Tara and I spent the day at EPCOT. We both agreed at the end of the day we had a good time, but there was somewhere around 2 hours in, that if we still had our Annual Passes, and could go whenever, we would have headed home.

Click HERE for Pictures.

The day started off sunny, breezy, and chilly, but somewhere along the way it became overcast. It did not rain, so that was a plus!

Not much had changed in the way of holiday displays from last year, so I tried to stay out from behind the camera more than usual.

Tara wanted to start at Innoventions. She loves the Robot Race. First stop though, was a new exhibit called StormStruck. It is a 3D video, depicting a tornado. You then help rebuild the destruction making choices that will be best to reduce damage. Then they re-do the storm to see how the changes the audience made helped. It was not scary, but there were startling parts!

When we exited StormStruck, I knew that Tara would not be happy. ROBOT RACES was gone. It was a little sad that was one of our favorites things to do. None the less, we do have our own personal army of plastic robots that you wer able to make FOR FREE at the end of the race The pieces were made out of recycled plastic.

We then participated in the new recycling exhibit sponsored by Waste Management. You take a test to see how much waste your family creates in a year, and then you go through three challenges that are related to recycling. It was fun!

We then headed to The Land, as we were both ready for lunch. Tara loves the Garden Grill, but I was pretty sure it was no longer open at lunch. I was correct, and they were pretty booked for the day. I also noticed the dinner price was $29 per person….. WHOA – I like it there, but that is outrageous. The food is family style, but there is no way we would get our monies worth, even factoring the “cost” of the character experience and rotating restaurant atmosphere! Disney is giving one free day of admission on your birthday in 2009, and I am sure Tara will pick EPCOT to visit, so I will try and get us seating for her birthday dinner. For a special occasion, I can justify the price, but not for a quick Saturday lunch. We then headed downstairs and got lunch at Seasons. They have a good variety, of good food. We shared CA Rolls, roasted chicken/salad/mashed potatoes, and grapes and strawberries. Still pricy, but less than 1/2 of what Garden Grill would have been.

Next up an old time favorite – Journey to the Imagination aka FIGMENT. Yes, it’s the same old same old, but it is still a nostaligic favorite. Much like Spaceship Earth, but now that it has been redesigned, there is ALWAYS a wait.

We headed off to World Showcase at this point. Tara was getting a headache, so I grabbed on Iced latte (caffeine) and we rested while waiting for Off Kilter. This is something we had never experienced. Check out Men in Skirts. Tara does not think men should wear skirts!

Tara’s headache was feeling better, so we headed to the “UK” to see if I could buy some batteries (I left my spare set home in the charger…. You would think I would be more prepared!). We found them in the toy shop, where we were waited on a very friendly fellow from the UK. I loved his accent, and his personality, and I can’t remember his hame. I will have to see if I can find it on the receipt. When we exited the store, the World Showcase Players were getting ready to perform their version of “A Christmas Carol”. It was very funny. They had two audience members participate. They made a play on words for each of the ghosts that came to Ebenezer Scrooge. They were all very talented and good at this type of performing. Like the Street Performers at Hollywood Studios, I greatly enjoyed it!

We then headed across the bridge, and headed through France, Morocco and the Japan pretty quickly. We visited the US a bit longer. The lines of folks at 3:30 for the Christmas Processional that started at 5pm were incredible. This is something we have not experienced. We then headed by Italy, and into Germany, where we did some browsing. Tara is very interested in Germany. I am not sure if it is because I visited ther when I was in high school, or if it is because one of our neighbors, Barbara B. (they moved to VA last year) is from Germany. We were practicing our German in the car on Friday night while crawling down International Drive.

I was very suprised to see 40% and 50% off signs all over the stores. Much of the Christmas merchandise is 50% off, and T-shirts, and baseballs caps, etc were 40% We made one small purchase, but I can’t tell you it’s a XMAS gift for my mom!

We headed through the Outpost, just in time so we did not have to wait for the Fireworks barge to go under the bridge, sat for a few moments on a bench in China, and stopped for a “bio break” in Norway. We kept right on moving through Mexico, which was totally crowded as the Christmas story tellers were just finishing up. We didn’t really stop for any of these today – our timing was off to see them!

We were both ready to go home, and we had walked all the way around the world. We made a quick stop in Mousegears, and picked up something my sister had called and asked me to pick up (good timing since were were in EPCOT), and I bought Tara the Snowman Webkinz – this will be 5 days worth of her 12 Days of Christmas surprises. The story was crazy busy, and people were REALLY getting on my nerves by this point, so I was very glad to be heading home. I only regret we did not stay until dark to see the lights and hear the music.

We were able to get right on a tram, and then walked almost to Magic Kingdom (just kidding) to our car that was almost at the far end of the Create “48” row! I was not sure if I would be able to walk once we got home. My legs were really tired. I was glad I filled up with gas on the way in ($1.59) so we did not need to make any stops on the way home.

Very tempted I was to get McDs for Tara for dinner. I really was not hungry, and new I had some tortellini soup to finish up. Tara said she really wanted pasta. I figured I had enough energy to boil water and strain the pasta, after of course I walked the dogs. This is not easy after they have been home alone for 8 hours.

I was ready to sit down and put my feet up for the rest of the evening, which is just what I did.

We had a really good day! Much of Disney is the same old same old each time you visit, but it just feels good being there! We did experience three new things today, so that was a plus, but we saw no new characters! Boo Hoo. Still hoping to find Marie from The Aristocats!

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