Sorry it’s taken me a while to continue with the trip report, I caught a bug shortly after writing the first part and have been spending most of my time that I’m not needing to be doing other things resting. Here’s day 3
3: Friday October 28, 2016 Epcot and Hollywood Studios
My intention had been to get up early for rope-drop again at Epcot, but when my alarm went off Friday morning, I just couldn’t get myself out of bed, so I snoozed until about 10:00 am, when I decided I really should start my day of food and fun! Since I was going to Hollywood Studios later in the day, I didn’t go bag-free this day, so it took a little longer to get up to the entrance after going through bag check.
I decided that the best breakfast would be something from the Chocolate Studio. I couldn’t decide which of the three options I wanted, so I decided to try all three, the Liquid Nitro Chocolate-Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey-Caramel, the Ghiradelli® Chocolate Raspberry Torte and the Red Wine Chocolate Truffle.
Liquid Nitro Chocolate-Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey-Caramel – this was probably my favorite thing that I tried during my trip. The chocolate-almond truffle was so smooth, and it was interesting to have the warm/cold contrast between the warm caramel and the cold truffle. The topping provided a nice textural contrast between the smooth chocolate and the crunchy nuts. I have to admit that milk chocolate and caramel is one of my favorite flavor combinations, so it’s not surprising that this was a favorite of mine from the festival.
Ghiradelli® Chocolate Raspberry Torte – for me, the chocolate raspberry torte was just ok. I’m not a
huge fan of raspberries due to an unfortunate incident during my childhood, but I occasionally enjoy the flavor if it’s not overpowering. Unfortunately for me, the raspberry flavor was just too strong for my liking, to the point of masking the chocolate flavor. It looked pretty, it just didn’t taste as good as it looked.
Red Wine Chocolate Truffle – the red wine chocolate truffle again for me was ok, though my opinion may be influenced by the amazingness that was the liquid nitro chocolate-almond truffle, for me nothing could compare to that incredible treat!
Next I went to Islands of the Caribbean. I had a hard time deciding which of the four options I wanted, but as it was my goal to try more things this day, I only picked 2 of them – the Jamaican Beef Patty and the Pescado con Coco: Seared Grouper, Pigeon Peas and Rice with Coconut Sauce.
Jamaican Beef Patty – This one was interesting. The yellow color of the breading was astonishing to me. The beef mixture inside was very nicely spiced, but wetter than I was expecting.
Pescado con Coco: Seared Grouper, Pigeon Peas and Rice with Coconut Sauce – I liked this dish. I’m not a fan of fish that is fishy tasting, but the grouper was a very mild white fish, the pigeon peas and rice were a nice accompaniment and the coconut sauce was amazing, and paired nicely with the fish, vegetables, pigeon peas and rice.
I was feeling quite full after my morning culinary adventures, so I decided to take a little break from the food tasting. I did make a stop at Club Cool to enjoy some of the different beverages they have there – not including Beverly as I’ve tried Beverly in the past and knew to avoid it! While walking around, I felt one of my blisters break and so I headed over to the First Aid center to pick up some Neosporin and bandages. I then went to the Festival Center to pick up a Remy’s Ratatouille Hide and Squeak adventure map, and the 8 entitlement Food & Wine Festival Tasting Sampler. Since I don’t drink alcohol, I just barely broke even on the cost of the sampler, but I liked and wanted the Limited release Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Trading Pin, so I’m pleased with the purchase.
While at the Festival Center, I watched the “Seasons of the Vine” short film, which was interesting describing the process of wine making and I attended one of the Back to Basics demonstrations on fresh produce. It was interesting, and I appreciated being off of my feet for the 30 minute presentation.
I then went back into the park, making a first stop at Mission Space, since the wait time was low and this is one of my favorite attractions in Future World.
Following a successful, though dangerous landing on Mars, I went back out into the World Showcase, making a first stop at the Australia kiosk, getting the Grilled Lamb Chop with Mint Pesto and Potato Crunchies. I usually like lamb, but for me the mint pesto was overpowering. This was probably my least favorite dish of the festival and one I don’t plan on trying again if it appears in future years.
While making my way around the World Showcase, I did spot my first Remy in Mexico – this was the only statue that I managed to get a picture of as the crowd levels on Friday and Saturday were much larger than Thursday.
I then stopped at Hops & Barley for the New England Lobster Roll. I took this with me into the Chase lounge to enjoy with a glass of root-beer. The lobster roll was good, had a fair amount of lobster and wasn’t covered in a sauce.
I then went through the International Gateway Entrance to Epcot to catch a Friendship boat to Hollywood Studios. As I’ve mentioned earlier, one of my goals for this trip was to do things that I’ve never done before in the parks, and one of those things for me was taking the Friendship Boats to Hollywood Studios. I enjoyed seeing the different resorts that we passed on the trip, as well as the Boardwalk.
When I arrived at Hollywood Studios, I was already into the time for my Fast Pass for Toy Story Midway Mania. While I never score all that well (I grew up during the time period when Ninteno games were brand new, but my parents refused to buy a console, so most of my videogame experience came at friend’s houses. I’ve never been good at them, but I do enjoy playing).
After this I went into the Star Wars Launch Bay to see if there were any Jawas around who wanted to trade items. I traded a string of shiny beads for a droid’s head. After my trading adventures during my last trip I now have 3 droids heads and 2 droid bodies, I just need to get some arms/legs and I’ll have a full droid.
I then had some time to kill while waiting form the Disney Junior Show, which was another I’ve never done attraction, so I people watched in the square in front of the launch bay. It was fun to watch all of the little kids playing with bubbles. The Disney Junior Show was cute, though I doubt I will ever see it again unless I’m there with one of my nieces who is in the age range for the target audience.
I still had some time before the check-in time for the Star Was: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party, so I made my way to For the First Time In Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along. I enjoy this show, with all of the jokes and puns made by the Royal Historians of Arendel. It’s always fun to see who Kristoff is mistaken for (it was Justin Bieber this show, though my favorite was this summer when Eric mistook him for Luke Skywalker).
After the show let out it was time to check-in for the Dessert Party, so I made my way back over to the Launch Bay. It wasn’t quite time for the food to be out, so I did stop and watch the short film that’s shown in the Launch Bay. I don’t know when this change occurred, but it was nice to get a lanyard for the dessert Party instead of a wrist band (I attended the dessert party on my last trip in August and we received purple wrist bands to indicate that we were party guests).
The food was the typical Dessert party/buffet dessert selection that’s available, but I wasn’t there for the food, I was there for the amazing view of the fireworks show! I will make one note on the food though, while it is good, the liquid nitro frozen Nutella truffle with dark chocolate sauce was not nearly as delicious as the truffle at Epcot with the caramel sauce.
After eating all I wanted, I spent some time watching the Jawas trade with other guests and traded a flashing light-up wand for a flashing light-up ring. I also shared some of my trading stash with some girls I had met early at the dessert party and they had fun trading as well. One note for those of you who have children that might enjoy trading – one of the girls was into the trading, but the Jawas would only trade with her 3 times, and it didn’t matter after that 3rd trade what she tried to trade with them, they would refuse the trade.
At the appropriate time, we lined up and headed out to the viewing area for the fireworks, picking up our Chewbacca Steins while entering the area. The view and the fireworks were amazing as always. I do think this is one of the best projection shows and fireworks displays that Disney has currently, but I may be biased as I am a Star Wars fan, and have been since I was very young – I saw Return of the Jedi in theaters on opening day at age 5, and up to that point in my life, the only movies I had ever seen in theaters were Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back (both during their re-release prior to the release of Return of the Jedi) and ET. And as this was during the time prior to VCRs, movies weren’t as readily available for viewing as they are now.
I had planned on staying for evening Extra Magic Hours, but my feet were hurting, so I made the long trek back to the bus for Pop Century. I then re-packed my bags, as I would be needing to check out in the morning and then it was time for bed.