All good things must come to an end, so we decided to spend our last full day at Epcot. As we were getting ready to leave the resort, my phone rang and it was my friend Chris O. to wish me a belated Happy Birthday and see how we enjoyed the Fireworks Cruise the night before. I began rambling like a kid on Christmas morning .. LOL! As our conversation was coming to an end, he told me there was one more Magical Moment, to watch Illuminations that evening in Epcot from the private viewing area in Italy. We had the chance to do this in 2007 and what an amazing experience this was.
We then headed for the park. With Thanksgiving approaching, each day the parks became noticeably more crowded and those rides that offered a Fast Pass, all tickets were distributed by early afternoon. We had hoped to ride Soarin' and Amanda & Justin also tried Test Track with no luck. In May, I didn't get a chance to ride The Gran Fiesta Tour, the revamped ride in the Mexico Pavilion featuring Donald Duck, Jose Carioca and Panchito Pistolas from The Three Caballeros so was glad to have the opportunity this trip.
For fans of The Three Caballeros, they did have some new merchandise since we were there in May, a very cute salt and pepper set and a shot glass plus Aribbas Bros. had done a cute Caballero Donald double shot/limoncello glass. Needless to say, these were must-have purchases and glad they all made it safely home.
After excellent reviews from Jimi & Kristen and Bob & Toni, we chose the Yachtsman Steakhouse for dinner that evening. Mary & I left the park early enough to walk to the restaurant and check out the Yacht and Beach Clubs holiday decorations. As always, both were beautifully decorated and Amanda & Justin met us shortly thereafter for dinner. Our server saw my birthday button (even though the day after, orders from Captain Mike to wear today) and when she brought us to our table, it was all decorate with Mickey head confetti. We were still on a roll, once again in having an awesome server. Our server was Samir and he had a great time joking with Amanda & Justin about wanting french fries with ranch dressing vs. mashed potatoes. We all ordered the Yachtsman Filet Mignon. Each of ours was cooked to perfection and this restaurant was everything we were told it would be. Jimi, Kristen, Bob & Toni, we definitely have to plan dinner here on our trip down next year!
After dinner, Amanda & Justin returned to the park and Mary & I walked back via The Boardwalk Resort, stopping in a couple shops along the way before heading over to Italy for Illuminations.
Illuminations for me is like Wishes is for others. A trip to WDW is not complete (at least for me), unless I see Illuminations and to see from this vantage point (very cool located in the country where my grandparents are from) is both amazing and moving. Since there was plenty of room in the viewing area, our castmember (whose name escapes me at the moment) was so gracious to let Justin and his family join us. It felt like not only did we have a magical moment but a magical gathering as well :)
It was an awesome last full day and I just can't thank my good friend Chris O. (pictured at right) enough for everything! Tomorrow we depart for home, thankfully we have a late flight, so gives us another chance to hit the Magic Kingdom and Downtown Disney before heading for the airport. Couldn't leave Orlando and/or WDW without riding Peter Pan's Flight and Dumbo :)