Joined: 07 Mar 2003
Location: New Jersey, southern
|Posted: Sun Jan 08, 2006 9:09 pm Post subject: My "I Can't Wipe This Grin Off My Face!" Splurge T
|Day 6: Monday, December 5, 2005.
Before I'd gone to sleep I had set up a Stitch shoutout for 7:00 am. I woke up when the
phone rang and started my day the usual way: brushing my teeth, shaving and showering. I
then read my Bible (the last two chapters of both First Chronicles and Acts) and got
dressed. Turning on the TV, I noted that the weather was to be cloudy and cool, about 65°F
(18.5°C) for a high. I then opened the door a little, retrieved the USA Today newspaper
that was deposited in front of my door and read some of it. About twenty minutes later, I
left for the Wilderness Lodge boat dock.
I had an Advanced Dining Reservation for Boatwright's Dining Hall at Port Orleans Riverside.
Gotta have my Sweet Potato Cakes with pecan-honey butter. When I got to the Magic Kingdom
after a ten-minute wait and a ten-minute ride, I went to the bus stop for Port Orleans and
waited. After about 20 minutes, a bus with its signage off pulled in. The driver got out,
saw me and asked if I needed a ride. I told him that I was going to Port Orleans Riverside
because I had an Advanced Dining Reservation (which I suppose has more perks and is on a
higher level than a Regular Dining Reservation) at Boatwright's at 9:50 am. It was a late
breakfast seating, considering that I also had a late lunch reservation scheduled at 2:40 pm
at Whispering Canyon Cafe. I got on the bus and after a fifteen-minute ride or so (time
actually slows when you're moving compared to when you stand still. Ask Albert Einstein.
His theory of relativity, encapsulated in the equation E= mc squared [where E is energy
measured in some unit; m is a given mass; and c is the speed of light] states that the
faster you go, the slower time goes, until it will actually stop at the speed of light) I
got off at the South Depot, walked to Boatwright's and gave my name. I was twenty minutes
Formerly named Dixie Landings, Port Orleans Riverside is the northern half of the resort
complex resulting from the merger of Port Orleans (now named Port Orleans French Quarter)
and Dixie Landings in early 2001. Each half of the resort has its own character, lobby, and
check-in area. Riverside is themed after the antebellum South of pre-Civil War days, with
2,048 rooms in many three-story buildings in either the Alligator Bayou or Magnolia Bend
sections. If I'm not mistaken, Alligator Bayou is the more popular of the two sections.
I sat at a table outside the main dining room, in the lounge known as River's Roost, and
read a USA Today that had been left behind. When called, I was led to a table at a window
on the right side of the restaurant and ordered an orange juice and hot cocoa. I drank each
slowly, and When the waitress came to my table to take my entree order, I told her I wanted
the Sweet Potato Cakes. This is a Boatwright's signature dish consisting of three large
sweet potato pancakes topped with butter glazed with honey and pecans. Denser and fluffier
than buttermilk pancakes, they taste so good that you don't need to use the provided maple
syrup. I ate them rather quickly and used my Magic Your Way card to put the breakfast on
the dining plan. This was my third trip to Boatwright's since 2003 and I had the Sweet
Potato Cakes those other times, too. Perhaps I'll try the Blueprint Omelette or eat dinner
there when I return in May, 2006.
Finished, I walked out toward the South bus Depot. I wanted to go to Epcot and ride
Soarin'. Fortunately a bus bound for Epcot showed within five minutes and I hopped on for a
twenty-minute ride. when I got there at a little before 11:00 and walked through the
turnstile, I took a park map from a CM who handed them out, located The Land, and went into
that building, down the stairs, and got a fastpass for 2005's hot ride (the theme park
industry's version of computerdom's "killer app"). The time window was between 1:00 and
1:05 pm but I found that if you're late you can still use it. I murdered minutes and slew
seconds by experiencing Journey into Imagination With Figment, an indoor ride full of
sounds, smells and sights which exited into a high-tech play area. I played with a device
that choreographs Figment's playing instruments with my upper body movements. Then I left,
walking around World Showcase and back toward The Land. I think I even visted the restroom.
But finally the time snailed to about 12:45 pm and I got into the fastpass line with an
older couple from northern New Jersey, and we chatted while watching the clock above us.
Soarin' is a simulated hang-glider ride with an extremely long queue. I and my two
companions gave our fastpasses to the CM and got into it, and we were able to get pretty
close to the ride before we encountered any traffic. I think we were directed to the first
concourse and then boarded the first row. The ride has a capacity of thirty, ten in each
row. I buckled up and waited for the ride to begin. Suddenly the chevron-shaped roof
closed above us and we were lifted forty feet as the movie in front of us began. It is
"Soarin' Over California" as the ride duplicates that in Disneyland, complete with the
smells of California citrus groves. The "gentle thrill ride" (a Scopism?) is essentially a
simulator with nowhere near the stomach-churning potential of Star Tours, Body Wars, or
Mission:Space, for example; but those with acrophobia (fear of heights; as opposed to
agoraphobia, which is a fear of crowds or of open spaces) should avoid this ride, as it
takes guests pretty high. There's no real plot but I couldn't help flinching when that golf
ball was hit off the tee right at us.
We applauded at the end of the ride, and as we exited past the queue I gave a double
thumbs-up. This is definitely a keeper. I would ride it again three days later, but now it
was nearly 2:00 pm and time to head to Whispering Canyon Cafe and my lunch at 2:40 pm, but
as I passed Spaceship Earth I saw that the wait time was only five minutes, so I walked on
and rode. Exiting that ride I headed toward bus stop 5 for Wilderness Lodge. Ten minutes
later a bus showed, and I hopped on and rode it to my resort. I was fifteen minutes early
for my Advanced Dining Reservation. I gave my name and then sat in a couch in the lobby
until I was called.
I was led to a table in the back (I think it was the same table I occupied at breakfast on
December first) and ordered the Canyon Skillet which for lunch includes ribs, chicken, corn
on the cob, mashed potatoes and a bottomless milkshake (I had chocolate, naturally). Eating
everything on my plate, I ordered seconds on the ribs, milkshake and chicken, as well as the
chocolate cake for dessert. I didn't finish it, and I felt stuffed to the point that
movement was possible but not a good idea. After putting the meal on the keycard as part of
the dining plan, I did absolutely the worst thing possible after such a large meal.
I staggered to my room, flopped on the bed on my back, and closed my eyes. When I opened
them four hours later--FOOD COMA! But I think I needed the rest--I glanced at the clock on
the night table left of the bed, cursed inwardly, thinking that I should've done something
productive with those hours, then shrugged, turned on ESPN and watched TV until about 10:00,
when I returned to sleep.
If you wish to pick someone's brain, you first need a jackhammer.