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Walt Disney World Photo Trip Report, October 2015 - Part 1
DisneyDan  Sunday, October 18, 2015 12:41:52 PM
Hello everyone,

Last week Jon and I spent three days in Walt Disney World to experience Epcot's International Food and Wine Festival and Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom. In this first part of this report I will cover everything except Mickey's Not So Scary, as there are so many photos from that, it deserves a report of its own.

Let's start with Epcot, and the Food and Wine Festival.

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

We didn't really have any expectations of Food and Wine this year. For us, it tends to be a rather uninspired event since there are barely any vegetarian options, and the crowds make it near impossible to try the things we can eat. We tend to go just to "be" there and take photos.

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

My limited expectations of the crowds and limited things to eat were not without merit, and indeed the entire place was completely mobbed. Honestly, I have never seen crowds like it at Epcot, and we have been going every season for years now. Even Christmas Day isn't like it was during our day at Food and Wine. We tried just one drink from one lonely stand, but were not prepared to stand in an hour long line for a $5 snack in the 80% humidity and 35C heat.

We did however take part in the new Remy's Ratatouille Hide and Squeak challenge. For anyone familiar with the Easter Egg hunts that Epcot and Disneyland have done in the past couple of years, then this is pretty similar. You receive a map which you have to find the hidden icons for around the park, place the stickers on the correct places, then receive your prize. The prize for this game is a Ratatouille pin, of which there are I believe twelve designs. Between the two of us we completed three maps to get three of the pins we liked.

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

We also visited the Festival Center, which features various seminars, the main festival shop, exhibits and more. This year they had a chocolate exhibit presented by Ghirardelli, which has six amazing chocolate models depicting various Disney movies.

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Here are some more photos of just around the festival, including a Mickey topiary.

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

The people of the miniature village in Germany were celebrating Food and Wine, too, as they always do.

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

We met Donald Duck in his new serape in Mexico, and Daisy Duck at the Showcase Plaza area, where Duffy used to meet. I'm not sure why Disney felt we needed to be able to met Daisy Duck in yet another location at the resort, and send Duffy back on his voyages, but it's a decision that definitely makes us sad. Also, they decided to give Donald a new cloak, but they can't give Daisy a new outfit? If they are going to replace Duffy, who was a unique character at Epcot, with a character that can be met at the other parks at Walt Disney World, they needed to put her in a new outfit. We love Daisy, but it is a disappointing change, and certainly not one for the better.

Meeting Donald Duck<

Daisy Duck

And that was everything for Epcot this trip! Next, we visit Disney's Hollywood Studios!

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

At Disney's Hollywood Studios we met Mickey and Minnie in their new locations, since the Animation building closed recently. Again with odd decisions, they have given Minnie a new backdrop that resembles the TV show Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, but for some reason she greets there in her Hollywood outfit that she used to wear around Center Stage. Maybe a new dress is coming?

Minnie Mouse

Meeting Sorcerer Mickey

We also stopped by the Laugh Floor to have fun with Mike and Sulley, who were fun as always.

Meeting Mike and Sulley

We checked out Watto's Grotto, that seems to have had a second breath of life after Star Wars Weekends ended. Unfortunately it isn't retail space that lacks in the Studios, and while it's good to have a dedicated store open up, the park needs a lot more help than this.

Watto's Grotto

Watto's Grotto

Watto's Grotto

Watto's Grotto

I took some other random photos, too, including one of the new Good Dinosaur poster and the construction wall for the new Star Wars Launch Bay that is opening in December.

Wandeirng through the Studios

Wandeirng through the Studios

Wandeirng through the Studios

That was everything we achieved in the Studios this time. There is so little left to do there that we really only went to meet Mickey and Minnie in their new locations. Next up, the Magic Kingdom!

Around the Studios

First of all, let's take a look at the fall/Halloween decorations on Main Street USA. The Magic Kingdom has had these decorations for what seems like an eternity, and they really need something new.

Around Main Street

Halloween on Main Street USA

Halloween on Main Street USA

Halloween on Main Street USA

Halloween on Main Street USA

Halloween on Main Street USA

Halloween on Main Street USA

Halloween on Main Street USA

Halloween on Main Street USA

Halloween on Main Street USA

Halloween on Main Street USA

Halloween on Main Street USA

Halloween on Main Street USA

Halloween on Main Street USA

Halloween on Main Street USA

Halloween on Main Street USA

Central Plaza has continued to undergo its massive transformation, and the latest additions since our last visit are some new turrets to the sides of the Castle Stage area. Overall, while I used to like the green spaces and waterways around the central hub, I don't mind the changes so far, and they certainly ease the traffic flow when it's really crowded (which seems almost constantly these days).

New Castle details

New Castle details

We met Princess Tiana, Peter Pan, Alice, the Mad Hatter and Rafiki, while at the park. Princess Tiana is now indoors at the old Heritage House while the construction on the new restaurant in Adventureland continues. I feel they could have done something better with this space. Her backdrop is just yellow wallpaper, which doesn't look very inspired. Luckily, we managed to get a photo of her near her Tiana's Place poster, which was nice. Rafiki has returned to Adventureland after an extended absence, but as with the Daisy/Duffy situation at Epcot, I don't know why they had to remove Stitch from the park (and the only greeting location at the resort he was at), to put Rafiki there, when Rafiki already greets fans at Animal Kingdom on a daily basis. Could we not have someone different?

Meeting Princess Tiana

Meeting Princess Tiana

Meeting Princess Tiana<

Meeting Princess Tiana

Meeting Princess Tiana

Meeting Princess Tiana

Meeting Princess Tiana

Meeting Peter Pan

Meeting the Mad Hatter and Alice

Meeting Rafiki

Finally for the Magic Kingdom, we saw Disney Festival of Fantasy one day. We always love seeing this parade.

Disney Festival of Fantasy

Disney Festival of Fantasy

Disney Festival of Fantasy

Disney Festival of Fantasy

Disney Festival of Fantasy

Disney Festival of Fantasy

Disney Festival of Fantasy

Disney Festival of Fantasy

Disney Festival of Fantasy

Disney Festival of Fantasy

Disney Festival of Fantasy

Disney Festival of Fantasy

Disney Festival of Fantasy

Disney Festival of Fantasy

Disney Festival of Fantasy

Disney Festival of Fantasy

Disney Festival of Fantasy

Disney Festival of Fantasy

Disney Festival of Fantasy

Disney Festival of Fantasy

Disney Festival of Fantasy

Disney Festival of Fantasy

Disney Festival of Fantasy

Disney Festival of Fantasy

Disney Festival of Fantasy

Disney Festival of Fantasy

Disney Festival of Fantasy

Disney Festival of Fantasy

We did not visit the Animal Kingdom on this trip, as there was nothing new to see or do there, and we only had three days anyway. So, that's everything up until Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party on our last night! Look out for part two of this report in the next couple of days where I'll share my photos and thoughts from the party, including the new Hocus Pocus show!

Have a great week everyone,

Dan.
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