Geeks plus booze: Food and Wine '06 with 12 of our closest friends....

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by zweihund, Oct 29, 2006.

  1. zweihund

    zweihund I tagged myself. I'm it.

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    What do you get when you cross 14 geeks, 29 booths of food and booze, and an hour-long wait in the Test Track line?
    You get an entire park full of people wondering why they didn't just come to Epcot on Sunday instead.

    The setting: Saturday October 28th, at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival.
    The cast: Me (Erica), DH (Lionel) and 12 assorted geeks.

    Some of these geeks were female, some of these geeks were male. One was pregnant. One was 7 feet tall. And ALL of them were drunk, shouting out the lyrics to "Rock the Boat" incessantly.

    This is not only the start of a crazy/silly/funny/slightly critical trip report, but also an open apology to everyone else who happened to be in the park yesterday:

    We're very sorry; we just couldn't help ourselves.

    [​IMG]

    Coming soon: fast pass chaos, the centrifuge, and the Year of a Million Dreams! Stay tuned.
     
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  3. Credit Man

    Credit Man <font color=teal>Love the shark reef<br><font colo

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    Looking forward to your report.
     
  4. Jennifer48

    Jennifer48 Not a Disney bride but engaged and honeymooned at

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    I'm ready! :woohoo:
     
  5. zweihund

    zweihund I tagged myself. I'm it.

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    If you’re geeky and you know it, clap your hands…..

    Yes, Lionel and I really and truly are geeks. It’s not just for show. And to PROVE that it is not just for show, we are going to share something that will undoubtedly ostracize us from the rest of humanity: we hosted a gathering this past weekend of the local members (and some non-local who were willing to fly) of a guild we have in an online game.

    That’s right – we play make believe. That’s right – we have known most of these people for the last two years in make believe. That’s right – we allowed them in our homes. For the WHOLE WEEKEND. And if at this very moment you are STILL questioning our status in the realm of geek, then you need to get your nerd-dar checked.
    Seriously.

    Ok, that aside, we thought how fun would it be to get all of these people we barely know stinking drunk and then go ride Soarin? Thus began the planning for Saturday October 28th, the day that will go down in history as the last day in which the managers at the Mission Space ride allowed a seven foot man into one of those little centrifuge chambers.

    There were 14 of us in total, which means we took up approximately 4 cars. Give or take. I don’t really know how many cars we took up, I just know that there were 4 geeks in ours and 5 in the car behind us and that when we arrived the rest of our party was already on the tram, stuffed chicken in hand.

    The chicken didn’t play nearly as big a role as you would like to think, so let me just get his contribution to this TR out of the way right now: the name of our online guild (nerd-dar check! ok, good) is Order of the Chicken. I didn’t name it, so I can’t take credit. While the intent was to put the chicken in several compromising photos, the motivation for this feat was quickly drowned in a barrel of booze. In fact, I’m pretty sure it fell by the wayside at the France pavilion. At any rate, the chicken ended up being passed around as the night went on as one would pass on a heavy sack of souvenirs – “will you hold this for a little while? Aaaahhhhh……”

    So there we are, at the gate. Two Canadians and twelve Americans. Four women and ten men. One chicken and…..well, fourteen humans. We had tickets, we were in the gate, and we wanted a fastpass to Soarin.
    Off we went.

    Erica pipes up: can we get some booze now?
    Erica is ovveruled: no, we’re going on Mission Space.
    Erica squeaks: but I have a heart condition!!!

    It’s true. I have a minor heart murmur. Now I know that all of the media hype about Mission Space relates to people with SERIOUS heart conditions, but the little wimp in me said that dying at Epcot would be a complete and total waste especially considering we had not even made it to the freaking France pavilion yet where the crème brulee was awaiting the crack of my plastic spoon. Therefore, I asked for the green ticket.***
    Apparently a lot of geeks are wimps too. Only four of the fourteen opted for the centrifuge. Another of our party informed those brave riders that he had a whole bottle of Alleve waiting for them.

    *** For those who don’t know, they now give you the option to ride with or without the “G’s” – in other words, would you like vomit or no vomit? Having never ridden the vomit portion, I can safely say this is a very fun ride unless you are the least bit claustrophobic. Those who went on the spinning portion all asked for Alleve, but they insisted that it was worth it.
    No one died. It was a good day at Mission Space.

    After the ride, we were all corralled into a little area for a mini-game. There were 24 little freestanding computer stations with problem-solving games that would cause colored dots to pop up on one of the two large screens at the front. Each screen at the front had an image of a large ship. These bigger stations were each manned by four kids, who would then move the colored dots to coded parts of the “ship” which in turn would make the ship move. The idea was to be the fastest ship.

    So, given that we were solving puzzle games on a computer screen…..which team do you think won: the geeks, or the straights?
    Yeah. That’s right, baby.

    And then, the most wonderful thing happened. A man came up to the front area and took the microphone and uttered those words I had been longing to hear since the beginning of this month: “this is the year of a million dreams, and you folks are all in the right place at the right time!”

    In my head I heard grand prize winner, station 24! Ding ding ding!

    In the end, we did not win the bazillion catrillion dollar DVC membership, or any of the other mega uber prizes, but we did get some super groovy silver-tipped mouse ears that I wore proudly until we got in line at Test Track.
    By then the elastic was bugging me.
    But, I kept them at my side so that the whole park would see what my parents have been telling me for the last 31 years: that I am a WINNER.

    Next:
    0-60 with 14 geeks, and we finally get something to eat.
     
  6. kaceyisme

    kaceyisme Just passing the time until my next trip

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    Loved your cruise report and now I'm hooked on this! Keep it coming!
     
  7. Jennifer48

    Jennifer48 Not a Disney bride but engaged and honeymooned at

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    :lmao:

    Ditto! Can't wait to read more about the self proclaimed GEEKS! :thumbsup2 :goodvibes
     
  8. FatherForce

    FatherForce Mouseketeer

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    So , I'm just going to take a stab in the Azeroth Dark and asume you're all playing WoW.

    What server are you on?

    Not that I, uh, know anything about something so geeky...
     
  9. zweihund

    zweihund I tagged myself. I'm it.

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    Err, Elune. I mean, If we were so inclined.....
    (and if you are look us up: Order of the Chicken :thumbsup2 )
     
  10. zweihund

    zweihund I tagged myself. I'm it.

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    Next chapter: yay! More lines.

    So there we were in our special mouse ears, a squad of geeks standing at the front of the park, with a choice to make:
    Food and booze, or one more ride?

    One of our party loudly asserted that she would like to get a blasted drink already, only I’m pretty sure she used a slightly different word. I’m not saying it was me. No wait, I am. However, a few others had a mathematical comeback.

    The wait time for the line at Mission Space had read 20 minutes when in fact we had gotten through in 10. As the wait for Test Track read 40 minutes, one would logically conclude that we would be out and eating in 20.
    And sure, that is great logic. Well, just as long as every other person from Mission Space had not just wandered over here right in front of us. Oh look. They did.

    Unfortunately for us, my mouse ears did not bump us to the head of the line. And let me tell you this – Test Track has the most obscenely noisy waiting area of any ride I have been on in a Central Florida theme park. Clanking, whirring, pulsing beats……I didn’t need to remind anyone that I had not eaten. Not that they would have heard me anyway. Honestly, though, who thinks of urban beats when they think of performance testing?
    The only thing that got me through that line, other than the million times we sang the chorus of “Rock the Boat”.

    Did you know that any phrase sung to the chorus of “Rock the Boat” is automatically funny? Try it. We did. Over, and over, and over.

    Test Track itself was not at all what I was expecting. Less like a test track and more like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride (that’s right – I’m old school). Only instead of hitting a train and going to H-E-double hockey sticks at the end, you go from 0-60 in a few seconds. Fun, though. After the ride we went through the gift shop to look at our photo: where everyone else was making happy, shocked or squealy faces we stood out like sore thumbs with expressions that said “bring it”.
    We didn’t buy the photo. We did, however, finally head towards the booze.

    Next: I would like some spannocho….spannichi…..just give me that spinach pastry thing.
     
  11. serendipity

    serendipity DIS Veteran

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    very cute so far! but I wan't more! :thumbsup2
     
  12. FatherForce

    FatherForce Mouseketeer

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    Well I have this "friend" who just began playing WoW after much badgering from his other geeky friends.
    He's only been playing since he got back from his WDW/Cruise vacation, but he's gotten his Night Elf Druid to Level 18 already.

    I think he's a loser.

    Get to the Booze Already!
     
  13. zweihund

    zweihund I tagged myself. I'm it.

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    The walk to New Zealand is not a long one, and it is not a hard one. At least, not at Epcot. And especially not when you start at the wrong end of the park.

    You see, I am a crème brulee junkie. France is closer to the right side of the World Showcase entrance. Ergo, that is the direction I pulled everyone in. Yes, I know it is about 10 booths away, but TO THE CRÈME BRULEE! March!

    I have to interject here that they seemed to be trying out some new things at this year’s F&W that seemed to work very well, but for whatever reason they only did it at about 8 of the booths. I don’t know why. This year many of the booths were upgraded from tent status to little building somewhat reminiscent of the heritage of the country is represented. They also had a station for ordering at several of the booths where you would pay and get a ticket, and take that ticket to the counter where you would get your food and booze. I liked the system, and I wonder if they plan to do the entire festival like that in the future? Hmm. Food (and wine) for thought. And now, back to our regularly scheduled trip report.

    Oh, look: booth 26! What do they have in New Zealand? Bay scallop salad, lamb slider, and a kiwi custard roll. Gross. Next!

    (I have to say here that I am in general a fairly adventurous eater; however, I am also a vegetarian. And seriously: a slider? What is this, White Castle?)

    Greece was next (booth 25….notice the downward trend?), and they offered up a Greek salad with flatbread (seriously, it was pita…..but it was very tasty), a spanakopita (which no one could pronounce, so I did the American thing and pointed), and walnut honey baklava. I skipped the baklava as I was saving myself for the crème brulee. We tried two of the white wines and they were very very nice. Sadly I don’t remember which ones they were. Where was my highlighter when I needed it?

    Our two Canadian geeks took one look at their country’s representation and mocked it openly, and because geeks stick together, we boycotted the cheddar cheese soup, the maple glazed salmon and the maple custard. Maple, maple, maple. Would you like some maple with your maple? No thanks, I think I’ll have the maple instead.
    You get the idea. Why don’t they just stick a giant maple leaf up on the booth and call it a day?

    With all of the nationals’ mocking jeers, I totally missed my one opportunity for a taste of the ice wine. I do love me some ice wine. I did, however, more than make up for it.

    Next! Booth 23, Poland! Oh, yeah, baby – pierogies!!! Have you ever tried to eat a chewy pierogie off of a tiny plate with a plastic knife while balancing your raspberry wine? Me either. I handed my wine to one of the Canadians. Poland was also offering up a scrumptious sounding beef cabbage roll (do you detect a hint of sarcasm? Because if not, it ain’t only your nerd-dar that’s broken) and something called a paczki. Frankly, I am not interested in any dessert with that many consonants, but one of our party gave it a rave review. The Poland booth had my two favorite wines of the evening as well: Nalewka Babuni Raspberry, and Kurpiowski Honey.

    My favorite part of the Food and Wine fest is always the sharing. Somehow, we made it four booths in before it dawned on us that maybe the rest of the geeks might want a little bite or sip. So we looked around to offer, and discovered that approximately half of our geek squad had gone missing.

    Lionel got on the communicator…..I mean, the phone.
    Hey, we’re at England! Guess what they have here? FISH AND CHIPS!
    Yeah, that’s great, you dingbats. THAT’S NOT A BOOTH.
    But it’s really good!
    *sigh*
    It just goes to show: you can take a dorito away from a geek, but you can’t make him drink fine wine.

    Next up: There is nothing I don’t like at Ireland.
     
  14. zweihund

    zweihund I tagged myself. I'm it.

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  15. NJMermaid

    NJMermaid Mouseketeer

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    Erica,
    I loved your cruise trippie and now I'm loving this one. I am cruising the Magic, leaving 11/4, first cruise. Would someday love to do Food and Wine festival.

    What got me to post (I am mainly a lurker) is WoW. My DS14 is a player, and he loves it. I'll have to ask him if he knows of the Chicken guild. Did I say that correctly? hehe
     
  16. zweihund

    zweihund I tagged myself. I'm it.

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    :lmao:


    Oooooh, have fun on the Magic! I'm jealous :p

    And :rotfl: about your son - tell him to look us up :thumbsup2

    All you geeks are coming out of the woodworks now....I feel like the Pied Piper, only nerdier. :surfweb:
     
  17. zweihund

    zweihund I tagged myself. I'm it.

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    When last we were here, half of our crew had fallen victim to the smell of freshly fried fish an entire pavillion away.....

    We passed by the Great Beers of the World booth in an effort to find our fallen friends, who were smacking their lips and licking their fingers at the Fish and Chips stand. Again, I sighed. We were here to pay ridiculous amounts to sample tiny amounts of food, and there they were cheating and getting a whole plate for the bargain price of $7! BLASPHEMY!

    We all just agreed to disagree and met up at Ireland for the finest working man’s stews this side of the pond. I’m not sure if trifle counts as a working man’s food, in all honesty, but we don’t have to dwell on that.

    An aside: I spent three years of my young adulthood living in Edinburgh, Scotland and if there is one thing I miss the most, it is the soups. They have a hearty, wonderful soup for all occasions and I was forever surprised at how the same base ingredients (carrots, potatoes and celery) could combine with an additional one or two items to create completely different flavors. Plus, seeing how it is almost always miserably cold and rainy, they were always great comfort foods. In fact, I have a fond memory of almost all of the foods I had there – excluding haggis and black pudding, of course. NO ONE should have to be subjected to THAT.

    By the grace of God, there was no black pudding to be found at the Ireland booth, but I did scarf down some fantastic potato leek soup, a trifle, and a generous sample of O’Mara’s Irish Cream. I am a HUGE fan of Irish Cream and I have to say that this particular one was even better than Bailey’s.
    Lionel had the lamb, bacon and cabbage stew with a sample of authentic Guiness. When in Ireland….well, you can try the beer that resembles the depths of a boggy creek but chances are you won’t ask for a second helping. In truth, I do like true Guiness, but I find the stateside version to be far more bitter.

    All of the geeks found something they liked in Ireland. Geeky eyes were smiling. There we were, all 14 of us - only 6 booths in, and all steaming drunk. Well, except for the pregnant one.

    By the time we stumbled to France I was announcing loudly to strangers that there was Chocolate Crème Brulee. CHOCOLATE! CRÈME! BRULEE! Can you imagine a better combination of decadence? I’m fairly certain that I paired this dessert that embodies all of my worldly desires with a sparkling wine but I’ll be darned if I can’t remember what it was. I do know this: in France, they are not stingy with the portions. In fact, my little tin of creamy goodness was approximately the same size as the soup I had in Ireland, if not a smidge larger. And the wine? FULL SIZE FLUTES.

    We all gathered around a trash can, for these make perfect tables for the drunk and disorderly, and we shared our goods. I tried the escargot, which I think tasted pretty good. My only recollection at this point is that it resembled chewy garlic. I tried sips of various wines. I wolfed down my crème brulee AND the remainder of someone else’s (who I am pretty sure was one of our 14, but I was steadily losing track at this point) and managed to summon up enough will power not to demand that Lionel go and buy me another one.

    For…….it was FAST PASS TIME.

    Ever tried to round up 13 drunken geeks and one pregnant one? Epcot really needs to rent out herding dogs. We made it as a collective drunken crowd alllllll the way from the France pavilion to THE BRIDGE. Which is all of maybe, oh, I don’t know…..100 feet? Then it was picture time. So now would be a good time to scroll back to the original post of this thread and look a little closer.

    See how squinty my eyes are? Yep. That’s a sure sign of my tipsiness, along with the rosy cheeks. See the gal with the chicken? See how happy she is? See how big that glass of sparkly wine is? In fact, do you see anyone who doesn’t look totally smashed? Now, see if you can find the pregnant lady. Hint: she’s the only girl who isn’t me, or isn’t holding an alcoholic beverage. And one more thing…..see that big guy right in the middle? There is something I discovered while hanging out with him, and that is this: apparently when you are 7 feet tall, EVERYONE wants to talk to you. More on that later.

    On the way from the bridge to Soarin, we stopped approximately 187 times. Between bathroom breaks and general drunken distraction, I do believe it took us nearly an hour to arrive at our destination. But there was stuff! And over here, there’s more neat stuff! And ooh, there’s some stuff you can BUY! Hey look, a McDonald’s! Wow, topiaries! A boat! Fellow humans!

    The intent behind the mid-afternoon Soarin fast passes was that we would take a nice leisurely break from the rich food and beverage and allow our stomachs time to recover. This way, we could pick up again where we left off and start fresh.

    Yeah. Whatever.

    Soarin itself is a wonderful ride but I do not understand why one would wait for upwards of 90 minutes to experience it. To be honest, I don’t understand why anyone would wait that long for ANY ride. I will admit that I am a jaded Floridian with an annual pass who can come back at any time and ride whatever she wants in the down season, but even back in the day before fast passes I was never a fan of wasting so much time in line. There are only so many phrases you can fit into the tune of “Rock the Boat” (believe me) and then what do you do for the other 45 minutes?

    Ok, back to Soarin. This is only the second time I have been on it, but I noticed the scents much more this time. There was something incredibly refreshing about the citrus and the pine that almost fooled me into believing my stomach was not already stretched to maximum capacity.
    ALMOST.
    We left our breezy hang gliding experience feeling refreshed and chipper, but still very full and markedly sloshed. Ah, well. It was a good idea anyhow.

    Next: we go back to France, and I totally pass right by the Spanish Marcone Almonds.
     
  18. oybolshoi

    oybolshoi DIS Veteran

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    Erica you never disappoint!

    Some day I will share with you our newest creation: Plankton takes on Disney World. We took over 100 pictures of Plankton trying to take over the world.

    Dorks and Geeks - we rule!! :teeth:

    PS. I think France was my favorite this year. Did you try the Pomegranite Kir? Oh my...so good we came home and ordered the pomegranite liquor so that we could start making them here.
     
  19. grumpydude

    grumpydude Never Underestimate the Power of Stupid People in

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    Erica
    I just had some pumpkin creme brulee last night at a local place. I must say it was quite tasty.

    Very much enjoying the trippie. I will live vicariously through you and Brenda as I eat another bowl of Cheerios.
     
  20. zweihund

    zweihund I tagged myself. I'm it.

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    I didn't try the pomegranate Kir....I have a love hate relationship with the fruit so I tend to steer clear of it. It DID look interesting though. I don't think any others in our bunch tried it either, but I think from what you have read so far you understand that my crew were not exactly adventerous when it comes to the palate. :sad2:

    Can't wait to see Plankton.

    Mmmmm, cheerios.
    Creme brulee is one of my obsessive desserts, along with tiramasu. If a restaurant offers either of the two, I HAVE to have it. I fear one day that I will be forced to make a decision between the two. The horrors.
     
  21. FatherForce

    FatherForce Mouseketeer

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    Last time we did the F&WF ( waaaay back in 03. Sniff), the Ireland booth had Guiness CAKE!
    GUINESS CAKE!

    Oh-my-feakin'-god ( lower case ), that was incredible.

    I have vowed that our next WDW trip will be during the F&WF and that we'll stay at the Beach Club so we can just run over and grab something different every day.

    Rock on with your bad-self.
     

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