Girls Weekend for Food & Wine / SWGE Trip Report 9/26 - 9/30

BFF1 & BFF2 do a girl’s trip every year, and this year I managed to talk them into Food & Wine Festival at Disney! We booked the trip in January, so we got the bonus surprise of SWGE! As Star Wars fans, we were excited about this development.

It was my BFF2’s first time to go, BFF1’s first time for everything but Epcot (which she went to in college), and my . . . . 6th? 7th? Visit. I’ve lost count.

I’ll do a day by day break down as I have time, but my high level highlights and thoughts:

First time without kids - and it was awesome!

First time at Food & Wine - I don’t know that I’ll be back for it. It was fine, but it was hot, there was no shade, and there were hardly standing tables to stand and awkwardly eat our food. I would have much preferred to be sitting in a cooled quick service or table service restaurant.

First time using dining plan - The math never works out for me to have purchased it before, but it was “free” with our trip. I had read to not use it for water / drinks, and as a result of doing an entire day of food and wine for meals and Wild Africa Trek for lunch, we ended the trip with 5 quick service meals and 4 snacks! We blew them all on items in the hotel shop, but next time, I’ll use credits for EVERYTHING and pay out of pocket if necessary at the end.

Second time for me for Wild Africa Trek - it’s an amazing experience! My friends insisted on doing it and loved it. I don’t know that I need to do it a third time.

Second time for fireworks dessert party (after, garden) - MK was predicted to be a 5 but was a 7 day and sooooooo crowded. This was a life saver. We would not have stayed for fireworks otherwise.

Minnie Vans at MK at closing - NOPE - I felt ill after the dessert party, and we tried to get a Minnie Van. It was a 40 min wait for one and we saw maybe three arrive before we got on the YC bus. I would not count on using them at park close.

GM Employee Lounge - BFF1 works for GM, so we got unlimited FP for Test Track as well as access to the employee lounge for free drinks and air con. :slight_smile:


Thursday, September 26 -
Arrival, HS

FP+ & Reservations:
5 pm Muppets
6 pm ST
7 pm Mama Melrose
8:15 pm Oga
8:45 pm SDD (special thanks to fp4me)

I traveled with BFF1 and BFF2 was meeting us from California. Plane landed at 1:30 pm for us. Got on ME, landed at Yacht Club. (I’ve stayed at BCV before.) Requested and got a room with a day bed so we each got our own place to sleep. :slight_smile:

BFF1 and I got our refillable mugs and walked around Stormalong bay. She was hungry, so we went to the lounge at YC while we waited on BFF2 to arrive. I wasn’t expecting her until 6 pm but she got to us at 5 pm. We threw her carryon down in the room, and headed to HS!

My friends had never been to Disney and had few demands on this trip so I basically got to plan my dream trip. :slight_smile: One of the few priorities they had was to meet Edna Mode, and since we got to HS earlier than expected, saw her first!

One of the other priorities was everything Muppets related, so went to the Muppet show, hit our FP for ST, and then went to Mama Melrose’s at 6:55 pm.

Unfortunately - they were running behind and we weren’t seated until 7:15! I let our waitress know that we were expected for cocktails in a galaxy far, far away at 8:15 pm and asked if they could try to rush us. They called over and let the Oga’s staff know that we were running late instead, which I appreciated.

We then ran to SWGE! It was very cool and looks amazing!

There are no helpful signs anywhere in the land or signs on the buildings telling you what they actually are. Cast members get to pick their costume and blend in quite well, so they are impossible to find. I was is in a panic about getting to Oga’s, could not find it, and could not find a cast member to ask. Finally located one, who pointed us to the big line!

We managed to make it to Oga’s at 8:15 pm on the dot. After a 5 min wait, we were let in.

After Oga’s, BFF1 went back to the YC since she was feeling badly, and BFF2 and I went to use our 8:45 pm - 9:45 FP+. I knew we could leave SWGE into TS land. However - we could not find our way out of SWGE. We literally walked in a circle three times. At this point, we had maybe 10 min left on our FP+! I finally found a cast member, who started with, "I’ve heard tales of a big dog . . . " and I was like, “I’VE LITERALLY WALKED IN A CIRCLE THREE TIMES PLEASE HOW DO I GET OUT OF HERE?”

We finally made it out of SWGE, and onto our FP. I had not done SDD at night before, and it was soooooo awesome! (We are in the front row)

We then went (successfully) back to SWGE and wandered into Dok Ondar’s, which I recognized from the comic books.

Took some quick MF pictures -

and jumped into line for MFSR.

We waited for 30 min, maybe?

Two people in front of us waited to be pilots. BFF2 and I were assigned to be engineers. Someone sat the entire time at the chess table and looked pretty sick, so I didn’t want to bother them to move for the chessboard picture.

Our pilots had CLEARLY done this before. The ride was very smooth. We engineers had very little to do. The ride was amazing.

After the ride was over, fireworks were going on, which made it challenging to get out of the park. We stopped and watched the last few minutes, and then followed the herd back to the YC boats.

Next up: Epcot!


Friday, September 26 -
Arrival, HS

FP+ & Reservations:
9:30 Soarin
10:30 SE
11:30 MS

Thanks to our awesome location at YC, we left the hotel at 8:30 and made it with time to spare for rope drop at 9 am. We headed right to Frozen with great purpose, and waited maybe 5 min:

BFF2 decided to impress her kids by meeting Anna and Elsa. Not part of my plan, but when the mood strikes you to enter a line stating a 15 min wait (actual time: 30), you do it!

(The rooms had the automatic photo boxes, but we had human photographers.)

We then dashed to Soarin. It was a 25 min wait for Living on the Land, so we skipped it and went to SE, otherwise known as the time I take a nap in the dark.

BFF1 was hot and cranky, and it was too early for our MS FastPass, so we went to the GM employee lounge at Test Track instead!

GM employees are allowed in the lounge during business hours M-F. It has a private bathroom, a soda fountain, chairs, and air conditioning. AND - unlimited FP for TT!

We then hit MS orange. Then, we started eating!

BFF2 and I also decided to do the Remy’s Hide and Squeak, which for a scavenger hunt that we paid for that I assumed was for children, was SHOCKINGLY hard. We ended up asking cast members if they had seen a rat about half of the time.

We ate cheesy things:

Things from fire:

Then we were full. I was expecting smaller snacks.

We had a dole whip with rum? I think?

We walked our way around the world, looking for the rat that I would have ASSUMED would be easier to find. We took refuge in the movie in France for some sitting and air conditioning.

We tried the hummus fries, but apparently didn’t take any pictures.

We walked around the world, contemplating buying various food and drinks, and enjoying air conditioning where we could find it. We had to wait 5 min for the ride in Mexico, which was a first for me.

We tried the raclette.

It’s a testament to how hot and cranky we were that there are no pictures after this.

We ate poutine and the beer cheese soup. Again, no pictures. The soup was great.

Our consensus was that it was not fun. We did not enjoy eating standing up in the heat and searching for a table to balance your tiny dishes on. I really thought it would be a lot more fun that it was. It turns out actually sitting in air conditioning and enjoying your meal is WAY more fun.

Also, why was there so much cheese available in 90 degree weather? And why did we keep ordering it?

We went back to YC, and just laid on the bed for a while, then put on our swim suits and floated in the lazy river followed by the hot tub.

We then threw clothes back on, went into Epcot, and rode TT with another FP (thank you GM!) We tried to find a Mickey pretzel, but everything was closed

We left right before Illuminations, a show which I absolutely hate.

I know - everyone loves it.



Since we missed eating a Mickey pretzel, we went to the bar at YC and had another snack before bed!

Next up: Magic Kingdom!


Saturday, September 27 -

FP+ & Reservations:
9:30 SM
11:40 BTMRR
1:40 SDMT
5 pm BOG
After fireworks Dessert party

Though there was EEMH, we were on vacation without kids, one of us lives in California, and we slept in! All the way to 7:30 am! And left the hotel around 8:30.

One bus trip later, we were at the Magic Kingdom!

I realized I had never had pictures ALONE before at Disney:

We headed right to Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger spin. It turns out that if you haven’t played the game before, it’s hard to figure out what to do. I kept yelling, “Shoot the Z’s! Shoot the lightning bolts!” back at BFF1

(I always look SO serious on this ride. Is it just me?)

In order to keep the Magic alive, I neglected to describe any of the rides as we got to them. So, SURPRISE! A roller coaster! IN THE DARK! FP!

I do not like roller coasters. I felt somewhat vindicated that BFFs, who LOVE roller coasters, did not like Space Mountain, my least favorite roller coaster after RNRR (the others are fine).

We then went to my FAVORITE ride - Haunted Mansion!

I was SO EXCITED about the new ride photo:

At this point, BFF1 had a MELTDOWN, and demanded a Mickey pretzel. I wanted to go to Splash Mountain. It was a 45 min wait by this point, so fine, we had a Mickey pretzel. (Many thanks to the guest experience place which told us where to find the nearest Mickey pretzel) I then remembered we were in the area of BFF1’s one priority for this trip - Muppets!

I will miss you Great Moments in History . . . . But Only the American Parts! :frowning:


We went and used our FP for BTMRR. My original plan was to eat lunch next, but no one was hungry after eating an ENTIRE Mickey pretzel each, so we waited for 45 min (inside) for POTC

My original plan was to go to Pecos Bill, but since it was close to 1 and the parade was going to happen at 2, I guided us to Pinocchio’s Village Haus. Since we had a 45 min wait (inside) during POTC, I though, ah ha! Mobile ordering!

We got to Pinocchio’s and hit the “I’m here” button for mobile ordering. We found a table and left BFF2 there, and then BFF1 and went to join the Mobile Order pick up line.

This was a HUGE mistake. It was a 20 min wait. Lesson learned: use mobile ordering and sit down and relax. Wait until it tells you almost half an hour later to get your food. Or press the “I am here” button when you are 10 min away.

After Pinocchio’s, we went over to SDMT for our FP

And from there, let the same day FPs begin! We got a pass for Dumbo. While waiting, we went to the circus friend meet and greet (posted 10 min wait). I had never been there before, and it was so cute!

We did Dumbo:

Then a FP for Small World - where there was a several boat pile up and we were stuck for 10 min. Still better than the time I was stuck there for 20 min. No matter - plenty of time to pick up a new FP. We got one for Little Mermaid and did it. We were going to hit Philharmagic, but it was down, so we did some shopping and went to BOG for our dinner reservation.

We sat in the ballroom, next to a snowy window. Dinner was amazing, and the dessert is just too cute:

While at dinner I picked up a FP for PP. I KNOW! Crazy! So, after dinner we did PP, Philharmagic, then rode the teacups.

It was 8 pm, so we went to check into the after fireworks dessert party (garden view.) The plan was to drop off BFF1, then ride People Mover. The garden was crowded (people were sitting) so I was glad we were leaving someone to hold our spot. BFF1 asked for us to bring her a water. Unlike my last experience with the party, they didn’t have bottles of water for us to take with us, but we brought her a paper cup of water with a lid. At that point, people mover was a 20 min wait, so we just waited with her.

I love the HEA fireworks and got very teary.

After fireworks we waited for the crowd to die down, then headed to the party.

During our journey to get a cup of water we took a sneak peek at the desserts. I will say that some of the desserts for the before party were not the same as the after. For example - no cupcakes at the after. :frowning:

I did find some cupcakes to decorate BY MYSELF:

After the fireworks party, I was ready to go. We had a great day! The only things I had hoped we would ride that we didn’t get to were JC, People Mover, and Splash. Not too bad considering it was supposed to be a CL5 and it was a CL7 and we slept in!

After the desserts, I started feeling ill. We headed to the Minnie Van area and I ordered one. The app kept timing out and then it told me that it would be a 40 min wait. We went to the YC bus area, waited probably 15 min, and got on a bus. I felt much better by the next morning.

Next up: Animal Kingdom and HS round 2!