Sunday at Epcot was our last park day for the trip. We arrived at Epcot for rope drop, and started our day with headliners. We gambled that we could get in a ride on Soarin’ before meeting back up with the group at Test Track. Sadly, we were wrong. The Soarin’ line moved right along, and we had a great ride, but we simply underestimated how long it would take on the ride itself, coupled with the walk across the park for Test Track. This became a bit of a theme for the day, always running just a bit behind our expected schedule – as a result, the details of the rest of the day’s schedule is a bit unclear. The inclusion of both La Cava del Tequila and Biergarten on the itinerary for the day might have had a little something to do with that as well.
After Soarin’, we crossed the park for Test Track. I think the Tron-style retheme is good, but not great. I appreciate the effort that went into making the attraction more interactive, and I the “into the computer” theming actually makes more sense to me than guests playing the role of crash test dummies. But the theming isn’t quite sufficiently comprehensive – the neon semi-truck in particular just seems out of place. Next stop was Club Cool for the Beverly Challenge. That first photo is of Jonathan, bowing out of the challenge early. The big “winner” (if you can call it that) was Don, pictured here about to down his twentieth Beverly. There’s video of Don’s ordeal somewhere – I need to get my hands on a copy so I can post it. Being next door to Innoventions at that point, we got in Mikaela’s ride on Sum of All Thrills (Jon was disappointed that he missed the height mark there again).
I know that we road Mission: Space (I rode Orange with Mikaela and Jon for the first time. Miriam tried to talk me out of it, but the Bonine did the job, and my breakfast stayed right where it belonged). Miriam took the kids to do an Agent P Adventure mission or two while I met up with some folks (I know that Randall and Jodi were there, and Paul and Justin stopped by as well, and probably others that I’m leaving out – sorry) at La Cava del Tequila. I enjoyed my $1 Jose Cuervo shot (courtesy of being a Twitter follower of @cavadeltequila), and then ordered the Illegal Mezcal Flight. It was good, but not as good as the Scorpion Flight, which is sadly no longer on the menu. After La Cava, it was time to meet up with Joe and Arielle for lunch at Biergarten.
This was our first time at Biergarten, and I really liked it. The food was solid, the entertainment was quirky and fun, and the beer was outstanding. I went with the flight (are you sensing a theme here?) and it was great to be able to compare the various German beers side-by-side. Joe and Arielle were also great lunch companions – Arielle and Mikaela became instant buddies, and they’ve continued texting each other now and then since long after the trip. After lunch, we went back to the resort for a break, and to get organized a bit so that the packing to head home the next day wouldn’t be as bad.
When we returned to the park, I sweet talked my way into the Beach Club parking lot so that we could come back into the park through the International Gateway. We took the long walk to the front of the park to ride Spaceship Earth, where we were conveniently joined by Don and family. After that, it was time to get back to World Showcase, find our Illuminations spot, and get some dinner. We were able to get a spot in the wheelchair-access viewing area near the Italy Pavilion. Joe and Arielle and Justin and Family joined us for the show. Miriam did a heroic loop of World Showcase counter service, finding favorites for each of us. I got the awesome Felafel Wrap from Tangierine Café. The felafel was as good as any I’ve had outside of Jerusalem. And the sides were excellent too – both the lentil salad and couscous were outstanding. Just as I was finishing my dinner, Illuminations was starting.
Finally. After at least three failed attempts, I actually got to watch Illuminations with my family. We all enjoyed the show – our viewing spot was very good (with the exception of the tower that you’ll see in most of my Illuminations pictures). It was a great cherry on top of our DISDads Convention vacation.