The 2018 Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Classic is ON, and there’s no place we’d rather be!
The Classic is a two-night event starting this evening! Now in its 9th year, the Classic has become a popular event due to delicious small plate dishes and drinks on the Causeway (including three themed food areas) and fun foodie seminars during the weekend.
Ticket holders for the event are enjoying the activities on Friday, October 26, and/or Saturday, October 27, 2018, from 5:30PM to 9PM. As in the past, there are several ticket options, which you can find on the event website. The Causeway Ticket provides unlimited access to food and drinks along the Causeway between the two resorts.
If you are a ticket holder for Saturday evening, we are here tonight to show you what you have to look forward to! Or, if the Classic is a new event to you, you can learn a little more about it in case you’d like to work it in with your Epcot Food and Wine Festival plans for next year!
Before we begin, there is something to keep in mind… most menu options will change from Friday to Saturday. But this will still give you a great idea about the type of eats and drinks you have to look forward to!
Now, where should we start?
Chinatown, Carnival Corner, and The Pig & Poke
How about the three themed food areas? Chinatown is always a can’t-miss!
Why, you ask?
Because of Yu Chen’s Crispy Duck on a steamed bun with cucumber and hoisin!
It’s an absolute favorite, and we’d never miss it.
The Shanghai Dumplings (pan-roasted pork dumplings with a spicy sauce) are here, too!
But though we started with a favorite, let’s turn our eyes — and taste buds! – towards this year’s NEW themed area, The Pig & Poke, delivering the tastes of Hawai’i and Polynesia!
The rich and flavorful Traditional Earth Baked Kalua Pork is served alongside steamed white rice with barrel-aged tamari and Napa cabbage.
It’s seriously delicious, and it will be interesting to see if The Pig & Poke (and, in particular, this dish) return next year.
And next up? The Poke! Tuna Poke, that is!
Hawaiian yellowfin tuna, Koho sushi rice, avocado relish, and just a hint of crispy fried wontons for a texture variation come together to form a delightfully fresh dish.
And because it’s still warm here in Florida, you’ll also find Hawaiian Shave Ice which can really hit the spot!
It’s your choice of tropical flavors.
And returning this year is Carnival Corner, which serves up all its flavors with a side of FUN!
We had already fallen head over heels in love with the Funfetti Fried Oreo Cookie at the Classic’s preview event, and couldn’t wait to get to Carnival Corner to dig in again!
It’s all in the name: Oreo. Dipped in Funfetti batter. And it’s all FRIED.
Oh, and did I mention there’s also chocolate ganache?
Also at Carnival Corner is Frito Pie, served up… well, just like it sounds!
Your Fritos bag is filled with house-made chili, corn chips, sour cream, pico de gallo, and cheddar cheese.
You can even choose some hot sauce to go with it before you dig in!
Little Smokies Sausages are served here, too, with sweet brown sugar barbeque sauce to resemble that classic party appetizer. But it’s given a little carnival twist with crushed Cheez-Its.
But the other absolute favorite here, along with those Funfetti Oreos, is the Mac Attack!
The beef barbacoa and poblano pepper bring the flavor “attack” to this awesome dish!
More Causeway Eats
The Main Causeway, of course, is lined with menu items presented by the Swan and Dolphin restaurants and chefs. And there was a complete standout from Todd English.
Just LOOK at this gorgeous Brown Butter Poached Maine Lobster Roll!
Served on a toasted brioche bun with lemon aioli and frisee, the flavor from the generous chunks of decadent lobster still shine through even with the tasty accompaniments.
Todd English’s bluezoo, of course, also has a booth, where the dish of the evening is Dynamite Rock Shrimp.
The Rock Shrimp is plated with late season Zellwood corn, wasabi foam, Matsutake & Japanese Eggplant and crispy lotus root.
Fresh served up a plate well in keeping with its name!
The Southwest Steak Salad is made with local lettuces, black beans, roasted corn, and smoked-jalapeno for some kick!
We couldn’t resist a stop at Garden Grove for a Maryland Crab Cake Slider.
Old Bay seasoning — as always — delivers the perfect blend of spices to the Maryland Blue Crab, served on a toasted brioche bun.
Picabu served up the fun Shake & Bake Style Southern Fried Chicken with black-eyed pea puree, white cheddar fondue (hooray!), and a bacon-infused roast garlic gravy.
Desserts, it must be said, are always memorable at the Classic.
Executive Pastry Chef Laurent Branlard presents a trio of Mini Desserts this year. For Friday, they include the All Chocolate Choux, the Tropical Fruit Charlotte, and the Blackberry Bubble Cup.
They’re as tasty as they are lovely to look at, with attention to detail in presentation and flavor.
The Fountain presents the savory Hickory Smoked Chopped Burnt Brisket Ends on a Toasted Hoagie Roll.
And Il Mulino delivered an Egg Yolk Anolini Alla Parmigana with foraged mushrooms, Modena ham, and Pork Brodo.
Shula’s totally brings it!
Oven-roasted Beef Rib Eye is served with silky mashed potatoes and Bordelaise. (And this one should be around on Saturday evening, too!)
At Cib’s Smokehouse, a unique blend of flavors is presented for savory with hints of sweet with the Roasted & Smoked Iberico Pork with a fennel puree, honey-caramelized apple, and buttered turnip.
Also on the menu? Some classic Carolina Pulled Pork Sliders, with a fun twist of candied bacon and house pickles.
Cabana plated up Vietnamese Lemongrass Meatballs “On a Stick.”
The unique dish is served on Vermicelli Noodles with some heat from pickled vegetables and Sriracha Espuma.
The Kimonos Roll was served at Kimonos, of course!
The Kimonos Roll is made of Ashi Tuna, yellowtail, and sustainable salmon and served with wasabi mayo.
And for the perfect October treat, we stopped by Phins.
The Bavarian Style Warm Pretzel is served with a lager-beer cheese for dipping!
A wide variety of German mustards and condiments is available, too.
Beer Garden and Bubble Lounge
Okay, we’ve got two more stops! Because what’s an evening at the Classic without a stop at the Beer Garden?
Aside from Beer, you’ll also find Jäger Schnitzel (lightly breaded pork with hunters sauce and späetzle).
And a Berliner Doner Kabab with Split Roasted Strauss Farm Veal, garlic & parsley yogurt sauce, and red cabbage and onions on buttered warm flatbread.
And the Bubble Lounge returns with small bites and bubbly sips!
And with that, we cap off the night by saying “Cheers”!
Don’t forget that the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic offers educational seminars once again for 2018. Some of the seminars feature beverages, while others focus on food and wine pairing.
We had the chance to attend the Italian Wine Seminar, It’s Better to “Wine” in Italian.
We’ll have a full review of this seminar for you here soon!
Seminars took place today, with even more on the way on Saturday during the Food and Wine Classic. Beverage Seminars are $50 per person while Pairing Seminars are $85 per person. (The Grand Tasting is sold out for this year.)
If you’d like to remember your evening (or evenings!) at the Classic, there many souvenirs to take home to do exactly that!
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic is a true highlight of the year, and is a great enhancement to your autumn trip to Walt Disney World — especially for all our fellow foodies. And even if you’re missing it this year, you know how I feel: it’s never too early to start planning your Epcot Food and Wine Festival trip for next year, and it’s highly recommended that you include the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic within your plans!
Are you attending the 2018 Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic? Please let us know with a comment!
Disclosure: In nearly all circumstances, Disney Food Blog writers and photographers pay full price for their own travel, hotel, food, beverage, and event tickets. We do this because it’s important to us as journalists to ensure not only that we give you unbiased opinions, but also that you can trust us to do so since we’re paying our own way. On rare occasions, when we are invited by a company to attend a preview as media, and when we choose to accept that invitation, we will always make you, our readers, aware of that situation. Today, we were invited by the Swan and Dolphin to attend this year’s Food and Wine Classic. Note that when we attend events as media we are 1) Not required to review that event on any of our channels, and 2) Not required to review that event favorably. You can always count on DFB to give you a 100% unbiased and honest review of any event that we attend, food that we eat, or beverage that we drink. (But, just between you and me, the Food and Wine Classic at the Swan and Dolphin is freaking amazing and you need to go. That’s my personal opinion.) You can see more in our Disclosure Policy. Thank you for reading. — AJ