Day 57- Big Bad Voodoo Daddy at Epcot & Building Homes for Veterans

Today is cool and the high is almost 70 degrees! It is overcast and perfect for the last day of the Food and Wine Festival. The band for tonight’s Eat to the Beat Concert is Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.

As we arrive, we see it has just rained, and we are on the far end of our row for parking. That makes it good for finding our car later, and since we are at the very end of the row, we decide to walk. From where we are parked, the walk to the Epcot entrance is about the same as the walk down the row to catch the tram. Those are some really long parking rows! I enjoy our walk and we get to the gate in about 10 minutes.

We get our bags checked, scan our MagicBands, and I see all of the excited faces of first time visitors to Epcot. Their smiles are always amazing, it reminds me of our first days at Epcot! Everyone is full of excitement, ready to explore all that Epcot holds within its dreamy borders. I see a lady sitting in front of one of the Food and Wine signs; her husband is taking a picture, so I ask if he would like to be in the picture. She begins talking to him in another language, and soon he agrees, thanks me and sits by his beautiful wife. 1, 2, 3, smile! They laugh and thank us for their picture. I love getting to help.

Now, I am checking to see if the Friendship boat is at this port near Mexico at the World Showcase Plaza. Yes, it is! I ask if they are still boarding, the First Mate looks at us, chuckles, and says that they are! Do I look too happy and excited to get to cross the World Showcase Lagoon on the boat? We go aboard and it is mostly full. Soon we are off, crossing over to Germany. As we are docking the boat, I see that they are letting people in for seating at the American Gardens Theater for the concert. Oh, my, it is so very crowded as we cross through Italy. I love Italy!

People are still being seated as we walk to the back of the theater and wait for the ropes to drop. We sit fairly close and have a great view. We waited to see Big Bad Voodoo Daddy until tonight, the last night of the Food and Wine Festival, in hopes that the crowds would be less on a Monday. And, sure enough, the crowds are perfect at the concert.

The first song is finished, and the announcer comes on stage to honor our veterans. He calls for those who have served to stand and the audience explodes with cheers and clapping as we look around at so many people who have sacrificed and served our great country. Then, he announces that they are giving two military families their own mortgage-free homes. It is the coolest thing to see as the families come on stage and are given the homes from Building Homes for Heroes.

The concert was a blast and listening to the music is almost like stepping back in time!

After the concert, Twinkie and I get a Kaki Gori to eat on the way to France. Oh, it is getting really chilly and this shaved ice is so cold! But, they are so good that it is worth being extra cold on this chilly night!

We go to Guerlain and find they have a new perfume called French Kiss. It is so perfect, so soft, and so on my Christmas list! Our friend is working tonight; she is an amazing lady, always so positive and encouraging when we get to talk. She was asking how our move is going and how wonderful God is when he moves us into the right place. I love her friendship so much! We hug and say our goodbyes for now.

We make our way back through France, the United Kingdom, Canada, and to the front gates. The breeze is perfect and I am glad we brought our warm jackets as we walk to our car. What a fun, chilly evening!

Day 45- Epcot & Dennis DeYoung (from STYX)

It is an absolutely beautiful day! The sun is shining and there are very pretty clouds dusting the blue sky. It is late afternoon and there is one tram running. After parking on row 42, I boarded the tram.

As we get to the main gate, there are plenty of people coming and going. There is a nice flow of people. It is fun seeing everyone getting pictures as they enter into Epcot! I see so many First Visit buttons; I am so excited and happy for the people wearing them!

I am looking forward to going to the Eat to the Beat Concert Series. Tonight’s concert features Dennis DeYoung (an original member of STYX), known for his song “Lady” and “Come Sail Away.” The crowd for the first concert is seated, and it is overflowing. I think I’ll grab a seat under an umbrella at the American Adventure pavilion and wait until the second concert! I can hear the music, and I can catch a glimpse of the drummer on occasion!

Soon, I am in line. We go in, and it is filling up quickly! It is one of the best concerts I have heard! Dennis DeYoung announced in the first concert that each of the three concerts tonight will be different. I am so glad that I was able to hear the first one! He kept saying that he is 67 years old. Dennis DeYoung and his band were awesome!

I made my way back through Japan, Morocco, France, over the bridge to England, Canada, then away from the World Showcase to the main sidewalk that leads to the Epcot ball (or Spaceship Earth)! Now, out to the main gate and parking lot! It was the perfect weather for a beautiful evening.

Day 36- Smash Mouth at Epcot!

What an absolutely fabulous day! Epcot is in our sights and the sun is shining. It is busy, but nice! There is a steady stream of people arriving during lunchtime.

Smash Mouth is playing later today and we got reserved seats with the Eat to the Beat Dining Package. We chose Teppan Edo for lunch! This is a place we have never been and I am looking forward to seeing the Hibachi Chef cook at our table! We are seated at a table with a young family of four. Of course, I have to ask, “Where are you from?”

They were a very nice family, and as we talked, I found out that their son is going to be 10 soon! The waitress overheard us talking about his birthday, which made me very happy! You see, if it is your birthday they celebrate with you. Today, the boy was given a Chef’s hat, a candle in his dessert, and a song with the table across from us! He was so very happy! His sister has a birthday soon, too; her dad said that she wanted me to know!!! She was so cute and sweet! I loved getting to visit with that family.

After lunch, we have a little time, so we grab a Kaki Gori in Japan and sit in the American Adventure Pavilion to eat our shaved ice with sweet milk.

It’s almost time for the concert; we have our tickets, and get in line about 30 minutes early. The lady behind us is really nice, and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to talk with her. She was from New York and worked with special needs kids. I thought I knew what that meant, but I am totally impressed with her heart for the kids she worked with. She is an amazing lady. Then, a lady behind her began talking, too. I like when people enjoy talking to each other!

Yay! Time for the Smash Mouth concert! We sit on the front row and it is so fun!

Great concert!

Now, we make our way from The American Adventure through Japan, Morocco, France, United Kingdom, Canada, and out to our car. What an amazing, beautiful day!

Day 24- Sugar Ray at Epcot

Epcot is bustling with so many people enjoying the Food and Wine Festival! I am seeing so many families that need someone to take a picture. I love getting to help, and today, people are so happy to have someone to take a picture for them! It is a good day.

We are going to see the Sugar Ray concert in the America Gardens Theatre. My kids are very excited to go and see them! As we head out, it is a hot 92 degrees, and I am hoping those fluffy white clouds will bring a cool breeze. We get in line 50 minutes early and already the line is getting long. As it nears 5PM, they begin seating, and we can sit under the roofed area, on the third row! Yay!

The concert is incredible; Mark McGrath is amazing, he keeps going into the crowd and taking pictures with fans. He is so fun and full of energy; what a great concert! He thanked everyone that he had met during the day for scheduling their vacations around this concert series! This is Sugar Ray’s 5th year to play at Disney World. Very nice.

Epcot is a great place to walk, so we had turned to the left towards Mexico (to walk over to the concert), so now, we turn right to go through the rest of the World Showcase. Once you get to the World Showcase Lagoon, it is 1.1 miles around through all of the countries. If you stop and go into each country, you can add quite a bit to your overall mileage for the day.

We took a detour in France to go to Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie bakery for a crème brulee. The chef was just caramelizing a tray of these beautiful crème brulees; he smiled as we were taking his picture! We sat for a moment to enjoy our treats.  As we were leaving, we looked through the shop that is just across the way.

It is time to go, and again, on the way out we get to help take pictures for families! It was a wonderful day!

Day 19- Epcot & Starship

Epcot is in our view; we are headed for the American Gardens Theater in the American Adventure Pavilion. During the Food and Wine Festival, there are plenty of concerts for those who like music. Tonight’s band was Starship. That sounded familiar, so we went. This time I chose to ride the Friendship Boats from the Showcase Plaza to Germany and walk from there. On the way, I saw a group of people trying to get a photo. I offered to take their picture so they could all be in it together. I like helping visitors who want a group photo, so it is normal for us to offer to take pictures for people!

After we got seats in the theater, Twinkie was sweet and got some Kaki Gori shaved ice to keep us cool in this heat while we waited for the concert to begin. I looked up, and there was a rainbow in the clouds! Here, it seems that we see the rainbows before the storms! It did rain a bit near the end of the concert. The theater was packed as the music began. It has been years since I’ve heard these songs, except for the one that is in the movie, Guardians of the Galaxy.

After the concert we went back to the Kaki Gori stand to see the tiny origami Yoda that one of the cast members had made! She let us take a picture of him; we were so excited to see it!

Now, we continue our walk through Japan, Morocco, France, Canada, and the UK. Oh, we must stop and see the Downton Abbey merchandise room! I love the Tea Caddy shop; there are glasses in there that I want! We walk on through to see the British candy and teas! I like this shop and all of the British teapots and aprons.

As we are leaving the World Showcase, we see there is another rainbow (a double)! It is so vivid you can even see the purple in it, so beautiful.

Now, as we are leaving, it seems that there are just as many people coming into Epcot as there are leaving; it is bustling and busy.

Day 17- Happy Birthday to Magic Kingdom & Epcot!

Magic Kingdom and Epcot are both celebrating their birthdays today! Magic Kingdom opened October 1, 1971! Epcot opened October 1, 1982! Happy Birthday to you both!

We decided to go to Epcot first! Celebrations began with eating soup in France. Les Chefs de France has the most wonderful French Onion soup. The chefs there are amazing and make a great Gluten Free soup for us!

Next, we are going to see the Air Supply concert in the America Gardens Theater. It was great; the weather was cool.

We enjoyed the 1.1-mile walk around the World Showcase Lagoon.  Magic Kingdom is our next stop, so we grab the Monorail from Epcot and head over to the Transportation Center to catch the next Monorail to Magic Kingdom. It is so beautiful this time of the evening.

We arrive as the Main Street Electrical Parade is happening. We make it to Starbucks and get a couple of hot drinks to warm up before the fireworks. We have FastPasses to watch the Wishes Nighttime Spectacular fireworks show from the Rose Garden. It was beautiful to see Cinderella’s Castle light in the Celebrate the Magic projection show before the fireworks. The Rose Garden is a wonderful place to sit on the wet grass and watch the projection show and the fireworks! Spectacular!

We have met so many people from Texas all during the day. We waited in the longest lines for the Monorail tonight; people waiting to get on seem to be very restless tonight. We go to the last car and began to get on as a nice gentleman said to me, “I was saving this seat for you.” How kind. I was talking to his wife and found that they had friends in North Texas! They both were so excited that I had lived there; their best friends live there and the couple goes there often! How cool! They got off at the first stop and another family got on. As I was talking to the wife, she said they were from Texas, in Louisville! We met fellow Texans all day! It was good to have that camaraderie with nice and kind folks! A good ending to a wonderful night!