Someone asked where the Will Call windows are at Epcot in yesterday’s post. You’ll find them with the regular ticket booths on the left side as you look toward the entrance and Spaceship Earth. There are plenty of signs:
A few looks. It’s not difficult to find. The last image is looking at the bag check area and monorail platform up above.
If you want to meet Daisy, and in particular Stitch, Epcot is the place to do it. Right inside the turnstiles on the right side is where you’ll find these two characters throughout the day. Stitch is much more popular in Animal Kingdom (in Discovery Island or Camp Minnie-Mickey) and Magic Kingdom (Tomorrowland). Expect to wait 20-30+ minutes at either of those Parks and less than five here. Daisy is usually around 10 minutes, but sometimes much shorter.
It’s after 3pm, which means no lines at Spaceship Earth.
More people kissing the new wait times board. Disney seems to have given up on the Twitter feed. Probably a mix of Twitter being the stupidest thing ever invented and intoxicated teenagers tweeting the obscene.
Headed over to the Festival Center to pick up a ticket for the 5pm culinary presentation.
Wait times at 4pm:
Wait times a bit longer at the two major headliners and Soarin’ has already run out of FASTPASSes. Good return times on Test Track though.
If there’s a culinary demonstration or other event going on in the Festival Center that is sold out or you don’t want to pay for, there is room outside on the walkway and on benches throughout the Festival Center to listen and watch. You’ll just need to bring your own food and drink. I’m not sure what they’re going to do when Buddy Valastro from the Cake Boss appears, but I imagine that one will need some extra crowd control.
Headed up to World Showcase at 4:15pm for a quick look at crowds before returning to the Festival Center for the 5pm culinary demonstration.
Looking up through Canada – looks busier than yesterday.
Approaching the United Kingdom Pavilion. The Ireland booth is located on the left side, right before Rose & Crown Pub.
Looking back the other way from Yorkshire County Fish Shop in the UK Pavilion.
Still basically no one in line at Ireland. Lines tend to get longest from 12pm – 2pm and 6pm – 9pm. Right around 4:30pm, there isn’t a lot of demand.
Here’s the Ireland Menu – we’ll pick up a couple items:
The Lobster & Scallop Fisherman’s Pie is one of the most popular items at the Food and Wine Festival.
Someone mentioned it would be a good idea to use some sort of “totem (think Inception)” to show the size of the various items, since they vary so greatly. I’m not sure if this spoon is the best course of action, but it’s better than my face, which is the only other thing I could think of using. Next year I will pull a TouringPlans.com and tour with a protractor and ebullioscope.
From afar, the seemingly small size is somewhat off-putting considering the above-average cost, but it’s actually a lot more than it appears to be. Or at least that was my impression. If you thought it was a good-size portion then you would probably be happy when you received said good-size portion.
There was a comment in yesterday’s post saying that while they liked my pictures, they preferred pictures of half-eaten food from Disney buffets. This is as good as I can do at this time. The Fisherman’s Pie is stacked with a lot of lobster and plenty of scallops. The base is creamy mashed potatoes, making this a filling dish. BUT BE CAREFUL!!!!!! It’s always served very hot. Easily one of the best items at the Food and Wine Festival and highly recommended.
And the Kerrygold Cheese Selection:
This is three pretty good-size chunks of cheese and a nice apple chutney for the bread. I would have liked another slice of bread (or three), but it’s hard to fault the portion size when it’s the same or very similar anywhere else. I enjoyed all three cheeses. It’s not by any means life-changing, but if you’re looking for cheese, this is a nice choice!
Another look back at United Kingdom Pavilion at 4:45pm.
Looking at Mexico from the Australia booth.
Really short lines though.
Here we are at the Festival Welcome Center for the 5pm culinary demonstration. When I booked it, the food/beverage combo was “TBA” or unknown. I didn’t really care what they were serving. It turned out to be a “Western Caribbean Crab Cake Served on a Bed of Vegetable Cole Slaw and Topped with a Passion Fruit Aioli” paired with Sam Adams Boston Lager. I know, right?
This is the Sam Adams rep that confided in us that the Brick Red Ale served at Epcot wasn’t particularly exclusive. You may recall my amusement that the wine people are always bad mouthing wines from other countries or wines of differing varieties. Sam Adams let us know that Sam Adams is the last Great American-Owned Brewery and that the other guys have all been bought up by foreign conglomerates. Hopefully our Busch Light is safe in the hands of InBev.
Our four ounce portion of beer. Unlike wine that’s served at or around room temperature, I think we can agree that beer is best cold. Of course, when the food comes out 20 minutes after the beer, it won’t be so cold. Such is life.
This is Alfonso Blanco, executive chef at Crystal Palace in the Magic Kingdom. Yes, the buffet. He seemed to be an incredibly personable, likeable guy, but it was clear that no one would actually be preparing his dish. The recipe was wrong, the ingredients for the aioli are missing, the instructions aren’t clear, and there are 34 ingredients in the thing. The preparation was also difficult to follow, especially considering it’s basically “mix it all up and cook it.”
The food was really good though. Like all of the demonstrations, you get to eat whatever they’re preparing on stage. For something like $12, it’s a bargain pretty much no matter what.
A better look at the cake:
Another half-eaten look for those of you who appreciate that sort of thing.
Hands down, this is the best Cole Slaw I’ve ever had.
Here’s the menu: https://www.easywdw.com/reports/blancomenu.jpg The “Dressing” may or may not be the aioli. This was discussed during the presentation, but the chef didn’t seem to think it was.
The point here is that the culinary demonstrations really are worth the time and money even if they can vary in overall presentation quality.
Picking up where we left off at 6pm in the United Kingdom Pavilion.
Looking back the other way towards Canada – pretty busy.
In Morocco, headed to Japan.
Looking back toward France.
Even when crowds are tight through most of the World Showcase, there are still a lot of open spaces. The Japan Pavilion is a good place to rest. The back of the United States Pavilion is another good choice.
A good crowd for 38 Special, playing the Eat to the Beat concerts this evening, but there are still seats to be had and plenty of room in back.
A look back at Japan around 7pm.
And looking back at Germany.
Near the Refreshment Outpost on our way to China and Norway.
In China looking at Norway.
At La Cantina de San Angel looking toward the base of World Showcase.
And behind us looking back at Norway and China around 7:30pm.
I stayed for IllumiNations, which I very rarely do. This is the back up for the monorail at 9:30pm. I was on the monorail and we left the platform right at 10pm, meaning I waited in line for about 30 minutes. It seemed like they were taking their sweet time loading the monorail vehicles and some of the “cars” were only half full with no one standing up. Considering how many people were waiting, this seemed odd since they often fill the monorails as tightly as they can during other parts of the day. They were holding guests back and only allowing a certain number of people to approach each gate. If the monorail wasn’t full after letting in a particular number of people, they didn’t allow additional people to board. Right at 10pm, they cut the line off and diverted people to the buses. When I got back to the Ticket/Transportation Center at 10:10pm, the monorail was closed and there was a bus waiting to transport anyone that needed to get back to Epcot.
Overall, a busier day than Monday, but still manageable overall. There were a lot of people in the World Showcase, but lines to most booths were short during off-peak times. Once 7:30pm hits, lines get longer, especially at the booths serving popular beers and alcoholic drinks.