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Walt Disney World #4Parks1Day Challenge: Part II (Epcot)

At the end of the last blog post, my sister and I had just conquered our first park of four. 

We bid Hollywood Studios adieu and headed to Epcot via the Friendship Boats. We'd originally planned to walk the mile between the two parks, but I am so, so, so glad that we didn't--we were already walking enough as it was, and the temperatures were rising fast. 

Neither of us remembered ever riding the boats, so it was a bonus treat to experience something new. On the way to Epcot, we saw the Beach and Yacht Clubs. They're so pretty!

Amber also decided that being a Disney World boat captain is her new calling. Her qualifications for the job include: nothing, nothing, and more nothing. 

Yup. She should be a shoo-in. 

Walt Disney World #4Parks1Day Challenge: Part II (Epcot) | CosmosMariners.com
But could she wear her Minnie ears on the job?

Walt Disney World #4Parks1Day Challenge: Part II (Epcot) | CosmosMariners.com
Preparing to bail into the probably alligator infested water if my sister takes the helm.
We were delivered to Epcot's World Showcase by one very chipper captain, who thankfully didn't let Amber anywhere near the boat controls. 

As we'd hit a little bit of a wall on the ride over, we headed directly to Japan's Katsura Grill for lunch. 

Walt Disney World #4Parks1Day Challenge: Part II (Epcot) | CosmosMariners.com

This was the view on the way there. It was 11:45 in the morning IN JUNE. I think it's been livelier than this when we've been in the dead season of early December. We finally found the rest of the people in Animal Kingdom later that day, so maybe they all slept in.

Walt Disney World #4Parks1Day Challenge: Part II (Epcot) | CosmosMariners.com

The Japan pavilion is gorgeous, and we loved having it nearly all to ourselves. We posed for quick pictures on the cute bridge just outside of the Grill before heading in to stuff our faces! The staff at Katsura Grill was so friendly, and I loved their uniforms, which were these beautiful kimonos. The woman who handed me my food even bowed, and I felt super special. (It wasn't me. She bowed to everyone.)

Walt Disney World #4Parks1Day Challenge: Part II (Epcot) | CosmosMariners.com

We didn't want to weigh ourselves down with anything too heavy or greasy, so we both opted for the teriyaki chicken ($9.99), which came with steamed veggies and white rice. I ate every bite!

Walt Disney World #4Parks1Day Challenge: Part II (Epcot) | CosmosMariners.com
After our tummies were full, we headed out to conquer our Epcot must-do list. It was short: Maelstrom, Gran Fiesta Tour, Test Track, and Soarin'. We figured we'd have plenty of time to do all three since Hollywood Studios had gone so well, and Epcot was so empty. 

To get from Japan to Norway (where the Maelstrom is), we had to pass through Germany. Amber and I were mesmerized by the tiny train going through the miniature village because all things are better in miniature. It's the fourth law of physics. (Don't quote me on that.)

Walt Disney World #4Parks1Day Challenge: Part II (Epcot) | CosmosMariners.com

We tore ourselves away from the mini village and were soon feasting our eyes upon this hunky, bearded Norwegian fellow in line for Maelstrom.
Walt Disney World #4Parks1Day Challenge: Part II (Epcot) | CosmosMariners.com
Clearly, this Viking got up on the right side of the bed. Ready, set, sack some villages!

We were banished from Norway by some devilish little trolls, so we figured we might get a better reception in Mexico.

Walt Disney World #4Parks1Day Challenge: Part II (Epcot) | CosmosMariners.com

Turns out, they were having a fiesta that day, hosted by the Three Caballeros. So, of course, we had to celebrate a little.
Walt Disney World #4Parks1Day Challenge: Part II (Epcot) | CosmosMariners.com

As we'd had great luck with our must-ride list, we headed over to Test Track to tick off our third ride in Epcot. On the way, we stopped to eat some churritos. They were tasty, but I miss the giant churros that they used to sell!

Walt Disney World #4Parks1Day Challenge: Part II (Epcot) | CosmosMariners.com

The wait for Test Track was 50 minutes; we had plenty of time to spare, so we hopped in line. I was excited to ride it because the stand-by line had been completely reworked since my last visit.

Walt Disney World #4Parks1Day Challenge: Part II (Epcot) | CosmosMariners.com

We waited and waited and waited. Just as we'd gone through a designed the world's coolest car (pinky-purple with silver stars), a Cast Member announced that inclement weather was in the area and the ride was temporary closed down.

ARGH. We were SO close--I could see the loading area--but a torrential downpour had caused loading to screech to a halt. We waited about 20 minutes before deciding to leave the line. Time was a-wasting, and we had a deadline to meet.

Walt Disney World #4Parks1Day Challenge: Part II (Epcot) | CosmosMariners.com
That's one sad Minnie.
Sadly, the Test Track debacle caused us to miss out on Soarin'. The 3:00 p.m. deadline was upon us, so we browsed in a few shops before making our way to the Epcot exit.

Walt Disney World #4Parks1Day Challenge: Part II (Epcot) | CosmosMariners.com

4 Parks/ 1 Day Challenge: Epcot Recap
Timing: Still doing pretty well. Our original plan had been to arrive around 11:30 and leave by 3:00, and we were slightly ahead of schedule when we left. 
Rides: 2.5 (Maelstrom, Gran Fiesta Tour, and Test Track. I'm counting Test Track as a half of a ride because we got SO close to actually riding it!)
Attitude: We got a boost from eating lunch, but our spirits fell quite a bit when we waited and waited and waited for Test Track without any payoff.
Meals: Lunch at Katsura Grill in Japan and a snack of churritos in Mexico.

Up tomorrow: Has our bad experience at Test Track set a new precedent for the rest of the day? Are we ever going to run out of steam?

Orlando Discounted Theme Parks and Attractions - Florida Ticket Station