Day 4 was Epcot. Easywdw had predicted really low crowds at Epcot that day. I wasn't too concerned about getting there for rope drop, but we somehow managed to head out from the resort pretty early anyway.
First stop was Soarin'. Addie had cried all the way through this ride the last time we were there, so I was hoping for a better experience this time. We tried to prepare her fully for what it would be like. She ended up loving it! She cracked me up. She was smiling, laughing, and squealing through the entire ride. She would hold her arms out like she was pretending to be an airplane! What a difference two years makes! I love that ride anyway, but it made it even more fun to watch her enjoying it so much.
J.C. went to collect fastpasses for Test Track while I took the girls over to the Character Spot.
From there, we rode Soarin' again and then we were off to Test Track. I wasn't sure how Addie would react to that one either, but after the success at Soarin' we decided to just go for it. She loved it! As soon as we got off she said she was ready to ride it again!
We didn't have a real agenda for the day besides making sure Addie got a nap in the afternoon, so we wandered around a bit checking out the topiaries that are part of the Flower and Garden festival.
Elise and Nina as Phineas and Ferb
Addie as Tinker Bell.
It cracked me up that Mike Wazowski has a retainer! I can't wait for Monsters University to come out.
For lunch, we strolled over to the U.K. in the World Showcase. We got fish and chips from the Yorkshire County Fish Shop. That was delicious! The food was excellent, and it was such a pretty day to be sitting outside next to the water and across from Captain Hook and Peter Pan. If you're in need of a good counter service place in Epcot, I highly recommend the Fish Shop.
After lunch, we went back to the resort for some down time. We all needed it. On the way out, Nina spotted Goofy. She had been looking for him ever since she bought the Goofy hat.
When we got back to the resort, JC and Addie crawled in bed, and the girls somehow talked me into taking them to the pool. Of course, finding the pool wasn't easy. We had to ask a couple of gardeners for directions, but we got there eventually.
This was when I finally found my love for Port Orleans Riverside. Riverside and I got off on the wrong foot. The resort is absurdly complicated to navigate, but I finally concluded that if you pay the upgrade for "preferred location", it is really quite a lovely place. The grounds are beautiful. The food is above average. The kids were completely entertained at the pool with a hula hoop contest, a dance party, and some sort of floating Mr. Potato Head game.
The best part of all though? The hammocks. This was my view from the hammock.
My new mandatory criteria for booking travel is that every hotel must have poolside hammocks and a bar that serves frozen margaritas.
I had told the girls I would let them swim for an hour at most. I think we stayed for three. The relaxing break from the parks midweek was so nice. After a delightful afternoon half-snoozing in my hammock, it was time to head back to Epcot for our dinner reservations.
We had reservations in Canada at Le Cellier. JC and I had fond memories from Le Cellier five year ago. We had high expectations for another great meal. Isn't the area outside of Le Cellier beautiful?
We were seated fairly quickly, but our reservations were a bit later than Addie is used to dining. Before we had even placed our order, she began a complete and total meltdown. She threw a crayon at another table. When I tried to drag her out of the restaurant, she pulled the old, "I'm going to dislocate my arms at the shoulder and by manipulating gravity, make my body physically impossible for you to pick up" thing. I hoisted her up by the waist and dragged her butt outside. As I tried to calm her down, she sobbed, "I want my amimal blankie!!!" I frantically texted JC for blanket delivery, but Le Cellier is in a cellar (thus the name), and he wasn't receiving any texts. Where is technology when you need it? She eventually pulled herself together, and we went back inside.
J.C. ordered the pepper-crusted sirloin, and Elise ordered the New York strip. Both were tasty steaks - nothing spectacular, but certainly good. J.C. asked if he could get the potatoes that were normally served with Elise's steak rather than the starch that was supposed to come with his. He was told no. That really irked me. I know it is Disney World, but when you're paying $40 for a steak, is it really asking too much to slap a different sort of potato on the plate? J.C. didn't mind, but it annoyed me to no end.
I ordered the Le Cellier Mushroom Filet Mignon. It was perfection... plain and simple. The wild mushroom risotto would have made a heavenly dish on its own. The steak was so tender I probably could have cut it with a butter knife. My advice for Le Cellier is for every person in your party to order the Le Cellier filet. It was worth every penny and then some. The other steaks were "fine", but the filet is what had stayed in our memories from the trip five years ago. It was divine.
Nina and Addie both ordered the grilled chicken. It was tough and dry, so I wouldn't recommend that either.
Desserts were yummy. Addison got the chocolate moose,
After dinner, J.C. and Nina took off for one last ride on Test Track. Elise, Nina, and I were planning on going straight back to the resort for sleep, but we took a quick detour on the Nemo ride.
Not surprisingly, after getting off the bus, we got lost trying to find our room again. We were completely befuddled by the sign that appeared to say "bldg. 14-18 straight ahead" on one side of the sign and "bldg. 16-17 straight ahead" on the other side of the sign. How is that possible? We needed building 17 and had no clue which directions to believe. Finally, Elise figured out that the "-" between 14 and 18 was actually a dot, not a dash. Apparently a dot (placed exactly where a dash would go) means "and" or "&" or ",". Why couldn't they use "and" or "&" or "," instead of a dot that looks exactly like a very short dash? Sorry... I must get off the rant about the Riverside navigation... it completely ruins my pleasant hammock memories.
When we finally found the room, we arrived at the exact same time as J.C. and Nina. We had ridden Nemo with no line. They had ridden one of the most popular rides in the park. We had taken two different buses. We were lost long enough that they caught up with us. Nice.
We all fell into bed, having no idea what awful turn our vacation would take the next day.
Day 4 Favorites
Addison: Test Track, Soarin'
Nina: Test Track
Elise: Test Track, Soarin'
J.C.: Test Track
Ann: Spending the afternoon lying in the hammock with a margarita