Aug 24, 2010




A wet day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and a late night at Epcot


When we woke up and looked out the window it was overcast. So there was no rush to head out the door and we had a leisurely breakfast in our villa. There were still lots of yummy things in the fridge for Tom to choose from and I still had the Mickey Head Cake we had bought the night before.

Around 9am we left our villa and drove over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We were to start a new row, so we left the parking lot, drove all the way around and tried again. This time we parked halfway down the parking lot. Fine with both of us. There was quite a line at the turnstiles, but it moved fast and we were soon hitting the stores. When we got to the tipboard we saw that Toy Story Mania was down and Fast Passes were for the late afternoon.

We didn’t want to stay that long so we headed for Tower of Terror. Both the Tower of Terror and Rock’n’Rollercoaster had 20 minute waits so we picked up a Fast Pass for Tower of Terror and walked over to Rock’n’Rollercoaster. The wait was shorter than 20 minutes and once we had followed Aerosmith to their concert we walked over to Fairfax Fair.

We had a really good look at all the props that we had seen on the Inspiration Tour. We have walked past them a million times and never really realized they were there. Now we had the time to check them out. Once we were done taking photos we still had time to kill before our Fast Pass for Tower of Terror, so we decided to try if there was a long line for the Great Movie Ride.

There was a bit of a line, but it moved fast, so we stayed and enjoyed our ride into the movies. And then it was finally time to board an elevator at the Hollywood Tower Hotel. We were stunned as the there was near to no standby line at all and we really would not have needed the Fast Pass. But what the heck, we had them and there we went. We were seated front row and had a blast.

When we left the Hollywood Tower Hotel it had started to rain and we decided to get some lunch at Fairfax Fair. But before that we picked up another set of Fast Passes for Tower of Terror for a little later in the day. Once we got to Fairfax Fair we got in line and ordered, then looked for a table and found one under a huge umbrella. We shared a 1/2 Slab of Spareribs,  served with baked beans and coleslaw and a Barbecued Pulled Pork Sandwich with coleslaw. For our dessert we both picked the Carrot Cake. While we were eating it had started to rain really hard. Luckily for us it, when we were ready to leave it had become only a drizzle. So we walked through the stores and finally decided to check on Toy Story Mania again.

No chance. They had reopened a short time earlier and lines were already up to 90 minutes. Now, while this is a really fun ride, it is not one I would queue up 90 minutes for. So instead we just walked on and got in line for the Backlot Tour. We didn’t have to wait very long and soon were enjoying to see the volunteers being drenched! It was a fun show and soon we were led to the trams to take us backstage. While we walked through the prop shop we found a few more Hidden Mickeys and finally got on the second tram out. We passed Walt Disney’s plane and finally entered Catastrophe Canyon. There were a few newcomers on the tour which made it even more enjoyable.  After the tour had ended we spent some time in the exhibition and the little shop that is at the end.

We still had some time before our Fast Pass was valid, so we walked around the area and decided to hit the Muppets. We walked in and found out that the pre-show was nearly over and the show was about to begin. We really lucked out as we got a seat right in the middle of the theatre. This is a show that is really timeless and even though we have seen it a lot of times it still is fun every time we see it. When we left the theatre we found that it had started to rain again, but we did not want to waste our Fast Pass, so we put on our ponchos and walked over to the Tower of Terror. Now this time the standby line was much longer and it we were happy to just pass by the line and walk right into the hotel’s library. And again we were seated in the front row and had a lot of fun in the Twilight Zone. Once we got off it was still raining and since we knew we had Extra Magic Hours at Epcot to go to in the evening, so we decided that that was it and we would go back to Old Key West.

But before we left we went to the little sweets shop inside the Villains Store to pick up a Carrot Cake Cookie and to Starring Rolls for a Butterfinger Cupcake.  With our purchases in hand we walked to the exit and got on the tram to the parking lot. It didn’t take long to get back to Old Key West and when we walked in our Mousekeeping lady had outdone herself with Towel Animals.

There was a kitchen towel swan on the kitchen counter and a towel dog in the bedroom and several other wonderful touches in the bathrooms. Tom got in the Jacuzzi, while I started a little more packing and repacking as I had decided to leave some stuff in the trunk of the car while we were cruising. When Tom got out of the Jacuzzi he made some coffee and we tried the goodies we had bought at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

At 5.30 we drove to Epcot for our dinner at Tutto Italia. We were a little late checking in, but the patrons were very friendly and didn’t mind and we were seated immediately. Right after we had taken our seats our server was at the table taking our drinks order. The food runner brought the Verdure, Olive "Giardiniera" e Ricotto con Basilico, the Pane De Casa with Tuscan olive oil and herb and parmesan grissini breadsticks out. Our server then took our food order when he dropped off our drinks.

I ordered the Tortelli Di Vitello Al "Chianti" - veal and Chianti ravioli, parmesan cheese, sage butter, roasted tomato, while Tom got the Filetto Di Pesce "All Acqua Pazza" - white wine poached fish filet, oven roasted tomato, clams, garlic, capers, olives, which were both served promptly. Both portions were large and very tasty. There was still dessert. Tom ordered the Copetta Sotto Bosco - berries, zabaglione cream gelato and chocolate sauce, while I wanted to try the Chef’s Special, a dessert trio, consisting of tasting portions of the Mocha Tiramisu, served in a chocolate cup, a Cannoli and a Gianduja - Chocolate Torta - chocolate and hazelnut torte.

The service was fast and we were out of the restaurant in under an hour. Epcot was packed and once we had walked about halfway around World Showcase we decided that maybe we had a chance of catching Fantasmic at the Studios if we caught a Friendship. So we walked over to the International Gateway, got in line for a Friendship and finally boarded.

We were cutting it close and when we finally arrived we knew that our chances of still getting into Fantasmic were very slim. It seemed to take forever to get through bagcheck and the turnstiles. Once we were inside we headed towards the entrance of Fantasmic, just to see that they had closed it right before we had made it there. Since it was late already we decided to just leave again and head back to the Friendship landing.

While we walked there we saw a boat leaving and a long line of people still waiting. We figured it would take at least 20 minutes for another boat to arrive so we turned around and walked towards the buses. Lines were long there too and the evening was nice so we decided to just walk back to Epcot. The walk is about 20 minutes and we really enjoyed the night air, walking along the water.

When we got back to Epcot the Extra Magic Hours were in full swing and we headed towards Futureworld. We walked over to The Land, but the line for Soarin was far too long. On the other hand there was NO line for Living With The Land.

We both love that ride and it never fails to amaze me when we go through the greenhouses. Once the ride was over we walked back out of the land and over to ride the Clam mobiles. Our next stop was Spaceship Earth, another ride we never get tired of. The line was short, actually more of a walk on and it was fun. There was still a little time left until the park was closing, so we walked over to Test Track, but even the single rider line was half an hour, so we went to try our luck at Mission Space.

10 minute for the Orange Team! Lucky! We got in line and after about 15 minutes we boarded our spaceship. When we got off the ride it was past midnight and time to head home. We walked towards the exit and back to our car, which brought us back to our villa at Old Key West in no time. We had a drink and sat and chilled for a while before we finally went to bed.