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2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival *HAS ENDED*

Discussion in 'Disney Restaurants' started by TDC Nala, May 22, 2012.

  1. gwynne

    gwynne Be always blooming

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    Our very first PFTS we experienced the revenge of the table squatters. It happened a couple of times, and frankly, I was really surprised at the unpleasantness. It takes, maybe 2-3 minutes tops to eat an appetizer, and you're on your way. I guess some folks have never attended a cocktail party? After that experience (as soon as they offered it) we always booked reserved seating. I didn't need to deal with the nastiness, entitlement, this is supposed to be fun, right?

    About your review--We loved the mahi mahi, too! We took our fish and beef curry, looked around and the only place available nearby was a trash can where a couple was eating. We smiled and nicely asked if we could share their trash can table, and of course the answer was a pleasant yes. We had a good laugh agreed that the only time all year we think trash cans and tables are interchangeable is during F&W. :laughing:

    I'm so glad that when visiting the F&W booths easygoing friendliness seems to be the norm. :thumbsup2
     
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  3. LisaS

    LisaS DIS Veteran

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    We went to PFTS for the first time this year. After reading reports here about table guarding in previous years, we opted for the Reserved Seats. It was definitely worth it to us. We got to go in 15 minutes before general admission which, for newbies, was very helpful so that we could get our bearings before it got crowded.

    Disney's website states that Reserved Seating includes "a specialty cocktail toast to begin your evening" but nothing was served to us and there was no toast. The offer of a specialty cocktail helped persuade me to pay extra for the seats so I was a bit disappointed. I should have asked someone about it but we were a bit overwhelmed just exploring all the stations and then I forgot about until we got back to the room. I wonder if it was a cut and paste error on the website and intended only for the Wine View Lounge guests.

    The reserved tables have a card on them indicating it's reserved seating and has the group's name on it. We figured one benefit to this is that we could both get up to get food or wine with no concern about losing our table. However my DH told me that nearly every time he returned to our table, someone was sitting there. One time it was an older person and another time a pregnant woman and in those cases my DH told them they were welcome to stay until I came back with my food. I would have done the same. But in other cases, the folks that took our table said something like "Oh, I assumed you left early and this table was available." The other downside is that about half of the reserved tables are in front of the stage, the others (including ours) have a wide walkway between the tables and the stage. When Cirque was performing, we couldn't see since the walkway was filled with people.

    Despite that, I would still opt for Reserved Seating if we go again. I don't know how likely that is since we really lucked out with the Gardein folks there providing a vegetarian option at the PFTS the week we went. There wasn't much we could eat even with the Gardein option but without them it would have been grim.
     
  4. TDC Nala

    TDC Nala <font color=red>1937, what a year that was<br><fon Moderator

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    PFTS is really not a highly recommended event for vegetarians or vegans, as the likelihood is not high that a special portion of non-vegetarian items can be prepared. Only if the chef can leave the non-compliant item(s) off in plating will that work. And there are not a lot of strictly vegetarian offerings.

    My friend got the reserved seating and she was put at a table by herself, with one chair. I left my extra stuff on her table. Only then was I able to do the eating properly.

    We all had the impression that you would be placed with others, but that apparently is not the case. She didn't get a cocktail, either.
     
  5. LisaS

    LisaS DIS Veteran

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    We knew from reading the reviews of PFTS in past years that this event wasn't really a good option for us so we've never considered it in the past. However, this year we saw that Gardein would be at PFTS the weekend of our stay. We figured it was our best chance to go and I'm glad we did because we had a great time!

    It will be interesting to see if anyone who booked Reserved Seating gets the cocktail. I wonder if the PFTS staff is overlooking this or if the website is wrong.
     
  6. gwynne

    gwynne Be always blooming

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    At the Oct 6th party we did get a champagne cocktail type drink in a flute as we were shown to our table. (Reserved, not Wine View.)
     
  7. JoshuaShaw

    JoshuaShaw DIS Veteran

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  8. TDC Nala

    TDC Nala <font color=red>1937, what a year that was<br><fon Moderator

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    I was not interested in carrying a tray around. I have done that at Party for the Senses and I don't want to do it outside. The wooden ones look heavy.

    But I know some who prefer to have a tray. Apparently there were enough with that preference for Disney to start offering souvenir trays for sale. Maybe it will help when the shrimp ceviche soaks through that paper boat thing. I say if you don't want a souvenir and you don't really object to eating off of a garbage can lid, no need for the tray.
     
  9. LisaS

    LisaS DIS Veteran

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    Was it good? Was it in a glass flute or a plastic one?
     
  10. JenKatt

    JenKatt Geek in training

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    On the 6th, it was champagne and red stag. It was served in a glass flute.
     
  11. JoshuaShaw

    JoshuaShaw DIS Veteran

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    Likewise, I don't like the idea of carrying a tray around, so I've been thinking of taking a drawstring backpack so I can stow the tray when not in use. The more I think about it the more I like the idea of the tray; less to have something to eat off of, but more for ease of carrying items, particularly for the kiosks where I'll be ordering multiple items plus a drink.
     
  12. chaos

    chaos Earning My Ears

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    We had reserved seats for the Oct 20 PFTS. Here's what happened:

    4 of us checked in around 5:00, got blue wristbands at the entrance to World Showcase Pavillion, right near where Off Kilter plays. Went to the early showing of Survivor, got seats 3 rows in on the left side. (Great show, btw!)

    After it ended, we wondered what we were going to do for an hour or so since we heard reserved seating gets in 7:15. So we headed back to the pavillion, where they told us they were letting reserved seats in at 6:55, you are welcome to go inside or wait on the lawn just outside the building. Ok, so we went inside. They had a roped off area on the left, and a lot of people were in the middle area, standing or sitting down, with their glasses and plates already. We were told to go to the left, but stay to the right, as they were making 2 lines. So the far left line went in first, I think they went in more like 6:55. By the time we got to go in, it was more like 7:15. There were servers waiting with trays of a rose colored champagne in glasses for us. (Which I didn't like). Went to our table, which was already reserved for us, with the name of our party, right up by the stage. My biggest complaint was that they used the same size table for 2 people or 4. So with this champagne toast, a PFTS wine glass, water glass, and plate for 4 people, it was tight. At least it was reserved and we didn't have to figure out where to stand/sit. That in itself was worth every extra penny.

    We noticed that the Wine View Lounge was a section that was in the center back of the room. Two people "guarded" a special entrance to that area, and we saw cheese and wine tables set up just for those people. And the tables were larger. Somehow I thought "view" meant higher up, but this was in the same room. What surprised me was how they had the worst seats for the show, as there was a walkway in front of them where the non-reserved gathered to watch, and then there were the reserved tables by the stage, where we were. So the standing people blocked their view. It was actually difficult to make our way back to our seats from the wall of people that were standing up trying to see the show if we had gotten up to get more food/wine.

    Speaking of wine - so this was the second PFTS we had ever gone to.. I forget how long ago the other one was, but let me tell you, they were quite stingy with their pours! And the glasses that we took home were considerably smaller than the ones we got previously. So basically 2 sips and then it was back to try another.

    Food was great, next time I'm going to let my husband find the food and I will find the wine. I wanted to try everything but I got waaay too full!!

    Bottom line, we would do it again, and get a reserved table again. The Wine View Lounge, even with the servers getting you what you wanted, was just not worth it.

    Hopes this helps someone!!
     
  13. Skoolie

    Skoolie Mouseketeer

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    I always go several times so I am splitting up my reviews per visit or two. My recent review of my first 2 visits this year for 2012 were very favorable. This recent visit left a bad taste in my mouth and it really wasn't because of the food but because of the service.

    I arrived today for lunch, a bit late around 3pm, I was hoping to treat myself after a really early long day at work. I was more tricked than treated.

    First stop was in Scandinavia for the Taste of Scandinavia which was a plate that included Cured Salmon, Herring and Shrimp Salad. I waited in line, only to be told at the register they were out and the wait would be 15 minutes at minimum. She was nice and sweet about it, but it was the only thing I wanted there, so I dipped out.

    I wish they had a way of sticking a sign on the menu temporarily to show that they are out of that particular item. Hint Hint for next year.

    So this item can not be rated at this time it's a bust but making me wait in line is a thumbs down on service.

    I'm headed to China and I need a drink to wet my palate. Over to the Tea stand I go, There is a large group in front of me and I patiently wait there for a while, 5 minutes or more. One of the Cast members from the booth decides to wedge himself in between me and the group in front of me. As I wait I answer a text message from my friend, once done I stand again patient for a minute until new group walks up and the cast member ushers them ahead of me, saying. What can I do for you.

    Let me repeat. CAST MEMBER WEDGES HIMSELF UNCOMFORTABLE CLOSE BETWEEN ME AND THE GUEST IN FRONT OF ME, IGNORES ME AS I STAND THERE FOR SEVERAL MINUTES. THEN USHERS A GROUP WHO JUST WALKED UP TO GO AHEAD OF ME.

    at this point I'm thirsty and tired and say. Okay, never mind then and leave. If he was unsure if I was in line or not he could have politely asked. I have never in my so many years of going to Disney, Epcot, and the Food and wine fest experienced such unprofessional, unDisneylike behavior. It was down right rude.

    What made matters worse was that the bridge was open so I could not walk further until all of the boat pieces for Illuminations rolled out. It just happened to be an untimely circumstance and not the fault of anyone.

    I got the Raspberry wine from South Korea. It was good, sweet but not sickly sweet. It was a 3 oz pour. I used this to try and shake off the previous encounter, and walked into the Chinese gift store to look around.

    Bohae Black Raspberry Wine-Bokbunjajoo - 3 Stars

    I noticed that today it was a lot less crowded than the weekend dates I had gone on prior but for some reason guest seemed to be in a bad mood. Whining about things, *****ing at other guest, and so on and so fourth.

    So I accidentally miss a booth I wanted to go to and decided that, what the heck, I'll just have the Spicy Hand Roll in Japan. It looked decent this year. And decent it was but maybe "Hand Roll" means you are supposed to pick it up and eat it like an egg roll. It was not cut into pieces. Be sure to grab a plastic knife from Japan or the Singapore booth if you want to share this, or eat it with chopsticks in bite size form.

    The roll was made with Tuna & Salmon with Chili Pepper, Soy Sauce & Sesame Oil Topped with Kazan Volcano Sauce. The sauce is spicy and it is what you would expect on a volcano roll. I found it a little odd with the plating and design of the roll. I did like it, not the best I've had but a good one for people who are just learning they like sushi.

    Spicy Hand Roll (Tuna & Salmon with Chili Pepper, Soy Sauce & Sesame Oil Topped with Kazan Volcano Sauce) - 3 Stars

    Some of the guest today need to drink their wine instead of spill their whine. The whole time I was there all I heard was annoying complaints from the peanut gallery. "The Maelstrom line wait is 8-10 minutes long, ***, I'm not waiting for that"
    I was there on Sunday and rode the ride when the wait was 25-30 minutes long.

    Point is: You should never complain when a wait time is only 10 minutes long at Disney World ever. EVER! I've been in Fast pass lanes that are quadruple the time.

    For desert I decided to go with the Pumpkin Mousse at the Hops and Barely Kiosk
    It's served in a little shot glass type container, reminiscent of the shot glass desserts at Seasons 52. I found this to be delicious. The pumpkin mousse is sweet and creamy. The orange sauce adds another depth of flavor and the craisins and bits on top add some texture. Well done. It's a single potion but at 1.50 it's a good deal.

    Pumpkin Mousse with Craisins and Orange Sauce - 4.5

    I really hope this service thing is a fluke and they need to send the cast member I came in contact with in China back to Disney Traditions and Disney etiquette school. I am still appalled at his behavior.
     
  14. PatriciaH

    PatriciaH I want to be an Imagineer!

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    Ugg. Did this happen to anyone else with the reserved seating? I was hoping DH and I could walk around together too, but it will stink if we have to "kick someone out" from our table and feel bad about it.
     
  15. gwynne

    gwynne Be always blooming

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    We did not have this problem. Had it happened, though, I would have just pointed to the big sign in the middle of the table that said "Jane Smith" and said, "I'm Jane Smith, this table was reserved for my party."
     
  16. TDC Nala

    TDC Nala <font color=red>1937, what a year that was<br><fon Moderator

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    There was a sign on my friend's table with her name on it. Two of them in fact. And it had her glasses and plates and mine and our other friend's all over it. I'd guess anyone who sits at the assigned tables if they still have stuff on them is being rude. and if you have to kick someone out, don't feel bad about it, you paid for the table, they didn't.

    Her table was right next to the Cirque stage and not in traffic lanes though.
     
  17. marinadca

    marinadca Earning My Ears

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    Random questions - we have Wine View Lounge tickets for this Saturday's PFTS.

    1. Is the entrance near the Japan Pavilion? My husband says he was told that on the phone, but I want to be sure.

    2. If we do a different park that morning/afternoon can we pick up the tickets right before the party or do we need to get them first thing in the morning?

    Thank you to everyone for sharing their tips. Looks like this trip that was supposed to make up for Tropical storm Debbie is going to be pretty wet too (going Fri-Mon). I think Florida might hate me slightly...
     
  18. JenKatt

    JenKatt Geek in training

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    We're also going Saturday. The ticket pick up is before the party, they usually don't set up for pick ups until the afternoon.
    The party is at the old Millenium Village, between Canada and the UK, no where near Japan.
    I'm not worried about the weather. It might be overcast and windy, but they aren't calling for much in the way of rain
     
  19. marinadca

    marinadca Earning My Ears

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    Thanks for the response! Is the ticket pick-up not at the festival center like for the other events?

    You'll excuse my ignorance, I am a first timer :)
     
  20. TDC Nala

    TDC Nala <font color=red>1937, what a year that was<br><fon Moderator

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    The entrance to PFTS is nowhere near the Japan pavilion, it's between Canada and England.

    However, they often have a check-in set up for guests attending the concert at America Gardens, which would be near the Japan pavilion. They may be assuming that you would be attending the concert. You can get a wristband (no tickets - they give you a wristband) there, or outside the showplace. They don't have a setup for a check-in in the morning.

    Because you're getting a wristband, you need to have everyone attending present when you check in.

    I have no idea if you can get the wristband at the Festival Center but I've never heard that you can. PFTS is not held in or near the festival center.
     
  21. PatriciaH

    PatriciaH I want to be an Imagineer!

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    Thanks guys. Looks like any rain will be gone by Sunday and cool weather rolls in Monday/Tuesday but it will be sunny.
     

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