Must Be WDW Epcot Festival Fever

Festival of the Arts?  Flower and Garden?  Food & Wine?  Choices abound!  If you’re a fan of Epcot festivals, you now have more choices than ever!

Must Be WDW Epcot Festival Fever

I’ve had a great time following along with friends via social media during Epcot’s inaugural Festival of the Arts.  I’ll confess, I’ve also been Goofy-hat-green with envy.  This brand new festival runs Fridays through Mondays only from January 13th to February 20th this year (2017).  I hate that we couldn’t be there!  What a cool idea full of truly unique experiences!  Packed with art in many forms from Broadway performances to living statues to artists’ workshops and, of course, culinary arts.  What would an Epcot festival be without the food?  Several attendees I know have gone so far as to say Festival of the Arts may now be their most favorite festival.  Certainly this will become an annual event and I’m working hard on figuring out how I’m going to get there for at least one festival weekend next year.Epcot Food and Wine Festival Food

I’ve got Epcot Festival Fever.  Here’s how I know…I’ve managed to make sure I’ll be at Walt Disney World during both Flower and Garden and Food and Wine this year.  If I can pull off a visit during next year’s Festival of the Arts, it’ll be the festival trifecta!  For a non-local, I think that qualifies me as a true festival fan.

What’s the draw for us?Minnie Mouse Topiary 

Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival (March 1-May 29, 2017) – It’s springtime, the flowers are blooming and Epcot goes all out with music, topiaries, special seminars and yes, FOOD.  I’m particularly excited about this year’s lineup of offerings at the festival’s outdoor kitchens.  If you’re into gardening (we are!), there’s a lot to love including seminars and informational experiences to help you make the most of your green (or in my case, not so green) thumb.  Timed just right, the weather for most of the festival isn’t too hot and most schools are not yet out for the summer.  While our favorite time to take in Flower and Garden has been mid to late May, we’ll be visiting in April this year.Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival (August 31-November 13, 2017) – Yes, it’s extremely crowded at times and has a reputation for being a bit rowdy on the weekends, but Food and Wine can also be incredibly fun.  Raymond and I love the special food and wine pairing events offered during the festival.  Enjoying a long, leisurely lunch sampling tasty international flavors while learning about regional wines specific to the host pavilion is worth the splurge for wine lovers like us.  We like to spend our time at the festival early in the day rather than at night.  The craft beers and specialty food booths are great!  The weather in October and November is usually fantastic.Experiencing Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

We’ve found Epcot’s festival seasons to be an extra special time to visit Disney World.  Sharing tables with other visitors and getting to meet fellow festival fans is part of the fun.  Planning which booths and seminars are must-dos while leaving ample time for soaking up the extras allows us to make the most of these very special times of the year.

Are you a festival fan?  Which Epcot festival is your favorite?  Are you planning to be at Disney World during Flower and Garden or Food and Wine this year?

Thoughts on Epcot’s Future

This morning in my way to work I was listening to Episode 98 of Radio Harambe.  This is an excellent podcast and one of my favorites, especially since it’s mostly focused on Animal Kingdom and you know how I feel about that park.  Anyway, Mike and Dave, the hosts, were discussing the recent Disney announcement about the future of Epcot and what that might mean for Epcot fans.  Mike and Dave and I don’t always agree on stuff and today was no exception…I was interjecting my opposition to their opinions out loud on my commute (as if they could hear me) and the discussion was inspirational for this post.Epcot View

Thoughts on Epcot’s Future

Epcot’s changed a lot since I first visited the park in 1990 and not always in a good way.  Lots of attractions have closed, sponsorships ended, and Future World has been mostly left to stagnate and generally decline.  What was once a thought-provoking center for amusing edu-tainment has become a mere shadow of its former self.  Updates are badly needed and if Disney must incorporate some of its popular entertainment franchises to do it, so be it.RM-Living-With-The-Land-Greenhouse

If visitors to Future World were to once again find themselves inspired by technological innovations, the original purpose of Epcot lives on.  If said inspiration were to be derived from familiar movie characters, what’s the harm?  It’s a fact, Disney sells more merchandise with well-known fan favorites than they would with newly launched concepts and sales are what keeps stockholders happy.  I want to see Epcot revitalized and am willing to be open-minded about it.

A few thoughts on what I would consider moving in the right direction…

Inside Out has been the movie most discussed among Disney fans as a perfect fit for Future World.  A new attraction related to how and why changes occur in our brains as we grow up would be perfect!  Every young person should know that an immature frontal cortex will inhibit sound decision-making long past their 18th birthday and this is why they should listen to their mom!

Perhaps, in the same building, The Incredibles (and my favorite character, Edna Mode) could entertain us while helping us understand the relationship between nutrition and the optimum performance of both brain and brawn?  Personally, I think The Incredibles are woefully underrepresented in Disney parks!  This would be a win-win for me.RM-Universe-of-Energy-Exterior

Guardians of the Galaxy has been rumored to be the theme of a new attraction to replace the outdated Ellen’s Energy Adventure.  What if Rocket, who is an engineering genius, were to host an attraction based on how creativity and technology come together to solve problems with things like clean energy, transportation, space exploration, or waste disposal?

While I’ve heard that Wreck-It Ralph may be slated for Tomorrowland in Magic Kingdom, I could see wonderful potential with this franchise for an Epcot attraction as well.  How about an interactive attraction that allowed guests to see what goes on during the invention of arcade/video games.  By helping visitors see how imagination becomes virtual reality through technology, young future-programmers might be encouraged while the rest of us just have fun!SSE Lecture Dude

Education combined with entertainment is great, but the final, Epcot-worthy result needs to be inspiration.  When guests leave feeling like they can make a difference in their own lives as well as the world around them, then Epcot’s mission has been accomplished.  If, in the course of visiting Walt Disney World, some small fraction of young guests discover a new interest in science, technology, engineering, or math…just by having fun on vacation, then Epcot’s bigger meaning is realized.  And isn’t that as Walt Disney intended it to be?  Just my two cents.

What are your thoughts on Epcot’s future?

 

 

Epcot Dining – Yorkshire County Fish Shop

It’s time for another Disney Dining review from Nick.  We don’t always see eye to eye (or should I say stomach to stomach?) on our favorite Walt Disney World eateries, but today we agree 100%.  When in Epcot, there’s one fantastic family favorite…

Epcot Dining – Yorkshire County Fish Shop

By Nick

One of our favorite stops for a quick lunch or dinner in all of Walt Disney World is located in Epcot’s United Kingdom Pavilion.

My wife is such a fan of Yorkshire County Fish Shop in fact, that she has eaten here during Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival!

It’s got a very limited menu.

Fish and chips of course. Victoria Sponge Cake, whole seasonal fruit, soft drinks, water and beer.
That’s all you need, really.

Though there are several seating area options, such as down by the World Showcase Lagoon, this is a very popular spot, and seating is limited.

There are covered tables located next to the Shop, but, again, it’s limited. If you see a table for 4 with 2 people sitting, don’t be afraid to ask to share the table.

There are also a couple of tables to be found outside Rose & Crown.

As for the fish and chips, well, we find them delicious, light and flaky fish and perfectly cooked potatoes. This is our favorite fish and chips just about anywhere. I like mine with Malt Vinegar alone, but ketchup and Tartar Sauce can also be found among the condiments selection.

Have you eaten at Yorkshire? What did you think?

 

You can follow Nick, his wife Barbie, and all their friends on their many Disney adventures:  Disney Musings Blog, on Twitter, on Facebook, On Instagram, On Pinterest.  You can listen to Nick, our friend Dave and me on The Disney Exchange Podcast where we talk about all things Disney.

Random Thoughts – Spaceship Earth

SSE with NickEvery fan of Spaceship Earth has their favorite parts of the attraction.  What I want to know is if I’m the only one who has the same pattern of random thoughts every time I journey through the past, present, and future of communication technology.  Seriously – it’s like my own little internal dialogue has become tradition for every Disney World vacation.  If I’m alone and this is weird…hmmmm…I’m okay with that.  Surely you’ve thought at least a couple of these thoughts at least once though, right?

Random Thoughts – Spaceship Earth

  1.  How cool would it be to listen to this thing in a different language!  I’m gonna pick something new.  How about….English.  I might miss my favorite “Thank the Phoenicians” if I don’t hear the narration in English.  Would it still be Dame Judy in another language?  If not, I’d miss her too.SSE Language Selection
  2.  Why are the cavemen and wooly mammoths so dark?  I can barely see them.  I want to see them better.  This part’s a disappointment…I wish there were an animatronic mammoth!SSE Caveman
  3. Papyrus pounding guy!  I love you!  You are working so hard every time I see you.
  4. Ahhhh….the smell of Rome burning.  Wait.  I should feel bad about liking this smell.  I mean, Rome! Oh, NO!  How devastating!SSE Garlic Hat Guy
  5. Garlic hats!  How did that even become a thing?  How much do those weigh?  I wonder what they’d look like with Mickey ears on them?
  6. Painting laying down like that must be really hard!
  7. Why is that paperboy facing away from us?  He’s selling papers over there in the corner to nobody.  Why can’t we see him?  Has he been disfigured in some way and now hides in the corner?  What is up with that?
  8. That family watching the lunar landing.  Hey, look!  There’s Mousetrap!  I love that game.RM-SSE6
  9. 1970’s fashion.  Ohhhhhhh….so unfortunate.
  10. Yay!  The going down backwards part.  This is so relaxing.  Is it hot in here or is it just me?  Look at all those mirrors…you can see forever.
  11. We are such dorks.  Wait, that outfit makes me look super skinny though!SSE Our Future
  12. Look we have a dog!  I miss Junior.RM-SSE7

Do you have random thoughts on Space Ship Earth?  What’s your favorite part?