Part 5: Adults acting like kids, Nov 9/ Epcot Food and Wine festival


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Aug 29, 1999
Thursday-Sunny, mid 80's

Me- 39, trip planner, roller coaster fanatic and stay at home mom
DH- 41, wonderful husband of 12 years

We decided we were going to spend most of our time in the World Showcase at the Food and Wine festival.

We arrived at the Beach Club at about 8:30am. This is our first experience staying on property at WDW. We’re only here for 1 night. Unfortunately the service at the ground level wasn’t impressive. No one offered to get our luggage when we pulled up. We checked in but our room wasn’t ready, which we expected. The woman checking us in gave us a phone number to call after 3. I had to ask for a hotel map. She was pretty dour, not a smile in sight. It appeared she was new but at our request did call to see if we could get a room close to Epcot. Unfortunately she said it wasn’t possible. But that’s ok. I had to ask for a hotel map and was given a welcome package. We purchased our 1-day Epcot passes, about $92.

We went for a short walk to the Yacht Club Hotel, the Beach club’s sister resort restaurant. We are seated quickly. Service was cheerful and efficient even though the place is bustling. It must be bedlam in high season! Pat has the buffet, $11.95, nice selection. I had home fries $1.95and oatmeal, 2.95. The coffee is excellent! Total is $19.72, good value.

We walked to Epcot, only 4 minutes from the Beach Club Lobby to the International Gateway. You can’t beat the location! Since World Showcase isn’t open until 11am we followed the path to Future World. It’s about 9:30. We decided to ride Test Track first. The standby line is about 30 minutes long so we used the singles line even though there are signs everywhere saying your party will be split up. We viewed a quick intro about the ride and in 5 minutes we’re strapped in. Luckily we end up in the same car. I really enjoyed this ride but dh thinks it’s only ok. We walk around a bit and buy some Ibuprofen at Mouse Gears.

At 11:00, World Showcase opens. During the food and wine festival there are small booths set up around the lagoon. They sell sample size portions of food and wine/beer from different countries or regions around the world. Some included were Africa, Southeast Asia, Poland, Greece, Japan and many more. Also, there were booths specializing in chocolate, champagne and cognac. Our favorites were the champagne booth (they started to remember us) and the booth in Japan selling veg sushi, edamame and hot sake.

We saw a very funny street show in France called Cyranose De Bergerac. A humorous take on the classic tale that included some great audience participation.

Later we stopped to see the movie about France. It was beautiful! The theatre wasn’t full and it was nice to sit down.

At 3:00pm we walked back to the Beach Club and our room was ready. We reserved a regular room and received an upgraded to 5th floor, probably because we were paying full price and only staying 1 night. It was funny because we were never told it was concierge, I only knew because of this board! Unfortunately our room smelled badly of smoke so dh went to the concierge desk and asked if we could please be moved. The concierge people were wonderful; very helpful and friendly. We were changed to a room that was much closer to the concierge desk. The room was nice. Unfortunately dh and I are used to a king bed so the queen-size beds seemed small. Our view was a little bit of Stormalong Bay and a lot of roof but it didn’t matter. We were only resting and sleeping here.

After a brief rest we hurry back to Epcot. We’re burning daylight!

Japan: We needed a new sake set so we went to the Mitsukoshi dept store. This was a beautiful store. The kimonos were gorgeous. The service was wonderful. We asked for our purchase to be sent to the Intern. Gateway package pickup.

Pat went to watch a sushi making demonstration. While he was gone I had a great conversation with a senior citizen. When dh returned he said the demo was very funny and informative. I’m really glad he went. He now makes excellent sushi at home.

We were on the Japan side of WS when the first Tapestry of Nations parade started. There was plenty of room if you didn’t mind standing. We were lucky enough to get a bench. We watched while enjoying our munchies then headed off.

In France (we ended up there frequently!) we finally got to see the living statue. She’s amazing. The first person to walk up to her was teen who wasn’t sure the statue was alive. Boy did she jump when the statue opened her eyes! I was impressed how polite people when getting their picture taken with her. This is definitely a “don’t miss” attraction.

One fun I idea I read in a guidebook was to have your picture taken in each country while wearing a hat that represented where you were. Unfortunately I only remembered to do it in three places; a sombrero in Mexico, a tri cornered hat in Italy and a felt hat in Germany. When I got my vacation pictures developed I noticed my smile became bigger as the night went on! They were pretty funny.

It was almost time for the 8pm Tapestry of Nations parade. My husband and I really love this parade. I find the music very uplifting. This time we were near the UK and was it ever mobbed. I would suggest not going there if you can help it. We grabbed a couple of delicious veggie wraps and found a place to stand near the International Gateway bridge. We wanted to find a good spot for Illuminations (Our last trip we had a terrible spot). So we decided to try a tip I read on this board. At the end of the Illuminations there are 2 cm’s holding a rope that stretches from side to side (I assume to keep people from getting too close to the back of the last puppet). We merged with the people following the 2 cm’s and when we crossed the bridge we stayed to the left and secured a place on the railing. It worked like a charm! DH was very impressed. But we couldn’t have done it if we’d had a stroller. You have to be pretty nimble!

About 20 minutes later Illuminations started. It’s a pretty good show but I think I’d personally enjoy it more if there were more fireworks and fewer lasers.

We stopped at package pickup and get our box from Japan. It seems to be very well packed. Our intention was to drop it off in our room then explore the boardwalk. But I pretty tired so we called it a night.
Mahalo Renee for another wonderful detailed report! We plan to spend a few days in WDW (staying at the Swan) just before we go to Universal. We want to spend a lot of time in Epcot on our adults only visit. :) I am sorry that they no longer have the parade at Epcot. But I hope we will be able to see Illuminations. And I want to try Test Track. What exactly is it like?

I have to admit I don't know anyone else who has bought a sake set (although many of us have received them as gifts). Do you use it? Do they sell the nori in NH for the sushi? I keep forgetting that it is a small world. ;)
Hi Donna,
I'm sorry if I wasn't clear about the Tapestry of Nations parade. They still have it, twice daily, at around 6+8 pm.

Test Track is ride of sorts. Your car travels on a track and is subjected to a series of "tests". It's a pretty tame ride(compared to Spiderman)
I don't want to spoil the ending for you but there are no big hills like a roller coaster.

On your other post you asked about Poseidens. Did you mean Mythos Restaurant? I believe if you're a walk in (no res) you get next available seating, before other walk ins. You can also do this at some Citywalk restaurants. I know it applys at Margaritaville. You'll probably want to make reservations though if you're going at Mardi Gras.

Yes we use our sake set. It's delicious with
oriental food; stir fry, sushi, etc. They
actually sell Nori in the big grocery stores around here.

I'll try to think of some of our favorite places for you!


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