Sue's F&W Weekend - Day 2 of 4

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Oct 22, 2021, 9:24:58 PM10/22/21
DAY 2 – Friday 10/22/21
Who: Sue (62), DVC Member

Plan: Pool, Food & Wine

Actual: Last night at 9:05 I saw fireworks off my balcony. They were brief, and mostly obscured by the tall trees. According to Genie, Harmonious was scheduled for 9:45, so I have no idea what this was. I went outside for a few minutes waiting for more, but it was over.

At 9:47 I could hear Harmonious so I got up and could see it from the balcony. I could see some of the lower fireworks, but not the barges. I could hear the music clearly, and of course the high fireworks were completely visible. I also noticed there was a full moon tonight. I stayed out there for the entire show, coming back inside a little after 10. The one drawback to the rooms on the 5th floor here is there’s a bright light over each balcony. There’s no switch to turn it off, so I have to close the drapes this trip – otherwise too much light gets into the room. I finished up with the computer and turned in around 10:30.

It was very quiet in the room (other than a couple people with loud kids passing by in the hallway) and I slept well, getting up just before 5. I decided to go for a walk before starting my cappuccino, so I brushed my teeth, got dressed, and headed out. It was really quiet outside! I walked briskly over to Hollywood Studios and back, coming around via the Boardwalk. The entire time I was out I only saw 2 other guests and that was near the end of my route. There were a few cast members cleaning or delivering alcohol via pulled cart, and one lone security person who didn’t make eye contact or offer a greeting at all.

When I got back to the studio it was 6am, and I used the coffee maker to heat up water for my cappuccino. It came out light brown, so I dumped that & tried again – this time I got clear water. Obviously the previous guests used the coffee maker to make actual coffee, lol. I took the cappuccino back to bed and spent time online.

At 7:39 I realized I’d forgotten all about trying for the Remy virtual queue. By then all spots were taken, but that’s ok since it really wasn’t important to me. If I’m in the park at 1 I can try again, but it’s not likely I’ll be over there then – unless I decide to brave the heat briefly for something from Food & Wine!

The sunrise was very pretty – watched it from my bed. Around 8:30 I got up to make breakfast – an egg and slice of bacon. After changing into a swimsuit & coverup, I headed down to the quiet pool just after 9.

There are 2 areas at this pool where I usually sit – both spots that will get the sun earlier rather than later. I knew going out at 9 the entire area would still be shaded, but I wanted to get my spot to be ready for when the sun did peek over the building. I was shocked to find nobody in the pool or on the chairs around the pool, 2-3 people in the hot tub (their stuff was on chairs at the end of my row, and both of the 2 spots I try for had been staked out already by chair hogs! I’ve never seen this happen, and to happen at a quiet pool that’s never really crowded was just bizarre.

An old man with a scooter was putting the finishing touches on 4 chairs in my row (the end I normally take – today I just moved down the row). He even laid a couple life jackets on 2 of the chairs, placed a bag of goldfish crackers on one, suntan lotion on another, etc. Then he left shortly after 9. The other area had been set up with stuff on 3 of the 4 chairs – towels, cooler, water bottles. This couple showed up a little after 11. The other party showed up (first grandma on her scooter, later grandpa on his) just after noon! Grandma put the life jackets away. Grandpa brought his laptop and had some sports broadcast/show blaring away, so that was the end of me. I’d pretty much planned to leave by 12:30 so I left at 12:15 instead.

I decided to walk over to Epcot for a Food & Wine Festival lunch – before getting cleaned up, since it would be hot & sweaty anyway. I figured I could do that, be back to watch General Hospital, and then shower & get dressed before heading into Epcot later (when it’s a bit cooler). Epcot was busy but not uncomfortably crowded. Being a Friday, I expected it to be busy. The walk wasn’t too bad in terms of the heat, but I did choose to walk in shade where possible <g>.

I turned left towards United Kingdom and began walking around the countries. The line at Canada was very short but I wasn’t in the mood for the cheese soup in the heat of the day. Hawaii was a possibility, but that line was very long – so I forgot about that. Some booths (China, Mexico) had pretty long lines standing in the sun so those were off the list. I’d been thinking about korma chicken in India, but when almost there I remembered the hot beef sandwich at Hops & Barley.

As I approached India there was NO wait! Yesterday the line was pretty long. But, I’d mentally moved on to the beef, and there were no shady spots to eat if I had gotten the korma chicken, so I kept walking. Italy once again had a shockingly long line – extended well outside of the queue same as yesterday. I didn’t understand that at all!

In America I could see Hops & Barley had a very short line, and it was now almost 12:50. At 1pm people inside the park can try for a virtual boarding group for Remy, so I sat on the shady wall of a fountain and got ready to do that. I was directly across from the open doors to American Adventure, so the air conditioning blowing out felt great! Almost everyone I saw walking by or sitting around had their phones in their hands and were also trying for the virtual queue. I figured I probably wouldn’t get it, and that would have been fine.

However, at 1pm I refreshed and joined the queue, snagging boarding group #126. It said my estimated wait time was 360 minutes, which would be around 7pm tonight. That works – I’ll go over to Epcot later than yesterday and plan to stick around until then. If the attraction goes down and boarding groups get delayed it’s no big deal to me if I miss it or just skip it.

With the boarding group obtained, I walked over to Hops & Barley and ordered the hot beef sandwich with no wait. I had to wait at the counter for a minute because they had none pre-prepared, which works fine for me. I’d rather have it fresh vs sitting out on the counter for 30 minutes! I took it back to the shady fountain wall and forgot to take a picture before starting to eat it. By the time I remembered, it was nearly gone. The beef was very tender, and thin sliced. The pickled veggies were minimal and added a little crunch. The horseradish sauce wasn’t too spicy. Overall I liked it a lot and would happily get it again. The portion wasn’t overwhelming – it was just right.

I was in the mood for something sweet, but had more than enough of that stuff in the room. I headed to International Gateway and walked back to the resort, stopping to deal with a work issue. Once in the studio I spent more time on the work issue, then finished up the small Gideon’s bite I’d eaten from yesterday. It’s pretty darn good!

I updated the trip report while watching General Hospital (quickly reading yesterday’s recap to “catch up”). After General Hospital I thought about getting up but being lazy won out. Around 3:30 they came to empty the trash, and I thought now would be the time to take my shower. However, the weather was still very hot (90) and the my Remy boarding group was still hours away, so I poured a glass of wine and sat back down on the couch. There’s really no rush to get back to the park, until it’s not too hot to be comfortable.

I downloaded the photos I’d taken yesterday and deleted most of the blurry fireworks shots from last night on the balcony. What was left was more than I’d normally keep, but what the heck. I had another glass of wine and caught the early evening news while finishing up online. Since I’m in a studio there are no wine glasses in here, but I bring an old Disney (formerly refillable) mug for my cappuccino in the morning and a couple of the Epcot plastic festival wine glasses slip in there just fine.

Around 5 I finally dragged my wretched body (Haunted Mansion reference) to the shower. I guess it was the dead center of the shower. Disney puns are so bad, lol. By 5:45 I was out the door, walking over to Epcot. Remy was on groups 91-105 so my time (126) wasn’t too far away. I wasn’t sure what I wanted for dinner, but figured I’d wander around in shade as much as possible and then explore more when the sun got lower.

By now the sun had gotten low enough that clouds hanging just above the treetops blocked it out and it was very pleasant outside. I turned left towards UK again, and made a loop of the countries. Once again, some booths had long lines and some no line at all – but it didn’t make sense in many cases. I thought about India and once again there was only 1 person there, picking up her food. The timing would have been great, but I really wasn’t ready to eat yet.

I just enjoyed walking around, enjoying the sights and sounds. Tonight a local band is doing concerts at 7:30 and 8:30 – I heard them while walking back to the resort later and they actually sounded good. Might be something for tomorrow night if the timing works out. Our February HAL cruise is on the Nieuw Amsterdam, which is scheduled to sail into Port Everglades at 4:45 am tomorrow, then depart at 5pm for a 7-night Caribbean cruise. This will be the first HAL sailaway from Florida with passengers onboard since before covid, so many of us are excited to watch! Unfortunately, being the first cruise from here could mean delays, if the ship gets extra inspections and bureaucratic paperwork – I’m hoping that since they came from Seattle, there won’t be all the hoopla (they’re not coming from a foreign country).

When I got to France I debated whether to head towards Future World to get the mac & cheese or just wait for my boarding group. It seemed like the boarding groups were moving faster, so I stuck around – and of course that means they slowed right down again <g>. I played on my phone and sat over here a while then over there a while – then stood here and there. Finally my number was up and I joined the queue. From there it was still another 30 minutes before I got on the attraction, which is what the app said would happen.

This is my second time riding and honestly I’m not impressed. It’s a kiddie ride, and very short. The time spent waiting (30 minutes) in the queue isn’t justified for me, so I think I’m done with Remy unless I’m with someone who has never ridden AND we’re in the virtual queue. By the time I got back outside it was after 8.

The park was really busy by now, with people starting to stake out spots for Harmonious at 9:45. I decided cheese soup from Canada would be my dinner, since that’s pretty close. They did have a line but it moved very quickly thanks to having 3 registers open. Although it was dark I spotted an empty table right along the lake and grabbed it. Another couple got there just after me and said “you beat us”. I told them to share the table with me, so they did. They were staying for Harmonious, so this was a great spot for them. I’ll watch it from my balcony – can’t see the water projections but the fireworks are enough for me.

The soup was very good but the pretzel breadstick could have been better. Perhaps it’s because it’s the end of the day and it’s been sitting around, but the ones in the past were softer. After finishing my soup I left the others at the table and walked back to Beach Club Villas for the evening.

Today was a really nice day overall, other than the weird chair hog behavior at the quiet pool this morning. I really didn’t understand it, and have never experienced that here or at other dvc resorts. To tie up chairs for 2 or 3 hours without being around is just so rude and inappropriate. I think tomorrow I’ll head to the beach instead – avoiding the situation is one way to deal with it, lol! I enjoyed my time in Epcot, and both of the Food & Wine items I had. While I’m not crazy about Remy, I don’t regret doing it tonight. The first time was a blur – the second time wasn’t much different, lol.

Tomorrow will be sort of like today – except for watching the ship sail and having lunch at Chefs de France. I may try to catch the first concert, too.

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