do) and he said he wished there was a Star Wars ride and proceeded to exactly explain Star Tours. I told him it existed and it was undoubtedly what he was most excited for on our first trip to Disney World in 2011. I believe that time he made me ride it three times in a row. On our honeymoon we only managed it twice in a row. With FastPass+ limiting you to three FastPasses per day, and being unable to get Ben a separate FastPass from me and Adam, we only got to ride it once. It was fun, it just feels like the FastPass+ system is confining and distinctly un-fun.

We had some time until our Tower of Terror FastPass so we went to Muppet-Vision 3D. Adorable as ever, and if they ever get rid of it I will go to the houses of the people responsible and scream loudly and un-endingly in their ears all night.

We looked around the Muppets and Christmas shops, and then it was time for Tower of Terror. Ben grabbed a table in Pizza Planet and guarded our bags while Adam and I went to Tower of Terror.

We got one of the longer configurations of drops on the ride, which is always excellent. We had a bit of time between Tower and our next FastPass, so we went back to Pizza Planet to hang out with Ben for a little while. Then Adam and I headed back down Sunset Boulevard and got stuck behind a Brazilian tour group. I figured there was no way they'd all have FastPasses. I was wrong. So it took a little while to get onto the ride, but it was fun when we did get to it.

We met up with Ben at Villains in Vogue, where I completed step 10 of my Polar Vortex Dressing Guide by purchasing a Maleficent scarf. But I did NOT BUY A JACKET. So I did not succumb to my usual sad jacket acquisition. I just wrapped the scarf around my face under the hood on my sweater. We just barely made it on to The Great Movie Ride, then ran to get seats for Fantasmic. We weren't as early as I usually like to be but we still got decent seats. We had some of the leftover pizza from Via Napoli for dinner (it was SO MUCH pizza) and I got a churro! Fantasmic was alright - I don't care for it but Ben loves it, which is why we went to see it - but I feel like when it's hovering right around freezing, the water effects might have at least been lessened. We were up at the top but the wind was pretty strong, so we were still getting a bit of the splash. When Mickey put out Maleficent's fires with waves of water, you could hear large sections of the audience (myself included) yelling "NOOOOO!" Mickey whyyyy. I was also really disappointed that the Belle and the Beast float didn't appear, though I saw them on the finale boat.

Up next: last day at the parks :(


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