Sunday, September 25, 2016

Food and Wine Festival 2016

I had to switch colors on my blog today from orange to purple in honor of the grape! We left home for Old Key West Resort in Disney and arrived at 12:30 p.m. I had done online check-in the week before and let them know we were arriving at 11 a.m. Check in is at 4 p.m. They sent me a text at 9:15 a.m. saying our room wasn't ready...no surprise there!!! By the time we arrived, they had not sent a follow up message so we went to check-in where a wonderful staff member helped us. Thank you, Craig, for the anniversary balloons! There were 3 but we had to leave them in a hot car because our room wasn't ready. That's another story.

We went off to Epcot for the F & W Festival. Here was our first mistake (my husband would tell you it was actually mine!)...it was going to be a 20 minute or more wait for the Epcot bus. So, you-know-who got the bright idea to take the Hollywood Studio bus which was right there and from HS get on the boat to the back part of Epcot. (It's a mile walk from HS to Epcot). The boat makes 3 stops before Epcot and we had just missed the boat (in more ways than one!). An hour later we were at Epcot. Hmm...20 minute wait vs. an hour? Not a wise decision! In our younger, healthier days we could have walked and beat the boat. 

Finally at Epcot, going in the back gateway, I was pulled aside to go through the metal detector, while Perry went through the regular way. I complied, rather than get thrown out, and was able to walk in without scanning my band. This turns into another story tomorrow I bet!

Our first stop was Brazil for the Crispy Pork Belly and Xingu beer. We used to share the pork belly but we can no longer do that because it is too good. 

Our second stop was Hops & Barley where we both had the lobster roll. Perry enjoyed his but mine was dry and skimpy. That happens every year. I could tell you what happened one year but suffice it to say, I got over my OCD and Mr. Monk attitude that day and I'm still alive to talk about it!


Onward and upward to Mexico. This year they switched the locations of the booths. Can you believe at the kiosk they don't sell Dos Equis? I had to go to the food booth while Perry went to the beer booth down the road a piece. We met up on the "pier" and enjoyed our shrimp tortillas and beer.


We hadn't quite had our fill yet so we stopped at New Zealand for the lamb meatball we always love. This one we could have, and should have, shared. It was not half as good as years in the past. Part of the problem was the obnoxious staff member who thought it was a good idea to join us and tell us his life history while we ate. Sometimes I am not too charitable. 

So then it was back to Old Key West to find out about our room. 

The rest of the story: They had assigned us a garden view and I had asked for water view. They were very accommodating and said we could get one but it wouldn't be ready for awhile. We were okay with that and said we'd go to the parks to wait as shown above. The check-in staff member said they'd text when our room was ready and we could go straight to the room without stopping at the front desk. At 3:15 p.m. we got a text message telling us to stop at the front desk for our room assignment! So much for previous instructions. We had parked the car at the building where our room was going to be. Mind you, it is over a mile from the check-in building to where we were to be staying. So, we took the Epcot bus to our building, got in the car and went back to check-in at 4 p.m. They reprogrammed our wrist bands and gave us the room number. We drove back, unloaded the car and proceeded to use our wrist bands to open the door. Guess what? Yup, they didn't work!

We were in no mood to drive back to check-in and there is no phone number for the front desk. It is now 5 p.m. and we are tired from driving and romping around at Epcot. We were able to flag down a housekeeping member and she didn't even know the number for the front desk...she only knew the housekeeping extension and used her phone to connect me. After much ado about nothing, the head of housekeeping said we'd have to go to check-in. The woman who was physically with me, noticed I was on the verge of tears and flagged down security! He was a nice young man from Windsor, CT and said he would stay with us until the duty manager got to the site. The duty manager could not get the bands to work BUT was able to get us into the room by 6 p.m. She said it was a technical glitch and they'd be fine in the morning. 

The room is spacious, well appointed and when we opened the door to the back yard, this was our welcoming committee...




It was so tempting to feed them, but we knew what the results would be :-)

After a little snack, we broke out the port and chocolate and enjoyed our balloon bouquet...minus the red one, which was my favorite.


An end to a day that was not our best experience, but we are grateful to be here another year and grateful to all the staff members who tried to remedy an unfortunate experience. Tomorrow is another day and who knows what it will bring.


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