Friday, January 11, 2013

Epcot day 1 {Part 2 ~ World Showcase}

WDW trip report. October 2011, first ever visit and 5th wedding anniversary.

Wednesday October 27th, 2011

I was REALLY excited to see the World Showcase area of Epcot. I love the fact that each pavilion is authentic to each country, the people working in the shops and restaurants are often from that country and each had it's own distinct feel. I wanted to explore each pavilion as much as possible. Even with this as the plan, we managed to somehow walk right past Canada without really seeing it. At least we were able to make up for that on our second day.

A look across World Showcase Lagoon

Walking into the the United Kingdom and I saw that Mary Poppins was out doing meet and greets. I right away jumped in line to get a picture. She was super nice! I asked her about Bert and she told me he was doing a favor for Cinderella by cleaning her chimneys. It was really nice.

Me and Mary
I very much enjoyed the United Kingdom pavilion, the grounds are really nice and the shops were fun as well. The minute I saw the phone booths I knew I need the essential "tourist" image and made Andy take one as well. 

We started to make our way over toward France. We didn't plan on stopping there yet cause we would be back for dinner. We did stop for a few pictures though, of course. 

Once we were across the bridge we made a stop at the France Food and Wine kiosk because Andy wanted to try the escargot. Somehow I didn't get any images of him trying them, I did get some video though. He thought they were okay, had a texture that reminded him of shellfish and not a lot of snail flavor.  At this point I saw Marie doing a meet and greet and I was super excited! Marie (one of the Aristocats kittens) doesn't get a lot of attention in Disneyland but the Arisotcats is one of my favorites movies. I went over to meet her and she was so sweet. She gave me a hug, signed my book with a kiss, applauded my "Happy Anniversary" button and "licked" my had. I loved it!

So happy to meet Marie!

We continued our circle around World Showcase. We had made the decision not to stop in Morocco on this day cause we had lunch plan there on day 2 so we would look around then, so we made a direct line over to Japan. Now, let me give you a little back story. I did a lot of research to plan out this trip but one of my favorites was listening to Lou Mongello's podcast, WDW Radio (can be found on iTunes.)  He had a video segment where he tried different snacks from the Mitsukoshi Department store, one of them being this little dried crabs. Somehow I convinced myself, and Andy, that it would be awesome to try these crabs... So we headed straight over there.

Crazy little crab treats.

Part of the Mitsukoshi Store

This pavilion was very beautiful and the store itself was great. So much to look at! We found the snack we wanted, talked for a minute to a very sweet cashier who let us know that these were one of her favorite snacks, and went to find a place to sit and try them. Without going into a lot of detail I will say that it was not the best of ideas however, I am glad that I was open about it and tried something different. 

Continuing our walk we came upon the American Adventure pavilion next. I spoke with the gentleman at the door to see if Voices of Liberty were performing that day but they were not. Hopefully we would get to see them on our second day. We did experience some more special Disney magic here. The CM at the door told Andy there was a phone call for him and to go to the phone in the corner of the room and enter a code. A bit confused by this Andy did what he was told.. After a few minutes he had a smile on his face and said I needed to hear this. I put in the code and got a message from Minnie and Mickey saying congratulations on our anniversary and sang a "Happy Anniversary" song to the tune of Happy Birthday. It was super cute. The CM then gave us a really awesome postcard that said congratulations on it and he wrote our names and Anniversary celebration in beautiful calligraphy. A very cool keepsake to scrapbook.

Another pavilion I was really looking forward to was Italy so we headed over there to explore for a bit, or should I say... Andy found a nice place to sit while I explored and took pictures, haha. It truly is a beautiful area, I look forward to maybe spending more time there when I get to go back. 

Looking out at World Showcase lagoon.

So beautiful!

We then decided to find a place to sit and do some people watching over in France so we would be there and ready for our dinner reservation. Once we got there I noticed the cart that sells the Grand Marnier slush drink and got right in line to get one. Once I saw the menu though I decided on the Grey Goose Citron Lemonade slush instead. It was so yummy!! Andy got one as well and we sat by a fountain to enjoy.. I will fully admit to feeling a bit warm in the face when I was done, haha.


Dinnertime!! We had reservations for Le Chefs de France that night. I was pretty excited to eat here because I was not sure what to expect. We've never dined at a French restaurant before so it was nice to try something new. The entire CM staff at the entrance was very nice and welcoming, we got a nice window seat looking out on the people walking through World Showcase. 


Andy is ready for food, haha.

As I mentioned in previous posts we were on the Disney Dining Plan for this trip. Our waiter, a very sweet but VERY soft speaking young man, told us some options we had with this. Both Andy and I decided on the 3 course prix fixe option. We were able to choose between 3 starters, entrees and desserts. 

Both Andy and I started off with the Bisque de Homard (Lobster Bisque) and it was so amazing. In face, it was so good that if we ever get to go back Andy wants to eat here again just to have the Lobster Bisque, haha. 

For the entree I chose the Demi poulet fermier roti, pommes rissolees et tomatoes (Half of an all-natural roasted chicken, rissole potatoes and tomatoes) and I really enjoyed it. The chicken was very juicy and had great flavor, also I loved the potatoes! Andy had the Plat de cotes de boeuf au Cabarnet avec pates (Beef short ribs braised in Cabernet with pasta, pearl onions and mushrooms) which he really enjoyed as well. The short ribs were very tender and the whole dish had very nice flavor to it.

My chicken entree.

Andy's short ribs entree.

Both of us agreed that the Profiteroles au chocolat (Puff choux with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce) sounded great but I have to admit that this was the low point of our meals. The profiterole itself had a very dry texture and more of an almost bitter taste than sweet. Either way, we were glad we tried them and enjoyed our meal very much overall.

Our night did not end with dinner and park closing however. While everyone else was enjoying IllumiNation we made a mad dash back to the front of the park and right onto the first bus headed to the Port Orleans resorts. I had read about the horse drawn carriage rides through the resort and thought it would be a very sweet thing for us to do, so I made a reservation for the very last time possible. Once we got to the Port Orleans area I realized I was still not 100% sure where we were supposed to go. We hopped of at the first stop and, lucky for me, it turned out to be the right one. 

The carriage ride was awesome! We had the option if we wanted to ride through Riverside or French Quarter and we chose the latter. Our driver Steve was very nice and asked us a few questions about our trip, people walking the resort all stopped and looked, it was pretty cool. 

Steve and his horse Bob!

At this point it had been a very full day... but we were not done yet. After our carriage ride we headed inside to check out Ye-Haa Bob's show. I am beyond glad that we did this because it was so much fun. I'm not sure how we got so lucky but we were able to find a table to sit, got a few drinks and enjoyed the music. Bob is absolutely hilarious, if you have never been to his show I highly recommend that you try to go next time you are at WDW, I know we will. The drinks were tasty, the music was fun and the crowd in the River Roost was really into the show. Made for a silly good time!

At the River Roost

Ye-Haa Bob!!

Us with Bob! He was so nice!

Andy's Magical Star Cocktail

My Blue "Glow-tini" 

After all this excitement it really was time to get back to our resort and get some sleep. The second day of our trip was a very full one but was incredibly fun!

Coming soon... Anniversary Day!!

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