Disney, April 2018 – Friday – Epcot

This post is gonna have a ton of baby pictures AND a ton of Disney pictures, including food. So, fair warning.

I’m almost glad it’s taken me so long to blog this because omg, my daughter is 10 months old now and is enormous, and no one told me how badly I would miss her being a little squishy. This was her first flight, first real trip, and she was a total doll. We weren’t sure how it would go, so we scheduled Fast Passes around nap times, in case we needed to go back to the hotel, but she ended up napping perfectly in her stroller/carrier, so there was no big need to go remove her. So we sat and relaxed or strolled while she slept, or took turns on rides.

Disney does have a parent swap option. If the ride is no big deal, with a short line, you don’t need to even bother, but on the more popular attractions, just go up as a party, point out the baby, and they’ll give you a lanyard that you can swap out with your partner, so that you can both use your fast passes and not worry about the clock running out.

We planned to go to Disney for Flower & Garden & Food because we love that time of year at Disney and that festival in particular. We’d also spent our share of unhappy occasions at Disney because of poorly time trips – once right after a really hard miscarriage, and once when we were waiting for what would be bad news about having any viable embryos during an IVF cycle. So for us to be able to have finally been successful, and to have what we hoped would be a really care-free, enjoyable time for the three of us, was really special. Fortunately, it was everything I hoped it would be.

We didn’t buy Elena a seat, so she was a lap baby. Fortunately she was very small and easy. We have a flight coming up for which she is also a lap baby but oh God, she is so much bigger now!

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She slept most of the way, and we had no problems.

We split our stay between hotels. I wanted to be at the Beach Club for proximity to Epcot and I also wanted Elena to try out their lovely sandy-bottomed pool. But it’s also really expensive. So we got a cheap hotel for the first night, and airport hotel for the last night, and splurged for 2 nights at the Beach Club. They ended up giving us Club Level, which was awesome. Of course, we were there to eat ALL the things at Epcot so I felt like we didn’t take good enough advantage of what I initially didn’t realize was all the free food we wanted. They changed up meals in the club room all day and you can get whatever you wanted. So that was nice!

That face!
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Our first day we also had to pick up Doug’s race packet, since we were there for the Star Wars half marathon.

It was a lovely day so Elena napped while I waited for Doug. Too many stairs and no strollers in the race expo, so we just enjoyed the weather.
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Baby sunglasses!
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Ok, now for some food.

This was the first booth we hit – La Isla Fresca. Jamaican-braised Beef with Pigeon Pea Rice and Micro Cilantro, Sugar Cane Shrimp Skewer with Steamed Rice and Coconut Lime Sauce, Caribbean Conch Salad with Mango, Papaya and Pickled Red Onions, Tropical Mousse Cake: Layers of Passion Fruit Cake, Coconut Mousse and a Tropical Fruit Glaze with Fresh Pineapple. Everything was good, the shrimp in particular. Conch is always kind of chewy so I’m not sure bigger pieces were a great choice. The dessert was gorgeous.

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We hit the butterfly tent because I love them and I thought Elena might enjoy them as she was, at this point, nearly 5 months old and starting to be more aware of things. I think she liked it.

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She didn’t love the Mickey hat.
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Ok, more food!

Next up, Mexico and Jardin de Fiestas. This was one of our favs at the #epcotflowerandgardenfestival. The bread pudding was beautiful and the chilaquiles was maybe our fav dish of the festival. Pork Taco: Slow-braised Pork Taco served with Apple Relish, Goat Cheese and Chile de Árbol Sauce, Chilaquiles served with Chorizo, Mexican Cream and Cotija Cheese, Capirotada: Bread Pudding served with Rompope.

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Elena did well on her first ride, Spaceship Earth!
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She did NOT do so well on the Nemo ride. She was fine until Marlin’s vocals burst in really loudly, which scared her, and it was Not Good. She liked the aquarium after tho!

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More food! This was Pineapple Promenade. Spicy Hot Dog with Pineapple Chutney and Plantain Chips, Pineapple Soft-Serve with rum of course.

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Perfection!
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Honey “Bee-stro” was a new booth and probably our fav booth overall this year. Everything was spectacular and also beautiful. I loved al the edible flowers this year, all grown locally at Disney. Roasted Cauliflower with Buckwheat Honey Carrot Puree, Wild Rice Pilaf, Asparagus, Honey Blistered Grapes and Sunflower Brittle, Honey Tandoori Chicken Flatbread with White Cheddar Cheese, charred vegetables, Clover Honey Sour Cream and Micro Watercress, Local Wildflower Honey-Mascarpone Cheesecake with Orange Blossom Honey Ice Cream garnished with Fennel Pollen Meringue Kisses. That dessert!

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I just liked this shot of our baby Mickey hat and Disney bag. What a happy day.

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Back to the hotel for a rest:
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Outfit change before evening at Epcot!
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Nope, she really didn’t like the Mickey hat.
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Whhhhyy?
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We tried some poutine (not from one of the Flower & Garden food stands and it was… not good.
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Northern Bloom, aka Canada. This was a little disappointing this year. Having alcohol in the drink made it super watery. Though the popcorn was good. The scallops were tinier than normal too. The beef wasn’t great (it’s no filet!) but the dessert was good. Seared Scallops with French Green Beans, Butter Potatoes, Brown Butter Vinaigrette and Apple-wood Smoked Bacon, Beef Tenderloin Tips, Mushroom Bordelaise Sauce, Whipped Potatoes with Garden Vegetables, Griddled Maple Pound Cake with Warm Peach Compote and Sweet Corn Gelato, Maple Popcorn Shake with Crown Royal Maple Whisky.

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This is mine and Janine’s private joke. To get it, reference the Beatles movie, Help!. “What are you doing?” “Posting a letter…”

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This was Cider House – aka the UK. Pear Cider-brined Shredded Corned Beef with Braised Cabbage and Branston Dressing with Pears, House-made Potato and Cheddar Cheese Biscuit with Smoked Salmon Tartare (always one of my favs), Freshly Baked Lemon Scone with Crème Fraîche and Mixed Berries.

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And miles and steps for this day: 7.57 and 18,641!

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