Friday morning dawned, well, noisily. The new family next to us had been talking loudly (parents not kids) since 5am and we were not impressed. After showers we headed out to catch the bus to Epcot. Epcot has always been my favourite park, probably due to the fact that the first times I came to Disney we used to return to Epcot most evenings to have dinner at a restaurant somewhere on the world showcase (the best, either Japan or the steakhouse in Canada. The worst – France, who kept us waiting for hours, served a child’s burger rare and complained that James was asleep at the table – he was 9, jetlagged and we weren’t seated until really late). Anyway, we arrived and went straight on Spaceship Earth (the ride inside the big golf ball). Jim and I used to go on it every night as we arrived in the park, sometimes several times. But, THEY’VE CHANGED IT! I was a little disappointed, although the new interactive version is fun, its not the Spaceship Earth that I know and love. Sad face. Our next stop was straight over to Soarin’ for fastpasses since it is another popular ride, it seemed that many people had the same idea. Since we were in the building, we went on Living with the Land, a boat ride through various greenhouses and labs to do with the environment. I always remember this ride since on my very first trip to Disney (1997) this was where the crowd stressed Jim out so much that he ran out of the queue and outside, to take out his stress on a defenceless metal bin. The upside of this though was the ride operator telling Mum that guest services would give us a pass to skip the queues since he found them so upsetting…score! This was brilliant and made the whole holiday, and the next two Disney holidays much more fun for all of us not having to queue. We headed over to the Finding Nemo ride and took videos of the seagulls and then Liz discovered that she had lost her glasses case, with her ticket and fast pass in it. She searched her bag and her pockets and we divided to retrace her steps. I eventually found it, it had fallen from her pocket on the ride and they had it at the operation desk, phew. Nemo was fun, if a little tame and finished in the seas pavilion where we looked at the various sea life including manatees, dolphins, eels and real clownfish. Looking for Liz’s glasses case I had been pushed on the stairs and landed oddly on my bad ankle, and it was pretty painful. We headed to Ellen’s energy adventure which involved lots of sitting down and Liz asked about the possibility of borrowing a wheelchair. ($15 appaarently). Luckily the 40 minute sit down was exactly what it needed so the wheelchair was unnecessary in the end. Our next stop was the awesome Test Track ride, where you sit in a “car” and become a crash test dummy for various tests. We got fastpasses for later then headed down the single rider queue. Reunited at the exit we headed quickly over to soarin which was fantastic. You sit in 3 rows of seats with your legs dangling and then the three rows lift up (a bit like a ferris wheel) to put you into the centre of a huge concave screen and as the seats move the film shows views of California, as if you are flying over it. Unfortunately the queue remained too long for us to go back for the rest of the day. After Soarin’ it was time to head to my favourite part, The World Showcase. We were really hungry at this point and had planned to have a big(ish) late lunch and to skip dinner in order to catch the fireworks. The vegetarian options in Mexico left a lot to be desired and although tempted we bypassed the $10 frozen margaritas (pints of). We found decent food in Norway and I really enjoyed my Ham, cheese, onion and apple toastie. We then headed back to Mexico to start the showcase properly. The ride was a bit tame, but fun none the less. We spent the afternoon wandering through the countries – Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, “The American Adventure” (yes we both posed next to the sign), Japan, Morocco, France, UK and Canada. We had Kaki-gori (shaved ice with fruit syrup) in Japan which was delicious before continuing.

Me and Alice

In the UK we waited to meet Alice (in Wonderland) and I decided that I want her job – dressing up, posing for photos and play acting all day – excellent! We then headed back to Test Track to use our fastpasses and play in the cars in the showroom. Liz then went on Mission Space while I went to play in the Innoventions pavilion. (I can’t go on Mission Space because the last time I tried the tiny ride capsule thing really freaked me out… I would make a rubbish astronaut). After meeting up we went on Spaceship Earth again and then went to the Photocenter to look at our photopass pictures. We were really disappointed that the professional Disney photographers are really rubbish. Most of the photos were either blurry or unflattering, I think we really amused the guy helping us by being so critical of ourselves in each one. The biggest disappointment was the Magic Kingdom pictures in front of Cinderellas castle, he had managed to angle the pictures so that we were blocking the castle completely… FAIL! Deciding that it was our last night and that we were hungry, we headed to China for some dinner before staking out a premium firework viewing place in the UK. The fireworks were good, but again, not quite as good as the Magic Kingdom, but a good end to the week none the less. After the fireworks we joined the hoards heading for the exit and just squeezed onto a bus back to the campsite. Back at the campsite we were slightly alarmed/irritated to find that people had arrived and created a street party, with loud music, screaming children and people everywhere. Somewhat grumpily we went to bed, all prepared with the phone number for security, which we did not end up using since we managed to fall asleep.

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