Friday, March 1, 2013

Playing Hooky

by Meghann on March 1, 2013

Shhhh… don’t tell the boss but I played hooky at Walt Disney World today.

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My annual pass was burning a hole in my pocket and I’d been meaning to make a trip to the land of Mickey Mouse before the spring break crowds moved in and the temps became unbearable. Today seemed like the perfect day to getaway.

And perfect it was. Holy amazing temps, Batman! It was a high of 65 today and there was the perfect chill in the air to walk around in long sleeves and leggings. Loved, loved, loved it! Disney is its best when it’s just a tad chilly outside.

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I arrived at Epcot around lunch time and headed to my favorite restaurant in all of Walt Disney World: Via Napoli in Italy.

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I could rave about this place for hours. The decor! The food! The atmosphere! I love it all. You really feel like you’ve left Walt Disney World and walked right into Italy when you enter the restaurant.

I was quoted a 20 minute wait for my table of one, but only waited about 10 minutes.

By the way… did you know Disney has free public wi-fi set up across their parks now? I was able to access the surprisingly fast service in Epcot and Hollywood today (and was really impressed with the speed!), but couldn’t get the connection to work while I was in Magic Kingdom (my 4G was struggling to work too – womp. womp.)

As soon as I was seated I ordered a glass of cabernet. I felt extra fancy drinking wine with my lunch.

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For my meal, I ordered the “Capricciosa” which had eggplant, artichokes, cotto ham, and mushrooms.

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The pizza was devine. They have the best crust here – it’s very thin, light and full of flavor. The topping combination was incredible as well. The mushrooms were sliced thick and the ham had a touch of sweetness to it. Yum.

After lunch I headed to Test Track to check out the new renovations the ride just went through.

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The Imagineers “fancied” the ride up by removing the fun “test dummy” vibe the ride used to have and giving it a sleeker, modern look.

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I have to admit, I miss the fun youthfulness the ride used to have. The new look is a little too serious for my tastes. :/

The renovations kept the ride’s basic idea (you’re testing a vehicle’s safety), but added a new interactive twist. At the beginning of the queue you’re handed a card (or, if you’re staying at a WDW hotel, you can use your hotel room key) and along the way there are computers where you can design various aspects of a car and save it to your card.

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Once you get to to the end of the queue, you do a final scan of your card to register your vehicle to be tested on the ride.

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The mechanics of the ride are exactly the same (if you’re familiar with the ride – you still go over the bumps, you still zig and zag, and you still speed through the turns), but the look and language behind the different “test” aspects are all different. Again, it has a sleeker, more sophisticated look that is totally different from the previous version.

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At the end of every “test” element, the car you built in queue is given a score on how it held up through the specific test. At the end of the ride, you have a final score on whether your car would have passed all the safety inspections. Unfortunately since I went through single riders, so I never actually built a car, but it looked like the SUV the guy next to be built did pretty good.

Of course, it really doesn’t matter about what the rest of the ride is like. We all know why we really ride Test Track. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Yep, you still get to go really fast on the track that loops the building. That’s the important part, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Have you rode the new Test Track? What did you think?

I left Epcot and headed to Hollywood Studios (which will always be MGM in my heart).

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There was a little Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster action.

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I had hoped the light crowds meant I could FINALLY ride Toy Story Mania, but the 80 minute wait still scared me away. However, I will admit 80 minutes is the shortest I’ve ever seen it. One day I will be at Hollywood Studio the minute it opens and ride that stinkin’ ride. I’m dying to know what all the fuss is about!! (but not enough to wait 80 minutes ๐Ÿ˜‰ ).

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While I was walking away from Toy Story, I saw a sign for a new-to-me attraction: The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow.

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Now don’t confuse this with Pirates of the Caribbean. That ride is located in Magic Kingdom and a Walt Disney World classic. The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow is an interactive show in Hollywood Studios. I decided to hop in line out of plain ole curiosity, but probably should have listened to my Instagram friends and skipped it.

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I feel like they could have done a lot with the experience (during the show the audience performs a bunch of tests with the goal of becoming pirates), but they fell flat. They definitely aimed this towards little boys, but even the boy next to me seemed bored. There were parts in the show where the audience got lost and weren’t sure what to do and nothing made sense. Sigh. Hopefully they make some changes to this soon because the parts with Jack Sparrow were actually pretty cool. The couple next to me and I couldn’t tell if he was a hologram or live actor. If he was a hologram, those were some awesome special effects.

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My final stop of the day.

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A Disney employee saw my struggles with my self portrait in front of the castle and offered to help.

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Much better.

Not going to lie. I only had one thing on my mind.

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My day was now complete. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Okay. So I did ride a ride or two as well. ๐Ÿ˜‰

After 5:00 the crowds in the park really started to pick up and I took that as my cue to leave.

Adios, Walt Disney World! Until we meet again!

I love my husband, I love my friends, and I love my family, but sometimes it’s fun to escape and get some “me” time in all on my own. I had a blast at Disney World today by myself. It’s not something I would do everyday, but it was nice to relax, recharge, and be a little selfish. I know I won’t have the same opportunity to get away on my own on a random Friday in the future, so I’m living it up while I still can!

When’s the last time you had some “me” time?

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Rest Day

March 1, 2013

Happy Friday! My body needed a rest day so I took one. I turned my alarm off before I went to bed, but somehow still managed to wake up at 6:30. Luckily I was able to roll over and get a little more sleep before Derek’s alarm went off and it was really time to more ยป

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