Once we got on our bus, the magic had already started. There were only six or seven of us on the bus to Epcot, and our bus driver put an announcement over the speaker system on the bus that it was my birthday! It was so awesome! We arrived at the turnstiles at around 8:30, and then the wait began. Luckily, we decided to wait at the open turnstile most to the right, so when they opened more to the right of us, we scurried over and were the second group in line! Christmas music was playing instead of the normal Epcot entrance loop (which is one of my favorites), but I didn't mind.
At around 8:50, they opened the turnstiles, we scanned through, and then we did our "Soarin' walk" up to the next holding area. At 9, the characters came out, welcomed us to the park, and soon we were doing our Soarin' walk to Soarin'! We requested to be in the top row, and we were in the middle section... so awesome! Soarin' really takes my breath away, and it's my second favorite attraction in all of Walt Disney World. I absolutely love the score, the smell... I wish I was there right now!
Anyway, like any good Touring Plan follower, we headed to Test Track next, and we walked right through the single rider line. I love the part outside, but I absolutely hate the part with the truck right before you get to the break away doors. After Test Track, we decided to skip Mission: Space, so we headed over to the Seas pavilion. It cracks James up every time that the queue for the Nemo ride is SO long, but the ride is seemingly always a walk on. It takes five minutes just to walk through the line! Once we found Nemo (in the biiiig bluuuue world), we managed to get into Turtle Talk right as the show was about to start. Perfect timing, and Crush was awesome! He kept saying "totes," which reminded me of Katie and kinda cracked me up, and he was the funniest Crush I've ever seen in the show. A+ to that Crush.
|We are here to change the world!|
|Epcot Christmas tree|
After some brief pre-lunch refreshments at Club Cool, I decided I wanted to have my birthday lunch at the new-and-improved Cantina de San Angel. James and I both ordered the tacos de carne, and I thought they were good. I would definitely have them again, but I might try something different next time I went before resorted back to them. I had churros for dessert, and while they were good, they certainly weren't anything I couldn't get at any other park (except apparently the Magic Kingdom less than an hour before park closing, as we learned the day before...). Next we rode the Gran Fiesta Tour (donde esta Donald?), Maelstrom at Norway, and we were on our way around the World Showcase!
|Kim Possible Recruitment Center in Future World|
|Dressed up for my birthday dinner!|
|The view from my seat|
At this point, it was approximately 7:30, and our entrees had just been taken away. Only dessert was left, and there were only 30 minutes until the fireworks. It was absolutely perfect timing. I was worried initially that two hours would be too long to spend at California Grill, but as Alli and Sam had assured me, it was just right. Especially since we ordered all those courses. Dessert was chocolate molten lava cake with eggnog ice cream (though we chose to have vanilla instead) and peppermint bark. And mine came with a happy birthday sign on a piece of chocolate! So awesome! Just as I finished dessert, Wishes began, and we had a perfect view from our table. Everything was just so amazing.
After we paid, I had the crazy idea that we could possibly make it IllumiNations for an epic night of double fireworks. So we got on the monorail and attempted it. And I wore heels because I accidentally brought along two left flip flops. We had just gotten on the monorail to Epcot with 18 minutes to go, and we arrived at the park with just five left. I was running in my heels like it was no one's business, and we got to World Showcase Lagoon Plaza with about a minute to spare. Nevertheless, I was able to see almost everything from our spot (the water portions were all I couldn't see), and it was amazing as usual. As I tweeted at 9:26 that night, "Epcot, California Grill, Wishes, AND IllumiNations. Best birthday EVER!" And then it was back to the room to prepare for the next day.