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  1. #1

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    Food and Wine Festival - 2005

    This year the Food and Wine Festival marks its tenth anniversary at Epcot. Tonight was a my first real experience with it since I did not take part in it that much two years ago. I went after work for a couple of hours, during the rain only made it through half of the countries and heard a little bit of Kansas playing. I was curious to see what other MiceChatters think about the festival this year? Is there any really special happening this year for the 10th anniversary beside merchandise?

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    Re: Food and Wine Festival - 2005

    Well I am only interested in the pins.. but I really don't care much for this festival since I am not into alcoholic beverages and I find the food stands around World Showcase to be way too overpriced for the little samplings of food they sell.

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    Re: Food and Wine Festival - 2005

    I have not been to one yet... to many things have been going on in october for long time... Might go this year...

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    Quote Originally Posted by TDLFAN
    Well I am only interested in the pins.. but I really don't care much for this festival since I am not into alcoholic beverages and I find the food stands around World Showcase to be way too overpriced for the little samplings of food they sell.
    They are quite overpriced... which is why it pays to be a picky eater! And pins? Hmm.... I think I need to check out that tent. And I don't exactly drink let alone am I able to legally, so that is excluded from my experience too (except for avoiding the drunks).

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    Re: Food and Wine Festival - 2005

    Doh! I'm calling you when I go to the parks next time. I was at Epcot tonight. We could have met up again. LOL.

    There was nothing today that was special for the 34th of WDW. I was sad. lol

    F&W is cool, but people get a little crazy. lol Glad we had the rain to cool them off.

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    Re: Food and Wine Festival - 2005

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill
    There was nothing today that was special for the 34th of WDW. I was sad. lol
    Bill, sorry to say but the only Disney Resort that takes the time to throw big birthday bashes every year on anniversary days is TDR. Need to get to Tokyo someday man!

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    Re: Food and Wine Festival - 2005

    Quote Originally Posted by TDLFAN
    but I really don't care much for this festival since I am not into alcoholic beverages and I find the food stands around World Showcase to be way too overpriced for the little samplings of food they sell.
    OH MY! Wine is not a beverage my friend! Not to be placed in the same category as soda and milk! Wine is a refined art in which each subtle difference in the making has a big effect on the body and taste. I'm not an alchoholic by any means and rarely drink, but I love the FaWF because of the great opportunity to taste and compare in such a great place.

    I will agree the food is quite expensive though.

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    Re: Food and Wine Festival - 2005

    Ok, I left the house a few hours ago to go to Target and on a whim, ended up going to EPCOT and I just got back from there a few moments ago. BTW...lovely but mostly cloudy afternoon with breezy conditions and a passing shower or two.

    Some observations...
    The nice Flower fest topiaries are back out front by EPCOT's Legacy mausoleum, along with the same old Festival sign... you know the one. Looks like croissants and cuttlery items forming the Food fest words. Also, this being the Wine thingy's 10 yr anniversary (funny...WDW didn't put that much enphazis on the MK's 30th back in 2001) there is also a nice topiary of cake and candles (with real light bulbs) and the big number 10 on top. The candles are made of pineapple plants. Old timers will recognize this #10 as part of the '100 yrs' topiaries that sat in front of the MK back during the "100 yrs of Magic" celebration. Nicely done for the most part.. If only they could rip that Legacy thing off this area and restore EPCOT's original look (or make it more welcoming and inviting) by adding plants, streaming water ways...or even permanent topiaries such as the Fantasia Gardens at DLP or HKDL, sans photo ops of course.

    Going deeper into EPCOT and steering thru MouseTrap...err MouseGear shop, we come upon an area dedicated to Nuts. No silly! Not anything related to us Disney Geeks, but about peanut farming. Stop here and get free samples of peanuts to munch on...it's more than what you can get on some airline flights for free now a days. Cough*Delta*cough*NWA*cough!!!!

    After my obligatory pin trading stop... I managed to come upon a nice little surprise: a Botzwana exhibit close by the Rose gardens, next to Mc'Donald's Fries Stand (which BTW.. had one of the longest lines for food anywhere in World Showcase...) So much for the fufu stuff they are selling for the festival. Anyways...during this exhibit, you can enjoy some entertainment provided by some invited African group, where a small crowd gathered to enjoy some traditional dancing and singing. That was cool, and especially more so since WS lacks in regards to African cultures...Too much euro-stuff there IMHO.

    Proceeding counter-clockwise on WS, I witnessed first hand the several port-o-let style food stands that are installed for this event. Most stands seem to have been well positioned in regards to the promenade and most featured line barriers to keep those guests in queue.. or in line so to speak.

    The UK pavillion for example..dind't miss a beat by having a huge "Beers of the World" stand (are you reading this SJHYM and WD?) Very popular with the Brits, who BTW...lined up with me at the Fish and Chips counter off the side of the UK pavillion. After all...if there is something I love about the brits, more than their accents...is their fish and chips platters. Yum... Add a Coke Light (that's diet Coke to your locals) and I was happy as a clam. However, to me, this Beers of the World stand smelled more like a "take this Universal for doing a Beer Fest at this time as well" attempt.

    Proceeding down WS and bypassing the French, I stumbled upon an exhibit by Spain (Castilla and Leon regions being highlighted here) where wine and other food items from these regioons can be enjoyed. I however passed up the fufu offering and stopped to watch a group of spanish men playing guitars and other regional spanish tunes. I think they call these traditional choral groups "Tunas" in Spain. No relation to the fish. 9 men out of which 4 were handsome enough to keep me interested in this show... Very pleasurable, but as fate would have it... a rain shower started to come down over EPCOT, bringing the show to a quick end.

    Ran into Mitsukoshi while it rained... and then as soon as it let up, I proceeded down to Amex Adv and Italy. Here in Italy...one of the most popular Fest stands is found (based on the lines I saw) The Champagne and Sparkling Wine stand, where for about $6-8 you can sample a cup of the bubbly. Another popular stand here in Italy is the one selling pepperoni pizza and zitti in cream sauce.. For about $3, you get a square slice of pepperoni thick crust pizza which is comparable to half the size of Little Ceasar's popular Baby Pan-Pan. Pizza! Pizza! =No deal here. Skip.

    Further ahead, passed the nicely decorated Germany showcase (It's Oktoberfest you know) and I stumbled upon another nice surprise.."Australia: Discover Down Under" exhibit. For a nominal fee, you can sample various wines from regional areas around Aussie, but forget the wine... check out the aussie boys. The impression you get is one of free samplins, but then you quickly are told, you have to purchase a punch card and go from stand to stand wine tasting the different brews available for your buds' enjoyment. You punch card gets stamped at every station you try within this Aussie exhibit, so no refills until you drop drunk. Sorry. I did not see any cheese to wash it down with so... skip!

    Further ahead.. China was selling some interesting spring rolls and soup. Decided to enter the HKDL Preview exhibit to see how this exhibit compares to the real thing, now that I have been to the actual HKDL Park... The preview does not do justice.. and I was surprised there was no "Now Open" signs anywhere... I mean, if the aim is to educate guests about this newly built venue..then tell them it's opened for biz. No need to overhear this lady asking her husband.."I wonder when they'll be opening this park?" I answered her it already opened in mid sept.. "Oh really!? It's already opened!? I didn't even know they were building a Disneyland in Hong Kong!!!"
    I thought to myself.. "have you heard of the one in Tokyo?...but why bother. Oh well... someone has to educate the guests, so let it be me. (<--Trivia: Name the DONNA SUMMER song associated with that last sentence)

    Once done with China (no, I didn't see any guests peeing in the bushes or cutting in line here) I proceeded pass Norway, where more booze than wine was on sale. Then on to Mexico, where I totally skipped. However...something new jumped at me... The bridge which connects Mexico to the central portion of WS now has some decorative fencing over it and new painting... It looks rather lovely but the idea of it being ornated is two-fold.. Not to make it pretty but to make it guest-proof; meaning..so that guests don't sit on it during the day of during IllumiNations since this is a popular spot for the fireworks.

    Finishing up the circle around WS, the last hooray is a mexican stand called Cocina de Tortilla, and a food stand from Puerto Rico. The PR stand seems rather popular as it serves very small portions of Arroz con Pollo for just under $3. Now keep in mind...at some very wonderful caribbean cuisine resaturants around town (such as the wonderful Cafe Madrid) for $3 dollars more, you get a huge bowl of arroz con pollo plus beans and fried bananas to go with it, and house salad as well.. So no bargain here when you see you Arroz con pollo portion in a 4"X4" disposable (and non-biodegradable) foam plate. Save your pennies and go to a real hispanic eatery somewhere else off WDW (but not that Gloria Estefan's place at DTD which is horrendous).
    Once my circle of Food was complete, I headed home to tell you all about it.

    ....And there you have it. My impressions of this year's 10th anniversary edition of the International Food and Wine Festival at EPCOT Center, which features a nicely done festival guide and art work. BTW.. do stop by the Festival's souvenir logo tent, and preview all of the lovely Festival Merchandise that will be available at a 50% discount at our local Character Warehouse stores later at the end of November.

    Thank you for your attention, and have a Magical day.

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    Re: Food and Wine Festival - 2005

    I went last year and I didn't try everything but what I did try was pretty good. I was also extremely giddy when I saw the booth in France was selling Kronenbourg 1664... my absolute FAVORITE beer (well it's a lager but it doesn't sit heavy like one).

    I'm hoping to go to the festival this year (if I can afford it). I wanted to go when the Beach Boys ate playing but it's during the week and I can't take the time off work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TDLFAN
    Further ahead.. China was selling some interesting spring rolls and soup. Decided to enter the HKDL Preview exhibit to see how this exhibit compares to the real thing, now that I have been to the actual HKDL Park... The preview does not do justice.. and I was surprised there was no "Now Open" signs anywhere... I mean, if the aim is to educate guests about this newly built venue..then tell them it's opened for biz. No need to overhear this lady asking her husband.."I wonder when they'll be opening this park?" I answered her it already opened in mid sept.. "Oh really!? It's already opened!? I didn't even know they were building a Disneyland in Hong Kong!!!"
    I thought to myself.. "have you heard of the one in Tokyo?...but why bother. Oh well... someone has to educate the guests, so let it be me. (<--Trivia: Name the DONNA SUMMER song associated with that last sentence)


    ....And there you have it. My impressions of this year's 10th anniversary edition of the International Food and Wine Festival at EPCOT Center, which features a nicely done festival guide and art work. BTW.. do stop by the Festival's souvenir logo tent, and preview all of the lovely Festival Merchandise that will be available at a 50% discount at our local Character Warehouse stores later at the end of November.

    Thank you for your attention, and have a Magical day.
    Very nice.... only you. Too bad the pins won't go on sale that much, huh?

    I saw a huge line (compared to the other locations) at Italy too last night. I wanted to think it was because there was pizza and kids eat pizza... but that's just a guess based on the ages of guests in line.

    We tried food at China and my friend got something from India that I tried. The sauce on it wasn't good, but the rest of it was okay. And yes, very over priced. But I guess that is part of the experience.

    I am going to have to agree with you TDLFAN that the boys are a large part of the experience. I had some guests from Denmark that are a part of the festival tonight and it was quite the highlight of my night.

    I think I might go back on Tuesday night... anyone interested, feel free to PM me!

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    Re: Food and Wine Festival - 2005

    Quote Originally Posted by aimster
    I went last year and I didn't try everything but what I did try was pretty good. I was also extremely giddy when I saw the booth in France was selling Kronenbourg 1664... my absolute FAVORITE beer (well it's a lager but it doesn't sit heavy like one).
    Yes! Now all you have to tell me is I can find some Stella Artois, some Smithwicks, and some Red Stripe and I'll be happy next week

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    Re: Food and Wine Festival - 2005

    They have Stella at that beer stand in the UK. Didn't see the other two anywhere.
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    Talking Re: Food and Wine Festival - 2005

    How does this work exactly? Do you have to pay admission to get into the park and then separate admission for all the foods/wines? Or can you just come in for the festival? My parents are very interested in going to this and so I'm trying to help them out with all the info. Thanks!
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    Re: Food and Wine Festival - 2005

    You need admission to Epcot.. that's it..
    the festival is set up around the World Showcase with extra little booths..

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    Re: Food and Wine Festival - 2005

    I haven't been to Epcot when the Festival ISN'T on, so it is a vital part of my holidays in Florida. We will be there when the Beach Boys are playing, who are the only band I know of on the schedule. I really must try the fish n chips in Florida, see how they compare to the ones they sell down the road...
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