By 10.30am the standby time for both Soarin' and Test Track was 45 minutes.
Happily, today was Extra Magic Hours at Epcot and we'd been in since 8am and had already done both rides twice.
And, we planned to do both of them again. Without standing in line for 45 minutes. How? With these little beauties.
Gotta love Extra Magic Hours. The longest it took us from walking into the queue areas to actually doing the rides was ten minutes. Photopass was working on Test Track so we have three photos on our account now. The last ride on that was interesting. When we went in it was sunny. We sat in our ride vehicle and couldn't figure out why the windscreen was wet. We found out when it went outside to do the high speed curves. It was raining. We'd never done Test Track in the rain before. It didn't seem that different.
Apparently it was 96% humidity today. It certainly felt like it. We watched the sunrise. A bit, anyway. It was slightly overcast to start with. Then it was sort of raining, but not. It was as if the air was just very wet. As if there were the odd speck of water hovering that you might walk into, like a cobweb. Not like rain falling.
Then it rained while we were on Test Track. Properly that time. Then again while we were sitting under an sunshade having a snack. By this time it was so humid that the air felt thick and heavy so we came back for a rest as we felt drained. We'd been out for six hours in the heat and sogginess.
Note: apparently today's rain broke the almost-record-breaking run of dry weather they've been having here. 31 days, I think.
We had a few more snacks round the World Showcase for our lunch before heading back:
From Canada we both had Maple-Glazed Salmon with Lentil Salad. Very nice indeed. Lovely salmon – and it was a nice size, the lentil salad was tasty and anything maple is always good.
From South Africa Stephen had Seared Beef Tenderloin with Sweet Potato Purèe and Mango Barbecue Sauce. The purèe was mild but the sauce was apparently very hot. He said if you mixed them it was lovely. He enjoyed it. I had Flavors of Africa (Salad, Bread, and Spreads). The salad was assorted grains in a mound and was slightly spicy and very nice. There were two halves of a flatbread with two pots of spread to dip them in. Both were nice with quite a hot aftertaste. South Africa got a thumbs up.
From the Desserts and Champagne stand I finally sampled the Strawberry Angel Verrine. It was small but rather nice. The only problem is that it comes in a tiny container that was smaller than the spoon. I had to improvise by using the handle of the spoon to get the last bits out.
In Italy Stephen had Polpettine Toscane with a Rosemary Breadstick. This turned out to be meatballs in tomato sauce. It was also rather good judging from the look on his face as he was eating it. I might have to try and get back to sample that one myself although we are running out of time now. I had Cannolo Al Cioccolato which was a chocolate crispy roll around some creamy stuff and it was yummy. We've now sampled all of Italy and it also gets a big thumbs up.
We popped into that new shop in Germany and bought a couple of the Werthers goodies to bring home. We couldn't resist getting a chocolate covered strawberry each while we were there and if you could see them you'd know why. They're huge. The chocolate is thick and crisp and completely covers the strawberry apart from round the stem. They drizzle thick ropes of Werthers caramel round and round the chocolate after it's set. I'd take a photo but we've scoffed them both. Sorry.
We were sitting on the balcony this afternoon, relaxing and the heavens opened. Our balcony overlooks the pool and I've never seen it clear so fast. Why? Were they worried they were going to get wet? (that's a joke – I know it's in case of thunder storms. Honest.) It rained and rained. And rained. We were rather glad we'd only have to go over to the main building for dinner.
Cape May Cafe was my choice for my birthday dinner. I could have picked anywhere on Disney but I like Cape May. I like buffets generally, and I love the selection of sea foods there. Stephen is quite happy as they have a nice selection of meats too. He had ribs, beef, potatoes, and all sorts of stuff. He even had a couple of the little desserts.
I started out with a bit of this and that. A few clams, some snow crab, some pasta. Then I got serious with my second plate. I hit the shrimp.
Chilled peel and eat shrimp. Maybe they think that if you have to peel them yourself, you'll eat fewer of them. Maybe, but then they have no idea how fast I can peel 'em. I love shrimp. I had a bit of salad with it as well as they do such a lovely selection.
Then I thought I'd try the mussels. I've never had mussels before so I just got three. They looked a bit lonely on the plate so I got some company for them.
More snow crab. I do like a meal that fights back. It's such fun having to attack your food with nutcrackers before you can eat it. You get a real sense of accomplishment when you finally get the sweet crab meat out of the hard shell and into your mouth. Yum. I love crab. The mussels weren't bad either. Three plates of seafood was just about as much as I could handle though so I thought it was probably time to move onto dessert.
This is something I particularly like about buffets. You don't have to pick just one dessert from the menu. You can have several small ones. This is Key lime pie, which was just the right mix of tart and sweet. Strawberry cheesecake, which was very fruity but not at all sickly or too sweet. and a Creme brulee dessert which was absolutely divine. It was one of those puddings where as you taste it, you have to close your eyes for a second to savour it. It was just that good. I went and got seconds of that. Well, as you can see, I did only take a small portion of it to start with. And, now I'm sitting here writing about it and licking my lips just thinking about it again. Yum.
I realise that I may have talked about food rather more than usual today so if I've made anyone hungry, I apologise. We're going to try and walk all of it off tomorrow at Animal Kingdom – weather permitting. Last time I checked, it was still raining.