Our Disney World Vacation – Day 4 – Epcot

Day 4 of our trip took us around the world at Epcot. Well, mostly around the world. We got on the Skyliner again, transferring twice before arriving at Epcot.

We decided to go for the rides first, so we hit Soarin’ right away which is a hang-gliding flight simulator around the world. Very cool! We rode Living with the Land next and took a boat tour through the greenhouses of Epcot. The last thing we rode was Spaceship Earth (it’s in the big Epcot ball). We headed to Test Track, but it was broken down when we got there. The whole center area between Spaceship Earth and the lake is blocked off. Major renovations going on. But at least they had the cute butterfly thingies for pictures!

We headed to Mexico, and the loop of countries around the lake. But, we ended up skipping Mexico, most of Norway, and China. Each country had a popular ride or attraction which made it a very congested area (thanks, Anna and Elsa). I did manage to get a photo of the gate to China.

We were also able to walk through the Gods of the Vikings exhibit because it’s out in the front of Norway. Tabitha represented Loki well.

Tabitha got to show her love for some of the princesses.

We still visited America, even though we’re literally here every damn day. But, we got to listen to some great live music from a mariachi band and an acapella group, so that was worth it. We also watched the animatronic show “The American Adventure.” Tabitha kept pointing out all the whitewashing. And there was one song in it where they would sing “America” all dramatic-like, so she decided to sing “Captain America” instead, but just as dramatic. I fricking love this kid.

We saw some bonsai trees and a dragon topiary in Japan.

Some cool stuff in Italy, including a weeping angel. (Don’t blink!)

Got to see the Eiffel Tower and some expensive artsy fartsy stuff in France. (I love artsy fartsy stuff!) We also found a Paris box with all the Marie stuff in a shop. Savannah has always loved Marie and Paris, and she actually owns this box! A photo of it was a must.

Side-note: The blue cloth Tabitha has on her head was a life saver from the heat! We got two of them. You just wet them, wring them out, then snap them a couple times. Snapping them does some sciency stuff, and they stay cool for a couple hours. These and her portable fan/mister made the heat a little more bearable.

Tabitha tried to make a call, but there was no bloody phone! The Pooh Bear, Rabbit, Tigger, Piglet, and Eeyore topiaries were so stinkin’ cute! And I really want to analyze the rhetorical significance of placing the Shakespeare Garden directly in front of the bathrooms. (Can’t escape rhetoric even on vacation – haha!)

And then there was Germany. I saved this for last because it’s where we ate lunch and dinner. Of course, Tim had to check out the model train.

Lunch was at Bauernmarkt. Tabitha and I had the toasted pretzel bread with black forest ham and melted gruyere cheese. It was so good! Tim only had a beer flight. He was saving room for dinner.

Dinner was at the Biergarten. This was easily the best meal we had all week! It used to be a buffet with all the tables together to represent an actual biergarten during Oktoberfest. Because of the pandemic, tables are now separated, and the food is served family-style right at your table. I actually preferred this because I’m not a fan of buffets (gross!). It’s still all you can eat though!

The first course is pretzel bread, potato salad, a tomato and cucumber salad, and macaroni salad. I wasn’t fast enough to get a pic of the tomato/cucumber salad because Tim and Tabitha inhaled it! The main course is bratwurst, roasted chicken, nudel gratin, sauerkraut, red cabbage, spatzle (noodles), warm potato salad, regensberger wurst, franks, schnitzel, frikadellen (meatballs), and green beans. And, of course, I didn’t take a picture of all of it, only my plate. I almost forgot to do that because I just wanted to eat!

I opted for the spatzle, chicken, schnitzel, and frikadellen. The noodles and chicken weren’t anything special. They were good, but just tasted like noodles and lemon-pepper chicken. The schnitzel was very tasty, especially with the sweet mustard. And the frikadellen? OMG! FRIKA-AMAZING!

Dessert was cheesecake with berry compote, black forest roll, chocolate chip cookies, and warm apple strudel with vanilla sauce. The cookies were cookies. I actually gave mine to Tabitha because compared to the other desserts, they just weren’t happening for me. The apple strudel was very good. But, I still can’t decide if I liked the cheesecake with berry compote or the black forest roll more. I mean, you’d think cheesecake is pretty generic, right? But let me tell you, this cheesecake was so amazing I wanted to cry!

And as if all the amazing food wasn’t enough, there’s live music! It was such a great dinner experience!

Interesting side-note: As we were walking in, we ran into Tabitha’s principal from her old school! How crazy is that?!

Rain and storms seemed to loom overhead all day. There was one rain burst during the day, and one was on its way after dinner. We tried hard to get back to the Skyliner before the storm hit because we knew they would stop running it. We didn’t make it, so we had to walk even further to the bus. And another evening storm meant no pool time. I wasn’t complaining though. I was ready for sleep!

Total steps: 17,515 (The most of our vacation! And two new blisters! Woo hoo!)

Come along with us tomorrow as we go to the Magic Kingdom!

Our Disney World Vacation – Day 3 – Animal Kingdom

Early on our third morning, Tim took a survey asking about our experience so far. He said everything was great now, but did include how it took longer to get the room, the safe wasn’t working, and only one side of the coffee maker was working. He didn’t really expect anyone to read it. But within 90 minutes, a room manager called the room and said they would send someone up to fix the safe and bring a new coffee maker. Sweet! Right after the person left who had fixed the safe, there was another knock on the door with someone bringing gifts! We got some popcorn, chocolates, a frame, and a handwritten note! How awesome is that?!

After that we were off to Animal Kingdom! There were 3 must-dos on our list for this park: Avatar Flight of Passage, Na’vi River Journey, and the Kilimanjaro Safaris Expedition. We headed for Flight of Passage first because it had the longest wait time. Wait times always seemed a bit off during our stay, but in a good way. They never seemed as long as predicted. But as we waited, we had a lot to look at.

Avatar Flight of Passage was amazing! It’s a 3-D flight simulator where you’re riding a banshee through Pandora. It’s an immersive and breathtaking ride!

From there, we went right next door to the Na’vi River Journey. A relaxing boat ride down the Na’vi River that wasn’t nearly long enough!

Last on our must-do list was the safari. I knew the Animal Kingdom park would be a hit with Tabitha, if only for the giraffes we would see on the safari. She had already loved the Avatar rides, so now it was time to go see some giraffes! And wow! We got to see them up close, along with a lot of other animals!

Giraffic jam!

Since we were able to get through our must-do list pretty quickly, we just winged it (haha) the rest of the time at the park. We took a walk through the Gorilla Falls Expedition Trail and saw some more animals.

We had a fabulous lunch with an awesome view at Flame Tree Barbecue. I had pulled pork mac n’ cheese with coleslaw and onion rings and cornbread. YUM!

We watched It’s Tough to be a Bug in the Tree of Life at the center of the park.

And we ended our day at the park with the ride, Dinosaur. A ride Tim and I had gone on 13 years ago with Savannah, but neither of us remember it being so jerky and rough. I didn’t like it, and I don’t think Tabitha did either. I did get a great shirt in the gift shop though!

Spending the evening at the pool when we got back to the hotel was another no from Mother Nature. So, we ate some pizza and relaxed.


Total steps: 14,766 – Another blister! Yay!

Join us tomorrow as we go around the world at Epcot!

Our Disney World Vacation – Day 2 – Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge

We started and ended our theme park reservations at Hollywood Studios where Galaxy’s Edge is located. This post will be about our first day (Monday, June 21st). But trust me, there is more than enough for a post for each day, so I’ll post about our second day (Friday, June 25th) soon!

We took the Skyliner to Hollywood Studios and ended up in the same tram as Quincy from www.allears.net. She gave us a lot of great advice which was awesome because we hadn’t done our homework before going. And we really should have. We were unable to get reservations for Droid Depot and Savi’s Workshop for the week, so Tabitha wasn’t able to build a droid. But she was still able to get 3, yes 3, lightsabers! Two of which she built. More on that in a bit.

There are landspeeders, x-wings, and droids (even gonk droids! – Tabitha’s favorite) as you walk through the beginning of Galaxy’s Edge. Because of COVID, interactions with characters are different, but still a fun experience.

Stormtroopers miss EVERYTHING!

Then around a couple more corners, and there it is. The Millennium Falcon.

Behind the Falcon is the queue for the ride, Smuggler’s Run where we got to see a lot of cool stuff!

On this ride, you get to play one of three roles: a pilot, gunner, or engineer. But there are 2 of each on each mission, and for the most part, you get to choose your role. Tim and I were the pilots, Tabitha was a gunner, and 3 random people were the other gunner and engineers. The mission is to fly the Millennium Falcon to Corellia to steal some coaxium for Hondo Ohnaka.

You sit in the cockpit of the Falcon, and then a computer simulation takes you through the mission complete with all the jolts and shaking from crashing to jumping to lightspeed. I was the lucky one who got to pull the lever to make the jump to lightspeed, and as I did, Tabitha yelled, “Punch it, Chewy!” It was awesome.

I had been unable to get a boarding pass for Rise of the Resistance at 7:00am, so Tim tried again at 1:00pm using the advice Quincy gave us. But, it didn’t work. So, we would miss that ride the first day. We still had 2 more chances on Friday though!

If you can’t get a reservation for Savi’s Workshop to build your own lightsaber, you can still get a Legacy Lightsaber at Dok Ondar’s Den of Antiquities. There is a virtual queue for it, but we happened to be right outside the store when they put the sign back out with the QR code for the queue! Woo hoo!

Dok Ondar

After trying Rey’s, Leia’s, and Darth Maul’s hilts, Tabitha decided on Obi-Wan’s. She also got a Jedi holocron with a white kyber crystal and a Sith journal.

We ate ronto wraps from Ronto Roasters (sorry, didn’t get pics of them!), then headed to Star Tours because the wait time was very short (5 minutes compared to the 70 minute wait for Smuggler’s Run). Tabitha loved this ride too!

Like most rides at Disney, it exits into a gift shop. This is the gift shop where you can build your own “cheaper” lightsaber, if you can’t do it at Savi’s. Tabitha got us for 2 lightsabers here! LOL! She got to choose all the parts of the hilts and the blades’ colors. She picked a white one for Ahsoka Tano (her favorite character), and a red one for Darth Vader. It’s all interchangeable too, so if she gets bored with the way they look, she can switch it all around. She also got some really cool light up Star Wars Mickey ears!

Light up Star Wars Mickey ears!

At this point, we were getting overheated and tired! Well, at least Tabitha and I were. After spending over a year barely leaving the house, being out in public and walking a lot was not agreeing with us! We went back to the hotel for a quick nap, then headed to Disney Springs for some shopping and dinner reservations at Ragland Road Irish Pub. The food was amazing, and I found Loki ears! The only ears I wanted and that Tabitha commandeered within a day!

That pretty much wrapped up Day 2 for us. We thought we could get some pool time after dinner, but the weather said no. It was storming by the time we got back to the hotel, and the bus driver even warned us to watch out for flying debris!

Total steps for the day: 14,272 – I had 2 blisters at this point – smh

Come back tomorrow for our exciting adventure into the Animal Kingdom!

Our Disney World Vacation – Day 1 – Travel Day

At about 4:00am on June 20, 2021, we left the house and headed to the Detroit Airport to fly to Disney World.

It was Tabitha’s first time flying, so I wasn’t sure how she would react. I have a love/hate relationship with flying. I love that it can get you places faster than driving, but I hate the thought of crashing or the plane losing power and falling from the sky. Look, I watched Lost back in the day. I know what can happen!

Plus, we have the added issue of people being buttwads and not wanting to do the simplest of things like wear a face mask. “No! My civil liberties are being violated because I’m being minorly inconvenienced by having to put this piece of cloth over my face!” Shut the fuck up.

Photo of Grogu doll stuffed in an orange and white striped bag

Anyway, back to the vacation. After being told she couldn’t take her peeps (stuffed animals), Tabitha managed to fit 4 in her backpack and 3 in my bag. Grogu was coming with us no matter what.

Once we were in the air, it was time for snacks, games, and loads of pictures of the sky! And Tabitha loves flying! Woo hoo!

We made it to Orlando and took the Magical Express bus to the Art of Animation Resort where we waited…and waited…and waited for our room to be ready. In the meantime, we had some lunch (which totally reminded me of Fazolli’s!), and Tim and Tabitha played in the arcade.

After about 5 hours of waiting, our room was ready! A lot of the waiting was because we got there so dang early, but about an hour was after they had promised the room would be ready. And after asking what was happening (nicely because we aren’t Karens), Disney gave us a $75 credit. That was nice, especially considering we had already spent about $150 in the gift shop and for lunch! Haha!

Our room was amazing! We stayed in the Lion King suites. A separate bedroom and bathroom for Tim and I. Tabitha LOVED having her own bathroom! A small kitchenette area, table with a murphy bed, and a pullout sofa. The tile in the showers was gorgeous! And we got full size shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. That’s like full-size candy bars at Halloween!

Below are pictures of around the building and our room. Also, some of the pics were taken on the last day of our stay, so don’t mind the mess! The room had been lived in for a week!

Once we got settled, it was time for some dinner and the pool! Yeah, that thing that looks like a piece of cake? It’s a turkey sandwich! And it was delicious! I got it 2 more times during the week!

And that was Day 1, our travel day! Come back tomorrow to read and see all about Day 2, the first of the 2 days we spent at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge!