Day 1 - Arrival and Epcot

Thursday, December 1st, 2005

In an attempt to adjust my sleep in one day, I stayed awake all night on the 29th, then went to bed at 3:00pm on the 30th. I woke up around 9:30pm on the 30th, finished a little bit of last minute packing, and was on the road at 11:38pm.

This was all the luggage I took on my 8 day trip. In hindsight, I didn't
even use the cooler, and could have easily done without it.

I'd never driven overnight like that before, but considering that I'd just had 6 1/2 hours of sound sleep, I felt confident that I could do it.

I stopped at McDonald's in Murfreesboro since I was hungry and didn't want to have to find food later.

I got a quarter pounder with cheese and fries, with water to drink. The next stop was at the Tennessee Welcome Center. I wasn't able to get any chocolate milk though since the machine wasn't taking dollars, and I didn't have any change, and the change machine wouldn't take my dollar either. Oh well.

I stopped for gas at about 3:30am in northern Georgia, then headed on.

I ate the sandwich I'd packed at 5:00am...

...and watched the sun rise shortly after near Valdosta. I got a call from Kevin as I was crossing into Florida saying he was in Newark and could see Manhattan from the airport. I stopped for more gas right over the border (a big mistake since it was about $.30 a gallon higher in Florida! But Kevin had distracted me).

The sun plays with my windshield and my hand as I approach Florida

I made it to Orlando at 10:48am...10 hours and 10 minutes after I left home! Record speed for me! I quickly got checked into Pop Century, and was glad that they had a room open that I could get into right then!

Our room, 6167, in the Mickey Phone 70s building

The bedroom area

The bathroom area

I parked and lugged all my stuff into 6167, then laid down on the bed until Kevin arrived. I didn't sleep any, but it was nice to relax and rest for a bit before he arrived. I watched the Disney resort loop through about 3 times before Kevin got there.

Once he arrived, we were both starving, so we headed on out to Epcot.

We had a lunch reservation at Biergarten at 3:10, but it was only about 1:00pm by this point, so we had a bit of time to kill. We hopped on a bus, and when we arrived, first thing I did was show Kevin my Leave a Legacy tile.

It was tougher to find this time than other times, but I eventually found it! While we were in the area, we hopped on Spaceship Earth, which promptly broke down on us.

Kevin got kinda spooked when Spaceship Earth e-stopped

Whatever the problem was, it was fixed with the help of maintenance and we were on our way again.

As we walked, we decided to pop into Club Cool to see the redesign.

It looked really nice, but seemed a bit smaller than before. All the same sodas were still there... Kevin and I were quite happy to still be able to drink the Kinley Lemon. After that, we decided to head on into World Showcase, and we could take our time getting around to Germany.

We stopped briefly in the Stave Church in Norway for a few goofy pictures, then proceeded on.

I narrowly escape being axed to death by a viking

Then this viking apparently tried to sell Kevin some weed!

We arrived in Germany about a half hour before our lunch reservation, but we were still seated pretty quickly.

We made sure to practice what little German we both knew before being seated as well.

Biergarten...the all you can eat German buffet!

After a short wait, our pager goes off and we are ready to be seated.

My lunch...tomato salad, chicken schnitzel, potatoes, a roll, spelt, rice and spaetzle

Well, lunch was fantastic. I ate a ton, but not so much that I was too stuffed to walk around afterwards!

Julie does her best Robb Alvey impression during lunch

Still appearing haggard from the long flights, Kevin dives into a liter of beer like a real man!

Kevin started lunch with a liter of beer, which was comical to say the least!

Oktoberfest Musikanten was the entertainment during lunch...! No! I won't do it! Must resist!

I don't know about you, but I think this trip report needs more cow bell!

...but what we liked watching more was the lady with the hugest hair we'd ever seen!

Glad I managed to get two good pictures of her!

As we left, we passed Italy and American Adventure, then caught Miyuki performing in the Japan pavilion, so we stopped to watch the rest of her show.

She is truly amazing to watch!

Kevin finds Table Nuts

We shopped for a bit but neither of us bought anything, then we headed off in the direction of Morocco.

The liter of beer kicks in in the France pavilion, and Kevin paints a lovely still life

We briefly stopped in France to browse the gift shops, but again, neither of us made any purchases.

As I passed the UK pavilion, I noticed that they sold two draft ciders at the kiosk outside the pub now, which was great! I thought about getting one, but decided to wait a bit. Kevin and I went in a couple of shops in the Canada pavilion, where I noticed that they sell Mr. Big bars! They're close to $3 a piece, but if I ever truly need a fix, I know where to find them! We sat for a while, then watched O Canada.

During the show, Peter called three times, which I knew meant he was in Epcot and wanting to meet up. After the show, I called him, and told him we would be watching Off Kilter, and to come meet us. About 10 minutes later, he arrived with much fanfare and celebration.

Kim had called earlier wanting to meet up also, so we gave her a call. She said that she and Rob were approaching Epcot and would be there shortly. We waited for a bit at Rose and Crown, and I grabbed a Strongbow cider while we waited.

Awww, me and Peter. No, we are not a couple! :-)

After a while, Peter said he wanted some dinner, so we all went to the Mexico pavilion, where he grabbed some grub. We walked back to Rose and Crown and found Kim and Rob inside.


Rob, enjoying a Bass

We all sat outside on the patio and chatted for a long while as Rob and I finished up our drinks.

After a while, Kim and Rob said they needed to leave, as they were test running the Great Race and needed to finish on time. So we all walked to the International Gateway, then chatted some more. Kevin's camera batteries had died, so Peter used his discount to buy him some more while we chatted.

Kim and Rob at the International Gateway

Eventually Kim and Rob left, and Kevin, Peter and I walked counter clockwise around World Showcase. Kevin stopped briefly to get an Extra Magic Hour wristband as he intended on staying in the park a little later than I did. It was really cold at this point, so everyone stopped in Morocco to warm up.

The boys got hot mint tea, and I got a fruit tart, which was really great. After a while, we continued walking, and IllumiNations started.

Eventually, we came to a stop in the Outpost and watched what was left of IllumiNations, with the holiday finale.

From there, Peter and I left to go to Walmart while Kevin stayed in the park for another couple of hours. Almost as soon as I got to the hotel, I noticed that I was without my hair dryer and my hairbrush...two things I basically can't live without while on vacation! So Peter offered to take me to Walmart so I could get a new travel brush, and maybe a hair dryer. I had no idea how close the new Walmart was to property, but I love it! It almost butts right up against Disney property! WAY more convenient than Walmart on 192! *shudder* I quickly got what I needed (didn't have the right kind of hair dryer, so I got stuff to make my hair curly instead), then Peter picked up a few things.

Peter finds 20 AAA batteires for $8.87, compared to Kevin's 4 AAA batteries for $10!

One thing I'd been thinking about picking up was a pay-as-you-go cell phone for Kevin. Kim has one and was saying how much she thought he could benefit from having one with a US number, since it would be so much cheaper for him when he travels in the States (last year, his December phone bill was over $200!). He'd seemed very interested, but ultimately he said not to worry about getting him one. Knowing Kev, I figured it was much more "I don't want to leave Epcot to go to Walmart" than "I seriously don't want the cell phone" so I decided to get one anyway. Peter and I struggled with which one to get for the better part of half an hour before finally deciding on the $20 model. Some of the more expensive ones had cheaper minutes you could buy, but I didn't just want to show up with one and be like "Here Kev, I bought you a phone, now gimme $50."

Peter dropped me back off at my hotel, and I was exhausted, so I went straight to bed. I heard Kevin come in a bit later, so I explained about the phone, and he agreed that yes, he did want the phone, but didn't want to leave Epcot to get it hehe. Not sure what time I finally got to sleep, but I was out cold as soon as I hit the bed, since I'd been up since 11:30 the night before!

Go to Day 2 - Animal Kingdom