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Food & Wine 2013 Scouting Report: Argentina – Guest Blog Post

As excited as I am about Brazil’s return to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, and the menu it brings with it, I’m equally disappointed by its “sister” South American nation – Argentina.

If you’re a veteran of Food & Wine, I’m sure you’ve just reacted to that sentiment with complete disbelief.  After all, Argentina’s Beef Empanada and Grilled Beef Skewer with Chimichurri Sauce (a brightly colored green sauce with parsley, herbs, garlic, and tangy vinegar) and Boniato (a Cuban sweet potato or white yam) Purée are generally recognized as festival highlights!  Aren’t they?

Argentina's Beef Empanada

Argentina's Beef Skewer

Frankly, I was so disappointed after sampling both of them in 2011 that I completely passed them by in 2012.  The empanada was the best of the two but pretty ordinary, in my opinion, and the beef skewer was tough and way overdone.

But, then, this is where my wife spilled a valuable “pearl of wisdom” on me … on any given day with any particular meal or any cut of meat, any chef could have a really bad day.  Or, in this case, make even one bad serving.  The morale of the story?  I should give Argentina another shot.  So, in 2013, I will.

Like Brazil, Argentina won’t be serving a dessert this year, so their menu ends with a collection of beverages:

Pascual Toso Sparkling Brut – bright green and yellow in color, this sparkling wine presents with the essential characteristics of Chardonnay

Terrazas Reserva Malbec – an Argentine Malbec wine characterized by its deep color, intense fruity flavors, and a velvety texture

Terrazas Reserva Torrontes – a white Argentine wine with moderate acidity, smooth texture and mouthfeel, as well as distinctive peach and apricot aromas

Kaiken Cabernet Sauvignon – with a deep ruby red color, this wine provides pleasant blackcurrant and cherry notes with a full body and long after-taste

When it comes down to it, Kingdom Magic Vacations‘ own Rick Howard might do better justice to describing the virtues of Argentina’s menu than I can.  For me, I can only grade them as an “Incomplete”.  So, step back and listen to last year’s Argentina-focused episode of the Travel with Rick video-cast.

He’ll tell you just how much you should like their Chimichurri Sauce!

It’s not too late to book your trip to experience
Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival!
Contact Kingdom Magic Vacations Today!


Guest Author – Bob Sikon

Guest Author Bob SikonBob Sikon is a Cast Member “Wanna-Be”. He fell in love with Walt Disney World on his first visit to Mickey’s Florida home in 1999, and it was all because of the Cast Members. In his words, “The way they take care of you, they make you want to be part of The Magic.” Someday, his dream will come true, and he’ll proudly wear a Cast Member name badge, but, for now, you can find him in Atlanta, GA, planning his next trip to “The World”, and blogging about the place “Where Dreams Come True” at allinwdw.com.

Food & Wine 2013 Scouting Report: Brazil – Guest Blog Post

Brazil makes its triumphant return to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival in 2013, and the menu it’s bringing with it is, in my opinion, outstanding.

When last we saw our Brazilian friends, in 2011, we were treated to their National dish – Feijoada. If you have an interest, Feijoada is typically a stew of black beans with beef and/or pork. Sounds good, eh? The Brazil marketplace also served us Seared Mahi-Mahi with Steamed Rice, Hearts of Palm, and Coconut-Lime Sauce – a dish that I absolutely loved that year.

Food & Wine 2013 Scouting Report:  Brazil

Well, in 2013, armed with a seared scallop and a delicious, but slightly small, portion of pork belly, Brazil absolutely storms back into Disney. And, if their 2011 mahi-mahi is an example of what they can deliver, we’re all going to be very happy to see them back in business!

Food & Wine’s offering of mahi-mahi has since moved on to be presented by our friends at the Singapore marketplace, but Brazil has responded by snatching the festival’s seared scallop away from New Zealand. I found New Zealand’s scallop to be quite good last year, and I’m counting on Brazil’s rendition – described as a Seared Scallop with Ragout of Tomatoes, Peppers, Hearts of Palm, and Steamed Rice – to be equally tasty. Hopefully it will be even be better!

Food & Wine 2013 Scouting Report:  Brazil

New Zealand’s 2012 Seared Scallop

I got the chance to sample Brazil’s Crispy Pork Belly with Black Beans, Onions, Avocado, and Cilantro at Tables in Wonderland’s Food & Wine Preview event back in late July. Although it was a bit of a small dish, the flavors were outstanding! The ingredients meld together in a symphony of “delicious-ness”, so, when you try it, make sure you get some of everything in every bite.

Pork Belly.jpg

A symphony of “delicious-ness”!

Brazil’s 2013 menu is rounded out by your choice of beverages:

  • Cervejarias Kaiser Brewery Xingu Black Beer
  • Carnaval Moscato White
  • Frozen Caipirinha featuring LeBlon Cachaça

I enjoyed some of the Xingu black lager at the Tables in Wonderland event. Its color does its name justice, and I found it to be quite good. If you like craft beers, it’s definitely worth the price of a sample.

The Caipirinha is the national cocktail of Brazil. Made from fresh lime, muddled with natural sugar, and mixed with Cachaça (a rum-like spirit) and ice, how can you pass by giving a frozen serving of this a try?

All in all, I’m pretty pleased by the offering Brazil brings in its return. As enthusiastic as I am about their menu, however, I think the absence of a dessert is a little bit disappointing. As a pre-festival “grade”, I’ll give them an “A-minus”.

It’s not too late to book your trip to experience
Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival!
Contact Kingdom Magic Vacations Today!


Guest Author – Bob Sikon

Guest Author Bob SikonBob Sikon is a Cast Member “Wanna-Be”. He fell in love with Walt Disney World on his first visit to Mickey’s Florida home in 1999, and it was all because of the Cast Members. In his words, “The way they take care of you, they make you want to be part of The Magic.” Someday, his dream will come true, and he’ll proudly wear a Cast Member name badge, but, for now, you can find him in Atlanta, GA, planning his next trip to “The World”, and blogging about the place “Where Dreams Come True” at allinwdw.com.

Check Out All The Marketplaces And Menus For Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

Satiate your hunger and thirst with a burst of fresh food, fine wine and craft beers from a host of global marketplaces—this year, at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.

Here is the full list of Marketplaces scheduled for this year’s Food and Wine Festival.  There are some new additions this year and more than a few returning favorites!  Which one is your favorite?

Terra

Terra

 

To eat:

  • Trick’n chick’n curry with basmati rice featuring Gardein™ chick’n breast
  • Chili Colorado with house-made chips and cashew cheese featuring Gardein™ beefless tips
  • Chocolate cake with coconut mousse and passion fruit sauce

To drink:

  • Fresh watermelon juice
  • Napa Smith Organic IPA
  • The Vegan Vine Chardonnay
  • The Vegan Vine Red Blend

Brazil

Brazil

To eat:

  • Seared scallop with ragout of tomatoes, peppers, hearts of palm and steamed rice
  • Crispy pork belly with black beans, onions, avocado and cilantro

To drink:

  • Cerveharias Kaiser Brewery Xingu Black Beer
  • Carnaval Moscato White
  • Frozen Caipirinha featuring LeBlon Cachaça

Argentina

Argentina

 To eat:

  • Beef empanada
  • Grilled beef skewer with Chimichurri sauce and boniato purée

To drink:

  • Pascual Toso Sparkling Brut
  • Terrazas Reserva Malbec
  • Terrazas Reserva Torrontes
  • Kaiken Cabernet Sauvignon

Australia

Australia

 To eat:

  • Garlic shrimp with roasted tomatoes, lemon myrtle and rapini
  • Grilled lamb chop with mint pesto and potato crunchies
  • Pavlova (crispy meringue shell with fresh Driscoll’s® berries and vanilla custard)

To drink:

  • Rosemont Estate Pinot Grigio
  • Wolf Blass Gold Label Chardonnay
  • Rosemont Estate Merlot
  • Penfolds Bin 8 Cabernet Shiraz

Mexico

Mexico

To eat:

  • Shrimp taco with purple cabbage
  • Taco de ribeye with salsa de chipotle
  • Rice pudding

To drink:

  • Dos Equis Beer
  • Sangria
  • Tequila Flight
  • Mango-Habanero Margarita

Singapore

Singapore

To eat:

  • Lemongrass chicken curry with coconut and jasmine rice
  • Seared mahi mahi with jasmine rice and “Singa” sauce

To drink:

  • Tiger Beer
  • Marqués de Caceres Satinela
  • Singapore Sling featuring Hendrick’s Gin and Cherry Herring

China

China

To eat:

  • Mongolian beef in a steamed bun
  • Black pepper shrimp with Sichuan noodles
  • Chicken potstickers
  • Silky spun ice with toppings (3 flavors: coconut, strawberry and chocolate)

To drink:

  • Tsing Tao Beer
  • Francis Ford Coppola Su Yuen Riesling
  • Francis Ford Coppola Su Yuen Syrah
  • Kung Fu Punch with vodka
  • Happy Lychee with vodka
  • Lychee-aerated water

South Korea

South Korea

To eat:

  • Kimchi dog with spicy mustard sauce*
  • Lettuce wrap with roast pork and kimchi slaw

To drink:

  • Bohae Black Raspberry Wine – Bokbunjajoo
  • Jinro Chamisul Soju
  • Soju Fruit Slushy featuring Jinro Chamisul Soju

Africa

Africa

 

To eat:

  • Berbere-style beef with onions, jalapeños, tomato, okra and pap
  • Spinach and paneer cheese pocket

To drink:

  • Man Vintners Chenin Blanc
  • The Wolftrap Red (Syrah, Mourvèdre and Viognier)
  • Porcupine Ridge Syrah

Cheese

Cheese

To eat:

  • Almond-crusted blue cheese soufflé with fig jam
  • Artisan cheese selection (Beechers Flagship Reserve served with honey, La Bonne Vie Triple Cream Brie served with apricot jam and Wijngaard Goat Gouda with Craisin® bread)
  • TBD

To drink:

  • Once Upon a Vine’s The Lost Slipper Sauvignon Blanc
  • Once Upon a Vine’s The Fairest Chardonnay
  • Once Upon a Vine’s The Big Bad Red Blend
  • Once Upon a Vine’s A Charming Pinot

Brewer’s Collection

Brewer's Collection

  • Schöfferhofer Grapefruit
  • Radeberger Pilsner
  • Altenmünster Oktoberfest
  • BraufactuM Palor
  • BraufactuM Roog Smoked Wheat Beer
  • Warsteiner Premium Verum
  • BraufactuM Darkon
  • Warsteiner Premium Dunkel
  • Beer flight 1 (Schofferhofer Grapefruit, Altenmunster Oktoberfest, Warsteiner Premium Verum and Warsteiner Premium Dunkel)
  • Beer flight 2 (Radeberger Pilsner, BraufactuM Palor, BraufactuM Roog Smoked Wheat Beer and BraufactuM Darkon)

Germany

Germany

To eat:

  • Schinken nudel (pasta gratin with ham and cheese)
  • Roast bratwurst in a pretzel roll
  • Apple strudel with Werther’s Original Karamel and vanilla sauce

To drink:

  • Altenmünster Oktoberfest
  • BraufactuM Darkon
  • J&H Selbach Bernkasteler Kurfürstlay Riesling Kabinett
  • Selbach-Oster Mosel Riesling Spätlese
  • J&H Selbach Bernkasteler Kurfürstlay Riesling Auslese
  • Weingut Pitthan Dornfelder Dry Barrique Style

Poland

Poland

To eat:

  • Kielbasa and potato pierogie with caramelized onions and sour cream
  • Zapiekanki (toasted mushroom, caramelized onion and cheese bread with house-made ketchup)

To drink: 

  • Okocim Brewery, Okocim O.K. Beer
  • Frozen Szarlotka (apple pie) featuring Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka
  • Temptation Zinfandel

Italy

Italy

To eat:

  • Ravioli de formaggio all’emiliana
  • Salsiccia e ‘papacelli” Napoletani
  • Cannoli al cioccolato

To drink:

  • Moretti Beer
  • Procecco
  • Pinot Grigio Placido
  • Chianti Placido
  • Italian Margherita

Hops and Barley

Hops and Barley

To eat:

  • Lobster roll with lemon herb mayonnaise
  • Griddled lobster tail with garlic herb butter
  • New England clam chowder with a side of Tabasco®
  • Craisin bread pudding with Grand Marnier anglaise

To drink:

  • La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
  • Rogue Chocolate Stout
  • Iron Horse Fairy Tale Cuvée
  • Samuel Adams® Boston Lager
  • Samuel Adams Octoberfest
  • Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat
  • Beer flight (Samuel Adams Boston Lager, Samuel Adams Octoberfest, Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat and Rogue Chocolate Stout)

Florida Local

Florida Local

To eat:

  • Florida grass-fed beef slider with white cheddar and sweet & hot pickles
  • Florida shrimp ceviche with fire-roasted vegetables and micro cilantro

To drink:

  • Florida Orange Groves Hurricane Class 5 White Sangria
  • Florida Orange Groves Key Limen Florida Key Lime Wine
  • Orlando Brewing, Sun Shade Organic Pale Ale
  • Cigar City Brewing, Florida Cracker Belgium-Style White Ale

Japan

Japan

To eat:

  • California roll (avocado, cucumber, crab, mayonnaise and smelt roe rolled in sushi rice and seaweed)
  • Spicy hand roll (tuna and salmon with chili pepper, soy sauce and sesame oil topped with Kazan Volcano sauce)
  • Teriyaki chicken hand roll (marinated dark meat chicken with sushi rice topped with teriyaki sauce)
  • Youki tofu (topped with miso sauce, edamame, and served with grilled vegetables)

To drink:

  • Sapporo Draft Beer
  • Sake: Junmai Ginjo
  • Green Tea Colada

Morocco

Morocco

To eat:

  • Kefta pocket
  • Harissa chicken toll
  • Baklava

To drink:

  • Casa Beer
  • Ksar White
  • Sangria
  • Mimosa Royale

New Zeland

New Zeland

To eat:

  • Steamed Green Lip Mussels with Garlic Butter and Toasted Bread Crumbs
  • Venison sausage with pickled mushrooms, baby arugula and black currant reduction
  • Lamb meatball with spicy tomato chutney

To drink:

  • Kim Crawford Pinot Grigio
  • Mohua Sauvignon Blanc
  • Kim Crawford Unoaked Chardonnay
  • Kim Crawford Pinot Noir

Belgium

Belgium

To eat:

  • Potato and leek waffle with braised beef
  • Belgium waffle with warm chocolate ganache and whipped cream
  • Belgium waffle with berry compote featuring Driscoll’s berries

To drink:

  • Hoegaarden
  • Stella Artois
  • Leffe Blonde
  • Leffe Brune
  • Chilled coffee featuring Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
  • Beer flight (Hoegaarden, Stella Artois, Leffe Blonde and Leffe Brune)

France

France

To eat:

  • Escargots persillade en brioche (garlic and parsley snails in brioche)
  • Boeuf bourguignon (braised short ribs in cabernet with mashed potatoes)
  • Crème brûlée au chocolat au lait (chocolate milk crème brûlée topped with caramelized sugar)

To drink:

  • Beer Kronenbourg Blanc
  • Chardonnay, Macon-Villages, La Côte Blanche
  • Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux, Château Bonnet
  • Sparkling Pomegranate Kir
  • Eiffel Sour Cosmo Slush (vodka, Grey Goose Cherry Noir, Grand Marnier and cranberry juice)

Ireland

Ireland

To eat:

  • Lobster and seafood fisherman’s pie
  • Kerrygold cheese selection: reserve cheddar, Dubliner with Irish Stout, Skellig
  • Warm chocolate pudding with Bailey’s® custard

To drink:

  • Guinness® Draught
  • Bunratty Meade Honey Wine
  • Chilled Irish Coffee featuring Bunratty Potcheen

Canada

Canada

To eat:

  • Canadian cheddar cheese soup
  • Seared rainbow trout with bacon, frisee and maple Minus 8 Vinaigrette
  • “Le Cellier” wild mushroom beef filet mignon with truffle butter sauce

To drink:

  • Moosehead Lager
  • La Face Neige Apple Ice Wine
  • La Face Neige Sparkling
  • Mission Hill Family Estate Syrah

Greece

Greece

 To eat:

  • Taste of Greece: grilled and marinated calamari, hitipiti, eggplant dip, olives and pita bread
  • Griddled Greek cheese with pistachios and honey
  • Chicken gyro with tzatziki Sauce
  • Spanakopita
  • Dannon Oikos® Blueberry Greek Nonfat Yogurt Cup

To drink:

  • Domaine Skouras Moscofilero
  • Domaine Siglas Assyrtiko/Athiri
  • Alpha Estate Axia Syrah-Xinomavro
  • Ouzo by Metaxa

Refreshment Port

Refreshment Port

To eat:

  • Dole pineapple fritters
  • Fried shrimp with Dole pineapple sweet & sour sauce
  • Fried chicken chunks with Dole pineapple sweet & sour sauce

To drink:

  • Orange Dole Whip
  • Orange Dole Whip with Crème de Cacao White
  • Frozen Dragon Berry Colada featuring Bacardi® Dragon Berry Rum

Desserts  and  Champagne

Desserts  and  Champagne

To eat:

  • Chocolate orange cupcake
  • Hazelnut chocolate cheesecake
  • Morello cherry pistachio mousse
  • Guylian Belgian chocolate seashell truffles
  • Dessert Trio

To drink:

  • Pyramid™ Weiss Cream Beer
  • Möet & Chandon Ice Impérial
  • Möet & Chandon Impérial
  • Möet & Chandon Nectar Impérial
  • Nicolas Feuillatte Rosé
  • Frozen S’mores

Scotland

Scotland

To eat:

  • Seared Scottish salmon with cauliflower puree, watercress and malt vinaigrette
  • Vegetarian haggis with neeps & tatties (griddled vegetable cake with rutabaga and mashed potatoes)
  • Scottish banoffee tart with bananas, Scottish whisky toffee, Walkers Shortbread Cookies and sweet cream

To drink:

  • Innis & Gunn® Original
  • Loch Lomond featuring Glenfiddich® 12 year
  • Glenfiddich Scotch Flight (12, 15 and 18)

Hawaii

Hawaii

To eat:

  • Khlua pork slider with sweet and sour Dole® Pineapple chutney and spicy mayonnaise
  • Tuna poke with seaweed salad and lotus root chips

To drink:

  • Kona Brewing Company’s Big Wave Golden Ale
  • Kona Brewing Company’s Pipeline Porter
  • Lucien Albrecht Gewurztraminer Réserve
  • Aulani Sunrise featuring Ocean Vodka

Craft Beers

Craft Beers

  • Dogfish Head Brewery, Namaste
  • Abita Brewing Company, Fall Fest
  • Leinenkugel’s® Seasonal Shandy, (Summer Shandy/Orange Shandy)
  • Florida Beer Company, Devil’s Triangle
  • New Belgium Brewing Company, Fat Tire
  • Widmer Brothers Brewing®, Alchemy Ale
  • Red Hook, Audible Ale
  • Sierra Nevada, Torpedo® Extra IPA
  • Beer flight 1 (Dogfish Head Brewery Namaste, Abita Brewing Company Fall Fest, Leinenkugel’s® Seasonal Shandy and Florida Beer Company Devil’s Triangle)
  • Beer flight 2 (New Belgium Brewing Company Fat Tire, Widmer Brothers Brewing Alchemy Ale, Red Hood Audible Ale and Sierra Nevada Torpedo)

It’s not too late to book your trip to experience
Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival!

Contact Kingdom Magic Vacations Today!

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Opens in Less Than a Month – Are You Ready?

Disney Parks Blog has shared some new information about the upcoming Food and Wine Festival and we wanted to share it with you!  Can you tell we’re all very excited?

A little fun news on the beverage front: the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival will be among the first venues in Florida to serve wine on tap in 5-gallon kegs under the new Florida law that allows wine to be dispensed from sustainable stainless-steel containers.

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Opens in Less Than a Month - Are You Ready?

Two locations – the Festival Center and Refreshment Cool Post – will be serving from kegs, with a Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir at Cool Post and a Cabernet and Chardonnay in the Festival Center.

“The wines on tap offer guests a fresh glass of wine with every pour,” says Marianne Hunnel, in charge of Content Development for the festival. “They’re good quality, mid-range wines, and when we tasted side by side with the bottle and keg, we couldn’t tell the difference.” From an environmental perspective there is less waste. No need for bottles, cardboard, corks or labels.

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Opens in Less Than a Month - Are You Ready?

On the culinary front, sometimes it’s the little things – we got a taste of the “vegetarian haggis with neeps and tatties” from the new Scotland Marketplace, and it may be our new favorite. In case you’re wondering, in English we translate that as a “griddled vegetable cake with rutabaga (neeps) and mashed potatoes (tatties).” The name of the dish may sound odd to many of us, but the crispy, peppery haggis and mellow veggies are a real treat.

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Opens in Less Than a Month - Are You Ready?

Other delightful new-for-2013 bites we tried and recommend: the sweet, griddled lobster tail with garlic herb butter from the Hops & Barley Marketplace; Berbere-style beef with onions, jalapeños, tomato, okra and pap (grits) from Africa Marketplace; and the gooey Scottish banoffee tart (banana-toffee is such a delish combo). On the beverage side, kids are going to love the drinkable Frozen S’Mores from Desserts & Champagne, grown-ups will be lining up for the Orange Dole Whip with Crème de Cacao White.

With more than 40 new dishes and 80 new beverages, it will take a while to work our way around World Showcase Lagoon Septemember 27-November 11.

It’s Not Too Late! 
Book Your Walt Disney World Vacation Today
and Don’t Miss a Minute of Food and Wine Festival 2013

Imagineering Food & Wine: Germany – Guest Blog Post

When I look back at the last two years of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, as well as at the “Food” & Garden Festival held this past Spring, I think I’m in the minority. When appraising World Showcase’s German Marketplace, I come away very disappointed.

Take 2011’s Food & Wine, for example. Their offering included Goulash Soup, Sausage in a Pretzel Roll, and an Apple Strudel featuring Werther’s Original Caramel and Vanilla Sauce.

Their 2012 effort presented, pretty much, the same Sausage (actually, a Bratwurst) in a Pretzel Roll, a Pasta Gratin with Ham and Cheese, and an encore of the Apple Strudel.

Imagineering Food & Wine: Germany - Guest Blog Post

Imagineering Food & Wine: Germany - Guest Blog Post

2013’s “Food” & Garden Festival – OK, it’s really the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival – switched things up a bit. We were served a Savory Bread Pudding with Spring Peas and Wild Mushroom Ragout, German Meatloaf Sandwich with Sweet Mustard and Fried Shallots, and Potato Pancakes with House-made Apple Sauce.

Imagineering Food & Wine: Germany - Guest Blog Post

For me, the menus were just OK. For example, as I look back at my notes, I find that I reported the following:

“The roast bratwurst was a disappointment. It was a relatively tasteless sausage on a VERY small pretzel roll. Both my wife and I gave it two thumbs down.”

“The Pasta Gratin with Ham and Cheese wasn’t a bad dish. It was just merely ordinary.”

“Both my wife and I came away unimpressed with their 2012 menu. In fact, we left Germany more unenthusiastic than we did from any other F&W kiosk – which must put us in the vast minority because the lines at Germany seemed to be constantly rip-roaring long.”

When it comes to this year’s “Food” & Garden feast, “I mean this next statement in the most complimentary of terms. Take Spam and cross it with a good old hot dog and you’d have Germany’s meatloaf.”

The potato pancake caused me to write, “A bit too much minced onion for my taste and a little too salty. I don’t need another helping, thanks.” Truth be told, after a chance meeting with Epcot Executive Chef Jens Dahlmann, where we told him the pancakes were a bit too salty for us (how did we have the nerve?), we DID try them again. The second time around, they were MUCH better.

Where’s all this going? Plain and simple, Germany has been “just OK”, in our opinions. But, for a country that sports great options with regard to cuisine, it should be able to offer much more and much better.

For 2013, given the chance to write the menu, I would lean back on one of my favorite dishes (and, a traditional German favorite) – Pork Schnitzel. I would bread it in Panko and cover it with a delicious gravy.

Imagineering Food & Wine: Germany - Guest Blog Post

Then, I would serve Beef Sauerbraten with Potato Dumplings.

Imagineering Food & Wine: Germany - Guest Blog Post

Finally, I would finish with a nice slice of Black Forest Cake.

Imagineering Food & Wine: Germany - Guest Blog Post

Yes, I know it’s a complete “reboot” of the Germany kiosk’s menu, but I’m confident those “rip-roaring long” lines will be even longer if we kick the food offering up these few notches.

What do you think?


Guest Author – Bob Sikon

Guest Author Bob SikonBob Sikon is a Cast Member “Wanna-Be”. He fell in love with Walt Disney World on his first visit to Mickey’s Florida home in 1999, and it was all because of the Cast Members. In his words, “The way they take care of you, they make you want to be part of The Magic.” Someday, his dream will come true, and he’ll proudly wear a Cast Member name badge, but, for now, you can find him in Atlanta, GA, planning his next trip to “The World”, and blogging about the place “Where Dreams Come True” at allinwdw.com.

Imagineering Food & Wine: Singapore – Guest Blog Post

Singapore is SO misunderstood.

I have to admit, I know very little about Singapore.  For example, did you know that it is just off the southern tip of Malaysia and is an island country made up of 63 islands?!

When it comes to Food & Wine, in spite of the culinary genius of Epcot Executive Chef Jens Dahlmann and his team, Singapore annually receives criticism as THE marketplace desperately in need of “stepping its game up”.

However, consider this … a Singapore “hawker center” is a building housing rows and rows of small food stalls – all serving a variety of foods and desserts.  Sound a bit familiar?

Imagineering Food & Wine – Singapore

Is it Food & Wine every day in Singapore?

Or, how about this?  When it comes to cuisine, diversity is THE word.  Malaysia, China, Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, the Philippines, the Middle East and many other countries can claim influence on Singapore’s culinary landscape.

To be honest, if ever there was a country MADE for the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, it is Singapore!

Let’s take a look back at recent history.  In 2011, Chef Jens offered us a shrimp cake on a sugar cane skewer.  In addition, his entrees included an Indonesian-inspired coconut-braised beef rendang.  Last year, the beef rendang returned to be accompanied by a seared mahi-mahi.

As I recall, the shrimp cake and mahi-mahi were quite tasty.  I have to admit, however, that I couldn’t scrape up the desire to try the rendang.  I mean, the pictures that I saw of that spicy meat dish didn’t look appetizing at all.

Imagineering Food & Wine – Singapore

Step your game up, Singapore!

So, if we were given the chance to write Chef’s menu, what could we offer?

Well, first, I would suggest replacing the beef rendang.  It has had its day, and, as I researched the multitude of options we could choose for Singapore, I found the perfect replacement.  Chef Jens won’t have to travel far to find a slam-dunk recipe.  Have you ever had Sanaa’s butter chicken?  You should.  It’s an incredible Indian-influenced dish.  Sanaa can be found in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani Village.

Imagineering Food & Wine – Singapore

If you give us butter chicken, Chef, we’ll flock to Singapore!

For Singapore’s second entree, I could make a strong argument to keep their seared mahi-mahi.  It WAS pretty tasty, but, since this marketplace is going to get a complete “refurb”, I’m going to suggest a popular seafood dish with Malaysian overtones – chili crab.

Imagine crab stir-fried in a semi-thick, sweet and savory tomato and chili-based sauce.  Despite its name, it is not a very spicy dish.  It was, however, listed by CNN as one of the “World’s 50 most delicious foods” in 2011.  Some rendition of this has got to be worth a taste.

Imagineering Food & Wine – Singapore

If not crab, then I could imagine Chef presenting some kind of “chili seafood” dish.

There you have it.  If Singapore is in need of an upgrade, I would say its old entrees need to be completely erased in favor of brand new choices.  In my mind, the butter chicken is a sure winner.  The crab is a wild card.


Guest Author – Bob Sikon

Guest Author Bob SikonBob Sikon is a Cast Member “Wanna-Be”. He fell in love with Walt Disney World on his first visit to Mickey’s Florida home in 1999, and it was all because of the Cast Members. In his words, “The way they take care of you, they make you want to be part of The Magic.” Someday, his dream will come true, and he’ll proudly wear a Cast Member name badge, but, for now, you can find him in Atlanta, GA, planning his next trip to “The World”, and blogging about the place “Where Dreams Come True” at allinwdw.com.

 

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Premium Event Reservations Opens August 13

Phone lines open at 7 a.m. Eastern on Aug. 13 to book reservations for premium events for the 18th annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, Sept. 27-Nov. 11, at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Premium Event Reservations Opens August 13

From the over-the-top Party for the Senses grand tasting experience on select Saturday nights to a new taste of Scottish cuisine, there are lots of opportunities. Price per ticket:

  • New Scotland, Land of Food And Drink (Sept. 28), $95 or $115
  • New Spirits Confidential (Nov. 1), $80 or $95
  • New Parisian Breakfast (Saturdays), $37
  • New Hibachi Experience (Oct. 8, 15, 22, 29, Nov. 5), $120
  • “3D” Disney’s Dessert Discovery (Oct. 4, 11 and 25), $55 or $90
  • Epcot Wine Schools (Sept. 29, Oct. 27, Nov. 3), $135 per person
  • Culinary Adventures in Signature Dining (more than 25 dinners throughout the festival; prices vary)
  • Mixology Series: Taste, Shake and Indulge Like the French (Saturdays), $65
  • Kitchen Memories (Sept. 27, Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25, Nov. 1, 8), from $110-$170
  • Cheese Seminars (Sept. 28, Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26, Nov. 2, 9), $80
  • Party for the Senses (Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26 and Nov. 2), $145, $180 or $285
  • Food & Wine Pairings (Tuesdays, Thursdays), $55
  • Sweet Sundays (Sept. 29, Oct. 6, 13, 20, 27, Nov. 3, 10), $99
  • The Discovery of Chocolate (Oct. 13 and 27), $75

Additional events include Italian and French pairings and lunches, and a Mexican tequila lunch. Your Clientss also can book special festival experiences including daily Culinary Demonstrations ($14), Mixology Seminars ($15) and Wine, Beer or Spirit Seminars ($14). Inside-the-park festival dining experiences, as well as culinary and beverage programs, require Epcot Park admission.

Don’t Miss This Year’s Food and Wine Festival
Call us at 866.972.6244 or
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HGTV Magazine’s Sara Peterson Stops by Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival Marketplaces

Sara Peterson, editor-in-chief of HGTV Magazine, will take the HGTV Designers’ Stage at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival this weekend to talk tips on boosting your home’s curb appeal.

While she was at Epcot, she took time to sample a few of the Garden Marketplaces located around World Showcase. Check out her review below!

Flower Power Weekend Concerts for April and May at 20th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

As the sun sets, gather your friends for some peace, love and rockin’ tunes from the ’50s through the ’90s at these weekend performances.

As the sun sets, gather your friends for some peace, love and rockin' tunes from the ’50s through the ’90s at these weekend performances

∙ April 5-7  The Turtles featuring Flo & Eddie “Happy Together”

∙ April 12-14 Paul Revere & The Raiders “Good Thing”

∙ April 19-21  NEW! Village People “Y.M.C.A.”

∙ April 26-28  The Orchestra featuring former members of ELO and ELO Part II “Don’t Bring Me Down”

∙ May 3-5  NEW! Tommy Roe “DIZZY”

∙ May 10-12  Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone “I’m Henry the VIII, I Am”

∙ May 17-19  Starship starring Mickey Thomas “We Built this City”

Flower Power performances are included with Epcot admission.

Celebrate Easter at the Walt Disney World Resort Through March 31

It’s shaping up to be a lovely Easter weekend at Walt Disney World Resort. If you’re in town, here are a few different ways you can celebrate at our parks.

At Magic Kingdom Park, hop down Bunny Lane to visit Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny. (See the park’s Times Guide for an appearance schedule).

Celebrate Easter at the Walt Disney World Resort Through March 31

At Epcot, Easter Egg Hunts and Relays will take place at the Maze Garden in the United Kingdom Pavilion. The Easter Egg Hunts are open to guests ages 3-9, and an Easter Egg Relays are available for guests ages 8-12. A smaller area will be available for Egg Hunts for guests under the age of 3. Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny will also pop in to meet-and-greet guests periodically. (Again, see the park’s Times Guide for more).

Easter Egg Hunts and games will also take place in Future World at Epcot for children ages 3-9. To join, stop by the Future World East-er Garden (between Innoventions and Universe of Energy). Space is limited.

Also, don’t forget to enjoy the lovely springtime flowers, Flower Power concerts, and yummy dishes at the new food kiosks at the 2013 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

Merchandise Events at the Walt Disney World Resort for April 2013

Put some spring in your step and plan your trip to the Walt Disney World Resort during April, because we have a lot of events taking place!

April 5: Disney Design Group Artist Tyler Dumas will be appearing at D Street in Downtown Disney Westside from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. to sign the latest pin, Vinylmation and D Tech release in the 2013 series.

Disney Design Group Artist Tyler Dumas will be appearing at D Street in Downtown Disney Westside from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. to sign the latest pin, Vinylmation and D Tech release in the 2013 series.

April 4: ACME Archives Artist Annick Biaudet will be appearing at Uptown Jewelers in Magic Kingdom Park from 11 a.m.–1 p.m. to sign her newest releases inspired by “Beauty and the Beast.”

ACME Archives Artist Annick Biaudet will be appearing at Uptown Jewelers in Magic Kingdom Park from 11 a.m.–1 p.m. to sign her newest releases inspired by “Beauty and the Beast.”

April 5-7: Spring is in the air and the 2013 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is in full bloom. Take time to join us for Art in the Garden Weekend, taking place from 11 a.m.–7 p.m. each day along the promenade in Epcot. Throughout the weekend, artists Larry Dotson, David E. Doss and Noah, along with ACME artist Annick Biaudet will be on hand for artist demonstrations and signings. Note: Noah will appear April 6–7 only.

Art in the Garden Weekend, taking place from 11 a.m.–7 p.m. each day along the promenade in Epcot. Throughout the weekend, artists Larry Dotson, David E. Doss and Noah, along with ACME artist Annick Biaudet will be on hand

April 6: I guarantee this next event is not a figment of your imagination, it’s in fact a signing with Sculptor Bruce Lau at Art of Disney in Epcot from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 3 p.m.-4 p.m. Bruce will be on hand to sign his latest sculpture Magician Figment, while Disney Design Group Character Artist Monty Maldovan will be joining in the excitement to sign his latest Figment-inspired piece, Mickey and His Pal Figment. Look for Monty at the Art of Disney in Epcot as well, from 1 p.m.-3 p.m.

Sculptor Bruce Lau at Art of Disney in Epcot from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 3 p.m.-4 p.m. Bruce will be on hand to sign his latest sculpture Magician Figment, while Disney Design Group Character Artist Monty Maldovan will be joining in the excitement to sign his latest Figment-inspired piece, Mickey and His Pal Figment.
April 10–11:
 This next event is literally an open book. World renowned author Ridley Pearson is returning to the Walt Disney World Resort for a special appearance and signing April 10-11.

April 8–12: Check out the latest releases from David E. Doss, who will be appearing daily at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace.

April 18–22: Be on the lookout for Larry Dotson who will be appearing at Art of Disney in the Downtown Disney Marketplace from 10 a.m.-10 p.m., each day.

April 19-22: Rounding out the month is a special Disney’s Animal Kingdom park Earth Day celebration with artists and vendors such as Just Plumerias, Elemental Nursery, Photographer Carlos Cuba, Silver Designer, Tim “Bushman #1” Adebule and ACME Archives artist, William Silvers. Looking for something special merchandise to commemorate the day? Keep an eye out for more information to be released shortly.

Chris Lambton From HGTV Visits Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival This Weekend

Well, the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, presented by HGTV, is in full swing and, although it’s a tad chillier than normal here in Walt Disney World, we are already having some great times.

Chris Lambton, star of HGTV’s “Going Yard,” is here this weekend, giving tips to Epcot guests on how to turn their yards into spectacular, outdoor venues.

We caught up with Chris during rehearsals and he gave us a sneak peek into his presentation, ”Going Yard for Your Lifestyle.” He encourages families to treat their outdoor spaces with the same care and planning that they would any other room in their homes, tailoring the design to their family’s interests.

Guests of the Festival can see Lambton and other favorite HGTV and DIY stars on “The Designers’ Stage Presented by HGTV” at the Festival Center each Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the Festival at noon and 3 p.m.

The complete lineup includes:

  • March 15-17 – Chris Grundy, DIY Network’s Cool Tools: “Keepin’ It Green with Grundy”
  • March 22-24 – Egypt Sherrod, host of Property Virgins: “Getting the Inside Scoop on HGTV’s Top Home Features for 2013″
  • March 29-31 – Brandon Johnson, My Yard Goes Disney: “Bringing More Disney Inspiration and HGTV Design to Your Backyard”
  • April 5-7 – Meg Caswell, Meg’s Great Rooms: “Discovering Design Tips to Personalize Your Space & Make a Good Room Great”
  • April 12-14 – Jason Cameron, DIY Network’s Desperate Landscapes and Man Caves: “Desperate Landscapes . . . Where Do We Grow from Here?”
  • April 19-21 – Sara Peterson, Editor-in-Chief, HGTV Magazine: “Boosting Your Curb Appeal! 25 Easy Ideas from Front Doors to Flower Pots”
  • April 26-28 – Carter Oosterhouse, Million Dollar Rooms: “Million Dollar Trends”
  • May 3-5 – Casey Noble, Design on a Dime: “Creating Luxury Hotel Floral Arrangements in Your Home”
  • May 10-12 – Dan Faires, HGTV.com, DanMade: “Easy Ideas for Creating a Designer Garden”
  • May 17-19 – David Bromstad, HGTV Design Star, ColorSplash, Design Star All-Stars: “The Power of Color”

Presentations by HGTV and DIY Network stars are included with admission to the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

The 20th annual festival runs from now through May 19, 2013 at Epcot.

Oz the Great and Powerful Lands at Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival

The marvelous land of Oz has captured the imaginations of people for over 100 years. Chances are good that this wondrous place has sparked your imagination, whether you’re a school kid, bank teller, rocket scientist—or a horticulturist like Eric Darden.

Eric is the Manager of Horticulture for the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. This year, the event is presenting one of the most ambitious dreams that Eric, his team and his fellow Disney Parks cast members have ever made come true.

“The Land of Oz Garden is one of the biggest single areas we’ve ever created for the Festival,” said Eric. “It starts in the ‘Kansas’ section, where kids can play midway games in the tents.”

In Walt Disney Pictures “Oz The Great and Powerful” — which opens today nationwide — you’ll see Kansas in black and white, Oz in dazzling color and all in three-dimensional RealD splendor (at select theaters). But at this new Epcot garden, of course everything’s blooming in full color — from the ring toss game and fun mirrors to the Baum Circus tents (named for L. Frank Baum, author of all 14 original Oz books).

“As you walk along, you’ll seem to travel through Oz, where the kids can enjoy the large playground,” explained Eric. Newly designed, this playground sparkles with details that celebrate the film. As the kids play, grown-ups will appreciate the nearby shaded chairs. Look on the other side of this area and you’ll see that it’s actually themed to the Wizard’s deflated hot air balloon!

Now through May 19, 2013, The Land of Oz Garden is just part of the overall new excitement at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

A dazzling array of unusual flowers and plants suggest the setting of Walt Disney Pictures’ “Oz The Great and Powerful,” including a bed of yellow pansies arranged to resemble a very familiar brick road—plus some dazzling red glass poppies. These amazing creations were prepared especially for The Land of Oz Garden by artist/sculptor Craig Mitchell Smith using his own elaborate technique of cutting, heating, shaping and reheating each flower—a process that takes four days per poppy!

Now through May 19, 2013, The Land of Oz Garden is just part of the overall new excitement at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

Now through May 19, 2013, The Land of Oz Garden is just part of the overall new excitement at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. “Now we have great food and beverage options at twelve Garden Marketplaces,” says Eric. “Now it’s all tied together—from the garden to your table—better than ever.

Now through May 19, 2013, The Land of Oz Garden is just part of the overall new excitement at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

Great Time and Money Saver for Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival

Stop and smell the roses, while sporting this new mini Disney Gift Card with an exclusive Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival design. This Disney Gift Card has all the functionalities of a regular Disney Gift Card, with the convenience of wearing it around your wrist. As you enjoy the sights and scents that the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival has to offer, the mini Disney Gift Card will help you quickly satisfy your taste buds by purchasing foods that highlight the taste of spring.

This design will be available exclusively at Epcot for a limited time during the festival.

Stop and smell the roses, while sporting this new mini Disney Gift Card with an exclusive Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival design.

Activate your Disney Gift Card with as little as $5 and just swipe to pay for food and more. Your Disney Gift Card can even be reloaded as many times as you want at the majority of festival kiosks. When the festival is over, you can continue using your card since, like all Disney Gift Cards, it’s good for practically all things Disney here at the Walt Disney World Resort and beyond.

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is a Perfect Match with Food and Beverage

This year’s Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival elevates the “farm to table” trend to new heights, with Festival Farms around each Garden Marketplace to show how the plants grow that are part of the delicious food and beverages served daily at the festival through May 19 at Epcot..

This fun video highlights the synergy between the garden and kitchen teams, and gives a little insight into the connections. We can’t wait for a taste of tomato wine with shrimp and grits, or the Florida watermelon salad with arugula!

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