Sunday, April 01, 2012

WDW Trip Report - Day 2 Dining & Events - Wait for it!!!

We planned to spend the second half of our second day at Epcot feasting at Teppan Edo, basking in the glory of Neil Patrick Harris at the Candlelight Processional, and watching the beauty that is IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. While part of that happened, our evening didn't go quite as planned; however, the beauty of having a great travel buddy like Kyle is that great memories can be made out of any odd occurrence. Read on, my friends!

 When Kyle told me that Neil Patrick Harris was going to be the celebrity narrator for the Candlelight Processional while we were there, I knew there was no way we could miss it!  Turns out that you can make reservations at certain table services throughout Epcot, and for a little extra, you can have guaranteed seating at a specific Candlelight Processional.  Since I had never visited a Japanese Steakhouse, Teppan Edo sounded like a great place to choose for one of these reservations.

Sprinkles' ancestors decorated the walls of Teppan Edo.
 Walking in to Teppan Edo, I felt a bit apprehensive.  I had asked Kyle a TON of questions before we got there. Do we have to take off our shoes? Should I bow when I say hello? Do we sit on the floor or in chairs? Will other people be at our table? What's the food like? OMG DO THEY PUT FRUIT ON THE MAIN DISH?! Heehee!

No fruit here!
I don't remember what these sauces were, but I really
like the two on the right. One was ginger I think.

The restaurant was quiet and reserved but elegant. We were seated at a table with 3 other couples.  None of us knew each other, and we didn't really interact except to smile at each other periodically. I found that a little weird, but I got over it fairly fast.

Our incredible chef
 Our chef was fantastic! The knife skills the chefs show here are amazing, and the jokes they deliver are cheesy but made us laugh quite a bit. He was actually originally from Jacksonville, but he spoke with a Japanese accent. I'm fairly certain the accent was not his usual way of speaking, but it worked. This meal was an entertaining show!

Super tasty tempura appetizer

We started with an appetizer from the kitchen while the chef got to work.  I was blown away by the precision timing it took to cook our food on the large hot plate in the middle of the table.

Kyle's noodles & veggies waiting for his chicken

Different types of food had different cook times and had to be placed in different spots on the grill in order to get the right heat.  Noodles and veggies were cooked first. Then chicken was placed on the plate, and finally steaks and shrimp were added last.  My steak was tender and juicy.  Kyle's food looked equally delicious!

My steak dish

I was able to partake in the food without getting over-stuffed and was even willing to try the Chocolate Ginger Cake which sounded the most "normal" of all the desserts. I found the cake to be a bit dry, and the ginger flavor was interesting but unnecessary.  Can you tell which cake is mine and which one is Kyle's?
I often dissect my desserts.

After dinner we thought we'd go sing along with the Three Caballeros again, but the line to get into the 5 pm Candlelight Processional was already stretching from the America Pavilion to the Morocco Pavilion! After a little convincing from Kyle, I agreed that we needed to get in line. I'm not proud of this, but I have to admit that I did pout a bit as I felt the line shouldn't be that long for reserved seating, but it was what it was.  As we made friends with those around us, the clouds moving in grew darker and darker.  Did you know that the amphitheater where the Candlelight Processional is held is mostly open air without a cover? Yeah, store that away...

We were so close to the stage! This is the only pic I got
before the rain started pouring!
 We were let into the amphitheater about 30-45 minutes before the show began, and about 10-15 minutes before it started, the rain started POURING! I, the ever prepared one of our duo, had left my poncho in the room. Being true to the gentleman that he is, Kyle shared his poncho with me to get all of our tech covered and safe from the torrential downpour! Despite the rain, we were not going to budge! We sat there with water dripping down our noses, laughing and waiting for Neil Patrick Harris. (Did you catch that? We smiled and laughed through it.)

About 5 minutes before the show, an announcer came on and talked about NPH's credits and general awesomeness. When he was done, I expected NPH to walk onto the stage, but the announcement ended with something like, and I'm paraphrasing here, "yes, NPH really is awesome, and we know you really really want to see him, but we're gonna have y'all wait a bit longer, k? Enjoy the rain!" At that moment a woman behind us yelled, "WAIT FOR IT!" (It's a How I Met Your Mother reference.) Kyle and I died laughing, and I actually turned to the woman and thanked her for the humor of it. Those three little words really made a difference in our levels of joy as we had just started to shiver from the wet cold!

I was unable to take photos because
of the rain, but I found this one on tumblr!

Finally, the stage lights lit up, the music started, and the man, the myth, the legend: NEIL PATRICK HARRIS walked on stage! I think I screamed as clapping was out of the question while holding the poncho over my iPhone, camera, camcorder, and extra battery case! As soon as he got to the microphone another diehard HIMYM fan yelled "LEGENDARY!" NPH looked in the direction of the fan and laughed and said, "Right on!" Classic Barney. Made the night!

Neil greeted us by telling us how much he enjoyed the 5pm Candlelight Processional because he could see our faces. Then he grinned and joked, "and might I say you all look great...wet." We all had a nice laugh over our shared experience. Then he talked about how he is a huge Disney fan. In fact, while we were there, we saw tweets about people spotting him in various parks.  He also talked about how now that he has a family, traditions mean even more to him and his partner. I felt his opening was from the heart and quite touching. From there he went into his role as the celebrity narrator.  Basically he read the story of the birth of Jesus, and the choir consisting of people from around the country, cast members, and the Voices of Liberty sang songs in between readings.  In the final song he sang along. Sadly, I have no photos of the night, but I have the amazing memory which is what matters!

Kyle after the rain storm!

Me, soaking wet but happy after the Candlelight Processional

Saying goodbye to a very wet Spaceship Earth!
 The rain did slack off at the end of the Candlelight Processional, but we were completely soaked. After some discussion, we decided to grab snacks to-go from Karamel Kuche in Germany and go back to Pop Century for hot showers and food. On the way "home", the rain continued on and off.

Pulled this from a blind box at some point on Day 2.
Was crazy excited about it too! Decided to snap a pic
while Kyle was in the shower.
 After the best hot shower I've ever had, we walked over to Everything Pop for some food.  Dinner at Pop Century was lack luster at best. I had a generic cheeseburger, and Kyle had spaghetti, I think. He somehow ended up with marinara sauce on his salad which was a bit odd but ok. We mostly just needed sustenance. Since we were eating lunches around 2 or 3, dinners came around 8 or later, so you would think the food court would have been fairly empty. Not so much. While we had an area to ourselves, there were still quite a few people having dinner with us!

Best part of dinner at Pop: I used the DDP
to get these fresh strawberries for dessert.
They came with chocolate sauce and real
whipped cream.
 After dinner, we noticed the rain had slacked off. We knew we wanted to have some time at Downtown Disney, so we decided to take the bus there and see what the weather was going to do. Honestly having this time to go back to the resort, get refreshed, and take a calming trip over to DTD was a great end to the day! I was kinda glad it had rained on us!

Characters in Flight, in Downtown Disney,
 looks gorgeous at night!

You know where we went first, right? D-STREET for Vinylmation!

Mecca for Vinylmation Collectors
I was amazed at how empty Downtown Disney was.  When we were there in June, we were fighting our way through crowds, but this night in December, it was like we had the whole place to ourselves!  We made some nice trades at D-Street and opened some blind boxes. Check out the video of what we got below! (Side note: I had not had any alcohol that night! I was just *that* happy and having that much fun!)

Cannot believe I pulled these! 
 Enjoy some more D-Street awesomesauce:

Love the displays made of Vinylmation! Can I please have that
chandelier in my home someday?

Expensive custom 9" Vinylmations by various artists
After Vinylmation heaven we shopped in World of Disney where I finished my Christmas shopping and browsed the Art of Disney which I can't pass by... ever.  I could practically live there, I think!  I bought a new Jim Shore piece for my collection and drooled over the musical Princess pieces he's created. We caught one of the last busses out of DTD as everything closed for the night.

Newest Jim Shore piece: Ariel
 After 2 parks, a rain storm, and walking through Downtown Disney, we were beat! Our beds were a welcome sight when we got back to Pop, and we practically passed out the second our heads hit the pillows! All in all, though, this was one of my favorite days of the trip. This is why you need a good travel buddy. Being with a friend who helped me laugh through the unexpected and potentially miserable situations made the entire thing joyful! It just goes to show, your attitude is what determines how your trip goes.

Have you had any "disappointments" on a vacation that you've been able to turn around with an attitude check?

Next post we'll head over to Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, AND Epcot!


  1. *pst* It was chicken parm, and the CM ladeled the marinara on top of my salad without me asking...not that I would ask for that. >_<

  2. Ah yes! Chicken Parm. I should have better explained that the marinara on the salad wasn't your idea. :)