BIL and SIL wanted to sleep in and said they didn't care about Pandora, so only 4 of us rope-dropped on this day. We arrived around 7:50 to be 5 or 6 people back from the tapstiles. About 8:20 or so, they started letting people scan in and walk to the land where they wanted to start their day. We were held on the bridge to Pandora until about 8:50 before being let go.
There is no greater feeling of accomplishment in the world than the feeling you get when everybody around you is running/speed walking ahead of you, throwing elbows and just generally losing their minds to get to FOP, only for you to continue calmly past them because you're heading to Na'vi River Journey first.
After getting off the boat ride (that song is still stuck in my head) we enjoyed the sights and sounds of Pandora for a bit.
At 9:30 our FP opened up, and we proceeded to FOP, which "only" had a 65 minute standby wait. I love FOP and I want to ride it forever. I can see why people wait 3 hours in line for it. *sigh* After FOP we parted ways with the in-laws, who wanted to get Banshees, and headed to Dinoland to try and sneak in a ride on DINOSAUR in standby before our next FP opened up. The posted 25 minute wait was accurate.
Having come back from the Cretaceous era, we popped over to Africa to do the Safari with FP. It took a little longer than usual since an animal apparently decided to sit down in the road ahead of us. Oof.
Baby giraffe photobomb!
Soon enough, though, we were on our way and had to book it over to Tiffins so as not to miss our 11:50 ADR. We made the reservation exactly on time. Phew!
After our lunch at Tiffin's, probably the best food we had on property, we had a date with the Yeti. We used our third FP at EE, which I believe was posting a 40 minute wait. I forgot to mention it last time, but KS had been posting a 65 minute wait at 11AM. After EE we had to book it back to Africa (again) to do Caring For Giants.
A friendly cast member led us backstage, where we would board a truck yo be driven out to the elephant areas. She let us know that we could not take any pictures of the backstage area, so I cannot show you the wonders that we beheld. Wonders like...a parking lot! Propane tanks! Food service personnel leaving work for the day! WONDERS.
Anyway, once we got to the elephants we could take pictures again. We met little Stella and her mom and older sisters! They came pretty close and sniffed us, trunks raised in the air. Then they made a formation around Stella, and a couple of them took a nap, standing up.
Too soon, our time with the elephants was over. We drove back through the FORBIDDEN BACKSTAGE WONDERS and then figured out what to do next. We really only had the energy for one more thing, so we decided to do the Maharajah Jungle Trek. We may have a zoo at home, but I will never pass up a chance to see tigers and bats.
As we made our way out of the park, we ran into none other than BIL and SIL. They'd shown up after all. SIL found out she could meet Scrooge and Launchpad over in Dinoland, and couldn't resist. BIL also decided he wanted to ride FOP after all.
DH and I headed out for the day, but the others stayed into the evening and saw ROL (we saw the 2017 version and weren't excited by the update), then got in line at park close and rode FOP. They apparently waited about 45 minutes.
PART FOURTEEN: MORNING AT EPCOT AND A SECRET CHEVROLET ROOM
Nobody else was able to get up early enough to rope drop with me and DH on our last full day at Disney. We did the EMH at EPCOT, and it was awesome to show up only a half hour early and still be the first ones at IG. They let us scan in at about 7:40 and then held us by Rose and Crown, before letting us go about 7:55.
We made our first stop at Soarin', walking right on. After a narrow miss with the slightly leaning Eiffel Tower, we wanted to do Figment, but it isn't part of EMH, so we did SE instead. It always predicts that we're going to become space tourists. So glorious to just walk on both attractions.
After getting off SE, the park was a few minutes away from opening to commoners, so we proceeded over to Figment. We got a Funko Pop in the gift shop of Chef Figment, which is apparently special for the Food and Wine Fest. It's adorable and I cannot live without it.
By 9:30, the wait at Test Track had already soared to 60 minutes, but that was ok because we had FP. We waited for the rest of the family to arrive, then boarded. DH's and my car got second place...again. One day, victory will be ours.
After getting off the actual ride, SIL wanted to look at the real cars, since she is in fact in the market for a new car. While she was looking at them, sitting in one, and generally fantasizing about getting a new pickup, a cast member came over to us. She asked if we drove Chevys, and we all replied that we did, since each of our households all have at least one Chevy in it. Then, she asked us if we all wanted to come with her, so we could see the Chevrolet lounge. I never heard of this before, but apparently Chevy has offices at EPCOT, and they pick a few people every day to come up to the lounge and get some free soda, take pictures, and also free passes to ride Test Track again. There didn't seem to be any other angle to it, as nobody tried to sell us a car or anything. It was just a cool 20 minutes.
Afterward, we used FP at Mission: Space. I believe the posted wait at 10:30AM was 35 minutes. From there, the plan for the rest of the day was to head over to World Showcase, and overindulge. Which we did with abandon, because we are very wild and crazy. *nods*
Next time: F&W stuff! Maybe our reviews will be different than Josh's!
This was tasty and super welcome on a day when the temperature hit 90 degrees. Once it melted, it became a lovely smoothie.
Chocolate Studio - Liquid Nitro Chocolate-Almond Truffle
It's as great as Josh says it is.
Hawaii - Teriyaki-glazed Spam Hash
Soooooo good even though the day was so hot. Would eat again.
Ireland - Bunratty Meade Honey Wine
DH is a huge meade fan, as in he wants to learn how to make his own. I thought this was good, but he really loved it.
France - La Passion Martini Slushy
I drank this while watching a mime, and I still enjoyed it. That should tell you something.
Belgium - Golden Malted Belgian Waffle with Berry Compote and Whipped Cream
I can eat breakfast for dinner, because I'm an adult! The waffle was a little crunchy, but yummy other than that.
Morocco - Chocolate Baklava
VERY rich and VERY sweet. I couldn't handle more than a couple of bites.
Italy - We stopped at Via Napoli for pizza here, which was DH's one food-related request for the entire trip. We like the pizza, but we liked our Cannoli and Tiramisu martinis even more. Drinking your dessert!
China - Mango Bubble Tea
It's always a good time for bubble tea. Another refreshing entry.
Mexico - Clasica Reyes Margarita
A good last drink before heading back to the pool and a night's sleep, ahead of our flight out the following day.