Hurricane Relief, 2004

Hurricane Relief at Epcot

Who: Rich and Kathy
When: September 11, 2004
What: Post Charley and Frances, pre-Ivan
Where: Epcot

After spending 2 long weekends glued to the TV watching the weather channel for information on Hurricane Charley and Frances, we couldn’t do it a third time for Ivan. We needed a distraction and, thankfully, this time, Ivan wasn’t expected to show up on the weekend. We headed for WDW and chose Epcot specifically. It’s the easiest park to get in and out of for a day trip and it is our favorite park. Also, we wanted to try out our Disney Dining card for the first time and World Showcase at Epcot has a plethora of restaurants to choose from. We didn’t make PS. We figured they wouldn’t be necessary and this way we could just choose a restaurant spontaneously.

The freeways were practically deserted so we arrived at Epcot in record time. The parking lot was so empty, we were able to park close enough to walk to the front gate. Besides, there were so few guests that the trams were not even working. We love being able to just walk up to the gate. We try to avoid 2 things: the TTC (Ticket Transit Authority) and trams.

First thing on our agenda: breakfast. We stopped in at the Electric Umbrella and each had a Bagel Breakfast Sandwich – egg, American Cheese and choice of sausage or bacon and split a carton of milk.

Next up: Test Track. We rode this for the first time when Brother Bob and Nephew Ethan were with us in March, 2003 and it is one of our favorite rides. It was a walk-on. We even got the red car—our favorite. On our March trip, we purchased one. 🙂

Test Track seemed different this time. We hadn’t noticed before that there were 2 tracks. This time, at the split, we went left and it seemed like a wilder ride. Kathy screamed and the guy in front asked if she had ever ridden this before. In spite of screaming, the picture didn’t come out all that bad, so we purchased it, along with the frame.

After Test Track, we wandered through Innoventions. We had planned to go to Universe of Energy afterwards, but it dumped us out by Spaceship Earth. We decided we’d ride Spaceship Earth but it wasn’t open yet. We backtracked to Universe of Energy but we had just missed the showtime and didn’t want to wait so we headed for Ice Station Cool. We had read about Ice Station Cool but had never stopped in. This time we made a point of it and it was great fun. Finally tasted the Beverly. We then headed for another first time experience: Circle of Life. We enjoyed this attraction and on the way out, we checked out the sign for Soarin’. Can’t wait for the opening. It was getting near lunchtime so we headed for World Showcase and made the decision to go counter clockwise, towards Canada. We were thinking we might eat lunch at Rose & Crown. We had enjoyed that earlier this year but weren’t sure if we were in the mood for it. We stopped to read the menu but the bar called us. We peeked in, noting that another time we’d stop in for a pint and maybe some fish & chips but proceeded to France.

Chefs de France always beckons us as we walk by and we say that someday we’ll eat there but whenever we look at the menu, nothing really invites us to follow through. This time, Chefs de France welcomed us again and this time, as we gazed at the menu, we said, “what the heck” and went in. It was nice and quiet and we were seated at a table for 2 by the window. It was quite lovely. The service was superb and the food delicious, much more than it sounds. Here’s what we ordered:

Appetizer: Cassolette d’escargots de Bourgogne au beurre persille – casserole of Burgundian snails baked in garlic and parsley butter (Rich & Kathy shared)

Entree (Kathy): Pain Bagnat – layers of tuna, cucumber, tomato, pepper, served with homemade potato chips paired with a glass of Chefs de France Chardonnay

Entree (Rich): Crêpe au poulet et fromage – large crepe filled with chicken strip, gruyeye cheese, spinach and sun dried tomatoes, and homemade potato chips paired with a glass of Joseph Drouhin St Veran White Burgundy

The tuna was so fresh and delicious but the sandwich was huge. Rich’s crepe was equally delicious. We skipped dessert.

After lunch we finished walking around the lagoon and by the time we got to Mexico, we were ready to rest our feet and get out of the hot sun. We each had a frozen margarita and enjoyed our “dessert” sitting outside under an umbrella by the lagoon.

Then it was time to finish the long, hot trek back through Future World and out to the parking lot. But when we passed by Spaceship Earth, we noticed that it was open. Of course, we had to ride it. As much as we love the history portion of the ride, we agree that it needs updating, especially knowing that AT&T has pulled their sponsorship.

The drive back home went swiftly and we enjoyed another day at Walt Disney World. Next up: Food & Wine—our favorite time of year!

About Kathy

Novelist & Music Producer