The debate has begun. Actually, this is pretty much a one person debate and it might be considered talking to yourself, but anticipating a trip to Walt Disney World can do that to you. My Wife has overcome her reluctance and has agreed to accompany me to Walt Disney World either last quarter of 2019 or first quarter of 2020. Of course, while I want to include her in the process, it will be mostly up to me as to when to go. I face this debate every time I have to choose when we go to the parks. There is a new wrinkle in the debate as well. I’ve started doing 5K races and one of the motivations for my walking is the chance to do a 5K race at Walt Disney World. I am the first to say that I am not now, or ever will be, fast. That isn’t the point of my walking anyway. I walk because I think distance walking is fun and I want to stick around on this planet as long as I can. So, there’s that. Here, as I see them, are the options that are on the table.
While I have managed to sneak in a Disney visit about once a year, the last time I was able to spend an extended period of time in the parks was at Christmas time 2015. Since the parks are so beautiful when decorated for Christmas, this time of year has always been one of my favorite times to visit. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is in full swing and all of the parks and resorts are decked out in their Christmas finery. I love listening to the Voices of Liberty sing carols at the American Pavilion and the Christmas around the World event is wonderful. My advice to people that go down during the holiday season is to take some time exploring the Christmas events. Stop and listen as the storytellers give you some of the traditions of the land which they represent. The Story of La Befana as told in the Italian pavilion is terrific and we get to meet most of Santa Claus’ international brethren, such as Pier Noel in France and Father Christmas in Great Britain. But the event that keeps me coming back again and again during the Holiday celebration at Epcot is the Candlelight Processional. The Orchestra and the Chorus they put together is an unforgettable experience every time. I get chills even now as I write about it. Very rarely will you see the Christmas story told on this scale. One of my favorite parts of the event is when the chorus and the Orchestra do Handel’s Halleluiah Chorus from the Messiah. I’ve sung this piece many times and can’t help but sing the tenor part while they perform it. I see lots of my people in the crowd doing the same thing.
I have been lucky enough to attend other events over the years as well. In 2014, my wife and I made a trip over our October anniversary. We were celebrating 30 years of marriage. What a way to celebrate. The trip included the Food and Wine Festival and Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. We attended two of the Eat to the Beat Concerts and rocked out at both of them. We made dinner events out of both the concerts and sat very near the front of the amphitheater. At the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, we tried many dishes that we hadn’t had before, many were amazing and most of them were wonderful. Of course, you run across a clinker every once in a while but almost everything was great. We did several beer flights and my wife had her favorite beer in Germany. She loves the Schofferhofer Grapefruit beer that was available during the festival. We had one of our all-time favorite Disney meals during this trip. On the night of our anniversary, we had reservations for Narcoossee in Disney’s Grand Floridian resort. We dined on some of the best lobster I had ever had. Afterward, we stood on the boardwalk just outside the restaurant and watch the Electrical Water Pageant pass by. Some would say the Electrical Water Pageant was dated or perhaps a little hokey. To me, the electronic music and the simple animation on the floats was utterly charming. Watching the barges pass by and hearing the Moog style music made me feel like I might have been back at the beginning of Disney World, in 1971 when the Magic Kingdom first opened. If I were to offer any tips for Food and Wine it would be to not fear the rain. On our midweek trip to Epcot and the Food and Wine Festival, It rained on and off all day, sometimes it rained heavily. My wife and I donned our Rain Parkas and ventured into the festival with abandon. We were rewarded by very short lines and wonderful food. At the time, visitors could get food from the booths for Snack Credits. I don’t think that has changed and food booths are a great way to spend snack credits if you have a Dining Plan.
We could also visit Walt Disney Work in the spring. In May of 2017, we came to central Florida to visit the “Theme Park That Must Not Be Named”. We had a great deal of fun, but, “You Know Where” isn’t Disney World. I discovered an attraction in “You Know Where” that I would come to hate more than the Infamous Primeval Whirl at the Animal Kingdom. To me Primeval Whirl = Primeval Hurl. I absolutely hated the Mummy Attraction. I could have sworn that it ruptured my spleen. My family did take pity on me and allowed me the chance to choose one park at Disney World to visit. I chose Epcot because the Flower and Garden festival was going on. Since we didn’t get Tickets in advance getting fast passes for our favorite attractions was difficult. We did score a few however and I was able to ride my favorite Epcot attraction, Soarin’. Usually, the Green version of Mission space has a short line as well. I have ridden the Orange version of Mission Space before. It was a mistake for me. Not only did the spinning make me feel bad, but, I couldn’t get the ground to stop spinning after I got off the attractions. I managed to keep down my lunch, but my cards for Mission Space were going to be green from that day forward. What made the Flower and Garden special for me is the amazing gardens with in the park. The horticulturist had transformed Epcot into a colorfully amazing place full of Topiaries and flowering plants. Epcot had displays of food plants as well. We thought about taking a break midday and come back to see Illuminations. However, we found plenty of stuff to enjoy and stayed all the way through to park closing. It was just gorgeous. I don’t think I want to go down over spring break since the parks are so busy and the costs for everything is higher but toward the second week in May might be a great time to visit.
As much as I have loved visiting Walt Disney World during the holidays, Food and Wine and the Flower and Garden festival, I wonder if I shouldn’t add a visit to the Epcot International Festival of the Arts. I am attracted to many art forms. I love music and the visual arts. I am also attracted to the culinary arts that are offered during the festival. I am starting to believe that the booths for the Epcot Food and Wine festival may be out all year round now. Upon reflection, since I obviously love to eat, I think I’m good with that. We also might go in January. I know that the Marathon weekend is in January. I might want to do the 5K. Walking in races is new to me and I’ve had a lot of fun doing my first one. Maybe Wine and Dine half Marathon weekend would be when I should go. I have always loved Star Wars since the first move came out in 1977. Maybe the Star Wars rival run 5k would be what I wanted to do. There is a lot to think about. One thing of which I am absolutely sure. I’m going to have a great time. I will be going back to the happiest place I know. I will be soon going back to Walt Disney World.