Disney Vacation – Day 5 (last day)

Well, day 5 was our final day at Disney World, and only a half day. We had surprisingly gotten pretty much everything done that we considered “must-dos”, so we took this day pretty slow. Our last day has always been at the Magic Kingdom, because that just is Disney to me, so we headed over there with the intention of possibly hopping on a ride or 2, grabbing lunch, and doing a little shopping. Unfortunately, we did things a little backwards and did the shopping first (well, “unfortunately” may be the wrong word. I love shopping. I love Disney stuff.). Most of it was fairly small, but we also picked up an interactive R2-D2 for Chris’s dad for his birthday, which was really cool, but quite large. So, we decided to skip rides, since we’d already done everything we wanted to anyway and it was already almost noon. We did get offered a set of fast passes for Thunder Mountain from a Dad and son (yay, fairy dust!), but we ended up giving them to another couple once we decided R2 probably wouldn’t fit on the ride with us. For lunch, we went over to El Pirata y El Perico in Adventureland for Mexican. We both got tacos and chocolate cakes.

That was the last of our CS credits, but we still had 6 snack credits we hadn’t used, so we knew exactly where to go to spend those. Goofy’s Candy Co. in Downtown Disney! I’d heard they have amazing customizable snacks that you can get for a credit each, so we knew we wanted to try those. Instead of taking a bus back to our hotel and then waiting for a bus to Downtown Disney (and I wasn’t sure if there were buses straight from MK to DD), we decided this would be a great time to use the express monorail over to the Ticket and Transportation Center! Yay, we got to ride the monorail at last! After our quick ride, we got out at the TTC and started looking for a bus to DD. Apparently there isn’t one. Luckily, we found out that we could make the short walk over to the Polynesian and get a bus there. That gave us a chance to gage the walk between the Polynesian and the TTC for February (if we still go). It wasn’t bad. Quite a nice walk, only about 5 minutes. We just made the bus – it was there as we ran up – and we were finally off to Downtown Disney.

We don’t typically go to Downtown Disney often, since we’re usually busy with the parks and tired at night, not to mention most guys don’t like shopping much. I really like it, though! I hope we get to go again next time. There’s so many shops and restaurants! We were on a mission, but I did manage to stop in the Christmas store and the big World of Disney store to pick up a few things (like a Disney YA fantasy book!! <cheesy grin>) and a few more pressed pennies. Goofy’s Candy Co. was also a great success. We both put in our custom orders (mine a Mickey Crispy Rice Treat dipped in white chocolate and topped with chopped peanuts and milk chocolate drizzle and Chris’s a Mickey Crispy Rice Treat dipped in dark chocolate and topped with chopped pecans) and looked at all the goodies in the glass display counter. We came out of the shop with our custom orders, a set of 3 dipped and topping-ed pretzel rods, a set of 4 dipped and topping-ed marshmallows, a huge toffee brick, and a large chocolate covered smore.<drool> We didn’t get to try any of them till after the trip, but they were amazing and they lasted us a while.  I highly recommend saving the snack credits for a huge candy blowout like this for everyone. We didn’t really feel we needed the snacks most days and the Goofy’s candy, particularly the custom orders, are a great deal for the snack credits. You could even go there early in the trip and buy snacks for the duration of your trip (to eat during your daily breaks or something!).

After using up our snack credits, we decided to take the boat back to the hotel, since it was getting kinda late and we still had a long drive home. We had a bit of trouble figuring out where to go to get the boat, but we found a really nice cast member named Nancy who stopped what she was doing just to lead us to the dock. She even gave us a personalized button to give to Chris’s dad for his birthday, with a cute little Mickey head instead of an “o”! We were at the wrong end of Downtown Disney, so we ended up taking the ferry to the other end and then transferring to the boat that goes back to Port Orleans. The boat ride was cute and peaceful, but a bit hot. Lots of green to look at on the way. Once back, we took a few more pictures and then it was time to say goodbye to Disney World.

Downtown Disney

Downtown Disney from the boat

POFQ from the boat

POFQ from the boat

😦 I always hate leaving. I get really sad. But I knew we’d be back in less than a year (maybe), so it wasn’t too bad. Our trip was great. We had a lot of fun and quite a few romantic moments. A great way to spend our second anniversary!

Also, for anyone who hasn’t already discovered it, the full album is here.

Spoilerific Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince review

Just a quick break in our regularly scheduled programming (I know I have one more day of vacation still to blog, I’m slow):

Ok, just to warn you, there will be spoilers, so if you don’t want to know what happens (because you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t read the books by now), stop reading now! Really, if you have any interest in the books or the movies and haven’t gotten around to either, I don’t want to spoil it, because there’s nothing worse than spoilers (I wore earplugs on my 2-plane trip up to NJ for a wedding the weekend book 7 came out – I might not have been able to lock myself in my house like I wanted, but I wasn’t going to let the end get spoiled!). Read the books, though! (and then see the movies for fun)

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Ok, for those still with me, for the most part, I really enjoyed the movie. I found myself laughing at some bits and almost crying (though I’ll get to why it didn’t quite cry in a few moments) near the end. The story was fairly clear (even though the scenes jumped around a bit quickly), even to Chris, who doesn’t read the books – he only had a few questions after the movie. Overall, the movie was fun to watch and the acting was better than in previous movies. Some of the new characters were pretty well cast – Professor Slughorn was great and Lavender was pretty good. Also, a few things surprised me as being good that I didn’t expect to like at all. First, Michael Gambon. I’ve hated his portrayal of Dumbedore since he started in movie 3. He was too harsh and too insane. Not grandfatherly or slightly bumbly or caring enough. I was concerned that we’d get to this movie and I wouldn’t care at all about him dying because he wasn’t the Dumbledore I know from the books. I’d already had a crisis of faith in him with the final book’s revelations (and particularly after Snape’s comment about Dumbledore raising Harry “like a pig for slaughter”), but I’ve come to terms with his character and didn’t want Michael Gambon’s failure to read the books to ruin it again (for the record, if you take a movie role based on a book, read the damn book. It’s your job to get the character right.). However, he got it closer to right this time around. He toned it down a bit and seemed more caring. So that turned out ok. Second, Helen McCrory as Narcissa. Don’t get me wrong, the hair is BAD. It’s completely wrong. But I thought she had the personality pretty good. And her scene was short enough that she didn’t have a chance to ruin it by doing something out of character.

Also, when I originally read that the movie makers had decided to put a rather large focus on the teen relationships blooming, I got very nervous. To me, this is a dark book about Tom Riddle (Voldemort) and about several people struggling with their alignment, so I didn’t want to see a bunch of fluff when there should be substance. But, really, I didn’t mind it so much. I thought there was a good balance of happy and not so happy. Plus, with the book mostly being free of action (till the end), I guess I can understand why they’d want to emphasize the funny bits to make up for the relative slowness of all the background information and building up to the last book that book/movie 6 is.

However, when I consider what had to be cut out to make it so balanced, I start to get a bit “grr” again. Now some bits, I understand being cut out. For example, the first scene of the book with the meeting between the Minister of Magic and England’s Prime Minister was interesting, but I can see how showing a few short scenes of turmoil affecting the muggles explains well enough that muggles are now being affected by the Dark Lord’s business. Also, cutting out Dumbledore’s funeral. I was originally really upset to hear it had been cut, but I thought the scene around the body was pretty good and showed emotion, so even though they cut out a few good bits specific to the funeral, it wasn’t as bad as I expected. A bit more annoying, was cutting most of the battle at Hogwarts at the end and the use of the rest of the Felix Felices to keep the gang (Harry’s friends and the members of the Order, who were barely mentioned or seen in the movie apart from the trio) alive. I can understand why it was cut – we’ll basically have a repeat in the final movie – but it made it seem a bit stupid that the Death Eaters had to show up just to watch Draco try to kill Dumbledore and then all run off together. Why did 4 people (several of which hadn’t even been introduced, like Fenrir Greyback) need to show up to do that? Why even have the vanishing cabinet? I guess to flesh out Draco’s role more (who’s performance was better than I expected). But really? I would’ve preferred more time for explaining why Voldemort is the way he is or delving into Snape more, both of which I think are the worst of what was sacrificed.

I’m willing to consider that perhaps the fact that Snape is one of my favorite characters is probably the main reason I’m so upset at how Snape’s role is perpetually lessened (way too many scenes cut) and sometimes cheapened (he’s not comic relief batting people on heads with books. He’s an unpleasant, harsh guy who holds a grudge. That’s not so say he isn’t overall a good guy. Perhaps if they hadn’t made Snape’s memories in movie 5 so jumbled and quick, it would be more clear that he’s a complex guy worth rethinking.). But yet again, Snape’s scenes were cut down to a few, despite him being the title character (never even an explanation of why he’s called the half blood prince). We lost the entire sub-plot of Snape acting as professor of Defense Against the Dark Arts, where he actually was trying to teach Harry non-verbal spells. Because of this, later on, during the final face off between Harry and Snape, the line “Blocked again and again and again until you learn to keep your mouth shut and your mind closed, Potter!” is also left out. I always found that line interesting because it seems that even though he doesn’t like Harry and they’re in the midst of a wand fight, he’s still trying to teach him to be a better wizard. Even worse though, they cut the line “DON’T CALL ME COWARD” with the look of intense pain on Snape’s face during the same scene. It was just so poignant in the book because Harry had just said “Kill me like you killed him, you coward”, so the fact that Snape got angry and looked pained made it possible to argue that he felt terrible for having to kill Dumbledore (but it was part of Dumbledore’s plan) and that it did take a great act of courage to do it. We needed to see Snape, who is typically cold and emotionally withdrawn, show that loss of control of his emotions. It was a powerful scene in the book, but the scene in the movie is just lame. He reveals that he’s the half blood prince, tells Bellatrix to leave Harry for the Dark Lord, and off he goes. For anyone just watching the movies, there’s been absolutely no hints that Snape’s not a bad guy. Those people probably just think Dumbledore was stupid to trust him and that Snape thought it was easy to kill Dumbledore. <sigh> The books fleshed the character out so much better. There were plenty of subtle hints that made you question his alignment. I downright felt for him, wanted to see him redeemed and happy.

Another scene I found a bit lacking was the tower scene. Harry wasn’t immobilized by Dumbledore to prevent him from interfering and getting himself hurt. He just stood downstairs and watched. Snape walks by and says “shhh” and Harry just lets him go up. There’s a reason that didn’t happen in the book. It’s stupid. Harry would never just let Dumbledore get killed if there was anything he could do about it. At least they left in Dumbledore’s pleading “Severus…please.” which was a highly debated line in the Snape alignment question.

Yet another minor complaint was the cave scene. It was pretty cool looking and the effects were great, but the emotion wasn’t there. It was a painful scene to read, with Dumbledore suffering and Harry forcing himself to convince Dumbledore to drink more of the potion. The chapter’s ending line was really touching to me – after Harry tells Dumbledore not to worry, that he’d get him back to Hogwarts to get help, Dumbledore replies “I am not worried, Harry. I am with you.”  But no. Not in the movie. It was rushed, both Harry’s actions and Dumbledore’s suffering. It was hard to hear Dumbledore mumbling about it being his fault. I just didn’t feel what I felt when I read the scene in the book.

This makes me scared for the 2 scenes I thought were the most emotional in the final book – Harry’s walk through the forest and Snape’s memories (and partly his death – I was a bit disappointed in the actual method of death and the lack of oomph leading up to it, but the eyes bit was touching.). I’m just worried that a) Dan Radcliffe can’t pull off the emotion and b) they’ll continue to reduce Snape’s role in the movies. I bawled during those scenes in the book, but so far I haven’t cried much in the movies. I cried after Cedric died mostly because of the music and because of Harry’s parents talking to him and I started to cry both when Sirius died and when Dumbledore died, but was quickly distracted. With Sirius, it was just action and stuff going on that distracted me. With Dumbledore it was my anger at how the following Snape scene was handled. I got a bit teary again when Harry went back to the castle and everyone was looking at Dumbledore.

My main complaint however, and I think most valid, was the lack of memories regarding Voldemort’s family. Yes, we got the memories from when Dumbledore first met him and when Voldemort asked Slughorn about horcruxes, but without seeing the memories of Voldemort’s family, his motivation goes out the window. In the movie, it seems as though we’re asked to believe that Voldemort is bad because…well, he just is, ok!? In the books, we see that Voldemort was born into a family without love (his mom used love potions to trick his dad into marrying her and then when she thought he might just love her on his own and stopped using the potions, he left her), wasn’t raised with any love (his mom died after giving birth and he went to an orphanage where he tortured other kids), and he eventually killed his remaining family to make horcruxes. I think all that is rather important. And I thought the memories should’ve made the cut.

What to cut instead, so that we don’t end up with a 10 hour movie (hey, I’d watch it) – how about the manufactured Burrow attack scene? It wasn’t in the book and I didn’t see a reason for it to be in the movie, yet it took up like 10 minutes. How about just a little bit of the teens kissing all over the castle? Or the scene in the beginning with Harry flirting with the muggle waitress, also not in the book?

<sigh> I don’t know. I mean, I did enjoy it and I fully intend to buy it when it comes out on DVD and watch it a bunch more. I think I just need to go to these movies expecting less. They can’t be perfect transcriptions of the books or they’d be hours and hours long (again, I’d go see it, but I’m not everyone. I’m a bit crazy.). I need to just appreciate it for what it is. But really, read the book. It’s better.

Disney vacation – day 4

We decided on day 4 to get up an hour later than normal and skip rope drop for EPCOT. We were both pretty tired, but luckily my ankle was doing a bit better. EPCOT does have 2 rides that are very popular, but we figured we had all day to get a fast pass for one and wait in line for the other, so our tiredness won out. Our ride to EPCOT was pretty nice thanks to our driver, Hector, who really liked to chat with people. When we got on the bus, he noticed our buttons and asked me how long we’d been married and then on the bus ride, he proceeded to congratulate us (with everyone else on the bus), joke around about how 2 years isn’t a lot (though we’ve technically been together almost 9 years now, but he didn’t ask that!), and give us advice on marriage (just say, “Yes, dear”).

When we got there, there was a pretty big line to get through the bag check at the entrance, but soon we were in and headed off towards Soarin’, Chris’s favorite ride at Disney World. The line wasn’t too bad, so we just got in the standby line. I really like this ride, too. I love the feeling of flying and the scents they pump in for certain scenes. And the music is really pretty. After Soarin’, we went over to Test Track, the other popular ride, which also didn’t have too long of a line, so again, we got in the standby line. It was a bit longer than it looked, but the wait wasn’t too bad. Next, we were off to the Figment ride, which I don’t remember at all, if I’ve been on it. It was kinda cute, though I almost lost my sunglasses near the end in the jet of air. That wouldn’t have been good. After a quick walk through Innoventions, just to see that it’s still not geared towards us at all, we had lunch at Seasons, which is in the Land. This was the best counter service lunch option we found at all of Disney World. There are so many choices from salads and sandwiches to Asian food and grilled salmon. And the desserts! Oh, the desserts. There’s so many. Great use of our CS credits for this lunch. We both had plates of Asian food (different types of chicken, beef, vegetables, rice, and noodles) and Chris had pan au chocolat for desert and I had a rice crispy brick (it was huge). Yes, I know, a rice crispy treat probably sounds pretty dull, and if you’d seen the dessert selection, you’d probably think I was crazy for choosing it over all the other delicious choices, but Disney rice crispy treats are really good and I just had to have it. I’ll try something else next time I go.

For a break, we had originally (like, before the trip) talked about going and hanging out at the Beach Club where Chris has stayed in the past. It’s within walking distance of the World Showcase and would allow us to not have to waste time on taking the bus home and back, but we seemed to forget about that once we were at Disney World. I’m not sure it would’ve been enough anyway, since we both ended up taking a nap back at the hotel.

After the break, we were back at EPCOT, ready to finish perusing the countries in the World Showcase. We had an early (4:45 pm) dinner at Restaurant Marrakesh in Morocco, which is one of the furthest places from the EPCOT entrance, but we got there on time. It was really pretty inside and the entertainment was cool – there were 2 guys who sang and played drum/bongo things and a belly dancer. We both had couscous (his with lamb shanks that just fell of the bone, it was so tender and mine with really tasty vegetables) for dinner and for dessert, I had Moroccan baklava while Chris had bastilla. My baklava was pretty good; tasted like baklava, only with pistachios in it, but Chris’s bastilla was amazingly good. It’s layers of crispy filo covered with vanilla cream sauce and toasted almonds that is just so tasty. So, all in all, another restaurant we’d never tried before that we’d definitely go back to.

Kind of a dark picture of the inside of Restaurant Marrakesh

Kind of a dark picture of the inside of Restaurant Marrakesh

Both of us in Restaurant Marrakesh

Both of us in Restaurant Marrakesh

Chris in a telephone booth in England. He said it was really hot inside.

Chris in a telephone booth in England. He said it was really hot inside.

Us waiting for the fireworks. I look a bit quasi-modoish in this picture.

Us waiting for the fireworks. I look a bit quasi-modoish in this picture.

After dinner, we went back to Norway to ride Maelstrom, which Chris hates, but I think is kinda cute. So, in reward for his sacrifice, he got a Grey Goose Lemon Citron Slush in France (and I got a Grand Marnier Orange Slush). They were both really good and quite refreshing. After finishing up Canada and England, we decided to stake out a spot for the Illuminations fireworks. An hour and a half ahead of time. Ugh, it was a long wait. We watched a bunch of spiders make webs in the bushes. Gross. Finally, we got to see the fireworks though. As I might have said before, I’m not quite as big a fan of the EPCOT fireworks as I am of the Magic Kingdom fireworks, but it was still a good show. I could just do without the middle bit with the music, fountains, and pictures on the globe that takes forever to get to the center of the lake and open up. The finale is pretty good though, really bright and explodey!

After a quick stop in MouseGears, the big EPCOT shop, we headed back to the hotel to call it a night. I was pretty sad that it was our last full day at the parks. Up next, day 5: a bit of this and that to end the trip.

Disney Vacation – Day 3

We woke up day 3 pretty tired, but showers and cereal breakfast woke us up fairly well. Since today was our only MGM (DHS) day, we knew we needed to get there at rope drop since there’s a few rides that are pretty popular. Our bus ride was uneventful and got us there on time. After watching the little pre-rope drop show, they let us in and we power walked to Toy Story Mania since it’s actually probably the most popular ride in the park right now since it’s the newest and everyone can ride it. We got there with a bunch of other people and noticed that the fast pass machines had a line! After getting our fast passes (I think for around 10:30 am), I took this picture to show the line just to get fast passes:

So, really, if you want to ride this, and don’t want to wait in at least an hour standby line, get there at rope drop. I’ve heard fast passes completely run out around 11 am. And since we’ve never been there at night (we usually go to EPCOT or Magic Kingdom for dinner/parade/fireworks, though I’ve never seen Fantasmic, so maybe next time we’ll actually try it), I’d certainly hate to get a fast pass at 10:30 am for near closing time.  Anyway, after getting our fast pass for TSM, we power walked over to Rockin’ Rollercoaster, another ride that gets a big line quickly. We only waited about 10-15 minutes and then we were on it! I love Rock n’ Roller Coaster. It’s one of those 0-60 in 3 seconds roller coasters with loops, so it’s probably the most extreme ride at Disney World and it’s a lot of fun. Chris always does his silly face (not just the silly smile, it’s more of a not-quite-all-there look) for the camera, but I just can’t keep a straight face during the take-off. I do love looking at the picture though – often his face makes me laugh until I cry. Next, we went to Tower of Terror, which is another of my favorites. I just love the theme and all the details in the atmosphere of the line and ride. Plus, the ride itself is fun of course! I think I need to try this one at night – it would be nice to not have that sudden bright daylight in your eyes at the top of the ride. It always makes my eyes tear up, which makes me look like I hated the ride and cried the whole time! I’m not 100% sure where the picture is taken in this ride, so we sometimes make our face and sometimes don’t, since it’s kinda a pain to keep the same face during the whole ride.

Us on the road to Tower of Terror

Us on the road to Tower of Terror

We saw this on the way back to Toy Story Mania. Its the High School Musical parade. Chris got excited. lol

We saw this on the way back to Toy Story Mania. It's the High School Musical parade. Chris got excited. lol

By now, it was time for our FP for Toy Story Mania, so we headed back over there. It was much better to only wait about 10 minutes compared to the hour we waited last time. There’s lots to look at in the line, but my feet were really sore last year, so it felt really long. The ride was fun (though our arms were exhausted by the end from pulling the trigger on our game gun thing) and unfortunately, Chris beat my score on this ride. *pout* Oh well. Next we did Muppets 3D and Star Tours. Some idiot tried taking pictures during Star Tours, so the ride was interrupted a few times by a cast member telling us not to take pictures. I also made a few pennies, which was nice because I had very few pennies from DHS for some reason.

For lunch, we went to the ABC Commissary, where I had a burger, fries, a drink, and chocolate mousse and Chris had curry, a drink, and chocolate mousse. It was fine, nothing special, but definitely not bad. After lunch, we went on the Great Movie ride, which I hadn’t been on in a while and we saw the Cowboy scene (I remembered the Mobster scene, but not this one, so yay!). Then, we went to the Animation Studio and saw the show and looked around at the Up research and development stuff. We also got to meet Frozone from The Incredibles. Chris likes his “Where is my super suit” line, so he was happy to meet him and get our picture taken. Frozone’s a bit of a flirt – he kissed me, lol!

Us with Frozone, right before the kiss, lol

Us with Frozone, right before the kiss, lol

I think I’d like to try the animation class next time we go. I really like to draw, so I think it would be a lot of fun to learn to draw a Disney character. It was getting kinda late though, so we decided to skip it this time in favor of a short break back at the hotel. Unfortunately, this bus ride home was shared with POR and we were the last stop (the bus driver drove right past the entrance to POFQ, why not just stop!!??), so we had to sit through 4 stops before getting back to our hotel. So we had a bit of a shorter break today, but even I napped whereas I usually just write in my journal or relax or whatever. I was really tired.

Finally we were off to EPCOT! We had decided that today would be World Showcase day, but Spaceship Earth had a typical short line, and it’s right at the front of the park, so we rode that first. I love the new ending, where you get to input your choices into a little computer in your car and see your version of the future. It’s so cute.And of course, we did our silly faces:

A scene from our future (sorry for the angle, it was hard to get a picture of it)

A scene from our future (sorry for the angle, it was hard to get a picture of it)

Next, we stopped at Club Cool, the drink station with samples of foreign drinks. We’ve tried them before, but it’s fun to go back and try them again and see other people’s reactions to some of the bad ones. I won’t give away which one is the really bad one, in case anyone reading hasn’t gone yet – you’ll just have to figure it out yourself (and then turn around and see who was waiting to see your reaction to it!), but here’s a picture of Chris’s reaction:

We also watched as the father of a family grabbed a cup of the really bad soda and guzzled it down quickly. After his reaction, he noticed us staring with our mouths open (we couldn’t believe he gulped it down!) and laughed and asked why we didn’t warn him, lol.

Finally, it was time for World Showcase. We had a late dinner, so we had plenty of time to mosey through the countries, which I love to do. We started with Mexico, the first country on the left. We decided to get churros and drinks (a margarita for Chris and a sprite for me – I didn’t feel like a margarita) at the outdoor CS restaurant. I love churros. Mmm, so good. We sat and enjoyed our snack, while looking at birds and the World Showcase all around us. Before dinner, we managed to tour all the countries except England, Canada, and Morocco, so we figured we’d fit them in the next day, which was a full EPCOT day. We got a huge bag of candy in Japan (I love their candy! Pocky, Pucca, several sorts of gummies and hard candies and chocolate, yum). The big store in Japan is always a lot of fun. We also got to see Miyuki, the woman who makes candy by hand. She made a few different candies for people as we watched. It was pretty cool, they’re so ornate. Unfortunately, around the point of Africa (which isn’t very far into World Showcase, maybe a quarter of the way through (also, why is Africa a stop here? First off, World Showcase has individual countries, not continents. Second, all of Africa only gets a small stand and not a full location with buildings and stuff?? Third, doesn’t Animal Kingdom kind of take care of Africa? Why not put Greece there instead! Ok, too many parentheses here, time to end it)), my ankle really started to hurt, so I sort of gimped around slowly from that point on for the rest of the night. It was ok, though, I still enjoyed the World Showcase. 🙂

Chris with the troll in Norway, notice the enthusiasm.

Chris with the troll in Norway, notice the enthusiasm.

Around 8 we decided to head back to the Seas, where dinner was (Coral Reef). Once we got there, we had a little time to spare before our 8:50 pm dinner reservation, so we rode The Seas with Nemo and Friends, which was kinda dumb. It was a little clam shell that you ride while looking at screens of video with a little story about finding Nemo, who has again gone missing. I think they could’ve made it a lot better if it wasn’t just a series of videos. But, I guess kids probably like it, so whatever. The ride deposited us out into the aquarium, so we looked around there briefly (we saw some surprisingly playful manatees) before looking for the exit to head over to dinner. This was our actual anniversary, so this was the one restaurant we had eaten at before together and knew we liked. We got seated right next to the tank, where we had lots of fish and sharks to look at. We even named a few that stuck around and did cute things. Miguel was a shy fish who liked to look at us stealthily, Samuel was a laid back fish who stared at us and occasionally swam backwards, and there was another unnamed fish who swam by really quickly with his mouth opening and closing rapidly as if screaming, right after a shark swam by. It was pretty funny. Our waitress, was unfortunately, the same waitress we had on the family trip last year, who was awkward, slow, and kind of annoying, but the food was good. I got salmon and butterscotch creme brulee while Chris got Ahi tuna and a chocolate wave. We also shared the Land and Sea appetizer, which is grilled shrimp with cucumber salad and barbecued beef skewer with polenta. I was a bit disappointed that they’d taken the seafood pasta (I’m not sure exactly what it was called) off the menu, since it was really, really good, but my salmon was quite tasty.

After dinner, the park was still technically open for EMH, but I was hobbling pretty bad and we were both pretty tired, so we called it a night. Next up: day 4, full EPCOT day!