Well, it's been almost a month since my last visit to the World. I'm right in the middle of my busy season, and just haven't had the time to post about it. So here, better late than never, are my thoughts (not really a trip report!).
My visit was from April 4th through the 9th, during what I thought was going to be a quiet week. Not at all - the parks were pretty much slammed. Not quite as bad as top prime season, but still more than I'm used to seeing. But being an experienced park stormer, I was able to cope (hit the parks at opening, leave around noon-ish for my hotel, back again late afternoon, judicious use of Fastpass, etc.). The only regular attractions I didn't get to were Pirates and the Jungle Cruise, as the lines were over 30 minutes long (I'll get 'em next time).
Speaking of the MK, this was my 2nd time on the Laugh Floor, and I have to say that I really enjoyed it. Perhaps it's a factor of who's on duty, but there were some funny guys running the live interactive characters. And the crowd was very into it all. Still, I don't think this show has a place in Tomorrowland. And I still miss the Transportarium and the Timekeeper, one of my favorite attractions.
On the dining front, while I ate well I wasn't as impressed with the food as I've been in the past. I did want to try Tutto Italia, as it would probably be my only chance to dine there before they changed formats again. I had a tasty meal of pasta e fagioli soup (rice-sized pasta with beans) and a veal tortelloni, but it wasn't earth shattering. Great service, though, and a great window seat to watch the folks scurrying around through the downpour outside.
Digression about the weather - I've been visiting around twice a year for the past 15 years or so, and have always lucked out with the weather. This trip was payback time - it rained 4 out of the 5 days there. And not just the little thunderboomers that last 20 minutes - it was just flat POURING for hours at a time! It's really hard to have a good time watching IllumiNations in Epcot during a torrential downpour! The only night it didn't rain was my last night there, and I was really looking forward to that night's IllumiNations. Imagine my disappointment when the show started but the flame barge, arguably the centerpiece of the first movement of the show, wasn't working. Bad show, Disney!
Back to the food - I had a pretty tasty reuben sandwich at the Sci-Fi Dine In, an OK lemon chicken at Marrakesh, and a perfectly done steak at the Brown Derby. But by far the hit of the week was my meal at 'Ohana. I've eaten here several times in the past, and always enjoyed it to varying degrees. But they've changed up their format a bit, and all to the better. They first bring some coconut/pineapple flavored bread, which you could make a meal out of. Next is a delicious light salad with a raspberry vinagrette dressing. Then it's bbq chicken wings and pot stickers (keep in mind that I was a single diner, and there was LOTS of food coming out - I was starting to fill up by the end of this course). After this came a plate of peanut flavored noodles and a bowl of snap peas and brocolli. All of this came out in maybe 10 minute intervals - I was in no way rushed, but I was pretty close to stuffed before the main event arrived. Finally, the skewers of meat - chicken and turkey first, then beef, and finally huge grilled shrimp, accompanied by a trio of dipping sauces. And to top it all off, since I learned about this right here on MP, I requested that they replace the bread pudding dessert with the former incredible dessert of pineapple with caramel dipping sauce! They don't bring the pineapple out in its former preparation on a pineapple shell - it's now in a small bowl. But it's still amazingly tasty, and a wonderful finish to a heavy meal! I was planning to go into the MK for SpectroMagic and Wishes after this meal, but I was just so freakin' stuffed that it was all I could do to roll my heavy self back to my hotel. Wonderful meal - just don't plan anything afterwards!
I got to ride and see most of what I wanted to ride and see, including 3 rides in a row on Expedition Everest, my current fave. I also experienced the new Spaceship Earth a couple times. I have to say that I didn't think the ending was all that terrible, but the computer screen thing seemed more suited to a kiosk somewhere in the post show, not the ending of a ride. It was kinda fun, but I'm not really riding a ride to play a computer game. I think they could have done better with this, but their update of the first half of the ride was first-rate.
As always, I was just getting into the groove of things when it was time to leave. I always hate that drive back to MCO, but it's always tempered by the fact that I'll be back soon. Next trip is in mid-October, during the Food & Wine Festival. Good times!