We headed off to the Test Track venue for FastPasses, despite my and Doris's trepidation about the ride. Then we headed to the World Showcase to go ride the Maelstrom, a boat ride in the Norway pavilion. (Which is much milder than the name would suggest, BTW.) We also watched their movie on the country, then roamed the gift shop--we decided that we would explore most of the shopping in World Showcase in stages. Then we walked over to China, and K and D went to watch the circlevision movie while I shopped in the China area. (I remember the China movie well from last year.) I also had a great time watching a cast member as Mulan sign autographs and pose for pictures with both adults and children--she was wonderful with the shy kids. We caught the boat across the lagoon back to where we started after that, and headed for the Test Track. We did all end up riding it, and it wasn't too bad on my personal scare level. It also turned out not to be an issue with my motion sickness tendencies, which is the reason I don't ride roller coasters any more--some adrenaline was generated for the 'uncontrolled' skid, and more for the high-speed track with a seriously banked curve. We then started to head for the gate, but paused at a pin station to shop. I wanted a Food & Wine Festival pin as a memento and they were sold out, so I went ahead to the Art of Disney store further on in search of it. Found the pin, but oh, what a wait to purchase it. Someone was buying a collector's item that had a battery-run light, and the light was apparently frequently defective. The clerk checked the one they were buying, then tried to make it work, then went for a substitute. A second clerk started on the next person's transaction, and *she* decided to buy the same item--and it was defective, and a substitute had to be found and tested, etc. The clerks were very nice, and apologized to the people in line and thanked us for our patience, but it took forever.
But, eventually I got my pin and we went to find a bus for Animal Kingdom Lodge, another resort. (Not the same as the theme park Animal Kingdom.) We had reservations at Boma for 4:40 PM, a buffet table-service restaurant that serves African-influenced foods. Well, a Disney version thereof, anyway. We went a little early to let me look around the resort, since I hadn't been there before. K and D had eaten at Boma on a trip 2 years ago, and had seen the lodge then. We checked out the 2 savannahs, seeing giraffe and klesbok and storks in one, and giraffe, kudu, flamingos, spoonbills, and more in the other. Theses savannas are basically animal exhibit areas viewable from some of the hotel rooms and from some of the common areas--one of the real draws for the resort.
Then it was on to Boma, and I almost had to roll home. Partial list of things I tried: a carrot and ginger soup. Lentil sausage soup. Field greens salad. Couscous salad. Lentil salad with tomatoes, hearts of palm, and goat cheese (I avoided the cheese). Bobotje. Strip sirloin roast cooked rare, with several interesting sauces. African spiced pork shortribs. African spiced baked chicken. I skipped the salmon crusted with a mix of 4 nuts and seeds. A polenta type dish with a tomato sauce. Sweet potatoes with apples and cinnamon (but not sweet). 3 types of hummus--olive, white bean, and sun-dried tomato, with crackers.
Then there were the desserts, mostly in two-bite portions. Chocolate mousse in a chocolate cup. Pineapple cheesecake. Banana bread pudding with vanilla sauce. Zebra thingies--chocolate mousse filled, covered with more dark and white chocolate in stripes. Passionfruit? cream--can't recall which tropical fruit precisely. Mocha mousse in a pastry cup. The cassava cake was the only thing I didn't finish, as it just lacked character.
Oh, and before going in to dinner, I answered the Boma trivia question of the day: what country is Africa's largest oil producer? (Ans: Nigeria, which I think I read in a news article in the last couple of weeks.) This gained me a safety pin with an interesting small bead and a little piece of paper with "Boma Trivia Contest winner" on it. And some pride, I guess.
After dinner we investigated the AKL gift shop, which is a couple of grades above the Caribbean Beach one (we're talking premium vs. middle-grade resorts here). The animal and environmental focus is more to my taste too. I ended up with a T-shirt, and saw a couple more that might end up being purchased for gifts.
We had a great Disney moment on the way home. It's hard to go resort-to-resort at Disney World, generally--you have to go to a theme park or Downtown Disney in between. So as we were headed back from AKL, we expected to go to either Epcot or Hollywood Studios (both more or less on the way to Caribbean Beach), then catch a Caribbean Beach bus from there. The first bus to appear was for Hollywood Studios, and as we boarded the driver asked where we wanted to go--probably because Hollywood Studios was getting close to closing time. We told him we were really headed to Caribbean Beach, and he reached for his radio and asked permission to take us there. And this worked out for the only other party of people waiting for this bus, as they turned out to be headed to Shutters, the CB table-service restaurant. We're trying to find the best mechanism for putting the driver in for recognition.