Monday, July 11, 2005

Who goes to Walt Disney World in July?

...oh, that's right, I am the smart one that went to Florida in July when the temperature reached into the 90s with a nice touch of humidity. I think everyone in the park sweated through their shirts, so staying hydrated was a bit tough, but we survived. Anyway, after my (exciting?) real blogging post on Thursday, I had left to visit the fancy French restaurant, so believe it or not, that's where we're going to pickup our story.

The food was quite tasty at "Chefs de France", but the service was really lacking. Maybe it was an anti-American sentiment from the French student waiters or maybe the kitchen was really slow, but we waited long periods of time between our appetizers and entrees. Our desserts eventually arrived, but they seemed to reach our table in a reasonable time. When my dad asked for another napkin or straw, there just wasn't this air of friendliness throughout the restaurant. Fortunately none of our money went their way with our dinner passes, so it's all a moot point. One highlight was watching the fireworks at night from our dinner seats. We walked around the rest of France before heading back to the hotel.

The original plan for Friday was to visit the adult rides at Epcot in the morning and then see my mom in the studio at MGM. Well we took our time getting up and skipped out on a morning Epcot visit and went right to the studio. After we were done there we ate at the "Hollywood Brown Derby" next door. I ordered their steak tenderloin that left a lot to be desired. After a quick stop at the hotel for suntan lotion, etc., we walked to Epcot and tried for some FastPass tickets for Soarin', but they were all given out by that time so we bit the bullet and waited over an hour. One aspect of WDW (Walt Disney World) is making smalltalk with your neighbors in line. We met a couple from Arizona and another one from central New Jersey. The best part of waiting in line for this ride was being in A/C and certainly far out of the sun.

The ride was very simple as you sit in your hanglider-like seat (you're never horizontal) and lifted into an IMAX-like screen that shows you flying over bridges, water, mountains of snow, and other places like a battleship in San Diego. A cool feature is how the air changes depending on the video, such as the smell of pine needles while we flew over a forest. The ride would have been helped with more flying over edges/ridges like the top of a mountain or some tree tops, so it looks like you won't make it over and you think you have to pickup your feet to help things along.

By now it was 5:45 and our reservation for dinner was at 7, so we walked toward the two other rides we wanted to checkout - Mission: Space and Test Track expecting a long wait. For some reason the estimated wait for Mission: Space was 5 minutes (perhaps it was because a young kid died on that ride last month, but he had previous medical problems). We couldn't believe the short wait so my dad, sister, and I (as mom can't handle the scarier rides) waited all of 5 minutes. This ride was cool as we were made into a four-person team thanks to Frank from Denmark. I was the engineer, and like the other jobs, when one of two lights lit, I had to press it. This ride puts you in a cage that is part of a centrifuge that lets you feel some real G's as the force of gravity is multiplied during our launch and other moments. My stomach felt a bit queasy afterward, but not enough for me to lose my steak lunch (a little too much information?). We had 45 minutes before dinner, so my dad and I went on Test Track, while my mom and sister walked through the other countries.

(If you're still reading this entry, it appears you're very bored, but I appreciate your enthusiasm.)

Test Track had a 55-minute wait for standby and only 15 minutes for single riders. We waited as singles for about 10 minutes and were put in separate cars that were all of a minute apart. This ride was quite easy and wasn't too much fun until the end where you take a banked curve at about 60 MPH. This ride wasn't worth the wait, but at least we tried it out. All of us eventually made it to our 7 PM reservation at the "Flying Fish". Again, we were fortunate to have dinner tickets for this meal (with entrees going around $30 we weren't about to forget the tickets).

This meal was the best we had at WDW. I like to say we were perfect with everything we ordered, going 12 for 12 (4 appetizers, 4 entrees, and 4 desserts). For appetizers, we had calimari, crabcake, mussels, and another appetizer that I can't recall. They all tasted really good. The mussels were very impressive b/c they slipped right out of their shells into a wonderful sauce. As purveyors of great crabcakes, the restaurant certainly seasoned theirs well and only breaded the outside, leaving a fair amount of meat to enjoy.

For the main course, we had red snapper, mahi mahi, spice-crusted yellowfin tuna, and salmon. All of the meals were phenomenal, and this is coming from someone who doesn't always like seafood, so you know it was good. The mahi mahi was really good and cooked perfectly with it flaking away very easily. For dessert we had the chocolate souffle, strawberry napoleon, cherry crepes, and a carmalized peach tart. Our bill was around $240 (so for the umpteenth time) it was nice having the dinner tickets that we only had to sign and walk away. We normally wouldn't order an appetizer and dessert for each of us, but like this whole trip, if someone else is paying, you might as well indulge.

Afterward, we watched a magician on the boardwalk who did classic slight-of-hand tricks and provided some laughs. My sister and I thought about going to Downtown Disney and Pleasure Island, but didn't think it would be worth the $45 for about 2.5 hours there. So my mom, sister, and I hit the (disturbingly) warm pool and waterslide. The pool was actually warm from the hot weather and felt really good. The waterslide was fun and quite fast for a resort's pool.

We got up the next day and said goodbye to the parents whose flight was at noon. My sister and I ate the ESPN Club (it's like an ESPNZone without the games). There was a live ESPN Radio broadcast while we ate that asked for comments from the eaters for a sports idiot of the week. Of course, I had to open my big mouth and mentioned the Yankee fan who didn't catch two homerun balls that hit him in the hands, as well as a cheapshot at Puke, I mean duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski and his annoying American Express commercials. After the segment, they gave me and the other veracious eaters a t-shirt which was a nice way to end things. My sister and I took our limo/taxi to the airport and flew back to our homes.

If you've read the WDW recap this far, I will have some concluding thoughts and WDW lessons tomorrow (or whenever I get around to it). I swear that will be the end of my WDW thoughts for now. Thanks for reading this far.

For the rest of my Disney World visit, checkout my other Disney trip blog entries:

My pre-trip WDW thoughts:

My time at WDW:

Tips, attraction reviews, and final thoughts from WDW:

For the rest of my blog that is full of rants, raves, and attempts at humor, its current address is:

No comments: