Friday, November 1, 2013

Food & Wine Festival Mistakes

This post is a reminder to myself as I'm planning for next year's visit to Epcot International Food and Wine Festival.  There are about ten days left in this year's festival, and I'm wondering if I can get an early flight and leave the same day on a super late flight to try and catch a few of the things I missed.  I stayed at Saratoga Springs for two nights, and that simply was not enough time to ingest all of the awesomeness at this year's festival! When you plan your trip, learn from my mistakes.  I certainly have!

Wanya! Woo hoo!
First mistake: My trip was planned around Boyz II Men appearing at the Eat to the Beat Concert Series.  There's probably few people on the planet that are bigger fans than I am.  That meant I was going to every show I could while at Epcot. This also meant that while I was dancing in the aisles, I wasn't eating.  Next year, I'll visit food kiosks near the theater while the concert is going on so I can at least hear them, and actually go see them the last show of the evening.  We'll see how that turns out.  I still haven't washed the shirt Wanya touched as he was walking by, greeting fans.

Ravioli de Formaggio All’Emiliana, Italy
Second mistake: This is one of the times when I wished I was a cow and had a second stomach.  After hitting three kiosks in a span of 30 minutes, my stomach was filled to capacity, but in the interest of time, I continued to eat.  I truly enjoyed the food, but you could have turned me on my side and rolled me out of the park without much effort.  Last year, I visited the festival with my family and felt that I needed to pick up the pace since I was alone.  Not true.  I actually ate more last year since there was down time between kiosks to actually digest food, feed the baby, change diapers, and enjoy being with my family.  To find out what I ate and see pictures, head over to my Facebook page.  (There is still a $5 Amazon Gift Card up for grabs to the 100th person that likes my page.) Pictures are posted in the album there.

Third mistake: One of the hidden gems of the festival is the culinary demos and wine tastings.  They are very affordable, usually under $20.  I scheduled three for one day, but only made it to two, because I was so full and still wanted to visit kiosks.  Next year, I'll be spreading things out a bit more; I'll schedule one demo or other special event per day.

Fourth mistake: I have a Dole Whip habit.  My trip must begin and end with a Dole Whip.  Tradition has to be ignored next year.  I love being at the Magic Kingdom and become a six year old and lose track of time as soon as I hit Main Street.  There was also the obligatory ride on Toy Story Mania that I used Fast Pass+ for. (Which is amazing, by the way!) If I'm at Disney World for the festival, I must actually BE at Epcot for the festival.  Next year, I'll still have my Dole Whip, but I'll just stop by Captain Cook's at the Polynesian for it.

Havin' a blast!
Fifth mistake: This was the first time I went to the Food & Wine Festival alone.  While I had an awesome time, met a fellow blogger and made some new friends during the concerts, this trip would be ten times better if my dear husband was with me.  Even though he is the anti-foodie, time away from the children, together is very much needed.  I kept thinking how much he would have enjoyed all of it.  Another goal for 2014, get him an annual pass and figure out how he can get time off for his precious ComicCons and a couple adult only Disney vacations with me.

Even if I nabbed a plane reservation that allowed me to be there for one more day, I wouldn't get to everything I missed.  While I don't think I need a week, I do think I need to use my time a bit more wisely to ensure everything I want to do is covered.  My last mistake is calling these mistakes.  Let's just say that it's experience that I'm expecting will make next year's festival even more amazing!