We just got back from a trip to the mecca of all things commercial… Orlando, and I feel like I learned a lot on this trip. We drove down in a mini-van with 4 kids to meet my mother and her sister in law (both in their 80’s). We left behind some seriously nasty weather and gained beautiful sunny days in the low 80’s. (Altogether well worth the 20 hours of drive time with a gaseous 9 year old, a whiny 11 year old and 2 “can’t put the phone down for a second” teenage girls.)
Part of the reason for this trip was my mother’s bucket list item #7: “See Epcot one last time.” We packed the octogenarians into a couple of wheelchairs and did Epcot in style! Note: I highly recommend the pushable wheelchairs as opposed to the motorized variety. The first time we tried one of these, I shrieked in terror as my mother almost took out an entire family attempting to get up the ramp to the Disney Railway attraction, needless to say we quickly switched to the pushable wheelchair. I enjoyed pushing those chairs… they cornered on a dime! I could take the most sinuous of Disney’s ride lines at a rapid clip without even ruffling a blue hair. (Note: This is a literary description as neither lovely lady has one blue hair on her head.) At any rate, we did it all! They went on every ride, my Aunt Ronnie shrieked with delight as she performed her pilot role on Mission Space and I was surprised that no one demurred from going on the Test Track ride. Note to anyone going to Epcot, make your first stop to get a Fast Pass for the ride, Soarin’, they run out fast and if you don’t have one you will wait 2 hours as opposed to 15 minutes. All in all, a very good time was had by all. We ate lunch in Japan and dinner in France, and enjoyed them both thoroughly. Note: The portions were not French-restaurant sized! WAY too much food, but it was all delicious! One morning we went to a character breakfast at the Polynesian Hotel in Disney world. This is by far my favorite character dining experience… the food is awesome, it is served family style AND you get to get up to dance with the characters during the course of your meal, it was well worth the price tag in my mind.
The other park day was taken up by visiting The Islands of Adventure theme park. Universal appears to be all business as they immediately attempt to get your money off the bat by offering a parking upgrade to park closer to the entrance for $5.00 more than the cheap people (namely me). They also have an option to skip to the head of the line for about 35% the price of the entrance fare (we were too cheap for that as well). I almost felt like we in a class war… it was like walking past all the first class passengers drinking champagne to my coach seat where I was soon to be kicked and spit up on, but instead we were viewing people who just oozed by you while you sweated in a long boring line. In my opinion, this was an option worth taking if you have to leave the park early and want to hit all the attractions, but if you have all day, you can easily see and do everything without spending the extra cash. Note to all: We were told to hit the Harry Potter section of the park first as it would fill up fast, but in retrospect you should wait until the last hour as the wait times were reduced from 2 hours to 20 minutes. We waited 2 hours at 9 am to go on the Harry Potter ride (Excellent, I may add), but came back at the end of the day and waited 15 minutes. One thing you should not miss is dining at the Mythos restaurant, in the Lost Continent area. We had a wonderful meal there for a very reasonable price, I highly recommend it. We also had a beach day at Cocoa Beach, try eating a Coconuts for lunch and order the Pusser’s Rum Punch, so good and not as cloyingly sweet as the NASTY butterbeer at Hogsmead in the Harry Potter section of Universal. (It tastes like cream soda with butterscotch candies melted in it… if you have a sweet tooth you will like it, I did not dare try it as the description alone was enough to make me cringe in cavity-loving fear.) Back to cooking now! Thanks for your attention! Oh.. but I forgot… I finally found out where Turducken’s come from: