Friday, November 21, 2014

Epcot Bench Talk

Usually we take some video during the entire length of our Disney trips. This trip was a little different.... We didn't really start filming until the end of the trip. Dave attributes this to always having something to eat or drink in his hand (it was a Food and Wine Festival Trip). We sat down on a bench in Epcot in the middle of the last day and recorded a recap (until that point) of our trip. Thrown in are some segments from the Magic Kingdom opening show, Festival of Fantasy Parade, Swan & Dolphin Food and Wine Classic, and other items. The rest of the post will include some talk about the Food and Wine Classic and some photos.

Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

One weekend a month the Swan & Dolphin hotels (on Walt Disney World property) hold their own food festival. You can choose to buy food tickets and pay as you go, or pay one price for full access from 5:30-9:00. The all-access price this year was $89. For an extra $20 we bought access to the beer garden, which gave us some added food items to sample like pretzels, sausages, and wiener snitchzel, plus 20 beers. Totally worth it. The festival price includes a plastic souvenir wine glass and the beer tent price included a festival plastic beer glass.

The set up was nice, albeit a little crowded at points. Food was easy to access the first half hour and last hour of the festival. Some of our favorites ended up being pasta dishes. Il Mulino's black pepper campanelle and Cabot's mac and cheese were delicious. The tacos were great and the fish and chips were cooked perfectly. In our video we show Dave trying the shrimp cocktail steamroller. The special food in the beer garden was delicious as well.

There was live music all evening with three bands taking the stage. One of the bands was a Frankie Valli tribute. Strange at first, but oddly enough enjoyable. Saturday (the night we attended) had fireworks for the hotels' 25th anniversary.

We tried a bunch of wines and found some we really enjoyed. The beer garden had a decent mix of beers that thankfully included some stouts and porters along with the pale ales.

The only downside to the evening was the weather. It was in the low 50's (which feels like the 20's in FL) with a wind kicking up at points. We went inside at several points to find some warmth. If we ever plan another trip for WDW this time of year we will be sure to try to book it for the weekend of this event. It was fun and a reasonable value for the quantity and quality of offerings.

Other Fun!

Upper-left is one of the Dawa Bar's (Animal Kingdom) new specialty Bloody Marys. There are four to choose from and this one included a beef jerky garnish. The upper-right drink is the Maelstrom margarita from La Cava in Epcot. Not worth it, but looks pretty. The bottom drinks are from The Brown Derby in the Studios. Holly got the martini flight and Dave got the Manhatten.


We were finally able to see The Festival of Fantasy Parade in the Magic Kingdom. This is a total overhaul of the former parade and is worth seeing multiple times. New floats plus a lot more street performers in between the floats. There were a ton of moving elements on the floats. Holly took this nice picture of the Frozen characters. The dragon shot is a screen capture from Dave's GoPro video.


New Shows at Epcot

We'll start with the positive. We walked by the new dance troupe in Morocco. Although we only caught a glimpse it looked like they were engaging the crowd. We wanted to go back and see the full show but they weren't performing again during the rest of our stay.

The flag wavers in Italy were somewhat interesting, but there's not a repeatability factor here. They were all from Italy and seemed very happy to be in Epcot performing. Worth seeing once. We have a longer video of the Flag Wavers we will release in the next few days.

The Lumberjack Show in Canada needs to go. Not just because they replaced Off-Kilter, but because it is an awful show involving chainsaws. We can't believe Disney removed live music for chainsaws and ax throwing.

Saw this at the Expedition Everest Store. Fun!
Our Test Track car. Dave largely responsible for the ugliness.
We watched Dream Along with Mickey from this angle. Holly enjoyed getting the characters to wave as they exited stage each time.


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