Thursday, January 23, 2014

Walt Disney World Day 6: So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Good Bye

There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story. –Frank Herbert

Thursday, January 23, 2014
Destination: A Quick Trip To Epcot and Then Home
Weather Forecast: High of 61˚

11:15 am, EST [9:15 am, MST]: This morning was another slow start. We're all really tired. I'm not sure how many miles we've walked, but there was a lot of walking. It would have been fun to bring a pedometer. I'll have to remember that for next time. Anyway, it was a slow start and then a mad dash from about 10:15 on to get everything packed and ready for check out.
11:31 am, EST [9:31 am, MST]: We've dropped our checked bag off with the Magical Express luggage service, which will take it to the airport for us. And we're leaving our carry-on luggage with their bag storage facility. They'll hold on to them until it is time to leave for the airport.
11:40 am, EST [9:40 am, MST]: We're catching a shuttle to Epcot to spend a few more hours there. We already did pretty much everything there, except for Soarin', which we don't really have time for today. Simulator rides make me queasy anyway, even with Dramamine {Sidebar: I've always gotten a little motion sick riding in cars but over the last few years, things that did not used to bother me kind of do now}.
12:14 pm, EST [10:14 am, MST]: Lunch today is at Les Chefs de France. Charlotte, at the hostess stand, is from France. Now that I look at the name tags and catch bits of conversations, nearly everyone who works here is from France. Our garçon charmant {charming waiter}, Teo, is from Montpellier, in the South of France. I happen to know where in France Montpellier is located because Mr. Bug served an LDS Mission in the South of France and one of the cities he lived in was Montpellier. I had planned on asking Mr. Bug if he was going to say anything to the waiter after he'd gone to get drinks, but he beat me to the punch and told Teo, in French, that he lived in Montpellier. They had a small conversation, which I got the gist of and then Teo turned to me and asked if I also spoke French. I told him I did not, but spoke Portuguese. To be honest, I was very nervous to eat in a fancy French restaurant because I've heard that the French . . . don't like Americans too much. But everyone has been given their best Disney spit and polish and what Disney does best is hospitality. This is my specially prepared dairy-free dessert. Is it not gorgeous? It tastes as good as it looks.
1:40 pm, EST [11:20 am, MST]: We had to do the requisite milling about. It was our last chance. And bathroom breaks, of course. We also made a last-minute Disney Trading Pin purchase for LadyBug. She had to have a few Stitch pins.
2:16 pm, EST [12:16 pm, MST]: We're right on schedule in catching a shuttle back to the hotel.
2:28 pm, EST [12:28 pm, MST]: We have just enough time to get our bags from the storage area and get to the motor coach that will take us back to the airport.
2:40 pm, EST [12:40 pm, MST]: We're on our way to the airport. We'll have to stop and pick up passengers at the Riverside resort as well and then it is about 30 minutes to the airport.
3:42 pm, EST [1:42 pm, MST]: We made it to the Orlando International airport. Our flight doesn't leave for two hours. Maybe do can do some milling about.
4:34 pm, EST [2:42 pm, MST]: After a peek in at the Universal Studios gift shop {where I met a young boy, maybe 12 years old, who was from Brasil. I was looking at the wands from Harry Potter and he started telling me about which ones he had. I recognized his accent and told him that I speak Portuguese. We had a little conversation and then we were both on our way} and a bit more milling about, we are at our gate. By the way, the TSA Security Check gets two thumbs down from me. I'm SO glad that's the last time I have to do that for a while.
5:45 pm, EST [3:45 pm, MST]: Our plane should be departing right now but there are lots of people around the podium still and they haven't even called to start boarding. I guess they are trying to fit standby passengers from the last flight onto this one. They've also announced that they will do a complimentary bag check for anyone who wants to send their carry-on along to their final destination. I really think we should check a couple of bags, but Mr. Bug and the Not-So-Little Bugs are against it.
6:06 pm, EST [4:06 pm, MST]: Our flight is finally boarding but we had so much fun that we've decided to stay. We're getting jobs at Disney and we're going to live here. Only kidding. Sort of. We're in our seats anyway.
6:17 pm, EST [4:17 pm, MST]: This is a newer plane with view screens that lower from the overhead compartments. They are having technical difficulties with the FAA Safety video. They are scrambling to find the right props and script so they can show us how to fasten our seat belts, where the exits are and how to use the air bags should there be a sudden drop in cabin pressure the old-fashioned way. It is kind of funny.
6:20 pm, EST [4:20 pm, MST]: Actually, we might be staying after all. The captain just announced that there are some technical difficulties with the yaw dampener. We're taxiing back to the gate so maintenance can have a look. The captain asked everyone to just sit tight for a few minutes.
6:34 pm, EST [4:34 pm, MST]: We're back at the gate and maintenance is looking into the problem. I'm getting kind of anxious because I don't know how long we have in Dallas before we have to catch our connecting flight.
6:42 pm, EST [4:42 pm, MST]: The aircraft is officially out of service. The captain insists that the flight would be terribly uncomfortable for everyone without a yaw dampener. The replacement plane will be leaving at 9:00 pm.
7:17 pm, EST [5:17 pm, MST]: The agent I talked to on the phone said the next flight was actually at 10:40 pm, so we got our flight changed. We're staying one more night in Orlando. We'll be leaving at 8:35 tomorrow morning and arriving in Salt Lake at 1:40 pm.
7:53 pm, EST [5:53 pm, MST]: I got vouchers for meals and a hotel tonight squared away with the airline. I'm really kind of bummed. We could have spent a whole other day at Disney.
8:24 pm, EST [6:46 pm, MST]: We're sitting down to dinner at the Macaroni Grill, compliments {mostly} of the airline.
9:13 pm, EST [7:13 pm, MST]: Now we're trying to find transportation to the hotel. I heard a rumor about a shuttle somewhere. The only thing I can see is the Disney Magical Express area. Maybe I'll just go and ask over there. We're not staying with them anymore, but I'm sure they would be nice enough to help.
10:03 pm, EST [8:03 pm, MST]: Sure enough. The greeter at the Disney Magical Express knew exactly what to do and was very nice about it. We got to the hotel, but one thing is for sure: we're not in Disney anymore. On the plus side, the toilet paper isn't tissue paper thin {I don't think I mentioned this before. The toilet paper is the only thing that isn't hospitable about Disney. Oh, and the toilets flush at full hurricane force.}. On the minus side there are two double beds. On the plus side, they're not hard as bricks.
10:19 pm, EST [8:19 pm, MST]: It's going to be an early morning tomorrow. Lights out.

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