The day after
I felt surprisingly good for just one day after the race. I usually feel the pain in my knees on days two and three but today I could easily get out of bet without a nurses aide. We decided to take it easy and sleep in so we did not get moving until about 9am (that is sleeping in at Disney). We had a light day planned in the parks, then a big dinner and show lined up for the evening.
Matt’s legs were bothering him so we let him sleep in a bit longer and we headed over to the Magic Kingdom. Mom and Dad had not been on Pirates’ or the Haunted Mansion since they were refurbished, so we made sure to hit those and a few more attractions. By the way, the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor is a hidden gem. I would not have done it had the lines been longer but I am glad we did. Very funny.
We met Matt at Epcot at about 2pm and the lines where very short again so we were able to do all the attractions that everyone wanted. We then decided to eat/drink around the world. That is where you have a drink and or food at every country in world showcase. We went from left to right (Mexico to Canada) and had a sample in each country. We only did one small item among the four of us because we did not want to fill up before the big dinner tonight.
One other thing that we got to do was a semi private photo op. I say semi private because it is open to Disney VISA members only. It takes place every day from 1:30 – 4 in Inventions West and features a surprise guest or two. Today it was Minnie and Goofy, so we were able to get a bunch of photos with them with either our camera or the photo pass photographer that was present. We also received a free 5×7 of our choice from all the photos taken. After the photo shoot we headed back to the Beach Club.
Our hotel was just across the lake from Disney’s Boardwalk resort, very close to where our dinner was scheduled. If you plan on visiting Disney World I would suggest taking advantage of what they call and ADR (Advance Dining Reservation). You are allowed to book up to 180 days in advance (as of this article), and you can book for your length of stay up to 10 days. We used ADR’s for all our reservations including tonight’s dinner at Kouzzina. Kouzzina is Cat Cora’s new restaurant which recently replace Spoodle’s on the boardwalk. My daughter is a big fan (as am I) of the Food Network and Cat is the first female Iron Chef on the show of the same name.
The menu was a wonderful Mediterranean/Greek mix with a nice selection of lamb, fish, pasta and steaks. We all tried something different and were no disappointed although my fast food son was a bit perplexed when I tried to explain what a béchamel was (his pasta was topped with cinnamon roasted lamb meat sauce, béchamel and cheeses). If you like Ouzo, the Ouzo-tini kicks butt.
We left happy and stuffed and made our way back to the hotel to get some blankets. I had a special night outside planned for the four of us so we need a few extra layers to keep the cold out. Every night Epcot has a fireworks/light/music show called Illuminations. If you know when you are going to be down there you can try to book an Illuminations cruise. I say try, because there are only 5 available each night (actually four on Mondays as Nippon travel has a standing reservation every Monday for members of their tour groups). You can book 90 days in advance by calling (407) WDW-PLAY (407-939-7529), but be sure to call early. The phone open at 8AM EST so start calling a few minutes before that. I have been lucky to book twice and got the last boat each time. My first cruise was cancelled because of lightening (sorry Lorie), so this was my first actual time on the boat.
The boat is a 21 foot pontoon that fits up to 10 people for a flat rate, so if you have some friends along with you you can spread the cost a bit. They provide some drinks (non-alcoholic) and snacks and you are able to order food, even dinners to ring on the boat. The only think you can’t do is bring your own food.
We were lucky enough to get Michael Scibetta as our captain that evening. If you are a hardcore fan or Disney, you probably know about the WDW Radio Podcast and have heard Michael on the show. He was the one driving Breathless II in the video ‘Catching You Breathless’.
Michael takes you around the lake for a short cruise before parking just under the bridge that separates France from England in Epcot. From there we had a front row seat for the Illuminations show and Michael was kind enough to give my parents his version of the events that were unfolding during the show. If you are lucky enough to book one of the boats, I highly recommend contacting Michael to see if you can schedule him to be your captain that night.
We had brought extra blankets to keep out the cold but I was so wrapped up in the experience that I didn’t really notice it anyway. The family really enjoyed the show and the cruise and I was grateful that I was able to share it with them.
Worth every penny.