Note: Not proofread - sorry - if something doesn't make sense, drop me a line and i'll fix it later. maybe
We started the day at Animal Kingdom yesterday. I thought it would be the least busy park. If I was correct, I would have hated to see what the other parks were like. It was so crowded around the popular rides that it was difficult to maneuver our way through the milling masses. Needless to say, we didn't get the opportunity to ride Mount Everest; the fast pass return time was for 5:30 - 6:30, which was when our dinner was scheduled at the Coral Reef. Stand-by times were at least 95 minutes, and neither one of us wanted to waste our vacation standing in lines.
Speaking of standing in lines, it's impossible not to stand in them at some point. If you are female, you even have to stand in line to use the restrooms!! It is ridiculous!! Come on, Disney!management!! Spend some of your billions and build enough bathrooms to accommodate the crowds that flood to your theme parks!
After wandering around Animal Kingdom, we headed over to Epcot. We had Priority Seating at the Coral Reef, and we arrived with enough time to stroll around the World Showcase. I stopped in Morocco for a sidedish of couscous and hummus, and was able to cross another country off the eating list. The couscous would have been better without the onion chunks, but the hummus was very tasty.
To help you understand how crowded Epcot was, the wait for the Maelstrom in Norway was over 90 minutes, and the wait for Spaceship Earth, a truly low action, just an excuse to get off your feet for 5 minutes ride, was 45 minutes. This is usually a walk on! The wait for The Seas with Nemo was 60 minutes. We didn't have enough time to stand in any of the lines before our dinner reservations, so we instead headed into the Seas and watched the fish, sharks, dolphins and manatees for 45 minutes.
The waiting area at the Coral Reef was just packed. Neither one of us remembered it being that bad last year. After about a 10 minute wait, we were led to our table on the 2nd level. And then we waited. And waited. And waited! 20 minutes before the waitress finally made it over to the table to take our drink orders. I was slightly peeved about that, because I was really thirsty. Dean didn't care, because it was relaxing watching the fish in the aquarium.
This did, unfortunately, set the tone for the entire dinner. The service was simply dreadful. It took over 2 hours for our meal! I can't believe the manager didn't do something to get the waitress moving a little faster. She also had a party of 12 sitting next to us, and they were getting so upset with the bad service. Since they had a boatload of kids, I could understand why they would be irritated with the poor service.
At least the food was good, when we finally received it. I ordered the Blackened Catfish, which was served with pepperjack cheese grits, and Dean ordered the Ahi Tuna, with wasabi mashed potatoes. I passed on dessert, but Dean ordered a Chocolate Wave.
During our long meal, a group of divers appeared in the aquarium. I don't know if they were a DiveQuest group or what, but they were hamming it up for the diners. They were more entertaining than the fish. I thought it was sad that they more interested in bothering us than checking out the huge tank they were in, but each to his own.
After escaping from the Coral Reef, we went to Innoventions until they kicked us out at 7, and then we strolled around the World Showcase again. On the second trip around, I decided it was a good time to try to eat in Japan again, so we stopped in the Yakitori House for Curry and Sushi Tokyo Rolls. The curry was good, except for the beef, which was kind of gross.
Illuminations was supposed to start at 9, but because it was a Magic Hours evening, it didn't actually begin until 9:30. We staked out a spot in France, but after the show started, there was tree blocking the globe. How disappointing! We'll have to watch it again from another country tonight. After the show, which was fantastic, I asked Dean how he could even want to waste time at the other fireworks shows. The Epcot fireworks are the best at all the theme parks, and with Christmas right around the corner, they added a special section for the holidays.