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Walt Disney World During a Pandemic? Let’s Boo This! Day 4

Topolino’s Terrace

We woke up early on our last morning even though our flight home wasn’t until the middle of the afternoon. Why? We had a very special breakfast planned at Topolino’s Terrace atop Disney’s Riviera Resort. This was at the top of my list of things I wanted to do on this trip. One reason is that I really wanted to see the Riviera, Disney’s newest resort. I had considered tacking on a couple of nights to stay there and have some resort time, but I ultimately couldn’t justify the cost, especially since this was a spontaneous trip. I also just really wanted to try the latest and greatest new restaurant.

Disney’s Riviera Resort

When Walt Disney World opened back up post-Covid, breakfast at Topolino’s was the only character meal that was offered. They’ve since expanded character availability for dining, but this one arguably remains the most sought-after. After stalking the website for a few weeks and setting up unsuccessful dining alerts, I finally snagged a reservation just days before our trip. Score!

The entrance to the restaurant

Our reservation was at 8:50. Even though the Riviera is on the Skyliner route, this was prior to the Skyliner opening time, so we took an Uber. I watched as our driver pulled in to pick us up before my app even told me I was connected to a driver. He patiently waited for me to figure out he was ours, and after confirming that fact with him, we were off. The whole trip took about 6 minutes and cost less than $3 before tip. Best use of an Uber ever!

We were about an hour early, so we weren’t able to check in for our reservation on the My Disney Experience app. We inquired about being seated early, and they were able to accommodate us. Not only that, but they gave us what I would consider to be the best table for viewing characters, as we had a direct view of their dining room entrance.

The service was phenomenal! Our server immediately brought us some POG juice (pineapple, orange, guava) and took our drink orders. She then directed us to the QR code on the table to retrieve the menu on our phones. Within moments she was back to drop off our drinks and a basket of pastries.

Yummy POG juice
There was a maple danish in this basket that was life!

She also took our entrĂ©e orders at this time. I ordered the ham and cheese quiche, which came with a side of roasted potatoes and a mixed green salad. I really wanted to try to waffles, too, so I asked our server if I could have one on the side. She happily obliged. Dad ordered the eggs and bacon with potatoes and got a quiche on the side. This breakfast is not marketed as all you care to eat, but it is fixed price. We found that they will bring whatever you’d like to try. Basically, it’s impossible to not get enough to eat.

The quiche was a stand out, and those potatoes were some of the best I’ve ever had.
These waffles with orange maple syrup were a close second.
Eggs, bacon and potatoes

Everything was delicious! We were really happy with all of our choices. The quiche was my favorite, but the waffles were a very close second. They came with an orange maple syrup. That syrup was like drizzled sunshine.

Character interaction was as great as it could be considering the Covid circumstances. Their costumes are unique to this location and on theme. Each character shows his/her artistic side as they are dressed according to their art specialty. They all came out individually and made the rounds of the dining room. Then they came out together for a celebration song. While Covid rules prevent them from stopping at each table, our server shared with us that they will pose for a distanced selfie if we stand in front of our table. However, we were happy to just enjoy them from our seat, no selfies needed.

Painter Mickey
Poet Minnie
Sculptor Donald
Ballerina Daisy

Once we paid our bill, we made our way out to the terrace to take in the views. Breathtaking! We could see Epcot and Hollywood Studios on the horizon.

The views from the terrace

Fun fact, Topolino is the Italian word for Mickey Mouse, and there is definitely an Italian vibe going on between the music and the costumes. The entire resort is themed beautifully, reminiscent of the French and Italian Riviera. While I’ve never been to the Italian Riviera, I have been to the French Riviera, and the seating around the pool area definitely reminded me of the swanky beach resorts in Nice, France.

The Riviera theming, blending the Italian and French Riviera is outstanding.

We then meandered around the gift shop for a few minutes before heading back to our resort by way of the Skyliner.

The beautiful entrance to the Skyliner.

A short time later, it was time to say, “See ya real soon!” One final “vacationy” thing was a visit to Shake Shack between flights home.

Airport snacks on the way home

With that, our mini vacation had come to an end.

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Walt Disney World During a Pandemic? Let’s Boo This! Day 3

Day 3 was Epcot day, which is always my favorite. We were happy to be able to sleep in a little bit later with Epcot opening at 11. We had a leisurely breakfast in the room before heading out before 10 to hit up the Skyliner to Epcot. We knew early morning Skyliner traffic was congested during the rush hour to get to Hollywood Studios, which opened at 10, but we hoped it would be mostly cleared out for the Epcot shift. We were partially correct.

My favorite Skyliner cabin

The line to board at our resort was non-existent, but when we got to the switch-off at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, it was very well controlled mass chaos. Everyone had to get in one big line regardless of destination. Then, after about 25 minutes in that line, a Cast Member directed everyone to a different line depending on whether they were heading to Disney’s Hollywood Studios or Epcot. We were somewhat surprised when a Cast Member asked us if we would be willing to share a cabin with another party in exchange for a shorter wait in line at that point. We politely declined. In total, we waited about 40 minutes, and most of that was in the larger line, which consisted of a lot of people still trying to get to Hollywood Studios.

There’s magic in the air! Dad and I aboard the Skyliner
We had already been in line about 25 minutes by the time we got to this point.

Once we arrived at Epcot shortly before 11, we quickly went through temperature check and security. We had planned on a very leisurely day of food, wine and a few rides. Even though they permitted entry to guests prior to park opening, we found the festival marketplaces were not open prior to 11. The first open booth we came to was the Citrus Blossom marketplace, and so we stopped. There were a few things I wanted to try here, and I’ve learned from many years of past festivals, if you want it, get it when you have the chance because you might be too full later. I got the Lobster Tail with Meyer Lemon Emulsion and Grilled Lemon, the Orange Sunshine Wine Slushy and the Orange Cream Shake in the souvenir Orange Bird sipper. I had wanted that sipper since it first debuted at the 2019 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival so I was excited they still had them available. I didn’t really want the orange cream shake and asked the Cast Members to leave that part off. They offered to put it in a separate cup so we could at least taste it. I agreed, and I’m so glad I did. That was the star of this booth.

Citrus Blossom marketplace was yummy!

After finishing off my snacks, we headed to the Land pavilion to ride Soarin’ and Listen to the Land. Safety protocols meant plexi glass dividers in the lines and on the ride vehicles.

Dad and I all strapped in ready for our flight on Soarin’
Living with the Land has all sorts of Mickey shaped vegetation.

After that, we walked right on to Journey Into Imagination. Then, we wanted to take one last voyage aboard Space Ship Earth before it gets reimagined.

Thanking the Phoenicians one last time

I knew a good bit of Future World was under construction due to Epcot reimagined, but I was not prepared for what that looked and felt like in person. Gracious! We walked for what seemed like eternity to get back to World Showcase for more food and drinks. We were rewarded by a cute Mickey and Minnie cavalcade when we arrived. We had also worked up quite an appetite by then and were ready for more noshing.

A cute Mickey and Minnie cavalcade

One drink I really wanted to try was the Bloomin’ Blueberry Lemon and Ginger Tea with Tito’s Vodka from Earth Eats. It was so refreshing and did not disappoint. The recipe for the non-alcoholic version was printed on the back of the signage of the booth. I snapped a photo so I could recreate this at home with blueberries from my parents’ garden. It will be perfect for summertime sippin’ next year.

So refreshing! Notice the cup is left over from the flower and garden festival.
Just add vodka!

While I was in line for my tea, my dad hopped in the Mexico line for the Ribeye Taco and the Mexican Craft Beer. I asked him to also get me the Pork Tostada and the Clasica Margarita. The description of the margarita said it included chile poblano liqueur so I was hoping it would have a spicy kick to it. I detected no kick. In fact, it tasted more like salt water. The Pork Tostada was a star, though.

The Pork Tostada was the star here.

By then, I needed a Diet Coke, and it was getting close to time to check in for our flight home. So we found an open table at the Refreshment Outpost, and I ordered my Diet Coke. It came in this cute little cup, so on brand for me.

Another cute cup. Do you see a trend here?

While we were sitting there, we decided to share some things from Germany, so I got us the Pasta Gratin with Ham, Onions and Cheese and the Apple Strudel with Vanilla Sauce. They were both outstanding and more than enough to share.

Apple Strudel with Vanilla Sauce and Pasta Gratin with Ham, Onions and Cheese from Germany were the standouts of the day.

After finishing those snacks, we backtracked a bit to ride the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros and more plexi glass in the line and on the ride. I still would prefer to refer to it as El Rio del Tiempo, which is the version I grew up with. However, instead, I usually just call it the Mexican boat ride.

We were still both pretty full from Germany, and Dad was getting tired. So we decided to make our way back to the International Gateway to catch the Skyliner back to our resort. On the way, I stopped in Canada to get some maple popcorn to take home. Since I was going to be traveling with it, I ordered the souvenir bucket. Covid rules meant the Cast Member could not fill the bucket, even though it was still in their possession. So, she filled a paper box and handed me the bucket. This ended up being a much better value because, guess what! The box holds way more than the bucket.

Princess cavalcade

I also wanted to stop in France to see if there were any of the macaron ears in stock. There weren’t. Sadness! I tried to talk Dad into stopping at L’Artisan des Glaces because he hadn’t been able to get his ice cream that he always likes due to Covid closures. However, he was still too full and too tired. So, with that, we exited and boarded the Skyliner back to our resort to pack and call it a day. This was our last night, but there was still a little bit more fun to be had.

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