It’s always difficult coming back to work after a vacation, but getting a chance to recap the trip while putting together these posts makes it a little easier! Here’s Part 1:
My trip started with an afternoon flight to Orlando on Southwest Airlines (beloved by me for their free snacks!!) but I arrived just as a Magical Express bus was driving away toward my resort…womp womp. I ended up waiting over half an hour until the next bus left, which was particularly frustrating because I was missing the Republican debate that night. Let’s just say this was the first of many annoyances courtesy of the Disney transportation system. For some reason, they just can’t seem to figure out an efficient way to get people around. Alas, the rest of the trip was pretty perfect!
Day 1 – Epcot
- Food and Wine Festival
I was eagerly anticipating our day in Epcot since the Food & Wine Festival was in full swing. The Food & Wine Festival is a two month event in which additional international booths are added to the World Showcase offering food and drinks that are representative of their countries. In the weeks before my trip, I scoured early reports from the festival and concocted a list of must-try snacks (as any Disney/food fanatic would do, right?)
First up was the Sea Scallop from the Scotland booth. This plate included a seared scallop on top of a spinach-cheddar gratin garnished with bacon. The scallop was perfectly cooked and the gratin was full of flavor. Definitely a winner.
While my dad and I gobbled up our scallops, my mom tried the baked macaroni and cheese from the Farm Fresh booth. This version included peppers, onions, and bacon which greatly enhanced the familiar dish. It was a bit spicy though, so I preferred my scallop.
Despite my grand plans, the only other item I was able to fit in was dessert from Ireland: Warm Chocolate Pudding.
This was a moist chocolate cake with ganache filling and an Irish Creme sauce. It tasted just as good as it sounds and was worth every penny.
- Odds and Ends
As a result of my daily reading of the Disney Food Blog, there was a new spot that I wanted to check out in Epcot: Club Cool. I dragged my parents to this indoor location with promises of free samples (a rare find on Disney property). Club Cool is a shop sponsored by Coca-Cola that has soda machines featuring soda flavors from different countries. You can grab a paper cup and try as many as you’d like!
My favorites were the bubblegum flavored soda from Peru and the pineapple fizzy soda from Greece. It was a lot of fun comparing the flavors and enjoying something new to us in a park we’ve been to many many times.
My mom and I also recruited my dad to take pictures of us in random spots throughout the day 🙂
And of course there was at least one selfie! It was our first day together after all…
- Late lunch at Via Napoli
Since we had planned to try out the Food and Wine Festival offerings, we made a late lunch/early dinner reservation at Via Napoli for our one real meal of the day.
This restaurant is known for their authentic Italian pizza (they even go as far as importing flour from Italy). The pizzas are baked in one of three ovens, visible from every spot in the dining room.
We couldn’t believe it when our pizza arrived! It was massive…
…however, the three of us managed to polish it off without too much problem. It had thin chewy crust, a small layer of sauce, fresh mozzarella, and chunks of spicy Italian sausage. Yum!
The rest of the day we meandered around the World Showcase and explored the shops and movies or rides in the different countries. Possibly the best part was (I kid you not), the Canadian Lumberjack Competition at the Canada pavilion. Absolutely awful but hilarious.
The final stop of the day for my mom and I (while my Dad rode Test Track one last time) was the Food and Wine Festival Center, located in a back corner of Future World. It featured a wine shop, festival shop, and a few stages for cooking/beverage demonstrations. My reason for going was the Ghiradelli Experience, where you could see intricate displays made of chocolate and received a free Ghiradelli square (two free samples in one day!!) The perfect way to end the night.
Stay tuned for Part 2!