Thursday, November 29, 2012

Food and Wine Expo

by Julie

My husband and I did something wild and crazy. Super wild and crazy. Yep, you guessed it. We went to DisneyWorld without the kids! First time ever!

No, we weren't missing the head-pounding turns of Space Mountain, or the crooning flowers of the Tiki Room (though we did visit both), we were there for the Food and Wine Expo, which took place in Epcot.

Wow, was this a lot of fun. And incredibly well organized. But hey, this is Disney. No surprise there. All around World Showcase of Epcot were booths offering your choice of two or three tastes of that country's cuisine. We got there on a Monday afternoon and made our first stop at Canada. Excellent choice because we wound up eating there twice. Only one other kiosk held that honor -- Desserts and Champagne. We didn't have the Champagne, but we really, really enjoyed the desserts.

All in all there were 29 different temporary locations set up between the countries that reside permanently in World Showcase. We hit 24 of them over the course of our trip. We did take a break to visit the Magic Kingdom, which was already decked out in holiday lights, and we got a sneak peek into the newly remodeled Fantasyland. Dumbo has been moved and there are new attractions featuring Beauty and the Beast and Ariel from The Little Mermaid.

Of course we snuck over to Animal Kingdom where we rode Expedition Everest. And we visited Hollywood Studios for my all-time favorite ride Tower of Terror. I was truly terrified the first time I went on it, but now... I can't stay away. Love the way it makes my stomach jump.

Hmm... can you tell I'm a kid at heart?

In any case, the best part of the trip truly was the Food and Wine Expo. We ate too much, but had the most wonderful time doing so. If you ever have the chance to enjoy this particular festival (it usually runs from late September through early November), go for it!

Have you visited DisneyWorld in Florida? What's your favorite attraction?


Katreader said...

I went with my parents when I was in 6th grade. I loved it! My absolute favorite ride was Peter Pan's ride. Adored it. I remember in line Captain Hook snagging me by my hood! I was thinking of going there for my 40th birthday, but it didn't happen. Although I enjoy traveling alone, I think you need 2 people to really enjoy Disney-and I don't have a second. Maybe for my 50th!

Anonymous said...

Went to Disney during wine & food expo once. Did not realize that was going on, but both my son & I loved it. I would love to visit again during the wine & food expo. Food was as interesting as the wine! We loved Epcot.

Anne said...

Yes, I've been there 3 times, always in the summer, never again. I like (if they still have it) the free wild west show, Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion.

Bev said...

I was there in September and thought it was getting dated looking. I love the Tower of Terror and Mt. Everest. We spend 6 days there so maybe we were Dizzy outed :)

Aurian said...

I don't like wine, but I do love to try out new foodstuffs. So all that, and in Disney Land, that sounds totally awesome.

Julie Hyzy said...

Katreader - my kids love Peter Pan, too. And, if truth be told, so do I. It's a little cheesy and very low-key, but charming to this day.

Anon - the food was incredible. The fact that they are able to mass-produce these exquisite little gems and sell them for a more-or-less reasonable amount was unbelievable. I love Epcot. Always have. All the great stuff in the other parks is exciting, but Epcot is my favorite. It's gotta be the food.

Anne - the best time to go, IMHO, is September, when kids go back to school. I was surprised at how many kids were there when we went, but the crowds were nothing like they are in the summer. Pirates and the Haunted Mansion are awesome!

Bev - parts of the parks are a bit dated-looking, but it's nice to see that they're updating all the time. Tower of Terror - wow. I could ride that all day. Too bad my husband can't. Same with Everest. Put me on it over and over. He can handle once. Maybe twice, then he's done for the day.

Aurian - you'd be in a good place. Although the wines were enjoyable, we thought the servings were a bit small for the price. Some were good, others so-so. But the food was (almost) universally delicious. I think the only foods we didn't care for had more to do with our particular preferences than any shortcomings on the chef's part.

Dru said...

I haven't been to Disney World in years but my favorite place to be was at Epcot.