Hooray for trip reports! This trip report covers my April 2023 trip for the runDisney Springtime Surprise Weekend. Read all the posts in this report here. Onward!
And now for the day I was most looking forward to – Epcot and the Flower & Garden Festival!
Today was another sleep-in day – sort of. Once again I was up at 7am for the Charge of the Lightning Lanes. No Genie+ this time (I’m not convinced it’s ever worth it for Epcot), but I had my sights set on a virtual queue spot AND Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind LL.
Happily, I found success! Any number in the virtual queue was fine with me, and we wound up with a projected return time of mid-to-late afternoon. Lightning Lane slots don’t seem to go nearly as fast as the queue spots, and I was then able to secure paid lane. To be honest, I kinda hate paying for LLs, but I felt pretty certain once Pat rode Cosmic Rewind he’d want to take a second stab at it.
My reward was going back to sleep for a bit. Some storms were passing over the area (I know – in Florida????) so there wasn’t a huge incentive to get up and get cracking. Eventually I scraped myself out of bed, horked down some Yachtsman leftovers, and got ready for the day.
We grabbed some coffee at Fuel in the Dolphin lobby while Pat checked the radar. The rain was projected to pass, but not for a while yet. At least the downpour had slowed to something steady but gentler, and we decided to put on a brave face and head to Epcot anyway. We had multiple restaurant reservations to conquer, after all.
Unfortunately, the rain persisted as we walked to the International Gateway, and then I got pulled into the bag inspection line for what the security guard eventually identified as No Reason At All. But soon enough we were within Epcot’s walls, and headed across the park to Space 220. Review to come!
After a few drinks and a snack in the lounge, we immediately proceeded to… San Angel Inn! That’s right, I stacked ADR on top of ADR. Review to come of that one too, of course.
Okay, food and drinks out of the way for a moment, it was finally time to start doing, y’know, rides ‘n stuff. In a spectacular display of serendipitous timing, our Guardians virtual queue slot came up just as we were finishing our lunch in Mexico, and off we want to the Wonders of Xandar.
It was Pat’s first time on the ride, and I’m glad he went through the virtual queue to start, as the theming does inform the story a bit. He was surprised but pleased to see Terry Crews – isn’t everybody? We got “Disco Inferno” AGAIN, which I enjoy but there are still songs I haven’t heard so I was just a touch disappointed.
Fun fact: I was initially wearing some cute red ribbons in my hair, but Cosmic Rewind blew ’em off. 😅
By the time we exited the ride it was almost time to circle back around to our paid Lightning Lane slot. We killed the small intermittent time by grabbing a drink before knocking out Cosmic Rewind for a second time. This time we got “Conga,” which I’d never done before! Yay!
This largely concluded our rigid planning for the day, and we were free to wander wherever our little hearts desired. We wound up performing two full loops of World Showcase over the course of the afternoon, grabbing drinks here and snacks here and there. As per usual I’ll be doing review posts of both Flower & Garden booth comestibles and regular Disney snacks; suffice it to say, Karamel Kuche = good and Bier stand pretzel = bad. Oh, and the animated clock in Germany is WAY off.
Also! We stopped in Mitsukoshi and I managed to not buy ANYTHING despite hugging more than my fair share of Shiba Inu plush. We watched the fish in the koi pond for a little bit, too; an underrated activity.
Late afternoon slowly morphed into evening, and as 6pm rolled around I was able to partake in a very special ritual: a third Cosmic Rewind virtual queue drop! As the Dolphin is considered a deluxe-tier resort, we were eligible for Extended Evening Hours, and the virtual queue was only open to guests like us. Not sure what the stats are regarding how many spaces open vs. how many guests go for it, but we grabbed ourselves a spot without difficulty.
Believe it or not, we knocked out another spin around World Showcase, wander by the American Adventure at the onset of the last Switchfoot showing in the American Gardens theatre (“But when do they switch feet?”). There was a family holding “WE LOVE SWITCHFOOT” posters at the front, and the band had they come stand on stage for one song. It was actually pretty sweet to see how appreciative they were.
Soon enough the park was closing to regular guests, and I made Pat sit on a bench while the Epcot Forever fireworks went off. Well, up until the “Whole New World” part, which we all know is trash. No, I left as soon as the legit Epcot songs finished up, which worked out because our third and final Cosmic Rewind virtual queue group was called for the day.
Quite a few people must’ve hung around for the fireworks finale, as the Cosmic Rewind queue wasn’t full – or even loading full trains at that moment. We were placed in the second row, a fact Pat initially lamented. But as no one immediately came up behind us, I leaned back to ask the Cast Member if we could move up one spot… and the request was granted!
We got “I Ran” again – after six rides I’ve still only heard half the songs – but I gotta say being in the front row makes Cosmic Rewind even better than it already is. Highly recommended if you can swing it.
From there we slid over one pavilion for a quick spin on Mission: Space, Orange Team, because unlike, oh, a lot of you Pat LOVES this ride. If you were the lone girl who wound up in a capsule with us: uh, sorry. We like to play “push the other guy’s buttons first.” 😂 (Don’t worry, neither of us pushed any of hers!) P.S. I still miss Gary.
Oh, gosh, what next? Extended Evening Hours are the jam, guys; there was practically no one in the park by now. I dragged Pat over to Frozen Ever After on the assumption there would be no line, and sure enough we marched directly into a boat. Then we stopped to grab Pat a beer before the final attraction of the night: Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure. This had a bit of a line as I think, like me, everyone thought to do it before exiting via the International Gateway, but it was still less than ten minutes. I enjoy this ride all the more now that I remember how much I love the movie.
And that was that! The park was closed by the time we exited Remy. We moseyed out of France, hung a left at the back entrance, and meandered down the Boardwalk to the Dolphin. A little room wine, a little dumb TV, and it was off to dreamland. One (tragically short) day more…
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