Food & Wine Trip: Day 1
My best friend (who’s more like a sister) and I just got back from our 1st ever Disney World trip together, which was also our 1st time attending Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival! This post, and the next several weeks’ worth, will feature a play-by-play of what we did each day of our trip.
We wanted an early flight out of Hartford and we got our wish with a 6:10 AM flight, which means we landed at Orlando International before 9 AM! We stopped by Starbucks and grabbed the Magical Express to Beach Club and arrived just after 10. Our room wasn’t ready yet, but we’d thrown tank tops in our carry-on bags so we ducked into the bathroom off the lobby, changed our clothes, put on our ears, and started our walk over to Epcot.
I got to enter through the Annual Passholder entrance, which probably doesn’t sound like a big deal but is super exciting for me since this is only my 2nd trip as a Passholder and the last because I don’t have plans to head back to Disney World at all next year (we’re planning a trip back to CA, though)!
We snagged our passports even though it was still too early for the World Showcase to officially be open. We were super hungry so we made our way to the bakery in France for something small before we dove into the festival food.
On our way into the International Gateway and heading towards France, we found a PhotoPass photographer without a line, taking pictures on the bridge so we had to stop for our 1st official photos of the trip.
I had chocolate chip brioche and Lori had her fave chocolate mousse and we were on our way
As we were heading out of France, we found another PhotoPass photographer without a line, this time by fountain, so we stopped again.
Our 1st food of Food & Wine was one we’d both been absolutely dying to try: Pão de Queijo, aka Brazilian Cheese Bread!
After our little snack in Brazil (by the Morocco pavilion), we wandered through Morocco and explored the Japan pavilion a bit. It was the emptiest and quietest I’ve ever seen and it was pretty awesome.
It was pretty toasty out already and, even though we’d just come from France, we decided to turn around and head back to grab out 1st drink of the trip: La Passion Martini Slushy.
I’m not usually a vodka drinker but I really loved this one! Once we finished our drinks, we turned in the direction of the UK pavilion and strolled toward Future World, stopping in shops on the way to browse.
As we were leaving the World Showcase, we found 2 PhotoPass spots and took advantage of some more photos.
Our 1st top in Future World was one of my favorite stores on Disney Property: Mouse Gear.
After we were done in Mouse Gear, I popped out to get my Annual Passholder magnet, which is my favorite of the 3 I’ve gotten in the past 10 months.
We had a FastPass for Soarin’ (our 3rd of the day but the only one we cared about) so we made our way over to The Land.
After Soarin’, we were ready for more food, which was super convenient since there are some food booths outside of the World Showcase, more near the Imagination building. Our 1st top in that area was Flavors from Fire, where we both got the Smoked Corned Beef with Crispy Potatoes, Cheese Curds, Pickled Onions and Beer-Cheese Fondue. I asked for mine without the pickled onions and they were happy to accommodate.
Lori got Loaded Macaroni & Cheese with Nueske’s Pepper Bacon, Cheddar and Leeks from Active Eats and I tried a bite but neither of us was too crazy about it. I thought it basically tasted entirely like green peppers and that’s it. Black pepper is one of my favorite things ever and we both figured the pepper bacon was like black pepper bacon, but neither of us got that flavor and both got more the flavor of actual peppers.
We were ready to head back to the World Showcase so we swung by the Epcot Experience on our way, since we were finally going to heading thru the Mexico side of the world.
I didn’t really take any pictures because it was a pretty immersive, 360-degree experience that would not have captured well, but it was pretty cool. And I’d like to join the zillions of other people who’d love if they sold these World Showcase posters! I’d get devote a whole wall to them in my house if I could!
We strolled through Mexico and made a beeline for the Frozen Rosé from the Alps booth by Norway.
It seemed pretty small for $9, and it was pretty good, but really it was just rosé and nothing all that fancy or exciting.
Once we pried ourselves way from our standing table in the shade and gorgeous view of the rest of the World Showcase, we wandered through the shops in Norway.
And then we did the same in China. There were food items we were intrigued by at the China booth but we didn’t have the stomach space at the time, so we passed.
Lori was just starting to suggest heading back for a break and just sitting in the lobby when we got notification our room was ready, so we started on our way back to Beach.
But, as you’ve probably realized by now, I’m not one to pass by an available photographer so we stopped in Germany and Italy for some PhotoPass photos on the way.
I had been watching lots of folks’ Instagram stories of Food & Wine merch so I already knew there were some things I definitely wanted to buy and others I was pretty sure of, so we stopped at one of the smaller merchandise booths in the World Showcase on our way out so I could buy a few of those items: stemless wine glass, water bottle, and sequin shirt. This way I didn’t have far to carry it and we didn’t need to spend the time filling out the form to have the items sent back to our resort.
We got back to the hotel and all I have to say is that the Beach Club 1 Bedroom Villa is amazing!
I will add that this is my 1st time staying in any DVC room, so I am only comparing to standard rooms, but it was awesome!
We spent some time relaxing and unpacked and got ourselves situated before we headed back to Epcot. From the International Gateway, we went left through the UK and stopped in Ireland so I could get the Warm Irish Cheddar Cheese and Stout Dip with Irish Brown Bread, which I’ve been lusting after forever and it did not disappoint. That along with the corned beef from Flavors from Fire were probably my favorites from the whole festival.
We kept moseying towards Canada where we both tried the Canadian Cheddar Cheese and Bacon Soup served with a Pretzel Roll. I have to be honest – I was not overly impressed with this, even though it’s right up my alley. The bacon tasted like cheap, crappy, pre-cooked bacon and it kinda ruined the whole thing for me. The pretzel roll was good, though.
While I was in line to get our soup, Lori hopped in line at the Australia booth to get herself the Grilled Sweet and Spicy Bush Berry Shrimp with Pineapple, Pepper, Onion and Snap Peas. She said it was ok but it only came with 3 shrimp (I forgot to take a picture when she 1st got it) and wasn’t that amazing.
We were both craving something sweet after that but none of the festival offerings were striking a chord, so we headed for ice cream in France, which is always a favorite for me. I always get white chocolate coconut, and this time was no different, and Lori stayed classic and went for chocolate.
We were pretty much done with Epcot for the day and had grabbed ourselves a FastPass for Dinosaur, so we headed for the front of park to get a bus over to Animal Kingdom. The plan and hope was to try to catch Flight of Passage with a shorter line near park close.
As we headed out, we stopped for a Spaceship Earth PhotoPass photo.
We hopped on the bus to Animal Kingdom and actually got over there way quicker than we expected to.
So we stopped for more pictures.
We made our way over to Dinosaur, even though it was too early for our FastPass, because it was showing a pretty short wait and neither of us really likes Animal Kingdom that much and there wasn’t anything else we wanted to do there.
We arrived and discovered the ride had gone down for technical difficulties, so we found a bench to wait for a few minutes and assess our options. Flight of Passage still had more than a 2-hour wait and we were not interested in waiting that long.
Dinosaur did end up coming back up and we walked right on. We were finished with the ride before our FastPass window even started.
We checked the wait times again and FOP still said 135 minutes and it was still an hour until the park was closing, so we decided to abandon the idea. We had both been up since 2:30 AM, so for over 17 hours at that point, and had slept badly anyway. So we decided to head back and go to bed early.
Thanks for reading along! Come back next week to read about our 2nd day!