How about a couple of EPIC quickies? DRs, that is! update 8/6 - Festival and Territory Lounge

pepperandchips

[melinda]
Joined
Mar 16, 2014
"Give me a little intro there, Gomer...."

Hi, i’m Melinda. You may know me already - I’m pretty famous here on the boards for starting ambitious reports and abandoning them halfway through :rotfl: On this last round of trips I also got the moniker ChunkyPepper and think I probably lived up to that nickname.



So where does the report title come in? Well, some of you may have also been following along with our merry band of wild and wonderful disfriends who were planning a totally EPIC Dismeet centered on flower and garden festival and friendship, of course. For us, it was just a quick long weekend trip, and we also had another little shortie of a stay back in April prior to the big meet earlier this month.

Now the Epic trip has come and gone and I find it now time to tell the tale (at least the parts suitable for telling). What the heck am I talking about, you may ask. Well, feel free to catch up here with a PTR assembled by the lovely @chunkymonkey : https://www.disboards.com/threads/the-most-epic-pre-trip-report-group-ptr-for-2019-it-has-begun.3693851/

One morning I awoke to find myself part of the planning of this adventure (for which I am SO grateful :love:) and it has been nearly a year in the making and anticipation. We started out hatching plans for a girls-only adventure, (no Steves allowed!) but soon there were some friends, husbands, moms, sisters, kids, paramours, etc along for the ride with us. And, after all, more truly made it merrier.

So if you don’t know me, here’s a little intro, shamelessly swiped from the PTR and updated for completion:



Name: Melinda
DISBoard Name: @pepperandchips
Dates going: 5/2-5/6/19
Resort for this trip: OKW/Poly
Rooming with: DH (“R”)
"Hi!
I'm Melinda! If you don't know me from the boards, I probably know you from lurking on your reports. Please excuse the inevitable squealing that I'm sure will occur when I get to meet each of you and finally say hi and properly thank you for the hours of help that you've given me in helping plan my trips to my happy place. I love Animal Kingdom, signature dining, the Country Bear Jamboree, sampling every beer that Disney decides to sell, riding the Peoplemover ad nauseum, the WDW "Lodges", forcing other people to sit on the side of the log nearest Splash Mountain's evil waterfall-trap, dark rides, the Burudika Band, and afternoon nap breaks. I write really slow dining reports and am trying my hand at TRs for the first time. I am 99% sure I'm in on the May trip and cannot wait to meet you all!"

My “Steve” is actually not a Steve at all, he is “R” (rhymes with Lion) but I try not to type out his full name here because I am afraid his pupils will eventually unearth these accounts of our shenanigans and would rather prolong the inevitable for as long as I can.



We hail from Atlanta and got married about a year ago. This dining report will cover at least two quickie trips to WDW - the one from our Epic Girls Dismeet in May as well as a weekend trip in April. As a little further background for the April portion of this adventure, we planned a sort of last minute cruise for R’s time off during spring break and bookended that trip with two nights at Disney before and a night at Universal after. It was a pretty perfect vacation and hopefully I will also have time to write about the cruise.

So without further ado, let’s get on with this thing!
 
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pepperandchips

[melinda]
Joined
Mar 16, 2014
"Like a grand and miraculous spaceship, our planet has sailed through the universe of time; and for a brief moment we have been among its passengers. But where are we going? And what kind of future will we discover there?"

March 30, 2019

Join me, if you will, as we enter our time machine back to late March/early April. R and I were headed out on a Royal Caribbean cruise sailing out of Tampa (oh, did I mention that I’m the world’s best wife for compromising and agreeing to go on a cruise as long as I got a couple of Disney days? :laughing:) and were planning to max out our vacation time by starting with a quick stop for some Flower and Garden goodness.

Just before the trip, I was checking Priceline express deals and found what I was sure was the Beach Club. At the time, we were planning to stay offsite. After some discussion and encouragement from the husband, we pulled the trigger - and, sure enough - our “secret” deal was the Beach Club!! Cue happy dance.

:banana:

Don’t hate me, but our rate was $255 a night. Plus I was able to use a 10% off coupon! Double happy dancing.

:banana::banana:

Because our plans truly were to just enjoy the flower and garden festival before our cruise, we weren’t that worried about fastpass or attractions at all, and set our course to arrive at WDW by about 11:00 on Saturday, March 30. Sure enough, around 11:00 we were rolling under those glorious purple signs.




We’d gotten our “room ready” text reeeeally early that day so we unloaded our bags and headed to our room. Of course, nothing goes as smoothly as all that, so we had some drama with the door and our magic bands, but a manager-looking CM sorted it out for us and we grabbed some photos of the room before heading off to epcot:















Oh, one more anecdote before we move on to actual food... there weren’t any toiletries in our room so I called for extra coffee k cups and to get toiletries and we got a stinking boatload of them! Score!!!





As promised, we were off to the festival, and thus began the immediate conversion of my husband into a beach club fan. When we traversed the 100 yards or so from the Beach Club “secret entrance” and were inside Epcot in like 5 minutes, he was more than pleased. We were in line to grab a couple of La Vie en Rose slushes before you could say “friendship boat”.








Grey Goose Vodka Orange, St. Germain Liqueur, White and Red Cranberry Juice – $10.75

These little beauties (no, not the Patrick Warburton kind) are like sunshine in a glass. We took our refreshing slushes and wandered around the pavilion, enjoying the muppets topiaries.







Fozzie Bear is my favorite but Miss Piggy is a very close second. And Kermit is just classic!

Some of you may remember my friend Sarah from previous trips. She’s since relocated to Tampa and was sweet enough to meet us at Epcot for the day (it took a lot of arm twisting, I’ll tell you... haha) We rendez-voused :P with her at the France pavilion and all decided we were ready for some serious noshing at our favorite booth - Florida Fresh!





Here we enjoyed the Carne Guisada with Black Bean Cake and Cilantro Lime Sour Cream – $6.25. This was my favorite dish again at this year’s festival. It’s very filling and super tasty - these flavors are totally my wheelhouse and the beef is always juicy, tender, and packed with flavor. It was again a big hit with us.




We also enjoyed the Spicy Blackened Shrimp and Cheddar Cheese Grits with Brown Gravy and Local Sweet Corn Relish – $7.00. “Brown gravy” has a specific meaning in my neck of the woods and this is not it. Which is a good thing, in this case! The description of this dish does not do it justice. I think you get 3 or 4 plump shrimp and a lovely boatful of creamy, filling grits. The “gravy” is a zesty and savory sauce that goes great on the grits. I don’t like corn but never remember to ask them to omit it so I just eat around it. We all loved this again as well.








Finally, we had to top off our meal with a little something sweet. The Key Lime Pie with Meringue ($4.50) is served in a little different format this year with a painted white chocolate topper. I felt that eating it with the white chocolate made it too sweet, and overall this year’s pie wasn’t as zesty or tart as I’d prefer. No worries, in just a couple of days I’d be in Key West having a Kermit’s chocolate dipped key lime slice on a stick... much more my speed ;)





Sarah had purchased the festival scavenger hunt map so we walked around the world showcase at our leisure enjoying the views and hunting for bees.










It was a very warm day already and we all needed a little respite so we headed to the Odyssey to tick off a few more items from the “must try” list. The Florida Fresh items had been practically a meal on their own, but we decided to take down one more dessert: Mixed Berry Buttermilk Cake, served with Apple Cider Sorbet – $5.00. I loved this but the hubster did not. He doesn’t love raspberries while I do, so I was happy to help him polish it off. He also thought the texture of the buttermilk cake was too dense while I loved it, paired with the tart sorbet. This was a hit for me! Obviously reasonable minds disagree on this one, however.





I also enjoyed the cider flight:

  • Original Sin Brewery Black Widow Hard Cider, New York, NY
  • Florida Beer Company Caribé Strawberry Rose Hard Cider, Cape Canaveral, FL
  • 3 Daughters Brewing Key Lime Apple Hard Cider, St. Petersburg, FL
The strawberry rose ended up being my favorite, but it was fun to try all three for $9.50.
Disney comes across to me as probably trying too hard with the festival merch this year (you can’t just make a fad happen out of sheer willpower, Disney) but they did have this cute little photo op. I did snag a very fun figment AP tervis tumbler which I love!



Next, we headed to collect Pluto AP magnets and do a little shopping in mouse gear. Just before the trip, @wendow and I realized we’d both be at the Beach Club at the same time, and since she wasn’t going to be entering the parks this time, I was on the hunt for this cute figment phone case for her daughter.





I’ll give you one guess as to whether I found it...

The day was beyond gorgeous but Sarah had to get back to Tampa so we grabbed some quick monorail shots and settled on one more booth to enjoy together before bidding her farewell.








We settled on the Northern Bloom, where we each tried the Griddled Maple Pound Cake with Warm Peach Compote and Sweet Corn Gelato featuring Burton’s Maple Syrup ($4.50). As I said, I’m not much into corn, but this gelato and pound cake was yummy-noises-worthy. The peaches were unfortunately underripe but the cake was fine without them.



Sidenote: It looks like we also had the beef but I don't remember much about it so I'm going to make the bold statement that it wasn't memorable :scratchin



I was sad to say goodbye to my friend but happy we’d gotten to see her. If you’re lurking, Spriz, I love you!

Up next: R and I revisit a favorite lounge to see how the burger measures up...
 
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  • wendow

    We create happiness.
    Joined
    Feb 11, 2012
    My dd is still singing your praises for getting her the phone case lol! Says you are 'her new bestie'...you didn't know you had a new bestie, did you :D

    You got a better deal than us at BC and I was thrilled with my $259/night (no coupon). We were in the hot tub with a huge group and all the people who weren't dvc were discussing what they paid. Lowest was $450/night. I didn't say a word and just sat there feeling like the Cheshire cat on the inside :smokin:

    I can't see your pics at all! I want to see what all you were chowing down on at Epcot!
     
  • kastoney

    Disney foodie served with a side of sarcasm
    Joined
    Jul 18, 2010
    Love, love, love the title. I think it may be the first time EPIC and quickie have belonged in a sentence together.

    Hi, i’m Melinda. You may know me already - I’m pretty famous here on the boards for starting ambitious reports and abandoning them halfway through :rotfl: On this last round of trips I also got the moniker ChunkyPepper and think I probably lived up to that nickname.
    :rotfl2::rotfl2::rotfl2: And don't forget soon to be famous for EPIC quickies. R should be so proud!

    Rooming with: DH (“R”)
    Really? With all of us as such good options you went with him?

    Don’t hate me, but our rate was $255 a night. Plus I was able to use a 10% off coupon! Double happy dancing.

    :banana::banana:
    Good to know this can work out. I almost tried it once but couldn't quite figure out if it was going to be a Disney hotel or not. We've had great luck in Vegas with it though.

    I think Su-Lynn needs to give you more instructions :P

    We also enjoyed the Spicy Blackened Shrimp and Cheddar Cheese Grits with Brown Gravy and Local Sweet Corn Relish – $7.00. “Brown gravy” has a specific meaning in my neck of the woods and this is not it. Which is a good thing, in this case! The description of this dish does not do it justice. I think you get 3 or 4 plump shrimp and a lovely boatful of creamy, filling grits. The “gravy” is a zesty and savory sauce that goes great on the grits. I don’t like corn but never remember to ask them to omit it so I just eat around it. We all loved this again as well.
    I had no idea you were in the corn hating club with me. Welcome!!!

    This looks and sounds so good. I was so distracted last weekend I barely ate or tried anything. Guess I better make up for it next year :drinking1
     

    fallonkendra

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 2, 2015
    I’m currently sitting on the bus from MK so we can check into our third and final hotel of this trip, so seems like a great time to do some Disboards reading :) It’s my goal to find more time to get back on here, I miss it!
     
  • TeresaNJ

    Full time stay at home crafter!
    Joined
    Sep 13, 1999
    Hey, Melinda! :wave2: So happy you're back doing another dining report! Bummer that your photos aren't showing up, but your descriptions are so good we almost don't need them! Can't wait to read some more!
     

    pepperandchips

    [melinda]
    Joined
    Mar 16, 2014
    Okay I am trying one more time to FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS to be able to copy my photos directly from google photos, which would save me a few steps and help me get my updates cranked. I fixed all the other pictures (I think) by going back and doing my old process which was even MORE steps so hopefully this works...


    Anyway, remember how I'd called for more coffee and the necessary toiletries for our bathroom? Well, while we were out, I guess housekeeping came because we came back to EVEN MORE coffee! :rotfl:



    So the Beach Club was already winning us over with the lovely room, the proximity to International Gateway, and now, tons of caffeine!

    I'll be back to respond to comments as soon as I am sure I've figured out this picture issue... :wave2:
     

    2xcited2sleep

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 5, 2008
    I’m IN! Can’t wait to hear more. The Beach Club definitely spoils you... especially if an EPCOT lover. And holy Priceline!!! That rate is AMAZING! I need to start checking this!

    “These little beauties...” .... you have my heart. Thank goodness they didn’t do away with that when they updated the ride.

    Your dress is so cute. I love it!

    You got some great monorail / F&G shots!!!
     

    StarWarsMomofGirls!

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 16, 2015
    I am here!!!!

    Oh, one more anecdote before we move on to actual food... there weren’t any toiletries in our room so I called for extra coffee k cups and to get toiletries and we got a stinking boatload of them! Score!!!


    Seriously!!! I asked for extra when we were DVC at the Poly and since there was 2 bathrooms we got a sweet bag full!

    We were in line to grab a couple of La Vie en Rose slushes before you could say “friendship boat”.
    Ha! Love it! And it was really good!!!





    Grey Goose Vodka Orange, St. Germain Liqueur, White and Red Cranberry Juice – $10.75
    Yum

    .... Aaaand it looks like that still didn't work, so here's the crazy number of K Cups we got.

    That is a boat load! I ended up with extra decaf. Blah.
     

    ariane37

    Dis veteran
    Joined
    Sep 25, 2012
    What the? When did this happen???

    sunshine in a glass
    That's my Grey Goose slushie. sunshine in a glass :sunny::sunny: I actually opted for the sparkling Kir last week so skipped the LVER :duck:but I do have a rather newfound love for the Kir!

    I also enjoyed the cider flight:
    • Original Sin Brewery Black Widow Hard Cider, New York, NY
    • Florida Beer Company Caribé Strawberry Rose Hard Cider, Cape Canaveral, FL
    • 3 Daughters Brewing Key Lime Apple Hard Cider, St. Petersburg, FL
    The strawberry rose ended up being my favorite,
    Mmm, so fun sitting in the Odyssey with you guys not long ago drinking this......................

    The strawberry was my 2 fave and the Original Sin was my 1st. I had the strawberry last year at the F&W fest I believe? Pretty sure they had it at the stand in America. Well it was some strawberry cider and it was good. Let's just say I like my cider :thumbsup2:thumbsup2

    I think it may be the first time EPIC and quickie have belonged in a sentence together.
    :cool1:
     

    ThreeBoyMama

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 5, 2014
    I want that cider flight! Great photos and what a fun way to spend an afternoon at Epcot. Beach Club's proximity to the park is unbeatable--LOVE it!
     





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