Well, after washing and vacuuming the car, we loaded up the little guy and headed off to EPCOT to stroll around the World Showcase. We told him that we were going to a festival and wouldn't be concentrating on too many rides.
We call that prep work.
We also discussed how we'd be tasting some foods, and that he would too. That is what all good chefs do, taste new food.
We call this something other than prep work.
Parking was way out to Discovery by the time we arrived (around 1:30 pm). We were in row 25 and hopped on a tram that conveniently waited for us. We proceeded to suffer permanent hearing damage as the announcer CM felt it necessary to shout in the mic and talk non-stop to the gate.
Ears dinnilin'... we entered at the main gate. It's the 15th year of the FWF so the general theme is a tiered cake. Must say we weren't bowled over by the entrance presentation. Kind of boring in an artsy way.
Spaceship earth had a fairly long queue as we passed by headed for the Welcome Center (in the old Body Wars building).
Ummm... well, we weren't bowled over here either. Not much in the way of unique merchandise. You now have to pay for food demonstrations. The least expensive being $9 per person. We passed. The wine collection is here this year. We browsed and perused the wines on offer. Isn't it illegal to sell Bunratty Mead for $19 a bottle?
We strolled out and headed for the WS, passing Mission Space. The place was deserted, so the "won't be focusing on rides today" speech went out the window. We had a fun time, with you know who being the Commander. He took that quite seriously!
On down to the WS. There were many people here but it's not as crazy packed as it will get as the festival wears on. The day is glorious albeit a bit too hot in some places.
We browse each kiosk and booth discussing the options. There is smoked duck at one. The little guy is a bit put off by that thought.
Spain has a lovely sounding plate of serrano, manchego, olives, bread... There is a kiosk "Charcuterie." We'll definitely try that at some point.
We are returning to the festival to stay over the weekend of the 16th so this was more of a visit to just browse than to actually feast on too much.
France's queue was quite reasonable which was quite fortunate for us as we love the escargot there. Guess what? So does HE! We had two plates of Escargot and one Champagne and Pomegranite kir. Lovely. Lovely.
Morocco is the same old, same old boring fare... Singapore is a bit interesting. We'll try something there too. Germany was quite popular (it always is) but nothing too alluring this year. Ireland has their lobster and scallop pie again. It was quite mobbed the two times we passed by. The also have a cheese plate that I dubbed the "Publix plate" as all the cheeses can be had at your local Publix!
China had a plate for $9.98 with an eggroll, steam bun, chicken pocket, ice cream and soda so we chose that. We all shared (not the soda, he had that all to himself) and declared we'd all live happily without repeating the sampler. The most interesting thing was the caramel and ginger ice cream, although it wasn't very creamy.
Norway has no booth. The usual little beer stand is there. Mexico has the new place in full swing. It looks lovely and the outside cantina was quite busy. As we stopped to look at the menu for the inside a CM said, "Come right in! Your table is waiting!" So clearly they were not inundated with ADRs just yet.
Italy's new place looks very nice too. The prices for pizza are a bit high though, no? Not too sure about coal fired ovens. We don't usually like that sort of pizza, but we may give it a go when we return. Some of the other options on the menu sounded quite interesting. At the FWF booth for Italy there was NO PIZZA!!!! :9: Finally. Sheesh.
So, after the second turn around the WS (which was getting more crowded by the minute, and people were getting more boisterous) we decided to head to the Land for no real reason other than we did.
Have you been lately? We had. Or thought we had. That place is a real gem! Skip the food booths and head here! They have incredible sandwiches, pork chops big enough to harm a crook, delicious looking desserts and a fine selection of alcohol! We tried a little portobello slider ($3:00!) and a glass of red wine ($2.75!!!). It really was very, very nice! We decided this was the best part of the food tasting for today! The little guy was excited to bits to find soy yogurt (he can't drink or have milk based products).
Once we finished that little snack we did the Living with the Land. It was a walk on and nothing new there, but still fun for all that. What is it about those veggies and cute little 'gators that keep us going back?
Overall, we were a bit disheartened with this year's festival. The charging for the demonstrations of food was part of it. The decor isn't too thrilling other than the fabulous topiaries in France. The merchandise very ho hum, with nearly no additional (non-Disney) vendors. No booklet as in every year past, only a tri fold brochure (that covers only the current week). We've always kept one of the booklets with our comments about what we've tried each year, so there's a little 'tradition' gone.
We'll return. We've booked OKW. We'll try a few things here and there (wait 'til I tell you about the desserts!!!!!) and be happy for it, too. But it's not the same. The atmosphere is festive and fun, and anymore that's really what we go for.
Oh, it was Taylor Dane singing tonight so we didn't attend the Eat to the Beat Concert.
On the way out, Spaceship Earth was a walk on, so we did!
Spent about 3 hours all told, doing our first "perusal" of the festival.
I'm sorry but I have no photos, and won't have any. I have the camera of course, but no way to get them on the iMac. For some reason with the upgrade to the new system, iPhoto is no longer compatible.
At any rate. I'll do my best to describe things for you, and hopefully others who may attend will have some photos!
More to come...