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Trip Report "You have to book a time to buy a popcorn bucket?!" - A one-day Epcot Festival of the Arts adventure

Talk about a last-minute trip...

These guys, dressed in their best winter gear, because it was cold:
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About a week before we decided we wanted to get away for MLK since we have a long weekend. Sean starts to look for DVC availability for 2 nights. It's a long shot, right. All DVCers know you have to book super early, especially during festival season and especially if you want an Epcot resort.

However, about a week before we leave, a standard view studio pops up for 2 nights at Boardwalk. Yes, an Epcot resort during a festival opening weekend! We grabbed it started making plans. I purchased 1-day Epcot tickets (prices were insane) and photopass. Our plan was to hit up the festival on that Sunday.

I book a hotel for our drive down on Friday at our new halfway point, Valdosta. It's just easier than stopping at Tifton. With those plans made, I kept looking at Disney resort reservations. Found a room at one of the All Star resorts for $200ish for one night. I couldn't do it. That's just too expensive for what you get. Lo and behold a 1-night DVC popped up for Friday night at Wilderness Lodge. We jumped on it. Persistence was key.

I made a list of everything I wanted to try and on Friday at 11 am, we headed to Florida. Traffic in Georgia was a breeze. We were routed through 285 (Atlanta bypass) and amazingly, it was speed-limit traffic. This is practically unheard of on 285. Then we got to Henry county where it's always slow even if there is no accident or anything. Luckily the express lane was open and we shaved about 10 minutes off of our time.

It was easy going until we hit Florida...
 

Bullseye1967

Is that who I am?
Premium Member
Eddie at Crew’s Cup made a solid recommendation for wine at dinner. If you have the opportunity, give it a go.
View attachment 693541

As for Persimmon Hallow, I will be back! They have a solid offering, cool vibe, and great prices. All pints(US) were in the$6.5-$7 range and all 6-packs were just $9! For decent craft beer thats a win.
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That coffee porter is one of my favorites!
 

lindawdw

Well-Known Member
It's incredible that you were able to score those last-minute DVC reservations to make this trip happen!!! The Boardwalk DVC rooms are getting a refurbishment this year which is needed for sure but it is one of my favorite resorts to stay! I love these last minute getaways when it's all about food and drinks!
 
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lostpro9het

Well-Known Member
Last edited:

imahistorygeek

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Saturday night's dinner was Il Mulino. If you've read any of our past trip reports or asked an opinion about Italian on property, we've always raved about Il Mulino. It still is the best on property. If you're at Epcot, don't eat Italian there. Take a short walk or boat to Il Mulino.

Your complimentary appetizer is stewed eggplant (trust me, it's delicious) and cured meat. You also have a bread basket. Plus, there's olive oil on the table.

20230114_175932.jpg


We decided to share cheese ravioli, beef carpaccio, and meatballs.
20230114_181702.jpg


They took no time in coming out, so everything was pre-made, but it was all still really good. We were not rushed through dinner and I think we spent almost a couple of hours (or 1.5) enjoying our meal. We also ordered a bottle of Sasseo Primitivo Salento 2020 wine.

We were a bit nervous that limoncello was not a thing anymore because we didn't see any tables around us receiving this delicious drink. One of the servers told us not to worry. It's still a thing. Soon after, out came the bucket of limoncello.
20230114_190056.jpg


You know how you can go to McDonalds and you know exactly how something is going to taste. You expect that taste. It's been the same for at least 40 years. That's how I feel about the limoncello. It's always the same and always great.

20230114_192524.jpg


Afterwards, we headed back to our room to strategize our full day at Epcot.
 

lostpro9het

Well-Known Member
Saturday night's dinner was Il Mulino. If you've read any of our past trip reports or asked an opinion about Italian on property, we've always raved about Il Mulino. It still is the best on property. If you're at Epcot, don't eat Italian there. Take a short walk or boat to Il Mulino.

Your complimentary appetizer is stewed eggplant (trust me, it's delicious) and cured meat. You also have a bread basket. Plus, there's olive oil on the table.

View attachment 694473

We decided to share cheese ravioli, beef carpaccio, and meatballs.
View attachment 694474

They took no time in coming out, so everything was pre-made, but it was all still really good. We were not rushed through dinner and I think we spent almost a couple of hours (or 1.5) enjoying our meal. We also ordered a bottle of Sasseo Primitivo Salento 2020 wine.

We were a bit nervous that limoncello was not a thing anymore because we didn't see any tables around us receiving this delicious drink. One of the servers told us not to worry. It's still a thing. Soon after, out came the bucket of limoncello.
View attachment 694475

You know how you can go to McDonalds and you know exactly how something is going to taste. You expect that taste. It's been the same for at least 40 years. That's how I feel about the limoncello. It's always the same and always great.

View attachment 694476

Afterwards, we headed back to our room to strategize our full day at Epcot.
The vino
0E542253-41EE-4C08-A387-8CD454A95705.jpeg
 

LeighM

Well-Known Member
I-64 in our part of VA is often times a bottleneck nightmare. Leaving Richmond, 2 lanes of I-64 and 2 lanes of I-295 merge onto only 2 lanes of I-64 on the east side of Richmond and it's a total cluster. And an accident always seems to happen because of issues merging. They've started expanding 64 to 3 or 4 lanes (can't remember now because I try to avoid is as much as possible) further down the interstate but there's about 10 miles that's a total nightmare. Then further down closer to Newport News, there's been road construction in the same general area for what feels like decades but I couldn't tell you what's actually been changed LOL.
 

imahistorygeek

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Our Epcot day strategy:

1. Make sure our app is updated and know where to find the virtual queue. Go through the steps to reserve.
2. Set alarms to wake up before 7 am.
3. Decide what time to leave the room to walk over to the International Gateway.
4. Me deciding what to wear because it'll be chilly.

We get up around 6:30 that morning, so our alarms did their job. Around 6:55, we start getting our phones ready. We hop off the Disney wifi. We are on the correct screen at 6:59 am. Time to start refreshing the screen. I had already pre-selected guests, so I just kept following the steps. However, I wasn't sure if I actually got it because this was the final screen:

Screenshot_20230115-070115_Disney World.jpg


My eyes immediately went to the paid option and I had a bit of a freak out even though it said booked. Success! We made it!

About 7:45, we decided to walk to International Gateway to be there by 8am. There was a small crowd, but not too bad. Just a little bit after 8, they let us go through the turnstiles. We've not used Magic Bands in a while and have just been using our phones. It has been pretty successful. I do miss the MB because I don't have to use my phone as much.

So, we're in the park about 8:15, but the front of the park hasn't been released yet. We make our way to Ratatouille and walk right on. This is really a cute ride and IMO, the best in the World Showcase. We left (approx. 8:30) and were forced to turn left and walk towards England where it looked like the front of the park had just been released. Early Magic Hours started at 8:30, so it was nice to have already been able to ride.

People were running and one CM WAS NOT having it. She was tired of it and just starting yelling to not run.

We made our way to the front of the park walked on to Soarin, Living with the Land, and Test Track. We just had to be back to Guardians by 9:45 to ride. I think we got there around 9:30 or 9:45. There was no stopping until we hit the first holding room. The different holding rooms really get you excited to ride. The only thing I'm not crazy about is the last room letting everyone out and you having to merge into a side-by-side line, almost like Haunted Mansion. We didn't wait long in the line and soon were on the ride.

This is such A GREAT RIDE! I get the motion sickness people talk about on this ride. I'm not really prone to this, but if I felt it a little bit, those that do get motion sickness probably really feel it. We definitely wanted to ride again.

The photopass pics in front of the ride are hokey, but fun.

2023-01-15 - Epcot - EPCOT_2.jpeg
2023-01-15 - Epcot - EPCOT_3.jpeg
2023-01-15 - Epcot - EPCOT_4.jpeg

I feel like the "arms out" pose is a requirement at all photopass locations.

2023-01-15 - Epcot - EPCOT.jpeg
 

imahistorygeek

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I don't really remember what was next, but we were probably out of the ride by at least 10:30. Our first stop was Figment's Inspiration Station at the Odyssey. Here you can find more beer than other festival locations.

We tried the Rainbow Cake made with freeze-dried skittles and the 81Bay Brew Green with Envy Blonde Ale and the Blue Butterfly Lager. They were the same color.

I had read mixed reviews of the cake. I loved it. One a rating scale of 1 to 5, this was a 5. It was sweet, but it tasted really good and wasn't dry. I don't eat a lot of cake, so this was a nice treat.

20230115_103334.jpg


The beer - not sure which one because they looked exactly the same.
20230115_103425.jpg


There was also some art and THE POPCORN bucket.

Next stop was El Artista Hambriento to try the Huarache De Champinones. This dish consisted of guajillio chile and corn masa huarache with pinto beans, oyster mushrooms, nopales, queso fresco and pea trendrils.

324661811_589727372997674_3177012775611815102_n.jpg


The corn was a little too done and the beans were refried beans. It was good, but not a repeat. Being cold outside, food became cold very quickly. I rated this 3 out of 5.

It was in this area that the title for this trip report came to be.
A family was walking by and they were talking about the figment popcorn bucket. A person in the party was talking to another person and said that she booked her return time for the figment bucket. The guy loudly exclaimed, "You have to book a time to buy a popcorn bucket?!"

I was like yup.

quint-jaws.gif


I don't get it either dude.

Up next - The Deconstructed Dish and Pop Eats!
 

imahistorygeek

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
The Deconstructed Dish is right next to the previous booth heading towards Canada. Here, I had wanted to try the Deconstructed French Onion Soup with beef broth ravioli, gruyere cream, onion bread pudding, and onion textures.

20230115_113447.jpg


I believe that's fried cheese on the top, which isn't mentioned in the description. I'll take it!

There was a wait on this and they were backed up. The ingredients a room temp at best, but once you open the ravioli, the broth was very warm.
20230115_113738.jpg


As you can see the broth looks more like brown gravy. The onion bread pudding tasted like dressing, which wasn't bad. Overall, this really didn't have the flavor of french onion soup and it turned cold quickly. Best part was the fried cheese. I'd rate it a 3 out of 5 and not repeatable.

Across from the old Starbucks (or coffee place) is Pop Eats! Here we ordered the tomato soup with pimiento cheese, bacon, and fried green tomato grilled cheese.
20230115_114028.jpg


This was good and a terrific value. The bread tasted like sour dough. I love fried green tomatoes and bacon, so this was all a huge win. The cute little cup with the tomato soup did a great job insulating the soup and it stayed hot the entire time. This was actually enough to be a lunch meal. A 5 out of 5 for sure. I would get this every single time.
 

Zipadeelady

Well-Known Member
Our Epcot day strategy:

1. Make sure our app is updated and know where to find the virtual queue. Go through the steps to reserve.
2. Set alarms to wake up before 7 am.
3. Decide what time to leave the room to walk over to the International Gateway.
4. Me deciding what to wear because it'll be chilly.

We get up around 6:30 that morning, so our alarms did their job. Around 6:55, we start getting our phones ready. We hop off the Disney wifi. We are on the correct screen at 6:59 am. Time to start refreshing the screen. I had already pre-selected guests, so I just kept following the steps. However, I wasn't sure if I actually got it because this was the final screen:

View attachment 695121

My eyes immediately went to the paid option and I had a bit of a freak out even though it said booked. Success! We made it!

About 7:45, we decided to walk to International Gateway to be there by 8am. There was a small crowd, but not too bad. Just a little bit after 8, they let us go through the turnstiles. We've not used Magic Bands in a while and have just been using our phones. It has been pretty successful. I do miss the MB because I don't have to use my phone as much.

So, we're in the park about 8:15, but the front of the park hasn't been released yet. We make our way to Ratatouille and walk right on. This is really a cute ride and IMO, the best in the World Showcase. We left (approx. 8:30) and were forced to turn left and walk towards England where it looked like the front of the park had just been released. Early Magic Hours started at 8:30, so it was nice to have already been able to ride.

People were running and one CM WAS NOT having it. She was tired of it and just starting yelling to not run.

We made our way to the front of the park walked on to Soarin, Living with the Land, and Test Track. We just had to be back to Guardians by 9:45 to ride. I think we got there around 9:30 or 9:45. There was no stopping until we hit the first holding room. The different holding rooms really get you excited to ride. The only thing I'm not crazy about is the last room letting everyone out and you having to merge into a side-by-side line, almost like Haunted Mansion. We didn't wait long in the line and soon were on the ride.

This is such A GREAT RIDE! I get the motion sickness people talk about on this ride. I'm not really prone to this, but if I felt it a little bit, those that do get motion sickness probably really feel it. We definitely wanted to ride again.

The photopass pics in front of the ride are hokey, but fun.

View attachment 695122View attachment 695123View attachment 695124
I feel like the "arms out" pose is a requirement at all photopass locations.

View attachment 695125
Asking for a friend..... I don't like to read too much about new rides until I experience them myself so I don't know a whole lot about GOTG. Does it have any sudden drops? Anything that makes your stomach drop or give people that have a fear of heights a reason not to ride it? I've heard about motion sickness but not anything about drops or heights.
 

imahistorygeek

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Asking for a friend..... I don't like to read too much about new rides until I experience them myself so I don't know a whole lot about GOTG. Does it have any sudden drops? Anything that makes your stomach drop or give people that have a fear of heights a reason not to ride it? I've heard about motion sickness but not anything about drops or heights.
Definitely the stomach drop and as for heights, at one point you're looking down into the ride from high up, so maybe, but it's dark and you can't see the bottom. I really can't remember about the drops. I'm afraid of heights, but this didn't bother me.
 

Zipadeelady

Well-Known Member
Definitely the stomach drop and as for heights, at one point you're looking down into the ride from high up, so maybe, but it's dark and you can't see the bottom. I really can't remember about the drops. I'm afraid of heights, but this didn't bother me.
Thank you for your input. Hopefully he’ll ride but he even said slinky is a definite nope.
 

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