By Michelle Scribner-MacLean
Ah, the generosity of friends”¦.and all my friends happen to know that I love Walt Disney World. So, when my dear pal Pat invited me to stay at her off-property Orlando timeshare for the weekend, I jumped at the chance. I was particularly happy because, although we usually trek down to WDW in May as a family, this spring we’d decided to postpone our family trip until later in the year”¦.which meant that I was going to miss the Flower and Garden Festival at EPCOT. However, yesterday, after a very early flight from cold and dreary New Hampshire, midmorning I found myself standing in front of Spaceship Earth taking in this splendid site:
The entrance area to EPCOT didn’t have its typical music, but instead featured tunes that you’d hear at a beach party”¦.which is fitting since all of the topiaries are decked out in beach gear. Minnie had a cute bathing suit and her dear boy”¦..er”¦..mousefriend looked like this:
I didn’t get very far into EPCOT when my friend called and invited me to Downtown Disney for lunch. (See! I told you it was whirlwind). We met at Wolfgang Puck’s for a lunch on the outside patio (something that it pretty tricky to do in New Hampshire these days).
I ordered spinach salad with pecans and gorgonzola cheese, but had asked them to take the apples out since I am allergic. The waitress assured me it would be no problem at all. After the salad arrived and I started eating it”¦.I bit down into an apple! Luckily, I only had a slight reaction, but I made sure to tell the waitress. The chef came out to personally apologize, but I wanted to mention this because, although anyone with allergies is very careful, mistakes do happen so be sure to double check (it reminded me that I need to remember to carry my benedryl wherever I go).
As my friend Pat headed to a water park with her son, I had some time to myself before we met later for dinner. As I got into my car I had an email on my phone from a friend suggesting that there might be soft openings of Toy Story Mania at Disney Hollywood Studios. Well, I guess that made the decision of where I’d be going next! When I arrived I found out that the soft openings were just for Cast Members”¦.and that the line was a 90 minute wait (those Cast Members love the new attractions as much as we do!). This is was the area looked like.
You can see that it was blocked off, but there is a Pixar Studio banner, some plastic monkeys, and some army men on the roof. Looks like it is going to be a fun area”¦.but I’ll have to wait until my next trip.
I did get to see something new”¦the Block Party Bash, which has just been around for about a month. The parade is a bit different from other Disney parades because there are about six or seven floats with performer and different characters and they start by moving up the street and then stopping to perform for 10 minutes”¦.then they move to another part of the parade route and stop again. I was sitting at the second stop”¦.and it seemed like a long wait until they got there.
The characters are from Pixar films so you’ll see Toy Story characters, the Bug’s Life crew, and the ones that stopped in front of me were from Monster’s Inc.
The characters, along with dancing Cast Member friends, engage the audience in jumping, clapping, and dancing to pretty much any party song you can imagine (think YMCA and macarana). It was different and the kids around me were thrilled when they were pulled out into the street to dance. At the end of the mini performance, they shot mini rubber balls into the audience.
After two trips on Aerosmith’s Rock ‘n Roller Coaster and two more on the Tower of Terror, I headed off to Boma for dinner (see previous note about the whirlwind nature of this trip). I introduced Boma to my friend last year”¦.and now, just like me, she likes to make a visit to Boma part of every trip. Our new tradition is arriving about 45 minutes before our reservation so that we can walk around the lobby and check out the interesting artifacts and go behind the resort where you can see some African animals.
So, after a wonderful dinner at Boma”¦.we headed back to her resort and preparation for another fun day. More to follow”¦