Monday November 19th 2018
The world in central Florida was shrouded in fog this morning. I could see my neighbors, but the sites down the road disappeared into a white haze. It took until 9:30 or so before the fog lifted. The sun didn’t make an appearance until almost noon. By the end of the day the temperature had made it to eighty which is a degree or two warmer than average.
I set out to explore the area to the west and south of my current location in DeLand FL. In the back of my mind was a vague idea to visit Disney if I got far enough south. The reports on the TV about Mickey Mouses ninetieth birthday yesterday put the though in my head. I still have six months on my Annual Pass so impromptu visits are possible without worrying about maximizing the experience for the money (i.e. long active days). Before long I found myself on the west side of Orlando toll road heading south. Half an hour later I was entering Disney property.
I knew that any visit this week would have to be today or possibly tomorrow to avoid the Thanksgiving Holiday crowds. Arriving at the EPCOT parking area, it was clear that I hadn’t avoided any of the crowds. The parking lot already had more cars parked than I’m used to seeing when I arrive in the middle of the afternoon. The crowds inside were manageable, but heavy.
The Christmas celebration officially began yesterday. The decorations are all up, holiday music is playing all over the park and the food stands leftover from the fall Food and Wine festival have switched to selling holiday foods or expensive Christmas cookies. It is very pretty and festive, but you really need to be there a night to get the full impact. I’ll be nearer to the parks during the first two weeks of December so I plan to really check things out then. During this visit I did a lot of walking and not much else. All of the rides and other attractions had long wait times. Even the Living with the Land ride had a sixty minute wait time. It’s usually around twenty minutes. If I really planned a visit, I would have made a few Fastpass reservations.
I spent about two and a half hours walking around EPCOT. Then I went over to Disney Springs for lunch and another walk around the place. Disney Springs was just as decorated as EPCOT, but it needed darkness to bring out the beauty too. I started home before the rush hour. The trip through Orlando on Interstate 4 was a nightmare. The multiyear road improvement project is still a long way from complete. One little traffic accident had traffic backed up for several miles. It took about twice as long to come home than it did to get there. I’ll pay the tolls on the other road next time.