Thursday, July 23, 2015

Orlando: Sweaty Runs, Disney's EPCOT

After zigging across Florida, it was time to zag up to Orlando for a couple days.

We stayed at the Sheraton Vistana Villages, a very nice resort just a few miles from Disney World. They had three well-appointed gyms, but after days of treadmill runs, I opted to run outside on the property.

But because it was Orlando, I had to get up before dawn to try and beat the heat. Since I wear prescription sunglasses, I waited until the sky started to lighten and then hit the road.
I discovered this little beach and had to take a little mid-run hammock break:
The resort had three distinct sections with water features. I just wound my way around, exploring every inch of the paths. And since it was early, I basically had the place to myself.
The very best part? Bathrooms and drinking fountains in several spots!
Even though I started shortly after 6 a.m., I was still drenched after 4 miles:
Lots of little lizardy things scampered across the paths in front of me:
Cooling down on our screened porch:
We took Sunday as a rest day and just hung out around the resort. After lots of driving and strange sleeping/eating schedules, we needed some down time.

Monday was Disney day!

We LOVE the Magic Kingdom rides, but since it's pretty much like Disneyland, which we visit every other year or so, we chose EPCOT for our one day:
A fun drumline:
Eryn and I chose Norway for our lunch:
I want to visit the real thing!
In China, we saw some amazing acrobats:
Shared a sweet treat in Germany:
Then we saw Voices of Liberty:
And The British Revolution in the United Kingdom:
It was Dad's kind of music!
I couldn't stop thinking this guy looked like climber friend Dan:
My exercise for the day was walking, walking, walking around EPCOT:
We had a good time in EPCOT, but I have to admit that it wasn't the magical day at Disney we hoped for. Unbeknownst to us, the Disney World Fast Pass system is more of a reservation system - much different than at Disneyland. You can reserve your ride times 60 days in advance! So when we showed up at 9 a.m., the rides were already booked until almost closing time.

Everything also revolves around a Disney app, which we had a ton of trouble loading and setting up. A nice cast member helped and, after we had messed around with it for an hour, gave us a one-time Fast Pass to use at any time on any of the rides. We decided to tour the world exhibits and then save our one ride for Soarin' later in the night.

Soarin' was awesome - just the same as at California Adventure. Then we booked it over to Test Track and went twice through the single-rider line just before closing. We caught the fireworks on our way out.
EPCOT was nice, and we learned a lot about the different highlighted countries and tasted some yummy food. BUT, there just wasn't any magic. Many areas didn't have ambient music, and I didn't see Mickey Mouse until it was almost time to leave. It kinda felt like being at the mall. I'll stick with Disneyland :)

I got up super early again Tuesday for one last outside run before it was time to pack up and drive north to Atlanta. I managed to snap one pic of the sunrise before my lens fogged:
At 5:30 a.m., the temp was 79 degrees with 90% humidity. UGH!
I ran 5.25 miles around and around the resort:
SOOOO sweaty!
A pretty nice spot for cooling down!
Soon it was time to hit the road for Georgia. Miles of roadside advertising convinced us to stop at one of many Florida Citrus Center stores.
A wild turkey for Brad:
As promised, baby gators:
Up next: Atlanta! :)

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