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My Favorite Items of the 2019 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

 

The Epcot International Food and Wine Festival is an event that I look forward to every year! Just like looking forward to a holiday or birthday, I love the excitement and anticipation that comes before getting to attend this great Epcot festival! I always enjoying getting to feast upon my favorite items that our returning from previous years. I also love the thrill of getting to expand my palate and try something brand new at the event!

 

This year’s 2019 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival started on August 29th and is running this year through November 23rd. I was able to attend this year’s festival on two different trips during this 2019 season. I was in Disney World in August during the opening week of the Food and Wine Festival and I just recently returned from a family vacation to Disney two weeks ago and got to partake in more food and wine fun then!

 

I enjoyed getting to spend time in Epcot on these trips and getting the opportunity to sample a lot of Food and Wine Festival items! So now that I have experience this year’s 2019 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, I am so excited to bring you my list of my favorite items I enjoyed:

 

Baked Shrimp and Scallop Scampi Dip

Festival Marketplace: Coastal Eats

This was an item that was a first for me to try at this year’s festival. I am a big fan of seafood and this Baked Shrimp and Scallop Scampi Dip from Coastal eats was a winner for sure. You get a lot of nice pieces of shrimp and 2 whole scallops in the dip itself making this item a great value. It also was a nice portion size and very rich in flavor making this item great to share. This item was served along with a generous amount of bread slices to accompany the dish. I will definitely be getting this item in the future!

 

Suja Organic Kombucha Flight

Festival Marketplace: Earth Eats

This was an item that was another first for me to try at this year’s festival. It was the Kombucha Flight. I recently was introduced to what kombucha is and have enjoyed buying it to enjoy at home for the health benefits that this drink provides. When I saw that the Earth Eats booth had kombucha at this year’s festival, I knew I had to try it! Earth Eats had 3 variations of kombucha that they sold, a green apple, a pineapple passionfruit and a ginger lemon. You could order these individually or get them in a flight like I did so you can sample all three. They were all excellent but I have to say that the green apple was my favorite!

 

Smoked Corned Beef

Festival Marketplace: Flavors from Fire

The Smoked Corned Beef has been around the Food and Wine Festival since the Flavors from Fire Booth first premiered. I have had this particular item every year since then and it remains on my list as a must get dish because it is that good! This item features corn beef, crisp potatoes, cheese curds, pickled onions and to top it all off – a beer-cheese fondue! All of these flavors accompany each other so perfectly making one unbelievable dish! The beef is always so tender and just melts in your mouth! I love this item!

 

Mala Chicken and Shrimp Bao Bun

Festival Marketplace: China

I am a huge fan of bao buns! I get so excited any time I see a bao bun on a menu. China typically has a bao bun at the Food and Wine Festival each year. Something that I love is that each year they mix it up with a different variation of a bao bun. This year inside the bao bun was a mix of both chicken and shrimp. I really enjoyed this take on one of my favorite food items!

 

Warm Indian Bread

Festival Marketplace: India

I consider this item to be one of the many hidden gems at this year’s Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. This item consisted of pieces of delicious traditional Indian naan bread served alongside 3 dipping sauces. If you have ever been to Sanna, the restaurant over at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge then you know that they are known for their naan bread that you can enjoy with their selection of sauces. This is one of my favorite things to enjoy on Disney property and this item at the Food and Wine Festival felt like a miniature Sanna bread service experience! The 3 sauces that came with this Indian bread at the festival were a pickled garlic sauce, a mango salsa and a coriander pesto. My personal favorite was the mango salsa!

 

I hope you enjoyed hearing about my highlights from this year’s Epcot International Food and Wine Festival! Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacation’s Travel Planner today to plan your next magical vacation!

Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights 2019 Food Offerings

 

Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights is in full swing! This fright-filled event features so much incredible food and beverage offerings. This year you can experience some new and returning fan-favorites at Halloween Horror Nights, including snacks and drinks inspired by Netflix’s Strangers Things, Sony Pictures’ Ghostbusters and other spooky fun.

 

Netflix’s Stranger Things Food & Drink

Starcourt Mall

Location: Tents outside Monsters Cafe and Finnegan’s

 

 

 

Get a taste of the Starcourt Mall with a variety of dishes inspired by iconic mall dining. Enjoy Grilled Street Corn and Nachos Queso Fundidio from Ole Amigo. Grab a bento box with an Orange Chicken Bao Bun, Szechuan Beef Pot Stickers and fried Wonton Chips, complete with ginger soy dipping sauce from the Imperial Panda. Or head over to Hawkins Heroes for a Turkey or Veggie Hero.

 

 

You can also grab dessert with chocolate dipped bacon on a stick and Pumpkin Patch Mini Donuts.

 

Merrill’s Mini Pumpkin Doughnuts

Location: Tents outside Finnegan’s

 

 

Eleven pumpkin mini donuts on a bed of cookie crumbles topped with a frosting drizzle.

 

Triple Decker Extravaganza

Location: San Francisco Bakery

 

 

It’s back! A stack of delicious waffles, whipped cream and candy that was featured from Season 2 of Stranger Things.

 

Voodoo Doughnut

Location: Universal CityWalk

 

 

These make for the perfect snack before or after the event at Voodoo Doughnut in Universal CityWalk. Choose from either the “Run” or Waffle doughnuts filled with Maple Bavarian Cream.

 

Syrup & Waffles

Location: Gramercy Popcorn & Production Central Veranda

This drink inspired by Netflix’s Stranger Things returns with the same delicious maple flavors and tiny waffles on top.

 

Sony Pictures’ Ghostbusters Ghost Trap Popcorn

Location: Popcorn Carts

 

 

The perfect snack to fuel you on the go – a popcorn bucket inspired by the containment unit for ghosts for the proton pack from Sony Pictures’ Ghostbusters.

 

More New Eats & Treats

S’mores Fries

Location: KidZone Pizza Company

 

 

The yin to Pizza Fries yang. S’mores Fries are here featuring sweet potato fries, marshmallows, chocolate chips and cracker crumbs.

 

Returning Favs

Pizza Fries

Location: KidZone Pizza Company

 

 

Twisted Taters

Those mouth-watering potato swirls with your choice of sour cream & chive, garlic parmesan, seasoned salt, or salt & vinegar.

 

Candy Corn

Location: Gramercy Popcorn & Production Central Veranda

 

 

The classic Halloween candy in a sweet slushie.

 

Signature Drinks

 

 

There are four signature drinks this year inspired by classic 80s beverages, plus four souvenir cups to collect. The souvenir cups will be a staggered release with a new one becoming available on a weekly basis. Prove you’re the ultimate HHN fan and come back to collect them all! *Souvenir cups are available in limited quantities.

  • Blood Pit – Vodka, blood orange sour, peach schnapps and orange juice.
  • Twilight Gateway – Tequila, watermelon schnapps, pineapple juice, orange juice and grenadine.
  • Vampires Curse – Spiced rum, fruit punch and sour mix.
  • Saturn – Gin, Falernum liqueur, passion fruit puree and sour mix.

 

There is so much to experience at Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights! Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner today to plan your next trip to the Universal Orlando.

 

 

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival 2019 Update!

 

It’s that time of year again! The Epcot International Food and Wine Festival is about to officially kick off its 2019 season NEXT MONTH! Just this past week park goers have already been spotting some of the festival booths popping up around World Showcase and Future World! A sure sign of just how close we are to the festival’s opening day!

 

 

This year the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival kicks off on August 29, 2019. Fun Fact: This happens to be the same day that Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge opens over at Hollywood Studios! This is going to be one very exciting day across all of Walt Disney World property!

 

 

The 2019 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival runs this year from August 29 through to November 23, 2019. This is the longest run for the festival ever! This long stretch for the festival gives you a great window of opportunity to plan your visit to Walt Disney World to catch this amazing event!

 

 

This year the Food and Wine Festival will be home to more festival booths than ever before. Two of these booths are brand new for the 2019 season! The first new booth is The Alps, this booth will feature Swedish inspired food and beverage offerings. The second new both this year is the Appleseed Orchard. Here one will find many exciting food and drink items featuring apples. I am personal most excited to try the Caramel-Apple Popcorn!

 

 

In addition to experiencing an array of flavors from around the world at the various festival booth marketplaces, during the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival you can also experience culinary demonstrations, hands-on activities, the Eat to the Beat Concert Series, specialty merchandise and more!

 

 

I am very excited to be attending the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival next month! Check out our new YouTube video to hear some of the highlights I am looking forward to experiencing this year!

 

 

Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner today to plan your next trip to Walt Disney World to experience all this exciting new magic for yourself!

2019 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival Food Tour Video!

 

I recently got back from an incredible trip to the Walt Disney World Resort! This spring time trip was extra exciting because we visited during the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival! This annual festival takes place every spring in Epcot! The event puts Epcot in full bloom with floral displays covering every inch of the park, character topiaries and some incredible outdoor kitchens offering springtime inspired food and beverage items!

 

 

Last week I took you on a tour of some of the beautiful and detailed character topiaries that could be found around the festival! Now this week I am excited to show you more about the outdoor kitchens at the Event! Let’s dive into the culinary offerings at this year’s 2019 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival!

 

 

On our first visit to the festival of this trip we made our first outdoor kitchen stop at Trowel and Trellis! This booth was hosted by Impossible foods. Everything at this outdoor kitchen is vegetarian and vegan. From here we tried our first festival food item, the Grilled Street Corn on the Cob! It was a 5 out of 5! The corn was cooked to perfection and popped right off when you ate it. The corn was doctored up with a savory garlic spread that added the perfect amount of flavor without being too overpowering.

 

 

The next festival booth we stopped at was the Bauernmarkt in Germany! Here we had the Toasted Pretzel Bread. The pretzel bread was topped with black forest ham and melted gruyere cheese! YUM! It was the best comfort food! Declared this to be another 5 out of 5!

 

 

As we continued a lap around World Showcase we then stopped off in America for The Smokehouse! Here we got 3 festival items! The first was The Pulled Pig Slider that was accompanied with coleslaw on top. Then we had the Beef Brisket Burnt ends and Smoked Pork Belly Slider which also featured garlic sausage, chorizo, cheddar fondue and a house-made pickle. The third item we got here was the Shredded Beef Brisket which featured a smoked potato, chorizo fondue and green tomato relish! All of these items were excellent! The Smokehouse always hits it home year after year at this festival! The Beef Brisket Burnt ends and Smoked Pork Belly Slider ended up being my favorite out of the 3 items with tried here! The barbecue sauce had a bit of sweetness to it and accompanied the cheddar fondue so well!

 

 

 

The next day that we visited the Flower and Garden Festival we began with a stop at The Honey Bee-stro! This was my favorite booth during the previous 2018 festival so I was so looking forward to stopping here this year! It lived up to my year long wait! We got the Honey Tandoori Chicken Flatbread which featured white cheddar cheese, charred vegetables, clover honey sour cream, and micro citrus greens. This was my favorite item of the festival! I loved it! The second item we tried here was the Roasted Cauliflower which featured a buckwheat honey carrot puree, wild rice pilaf, asparagus, honey-blistered grapes, sunflower brittle, and coriander flowers. We also indulged in a dessert item here, the Local Wildflower Honey-Mascarpone Cheesecake! This dish is so decadent and delicious! It features orange blossom honey ice cream garnished with fennel pollen meringue kisses and petite lavender shoots. This item is a must-try!

 

 

 

Next we made our way over to The Citrus Blossom. I had one very special item in mind that I know I wanted to get here, the Orange Cream Slushy! This slushy taste just like an orange creamsicle and it is served in a souvenir orange bird sipper cup! I am a huge Orange Bird fan so this item was a must for me! It is the perfect refreshing treat!

 

 

From the taste of Marrakesh booth in Morocco we tried the Harissa Chicken Kebab. It was served with a dried fruit couscous salad! Another big hit for this year’s festival!

 

 

The final item I enjoyed at this year’s Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival was a festival icon! The Frozen Desert Violet Lemonade! The Violet Lemonade is a very popular Instagram phenomena! It is a pretty purple color and is adorned with an edible flower! This item has been a must-get beverage for me at the flower and garden festival year after year! I am not the only one who loves this very photogenic drink! People love this item so much that this year it was actually used in a lot of the Flower and Garden Festival merchandise designs! Everyone loves this drink! Be sure to check it out!

 

You can watch my full festival journey in our new YouTube video!

 

I hope you enjoyed this 2019 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival culinary tour! Be sure to contact your Kingdom Magic Vacation Travel Planner today to plan your next trip to the Most Magical Place on Earth or to any destination you are dreaming of traveling to next!

Food and Drinks Coming to Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites!

I think everyone can agree that a very important area when it comes to planning out your vacation is the food and beverage offerings that you will get to experience! We all love to indulge in some delicious food and drinks while on vacation! Universal Orlando’s newest extra-affordable Value Hotel, Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites will be a foodie paradise! This brand-new Universal Resort opens on June 27! Let’s take a first look at a few of the amazing culinary offerings you will be able to experience at Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites!

You will find a casual dining food court at Surfside Inn and Suites called Beach Break Cafe, here you will be able to take a break from your adventure in the parks to enjoy some incredible surfer-inspired dishes! These offerings will feature Southern California flavors and highlight many fresh ingredients! Just like in surf culture, Beach Break Cafe dares to be different! In this spirit the eatery will offer food and drink items from around the world! The atmosphere will be care-free, cool and exciting, from early in the morning to late at night, all within this great new family-friendly Universal hotel!

This casual dining food court will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The eatery has been inspired by food trucks, local joints and backyard BBQs! Beach Break Cafe’s menu will be very affordable and offer something for everyone from unique cuisine to comfort food! Here are just a few of the great items you will find at Beach Break Cafe!

Breakfast

Bacon Egg and Cheese Croissant

Served with Breakfast Potatoes

 

Breakfast Pizza

Sausage Gravy, Bacon, Scrambled Eggs, Mozzarella, and Cheddar Cheese

 

Lunch and Dinner

Italian Ciabatta

Ham, Capicola, Genoa Salami, Provolone, Red Onion, Tomato, Shredded Romaine, Pepperoncini, Red Wine Vinaigrette

SoCal (Southern California) – Cobb Salad

Southern California is a region known for light, clean and unique flavors.

Chopped Lettuce, Tomatoes, Avocado, Blue Cheese, Bacon, Hard Boiled Egg and Avocado Ranch Dressing

 

 

Caprese Panini

Tomato, Mozzarella, Fresh Basil, Balsamic Glaze

 

Pipeline Burger

This burger is inspired by the classic wave — one of the most famous and most photographed waves.

Beef Patty, Topped with Caramelized Onion, Bacon Jam and Provolone Cheese Served with Crisp Lettuce and Vine Ripe Tomatoes on a Toasted Bun Tofu Power Bowl with Baja Sauce

 

 

Tofu Power Bowl with Baja Sauce

If you’re more of a carnivore, you can choose chicken or carne asada for this dish as well.

Cilantro Lime Rice, Quinoa, Kale, Red Cabbage, Pickled Carrots

 

A great vacation always includes some time spent relaxing by the pool! As you soak up the sun you can indulge with some refreshing drinks! Head over to the resort’s pool bar, aka the Sand Bar! Here you will find a laid-back atmosphere where you can hang loose! Here’s a taste of some of the drinks you can enjoy poolside.

 

 

Orange Surf Board

– Orange Vodka, Coconut Rum, Triple Sec, Orange Juice and a splash of Cranberry

Tidal Wave

– Endless Summer Rum, Peach Vodka, Gin, Peach Schnapps, OJ and Pineapple Juice

Surf En La Paloma

– Tequila, Blood Orange, Grapefruit Juice and Soda

Epic Sunset (Frozen)

– Vodka, Mango Colada and Strawberry Island Oasis

Toasted Coconut Mango Mojito (Frozen)

– Coconut Rum, Mango and Mojito Island Oasis

Are you ready to plan your stay at Universal’s new Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites?! This amazing new resort opens just in time for summer 2019! Contact you Kingdom Magic Vacation Travel Planner today to book your trip!

NEW Food and Beverage Offerings at Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras 2019!

 

It’s that time of year! Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras is days away! We are so excited for the return of this amazing event this year! Now is the perfect time to take a look at all of the food and beverage items that you can look forward to enjoying at this year’s event! You can anticipate many wonderful Cajun dishes and several delicious signature drinks from Universal’s Mardi Gras! You can look forward to enjoying both new and returning favorites daily in the French Quarter Courtyard which can be found in the New York area of Universal Studios Florida starting at 4 p.m. from Feb. 9 – April 4.

A change that is brand new this year, all food and beverage items will be served in smaller tasting sizes. This is so exciting because smaller portions means a chance to try a taste of EVERYTHING. Let’s take a closer look at a few of the items you can enjoy!

 

Crab Etouffee

A classic etouffee dish with rice and crab coated in a savory sauce.

 

Catfish Po Boy

Fried catfish po boy with a crisp slaw and hot sauce, served with kettle chips. Also, new this year is the shrimp and andouille sausage po boy and chicken po boy!

 

King Cake

A New Orleans classic treat!

 

Returning this year are the authentic classics we all know and love including Gumbo, jambalaya (available without shrimp), red beans and rice (available without shrimp) and beignets. Additionally, you will also be able to get twisted taters but with a new Cajun seasoning twist!

Gumbo

 

Beignets

 

Shrimp and Andouille Sausage Po Boy

 

Also, this year will see the premier of many new drinks to quench your thirsts in between all of the delicious food!

Specialty Drinks

 

There is a large variety of new specialty cocktails you can try in the French Quarter:

Mimosa Bar: Also, brand-new to this year’s event is a bar dedicated to Mimosas! You will get to try unique flavors of mimosas such as caramel apple, raspberry rosemary, mojito mint and more.

Signature Drink: If you are looking for a non-alcoholic drink option, check out the Bayou Bog Water! This drink is complete with gummy worms and fish, blueberry boba beads and a lemonade and ginger ale mix.

Other specialty drinks include:

Carnival Cocktail

Ragin’ Rumbalaya

Vicious Voodoo (a combo of the two above!)

And a wide variety of craft beer selections

 

 

You can be a part of all of the Mardi Gras festivities daily at the Universal Orlando Resort beginning February 9, 2019! This year’s event will run through April 4, 2019! See you there!

Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner today to plan your visit to the Universal Orlando Resort!

Concert Lineup, Food, Parade Theme & More Details on Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras 2019!

2019 is here! Now that the New Year is here we can start looking forward to one of Universal Orlando’s biggest events of the year, Universal’s Mardi Gras! This popular Universal event is returning once again for a 2019 season! This year’s event runs February 9th through April 4th, 2019. This exciting celebration brings nightly parades, live concerts, Cajun food and drinks and beads, beads and more beads to Universal Studios Florida on select nights!

Universal has now announced the line-up of musical acts that will perform in the events concert series! Let’s take a look at the star-studded concert lineup which features both new and returning fan-favorites. You can catch these live performances on select nights at the Music Plaza Stage.

 

Concert Lineup:

February 9 – BUSH

February 16 – Gavin DeGraw

February 17 – Dan + Shay

February 23 – Macklemore

March 2 – To be announced

March 9 – Becky G

March 10 – Sean Paul

March 16 – Steve Miller Band

March 17 – Ziggy Marley

March 23 – NF

March 24 – Pitbull

March 30 – To be announced

March 31 – To be announced

 

New Nighttime Parade Theme

The nightly event parade will return with 12 floats, tons of beads, festive dancers and stilt performers! Every Year Universal chooses a different theme for the parade. This year’s new theme is sure to make for one very fun parade – Party Animals! You can look forward to seeing elaborately decorated floats accompanied by performers dressed as their spirit animals! These spirit animals come from all over the world, like the arctic, jungle, ocean, swamp and more!

 

 

French Quarter Food and Drinks

The French Quarter Courtyard will be receiving a new culinary twist this year! All of the food and beverages will be served in tasting size portions. This will now allow you to be able to try more of the delicious culinary creations so you can experience everything Mardi Gras has to offer!

To add to the fun, Universal’s culinary team has created many new and returning fan-favorite food and beverage offerings. A few of these New Orleans’ classics include: beignets, frog legs, crab etouffee, and crawfish! Plus, there will be a signature Mardi Gras cocktail, craft beer and more.

 

 

French Quarter Entertainment Lineup

The French Quarter Courtyard just would not be complete without the beats of the Big Easy! You can watch these authentic New Orleans bands performing daily in the French Quarter. Here is the music lineup:

February 9 – 17: Dirty Bourbon River Show

February 18 – 27: Naughty Professor Brass Band

February 28 – March 18: Free Agents Brass Band featuring Honey Bannister

March 19 – April 4: New Breed Brass Band

 

Be sure to check out Mardi Gras this season at Universal Orlando! Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner today to plan your next vacation!

Attending the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival During the Last Day of the Festival’s 2018 Season!

I have talked in blog posts before about how attending the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival is an annual tradition for me and my family! We look forward to this time of year in Epcot all the time and always get excited to have new experiences at our favorite Epcot festival! This year we got to experience an Epcot Food and Wine festival first… attending the festival on its last day! That’s right this year we visited the Epcot International Food and Wine festival on November 12, 2018, which was the last day of the festival during this 2018 season!

 

 

Being at the festival on its final day for the year was a very cool experience. It gave us the perfect opportunity to try all of the food items that we did not get to sample during our visits to the festival on our vacation the previous month. The festival has so many items to try! So after a visit to the International Food and Wine Festival I always wish I would have had more time to try the items I missed! Being able to catch the last day of the festival gave us the opportunity to do just that! Another cool thing we got to experience was the transition that was taking place between Food and Wine decorations and Christmas decorations! It is rare to see the park with a mix of both and it was an awesome sight!

 

 

We landed at MCO, hopped on the Magical Express, headed to Disney’s All Star Sports Resort, then caught the bus straight to Epcot! The first festival item we sampled was from Earth Eats! This Festival Marketplace was home to an item that had made my top 5 items during our first visit to Food and Wine, the Impossible Burger gets its name because it is a 100% vegan burger! The Impossible burger was delicious and made my top 5’s because it was delicious, flavorful and maintained the same char-grilled taste of a real burger! After loving the Impossible Burger from Earth Eats I was excited to try another item from this marketplace! I got the Steakhouse Blended Burger! It was incredible, I enjoyed it even more then the Impossible burger because of how it was doctored up! This burger is a blend of beef and wild mushrooms accompanied by brie cheese fondue, arugula, truffle and blue cheese potato chip all on a brioche bun! My favorite part was the brie cheese fondue! So delicious!

 

 

The next item I tried was the Steamed Green Lip Mussels! This was the item I was most excited to try on this day! I tried mussels for the very first time during a vacation at the beach this past summer and ever since then I’ve been a mussel fan! I then became very excited to try the mussels from the New Zealand Marketplace at Food and Wine! These steamed green lip mussels are served in a garlic butter and topped with toasted breadcrumbs. This was my favorite item I tried on this day! The 3 mussels you get in the portion are very large. I was a little skeptical because sometimes larger mussels can be chewer, however that was not the case with these! These mussels were cooked to perfection and melted in your mouth! I am so glad I got to try them this year and I will absolutely be getting them for every year that they return!

 

 

Our next item we tried out was from the Brazil Marketplace. The item we tried was hands down the most popular item among festival goers! We got the Brazilian Cheese Bread! This item has been around for a few festivals now and I have always heard so many rave reviews about it! I had not tried it yet and was very curious to do so. I see now why this item is so popular, it was very unique and the perfect savory snack! After my first bite, I instantly thought that the cheese bread had a familiar taste! We determined it reminds us of a combination between a crescent roll and a mozzarella stick! Definitely so unique! You have to try it for yourself!

 

 

The last item we tried during our festival visit for this 2018 season was the Short Rib Tostada from the Mexico Marketplace. This is a brand-new item that just debut at Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival this year! This tostada is a fried corn tortilla that is topped with short ribs, black beans, salsa verde and spring onion. This was the winner for me at the Mexico Marketplace this year! All of the accompaniments paired so well on top of the crunchy fried tortilla! I have a strong feeling that this item will be returning during the 2019 festival!

 

 

I vlogged our experience of attending the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival during the last day of the festival’s 2018 season! You can watch our new video on our YouTube channel:

 

And on that note… that was the conclusion of our time at this year’s 2018 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. And now I can’t wait until 2019! Let the countdown begin! You can start planning your vacation now with one of our experienced and knowledgeable travel planners today! Our team is excited to make your vacation dreams a reality!

2018 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival VIDEO Part 3!

I have loved getting to document my visit to this year’s 2018 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival and share them with you through video! In part 3 of my food and wine festival journey we tried our first item of the night from Earth Eats, located in the Next Eats area of this year’s festival! Earth Eats is home to two food items, the steakhouse blended burger and also the Impossible burger. The Impossible burger is a 100% vegan burger! I had never tried a vegan burger before and my curiosity got the best of me. I had to see if it actually tasted like a real burger. I was very skeptical prior to trying it out. However as soon as I bit into this Impossible burger I was convinced! This vegan burger still had the texture and char grilled taste of a real burger. The Impossible burger actually made it into my top 5 items from this year’s festival! I really enjoyed it!

Next, we walked past Taste Track to check out their menu. This booth is located just out front of the Test Track attraction. Taste Track was just introduced this year and has a wide selection of very fun and creative pastries and donuts. They are also known for their pancake milkshake! We then went back inside of the Festival Center to take another lap around and see what was going on. I always love a visit inside the Festival Center, this area truly serves as the hub for festival activities!

While inside the Festival center we stopped off at Artistic Marbling. This experience is brand new to this year’s festival. Using the ancient Japanese art form of water marbling you can purchase and create your own creation to bring home with you. Items you can create include a set of dinner napkins and wine bag and a table runner. It is a great gift idea! I love the fact you can pick your colors and design yourself, this would make for a great keepsake to remember your vacation. We enjoyed getting to watch guests make their Artistic Marbling creations!

After hanging out for a bit in the Festival Center, we were ready to try more food items! We made our way to the Art of Pairing! This area of the festival is home to the Chocolate Studios, the Cheese Studio, and the Wine and Dine Studio. We enjoyed the Braised Beef Stroganoff from the Cheese Studio. My favorite part of the dish was the delicious egg noodles that accompanied it! From the Wine and Dine Studio I had the Seared Sea Scallops! These scallops were incredible and became another item that made it into my top 5 list of the entire festival!

You can watch Part 3 on our YouTube Channel, Kingdom Magic Vacations! Be sure to subscribe for more Disney and travel videos!

Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner to plan your next visit to the Walt Disney World Resort or to whatever destination you are dreaming of going next! Our knowledgeable team is excited to help bring your vacation dream to life!

2018 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival VIDEO Part 2!

The 2018 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival is running through November 12! I had an amazing time at this year’s festival and am excited to show you my experience through video! Here is part 2 of my time at the 2018 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival!

In part 2 we continue our Food and Wine journey by making our way into World Showcase! This area is where the festival feels most alive! Every couple feet there is another festival market place! During your lap around World Showcase you can find dozens of food and beverage offerings to try. We made our first stop at the Mexico Marketplace! Here we tried the Shrimp Quesadilla, a brand-new item just introduced at this year’s festival. Our next stop was in America at Hops and Barley where we had the New Brunswick Slider. We then headed next door to Japan’s Marketplace where I had my absolute favorite item of this year’s festival, the Teriyaki Chicken Steamed Bun! I love the texture of these steamed bao buns and the teriyaki chicken inside was perfectly flavored and so tender! I loved this item so much I actually got it a second time during our vacation! Next, we made our way to the Hawaii Marketplace where I enjoyed a festival ‘must-have’ for me every year, the Kalua Pork Slider! This slider is a 10 out of 10 every year and has become quite the fan favorite among festival goers! The pineapple chutney and spicy mayo gives this dish the perfect marriage between savory and a little bit of sweetness! I also tried the Spam Hash from Hawaii for the first time and really enjoyed it!

After indulging in so many delicious things we made our way back into Future World where we got to check out the Disney Du Jour Dance Party! This new entertainment offering is a first for the festival this year! The dance party is so fun and even includes appearances from some favorite Disney characters! When we were there we got to see Remy and Emile from Disney Pixar’s Ratatouille! The characters play fun games with the crowd! We had a blast watching the festivities!

I vlogged all the fun and I am excited to share my experience with you through video! Here is Part 2 of our day at the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival!

 

Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner today to plan your next trip to the Walt Disney World Resort or to whatever destination you are dreaming of next!

2018 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival VIDEO Part 1!

The Epcot International Food and Wine Festival is an event I look forward to every year at the Walt Disney World Resort! I vlogged my entire experience at this year’s festival and I am excited to share my experience with you through a new video series on our Kingdom Magic Vacations YouTube channel! Be sure to subscribe to see the rest of this food and wine series as well as many other Disney and travel related videos!

In part 1 you will see the beginning of our first day at the 2018 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival for this trip! We headed first to the Land pavilion to use our fastpass for the Living with the Land boat ride. While we were in the Land Pavilion we got to watch some of the Candy Sushi making! This is a brand new experience that is part of the festival this year! It is so cute! While riding Living with the Land we spotted some special displays in the attractions that were also part of the Food and Wine Festival! Next we tried our first market place of the Festival, Flavors from Fire! Spoiler alert! The item we tried here got a 5 out of 5 on my rating scale! Loved it! After trying our first festival item we made our way to the Festival Center!

The Festival Center serves as the hub for all things Food and Wine related! It is here that you can attend special demonstrations and cooking presentations. There is also a shop selling festival merchandise along with some other really cool walk-throughs and experiences. There are even some marketplaces inside the festival center this year such as Craft Beers and my favorite the brand new Shimmering Sips Mimosa Bar! I tried the Key Lime Mimosa! I am so excited to share my experience with you through video!

Stay tuned for part 2! The Food and Wine Festival runs through November 12th this year! To plan your next visit to the Walt Disney World Resort contact our knowledgeable team at Kingdom Magic Vacations!

WonderFall Flavors at Disney Springs! NEW Autumn-Inspired Food and Beverage Festival at Walt Disney World!

On my most recent visit to Disney Springs at the Walt Disney World Resort my boyfriend and I stopped in Amorette’s Patisserie to grab a sweet treat in between enjoying all of the shopping and entertainment that Disney Springs has to offer! We tried the Mickey Mousse, a Chocolate Chiffon Cake with Dark Chocolate Mousse and White Chocolate Mousse in the shape of Mickey Mouse! The presentation was incredible and the best part… it tasted incredible too!

While we were inside Amorette’s Patisserie a cast member handed us a brochure for WonderFall Flavors at Disney Springs! This event is a first for Disney Springs this year! I hadn’t heard about this new event yet and I was so excited by the idea! I am a huge fan of the Epcot festivals such as the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. While this is not quite the same thing, for example the Epcot festivals all have smaller sample size portions and this event features full-size offerings. I predict maybe in the future Disney Springs will start doing more of these type of events, and maybe adapt their own form of a food and wine festival!

Many Disney Springs dining locations are participating in this fun little food festival by creating an autumn inspired dish! Offerings range from harvest tacos, to pumpkin desserts, to hard ciders and autumn-inspired cocktails! There is something for everyone! This festive autumn celebration includes over 14 restaurants and quick service locations throughout Disney Springs! The event began on September 7th and will run through November 6th 2017.

Let’s take a look at the participating Disney Springs locations and what they have to offer during WonderFall Flavors at Disney Springs!

YeSake

  • Harvest Fresh Bowl – a customizable bowl featuring sliced chicken breast, spinach, kale, carrot, dried cranberries, and sliced almonds tossed in a sweet Vidalia onion dressing. Also available as a wrap
  • Apple Cinnamon Sangria – complex flavors abound in this unique sangria featuring Japanese plum wine, orange, and lemon chilled down with frozen apples and finished with a sprinkle of sweet cinnamon

Enzos Hideaway

  • Fall Harvest Soup – roasted apple and winter squash soup with spiced mascarpone cream and spiced candied nuts
  • Pumpkin White Russian – Hangar 1 Vodka, Monin Pumpkin Spice, heavy cream, with a sprinkled sugar rim glass

STK Orlando

  • WonderFall Promo Small Plate – pomegranate chili-glazed shrimp with butternut squash ginger purée and cranberry agrodolce
  • Pinot Grigio, Gabbiano, Delle Venezie, Italy – a light-bodied wine with a long finish that reveals hints of citrus and almonds

Maria & Enzo’s

  • Fabulous Fall Butternut Squash Gnocchi – handmade ricotta gnocchi, roasted butternut squash, parmesan cream sauce, and pumpkin seed pesto
  • Medici Punch – Tuaca, Bulleit Bourbon, with charred cinnamon cider

Morimoto Asia

  • Cantonese Style Crispy Berkshire Pork Belly – autumn 5-spice rub, maple bourbon koshu gastrique, and lychee cranberry chutney
  • Fall All Over – a smooth, decadent blend of Rémy Martin, Averna Amaro, lemon, apricot preserves, and a spritz of cinnamon

Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar

  • Bavarian Roasted Pork Shanks – tender, bite-sized “pig wings” tossed in an Oktoberfest beer sauce and served with fried spatzle mac and cheese
  • Air Pirate’s Pretzels – Oktoberfest-themed flight of pretzels with spicy German mustard and beer cheese fondue
  • Autumn Smash – fall into the season with Captain Morgan Rum, lemon juice, peach nectar, simple syrup, and a touch of cinnamon

The Boathouse

  • Lucky Dux Oysters – half shell by the piece with green apple Champagne mignonette sauce
  • Bronzed Maple Coffee – whiskey, muddled candy, coffee, and maple whip cream garnished with a dusting of maple powder and candy

Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant

  • Pumpkin Crème Brûlée Trart – pumpkin crème brûlée baked in a pastry shell with fried cheesecake bites, caramel toile, and chocolate ganache
  • Pumpkin Baileys Irish Coffee – Baileys pumpkin spice with fresh espresso topped with whipped cream

Paddlefish

  • Braised Pork Shoulder – apple cider reduction with autumn spices and cauliflower purée
  • Paddlefish Hard Apple – apple cider, bourbon, and ginger beer, garnished with a cinnamon stick

B.B. Wolf’s Sausage Co.

  • Smoked Sausage – with beer cheese sauce, bacon, and apple braised red cabbage on a Tuscan roll
  • Stella Artois Apple Cider – clean, crisp, and perfectly balanced with a little peach taste. Delicate apricot notes complement its fresh apple flavor

The Daily Poutine

  • Oktoberfest Poutine – stout gravy, bratwurst sausage, cheese curds, and cilantro
  • Ace Pineapple Cider – a balanced, crisp, natural offering made with fresh pineapple offering a sweet taste and tart finish. This pineapple cider was the first developed in the world

Amorette’s Patisserie

  • Caramel Apricot Cobbler – Verrine with apricot topped with sugared almonds and buttermilk panna cotta
  • Fall Harvest Petit Cake – cinnamon and nutmeg chiffon cake, layered with Calvados salted caramel mousse, cranberry cherry pate de fruit, and roasted hazelnuts
  • Apple Cider Riesling Wine Slushie

The Polite Pig

  • Fall Harvest Taco – apple cranberry-glazed smoked pork belly, soft corn tortilla, pumpkin-apple slaw, pepitas, and picked onions
  • Apple Cider Whiskey Sour – straight rye whiskey, apple cider, lemon, brown sugar, and cinnamon

D-Luxe Burger

  • Apple Whisky Jam and Smoked Sausage Burger – smoked gouda, lettuce tomato, and caramelized onions
  • Pumpkin Shake – Pumpkin, caramel, and graham crackers swirled together for a tasty fall treat

Additional Fall Offerings!

  • 4R Cantina Barbacoa Food Truck– Pumpkin Spice Churro Balls
  • AristoCrepes– Brie Cheese and Bosc Pear Crepe with Orange Blossom Honey
  • Chicken Guy!– Cinnamon Apple Milkshake
  • Disney’s Candy Cauldron and Goofy’s Candy Co.– Fall-Inspired Treats and Specialty Apples
  • Outdoor Vending Carts– Salted Caramel Pretzels and Pumpkin Churros (select carts only)
  • Sprinkles– Pumpkin Cupcake (Sept 1-30), Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcake (Sept 10-23), Candy Apple Cupcake (Sept 24-Oct 7)

Fall-Inspired Hard Ciders at Dockside Margaritas and Select Outdoor Vending Carts

  • Angry Orchard Crisp Apple Cider: This crisp and refreshing cider mixes the sweetness of the apples with a subtle dryness for a balanced cider taste. The fresh apple aroma and slightly sweet, ripe apple flavor make this cider hard to resist.
  • Angry Orchard Rosé Cider: Made with rare, red flesh apples from France. Each apple is crisp, juicy and red to the core, adding an irresistible rosy blush and apple-forward taste with a refreshing dry finish.
  • Ayinger Oktober Fest-Märzen: Rich, amber-golden color. Deep, inviting, malty nose and bready, wonderful flavor that’s an ode to barley. Medium to big body, with a touch of warming alcohol on the finish.
  • Margarita Cider by 3 Daughters Brewing: Hard cider blended with lime juice and sea salt then aged in tequila barrels for a festive and unique flavor. This semi-sweet apple cider is tart and refreshing and perfect for Florida.
  • Pumpking Imperial Ale by Southern Tier Brewing Co.: This beer gives off hints of pumpkin pie and spice aromas on the nose. Huge flavors of genuine pumpkin pie, nutmeg, and cinnamon come through with a rich and creamy, yet crisp taste.
  • Samuel Adams OctoberFest: The first thing you notice when pouring this seasonal beer is the color. It has a deep golden amber hue which itself is reflective of the fall season. A malt lover’s dream, this beer offers a delicious harmony of flavors.

Be sure to get over to Disney Springs and try some of these festive fall items! I am so excited that Disney Springs is doing a food festival and looking forward to seeing what doors this may open for more events like this to come in the future!

Plan your next visit to Walt Disney World by contacting our knowledgeable team at Kingdom Magic Vacations! We are excited to make your vacation dreams a reality!

 

The Top 5 Thing I Tried at The 2018 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival! Walt Disney World

This time last week I was in my happy place, Epcot! And not just for a regular visit but a visit during Epcot’s most wonderful time of year, the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival! Attending the International Food and Wine Festival has become an annual tradition for me and my family! Each year we look forward to seeing what is new on the festival menus and what new experiences Disney will roll out during the event! This year definitely delivered on bringing many new and exciting offerings! Here is a list of my top 5 favorite items that I tried at this year’s 2018 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival!

5. The Impossible Burger – Earth Eats

With wasabi cream and spicy Asian slaw on a sesame seed bun

The Impossible Burger is 100% vegan! Curiosity got the best of me and I had to try this item to see if it truly tasted like a real burger. This item made my list because, IT DID! I was shocked it actually had the same charred flavor and consistency that real meat would!

 

4. Kalua Pork Slider – Hawaii

With sweet and sour Dole Pineapple chutney and spicy mayonnaise

The Kalua Pork Slider from Hawaii is a returning item to the International Food and Wine Festival. This slider has been here for multiple years and it is always brought back by popular demand! Everyone loves this dish! For me it is not a visit to the festival until I have had the slider from Hawaii! The pineapple chutney is what makes this item! You get that perfect mix of savory and sweet and sour!

 

3. Seared Scallops- The Wine and Dine Studio

With truffled celery root purée, Brussels sprouts, and wild mushrooms

The Seared Scallops from the Wine and Dine Studio are a returning item to the festival. I have gotten the scallops for the last few years and every time it is always a winner! I have always gotten a good batch of scallops every time, they are cooked to perfection! The brussels sprouts and truffles compliment the dish so well!

 

2. Tropical mimosa – Shimmering Sips Mimosa Bar

Sparkling wine, pomegranate, orange and grapefruit juices

The Shimmering Sips Mimosa Bar is located inside of the Festival Center at this years festival. It is making it’s festival debut during this 2018 festival. Instantly Food and Wine fans have welcomed it with open arms! I think its safe to assume Shimmering Sips Mimosa Bar will be returning again to next years festival! I tried 2 mimosas here, the Key Lime Mimosa and the Tropical Mimosa. I originally thought the Key Lime Mimosa would be my favorite, and it was incredible, however after trying the Tropical Mimosa it earned the spot as my favorite!

 

1. Teriyaki Chicken Bun – Japan

Steamed Bun filled with chicken, vegetables and a sweet teriyaki sauce

I became a fan of bao buns ever since the time I dined at Nine Dragons, the table-service restaurant in China at Epcot’s World Showcase. During our meal here I had the steamed bun with fish! It was one of my favorite meals of that trip! Since then I have been a fan of bao buns, so when I saw this year during the Food and Wine Festival that Japan was doing a steamed bun I was very intrigued! Let’s just say this did not disappoint! The chicken inside the bao bun is so flavorful, the sweet teriyaki sauce adds a sweet and sour element to this item! I actually got the item a second time during our vacation, thats how much i enjoyed it! Hands down the teriyaki chicken bun has earned the number one spot on my list!

Have you visited the Epcot International Food and Wine festival yet this year?! Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner to plan your next visit to the Walt Disney World Resort or to wherever you may be dreaming of traveling next! Our knowledgable team is excited to make your vacation dreams a reality!

NEW Food and Wine Tailgate Tasting at the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival 2018! Walt Disney World

Fall is officially here! School is back in session, the leaves are starting to change, pumpkin spice is filling the crisp air… and oh yeah, it football season!! Many sports fans are thrilled for the start of another season and this year Epcot is getting into the football fun by offering a new Food and Wine Tailgate Tasting at this year’s Epcot International Food and Wine Festival!

The event will be a new series taking place on Monday afternoons. The offering is put on by ESPN’s Monday Night Football! The experience is completely FREE to guests! This 45-minute program will pair tailgate-style food and beverage offerings. All of these tailgate culinary staples will be elevated to a new level to bring a unique take to classic tailgate favorites! Examples of some items include a smoked brie mac and cheese served alongside a tropical mimosa!

Each Monday afternoon guests will be able to enjoy a flight of 3 small plates and 3 beverages. Each week will be different and the items created will actually be inspired by the team’s cities that are playing that night! So creative! During the experience participates will actually get to learn how to create the dishes that they are enjoying from the Disney culinary experts themselves! What a great way to get ideas for your own next tailgate party!

The Food and Wine Tailgate Tasting was first offered on September 10, 17 and 24. There are upcoming dates that guests will still be able to experience on October 1, 8 and 15. The Food and Wine Tailgate Tasting takes place from 4:30 – 5:15 p.m. inside of Epcot’s Festival Center.

Like I said before this experience is complimentary! If you are interested in attending make sure to stop by the Festival Center starting at 9:00 a.m. on Monday morning to get a wristband as your ticket into that afternoon’s tasting. I recommend getting to the festival center early if you are interested as space is limited and wristbands are distributed on a first-come/first-served basis. All members of your party must be present to receive their wristband.

There is still time to plan a great last-minute fall getaway to the Walt Disney World Resort! During Fall you can enjoy the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, take in all the beautiful Fall Decorations around the parks, go to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party as well as enjoy all the fun attractions Disney is home to year-round! Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner today to book your vacation!

Most Photogenic Food Items at Universal Orlando’s CityWalk!

CityWalk at the Universal Orlando Resort is a paradise for foodies! There are snacks and treats of all kinds to be found throughout CityWalk! What is even better than your snacks tasting amazing?….. Having them also LOOK amazing! We are the Instagram generation and let’s admit, we do love when we can grab that amazing food pic! Well Universal CityWalk is home to many snacks and delights that will deliver on both taste and looks! Here is a few of our favorite most photogenic treats!

 

NBC Sports Grill & Brew: Soft Pretzel

The best way to start your meal at NBC Sports Grill & Brew is the large, warm soft pretzel. Let’s clarify that in this case large, truly means it. This pretzel is massive and perfect to share! It is perfectly salted and served with jalapeno queso and mustard. This gigantic pretzel is definitely picture worthy!

 

Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville: Volcano Nachos

I don’t know… I don’t know where I’m gonna go when the volcano blows! But I do know that these Volcano Nachos make for a very impressive picture! Over at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville these nachos are piled higher than you can imagine and stuffed with tons of amazing toppings.

 

The Cowfish: Burgushi

It may sound like an odd combination, but hamburgers and sushi do absolutely go together. This creation makes for a delicious and very aesthetically pleasing combination! The Cowfish Burgushi is a can’t miss and makes for a memorable photo. A favorite is “The Prime Time” Filet & Lobster Roll with lobster and cucumber inside, topped with seared rare seasoned filet mignon and pan-fried portabella mushroom slices!

 

VIVO Italian Kitchen: Squid Ink Seafood

Black pasta is definitely unique and makes for a great dish to document! The Squid Ink Seafood is a work of art! Not only that but it tastes incredible! Be sure to try this interesting dish at VIVO Italian Kitchen!

 

Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food: Tres Leches

If you have ever been to Antojitos before then you know that all of their desserts are works of art! You can pick from a wide selection of authentic Mexican treats that will all leave your mouths watering! The Tres Leches with fresh berries and toasted meringue is almost too beautiful to eat! But be sure to dig in because the flavor is worth it!

 

The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen: Milkshakes

One of the hardest decision you will have to make during your vacation is deciding which milkshake you would like from The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen! No matter which one you pick, all of these lavish milkshakes make for a one of a kind photo-op! If you are wanting the most colorful shake be sure to try the Confetti Milkshake!

 

Voodoo Doughnut: Anything!

You can order any doughnut from Voodoo Doughnut and we can promise you it will be very picture-worthy. From bright purple with sprinkles to cereal or cookie-covered doughnuts and more, all of these doughnut creations are sure to make for a great shot and taste amazing!

 

What do you think is the most photogenic food item at Universal’s CityWalk?

Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner to plan your next Universal Orlando vacation!

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