Our room. Kid #1’s attempts to avoid getting sick on this
vacation have *mostly* worked, but she seems to be coming down with
UPS store (Celebration FL, 11:09am). $5.89 for a 12×12×20 box
to contain additional stuff to be sent home that does not fit in the
18×18×18 box that we sent down here. This is our estimated amount of
additional space needed (in cubic inches), based on a variety of “test
packs” of the old box with various combinations of the items to send
Celebration is an unincorporated city (pop. 7,427) which
started life as a Disney company town where they sold timeshares. It has
since been disowned and is now a mostly-separate entity (Disney still
provides electricity and telephone services.) My understanding is that the
UPS store does not pay rent to Disney, but it’s hard to tell.
Landscape of Flavors (11:30am). Skim milk (it’s a “snack”)
for Kid #2’s breakfast cereal in our room.
Our room. Final pack of the two boxes.
UPS store (2:45pm). $187.83 to mail both boxes back to
Canada. Kid #2 carries the old box (all clothing), which is 46 lbs and
awkward; some of the clothing is packed into Vacu-Seal bags and is very
dense, while other bits of clothing are just thrown in loosely. I carry the
new box, which is 30 lbs. I tell UPS that half the new box is new souvenirs
and snacks, half Canadian-origin stuff, while the old box is entirely
Canadian-origin material. Estimated shipping time is four business
It’s hard to tell for sure, but I think that the old box (which is
overweight) would have cost $95 to have Allegiant fly it up with us, while
the new box would have cost $45. So in total we paid about $48 extra to
avoid the checked-baggage hassle and to get $1000 of insurance on the box of
Epcot. Our last day at the parks. This second visit to Epcot
was planned for day 9 but had to be postponed. The original plan for today
had us visiting the the Magic Kingdom yet again, but we’ve been there, done
that, got the fridge magnet.
Attractions visited today: Club Cool, a ferry, Tangierine
Café (Wifey and Kid #1, lunch 4:17pm), Katsura Grill (Kid #2
and I, lunch 4:20pm), Karamell-Küche (take-home, 5:14pm), another
ferry, Gran Fiesta Tour, ImageWorks (just Wifey, take-home
6:43pm), Northwest Mercantile (except Wifey,
souvenirs), Journey into Imagination, and Soarin (Kid #1
and I). We had hoped to go on Spaceship Earth again, but are just
too tired. There is a cast member at Living with the Land who
confirms that it is scheduled to reopen tomorrow, and we have unused park
tickets, but the effort required seems excessive (get back here for just one
ride, then make our plane flight).
Club Cool used to be Ice Station Cool which had a
dirty-and-wet igloo you walked through to get to the Coke-branded tasting
station. Now you just walk into the station. I try the pineapple soda,
which is as good as I remember, and also the guarana soda which does not sit
well in my stomach — maybe I drank it too fast. Guarana is often used
in energy drinks.
The first ferry takes us to the Moroccan pavillion. It has a female
pilot (who is actually in control of the boat, which is not on a track) and
a male “captain” (who just reads his lines to the passengers).
At Katsura Grill, I note that the waitstaff are all
Japanese nationals as expected. But the cookstaff (actually making the
Japanese food) are all Black Americans. Is Japan trying to show off how
racist it is, or is this just Florida (which remains part of the Confederate
South)? Anyway, the food isn’t great. My dessert is strawberry+adzuki ice
cream, which tastes halfway between a fruit and a bean.
Karamell-Küche is obviously sponsored by Werther’s caramel
company of Berlin (although they also offer some fresh-baked stuff). Wifey
spends a snack-credit on a bag of caramels to take home.
We take a second ferry from Germany towards Mexico (the park layout
does not match the geography of the Earth). We have to wait at the dock for
a shift-change. I note that both old and new crews consist of a female
pilot and a male “captain”, so I guess these roles specify required genders
for the cast members.
The Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros is awful.
What it looks like to me is that Mexico stopped sponsoring the pavillion, so
Disney took vengeance upon them by replacing El Rio Del Tiempo
(which was basically an ad for the Mexico Tourist Board) with a ride in
which Donald Duck makes fun of Mexican stereotypes. Let this be a lesson to
you all: this is what will happen to your country if you ever stop giving the
benjamins to DisneyCorp!
At ImageWorks, Wifey gets another box of mints to use up a
It’s a long walk to the Canada pavillion, so Wifey sits on a bench at
the Showcase Plaza. At Northwest Mercantile Trading Post, Kid #1
thinks the selection of products is much like any tourist trap back home;
she buys a Mickey-in-Canada pin for $9.54 (says Disney in their
final-accounting email; missing receipt). Kid #2 uses a penny-squishing
machine for 50¢ (plus 1¢ for the penny). The machine embosses an image of
the Epcot Canada pavillion, but on the other side you can clearly see that
the penny had been minted in Canada in 1968. “It’s Canadian on both sides,”
he says. We generally think of Kid #2 as the most “normal” member of our
family, but is it normal to decide that the best use for your 47-year-old penny,
no longer legal tender in its country of origin, is to squish it into a
The cast member who is staffing the Trading Post wears a
nametag that says she is from Etobicoke ON, so I ask her if the ‘k’ is
pronounced. “No, it is /ɛ.ˈtoʊ.bɨ.ˌkoʊ/,” she says, clearly annoyed with
the number of mispronunciations she hears. It turns out that this is her
second stint at Disney World; for her first stint they gave her a nametag
that said “Brampton ON” (where she lives) but this time they are making her
wear Etobicoke (where she was born). Kid #1 says it’s a good thing that our
15-year-old nametags don’t give our places of origin, because we moved to
Canada after getting them. The cast member says she saw someone wearing one
of these old nametags at a D23
event. I tell her that, of the 65,000 cast members at Disney World, she is
the first one we’ve run into who has *ever* seen one of these things
before. (I am fairly sure that neither of my children has any idea what D23
is, nor have they ever been to Brampton, nor gotten off the highway when
they were passing through what used to be Etobicoke, which was dissolved in
1998 and amalgamated into Toronto.) Anyway, a pleasant enough conversation
with a homie.
Journey into Imagination stars Eric Idle. There is a picture
of Robin Williams on the wall, but he has no lines.
At Soarin, I note that the dark splotch does not seem to be in a
specific place on the screen, but depends on where I am looking. Perhaps
it is actually a blind spot in my eye and not a defect in the ride?
Everything Pop (at Disney’s Pop Century Resort,
dinner 8:45pm). I haven’t been too pleased with our own resort’s food, so
we try the Pop Century resort down the street, but things keep going wrong.
I try to go through the automated entry-lane for the parking lot, but my
credential is rejected (apparently this resort restricts the automated entry
just for guests staying at Pop Century, not for all current guests like
elsewhere). I have to back up and go through the staffed entry; the cast
member’s handheld reader makes a happy noise when scanning my wristband, so
he lets me in. I try to get a tuna sandwich, but the line I select does not
move — everyone is getting create-your-own salad. Finally I get the
sandwich and go to a checkout line, but it does not move — the cashier
is having an extended conversation in Spanish with some other guests. When
she finally gets to me, she wants to have an extended conversation in
English, but my family is sitting on a bench outside the food court so I
just wish she’d hurry up. By the time I finally get the food back to our
room, I don’t feel like eating it, so it sits in the fridge until tomorrow
Ink and Paint (9:08pm). Wifey pays $23.27 for a
scarf, plus $2.12 for an Animal Conservation button.
Landscape of Flavors (dinner, 9:15pm).
Create-your-own pasta for Wifey and the kids.