Wednesday, July 1, 2020

A Look at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival (October 2018)!

Who else here loves the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival at Walt Disney World?? We were finally able to attend it a couple years back (October 2018) for the first time and it was so much fun—and super tasty! We don't drink wine, but we are self-proclaimed "foodies"; so this was right up our ally. And of course, as a Pixar fan, I loved that the whole festival is Ratatouille themed! I thought you might enjoy seeing some photos from our visit, so tonight I'm taking a look at some of our Food & Wine (I''ll use F&W for short) memories.

First up, the F&W overlay at the entrance of the park is fantastic. All the Ratatouille inspired art used throughout this festival is adorably stylized! Don't miss this area for photo ops.

Who knew this would be the last time I would see this classic fountain? :( I can hear the music now...

Keep an eye out for exclusive F&W Ratatouille themed merch!

Here's one of the best parts (fun for all ages, but especially kids)—"Remy's Hide & Squeak" scavenger hunt! Around the park, there are 15 different Remy statues/figurines hidden in the all the different countries and at some of the F&W food kiosks! You can even purchase a map ($6.99) that shows you all the areas you can find him. Add a food sticker for every Remy you find! It's a really fun game that you can do on your own time.

Here's Remy at the "Next Eats" area...

In Germany...

...and in Italy! I didn't photograph all of them, but you get the idea. Have you played this? Let me know if you found them all!

We wish we could try all the tasty treats at every country's booth, but we only have so much room in our tummies and money in our pockets. One of the things we did try though was the Beijing Roasted Duck Bao Bun with Hoisin Sauce at the China booth! It was amazing. Highly recommend it if you see it there next time you go. 


The old "Wonders of Life" Pavilion is converted into the festival center during this time! I hadn't been in that building for years, so it was super nostalgic going back.

Here's a hidden gem we found inside the pavilion: the Ghiradelli sponsored section with very creative chocolate art on display! Just look at the Coco and Toy Story Land sculptures, made entirely of chocolate!

This was such a beautiful day filled with such great memories!

Here's another delicious snack we couldn't resist, the Beef Brisket Poutine (Disney World fries topped with brisket, beer cheese, poutine gravy, and crispy onions)! These were available at the Refreshment Port and were absolutely DElish.

Lastly, here are just some other Epcot memories from throughout the day. We ALWAYS have to get School Bread in Norway. If you'd never had it, make it a point to get it next time. We get it every single trip and crave it often! This use to be a lesser known treat, but I think the secret is getting out.

We love the "Living with the Land" ride! Shout it out if you do too. Many would say it's boring, but I think it's such an underrated gem (one I didn't even find until a bit later in life). I feel like it's the epitome of old school Epcot educational magic. It still feels very 80's and has a certain quiet/calming  ambience about it that we adore! It looked especially cute in the fall with all the pumpkins out on display.

RIP Club Cool! This was one of our favorites spots to hit up  every trip and we're sad it's gone. Again, who knew this would be the last time visiting it and taste testing all that delicious (and free) international soda! I had to give the place a shout-out here.

Well, I think that covers it! Whether you're looking into going to the Food & Wine Festival for the first time or you've already been and wanted to relive it through us, I hope you enjoyed. Let me know all your thoughts and experiences down below! What food do you recommend? Any cool aspects of the festival that we missed? There's so much to see and do! I'd love to hear your tips.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Disney's All-Star Movies Resort—A Detailed Look at the Toy Story Themed Area!

Today I'm throwing it back once again to our last Walt Disney World trip (October 2018) and sharing a detailed look at the All-Star Movies Resort's Toy Story themed area! This was our first time ever staying at (or even being at) this resort. I know the "All Stars" get kind of a bad rap, but hey. No shame! We actually have no issue staying at any of the value resorts to save some money since we're not in the room most of the time anyway (if we had our way though, we'd always stay at the Polynesian; that's where my family always stayed growing up).

At this point, Brita and I have stayed at all three All-Star Resorts now since we've been married— Sports, Music and Movies—and we've enjoyed them all. I just find it really funny (and nostalgic) that they are all frozen in time in the 90's! That's part of their charm and part of why I enjoy them so much. Sure some refurbishments have happened to the rooms and such, but I believe the resorts have remained pretty much identical to when they first opened. All-Star Movies opened in 1999.

There are five themed areas at All-Star Movies: Fantasia, Mighty Ducks (yes, the animated show that ran for just two seasons; not sure how it got its own themed section here, but it doesn't get more 90's!), 101 Dalmatians, The Love Bug and, of course, Toy Story! You can't necessarily choose which area you stay at, so it was a complete coincidence that we were assigned one of the buildings in the Toy Story section! I didn't even mention that it was my preference, but maybe my aura was giving off those vibes ;). I was SO excited! 

I honestly didn't even knew this area existed until a few years back—and I've been going to Disney World all my life! It's definitely a hidden gem. Take a look at all the amazing details below! Again, totally 90's—you can absolutely tell! It's like the Toy Story Land BEFORE Toy Story Land.

Four large (well two of them are GIANT) characters stand in the middle of the Toy Story courtyard: Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Bo Peep and Rex. Perfect for photo ops! Plus there are some Army Men protecting the tops of the buildings and some fantastic oversized alphabet blocks. There are two small sections of Andy's walls/iconic cloud wall paper to take pics in front of as well—one with his window and one with his bedroom door (complete with the "Andy's Room Keep Out" sign on it). And don't miss the gigantic Bucket O Soldiers buckets (especially at night when they glow) and an RC you can sit in right outside the courtyard!

Notice the Easter Eggs in the book titles? Straight from the film!

There's even a big ol' checkerboard, inspired by the one in Andy's Room that Slinky drags out.

What are your thoughts? Did I miss any fun details? If you've stayed at the All-Star Movies Resort, I want to hear all about your experience. Let me know down in the comment section and be sure to stay tuned right here soon for more from Pixar collection of merch and memories!