Having now returned to our villa which was to be our base for the remainder of our vacation, as so far we hadn`t visited Epcot on this trip, we decided to go there the day after we arrived back [Saturday Oct.3rd.] seeing as this is my favourite of the WDW parks and by now the Food & Wine Festival would be up and running.
We were amazed how busy the park was compared with our visits to the other parks at the start of our vacation; in fact WDW in general seemed a darn site busier.
The first port of call was to the Land in order to get a Fastpass for Soarin, a ride that my DW and I love. It was now around 10.30am and our Fastpass allocation at this time called for a return between 1.00 – 2.00pm which was fine by us seeing as we intended to walk around the World Showcase to check out the Food & Wine Festival anyhow.
It is always very interesting to see the small booths from the various countries of the World and to check out their sample food offerings. Having said that, the food portions are very small, and although you could eat yourself “around the World”, your wallet would suffer at the end of it!
We tend to walk around the lake in an anti clockwise direction, and this seemed to be against the flow of most of the other visitors. At some times it was like trying to enter a football stadium immediately after the final whistle has been blown and the crowd is exiting the venue!
As we approached France I noticed that although the restaurant was not open at this time, the staff was busily setting up the tables for the lunchtime rush. As we had never eaten at the Bistro de Paris before we wanted to give it a try so I went to the podium and secured a reservation for dinner for the following Thursday [Oct.8th] without any problem.
Continuing around the lake, and feeling a bit peckish, I succumbed to a small [very small actually!] pizza on offer at the booth outside Italy which filled a gap in my stomach!
Further on, my DW settled for a sandwich from the US restaurant, where by now the lines were huge.
We were to have gone on the ride in Mexico however it was temporarily out of action but we were nevertheless glad to have been able to enter the Mexico pavilion in order to escape the heat!
Completing the “loop”, it was now time for Soarin and it was comforting to see that by now the Fastpass return time showed 6.30 – 7.30pm and the stand by line was HUGE.
As the line for Journey to Imagination only showed a 5 minute wait, we did the ride, again to escape the heat of the day. [This was the only attraction which appeared to have such a small wait time and we didn`t feel like standing in line for ages to do the other main rides this time].
By now I was beginning to feel a bit peckish so I retraced our earlier steps to visit UK for my customary fish & chips which I ate in a shaded area near to the stage where the Beatles tribute band play as there were no free tables adjacent to the Rose & Crown, while my DW opted simply for an ice cream.
We left the park at around 4.00pm, amazed at how fast the time had appeared to pass.
Our next visit to Epcot was on Thursday Oct. 8th for dinner at the Bistro de Paris using the reservation we made earlier.
Rather than parking at Epcot, we left our car at the Boardwalk where we valet parked before walking the short distance to the International Gateway entrance.
As I mentioned earlier this was our first visit to the Bistro, and after the meal we decided that it definitely wouldn`t be our last visit there.
The food and service was excellent, and although the portions aren`t huge by comparison to others, we left the restaurant feeling really full…highly recommended.
As it was now 8.30 pm or so, we selected a spot over the bridge between France and the UK to get a good view of Illuminations which was excellent as usual, even though we were downwind and so caught all of the smoke and fumes from the fires and fireworks!
A perfect end to the day.