Sept 3, 2010




A little bit of Africa and Asia, with a taste of Greece and a visit to Spaceship Earth


We slept in a bit, which means that we only got up around 7.30 that morning. Tom made some coffee and we had some breakfast from items out of the fridge. We knew that we should just have a light breakfast as we had an early lunch planned at the Animal Kingdom. So after breakfast we walked down to the car and drove over to the Animal Kingdom. We arrived there around 10am, were directed to a parking spot in the Dinosaur area and lucky enough to score one right close to the tram.

 The tram had just left, so we thought about walking to the entrance, but since there were so many people still arriving another tram was coming out and we waited for that one. Soon we were on the tram and only a little while later we were on our way to the entrance. We joined the line for bag check and then joined another line to have a few photopass photos taken, before we joined another line to go through the turnstiles.

With all the lines it had taken us quite some time to get into the park, but we still had about an hour before our lunch reservation at Yak and Yeti. So we slowly walked over to Asia and picked up a Fast Pass for Expedition Everest. We watched the trains for a while than walked over to the monkeys, who were very active that day and after we had watched them for quite a while we moved on to watch people on the Kali River Rapids.

The park started to get quite crowded by that time and we decided to head over to Yak and Yeti and ask if we could be seated a little early. Once we arrived there were quite a few people already waiting, so we asked about being seated early and they were sure it would not be a problem. Within minutes we were seated at a table on the second floor. Our server was welcoming us right after we had sat down and she took our order for our soft drinks right away. We were thirsty. Animal Kingdom is a really hot park. Once our server left we finally got around to have a look at the menu. Tom decided to try one of the beers they offer, the Kingfisher Lager, which he enjoyed very much. And I had seen something on the DISboards that I really wanted to try. So I had a good look at the menu on our table and decided to order the Cherry Infusion Martini! Skyy Infusions Cherry Vodka, Sweet and Sour and a Splash of Grenadine!

They bring out the glass with just the crushed ice "snowball" in it, then pour on the drink - and it was fun to watch and such a nice drink. Again, being on the Deluxe Dining Plan we were able to order a starter, so we both had a good look and decided on two of them to share. Tom ordered the Thai Chili Chicken Wings - fried chicken wings tossed in a sweet Thai chili sauce, spicy Asian pickled cucumbers - which were a huge order and very tasty. Again, I had made my mind up before even looking at the menu and I knew what I wanted to try. The Wok-Fried Green Beans - battered green beans, sweet Thai chili dipping sauce. Crunchy on the outside, with a perfectly cooked green bean inside. Both starters were huge and we thoroughly enjoyed them both. For his entrée Tom ordered the Duck with Anandapur Glaze - roasted half duckling, orange wasabi glaze, jasmine rice, stir-fried vegetables.

He enjoyed it very much and I enjoyed my entrée just as much. I had ordered the Maple Tamarind Chicken - Seared chicken breast, Indonesian tamarind glaze, coconut ginger rice, baby bok choy, shiitake mushroom stir fry. I could have done with a little less bok choy, but otherwise I was really impressed. We had just finished our entrees when our server came by to ask about what we wanted for dessert. I think this is the only place where we both order the same thing without blinking an eye.

 We both ordered the Fried Wontons - Skewers of fresh pineapple and cream cheese wontons, vanilla ice cream, honey vanilla drizzle. We really enjoyed our dessert and when we were finally finished we settled the bill and left the restaurant.

Our Fast Pass for Expedition Everest had already kicked in, so we walked over to the ride and picked up another Fast Pass before getting in the Fast Pass line. There were lots of people in the standby line, but the Fast Pass one moved very quickly and soon we were sitting in the tea train. Needless to say that we enjoyed the view, the visit to the Yeti and the speed of the ride. We had about an hour and a half until our second Fast Pass was starting.

So we decided to walk over to the Safari and check out how long the wait would be. The sign said that it was a 20 minute wait and so we hopped in line. We were sitting in one of the Safari vehicles about 10 minutes later. There were lots of animals out there, even though it was very hot and we really enjoyed the ride. When we got off the vehicle we still had some time to kill before our Fast Pass, so we decided to walk along the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail.

But before we could embark on that adventure we needed a drink, so we picked up a bottle of water and emptied it right away. Then we entered the trail and slowly walked along, exploring all the different stops and viewing points of the animals there were. When we finally left the trail our Fast Pass for Everest had already kicked in and we walked over to the Asia again. On the way we noticed that they had now started to offer shrimp egg rolls as snack credits, so we got a Diet Coke and an Egg Roll to share.

There were tables close to the water nearby and we sat and enjoyed our food and drink. Once we had finished our snack we headed over to Everest and found that the standby line was just 20 minutes, so we jumped into that line first and were seated within 15 minutes. We even asked for front row and there was no wait for it whatsoever. When we got off we walked right around the building and this time entered through the Fast Pass line.

The standby line had grown again, so we were happy with the decision we had made earlier. In no time we were seated again and off we went on our ride to the Forbidden Mountain. There was no way we were going back into the standby line, so we decided to walk towards the exit, but once we passed by Dinoland we remembered that we had not been on the Dinosaur ride in a long time.

So we walked over and had a look at the wait time, which said 10 minutes and so we got in line. We walked right through the circular room and onto the pre-show. Then it was on to the loading zone. There were two seats left on a car and we were next in line, so no wait at all and off we went in search for that particular dino. I still think that the ride is a tad too dark and it would be nice to see just a little bit more, but it is still a fun ride.

Once we got off we really headed towards the exit and left the park. It was mid afternoon and pretty hot and we decided to head back to Old Key West to relax for a while. We stopped at the General Store to pick up a few bottles of water with our snack credits before we headed back to our villa. After a cold drink Tom relaxed in the Jacuzzi for a while, while I checked the mail and loaded the washer and dryer one more time.

We both did not feel like dinner at the Yachtsman Steakhouse, so I cancelled it and we made another reservation at a restaurant that appealed more to both of us, Kouzzina. We were lucky and got a 7.45 reservation there. So around 7pm we got ready and drove over to the Boardwalk.

We were again pointed towards the self parking lot and once we had found a spot we headed towards the resort. We were a bit early checking in, were handed a buzzer and off we went to enjoy the entertainment on the Boardwalk. After about 20 minutes we were called back and soon enough seated at a table towards the entrance of the restaurant. Our server was there to greet us quickly and to offer help with the menu.

We placed our order for drinks, two Diet Cokes and a Pitcher of Sangria and while our server went to get them, we decided on what we wanted to order. Our server came back with our drinks and we placed our orders. But before we were served our starters our server brought out a basket full of Multi Grain Bread and some Butter sprinkled with salt. We snacked a little on the bread, but it did not take long for our appetizers to arrive. Tom had Spiro's Greek Salad, very fragrant vine-ripened Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Red Onions, Kalamata Olives and slightly salty Feta. I wanted to try something not as light as this. I had the Traditional Phyllo Pie - (Spanakopita) Spinach, Feta, Leeks, and Dill, which was wonderful. It was so good I had to finish it. For my main course I wanted to have something I had enjoyed so much when I had had the sampler earlier in the trip. The Greek-style Lasagna - with Bucatini Pasta, Cinnamon-stewed Meat Sauce, and Bechamel (Pastitsio). It was one of the best pasta dishes I had during that trip, but it was a huge helping and I was not able to finish it. Tom tried the Fisherman’s Stew - Scallops, seasonal Fish, Shellfish, Fennel, Grilled Bread, and Ouzo Butter, which he really enjoyed and even managed to finish. We also ordered a side of Sautéed Brussels Sprouts - with Capers and Lemon, which we love. Again, we were still left with the decision of what to have for dessert.

Tom was full and didn't really know what to order, but then he decided on trying the Greek Cookies - A selection of Cora family favorites and some iced coffee. He really enjoyed the coffee, the cookies were a bit on the dry side! My decision was much easier. Even though I was pretty full I knew that I wanted the Loukoumades - Freshly Made Greek Doughnuts drizzled with Warm Honey, which I love and which are so good. I managed to enjoy about half of them dipped into the fruit coulis. When we finally left the restaurant we felt more like rolling out than walking out, but the meal had been wonderful. We knew that Epcot had Extra Magic Hours that evening and we wanted to just walk over to enjoy the rest of them. So we walked to the International Gateway, where we were asked for our room keys before we were able to enter the park.

It was a nice and leisurely stroll through the countries and up to the the tip board. We could not believe our eyes when we saw the wait times. Well at least there were a few rides with a somewhat short wait time, so we walked over to the Journey into Imagination and then we went in search of Nemo. The other ride that we always enjoy and that usually has a very short to no wait is Living with the land. And yippie we could walk right on. When we got off the ride there was only half an hour left so we tried if we could still get in line for Soarin. Yes, and the wait was only 15 minutes. Shortly before midnight we were seated in our gliders and off to California we went. When we got off the ride, the park had officially closed. Spaceship Earth looked great all lit up at night, so we stopped for a few more photos before we hurried over toward the International Gateway to get back to our car.

About 20 minutes later we were in our car and on our way back to Old Key West.