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Epcot International Food and Wine Festival.

When I told Justin that I wanted to go back to Disney World in September, one of the biggest points I made (errrr maybe the only point I had to make) was that the timing would coincide with Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival. No joke, he got into bed one night and showed me the map he had made of Epcot, including the location of the stands he wanted to hit and exactly what he wanted to buy at each spot. I’m pretty sure he also made an Excel spreadsheet. #thatsmyboy

Before heading to the park and stuffing our faces with deliciousness, we set out on an easy run around the Grand Floridian and Polynesian resorts.

Grand Floridian from lagoon running path

Grand Floridian from lagoon running path

The plan then was to spend the rest of the morning at the front of the park going on rides before heading to World Showcase for the remainder of the day and night. We were able to ride the new Soarin’ Around the World, Living with the Land, Test Track, and Ellen’s Great Energy Adventure before heading over to the Italy pavilion’s Via Napoli for lunch.

Epcot's Food and Wine Festival

Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival

The pizza (and sangria omg the sangria) at Via Napoli is incredible so we didn’t want to pass up a chance to indulge ourselves. We figured we’d have salad and pizza for lunch and then snack around the world for dinner.

After lunch, we had FastPass reservations for Frozen Ever After in the Norway pavilion. Because of FastPass grouping, we had to choose between FastPasses for Frozen or for Soarin’ and Test Track. We elected to grab the FastPasses for Frozen and just hit Soarin’ and Test Track early.

If you’re heading to Epcot and are choosing FastPasses, I’d pick Frozen Ever after because the Soarin’ and Test Track standby lines were not bad and the Frozen Ever After standby line was absolutely insane.

Also, I just want to take a minute to talk about HOW UNBELIEVABLY AMAZING Frozen Ever After is. While it is no secret that I love Frozen and all things Olaf, I really loved the Maelstrom ride and was upset to learn that it would be no more. Disney did an unbelievable job with the Frozen ride and the technology used for the characters is incredible. The movements are so real and lifelike that you almost believe you are in the movie. Both Justin and I were very impressed.

Romantic stroll (ehh stumble)

Romantic stroll (ehh stumble)

After enjoying the Frozen ride, I was in the mood for a frozen treat (see what I did there? bahaha). Dole Whip with coconut rum was high on my list of “must-haves” for the day and it did not disappoint. This may most definitely will be a treat I have to enjoy again when we go back in February for Princess Weekend.

Dole Whip and coconut rum!

Dole Whip and coconut rum!

Later in the day, because it’s Florida in September, the skies went from blue and cloudless to dark and ominous in roughly 3.7 seconds. We waited out the storm in the Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival before running through the rain (in our ponchos – these are a vital item on all Florida vacations) to Spaceship Earth. Luckily, once we left Spaceship Earth, the rain had stopped and we were able to walk around and enjoy the remainder of the World Showcase. We kept our ponchos on, though, just in case. #FloridaProblems

After a long day of running/walking around, eating and drinking, we were ready to head back to the hotel to get some solid sleep. We had a long (and magical!) day in Magic Kingdom ahead of us 🙂

Epcot - Spaceship Earth

Epcot – Spaceship Earth

This was my first time at Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival but it will definitely not be my last. I liked going in September because the festival had just opened and the crowds weren’t all that huge yet. Next year, Justin and I plan to run the Wine and Dine Half-Marathon so we’ll be back for Food and Wine but expect the crowds to be much larger.

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Next up: Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.

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Glass Slipper Challenge: Princess Half-Marathon

Alright I am FINALLY finishing up my Princess Half-Marathon weekend posts! If you’re interested: here are the 5k and 10k recaps from that weekend.

Princess Half-Marathon

My alarm went off, again, at punch-yourself-in-the-face o’clock and it was a strugglefest. With the approximate 3-4 hours of sleep I got after staying (voluntarily) at Magic Kingdom until after close, it’s no surprise that I was in a huge daze as I got ready to tackle the last 13.1 miles of the challenge. I was in such a daze that I actually left my hotel room without my bib number (whoops) and had to knock to get Justin to let me back in.

After that little mishap, I walked down to meet my cousin Mike in the lobby. Once at the start village, we relaxed a bit, stopped in the port-a-potties, and met up with Jess to walk up to the corrals. We were all placed in corral C so we were all able to start together even though Mike was running for time and Jess and I were looking to PR in ridiculousness.

Princess half 1

Again, we kept the pace extremely comfortable and stopped for photos with characters when we wanted.

Running through Main Street was magical, as always, although I did miss the Christmas lights on the castle, which give this part of the course an extra magical touch during WDW Marathon weekend. My family was in Magic Kingdom so I was able to see them as opposed to sending them shaky videos and photos like I did during January’s half and full marathons.

Princess half 2

I kept the family updated with where I was throughout the race so they’d know when to expect me coming down towards the finish line. With another 13.1 more magical miles in the book, my 3rd Disney challenge/5th Disney half/13th Disney race was complete 🙂

princess half finish

With all the magical business of the morning, we decided to make it a later day at the park and not leave for Epcot until noon. We did some hot tubbing (some people napped, I didn’t because apparently I don’t sleep in Disney) before heading out for another day in the happiest place on earth.

Epcot

Epcot is pretty much the best park for adults and there was a huge reason we chose Epcot for after all the races: booze.

epcot group

Before making our way to the World Showcase, we enjoyed the following rides/attractions:

  • Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival (So good! I could have watched a dozen more.)
  • Living with the Land
  • Spaceship Earth
  • Test Track (The. Best.)

I can’t wait for Soarin’ to reopen. When Justin and I go back (yep, my next trip is planned – gotta make use of that annual pass!), it’ll be up and ready for us to enjoy 🙂

Once at the World Showcase, I demanded pizza and sangria in Italy for lunch. No one put up much of a fight.

The pizza at Via Napoli is incredible. The “kids” table ordered 3 of the largest pies and we all laughed at ourselves because of how ridiculous we were to think we would finish this much pizza. Seven minutes later (yes, seven, Nicki has it timestamped on Snapchat), there were about 2 little pieces left. The “kids” table also ordered bottomless sangria. #noregrets

epcot drinking around the world

The rest of the day was spent being entertained by the outdoor country attractions (I love Sergio in Italy and the chair guy in France) and enjoying a few more adult beverages (cantaloupe juice and vodka from Japan, limoncello in Italy, four different kinds of champagne in France, and my favorite grapefruit beer in Germany).

epcot evening

We had dinner in Germany before watching the Illuminations fireworks at the end of the night. I was happy that we had one more half-day to spend relaxing by the pool but bummed that another Disney vacation was coming to an end.

The next day was beautiful and we spent the morning and early afternoon lounging by the pool, sipping pina coladas, and getting a nice tan to bring back to cold NYC.

Until next time, Orlando.

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