Disney Food & Wine & Halloween, part 1

So it’s been like 4 whole months since we were last at Disney (and that was only for an evening!) so we went out for Food & Wine, the Tower of Terror races (Doug did the 5k), and Halloween. Because the Magic Kingdom decorate for Halloween is awesome.

So get ready for lots of food pictures since we love how cool and varied the dishes are at Food & Wine and we did accomplish our goal (with help from Amber) of eating ALL the things. We didn’t even come close to drinking ALL the things, but I did drink a lot of a German grapefruit beer which was amazing.

Also, I never get tired of Spaceship Earth at night.
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Here goes!

Our first stop was Belgium which had one of my fav dishes of the whole festival. That was the potato and leek waffle with braised beef (and that white stuff is a butter sauce that melted through the dish and was so amazing) – but also amazing were their dessert waffles. This one is a Belgian waffle with warm chocolate ganache and whipped cream.
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Next was New Zealand, which was good but not one of our favs. The steamed mussels were kind of a miss, and then there was a lamb meatball with tomato chutney, and venison sausage.
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Also underwhelming was Morocco. Kefta pocket, Harissa chicken roll, baklava. The kefta pocket wasn’t that exciting. The chicken roll was good, but reminded me of a Chili’s southwestern eggroll. THe baklava was excellent.
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And that was Thursday night!

We headed back to Epcot for an early lunch with Amber.

My first grapefruit beer!
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Next was Japan. I’m not a big sushi person, but everything here was excellent. So maybe I’ve learned to like it? California roll, spicy hand roll (love that volcano sauce), chicken hand roll, and youki tofu.
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And Hops & Barley in “Americatown”: griddled lobster tail with garlic herb butter, lobster roll with lemon herb mayo, clam chowder, craisin bread pudding. Everything was good, but that craisin bread pudding was a standout. And I’m not a huge bread pudding fan, I can usually take it or leave it. But this was delicious.
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After lunch, Amber and Doug had to head to the race expo to pick up their packets, and Doug and I also had to check into our room (we’d stayed with Amber the night before since Janine and Ron weren’t there yet, thanks Amber!).

As it turned out, a high school friend of mine, Jason, was also at Epcot. The funny thing is, we hadn’t seen each other in 21 years – and now we’ve seen each other twice in the last 9 months! We met up at SXSW this spring as well. All thanks to social media that we knew we were in the same place twice now!

He had his wife and another couple with him, so I hung with them at Food & Wine for a while catching up. And then Doug was able to meet us when he got back from the Expo. It was really hot that day, and I probably stayed out in the heat too long, because we had Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party tix that night, but I wanted to have as much time with an old friend as possible!

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With his wife and friends – they were all very nice:
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After we said goodbye to them, Doug and I headed back to the Yacht Club to meet up with Amber… to head back to Epcot for diner.

Dinner was Ireland – everything was really good but the dessert was probably our fav of the whole festival. It was warm chocolate pudding with Bailey’s custard. It was pudding in the British sense. It was really a sort of lava cake. I think we had 3 over the course of the weekend. The Lobster and Seafood fisherman’s pie was pretty great and the cheese plate was also really good.
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Silly pic:
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Next, Canada. The thing I like about Food & Wine is finding things I never thought I would like. When we were there in the spring for Flower & Garden (and food), my fav thing was a salmon tartare served in a sort of sour cream biscuit. I’m not a huge salmon fan and I’m not a huge raw fish fan, but it was the best dish there! This time one of the surprises was the rainbow trout. It was served with the skin on, which has always looked gross to me. But it was easily removable, and as it turned out, actually crispy and not at all fishy. This was one of the best dishes I think.

So here’s Canada’s Filet with mushrooms and truffle butter sauce, cheese soup, and rainbow trout with bacon frisée and maple vinaigrette.
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Next, Greece, which ok. They had a sampler with calamari, htipiti, eggplant dip; spanikopita, grilled Greek cheese with pistachios and honey, chicken gyro. The spanikopita was great the chicken gyro a bit underwhelming, everything else was good!
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Next, one of my fav dishes – a dessert trio. We had this twice. Chocolate orange cupcake, hazelnut chocolate cheesecake, morello cherry pistachio mousse. All amazing.
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We also got a frozen S’more which was tasty and different, but not as good as the dessert trio.
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Then it was time to get ready for MNSSHP! I already posted about our pirate costumes. We saw this awesome family in line for the monorail:
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Did I mention how much I love Magic Kingdom at Halloween? Especially at night?
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We got a good spot for the first parade – but we were near the end so we had to wait a while. I love the Headless Horseman though!

The other best part of the parade – the gravediggers, who make sparks with their shovels!

I also liked these zombie ballroom dancers:

Captain Hook:
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Pirates!
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Cool decor in the PotC giftshop!
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More other costumes – female Han Solo and Jayne! After complimenting his costumes, I said to the Jayne, “A man walks down the street in a hat like that, you know he’s not afraid of anything!” I couldn’t resist!
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Haunted Mansion:
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I copied Janine and took a shot from this angle. I like it!
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We were able to catch the fireworks from nearby!

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Casey’s! All along main street they have themed jack o lanterns. Casey’s is a baseball themed hot dog place (ie, Casey at the Bat), so you can see peanuts one one of the jack o lanterns. Fun!
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The pirates on the scariest of rides, It’s a Small World:
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We got on Space Mountain twice. The first time this girl, who was maybe 11 or so, was with a mom who didn’t want to go on the ride. She’d never been on it before and was scared. Her mom asked if there was some way we could go with her – and we actually only had 5 people (and the cars seat 6), so we said she should come with us! So she did, and at the end of the ride, when it stopped, she yells “Best ride ever!!” It was so funny!

Doug and I also got on Splash Mountain twice (we got to stay on the ride and just go again at the end of the night). This was near Splash Mountain:
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I love this shot!
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More Main Street pumpkins. Ice cream ones on the ice cream place!
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Skull projected onto Thunder Mountain:
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The nighttime view from our room:
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