Whenever my boyfriend and I start looking forward to our trips to Walt Disney World, we start craving certain things that we can ONLY get there.
My boyfriend always starts to crave the Florida Citrus Swirl. I always look forward to the giant chocolate chip cookies. Yesterday morning our cravings got the better of us and we decided to make a surprise visit to Walt Disney World. We also decided to take the plunge and become Annual Passholders! (Now we can go whenever we want to!)
Before we could start our adventure, we needed to run a few errands that have been pressing. We were on our way shortly after noon though. As we pulled into the parking lot of the Magic Kingdom, I realized that we were actually going to fulfill one of the things on my 27 things list. Score one for spontaneously visiting await Disney World! We grabbed our tickets, hopped on the monorail and were inside the park before 2:30.
Even though Halloween was on Wednesday, the park was still decorated with fall colors. There were pumpkins lining Main Street and fall inspired wreaths on all of the lamp posts.
The first thing we did after getting in the park was head straight for Space Mountain. That ride is definitely one of our favorites and we always try go on it whenever we can. The stand-by line said 95 minutes so we grabbed Fast Passes and wandered around the park. We walked by the New Fantasyland expansion. It looks like it is coming along nicely and I can’t wait until is open. The ride I am most looking forward to is the Dwarf Mine Roller Coaster and that won’t be open until 2014.
Then it was time for the Florida Citrus Swirl. These wonderful treats can only be found at the Sunshine Tree Terrace right near Aladdin’s Magic Carpet Ride. A lot of people talk about how great the Dole Whips are but I honestly believe that the Citrus Swirl is better. How can you go wrong with orange juice concentrate swirled with vanilla soft serve. It tastes just like an Orange-Creamsicle. Seriously next time you are in the Magic Kingdom, do a taste test between the two and let me know what you think. You won’t regret it!
By the time we finished our swirls, it was time to head back over to Space Mountain. If there is a popular ride and the line is really long, the only way to go is a Fast Pass. When we got our passes, it was 2:37 and the stand-by line said it was a 95 minute wait. When we got on the ride, it was before 4:00. We spent a total of 83 minutes waiting to go on that ride, which is better than 95 and we got to eat our citrus swirls.
As we were walking around the park, I discovered that my boyfriend aphid never been on the Carousel if Progress before. The Carousel is a unique ride that Walt Disney debuted at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City. It shows a “typical” American family through time and demonstrates how progress has changed their lives. It certainly isn’t a thrill ride but it is a unique way to show where have been and how far we have come.
The Magic Kingdom was fairly crowded today so we decided to head over to Epcot and check out the International Food and Wine Festival. We hopped on the monorail and made our way over to Epcot.
The crowds at Epcot weren’t much better than the ones at Magic Kingdom but that didn’t stop us from going inside to enjoy the festival. On our way in, we grabbed a festival guide so we would know what was at each of the kiosks. There are 29 festival kiosks spread out around the World Showcase. Knowing that we weren’t going to be able to hit them all, we figured out which kiosks we really wanted to go to.
[Swedish Meatballs with Lingonberries and Rice Pudding with Strawberries]
[Mung Bean Pancake with Shrimp & Kimichi Sauce and Lettuce Wrap with Roast Pork & Kimchi Slaw]
[Seared Filet of beef with Smashed Potatoes and Braai Sauce and Spinach and Paneer Cheese Pocket]
[Kielbasa and Potato Pierogie with Carmelized Onions and Sour Cream and Toasted Mushroom, Carmelized Onion and Cheese Bread with House-made Ketchup]
[Chilled Lobster Claw, Maine Clam Chowder, Pumpkin Mousse with Dried Cranberries and Orange Sauce and 17th Anniversary Festival Beer (Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock)]
[Ground Seasoned Beef in Pita Pocket and Harissa Chicken Roll]
[Lobster and Seafood Fisherman's Pie, Warm Chocolate Lava with Baileys Ganache, Guinness Draught and Irish Coffee]
[Cheddar Cheese Soup, Chicken Chipotle Sausage with Sweet Corn Polenta and Onion Jam and Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with Truffle Butter Sauce]
Everything we ate today was fabulous! The festival beer that Samuel Adams created was the best one yet (of the ones I have tried). Our booth was definitely Canada. The flavors in each dish were amazing. There was a wonderful balance between spicy, sweet, savory, salty and everything else imaginable.
Before we left the park, we decided to check out the Festival Center. The one souvenir I like to get is the annual cookbook with several of the recipes from the different booths. While we were there, we found the best room ever! We found the Ghirardelli Chocolate room! And yes, they were handing out samples just like they do at the store in Downtown Disney. All of those sculptures are made entirely out of chocolate!!!
We both love going to the Food and Wine Festival. It is probably one our favorite times of year at Walt Disney World. We are going back next weekend for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon and I can’t wait. Hopefully, we will be get to check some of the booths that we missed this time.