Epcot

Julia’s Best Week Ever, October 5, 2017: Epcot 35–Something Old, Something New

by on October 5, 2017

 

Ever have one of those weekends when you really don’t have plans? This weekend was one of those. With the weather predicted to be a washout, we thought about just staying at home. But when we got up on October 1 and the weather wasn’t too horrible, we piled in the car (with umbrellas) and headed over to Epcot for the visionary park’s 35th anniversary. We weren’t the only ones–the line of cars extended as far as the eye could see.

 

When we arrived, we got a special Epcot 35 button and a unique map for the day. We unfolded the map, and it was a neat poster souvenir.

 

We had no interest in buying merchandise, but I think we were the only people in all of Walt Disney World who didn’t. The line for I Was There merchandise stretched from Innoventions all the way to the main entrance. On the other hand, this was the “line” for Spaceship Earth.

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The Best of Walt Disney World for Seniors

by on October 4, 2017

The Best of Walt Disney World for Seniors

Welcome back to Part 6 of my blog series – The Best of Walt Disney World! In case you missed it, over the next several weeks, I’ll be sharing with you the top picks in attractions for various groups of travelers visiting the Walt Disney World theme parks. So far we’ve discussed favorites for babiespreschoolersgrade school kids, teens and adults. Next up are the still-going-strong seniors. When checking out the list, keep in mind each attraction that made the cut scored at least four stars by the seniors surveyed. Come on, everybody, here we go!

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Food And Wine’s Mexican Tequila Lunch: Not Your Average Upcharge

by on October 4, 2017

 

It’s likely your tasting schedule for the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival is already jam-packed with sampling some of the hundreds of items on sale at the booths around Future World and World Showcase, but if you’re looking for a slower-paced, more educational dining experience, look no further than the festival’s special events. Though the slate of available events changes from year to year, a few staples, including the Mexican Tequila Lunch, have stuck around the last few years, proving popular options that are both educational and entertaining.

The Mexican Tequila Lunch features excellent food, drinks, and views.

This year, I’ll be reviewing two such popular events that run throughout the festival season. First up: the Mexican Tequila Lunch, held select Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays throughout the festival season from noon to 1:30 PM at La Hacienda de San Angel in Epcot’s Mexico pavilion. Hosted by the tequila experts from La Cava del Tequila, this $85 event includes a four-course Mexican-inspired meal as well as tastings of several tequila varieties. I attended the first tequila lunch held during the 2017 festival season, and here, I’ll try to give you a sense of all the great information, food, and of course, spirits, I got to sample during the meal.

Check-in takes place just outside La Hacienda, after which Cast Members welcome guests into the restaurant with a warm greeting and an ice-cold margarita just before seating us in assigned areas of the dining room. Honestly, as soon as I sat down, I was overwhelmed at the sheer amount of liquor in front of me. I had been concerned that $85 was a bit steep for a lunch, even featuring alcohol, but upon looking at the table setup and the menu in front of me, I was very, very excited to see what the meal had in store. I sampled my welcome drink, a silky smooth, slightly sweet Tequila Avion cucumber margarita, as the remainder of the guests settled in around me, and soon, we were off to the races.

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Tokyo Dining: A Hidden Jewel in Epcot Dining

by on October 3, 2017

One of my favorite places in Epcot to dine is one of the places that I don’t hear people talk about very often – Tokyo Dining. Located on the second floor of Mitsukoshi in the Japan pavilion, Tokyo Dining offers interesting food options, and you can often snag a dining reservation at the last minute. I’ve never had a disappointing meal here. So, what makes Tokyo Dining so special?

Tokyo Dining menu

Tokyo Dining is a great restaurant for a last-minute ADR.

First, the atmosphere in Tokyo Dining is top-notch. The décor is sleek and contemporary, yet comfortable. The restaurant also offers fantastic views of World Showcase with gigantic floor to ceiling windows on one side. Don’t feel like gazing out at the torii gate? Request a table next to the sushi counter and watch the chefs work their magic. Another thing that I really love about this location is that, since it is on the second floor, I feel much more removed from the chaos of World Showcase. To me it is a nice, quiet(er), getaway from the hubbub of people.

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Ask It Results: Epcot 35 Edition

by on October 3, 2017

In honor of Epcot’s 35th anniversary, we spent the day with quick hour-long polls dedicated to Epcot’s history. So many times we hear comments about how “old Epcot was best Epcot” or that the park today is in a state of decline from its glory days. Here’s the day’s worth of polls with your results. Do you agree or disagree with the results? Let us know in the comments.

Spaceship Earth

Spaceship Earth

Who was the best narrator for Spaceship Earth?

Lawrence Dobkin (0%), Walter Cronkite (33%), Jeremy Irons (30%), Judi Dench (37%)

No love for Larry, I guess. This one really was a three-way race, with everyone having their favorite. And really, each of the three popular choices has their own charms. (Is anyone able to say The Renaissance without doing a Jeremy Irons impression anymore?) In some ways, Judi Dench combines the down-to-earth conversational tone of Walter Cronkite with the formal diction of Jeremy Irons. The fact that Judi Dench is able to take a sometimes cringeworthy script and make it still appealing is a testament to her performance.

Universe of Energy

Which Energy pavilion was the best version?

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New ‘Remember Me!’ La Celebración del Día de Muertos Exhibit at Epcot

by on September 29, 2017

‘Remember Me!’ La Celebración del Día de Muertos

©Disney

In case you didn’t know, Pixar has a movie coming out this Thanksgiving holiday called Coco. Well, in an obvious attempt to tie in the movie with the theme parks, Disney is introducing a brand new exhibit for the Mexico Pavilion at Epcot called ‘Remember Me!’ La Celebración del Día de Muertos.

The exhibit features artwork of prominent Mexican and Mexican-American artists that explores the traditions of Día de Muertos. (The main premise behind Coco.) For those who are unaware, Día de los Muertos is a two-day celebration that honors departed children and adults and takes place on November 1st and 2nd each year.

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The Best of Walt Disney World for Adults

by on September 27, 2017

The Best of Walt Disney for Adults

Welcome back to Part 5 of my blog series – The Best of Walt Disney World! In case you missed it, over the next several weeks, I’ll be sharing with you the top picks in attractions for various groups of travelers visiting the Walt Disney World theme parks. So far we’ve discussed favorites for babiespreschoolersgrade school kids, and teens. Next up are the young-at-heart adults. When checking out the list, keep in mind each attraction that made the cut scored at least four stars by the adults surveyed. Come on, everybody, here we go!

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Every New Item at the 2017 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Reviewed

by on September 26, 2017

With so many items available at the 2017 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, it can be overwhelming to know what new dishes to skip or sample. That’s where I come in – as TouringPlans’ resident food reviewer, I’m continuing my tradition of sampling every new dish at the festival this year so you don’t have to! Below, you’ll find reviews and photos of all of the new food, and at the bottom of this review, you’ll find rankings of how I’d categorize each dish (skip, try, must-try, or Best of the Fest). Be sure to use the quick links below to navigate through this guide!

The Food
Epcot Legacy Showplace
Flavors From Fire
Light Lab
Active Eats
Coastal Eats
Cheese Studio
Almond Orchard
Hawai’i
Farm Fresh
Greece
Thailand
Mexico
China
India
Africa
Spain
Italy
Japan
France
Ireland
The Rankings
Best of the Fest – Top Ten New Dishes
Definite Must-Try Dishes
Try If You Have Time
Skip And Save Your Appetite

 

The Food

 

 

Epcot Legacy Showplace

  • Zesty Cheeseburger and Cheddar Cheese Macaroni Handwich

Epcot Legacy Showplace's Zesty Macaroni HandwichI wanted to love the handwich so much. The nostalgia. The pure cheese of it all (literal and figurative). But alas, it was not truly cheeseburger macaroni as I expected upon reading the menu. This had only about one or two kernels of beef in here, and was mostly just mushy, far overdone macaroni with a touch of red pepper shoved into a Cozy Cone cone. Unfortunate execution of a fun idea.

  • Chilled Scotch Egg Wrapped in Sausage with Mustard Sauce

If you’ve ever had a true scotch egg (even from Rose & Crown), this cold offering won’t particularly impress you, but it’s a decent stab at bar food in a location focused primarily on selling craft beers. I wish it hadn’t been cold – it would’ve been far better warm, as the sausage around the egg became a bit mealy as a result of the chill.

  • L’Orange Cotton Candy: A Mixture of Lime and Orange Cotton Candy (V)

Epcot Legacy Showplace's Scotch Egg, L'Orange Cotton Candy, and Bright HorizonsHard pass here – this is just a giant bag of lime and orange cotton candy pieces. There’s no reason to buy this unless you have kids genuinely in search of cotton candy.

  • Bright Horizons: Sprite with Multi-Flavored Boba Pearls (non-alcoholic)

The redeeming quality of this drink is that it comes in a very nice light-up cup that makes a decent souvenir. The boba pearls are multi-colored and pretty, but consider how much you’re paying for a cup of (likely flat, like mine was) Sprite – there’s truth in advertising here.

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Special Events to Mark Epcot’s 35th Anniversary

by on September 22, 2017

©Disney

Wow! I can’t believe it’s already been almost 35 years since Epcot first opened its doors! To celebrate the park’s anniversary on October 1, Walt Disney World is offering a few special opportunities for those who would like to partake.

First, there will be a special commemorative map and times guide! So, you map collectors, make sure to pick up yours! (And maybe grab one for your favorite blogger who isn’t gonna get to be there this year. I’m just saying…she did tell you about it! 😉 )

Then, beginning at 10:01 a.m., there will be a special ceremony that will be held on the Fountain View stage. The ceremony will include performances by both Mariachi Cobre and Voices of Liberty. 

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The Best of Walt Disney World for Teens

by on September 18, 2017

The Best of WDW for Teens

Welcome back to Part 4 of my blog series – The Best of Walt Disney World! In case you missed it, over the next several weeks, I’ll be sharing with you the top picks in attractions for various groups of travelers visiting the Walt Disney World theme parks. So far we’ve discussed favorites for babies, preschoolers, and grade school kids. Next up are those thrill-seeking teens. When checking out the list, keep in mind each attraction that made the cut scored at least four stars by the teens surveyed. Come on, everybody, here we go!

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