Archive for Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

Day 2, Part 1 – Tonya’s Disney Adventure

After staying up late and catching up with my friend (her name is Ros, by the way), we had a lazy morning.  We discussed our Magic Bands and what Ros had already done since she arrived two days before me.  I was very excited to have a Magic Band and try out the new technology.

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My first Magic Band!!!

While I unpacked, I noticed that I forgot to pack my sneakers.  Uh oh!!!  Guess a trip to the outlet mall is in order.  Hate when that happens but I did need a new pair of “dog walking shoes” so it isn’t a huge tragedy. Off to the Premium Outlet Mall, I go.  Woohooo!!!

When I checked in last night it was late so I went ahead and valet parked my car, so I dug out my valet ticket and headed to get my car.  I handed the valet cast member my ticket and she told me it was $15.00.  I asked her to just charge it to the room but she needed to run something through the system (whatever that means) so I handed her my handy dandy Magic Band since that was activated for charging purposes, among other things – or so I thought but we’ll get to that in another day or so.  She said that the valet desk wasn’t set up to accept Magic Bands yet.  WHAT?!?!!?  You have got to be kidding me. How hard is to put a scanner thing out there?.  So I handed the cast member my room card.  She said she couldn’t use it since it said it wasn’t allowed charging privileges.  (When I checked in the night before, the front desk cast member printed my room card before we put my credit card on file and we didn’t see the need to print another card since I would have the Magic Band to charge purchases with.)  (((Sigh)))  What to do, what to do???  I know!!!  I’ll go old school and pay with cash.  Now at this point I am also asking myself why a registered hotel guest is actually being asked to pay for valet parking when it normally is charged to the room automatically but I was still tired so I just went with it.  The cast member took my $20 with a look of disbelief and horror  She actually said “you want to pay with cash????”.  With horror still in her eyes, she said she would call the front desk and have them charge my room.  I’m just standing there looking at my $20 bill on the counter wondering what was wrong with cash.  When did the world turn into a cashless society?  I love the convenience of debit cards and paypal and online banking but cash is still a good thing.


I finally made it to the Premium Outlet Mall only to find that apparently they were giving away free merchandise from the look of it.  There were so many cars trying to turn in to the mall that it took me 25 minutes just to get into the parking lot.  For a little while,  I thought it was Christmas time at the mall but then I remembered it was still October.  But have no fear, I was not deterred and remembered my mission  And I actually found a pretty good parking place once I made it to the parking garage.

The next stop was the Reebok store where I found that their sale that day was Buy One, Get Another for $19.99.  You don’t have to tell me twice about a good deal.  I was all over that.

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Love my new pink sneakers!!

Two pairs of sneakers were found in record time and I was out the door – with socks, also – and on my way to the Character Warehouse store.  Woohooo!!!  I didn’t find anything fabulous this time but it is still fun to look around.  And it soothed my soul just a little since I didn’t get to stop at the Disney outlet in St. Augustine on the drive down.

After a trip to Walmart for a few needed supplies, I was back at the Boardwalk Villas getting ready to head to the Magic Kingdom via Epcot with Ros.  We knew it would be crazy busy at Epcot since it was Saturday and it was a holiday weekend but decided to do a little Food & Wine as we made our way to the Monorail to the Magic Kingdom.

To start off our stroll towards the International Gate we got a glass of Sangria from the Boardwalk Pizza walk up window.  Just because it is the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, we felt justified in starting our personal festival before we got to Epcot.  It was tasty and delightful addition to our walk.

Once we made it into Epcot, it was time for food – we did just drink Sangria on empty stomachs, after all.  Off to France we went.  The line to the F&W kiosk was crazy busy so we opted for the new and improved Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie for a quick ham and cheese sandwich, of course it sounds so much more sophisticated when you call it a Croissant Jambon Fromage .  Ooh la la.

With sufficient nourishment, we made our way to the front of Epcot dodging many Drink Around the Worlders along the way.  (It did make me nostalgic to be doing the same thing with my Disney friends though.)   There we a lot of cute and creative t-shirts which of course draw attention for Disney Security to follow the drunkards.  Amateurs!! The key for a DATW is to have fun but go unnoticed by Disney Security so you don’t get tossed out in case you have one too many.

The monorail was in sight as we exited the park.  Literally!!  The monorail was just coming over our heads as we exited the park.  Our transportation mojo was good today!!  We made it up the seemingly endless steep ramp to the monorail station just as the Monorail pulled in to the station.  Wooohooo!!!  I love the Epcot Monorail.  It is right up there with the Tomorrowland Transit Authority People Mover and the Ferry Boats for relaxing rides.

Next stop, the Magic Kingdom.

I’m Going to Disney World!!!

That’s right, folks!!  I’m going to Disney World and I didn’t even have to win the Super Bowl.

I’ve been traveling a lot over the last month and promised myself that October would be my month at home.  That promise was quickly broken when a friend asked me to tag along with her to Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival.  She owns DVC (Disney Vacation Club) and is staying at Disney’s Boardwalk Villas.  We did the same thing a few years ago and had so much fun.  How could I turn that down?!?!?

I had originally planned on staying about 4 or 5 days.  But then another friend needed a roommate on his upcoming Disney Magic cruise on October 20th.  The Magic is just coming out of dry dock with a major revamping.  How could I turn that down?!?!?  So I extended my Food & Wine trip so I could just drive on down to Miami and climb aboard the Magic for 5 days on a Double Dip cruise.  (A Double Dip cruise is a Disney cruise that stops at Castaway Cay twice during the cruise.)  My last Disney cruise was the infamous Hurricane Sandy Fantasy cruise and we missed stopping at Castaway Cay so I am calling this my makeup trip.

At first I was a having conflicting emotions about being away from home for so long since I was away most of September.  I have a beloved dog and I miss him terribly when I am not home.  But then my dog’s trainer said Brody Baby (that is my dog) could stay at his house while I was gone and the deal was sealed.  All my guilt was gone (because Brody Baby loves going to visit his trainer’s house because he gets to hunt and play with about 6 other dogs) since I  knew he would have more fun there than with me.

So, dear readers, I leave tomorrow (although I still haven’t packed yet) for Orlando.  I live in South Carolina so I drive to the Happiest Place on Earth.  It should take me about 5 1/2 hours to get there and hopefully I will get there before it gets dark.  I have a Magic Band waiting for me at the Boardwalk and an Annual Pass voucher burning a hole in my pocket.  Don’t get in my way because I am a girl on a mission!!!

Stay tuned for daily reports of my adventures.  You never know what “trouble” I may find.


Merchandise Monday – Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

It is almost September and that means that the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is gearing up for the 46-day event begining on September 27.  So take a look at all the great merchandise that will be available so you can decide what to put on your shopping list.


First Look at Merchandise for 2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

Instead of a Hidden Mickey on the mouse ear headband, there is a Hidden Remy from (Disney•Pixar’s ‘Ratatouille’) in the top of the chef’s hat.

First Look at Merchandise for 2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

Every year there is a poster to commerate the Festival.  This year’s is very cute with some great colors.

First Look at Merchandise for 2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

The bumbling chef is a seven-inch bobble figurine sculpted by artist Robert King.

First Look at Merchandise for 2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

The limited edition Vinylmation figure features Gusteau from ‘Ratatouille’ and will be packaged in a mystery box. The color figure will be an edition size 2,250 while the monochromatic variant figure will be an edition size 250.

Merchandise will be available at the Festival Center in Future World and at kiosks around World Showcase.

Happy Shopping!!!

Disney’s Visa Early Booking for Food & Wine Events

Good news Disney’s Visa Cardmembers!!!  On Monday, August 12th from 7 am – 11 pm EST, Cardmembers will be able to book special events for the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival a day before the events open to the general public. If you are familiar with the Food & Wine Festival, you will know that some events get booked up very quickly so this could be a huge advantage if you planning on attending the more popular events.

The events for Epcot International Food & Wine Festival are varied for every interest and palate.  They include:

  • Culinary Demonstrations
  • Mixology Seminars
  • Wine Schools
  • Cheese Seminars
  • “3D” Disney Dessert Discovery

Click here to explore event details, dates and pricing.

And don’t forget Cardmembers, while you are at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival you have access to the exclusive Chase Lounge.  You can relax, get cooled off, charge your phones, have a complimentary soft drink, and check out the latest scores of the big games on TV.

Cardmembers can visit the Chase Lounge from 11 am – 9 pm on Sunday through Thursday and 11 am – 10 pm on Friday and Saturday during the festival.  The Lounge is located in the American Adventure Pavilion on the third floor (use the elevator located between the attraction and the gift shop) and you must present your Disney’s Visa Card to gain access to the Lounge.





Eat to the Beat Concert Series Line-Up Announced

It is almost time for the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.  We can finally get Boeuf Bourguignon, Warm Chocolate Pudding with Bailey’s Custard, and a Cosmo Slush again!!!!  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

But there is more than just food and wine in our future – there is music, too.   The Eat to the Beat Concert Series line-up has been announced and with some new faces.  Check out the line-up below and see if your favorite musicians from the 70s, 80s and 90s made the cut for 2013.

Daily show times for the Eat to the Beat Concert Series take place at 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m., and 8:00 p.m. at the America Gardens Theatre in Epcot’s World Showcase.

Band members from Starship standing together while wearing suitsSTARSHIP starring Mickey Thomas – September 27 to September 29, 2013

naGo-Go’s* – September 30 to October 1, 2013

Band members from Air Supply standing together in a stadium hallway filled with tour equipmentAir Supply – October 2 to October 4, 2013

Band members from Sister Hazel standing together while a boot pans across the foregroundSister Hazel – October 5 to October 6, 2013

Mark McGrath and band members from Sugar Ray standing together against a wooden wallSugar Ray – October 7 to October 9, 2013

Singer Edwin McCain pensively staring out the window while sitting in a booth at a dinerEdwin McCain* – October 10 to October 11, 2013

Members of the group The Manhattan Transfer singing into an old-style microphone while dressed for a night on the townThe Manhattan Transfer* – October 12 to October 13, 2013

Carny Wilson and group members of the musical trio Wilson Phillips smiling togetherWilson Phillips* – October 14 to October 15, 2013

Members of the all-female group The Pointer Sisters smiling together while wearing bright dressesThe Pointer Sisters – October 16 to October 17, 2013

Band members from Night Ranger standing together while wearing dark clothingNight Ranger – October 18 to October 20, 2013

Members of Boyz II Men casually standing together in front of green and black-patterned wallpaperBoyz II Men – October 21 to October 23, 2013

Band members from Survivor standing together in the cinder block hallway of an arenaSurvivor – October 24 to October 25, 2013

Band members from 38 Special standing together while adorned in country-style wear and cowboy hats38 Special – October 26 to October 27, 2013

Band members from Smash Mouth standing in a sparkling room filled with over-sized playing cardsSmash Mouth – October 28 to October 30, 2013

Band members from The Spin Doctors goofing around together in a brick hallwaySpin Doctors* October 31 to November 1, 2013

Musician Christopher Cross standing straight-faced with his hands in the pockets of a pin-striped suitChristopher Cross* November 2 to November 3, 2013

Band members from Hanson standing together while wearing hip clothingHanson – November 4 to November 5, 2013

Musician Dennis DeYoung of the rock band Styx singing excitedly into a microphoneDennis DeYoung (original member of STYX) – November 6 to November 8, 2013

Band members from Big Bad Voodoo Daddy excitedly performing together on a nightclub stageBig Bad Voodoo Daddy – November 9 to November 11, 2013

* Indicates a new addition to the Eat to the Beat line-up.

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