We were having such a good time on our girls only F&G trip, and then the husbands showed up! Who is this crazy lady, and how is she working for WDW? Thursday, March 28th, Day 1, Part 1 My sister, Mary Ann & I had a magical first day at WDW! It was a long one, starting at 2am when I woke up for our 6am flight out of Philadelphia, (Mary Ann had been awake since midnight). My husband graciously offered to drive us to the airport, even though he was slightly jealous we were leaving without him. Normally we fly Spirit out of Atlantic City, which is about a 35 minute drive from our house. I really like flying out of there much better than Philly, as it's a small airport, and things just seem to run more smoothly. Because of it's size, they usually only have two flights out of there per day, and the times weren't optimal for our trip, so Philadelphia it was. Thankfully, checking in and getting through security was a breeze.
We arrived at MCO by 8:15am, which was awesome. We were utilizing ME to get our bags, so we excitedly walked (we actually may have skipped a little) to our designated ME bus line. My sister & I had been looking forward to this trip so so much! Granted, I had just been there a short two months prior, in January, but that trip was probably one of the most stressful I've ever been. Don't get me wrong, we had many magical moments with my grandson, Gavin, who turned 6 on the trip, along with his daddy, my son Joe, and his mommy & big brother, Jaxon, who turned 13 on that trip. Gavin was everything you would want a 6 year old to be at WDW. Technically it was his second trip, but he was only 9 months old on the first trip, so this one was really like his first. He talked about Mom Mom & Pop Pop taking him to WDW for an entire year, for his birthday, and he also told everyone he came into contact with, from the Walmart cashier, to random strangers in Wawa! He was super well behaved, was never cranky, walked as much as we did, only asking to be picked up when his little legs were tired, but after a few minutes got right back to walking again, and enjoyed every moment of the trip. Everything was magical to him. Our youngest grandson, Leo, also got to go on the January trip, along with his mommy, my daughter, Lauren, and his daddy. Leo enjoyed all of the activity going on around him, and we're looking forward to more trips in the future with him! We took our grandsons, brothers Wesley & Lucas a year ago in December, along with their mommy & daddy, my son, Mike, so they'll get to go again next spring! This trip, though, was an adults only trip, & was going to be all about relaxation, seeing the beautiful Flower & Garden displays, and eating a lot of great food!
My four little grandsons, who have my heart! Here they are on Easter. Gavin, age 6, Lucas, just turned 5 last month, Leo, 7 months on May 5th, & Wesley, turning 7 on June 7th! At this stage, trying to get them all to look at the camera at the same time is impossible!
So getting back to this trip, Mary Ann & I were so super excited!!! Almost four whole days by ourselves! We were beside ourselves with excitement. The plan was to first stop at Coronado Springs Resort where we were going to check in, grab a bite to eat at El Mercado de Coronado, and then head to Epcot, hopefully by 10am, as we had an lunch reservation that my sister, especially, was looking forward to! The cast member checking us in had other plans in mind for us though. I have to say it was the strangest encounter with a cast member I've ever had. My sister gives her name, and as the cast member is checking us in, she's asking us about our plans for the day. So far, so good. After perusing the screen for a few minutes, she looks at my sister and says "so you've requested a special view". My sister is totally confused. I pipe up and say, oh, I made a request (on Touring Plans) that was supposed to be faxed over. The CM asks us "what is a skyline view"? I'm like, you know, a view of the buildings or whatever that is on the horizon. I was hoping maybe we could have a view over the lake. We had booked a preferred building, so I knew we were going to be in the Casitas. CM says she has never heard of a skyline view. Um, okay, Well, maybe if possible, could we have a view that looks out at the lake. At this point I really don't care. We don't have a balcony or patio anyway. I just thought it would be nice. Then CM says, well you can't see anything anyway because of that big building in the middle of the lake. I'm presuming she meant the new restaurant. Then she proceeds to tell us how they're no longer going to have a front desk counter, that everyone will be checked in by CMs standing in the lobby with tablets, that all the checking in will be in the new giant tower, how she's not happy about it, and on and on. Hmmm, she seems to be having a bad morning. We sympathize with her about all the changes going on, but we're like, we have a reservation that we have to make, so could you maybe finish checking us in, pretty please? Then she asks for our magic bands. Then she says oh no, you're magic band isn't linked to the reservation, pointing to me. I'm like, say what? It is on MDE, I've made all the dining and FP reservations, how could it not be linked. Then she mentions our husbands, and where are they. We say they're not coming until Sunday. Then she asks us if we all have MDE. We say yes. Then she indignantly says why on earth do you all have one?!! What? Me and my sister are giving each other rolling eye/frightened looks when the CM isn't looking. CM links my magic band, and then wants to proceed to check our MDE accounts. We're like listen, lady, haha, no we didn't really say that. We just politely told her we had to get going, and as long as our magic bands that we had on our wrists at that moment were working, we really needed to go, but that we'd be back in the afternoon, and we'd seek her out, and she could "fix" everything for us. Yea, that wasn't happening, but she didn't need to know that. We then walked out of the lobby as fast as we could and didn't look back.
Mary Ann in serious discussions with the CSR cast member checking us in.
We were pretty hungry, having been awake for hours now, but didn't want to eat too much, since we were having a pretty hefty lunch. My sister is allergic to corn, which really limits a lot of what she can eat. We both decided on the Southwestern Omelet- Ham, Peppers, Onions and Salsa topped with Cheddar Cheese served with Home Fries, minus the home fries, and with a side of bacon. The bacon was pretty thin, almost see through, but on the bright side, less calories! The omelet was just okay. It seemed a little rubbery to me, and lukewarm at best, but I added ketchup, and then it tasted a whole lot better. Besides, we had an awesome lunch coming up!!!
Now that our bellies were satisfied, it was time for Epcot! The weather couldn’t have been more perfect, mid to high 70s & no humidity, and bright & sunny! The wind was a bit crazy all day though. The Flower & Garden Festival did not disappoint. Everything was so beautiful & colorful! The butterfly garden was educational & pretty, but not too many butterflies out & about yet.
Look at this gorgeous day! We meandered into World Showcase, heading to the right, as there was a special adult beverage that my sister had read about that was calling her name!
Told you the wind was crazy!
We had a super refreshing LaVie en Rose in France before heading to Italy for our lunch reservation. That might not have been the smartest idea, drinking alcohol before having any carbs in our stomach while being up for hours already. We were both slightly woozy!
We watched Impressions de France, my favorite Disney circle vision film, where I developed my love of Claude Debussy’s music, and I have the music as my ring tone! We then headed to lunch at Via Napoli where we had the most delicious carciofi pizza with arugula & a Caesar salad with shrimp! Yum! I've been bragging about this pizza to my sister for ever! She had never even eaten at Via Napoli! I don't know how that's possible, but it's true. O. M. G. this pizza did not disappoint. The crust was the perfect blend of crispy and chewy, the fontina and mozzarella was gooey and luscious, the artichokes gave a hint of brine, and the truffle oil was just a whisper, but you know it was there. We also added arugula, which to me is the crowning touch, adding another dimension of bite. I can't take credit for this addition though, as I learned about this wonderful pizza with the addition of arugula from @kastoney! Thanks, Kari!
Carciofi Signature Pie- white pizza, artichoke, fontina, mozzarella, truffle oil
I think she looks excited, right? My husband loves the carciofi pizza, so of course we texted him a few pics, lol. He wasn't amused.
I've been on a Caesar salad kick recently. I make one for lunch almost every day, so I thought we should try this one. It was truly delicious. The romaine was crisp and cold, with a really good Caesar dressing, wasn't over dressed, which is good, as I hate my salads if they're swimming, the parmesan was sharp, but not too sharp, and the shrimp were plump, seasoned well, and cooked just perfectly. This wasn't even half of the serving, as my sister and I were sharing, so I just put some of the salad on a separate plate.
Insalate Cesare- romaine lettuce, shaved parmesan, savory bread crumbs; $7 to add chicken, $9 to add shrimp;
After lunch we leisurely made our way around the countries just enjoying being there.
At Norway we rode Frozen Ever After. I've done it once before, and didn't care if I did it again, but my sister requested this FP, as she had never ridden it. Cute, but I miss the original Maelstrom. We browsed the Fjording Shop, admiring the gorgeous & very expensive Dale of Norway sweaters, & enjoyed the very pretty fragranced Laila perfume by Geir Ness. Mary Ann restrained herself & did not buy it, which was pretty amazing as they were offering a great deal. I did not restrain myself at Norway’s bakery, Kringle Bakery Og Cafe, buying a school bread, a troll horn, & a sweet pretzel with almonds. What is up with that? I'm not even a sweets eater. I much prefer salty to sweet. They were calling to me though. I swear, reading DISers dining reports is so bad for the diet! I've read about these delicacies so many times that I just had to try them for myself. We nibbled on the sweet pretzel as we walked. Yum yum yum!!! This was really good! I can't do justice describing these treats, so you'll just have to try them for yourself. Sadly,I forgot to take pictures of these delicious Disney treats, but I'm sure you've all seen the pics in other's reports! We had some of the school bread & troll horn later that evening when we got back to our room, and finished them off in the morning for a quick breakfast!
We made our way out of World Showcase, finishing up in Future World, riding The Seas With Nemo & Friends, then walking through the aquariums discovering cute as well as creepy sea creatures . Our last attraction was Spaceship Earth. Love going back in time! Around 4:30 we decided to head on out of there, as the extremely early start to the day was starting to catch up with us. We arrived back to Coronado around 5:15. It really is a beautiful Disney Resort, but quite huge, & we did walk in circles a bit trying to find our room!
We thought we'd eat dinner at the resort, and have an early night, so that we could be up and out bright and early the next morning. After looking at the menus, and keeping Mary Ann's corn allergy in mind, we decided to eat at Rix Sports Bar & Grill. It was a first for both of us, and a good decision!
The walk from our room to El Centro was so pretty! It was such a beautiful evening. We lucked out with the weather for our entire trip, only having a few sprinkles one afternoon, with temps mostly in the high 70s to low 80s.
There's that big monstrosity in the center of the lake, blocking our view, per the CM checking us in!
Your Sister was not alone in having never been to Via Napoli. DH & I have yet to go. Your pizza looks good but I would need to ask them to hold the artichokes as neither of us like them .
I got a laugh reading about your DH not being pleased to get pics of your pizza. I do the same to my Sis when on vacation with DH except with pictures of drinks by the pool or pool bar.
Other than the odd check-in experience, looks like your day got off to a good start! Slushie in France is always a smart choice. I also love the movie there — more so now that you’re allowed to bring a glass of champagne in with you. How smart to use the music as your ringtone! I think I heard the movie is getting an update soon.
I love Via Napoli pizza. So good. It’s a little loud and crowded in there and service can be spotty - but I will put up with a lot for that pizza.
I loved Maelstrom too but find the new attraction to be really cute as well. I’ve actually never been in the Norway bakery. May need to change that!