Food & Wine Festival – Epcot

This year the Food & Wine Festival runs through to Monday 14 November.  Over the years the festival has been expanded and now features additional ‘happenings’ including Beverage Seminars, What’s Cookin’ with, Mix it, Make it, Celebrate it, Cheese seminar and Culinary Demonstrations in the Festival Centre plus Festival Dining Events in the World Showcase.

I think the majority of visitors attend to stroll around the world sampling the festival exclusive foods and wine.  There are an additional 38 marketplace stands as well as the usual eateries.  This year features 5 new marketplace stands including the Chocolate Studio and the Islands of the Caribbean – where we got a rather nice frozen mojito!

We also enjoy the Eat to the Beat series of concerts and have been lucky enough to catch Chaka Khan and Boyz II Men.

The only downside if there is any is that you may find your waistline increases and your spending money decreases – as there are a lot of tasty temptations along the way.

One of our favourite annual Disney events – we definitely recommend it

2 girls, 1 week in a holiday villa Orlando

Yesterday we had a Disney day.  As an annual passholder I was able to get my friend a 1 day hopper ticket for $79 plus taxes.

We started at Magic Kingdom.  You can tell it is low season as the monorail was on a real go slow and as we arrived they announced it was going out of service.

Bag check and added security and then we were in.  All themed for Halloween the first spot was Snow White with no.line!  After a photo call we headed down the Main Street and arrange some fast passes.  We took a turn on the Tomorrowland transit, had lunch and then went on Its a Small World , Pirates of the Carribean and Buzz Lightyear.  After a little retail therapy we decided to head over to Epcot.

We had just arrived at Epcot when the afternoon storm broke – we decided to sit it out in the car lot and then headed in.  This time on the way in we had a photo opportunity with Daisy Duck! We 7were visiting for the Food & Wine festival rather than the rides, howe’ve,  there were very few lines – we could even have queued to see Anna & Elsa in only 20 minutes.


Happy Canada Day – Epcot

A few years ago we were at Epcot on Canada Day – it was wonderful to see all the Canadians celebrating their day – they were going around the World Showcase testing all the different beverages – it was all in good nature and was fun to see.

Canada in Epcot is very well staged.  It has O Canada a Circle Vision 360 film which lasts 14 minutes – once seen is enough – but it can be a nice break from the sun/heat!  Canada also has beautiful gardens – the Victoria Gardens which are based on the world famous Butchart Gardens on Vancouver Island and Rocky Mountain staging plus a beautiful steakhouse called Le Cellier.

Le Cellier is one of the more expensive restaurants in Epcot and if you want to dine there you are well advised to book in advance (you can book up to 180 days in advance) as on the day bookings in peak holiday season are rarely available.  Offering great steaks, prime rib, seafood, chicken and some vegetarian dishes.  The cocktails, wines and beer are also very good.

There is also a resident band in Canada called Off Kilter – it is a rock/bagpipe band – that plays up to 5 times a day with their CDs also available in the Northwest Mercantile.


Epcot -how to manage to last the day!

With the new Frozen ride in Norway due to open in June and Soarin across the World due to premiere in the Summer too – I thought it might be useful to share some of our survival tips for lasting the full day at Epcot.

Epcot is essentially split into 2 worlds – Future World which opens from 9am and then the World Showcase which opens from 11am – both stay open until 9pm when the Illuminations fireworks show ends the day.

It can be really tiring at Epcot as there is quite a bit of walking and not that much shade to be found which during the long hot afternoons can mean staying until the close of the park a challenge.

Our first tip is some super cool air conditioning seating inside just near the back entrance to Club Cool – so head into Club Cool and test the Coca Cola samples from around the world and then go out the back entrance (going towards The Land) and through into the building for some refreshing aircon – stay a while, make your next plans and just enjoy the coolness.

Next tip – heading to The Land – there is seating outside and inside in the shade.  We like to take a ride on Living with the Land to get another break/breather from the sun – it’s a gentle ride through the green houses.

You will also find shelter from the sun or indeed the summer thunderstorms in The Seas – there is a Nemo clam shell ride and then lots to see, including a children’s play area all under cover in the air conditioning.

Once you get into the World Showcase, shade can be harder to find – we like to spend a little time in the back areas of Canada – I have sheltered from a thunderstorm more than once in this area!

There are also seats in the shade as you walk towards France from the United Kingdom – down the slope towards the entrance gates from the Boardwalk area.

Morocco has shaded areas amongst the retail opportunities and there is the Fez House which is beautifully cool and beautifully ornate – but so easily missed!

Japan has lovely cool shops and a gallery area with internal seating – a very calm place to regroup.  We also like the area outside near the Katsura Grill – sometimes you can find both shade and catch a breeze coming off the lake sitting up in this area.

China again has some seats around the carp lakes – sometimes in shade and a wonderful airy shopping area to browse and cool down.

Finally, Mexico – inside the temple it is cool and dark – lots to see, one of our favourite gentle cheesy rides (featuring Donald Duck) an opportunity to have a tequila if you like it and indoor fountains – it can just be a bit of a shock when you step back outside into the heat and the glare of the summer.

If you take your time and take frequent breaks, plus plenty of fluids (preferably non alcoholic) you can last the day 9-9pm – final tip – wear really comfy shoes!!