How Many Attempts Does It Take To End Up in a Diabetic Coma: An Adult Adventure at Food and Wine Festival (updated 12/3)

DouglasE

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jul 4, 2003


My opinion on the success of Galaxy’s Edge is the approach that Disney took with it. I think that in the short term, the land has not been an automatic home run because they decided to base it on a “create your own adventure” perspective. How many people knew the planet “Batuu” prior to Disney’s announcement of a new land: a very small group of avid Star Wars fans. If instead they were to create a place with places and characters that most people could identify then it probably would have a more immediate success story. Part of the reason Harry Potter lands have been working for Universal is because they populated it with places people could identify from the films. People knew Hogwarts and Diagon Alley. Instead, Disney decided to create a world in the Star Wars universe that you could create your own adventures independently of what transpired in the films. Trust me, I work with people every day and most have very limited imaginations. They are not used to exercising that part of their brain now that we have technology. It is imagination that the imagineers are asking the guests to employ. This might be changing. A new ride, Rise of the Resistance, is about to open. It could be called three attractions in one and utilizing technology like never before. Also, Disney+ has introduced a new Star Wars story, the Mandalorian. If you watch the first three episodes, I swear that Batuu looks so much like the planet where much of the action takes place. If people would understand it is a place for an outer space adventure and forget about Star Wars, Galaxy’s Edge probably would be more successful.

That was our day at Hollywood Studios. We needed to rest and recharge so off to Port Orleans French Quarter we went.







 

DouglasE

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jul 4, 2003


We took a Disney bus over to Epcot which was our closest park. From there we took a bus over to Wilderness Lodge. Where do you think we are having dinner? We ate at Wilderness Lodge resort, Geyser Point Bar and Grill. I have never been at this restaurant or this resort before. I felt like I was at the home of Aaron Copeland. I don’t know what his home looked like, but I just got this feeling of Americana from the huge Lincoln Log lobby. I loved it. I totally could see myself staying here. We needed a little help from a cast member to help us find our way out to the restaurant. We first encountered a takeout window. I thought we had to order our meal there and then take it over to a table. Instead, they directed us to a couple of cast members who were hosting, like a full-service restaurant. It was another quick service restaurant. What was quick service about it? It functioned just like a full-service restaurant, if you ask me. So, if you want a great use of a quick service credit for the Disney Dining plan I would say go here. Once again, my name badge did its magic. My hosts were awfully curious about me. I told them I just was “very special”. They agreed, yes, we all are very special. We had a good laugh. A server came by and we placed our orders. Once again, Keith and I had very similar orders. We both ordered Bison cheeseburgers, bacon, cheddar, sweet onion, lettuce, tomato, garlic aioli and Marionberry barbecue sauce on an artisan roll served for $16. That barbeque sauce was awesome. Mine came with a side of quinoa salad. I had a wild strawberry lemonade (non-alcoholic) beverage. Even though the dining plan allows for alcohol, I just didn’t feel like it this time. Keith got waffle fries. Our biggest difference was he enjoyed a Northwest Iced Tea (alcoholic) which was Bacardi Superior Rum, 44° North Idaho Potato Vodka, Aviation Gin, Cointreau and Sweet-and-Sour with a splash of Coca-Cola® at $14. Our total bill came to $54.84. But since this place had a server, our dining plan did not include a tip. We paid a $10.30 tip out of pocket. Dinner was absolutely delicious. My bison burger was made to order. I ordered a medium rare burger and that is exactly what I got. Also, the burger was sizable. For $16 it really was a great value even by non-Disney standards. Bison meat isn’t inexpensive. Just as my hosts, our neighbors at our table was curious about my name badge. Then, my server overheard our conversation and we talked more about what it could mean and what it actually did mean. She was super sweet. If you get LeAnna, you will be in good hands. She and I got in a discussion on climate. She definitely is a Floridian and would not be able to tolerate anything lower than the lower 70’s. It just made me laugh. The restaurant sits on Bay Lake. The darkness of night blanketed our view. Actually, we were seated so that we couldn’t really see the lake. But maybe you could, but at night it really wouldn’t matter. Try eating during the day for a view. It looks like a great place for a burger and a beer while you relax on the lake.



Geyser Point Bar and Grill


Ambiance 8
Food 9
Price/value 9

Overall 9
 
  • DouglasE

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 4, 2003


    We allowed enough time, so we didn’t feel rushed. When it was time to leave, we decided to take a boat over to the Magic Kingdom to experience Happily Ever After, the nighttime spectacular at the Magic Kingdom. We just missed a boat, but they run so frequently that we didn’t have too long to wait. We sat in the bow and I really loved the breeze. As we were waiting to get underway, I overheard a family start to freak out that their little boy (about 5) had lost his Magic Band. I was able to calm them down and brought reality into the situation. I asked about their plans and told them where it would be easiest to get a replacement for him. I assured them every day some little tyke loses a Magic Band and they will be able to replace it no problem. You could just see the anxiety and fear disappear and at about that time we were underway. The crew member who was up in the bow with us was very entertaining with all sorts of trivia about Walt Disney World. He was great at making the time fly by. Before you knew it, Keith and I disembarked and were through the turnstiles. We were dodging guests left and right and tried to find a spot to view the show. So many areas were blocked off already. I don’t know how we did it, but I found a really great spot looking onto the front façade of the castle. Just after we arrived, they were closing off the area to guests so no one else could enter. We were fairly close to the castle and left of center. I think we were lucky. I’m guessing we got there 40 minutes before the show began. We were right next to a toddler who was enjoying her bubble wand that lights up. She was able to entertain herself no problem. Her parents were so anxious about their daughter annoying me. The little girl was quiet the entire time. I told them bubbles in my face was a small price to pay for good behavior. Keith and I had a nice conversation with our neighbors. If I have one criticism of Happily Ever After is that it is a montage of images and sounds of different Disney animated intellectual properties. I think it might be a bit more of a pull on the heartstrings if you had a bit of a storyline. That’s part of what Disney does well is story telling. If they had incorporated just a little bit of a plot to hang all of this on would have been great. In truth, I loved the whole show. It was the next evolution of nighttime spectacular with how much use of projections were used. I loved that Tinkerbell is still flying through the sky in the show. No one does fireworks like Disney. No one. The last Magic Kingdom show I saw was Wishes which I loved. But once again, they present a wonderful spectacular. The crazy creativity that they had with all of the projections upon Cinderella’s Castle was incredible. They were able to take 2D images and make you believe a 3D event was happening. Maleficent’s fire ended with a firework where it landed. You could have done a show with just projections. But no, they incorporate fantastic fireworks on top of it. Good for Disney for pushing the innovation envelope. There was so much going on throughout the show that I would need to see it several times. It was a bit hard to focus on the projections and on the fireworks, listen to the music, and then get all the visual references. I am sure I missed stuff even though I was right there with no interruptions. Next time I will just allow more time to find a viewing spot that is a little bit better. No doubt it is on your list of must do’s for each trip. It is for me.



    Look at that crowd behind me!





    We lingered quite a bit. We knew the buses back to Port Orleans French Quarter would be insane. We didn’t feel the need to rush. Instead, we looked around the shops of Main Street. But honestly, I thought that was ridiculous. I spent the whole time dodging people. I really didn’t find it much fun at all. Next time, I’ll just be prepared and sit down and eat something. Maybe a sundae? Something to get me away from all of the people. It was a tiny bit of insanity. Eventually, we decided we had waited long enough and exited out of the park. It will be time for me to play park commando in only a few hours.

    NEXT: I was present for what woke half of Walt Disney World up at an ungodly hour. Another first is recorded in the books
     
    Last edited:

    DouglasE

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 4, 2003


    Good Morning! I’m the only person on the bus. I’ve got my own personal chauffer and I’m loving it. He’s playing “Somebody’s Watching Me” which I haven’t heard in forever on the radio. It’s early in the morning on Thursday, October 24, 2019. There is no traffic at a couple of minutes past six am. I am the first person at the Magic Kingdom! That has never happened before. I picked a good day because they are about to use this time to test out the holiday fireworks. There are about 30 security people and soon others join us. I’m there filming the fireworks on my phone for three whole minutes when one of the security staff starts raising her voice, “No pictures! No pictures!” Why did none of her 29 other colleagues have a problem with it during those 3 whole minutes. I put down my phone and she relaxed. But how great that I got a little entertainment while I waited for the Magic Kingdom to open. I chatted a bit with some other guests and a cast member in charge of holding us at the overpass where the train runs. I was the first person through security and the now I was the first person to enter the Magic Kingdom. I just found that incredible. (Keith decided when we got back to the room last night that he would sleep in and join me when he was up and ready.) Others eventually overtake me in walking super-fast over to Fantasyland. We are held in the spoke that leads into Fantasyland. It becomes clear to me that everyone is about to head over to 7DMT as soon as the clock strikes seven. I was in the cluster of the first 30 waiting to gain further into the park. Before I even got to that point, I had my own photo taken in front of the castle with it all aglow. They had this cast member lead us over and that cast member walked at a super-fast clip. He probably walked as fast as you can walk without actually running. I wonder if they pick the person with the longest legs for that job?

    I was among the first to ride 7DMT that day. I absolutely loved that attraction. It helps that while you are riding you hear “Whistle While You Work”. It was a whole lot of fun. The fact that the ride vehicles are able to sway really didn’t impact me all that much. What I liked is the story telling aspect of the ride. It is a full-fledged dark ride that tells the story of the seven dwarfs. I also loved seeing the enhanced animatronic dwarfs with digitally mapped media projected onto what would be their faces. I’m looking at the pictures to jog my memory for this trip report and realize one of my fellow Touring Plans Magic Maker “family”, Betsy, is at the Magic Kingdom at the same time with her son. It looks like we just missed each other because their pictures of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train are right before the ones taken of me on the same attraction. We had to be just feet apart and never knew it. Talk about a Small World.






    The Magic Kingdom was practically vacant. The extra, extra magic hours really paid off. Any attraction in Walt Disney World would have been a walk-on. All that freedom was a little intimidating. There were hardly any guests around me. By the time I was done with Seven Dwarfs Mine Train the sun had come up. Since it is Extra, Extra, Magic Hours I really didn’t have a game plan. I tried to tackle as much of Fantasyland as I could excluding what I would guess Keith would enjoy. I love the Mad Tea Cup Party ride. But it was harder with only one person in a cup. I had to do a lot of work. There are a number of attractions that are the same kiddie attraction just dressed up in different ways. Since Dumbo is the grand daddy of them all, I decided I would just do the original. If the wait is short and you need to relax, I highly recommend it.



    I’ve gotta fess up. With no crowds and no wait times I was a bit of a mess. Somehow, I had wandered over to Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. I do my best. I but I gotta say I have absolutely no idea if I am hitting targets or not. I feel like I just don’t know what I am doing. I think it was been far more fun if I knew those are my red dots and not someone else’s. I just aim and hope for the best. Visually, it’s a fantastic ride.




    Under the Sea- Journey of the Little Mermaid was new for me. A dark ride that included the top tunes of the movie was a winner for me. I really enjoyed the time my ride vehicle (my clamshell) pivoted and moved with my back going first. It forced me to look up and digital bubbles were projected on the vehicle in front of me. This attraction utilized the same projection mapping on faces which provided the ability to provide expressions. I thought it was a can’t go wrong attraction, great for all.

    Since all the attractions were a walk on, I probably had a much better attitude about everything than if I had to wait 45 minutes. Since Barnstormer with the Great Goofini has been billed as an entry level roller coaster I thought it was going to be a big ho-hum. But I really had a lot of fun. Granted, no one is going to be flipped upside down. But, I found it exciting enough for me to experience quite a bit of fun. I wish it was a little bit longer it is quite short, not even lasting two minutes.

     
  • DouglasE

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 4, 2003
    I still had quite a fair amount of time to go do whatever I wanted. I decided now would be a good time to have a photopass picture taken of me and Mickey Mouse. I started to walk back to the front entrance of the Magic Kingdom. On my way, I spotted another photopass photographer. He had zero people, so I had him take a bunch of photographs in front of Cinderella’s Castle. When I finally found the Town Square Theater the line to see Mickey was very short. There was only one family ahead of me. They had a toddler who was super sweet. At one point, he did not want to let go of Mickey during their hug. There were a bunch of infants and parents all in this family, so they took a bunch of different combinations. It was extra, extra magic hours so they could afford to take so many pictures. I didn’t mind. Finally, it was my turn and the photographer there was outstanding. It was as if I had a photo session there, she took so many photos. Somehow it was very easy for me to conduct a conversation with Mickey even though Mickey can only gesture and not speak. We high fived over his recent 90th birthday. We hugged. We “talked” about a bunch of things. I tried to make it quick because there were other people waiting.





    I had seen prior to my trip that there was a photopass photographer that could take a video of you where it zoomed in and then zoomed out. There is a camera up above The Plaza restaurant. They have you stare up there and remotely activate it to create the video of you at the hub. It came out terrific. I like it so much, that I just had Canvas Pop transfer the picture of the Magic Kingdom onto canvas where I can make out little, itty bitty me. I should have it by Christmas. Now where do I put it?




    Since I had all this time on my hands, I went on the Many Adventures of Pooh. It was quite cute. But it was definitely designed for the pre-school set.

    Mickey’s Philharmagic is so old that the quality of the visuals has diminished. I think I had issues with the glasses. The glasses are so worn that I had trouble seeing. There are issues, but I do enjoy that movie and it is very entertaining. I felt like I could reach out and touch the jewels when they came out at me and I always love that. All through the movie, Keith and I have been texting to figure out meeting up. There were so few people, there was no one remotely near me in the theater. Trust me, no one was getting disturbed during that movie from the light of my screen when I needed to text. I had a row to myself. The row in front of me was empty as was the one behind me.

    Our meeting place is Gaston’s Tavern. I had a big cinnamon roll with extra icing ($5.99) and a cup of hot tea ($3.49). Gaston’s Tavern is very dark. I imagine that when it gets to be hotter in the day this would be a nice place to cool off because it is dark and cool. I happened to snag one of the last seats inside. Score! The cinnamon roll was large enough to make for a breakfast all on its own. Was it a must do? I don’t think so. It was rather on the dry side even with the extra icing that they poured over the cinnamon roll. I’m with AJ Wolfe and the Disney Food Blog people, you really need to do the extra icing. It needed to be more moist. I know people don’t like that word, but that’s what it needed. It was good, not great. Maybe I’ve been spoiled. I love a “Cinnabon” far more. It would be a good use of a snack credit if you are on the dining plan. I was just finishing up with my breakfast, when Keith joined me.





    Keith and I were game to take a boat ride. I’ve got to see if you’ve got a teenager, skip It’s A Small World. I hated it and was bored by it when I was a teenager. Now, I rode it to appreciate the art of Mary Blair. I looked at it as an art installation that I get to move through.


    Once again, I’m spinning as if I can make a cup and saucer fly. Keith and I work together to make ourselves dizzy. I love spinning attractions and this time it was far easier having another set of hands to help spin us around. I like how the rider has the control to make it as maddening or carefree as you like.





     

    DouglasE

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 4, 2003
    We had a FastPass+ for Pirates of the Caribbean and that brought a surprise for me. This is one of my all time favorites so I had to make an appointment to see this. What I wasn’t expecting was to be completely fooled by the audio animatronic of Captain Jack Sparrow. I swear Johnny Depp was in that attraction with us. I really enjoyed comparing the 1973 technology with the 21st century technology. It utterly is amazing. FastPass+ gave us quick access to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. If you are looking for another thrill ride that your child can enjoy, this might be another ticket. I don’t find it too scary just good, clean fun. By the time we exited we discovered the Country Bear Jamboree was about to start a show so we hopped over there and sat down for some old fashioned humor and song. I was a bit trepidatious about this because the last time I saw it was the very last thing after a long day and I was soaked from rain. I was dead on my feet. I did not enjoy it at all that time. Now, it’s still morning and I have a great attitude. My advice is to see this when you are full of vim and vigor. If you wait until the very end of your day it will seem like the longest show ever. We tried to see about the Hall of Presidents, but it was too long of a wait until they were open again. We walked over to Tomorrowland to have fun at Monster’s Inc, Laugh Floor. I found that my elbow got tickled. I especially liked how they picked on some man and kept of flashing an image of him and poking fun at his expense. He was a good sport about it. Was it hysterically funny? No, but it was funny enough to cause me to laugh out loud. It would think it would all depend upon the cast member and how funny and quick witted they can be.



    It is time to leave the park and have some lunch. We walked from there to the Contemporary Resort for a full-service meal at The Wave…of American Flavors. Those three dots are very important, I’m sure. Who is naming things over here? I am ready for some cocktails! Keith had the spicy poblano margarita and the blood orange margarita (14.00). Once again, we each ordered the same thing! You would think that we would order different foods and then share and taste. No. We want what we want, and we just happen to want the same thing. We both ordered the pappardelle pasta with butternut squash puree, roasted vegetables, and a truffle arugula salad ($20.00). For dessert, Keith had the Seasonal Flight ($12.00). It was a little Pineapple cheesecake, Strawberry Mousse Cake, and the Florida Key Lime Tart. I almost always go for some kind of baked good. But this was lunch and I knew what craziness I had in store so I had the Trio of Sorbet ($11.00) Lemonade-Ice Sorbet, Stone Fruit Sorbet, Blueberry-Banana Sorbet. I was living for this. You’ve got to come to the Wave. It is good. I am enjoying this. No, that is not the blood orange cocktail talking. That is me talking. We told our server, Michele, who was excellent, that we loved our cocktails. We are picky about our pour and this was perfect. We both like our cocktails strong. And they were plenty strong. She was so happy to hear that because it was the bartender’s first day at the Wave. He was over at the Beach and Yacht Club before this and she convinced the manager to bring him over. Good move, Michele! The only downside is the restaurant looks like it is a middle American hotel chain restaurant. Not inspiring, at all.



    The Wave…Of American Flavors

    Ambience 7
    Food 9
    Price/Value 9
    Overall 9

    The service and the food far outweighed the looks of the restaurant. I felt the food and drink were on the level of a signature restaurant. The service was excellent. I felt lucky that I only had to spend one full-service restaurant credit. I would make it a point to visit before Disney manages to screw this up. I had consulted with Denise Lang, my travel planner to get her thoughts about it and she recommended it. Home run for The Wave!

    After a short walk back to the Magic Kingdom, we once again took a spin on the People Mover. We both really enjoy it. It is then that we get a text from Andy letting us know he would not be able to join us. His doggie, Susie, is having serious health issues and needs to see the vet. We are sorry to hear about Susie and disappointed that Andy can’t join us but on we go with our adventure.


    I had a list of things that were MUST DO and/or SEE for me. On this list was a food hack from the Disney Food Blog people. It was a create your own ice cream sandwich. First, I went to the Confectionary on Main Street and purchased 2 large Mickey chocolate chip cookies ($10.98). Second, I went to the Plaza Ice Cream parlor and ordered a double scoop of cookies and cream ice cream ($7.68). I also asked for a side of hot fudge. I took all of this out to the terrace and underneath an umbrella Keith and I sat down and enjoyed the Festival of Fantasy Parade which was finishing up. Keith had some kind of treat for himself, as well. DFB tried to warn me that this was something to share. They were not kidding. I have a huge sweet tooth and thought I could do it all on my own. Wrong! It was humungous. I could not finish it especially so soon after lunch. When it became apparent that I would not be finishing this in one sitting I decided to eat all of the ice cream as much as I could before it all melted away. The Plaza had given me a plastic container to hold it all in. I just closed the container and put the leftovers in my bag. Now that all sounded fantastic, right? For me, it wasn’t. It was down to the consistency of the cookies. They were really crunchy instead of cake-y. It made for a tough sandwich, even with my reusable bamboo knife and fork. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed it, but I would not do it again. I would buy a pre-made ice cream sandwich instead.






    I love me a parade. Nobody does a parade like Disney. They are like Nazi’s with smiles. You better not think of moving an inch off of that curb because they will sweetly and kindly tell you where you need to be with a smile. Their parades are efficient and timely. It goes like clockwork.


    In the Tiki, tiki, tiki, tiki, tiki room we enjoyed all the birds and flowers singing words and crooning. We had a tiny bit of a wait. But it’s funny to see in the same day one of the latest audio animatronics and ones created when the Magic Kingdom opened.

    Even though the extra, extra magic hours had passed the crowds are still rather light. It is about 2 o’clock hour at this point. Back on to Under the Sea -Journey of the Little Mermaid and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train with both of us this time.



    NEXT: Trying to figure out what is the best lounge in Walt Disney World the only way I know how
     

    DouglasE

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 4, 2003
    Time for an adult afternoon. Some, like toddlers, might take a nap. We, who enjoy the occasional adult beverage, embark on a Monorail Pub Crawl. Our goal is to have at least one beverage at a lounge at each of the monorail resorts. First up, I knew that Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto. We got there at 3:30 and when we got to the front desk were told that it already was filled to capacity after only being open for thirty minutes and there was a half hour wait. I’ve got to say that cast member was so happy that we would need 30 minutes before being seated.

    We didn’t feel like wasting time, so we went out to the terrace where they have the same menu as inside. We were seated immediately, and Skipper Tim was an enthusiastic server. He was very old school. He was definitely playing on our team, very light in the loafers. Tim was awesome and amazing. I felt like he fit right in on the vibe of Trader Sam’s. Keith gave a big thumb’s up for his Rosita’s Margarita which included Casamigos Reposado Tequila, Bols Orange Curaçao, fresh Lime Juice, Falernum, and Organic Agave Nectar. I enjoyed my Mosquito Mojito which consisted of Bacardi Dragon Berry Rum, Organic Agave Nectar, Falernum, Mint, and fresh Lime Juice topped with Soda Water. The drink menu was full of choices if you like rum. If tropical beverages are your thing this is the place to go. Of course, they had beer and wine choices, but Keith and I are more hard liquor folk. Keith thought it was great and it was the best drink of our little crawl that we did.

    From the Polynesian Resort we moved on to the Grand Floridian. The Enchanted Rose bar had just opened a few weeks ago. It replaced Mizner’s Lounge and expanded it’s use of space. It really was a beautiful lounge. The price point for the beverages was a bit high if you ask me. I had the French 75 with Veuve Cliquot. I was good. It was very light. It was perfect for warmer weather. Keith had the Manhattan and it was fine but not for the price they were charging. I think our drinks were about $18 each. We had a nice chat with a guy that must work for Disney because he said that he lives on property. He was talking our ear off. Keith wasn’t feeling the Grand Floridian so much so off we went to our final destination of the crawl.



    No trip to Walt Disney World is complete without a trip on the monorail



    Originally, we were going to visit the Outer Rim lounge at the Contemporary but since we had such amazing drinks at lunch we went to see if Danny, our bartender, was working at the bar over at The Wave Lounge. We tried asking the staff if Danny was working as we entered the bar, which was a little awkward, since we didn’t know Danny’s last name and we didn’t know what he looked like. But we did know it was his first day so that pinpointed exactly who we were looking for. I had the Ultimate Long Island Ice Tea ($15.00) which I enjoyed, but I should have ordered something else because I wanted more alcohol truth be known. But there must have been plenty of alcohol because by the end of our little crawl I was feeling no pain. Keith had a Blue Glowtini ($15.00). The Glowtini was sugar upon sugar upon sugar with a spritz of vodka. And that is not Keith’s jam at all. Keith likes alcohol. You better serve him some alcohol. It was all about the gimmick for that one. It was all about the ice cube that glows in the dark. The staff was excellent. We also had a lot of conversation with Nathan at the bar. He’s been around for a while and totally identified my name badge and remarked how he hadn’t seen one of those in forever. He was the only person the whole trip who was able to clock me on it. We both had a good laugh about my tall tales about my name badge that I told to the college program cast members.



    NEXT: What are we going to do with this chocolate cake? There was so much food!
     
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