Everyone has that “list” of what they want to do when they go to Walt Disney World- whether it be on paper or in your head- it’s what YOU want to do with your time there. Before ever moving here, I always wanted to attend a concert from the “Eat to the Beat” Series during the Food and Wine Festival held at Epcot. I was more than excited to see that several bands and singers were coming this year that I really enjoyed, so I thought I would share with you my first experience with all of it and maybe some tips to help you when you decide to rock it out.
I had been in Epcot all day Friday, meeting up with several friends, and hanging out with new pal, Beth. I was so excited to go and see Starship, as it was yet another new experience that I was more than ready to have. There were three times you could see them- 5:15, 6:30, and 7:45 p.m. Here was my thought process, if I went and saw the first show, then I would be coming into it “fresh.” What I mean by that is that I didn’t want to stand in line for the 2nd or 3rd show and wind up hearing all the songs anyways- I wanted it all to be brand spanking new!
I got in line around 4:00, and they allowed us to sit 30 minutes before the show, finding a spot right in the center of the stage at 4:45. Standing in line wasn’t too bad, but it was right in the line of the hot sun. I would suggest bringing an umbrella to cover anyone in your party who cannot stand in the sun for long periods of time. At 4:00 the line was very small, maybe I was the 30th person in line. When they opened it to sit though, it was wrapped around the area in front of Italy. Many people in line were holding places for others, and several Cast Members let people come in and out of line while waiting. That’s great news for those who don’t want to wait and want to do something else, and for others it stinks because you never know how many people are REALLY in front of you.
Once they let us in the Theater, it was basically a free for all. Several rows were roped off for what I assume were the dining packages, or for other groups, but there were plenty of benches open. You could definitely see the “groupies” who grabbed the front rows, and honestly, they were as much fun to watch as the show! By the time the show started at 5:15, the Theater still wasn’t filled to capacity, so I would guess that the first show is probably your best bet to get a great seat with less people.
You know how you go to a regular concert and someone warms up the crowd, then the opening act plays, and then BOOM, it’s who you came to see- right? Well, here at “Eat to the Beat” they just kind of walked out… I almost wondered if it was a joke. Nope, they just walked out like some high school band you would see at school concert, and then introduced Mickey Thomas – which was at least SOME what exciting!
They started right in on the song “Sarah” – which if you grew up in the 80s, you would have slow danced to this song at your prom. It was very exciting to see them so close, and yes, right there in front of me! It was almost unbelievable because it seemed too easy to just come and see them perform. I have many a memory attached to Starship songs, so it was great to be singing along to “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” and “We Built this City.”
They sang about 5 songs total, and were off the stage exactly 30 minutes after they started. I was disappointed that they only sang that long, I had hoped for at least a 45 minute show. I realize they are “free,” but it still would have been nicer to hear more. Because there are three shows offered each evening they are here, like everyone else who comes, you have the opportunity to hear them all night if you can get back in line and get a decent seat. Of course Disney is not going to let you stay in your same seat for all three shows, so like the rides, you have to get up and back in line. Many of the “groupies” were leaving during the last song to get a place in line for the next show, which I will be doing when Richard Marx comes next month. Yes, he was my 80’s crush. Enough said.
Beth and I decided to watch the second show, but this time we just waited up near the top of the Theater, and after the line emptied in- they let all the ropes down. So we found a seat towards the back, in the center, and still could hear and see everything great. With the sun set already, it made for a much more comfortable concert than the first one. They did sing a couple of different songs, but still also sang their popular ones. Craig and Tim joined us for the 2nd concert, so it was fun to hang out all together for it.
By the time the 3rd concert was ready, it was packed and crazily busy in World Showcase. You also have to remember that going to one on a weekend evening makes it quite busy, and with the later concert you have those who have been drinking all day enjoying it as well. Craig and I fought the crowds to grab some beef and rice at the Caribbean stand, then a romantic ride on Spaceship Earth before calling it a day.
I will definitely be going back to enjoy many more bands, and of course, my Richard Marx. I felt my experience couldn’t have been any better, and I look forward to making more memories with the “Eat to the Beat” series. A HUGE thanks to Beth for rocking it out with me and making the memory even better- love ya girl!