Saturday, September 11, 2010

Halloween at Disney!

It is obviously very popular to visit Disney during the major holidays--Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, 4th of July. That's why I am a stickler about avoiding Disney on these holidays.

But there are two holidays that I always wanted to spend at Disney--or more specifically, at EPCOT. St. Patty's Day (which I have yet to experience)...and Halloween!

Not quite two years ago, I took my now-husband Steve to Disney for Halloween. He hadn't been since he was 7 years old, and he had the pleasure of traveling with myself--a former Disney employee--as well as my cousin Katie (a Disney aficionado) and my friend Jonathan (a fellow former Cast Member).

Now, there are a few great things about visiting Disney over Halloween:
  1. It's off season. Less crowded and less expensive.
  2. It's Food & Wine Festival time at EPCOT!
  3. You can dress up in a costume and go to the parks.
  4. The weather is great. It's no longer 100 degrees and raining every afternoon. You will experience warm, comfortable temperatures and that makes wandering around Disney so much more enjoyable!

Being adults, we decided to spend Halloween day (one of only two full days that we had in Orlando) at EPCOT. We planned on dressing up, arriving early, enjoying Future World and then...drinking our way around the World Showcase, of course! Therefore, we were up at 8 and on our way to EPCOT--costumes and all--before 9:30 AM.

Katie, Steve & Jonathan entering the "secret" GM VIP area at Test Track

Steve and I got to ride the "new" Spaceship Earth, which was okay--but I miss the original! Then Jonathan and Katie met up with us and we all went on Test Track. As we were exiting the ride this cast member stopped us and said that because we were in costume we got to go up to the GM VIP area for refreshments and views of the park and then ride Test Track again without waiting. We totally thought he was kidding but turns out...he wasn't! So we got free drinks and candy, had a great view of Spaceship Earth and Future World, and then got to ride Test Track again without waiting at all. Great thing to happen for Steve's first time at Disney in over two decades ;o)

Of course, there was this little warning letter in the GM VIP area about how you shouldn't boast about being VIP in front of "normal" guests...and what does Katie do...boast...and not kidding you, our car was acting VERY funny on the ride! It kept stalling and the audio was all off...but whatever, I think that just made the whole experience all the more interesting.

After Test Track Katie and Jonathan took Steve on Mission: Space (the one attraction I can't ride), then we all went over to Soarin'. Now here's a story for you...seeing as it was Steve's first time on Soarin', and Katie had never ridden it sober, I wanted them to have the best seats--that being row 1 of section B. So we specifically ask for this row and section. We told TWO cast members that we wanted the first row of section B. Of course we were very polite about it, we knew we would have to wait an extra ten minutes, no big deal. So they move us off to the side--but they put us all the way down by section C, which seemed a bit weird. I had a bad feeling that they were going to put us in the first row of C...but at the same time, I couldn't understand how TWO separate people could have misheard our request to be in section B.

But apparently they did, and by the time we caught the attention of one of the cast members, they had already put people in the first row of section B. We weren't about to ask those people to move and I was already sick of waiting, so we went into the first row of section C. When we got into the attraction, I knew we were technically supposed to go to the end of the row, but I was annoyed that they screwed up and not about to take the shittiest seats (way at the end of the row, crappy views and all) after waiting that extra time. We sat down very quickly, weren't in anyone's way, and the people that had filed into our row behind us walked right around us without complaining--and yet the bitchy cast member that screwed things up in the first place still had the balls to say, very rudely, "Next time, move to the end of the row". To which I replied, "Next time, pay attention and do your job properly and you won't have to tell me to move to the end of the row." Grrr.

Katie (Evil Queen) and I (Tinker Bell) with our counterparts (Snow White and Peter Pan, of course!)
At this point we were done with Future World and made our way to World Showcase. We started in Canada and ate our way around the world first--I had keilbasa, potato peirogues, and carmelized onions from Poland, the potato/cheese/bacon/beer soup from Canada, escargots in France (never had them before, was VERY impressed), and Bobotie (sort of like a quiche thing with raisins, nuts, ground beef and lamb, topped with mango chutney) from South Africa.

Tinker Bell and Raoul from Fear & Loathing
We finally made it to Mexico to start our drinking around the world experience, Food and Wine--and Halloween--style. It was definitely fun doing it in our costumes, we got a lot of comments, got ridiculously drunk...Steve and I had a blast listening to the Beatles group, British Invasion, in Britain, we spent way too much time in the pub there...but in the end we all had an amazing time. We watched Illuminations, then spent a couple of hours at Jelly Rolls, the dueling piano bar.

All in all, it was one of the best Halloweens I've ever experienced! I'm sure visiting any of the parks--or even Universal--on Halloween, in costume, would be fun...but EPCOT is our favorite and drinking around the world on Halloween truly made the day far more fun an interesting.
Jonathan, Katie, myself and Steve in "France" at the end of the night

I can only hope that soon enough, I'm able to spend St. Patty's Day drinking around the world and compare!

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