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Old 02-16-2012, 03:46 PM   #1
DrGaellon
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Thumbs up Food and Wine 2012 PTR

So I've gone to WDW for GayDays in June for years and years - something like eight of the last ten. I've always wanted to go to Epcot Food and Wine, but never quite managed to plan for it. My boyfriend and I have been together for about a year and a half now, and I took him to GayDays last year. It was fun, but Orlando in June can be brutal. He's also a foodie and expressed interest in Food and Wine, but he's NOT enough of a Disneyphile to go twice in one year - so we are skipping GayDays this year, and going to Food and Wine instead.

I'm an academic hospitalist physician (i.e. I teach clinical/bedside medicine, and I only see/treat patients in the hospital, not in the office), and David is a bartender at a catering hall in Manhattan. I have a timeshare at Westgate Town Center, due south of the cast entrance to Animal Kingdom (I've been a Westgate owner for about six years, but Town Center was a 2010 upgrade).

I asked for, and got, the week of October 15th off. I requested and got a timeshare unit for that week, so that's all set - the exchange fee was $150. I had over a hundred thousand rewards points from my Amazon Visa card, so I cashed in fifty thousand and got us two round-trip tickets; we will arrive in Orlando at 430pm on Saturday Oct 13, and fly home at 1230pm on Saturday Oct 20. Since that was booked on points, that cost us nothing. When we went to GayDays last year, I bought 10-day never-expire passes, and we only used 4 days, so we still have six days each left, so THAT won't cost us anything. (Are you sensing a theme here?) I also notified Owner's Locker that we're coming down, so our big purple locker will be delivered the day we arrive.

Last year for GayDays, I booked a rental car through Priceline - we got a convertible for $35/day. We are going to San Diego in March for a week at Paradise Point... so sometime in late spring or early summer, I will hit up Priceline again (I don't want to front load both vacations onto the credit card now, you see...), and I will probably indulge David by getting another convertible.

Last week, I ordered the 2012 Passporter from Amazon, so that's now sitting on my bookshelf. I'll hand it to David in, oh, July or so.
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Old 02-16-2012, 03:55 PM   #2
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We've never been to Food and Wine before. Any advice on special things to do or see during the Festival? We may also plan to check out the Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.
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Old 02-16-2012, 06:12 PM   #3
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This will be out first year at F&W too. I;m waiting for the events calendar for the festival to be released. I think my foodie DH will love a culinary event including wine.


So you're staying at AKV? We'll be there for half of our trip. It's such a beautiful resort.
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Old 02-16-2012, 08:31 PM   #4
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So you're staying at AKV? We'll be there for half of our trip. It's such a beautiful resort.
No, no, we're at my timeshare at Westgate Town Center. WGTC is near the back (staff) entrance to DAK, just south of 192/Irlo Bronson.
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Old 02-17-2012, 07:52 PM   #5
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Let's see, pointers... try to attend the FWF on weekdays. Weekends are very busy with local guests and other Florida guests.

Be prepared to spend quite a bit on the "samples" of food, wine and beer. For the price of a very nice dinner, you'll still be hungry. However, it's really fun and should be done in that vein.

MNSSHP is fun! We are not parade people, but the Halloween parade is the best! The headless horseman is so dramatic!

If you want a gore filled Halloween party head to US/IOA. They do it up right in terms of scary (too much for this wimp).

There will be FWF merchandise. Some of it is pretty nice, some not so great.

Enjoy! (Be sure to take loads of photos to share with us).
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Old 02-18-2012, 06:40 AM   #6
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You are going to love food n wine we have gone in october many times. Its usually a perfect time to go. It was mentioned above not to go to Epcot on the weekends. We cut Disney back to every other year now, but we will be back next year. Oh try and attend some of the seminars, they are bout $15 each but are fun we did a mixology seminar last October and my mother in law left drunk lol.
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Old 02-18-2012, 07:30 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DVC~OKW~96 View Post
Let's see, pointers... try to attend the FWF on weekdays. Weekends are very busy with local guests and other Florida guests.

Be prepared to spend quite a bit on the "samples" of food, wine and beer. For the price of a very nice dinner, you'll still be hungry. However, it's really fun and should be done in that vein.

There will be FWF merchandise. Some of it is pretty nice, some not so great.
Great advice for F&W! Especially the part about going on weekdays. I'd add that weekday evenings get fairly busy too.

Val & I went to F&W for a week last year and it was almost long enough.

I'd add some other suggestions.

Plan on going opposite directions around World Showcase on alternate days. Start clockwise one day, counter clockwise the next. We found that although the portions are small, and even though we share, by the time we got half-way around WS we weren't really hungry anymore. By switching directions you can do justice to the other half.

Get two (one for each of you) of those little gift cards that you wear on your wrist. A very convenient way to pay without having to constantly fumble for your cash/change. You can get these at many places around WS.

Alternate who stands in line at each place. While one is waiting to get the food, the other should be scouting out a place to eat it. Tables are sometimes scarce.

Pickup a F&W passport at the Festival Welcome Center. Use it to mark off what you've tried (and rank them). Towards the end of your visit, review for the ones that sound interesting that you haven't hit yet. On the last day there, review for the ones you rated highest and do them again.

Bring lots of money. You'll be surprised at how fast it goes.
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Old 02-18-2012, 07:41 AM   #8
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I don't know if I'm going to be able to convince David to spend more than one day at Epcot - maybe two. So I guess we will have to be very selective. I also expect we're going to be doing a LOT of sharing - I'm post-gastric-bypass and David is not a big eater. But all the advice is greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-18-2012, 08:29 AM   #9
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I don't know if I'm going to be able to convince David to spend more than one day at Epcot - maybe two.
Simple answer, don't equate doing F&W with doing Epcot. Yes, it happens to be in Epcot but your really doing something very different. Just consider being in Epcot a convenient diversion for when you get tired of eating and drinking.
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Old 02-25-2012, 10:59 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrGaellon View Post
I don't know if I'm going to be able to convince David to spend more than one day at Epcot - maybe two. So I guess we will have to be very selective. I also expect we're going to be doing a LOT of sharing - I'm post-gastric-bypass and David is not a big eater. But all the advice is greatly appreciated.
My partner is a school teacher, so our October trips are forced to be no longer than an extended weekend. (He only gets two personal days a year.) Our regular vacation trips are always in the heat of summer or the extreme crowds of Spring Break/Christmas. Because we know we'll have those extended trips (we average about 3 weeks at WDW each year), our trips in October are pretty much exclusively F&W and MNSSHP.

F&W is an event in and of itself, so hopefully you'll be able to sweet talk your partner into some extra Epcot time. I can't even imagine trying to take in the entire F&W in a single day -- but it all depends on how much of it you want to do, I suppose. Do your MYW tickets have the hopper option? If so, focusing on Epcot for meals over multiple days and spending the other part of those days in another park may be a good compromise.

Don't plan a sit-down restaurant reservation on the days you want to explore the international kiosks around the world showcase. There is a lot of good food to sample, and even though each plate is small, they add up quickly. We try to sample at least one thing from each country, and that normally takes us several days. We never buy more than one of anything, always sharing a taste of each dish together.











You should also look through the schedule to see what culinary demonstrations and mixology sessions are being offered. These are a wonderful part of F&W. They take place in the Festival Center (formerly the Wonders of Life Pavilion), and feature a (somewhat) famous chef doing cooking demonstrations. And of course you get to sample the finished products, usually with a glass of a paired wine. The mixology sessions are sponsored by a specific brand of liquor, with a bartender offering three sample drinks made with the product. (We did the Bacardi Rum session, which was great.) You may have luck with a same-day walk-up for these sessions, but you'd be better to make an advance reservation.









I absolutely recommend the Regional French Lunch if there's one offered while you're there. Aside from our experience at Victoria and Albert's, this was one of the most wonderful meals we've ever had at WDW. My trip report is in this thread.

Other events to check out are the Party for the Senses, Sweet Sundays (a dessert party), tequila tastings, wine tastings, Grand Marnier tastings, Cheese Seminars, etc. Check out the Disney Food Blog's dedicated page with all kinds of details about the F&W, here. The 2012 festival schedule hasn't been released yet, but you can take a look at what was offered in 2011 to give you some ideas.

MNSSHP is a real hoot! If you buy a ticket to the party, you can get into the Magic Kingdom as early as 3 pm without having to use one of your MYW ticket days. Be sure to go in costume, it really adds to the experience. (You don't want to be accused of being a fuddy duddy.) Paul and I didn't go all out with full costumes (although there are many who do), but we did add some costume elements. In 2009, we had pirate wigs, hats, and earrings. We also got some comfortable t-shirts that looked somewhat pirate-like. In 2011, we just went with ears and tails -- I was Eeyore and he was Tigger.

Oh yeah, and you'll get just a little bit of trick-or-treat candy...



Have fun!
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Old 02-25-2012, 11:22 AM   #11
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I have talked him into two days at Epcot. I will definitely be planning which days based on the available demos.

I didn't know the MNSSHP included park entry after 3pm; we might save the day on our MYW pass and go in then. I expect to be fairly selective about what we ride at MK - mostly the things we missed last summer and any special favorites (Philharmagic for me, Space Mountain for him).

Where did you get the Owner's Locker badge? I'm a member too, and would love the badge!
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Old 02-25-2012, 11:43 AM   #12
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Where did you get the Owner's Locker badge? I'm a member too, and would love the badge!
I created it. Check out this thread for info on how to put it on your signature. The actual Owner's Locker artwork is in post #42.
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Old 02-26-2012, 09:17 PM   #13
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We've been reviewing the Ultimate List from the Owner's Locker forums, and comparing it to our OL list, deciding what we will need to add. I do eventually want a small (1.5 qt) crockpot for the locker, but probably not this trip. (Or I might order it from Amazon and have it delivered to our resort for Monday after we arrive; I've done that before.)

Counting days until I can make ADRs.
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:17 PM   #14
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So we've more-or-less decided to plan on dinner at Vicky & Al's on Thursday of our week. I've been told most of the best F&W demos are on the weekends, so I think we're going to do F&W on Sunday and Wednesday, and MK either Monday or Tuesday. The other day of those two and Friday will probably be Clearwater days, and Thursday daytime will probably be lounge-around time.

We aren't looking for the Chef's Table or QVR at V&A, so I just need regular a ADR - the date I want releases TOMORROW, so I will be logging in to the ADR website before I leave for work in the morning.
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:05 AM   #15
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We are confirmed for Victoria and Albert's on Thursday, October 18. I found out last night, our friend jackskellingtonsgirl will be there the same week we are with her family, so I think we're going to try to meet her at Epcot on the 15th.

My sister and my brother-in-law just moved to Orlando about two weeks ago. Of course, money is now a little tight for them. She tells me the annual passes at SeaWorld are the least expensive, so that's the one they're buying first. We will probably spend the day with them there, instead of going to Magic Kingdom. We're still planning two days at Epcot, and at least one at the beach.

We've been spending money hand over fist all spring, and I'm getting a little worried about what we're going to have left by the time we go to Disney. I told David, when he gets home from Virginia Beach this weekend, I'm putting us on an austerity program for the summer. We have a couple of Groupons we need to use before they expire, and we have tickets to go see Evita on Broadway with my best friend and his boyfriend in two weeks, but other than that, we aren't doing much of anything this summer.
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