Kingdom Magic Vacations

Call Toll-Free
866-972-6244

Tag Archives: wine festival

5 Reasons We Love Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival

Running from September 27 through November 11, Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival opens this weekend with even more flavors to discover – it’s our favorite time of year, and here’s 5 reasons why…

1.  The Food

Epcot Food and Wine Festival - Food Choices

Whether it’s shrimp from Australia or griddled Greek cheese with pistachios and honey, there are so many choices from the 29 marketplaces around World Showcase.   With all those booths, and each booth offering 2 to 4 food choices,  there are dozens of food options to choose from all over the world.

2.  The Beverages

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival - The beverages

From wines to beers, mixed drinks, to aperitifs, the Food and Wine Festival brings us beverage options that are not only tasty and refreshing, but also an eclectic sampling of what the world has to offer.  Only during Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival can we sample beverages from around the world all located in one place and many are paired with the food offers at each marketplace.

3.  The Special Events

5 Reasons We Love Epcot's Food and Wine Festival - Events

Epcot’s Food and Wine is not just about the food and beverages at the marketplaces, there are several special events that that you can attend.  Some of the events like “Party for the Senses,””Dessert Dinner Discovery,”and Celebrity Chef Demonstrations, there are several different special events to attend.  Many are free and included with your Epcot park admission, but some do require an extra fee.

4.  The Merchandise

5 Reasons We Love Epcot's Food and Wine Festival - Merchandise

The merchandise available during the Food and Wine Festival is some of the most imaginable and creative that Disney offers all year.  From bottle openers, wine toppers, Mickey Chef Ears, wine glasses, and so many other merchandise options, there something for everyone to take home with them from this amazing event.

5.  The Cast Members

5 Reasons We Love Epcot's Food and Wine Festival - Cast Members

The Walt Disney World Cast Members are always amazing, but there is something special in the air this year, that makes them even more magical.  Each booth has been challenged with keeping themselves energized and you can even hear them all over World Showcase chanting and keeping everyone laughing and having fun.  You can feel the energy all over the festival and it rubs off on you…it’s awesome.

There is still time to get down to Walt Disney World and enjoy all that Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival has to offer!

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

Contact Kingdom Magic Vacations Today!

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.

5 Simple Tips To Get The Most Out Of Epcot’s International Food And Wine Festival

Epcot’s premier food and wine event happens once a year from September 29 – November 11 and is one of our favorite events at Walt Disney World.  It can also be a little overwhelming.

5 Simple Tips To Get The Most Out Of Epcot's International  Food And Wine Festival

With 29 booths of food and beverages from all over the world, plus Epcot itself, it can be hard to know how to even start enjoying the festivities.  Here are 5 simple tips to help you get the most out of this year’s festival:

1.   Take Your Time and Enjoy – Resign yourself to the fact that you cannot see and taste everything in one day.  It’s just not possible, nor would it be very enjoyable.  We suggest that you SLOW DOWN and take it in leisurely.  Start off at the Festival Welcome Center,  the cast members there will be able to give you all the information that you need and help you get acclimated and it is a great way to start your day!

2.  Stay On Budget – With so many opportunities to try new tastes from all over the world, it is easy to forget how much you spend from marketplace to marketplace.  And believe us, the worst thing is getting home from vacation and getting a seriously high credit card bill!  One of the things Disney does to help is the Food and Wine Festival gift card that you can wear on your wrist.  It’s small and is a GREAT way to budget how much money you spend at the festival.  You can load it up at any of the stores at Epcot, and after each purchase you can see how much is left on the card and you can stay on budget.

5 Simple Tips To Get The Most Out Of Epcot's International  Food And Wine Festival

3.  Drink Lots of Water – It may be cooler in many parts of the United States, but in Florida, it’s still pretty hot, and after you’ve walked around the park all day and start to eat and drink your way around World Showcase, you may find that you no longer feel well.  Drinking lots of water can help keep you hydrated and also protect you from any unnecessary visits to the First Aid station.

4.  Share – The food and beverage items at the Festival are not meant to be meals in themselves, but samples of tastes from around the world.  It’s a good idea to share the food items you get to maximize the different flavors you can try as well and stretch your dollar…both will help you have a much more enjoyable Food and Wine experience!

5 Simple Tips To Get The Most Out Of Epcot's International  Food And Wine Festival

5.  Call a Cab or Use Disney Transportation – Let’s be honest, sometimes we overdo it.  And if you enjoy a few too many adult beverages during the festival, driving is the one thing you DO NOT want to do at Disney.  It’s not safe for you, for guests, and you may create the type of memories you do not want to have at Walt Disney World.

5 Simple Tips To Get The Most Out Of Epcot's International  Food And Wine Festival

Disney Transportation is always available if you are staying on property, but if you are off property, the best advice is to call a cab.  Using a cab FROM your resort also means that you don’t have to worry about your car at the end of the night.  We want you to have a great time and enjoy yourself, but we also want to keep you safe!

Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival can be a little overwhelming, but using these tips and a little common sense will help you have a great time, make some incredible memories, hopefully make you want to come back next year!

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

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.

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

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

What does this land “Down Under” have in store for us in 2013?  Kingdom Magic Vacations‘ own Rick Howard had the answer to that question way back in 2012.

Food & Wine 2013 Scouting Report: Australia - Guest Blog Post

Rewind your clock and take a listen to last year’s Australia-focused episode of the Travel with Rick video-cast.  When referring to that marketplace’s Grilled Lamb Chop with Mint Pesto and Potato Crunchies, Rick described them as “nibble-to-the-bone good”.  If that’s not a glowing endorsement, then I don’t know food or wine.

Check out the  Australia video from Travel with Rick at last year’s Food and Wine Festival:

Food & Wine 2013 Scouting Report: Australia - Lamb Chop

The Lamb Chop from last year’s Australia Marketplace

As I go about preparing my plan for “attacking” Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival, I reach out to a number of resources, but I’ve told Rick that his video-cast, in past years, has played the biggest role in the construction of my “menus”.  Now that I have the honor of being included in Kingdom Magic Vacations’ and Travel with Rick’s efforts to bring Food & Wine to you before it even arrives, it’s a whole new (and VERY fun) ballgame for me.

But, back to Australia.  I have to admit, I’m not a huge fan of lamb.  In spite of that, I did sample Australia’s lamb chop last year.  Rick’s right.  It IS outstanding.  And, it’s back for an encore in 2013.  Way to go, Australia!

One of the things that pleases me most about Australia’s offering this year is that they’ve kicked their shrimp up a notch.  For the past few years, we’ve seen a simple “Shrimp-on-the-Barbie”.  However, in 2013, we get a Garlic Shrimp with Roasted Tomatoes, Lemon Myrtle (a lemon herb native to Australia), and Rapini (broccoli rabe).  An outstanding improvement, in my opinion!

Food & Wine 2013 Scouting Report: Australia - Garlic Shrimp

Way to “step it up”, Australia!

Australia’s upcoming menu is rounded out by Pavlova (Crispy Meringue Shell with Fresh Driscoll’s Berries and Vanilla Custard) and several choices of wine:

  • Rosemount Estate Merlot
  • Rosemount Estate Pinot Grigio
  • Wolf Blass Gold Label Chardonnay
  • Penfolds Bin 8 Cabernet Shiraz
Food & Wine 2013 Scouting Report: Australia - Pavlova

Is this what we have to look forward to?

With the Pavlova, we should expect a crisp crust with a soft, light inside.  It seems to be a step up from the coconut-covered Lamington of the past few years.  However, it is the newly “jacked up” shrimp and the lamb chop’s repeat engagement that highlights Australia’s offering this festival season.

My Pre-Festival Grade?  I’m really optimistic.  Sight unseen and samples un-tasted, I’m going to give the Aussies an “A”!


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.

 

Here’s a Sneak Peek at 2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Merchandise

As the clock ticks closer the start of Epcot’s international Food and Wine Festival at Walt Disney World Resort, Disney Design Group artist Randy Noble shares some of this year’s featured artwork available to guests.

Here's a Sneak Peek at 2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Merchandise

“This year’s artwork is based on artwork created by Walt Disney Imagineering that you will see throughout the event,” explaines Randy. “The art has a humorous point of view, which is different from the imagery found in the previous year’s events. For this whimsical image, I used pastel colors to create a softer look for the overall image. If you look carefully, you will spot Remy from Disney•Pixar’s ‘Ratatouille’ in the top of the chef’s hat.”

Here's a Sneak Peek at 2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Merchandise

The bumbling, yet-unnamed chef inspired a new item for the festival this year – a seven-inch bobble figurine of the chef. The figurine was sculpted by artist Robert King and looks awesome (especially the details on Spaceship Earth!). Look for this chef artwork on additional items like a reusable tote bag and more.

Here's a Sneak Peek at 2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Merchandise

While the chef is a new character for this year’s event, we are also introducing a small art program featuring Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy as chefs. The character artwork was created by Disney Design Group artist Brian Blackmore, with digital rendering done by artist Dan Salgo. You may recall similar artwork introduced last year in the Italy Pavilion at Epcot.

Here's a Sneak Peek at 2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Merchandise

Another character returning this year is a 12-inch Duffy the Disney Bear dressed in a new chef outfit. He joins other new items like a Mouse ear headband with a chef’s hat, a new cranberry bog pin featuring Chip ‘n’ Dale, and a new three-inch Vinylmation figure designed by Disney artist Thomas Scott. The limited edition Vinylmation figure features Gusteau from ‘Ratatouille’ and will be packaged in a mystery box. The more common figure (edition size 2,250) will be in full color, while the monochromatic variant figure (edition size 250) will be rarer to find.

Stay tuned for additional updates as we get closer to the start of the festival.

Let Kingdom Magic Vacations
Plan Your Walt Disney World Vacation

and Don’t Miss a Moment of
Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival!

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.

 

Dole Whip Gets Spiked with Spiced Rum!

This year at Epcot’s 2013 International Food & Wine Festival you’ll be able to taste a Dole Whip with a little adult kick to it. This tasty frozen treat will be available at the new Pineapple Promenade Booth. You can see by the pictures below that you won’t be getting more than about 1 shot of spiced rum in this serving but its just enough to remind you that you’re touring around a Food & Wine festival. Compared to the original Dole Whip Float (my personal favorite Disney frozen treat), whip has tons of great pineapple juice for it’s pineapple ice cream to melt into, this new Spiced Rum Dole Whip has nominal liquid. Be prepared for a long line as you approach the Pineapple Promenade Booth. This twist on an already popular Disney dessert (along with the Central Florida sun) is sure to make it a festival favorite. I believe Captain Jack Sparrow would be happy with this treat. “Why is the rum gone?” Disney put it in the Dole Whips!

Here is a list of all the menu items available at the Pineapple Promenade Booth:

  • Dole® Whip
  • Dole® Whip with Siesta Key Spiced Rum
  • Pineapple Upside Down Cake featuring Dole® Pineapple
  • Dole® Pineapple Fruit Cup
  • Frozen Desert Violet Lemonade – Non Alcoholic
  • Samuel Adams® Cream Stout

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
Request a Quote Online!

Just Two More Party for the Senses at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

There’s still time to enjoy one of the real treats of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival – the Saturday night Party for the Senses, a feast of food, wine, beverages and entertainment that’s a true delight. And while the reserved seating is sold out, our favorite way to experience the party is to stroll and nosh (we never sit, but instead enjoy conversation with the chefs and wine experts, and compare notes with fellow party-goers). The final two parties for this year are on October 27 and November 3.

And while the cuisine changes each week, we always find something delicious at the tasting stations. A recent party featured everything from Peking-style braised duck (Kona Cafe at Disney’s Polynesian Resort) to Chef Paula Da Silva’s (1500˚, Miami Beach) buttery lamb belly and spicy tuna tartare cleverly wrapped in a crisp shell from Wolfgang Puck Café at Downtown Disney. All in all, there are nearly two dozen tasting stations with wine, beer and cocktails to pair. You won’t know until you arrive what you’ll be having, but the discovery is part of the fun.

Party for the Senses at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

The only thing that stops our noshing is the extraordinary spectacle of Cirque du Soleil, on stage throughout the evening with live music and thrilling acrobatics.

You can start the evening at the Eat to the Beat concert at America Gardens Theatre and end with a stroll around World Showcase and the IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth fireworks and laser show – it’s a special evening you won’t want to miss. Just come hungry (and leave satisfied).

Price is $145 per person, plus tax. Epcot admission is required. Call 407-WDW-FEST for reservations.

Meet Disney Artist Brian Blackmore at the 2012 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

Meet Disney Artist Brian Blackmore at the 2012 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

I can’t get enough of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. I believe I have been around the world at least five different times this year! My favorite foods kiosks are Hawai’i, Australia and South Korea (hello, lettuce wrap!). A great place to start is at the Festival Center located in Future World next to Mission: SPACE. This themed area is home to food demonstrations, special activities, and an extensive merchandise location. If you enjoy fine art, there is a section within the Festival Center called “The Art of Food and Wine.” This store-within-a-store showcases artwork from several talented artists including Noah, Heather French, Patryk Poslednik, Liné Tutwiler, William Silvers and others.

Artwork from Disney Design Group character artist Brian Blackmore

Artwork from Disney Design Group character artist Brian Blackmore recently joined this section at the Festival Center. You may recall my conversation with Brian back in early September about his artwork found at the Italy Pavilion at Epcot. We recently introduced some canvas wrapped giclées based on that art. Brian also created one-of-a-kind original paintings based on his four designs. Each of these original works will measure 2-feet by 4-feet, and will be introduced starting October 26.

canvas wrapped giclées based on that art. Brian also created

If you are headed to the Festival in the coming weeks, please stop by the Festival Center to meet Brian during these dates and times:

  • Friday, October 26 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, October 27 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, November 3 from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, November 4 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

We’re Almost Ready for the 2012 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, How About You?

The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival will return to Walt Disney World Resort Friday, Sept. 28, and preparation is already flowing at a fast pace behind the scenes.

Here’s a look at just how two of our chefs are adding character to this year’s event.

Meet John Lasseter, Celebrity Chef Cat Cora at Epcot International Food & Wine Fest Dinners

Pixar fans will love the opportunity to meet John Lasseter – yes, he’s an animation genius, but he also makes delicious California wines (with beautiful labels, too). You can meet John and his wife Nancy for lunch at 12:30 p.m. October 19 at Citricos, where Chef Philip Ponticelli will pair Lasseter wines with seasonal cuisine. Cost is $130.

Cat Cora fans will be happy to hear that two wine dinners have been added to the line-up for this year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, with Chef Cat on hand to greet diners at 8 p.m. October 2 and October 4. Cost is $170 for a five-course dinner with wine pairings in the restaurant’s cozy CoraNation Room.

Celebrity Chef Cat Cora

And three very famous dads are teaming up for what promises to be one of the coolest Food & Wine Fest dinners this year – Michael Voltaggio has been added to the line-up, joining his brother Bryan and Andrew Zimmern on stage for the family-friendly Magic of Healthy Living Dinner at 6:30 p.m. October 19 at Epcot World Showplace. Brothers Bryan and Michael shot to the front of the celebrity chef pack in 2009 on Bravo’s “Top Chef,” and Andrew is best known for his show “Bizarre Foods” on the Travel Channel, so diners are guaranteed entertainment with their memorable four-course dinner. Cost is $110 and includes tip and non-alcoholic beverages. (Park admission required).

MENU