What is This Wet Stuff Falling on Us? September 2021 Food and Wine TR! (RL Update 12/5!!)

VAtink

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 5, 2013
Welcome everyone to my latest trip report!

This was once again a trip down to Disney to experience the Food and Wine Festival. Granted, it was only like half a festival this year, but it still had great food and we loved it once again!

We actually booked an extra long trip this year in hopes that events would come back, but sadly that did not happen. On the bright side, we had an extra long trip to enjoy everything else Disney has to offer!

One thing that was completely new to us this trip, and a nod to the TR title, was rain! Yes, I know we’ve been ridiculously lucky, on all of our yearly F&W trips in September since 2016 this is the only one we’ve gotten rain during the day, and only one other had rain at night one night. Crazy lucky, I know, so we were totally due for a rainy trip, and this mostly delivered! :rotfl2:

There is also another reason for this TR title….but we’ll get to that a bit later!

Ok, so now for the introductions:

First up, my mom, aka travel buddy extraordinaire!




She is a teacher, semi-retired, but still works most days, so we take our trips when her school has off for Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur when they fall in September. We love our September trips! Usually fantastic weather…. ( :rotfl: )

Then there’s me, I’m Debbie, I love Disney and especially love the Food and Wine festival!




I am the planner of the trip, I love crafting a perfect vacation, and planning is *almost* as fun as the trip itself. Although this trip was definitely one of the trickiest to plan, it seemed so much was changing leading up to the trip our schedule changed SO much. It got to the point that I started naming the tabs on our spreadsheet things like “this is getting ridiculous” or “Changing Again????”

In the end though it was a great trip, and with the lack of special events, the most relaxing trip we’ve ever taken!


Now on with the show!
 

VAtink

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 5, 2013
Day 1, Part 1: Oh Joy, Another Day at the Airport!

We finally made it to travel day! Wahoo! It was a busy day for me, I decided to work in the morning since my flight wasn’t until 4, and I had to run my pup Dug over to boarding before work started at 8, so lots of running around. Plus I still had some things to pack, oops!

After having JetBlue change my flight over and over leading up to the trip, I decided to just fly in a day earlier so if the flight changed back to being a late afternoon flight (which it did) I wouldn’t miss a full day in Disney. I ended up booking a night at the Hyatt at the airport for the first night so I could meet my mom the following morning at the airport and help her with her luggage.

Now, if anyone has read my previous TRs, you will likely remember that I have the worst luck with my flights taking off/landing on time. Even my last TR title was about my awful luck with my flights!

So obviously I was concerned it would be more of the same for this trip, and it really started to look like it would be.

TS Mindy was impacting FL this day, and my plane was coming from FL! Nooooo! So about every 10 minutes I was checking on where my plane was and looking at the weather. I was super nervous since there was a storm system moving over MCO that was very similar to the one that caused all the issues for my flight back in April, so I was beyond thrilled (and shocked) that my incoming plane actually took off on time!

Amazingly the incoming flight arrived early, and my flight was still scheduled to leave on time! Yay!!!!

So around 2:15 I called for an Uber which came super fast and I was in the airport by 2:30.

I know I say this every TR, but I just have to say it again, I LOVE LOVE LOVE how convenient the airport is to my house, it typically is only a 7 minute drive to get there which is just awesome!

Since this trip was a long one for us, longest we’ve had actually since the 90s, I was checking a bag. They have changed the procedure since the last time I checked a bag, nowadays we have to put the luggage tags on ourselves, and I totally had a minor fail at this. I’m so used to the Disney luggage tags where you peel off the backing on both ends, so I was trying to do that with my Jetblue luggage tags.

Thankfully a Jetblue employee saw my struggles and came over to let me know I didn’t need to do that, I only needed to pull off the backing on one end. It felt so wrong to do it that way, Disney has me very well trained! :rotfl2:

Once my bag tags were on I dragged the bag over to the drop off area, then made my way down to security. As always, there was no line and I was through in less than a minute.

I found my gate and settled in to wait. The airport was EMPTY this day, I have never seen it so dead, there was hardly anyone in the gate waiting area.

I am also pretty certain I saw Bernie Sanders while I was waiting. The seat I picked was next to the shoe shine station, and while waiting I swear I heard his voice and look over to see what I believe was him getting his shoes shined! It was hard to tell with the mask, but I’m like 98% sure it was him.

Anyways, the wait wasn’t too long, and around 3:20 we started boarding the plane.

I got the even more space seats as usually so was in the first group to board. Although it really didn’t matter for this flight, there was hardly anyone on the plane. I had my entire row to myself, and not just on my side of the plane, there wasn’t anyone on either side of the plane in my row! It was awesome having that much space on a flight!

Amazingly my flight actually took off on time! But I knew not to celebrate just yet….

But then it happened, a September miracle! My flight actually landed not just on time, but early, AND at the correct airport!
This is the first time ever my flight has been on time/early, it was so awesome!

Once landed we had a short taxi to the gate. It was *almost* an uneventful flight, but while waiting for them to open the door to the plane, the power went out! Since they had told us a few minutes earlier to please close all the window shades to keep the plane cool, when the power went out it got super dark! It was eerily dark and super quiet until one guy started to panic a bit. The power was only out for maybe a minute, but it was so freaky!

Fortunately the power came back on soon after and they were able to open the door. The pilot was another comedian and came on to announce “sorry about that folks, turns out Jetblue forgot to pay their electrical bill this month.” HA!!!!!

Since I was in the second row I made a quick escape and made my way down to baggage claim. I was worried it would take forever for the bags to come out, but it was surprisingly fast! I had my luggage and was heading to the hotel within 30 minutes of the plane landing!


Up Next: So Close, Yet So Far!
 
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suse66

When you wish upon a star, your dreams come true!
Joined
Sep 3, 2008
Here for all the fun! Looking forward to hearing all about it. :)
 

VAtink

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 5, 2013
Day 1, Part 2: So Close, Yet So Far!

We last left off with me picking up my luggage from baggage claim and making my way to the Hyatt for the night.
I had done the online check-in, but had not received a room yet, and since it was close to 7PM at that point I decided to just go to the front desk to check-in there.

There was a short line, but it didn’t take long, and soon I was checking in. The woman at the desk did make the comment “but you already checked in online…” as if I was at fault for wanting a room at 7PM, hours after check-in. :sad2:

She was able to assign me to a room that was ready, so I didn’t have to wait any longer, phew! I was on the 9th floor, so almost at the top, and oh boy did I get vertigo in the elevator going up there! I’m normally fine with heights, but something about that elevator did me in! From then on every time I got in the elevator I stayed right next to the door and far away from the glass sides!

Once in the room I checked out my “view”, I was cheap and just booked the standard airport atrium view.




As a structural engineer I did love the up-close view of the roof structure!

Once I dropped my stuff off, I set out again to pick up stuff for the trip (water, Gatorade, and sunblock) and to find some dinner.

Now, MCO is kind of a sad airport when it comes to food and store options in the main terminal, and at that time at night (only like 7:30 at this point!) it was super super sad. Hardly anything was open, and the food places that were open looked gross as if the food had been sitting out since noon (looking at you Sbarro). So I picked up the bottles of water and the powerade (why can I never find Gatorade in FL??? Seem like FL would be THE place to find it…), but none of the stores carried sunblock so didn’t get that.

I dropped that stuff up at the room, then set out again to try to find something to eat. I really didn’t want to eat in a sit-down restaurant (trying to avoid indoor meals at this point), and the fast-food options as noted previously were either closed or kinda gross looking.

Eventually I made my way down to McCoy’s in the lobby of the Hyatt and asked if I could get some food to go. Fortunately I was able to, and I could order some wine, yay! So I ordered the mojo chicken and a bottle of red wine. They were great and told me I didn’t even need to wait there for it, they would bring it up to my room within 30 minutes, and sure enough just over 15 minutes later they arrived at my room with my food and wine!

I shockingly didn’t get a picture of the food, but it was really good, and just what I needed after a stressful day of watching my plane fly around the country! The wine was also really good, and fortunately it had a screw top so I was able to bring what was left with me when I checked out the following morning.

While I didn’t get a picture of the food, I did get a picture of the MASSIVE TV. Seriously this thing was the size of a door. We just got my parents a 55” tv, and this one was huge compared to that one!




This was actually great though because the first NFL game of the year (regular season) was on that night, and I really wanted to watch! So I settled in with my food and wine and turned on the game. It was the Bucs game, which I love to watch because it’s basically the Pats 2.0, and as mad as I am at Brady for leaving I still love to watch him play!

It was a fun low key evening and I crashed the minute the game ended since I wanted to be rested for the following week+ at Disney!


Next Up: Maybe We Won’t Miss DME!
 
  • disneyAndi14

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 1, 2014
    Joining in, so happy the flight was right on time, yay!
    I have always thought about staying at the Hyatt in MCO for a later in the day flight.
    The food at MCO is really blah! That was nice the hotel restaurant was available for do take out!
     

    snikki

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 9, 2021
    Yay for on time flights, room service and football! Sounds like a great start to your trip. Can’t wait to hear more.
     

    Bama Mom

    Disney Dreamer
    Joined
    Dec 13, 2017
    Oddly enough I was ready older TRs today and just ready yours from your earlier trip. The pilots comments had me cracking up. I'm glad this trip you actually had a good luck with the flight (at least your flight down to Florida). I agree...you would think Florida would be the place to find Gatorade LOL
     
  • VAtink

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 5, 2013
    Joining in, so happy the flight was right on time, yay!
    Haha, you and me both! I couldn't believe that even with a TS hitting FL that day I actually made it in on time!

    I have always thought about staying at the Hyatt in MCO for a later in the day flight.
    It's actually a pretty decent place to stay for a night, we've done it before and enjoyed it. They recently updated the rooms and they're really nice, they have this motion activated lights under the bed that light up when you get up in the middle of the night to go the bathroom, which I LOVED. It was dim enough it didn't light up the room, but bright enough you could see where you were going. I wish Disney would add something like this, this will come up later in the TR, but the light situation at night when either my mom or I had to go to the bathroom was less than ideal!

    The food at MCO is really blah! That was nice the hotel restaurant was available for do take out!
    It really is, especially in the main terminal. I was so happy I could get some decent food from the hotel to go, I was dreading dried out day old pizza!
     

    VAtink

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 5, 2013
    Yay for on time flights, room service and football! Sounds like a great start to your trip. Can’t wait to hear more.
    :welcome: Thanks for joining! Seriously, on time flights are amazing, especially when the flight is later in the day! Can't wait to get into the Disney portion of the trip, that's so much more fun than the airport!
     

    VAtink

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 5, 2013
    Oddly enough I was ready older TRs today and just ready yours from your earlier trip. The pilots comments had me cracking up. I'm glad this trip you actually had a good luck with the flight (at least your flight down to Florida). I agree...you would think Florida would be the place to find Gatorade LOL
    Haha, those pilots on my April flight were awesome! I was secretly hoping they would be flying the plane down to MCO again this past trip! (wasn't them, but these new ones got us in on time and to the correct airport so I guess I can't complain :rotfl2:)

    And yes, I don't understand why we can never find Gatorade in FL! It's so weird!
     

    StarWarsMomofGirls!

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 16, 2015
    I am glad I found this now! I seem to always jump on when someone is a day into the trip!

    I am also pretty certain I saw Bernie Sanders while I was waiting. The seat I picked was next to the shoe shine station, and while waiting I swear I heard his voice and look over to see what I believe was him getting his shoes shined! It was hard to tell with the mask, but I’m like 98% sure it was him.
    It could have been!

    Amazingly my flight actually took off on time! But I knew not to celebrate just yet….
    AMAZING!!! At least you got one on time flight!

    AND at the correct airport!
    This is hilarious that this is a thing you have to worry about!

    There was a short line, but it didn’t take long, and soon I was checking in. The woman at the desk did make the comment “but you already checked in online…” as if I was at fault for wanting a room at 7PM, hours after check-in. :sad2:
    oye!

    Glad you were able to find something decent for dinner. MCO has terrbile options in general!
     

    VAtink

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 5, 2013
    Day 2, Part 1: Maybe We Won’t Miss DME!

    I woke up this morning annoyingly early, at about 6:30. I had zero reason to be up this early since my mom’s flight didn’t land until after 10, but I guess my brain was just too excited about almost being in Disney it did not want me to sleep any longer!

    I slowly got ready for the day, made lots of coffee, and watched the morning news. I started monitoring my moms flight after it took off around 7:30 and another lucky day, it was on time!

    It was a long morning waiting, I couldn’t wait to get to Disney! So I entertained myself with some hotel room selfies.



    (ah, the pre-humidity hair…)

    I saw my moms flight landed right at 10:30, so at 10:45 I headed out of the room to go meet her at baggage claim. It took a really long time for her to show up, apparently her plane took a nice tour around the airport before finding a gate, but eventually I saw her coming down the stairs to the baggage claim area!

    For some reason, Jetblue was using the same baggage carousel for three flights that had just landed at the same time, so it was a madhouse in there. After about 10 minutes waiting in that crush of people I made the executive decision that we would NOT be riding DME. Day one of Disney and I was already over crowds :rotfl2:

    My mom wasn’t a fan of that plan, she really didn’t want me to spend the money, but when I told her that we would need to lug all our stuff to the complete opposite side of the airport to get DME whereas with Uber we could walk out the door directly behind us for a car, she changed her mind. OR….maybe it was me telling her if we took an Uber we’d be at the Food and Wine food booths earlier…yeah, it was probably that.

    It took a pretty long time for my moms bag to come out, I believe it was around 11:15 at that point, and once we had it we walked right outside and I called for an uber. It arrived in about 5 minutes and we were on our way!

    This was definitely a great decision, we ended up arriving at the YC around 11:40, so much faster than DME!

    Now, before the trip I had called to put in a room request (high floor), so I was expected when we arrived that we would just wait for whatever room we were assigned to be ready to hopefully get the request (which we’ve always gotten in the past).

    Well, my mom had other ideas.

    When we got into the lobby some CMs told us we should check-in at the front desk since the room notification apparently hasn’t been working lately. So we headed over there to see if our room was ready.

    The room we were assigned wasn’t ready, but they did offer us a different room that was. I was thinking we’d decline since I had spent all those hours on the phone to put in a request for the one we were assigned, but my mom decided she wanted to be in the room ASAP so told them that yes, we would take the earlier one.


    Spoiler alert! Turns out this was a mistake, we should have waited for our originally assigned room, but we wouldn’t discover this until later in the trip!

    We ended up in a room on the second floor (so much for an upper floor ☹), #2096. The room itself was nice, looked out over the quiet pool and the tennis courts. I do have to say, I’m shocked at how worn out the rooms look already, the wallpaper was peeling, the furniture was all scuffed up, and some of the light fixtures weren’t working. Nothing major, just amazing how quickly the rooms wear out! Although I guess it has been 4 years since the renovation…just feels like it was only a year or two ago when we had a newly renovated room there!







    This would be the source of much frustration later in the week….

    Once in the room my mom quickly changed into her FL clothes, and we headed out for our first taste of Food and Wine for the year!


    Up Next: That’s a Lot of Cheese! *Part 1*
     
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    2xcited2sleep

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 5, 2008
    Happy to have found this and excited to follow along. Impressed by the relative lack of travel drama in your flight down to FL. I was confused by one part of your story, if you could clarify ... you had wine leftover!?!? :upsidedow Awesome for them delivering it to you. I am over crowds entirely. Like, leave me alone in "my" park/resort, please. :laughing: If only!
     

    VAtink

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 5, 2013
    Following! I had to look up the Hyatt you stayed in - a Hotel IN the airport? That's so cool!
    :welcome: Thanks for joining in!

    Yeah, the Hyatt is really neat, and super convenient! It's a pretty decent hotel, we've always had good stays there. One of these stays I do want to book a room that looks out onto the runways, that has to be an awesome view!
     

    VAtink

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 5, 2013
    Happy to have found this and excited to follow along. Impressed by the relative lack of travel drama in your flight down to FL. I was confused by one part of your story, if you could clarify ... you had wine leftover!?!? :upsidedow Awesome for them delivering it to you. I am over crowds entirely. Like, leave me alone in "my" park/resort, please. :laughing: If only!
    :wave:Thanks for following along! I was so shocked that my flight down to FL was uneventful, it was so weird!

    And HAAAA! Yeah, I know, it does seem odd that I had wine left over. Going to blame it on the shock that I arrived on time, it totally threw off my game!

    Wouldn't it be great if you could actually get an entire resort/park all to yourself? I was definitely over crowds this trip. I feel like maybe I'm just getting old and grumpy, but I was totally getting annoyed at the crowds in Epcot! There just never seemed to be a truly "slow" day, like there were days that were a lot less crowded, but there were still a lot of people around! On the bright side with all the extra tables they put out we never had to eat off of a trash can, so that's a plus!
     


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