Spontaneous Pandemic Trip: Day 1 – Friday
By now you know we took a quick 4-day long weekend trip to Disney, mostly to enjoy as much of Food & Wine Festival together as we possibly could. In the next 4 posts, I’ll take you through each wonderful day of our trip.
We woke up to a notification our flight was delayed, so I honestly didn’t think this was going to bode well for our trip. We had so little time to spend on Disney World as it was, and being delayed an hour and a half certainly wasn’t going to help us see and do as much as possible.
I’ll skip over all the boring airport and flying stuff because that’s really not very exciting. We had no trouble getting a Lyft from the airport and had a great driver take us to our first ever stay at the Walt Disney World Swan.
Our room wasn’t ready when we arrived, so we changed in the lobby bathroom, left our bags with Bell Services, and headed out the door for our walk to Epcot.
It was pretty overcast, which I was grateful for since I tend to overheat easily and my fair skin doesn’t love being in the sunshine. My hope was it would help it feel a bit cooler out than the 100°+ feel-like temperatures we knew we were in for every day.
We knew we wanted to start strong, so we made our way straight to Canada for Canadian Cheddar and Bacon Soup and Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon. I’ve had the soup before and love it but this was my hubby’s first ever bites of Food & Wine Festival food and we both agreed it was a delicious way to start the festival.
We decided before we left that we were sharing everything and not repeating anything unless we tried everything on our list and wanted to revisit something. With the nice, small portion sizes, we were still hungry after after Canada, so we went back the way we came and headed for France. We got every food on the menu, except for the creme brûlée, and the passion martini slushy (which I had during my last Food & Wine visit and really liked). The line in France was much longer than Canada’s, but it moved quickly enough and we were able to snag a standing table in the shade to enjoy.
I’d had a drink at that point, and while my husband tried some of the martini slushy, he really wanted a beverage, so we headed to America for a coffee cider. I honestly don’t remember what he thought of it but I was not a fan.
I feel I need to back up and mention that we went into this trip without any expectations of getting on rides. We really went for the food and figured everything else would be a bonus.
At this point, we were good on food for a bit. We checked the wait times and almost everything had a super low wait. Since we were in the World Showcase and would get to it soonest, we decided to make our 1st ride of the trip Frozen Ever After. The standby time said it would be a 45-minute wait and we only spent 30 minutes in line.
I want to love this ride. And I do enjoy it, but I get super pissed when way more water than I think is appropriate for a mellow boat ride comes splashing in and soaking one whole leg. With how humid it is, it’s not like it dries fast and then I’m stuck walking around wet with dirty water. No thanks.
Anyway, from Frozen we made our way to Future World. It kept raining off and on, so we’re weren’t sure how good our luck would be, but we went straight over to Test Track, where we waited a grand total of 15 minutes to get on the ride, and that includes going thru the car design phase. We were completely in awe but loving it!
From Test Track, we headed through Mouse Gear to browse, tho I feel like they should be calling it something else right now. Everything is under construction and it’s tiny (comparatively) and looks nothing like Mouse Gear. We made our way out the other side and ended up in a maze of construction walls, somehow ending up under Spaceship Earth, not heading towards The Land like we intended.
We caught a glimpse of the beautiful new fountain and a 5-minute posted wait at Spaceship Earth, but kept moving onto the next wall maze over to The Land, where we literally walked straight onto Soarin’. We learned it takes about 4 minutes just to walk thru the queue and were immediately put into a line and Patrick started his rundown of our ride.
We left some room on our initial stint in the World Showcase, so we decided to head back in that direction, having done all the major rides in Epcot, to have some dinner before finally heading for our hotel room.
Our 1st stop was Italy because I wanted my Italian Margarita (hands-down favorite drink of the festival from last time). We got the mezzalune and the ravioli, I got my marg, and my husband got the red sangria.
I FaceTimed my best friend to cheers with our favorite drink and say hi to her girls, and we enjoyed our views of the Italy pavilion and Spaceship Earth. The food was decent, but sadly nothing to write home about, but we both thoroughly enjoyed our drinks.
On our way over to Epcot, we walked along in front of Yacht and Beach Club, so for our walk back to the Swan, we decided to head along the Boardwalk, instead. This is our absolute favorite area in all of Disney World property, and it was busy evening time and just made us so happy walking through all the bustle.
We got into our room and discovered we had some pretty amazing views! Looking to the left we could see The Boardwalk, a few World Showcase pavilions, and Riviera off in the distance. To the right were the Tower of Terror and Batuu! We changed our clothes quick and headed back out to walk over to Boardwalk to catch a bus to Magic Kingdom for our last time watching Happily Ever After from the park.
I should note: Swan and Dolphin do offer bus transportation to and from the parks, but the buses don’t run as often as the Disney World buses and drop off and pickup are not in the same location as those Disney buses. Since we were so close to the other resorts, we decided to walk and use those.
We got to Magic Kingdom at about 8:35 and the fireworks start at 8:45 (park closed at 9 for Boo Bash that evening). We made our way a bit up Main Street and got a spot to stand right in the middle, between the trolley tracks, and hardly had to wait at all for the show to start.
I only cried 3 times, which I consider a win. No one was too close so I sang and danced and enjoyed the hell out of my favorite fireworks show.
For those who don’t know, my husband proposed right after we saw Wishes in 2015. The next time we went to Disney World, we were married and Wishes has gone away and Happily Ever After had taken its place. The show has so much meaning for us, visiting living our own happily ever after, and I am so sad to see it go.
I was hoping to head closer to the castle after, but Cast Members were herding all those not attending Boo Bash out and we couldn’t even get close. So that was the end of our whirlwind Magic Kingdom night and we headed back for a bus to Boardwalk (and a quick farewell to the train station as we passed) and reveled in what a perfect day it had been.
When we got off the bus, we decided we weren’t ready to go back just yet, so we headed to Boardwalk Ice Cream for a little treat before we finally called it a wrap on an amazing day 1.