Fourth of July News! Regional Craft Beers This Week at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel

Drink beer, do good. Sounds like the perfect way to enjoy the Fourth of July!

To that end, we have some fun news for readers who enjoy exploring the world of craft beer!

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel, in conjunction with Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing, will offer eight Cigar City selections when they stage a “Taproom Takeover” at Cabana Bar and Beach Club July 2-8!

Cabana Bar and Beach Club

Cabana Bar and Beach Club

Guests of the hotel can enjoy Cigar City’s regionally brewed beer and cider on all eight of the Cabana Bar and Beach Club’s taps. A selection of Cigar City Brewing’s beers will also be available at the Dolphin’s Lobby Lounge.

And on July 4, the endeavor will take on a charitable twist. One of the beers that will be available is Homefront IPA, and a portion of the proceeds from its sale will be donated to Operation Homefront, an organization providing services to military families across the nation.

Homefront IPA

Homefront IPA

This special brew is crafted in collaboration between several American microbreweries — Cigar City Brewing among them.

Cuban Espresso Brown Ale

In addition to Homefront IPA, beer and cider selections will include [Read more…]

News! Menus and Details for the 2014 Fifth Annual Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

We are so excited to share with you some big news today!

2014 Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic Thumbnail Logo

The Swan and Dolphin Resort at Walt Disney World has announced that it will hold its Fifth Annual Food and Wine Classic this Fall!

Coinciding with the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, the two day event returns with some fan favorites and some brand new experiences!

2014 Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic Details

Save the dates for Friday, October 31, and Saturday, November 1, 2014. Most of the Seminars will get underway at 4:30 p.m. and the Causeway Booths will be open from 5:30 until 9:00 p.m.

The Causeway at the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

The Causeway at the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

The two-day event will offer opportunities to learn while you play, with informative seminars covering facets of food and wine. Seminars are conducted by experts in each field and last about an hour — giving you plenty of time to join in on the Causeway fun afterwards!

Once the seminars conclude, the booths open and the tasting begins! Wines from all over the world and dishes in appetizer portions are available to sample from each of Swan and Dolphin’s nine restaurants. For the last few years, Celebrity Chef Todd English has also been on hand to interact with guests!

And don’t forget the music! As night falls, you’re treated to live music as you dine under the stars.

Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic Seminars

For 2014, guests can choose from ten different seminars. Choose from categories of Beer and Wine, Spirits and Mixology, or Pairing Experiences. The seminars take place on both days of the event. Beverage seminars all begin at 4:30 and last for approximately one hour; Pairing Experiences begin slightly earlier. Prices for the seminars vary.

From Base to Bubbles Seminar

From Base to Bubbles Seminar

You can check out all of the details about the 2014 Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic Seminars — including specific start times and prices — here!

The popular Pasta-making Seminar, which debuted last year, returns to the Classic this Fall.

And guests can also choose from two other brand new seminars! Check out all the details about The Fine Art of Sushi and Sake and The Cheese Course!

Causeway Tasting Booths

Once again, the big ticket will be the Causeway Tasting Booths, which line the promenade between the Swan and Dolphin Resorts. Eat and drink your way up one side and down the other! And new this year, the Classic will introduce a [Read more…]

New Executive Chef and Menus at Todd English’s bluezoo in the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort is home to a truly unique and delicious restaurant — Todd English’s bluezoo. With the addition of a new executive chef and updated menus, we suggest stopping by bluezoo real soon!

Since our last visit (and bluezoo review) when Chef Windus was still at the helm, the menus have been updated.

New executive chef, Ryan Ratino, is introducing updated menus for the bluezoo dining room as well as the cocktail and beer options!

Chef Ryan spent two years as chef de cuisine before taking on this new role. Let’s take a peek at the menus!

Updated bluezoo Menu

Updated bluezoo Menu

Focused on seafood and entrees with a fun Southern flair, there are some great new items like the 72 Hour Short Rib. But the classic clam chowder returns, as does the “dancing fish!”

Clam Chowder at bluezoo

Clam Chowder at bluezoo

Landlubbers will find some additional choices including english pea ravioli. We always recommend the never-know-what-you’re-gonna-get Chef’s Creation. It’s always been incredible on our experiences here!

bluezoo's Updated Menu

Low Country Jumbo Shrimp — Chef’s Creation

And just look at the thirst-quenching adult beverage menu. Bluzoo has always been a pioneer when it comes to mixology, craft beers, and more. A visit to the lounge here will never go unrewarded.

beverages at bluezoo

beverages at bluezoo

We loved the Smoking White Sangria on our last visit; and, of course, the classic zooberry returns. Also, notice a new drink in honor of Autism Awareness Month that benefits the Princeton House Charter School!

Zooberry

Zooberry

Blue Sparkler

The Blue Sparkler

bluezoo is boasting one of the best beer lists [Read more…]

A PEEP at a New Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Event…

Today’s a marshmallow day on DFB, apparently, so it’s time to give you a PEEP (AAAAAA HA HA HA!) at a new event at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin this Easter! :-D

PEEPs for Dayz

From April 16-23, enjoy a PEEPtastic celebration with free PEEPS brand marshmallow samples, PEEPS-inspired menu items, PEEPS décor, and Easter-themed activities.

PEEPtastic!

PEEPtastic!

At check-in, guests will receive PEEPS marshmallow chicks , and the fun continues with special appearances by the Easter Bunny (he’ll give you PEEPS, too!).

Sweet treats will follow with PEEPS-inspired menu items featured at several of the hotel’s restaurants. Look for s’mores made using PEEPS, a PEEPS inspired milkshake, and chocolate-dipped PEEPS!

A favorite for kids — the resort’s annual glow-in-the-dark Easter egg hunt headlines a full schedule of Easter-themed activities at the hotel, including traditional Easter egg hunts, Easter egg races, a bunny hop relay, arts and crafts, and meet-and-greets with the Easter Bunny.

Need some help with Easter morning? Guests can order [Read more…]

News! 2014 WDW Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic Dates and Seminars

Back by popular demand, The Swan and Dolphin Resort at Walt Disney World has announced that it will hold its Fifth Annual Food and Wine Classic this Fall!

Coinciding with the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic offers even more great food and drink for Disney fans!

This event is always amazing and very well done. We can’t wait to go again this year!

2014 Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic Details

Mark your calendars for Friday, October 31, and Saturday, November 1, 2014. Seminars begin at 4:30 p.m. and the Causeway is open from 5:30-9:00 p.m.

Dining al fresco on the Causeway at the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic!

Dining al fresco on the Causeway at the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic!

This year’s event continues the tradition of fun and informative food and beverage seminars that focus on wine, cocktails, sake, beer, pasta-making, and more. The seminars are conducted by experts in each field and last for approximately 60-90 minutes.

At 5:30, the Causeway between the Swan and Dolphin comes alive as the staff of the Resort’s award-winning restaurants host tasting booths. In addition, there is live entertainment as you sample and stroll around the beautiful grounds!

Wine Seminar at the 2012 Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic Seminars

You can see details on all of the 2013 Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic Seminars here!

And new for this year, the Classic is adding a Cheese seminar!

Seminars this year include:

Causeway Tasting Booths with Optional Beer Garden Upgrade!

The Causeway between the Swan and Dolphin Resorts will have tons of great offerings again this year. And we can’t wait to see the menus! We’ll be back soon with full details for you!

Want a little more than just the standard tasting experience? Upgrade to the [Read more…]

Review and Preview: The Causeway at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

In just a few short days, we will be headed to the The Fourth Annual Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic!

This event, which coincides with the 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, is a food and wine lover’s dream.

This year’s Food and Wine Classic will take place on Friday, October 18 and Saturday, October 19. The two-day event consists of food and wine tasting booths set up on the resort’s beautiful causeway each evening.

Guests can also take part in a number of special food and beverage seminars for an additional fee. Seminars take place at 4:30PM both days, and the Causeway booths are open from 5:30 until 9:00PM on Friday and Saturday.

In addition, guests can enjoy a complimentary Cocktail 101 seminar three times during each evening on the Causeway as well as live musical entertainment.

Tasting Plate from Shula's Steakhouse

We’ve had the opportunity to attend the event for the last three years, and we’re looking forward to what 2013 holds! To give you an idea of what lies in store for guests of the Food and Wine Classic, let’s take a look at the 2012 event!

Atmosphere

When you first arrive, you’ll most likely need to pick up your tickets at the Check-In Table.

Check In for the Causeway

Here, staff will check for your reservation, and you’ll receive either your tickets or a wristband, as well as a palate plate and a wine glass.

We had wristbands for the event, which meant that we were free to enjoy unlimited trips to each of the tasting stations. If you prefer a ticketed approach, however, you can purchase books of 25 tickets (most of the booth items require between 2 and 6 tickets).

Food and Wine Classic Wristbands and My Seminar Ticket

For this event, tents are lined up the length of the walkway between the Swan and Dolphin Resorts as well as along the walkway behind the Swan. The resorts are located within walking distance of Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

The Causeway Setup

Tables of all sizes are covered with brightly colored tablecloths, and offer guests a place to sit and relax while enjoying their food and drink.

Tables and Booths Ready for Guests

In addition to tables with chairs, guests can also take advantage of high tops if they prefer to stand.

Individual Tables

It wasn’t too long before the crowd began to swell as guests looked forward to tasting a myriad of dishes.

Causeway is Getting Busy

On Crescent Terrace, guests could also take advantage of [Read more…]

Review: Dinner at Il Mulino New York Trattoria in the Walt Disney World Swan Hotel

It’s been a while since we had taken in a dinner at Il Mulino, so let’s head over for some Italian, shall we??

The upscale restaurant has a reputation for serving some of the best Italian food in all of Walt Disney World. And that makes sense, since it is modeled after the critically acclaimed New York restaurant of the same name.

Since we love Italian food, I thought it was time to head back and see if that opinion still held. After all, with the opening of Via Napoli and Tutto Gusto in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion — and the re-opening of Tutto Italia with a new menu — there is suddenly a little more competition.

We headed there on a recent trip with high hopes that it would be just as delicious as ever!

Menu Cover

Atmosphere

The vibe of Il Mulino is New York chic. Rather than feeling like you’re in a corner of Walt Disney World property, it seems like you’re a thousand miles away in a cityscape. Clean, modern lines in the bar and throughout the restaurant hint at the urban feel, while exposed beams and brick warm up the space.

Bar Area

While we visited at a fairly quiet time, the bar can be a very gregarious gathering place with the amount of convention traffic that the Swan and Dolphin Hotels see. If you have the chance to stop for a drink here, I’d definitely recommend it! The bartenders have been friendly and entertaining in my experience.

Bar Seating

Low, comfortable couches offer a nice contrast to traditional bar seating, and make for a cozy gathering place.

Additional Bar Seating

This curious display of food, wine, cooking utensils, and even [Read more…]

Review: Champagne Seminar at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

For the fourth year in a row, we are looking forward to celebrating food and fun at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic! Mark your calendars for this special event, which takes place this year on Friday, October 18, and Saturday, October 19.

We have enjoyed the Causeway tasting booths that are the mainstay of the event during that past few years.

A Beautiful Sunny Evening on the Causeway

But there are also many fun and informative food and beverage seminars that take place over the course of the two-day event. AJ already reviewed her experience at the Modern Mixology seminar, and now I’ve got a new one to share: Base to Bubbles.

Base to Bubbles Presentation Screen

Base to Bubbles Seminar Atmosphere

The fun begins when you arrive and check in at the registration table outside, behind the hotel on the Causeway. We went ahead and picked up our wristbands, as well as my ticket to Base to Bubbles at the registration table.

While my husband milled about the Causeway to get the lay of the land, I headed back into the Swan’s conference center to find the room where my seminar would be held.

Food and Wine Classic Wristbands and Base to Bubbles Ticket

Soon, I found the right room, and the [Read more…]

News! Magical Dining Month in Orlando Returns September 2013

We’re so excited to see Magical Dining Month return to the Orlando area in September! This is always SUCH a great deal, and combining awesome food with an option to support a worthy charity is a win.

In its eighth year, this month-long event sponsored by Visit Orlando offers diners a culinary celebration at more than 60 restaurants offering three-course, prix fixe dinner for just $33. The dinners include an appetizer, entrée, and dessert.

This year’s event benefits the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Florida, and $1 from each meal will be donated.

This celebration takes place September 1-30, 2013, at top-rated Orlando restaurants including:

Disney World Area Restaurants:

Ten Best Frozen Drinks in Disney World

It’s getting hot out there, guys!

And sometimes, when it feels like it’s 100 degrees and you’re sweltering in line, you need more than a cold drink. You need a frozen drink!

Fortunately, there are lots of palate-pleasing options found in all corners of Disney World. And we’ve got great options whether you’d like to go alocholic or non-alcoholic! Refreshment is just a menu choice away…

Today, we’re taking a closer look at our very favorites!

Frozen Lemonade

Sweet-tart and chilly, Frozen Lemonade calls to mind seaside treats from our favorite resort towns. And there’s nothing like it for reviving you on a super hot, sticky Florida day.

The secret is in the balance. A too-sweet treat can leave you feeling not so great while you’re standing in the bright sun. That little kick of sour rounds out the flavors and makes the beverage a true refresher.

Raspberry Lemonade Slush at Magic Kingdom

If you’re a lover of frozen lemonade, I have great news for you: there are tons of different varieties to try around the parks and resorts! You could make your own personal frozen lemonade crawl. (Hey! That’s a great idea…)

One of our favorites is the Raspberry Lemonade Slush that you find at Magic Kingdom’s Cheshire Cafe, located on the outskirts of Fantasyland. You can find a similar drink across the castle hub at Sunshine Tree Terrace in Adventureland. And if you’re looking for frozen lemonade in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you can find an awesome, slurpee-type version at Herbie’s Drive-In.

If you prefer your frozen lemonade with a little kick, one of our favorite adult versions is available at Animal Kingdom’s Dino Diner Snacks. The Frozen Bacardi Raspberry Rum Lemonade has been inspiring random cravings for me ever since I tried it. :-)

Frozen Bacardi Raspberry Rum Lemonade at Animal Kingdom's Dino Diner

Check out other locations to score frozen lemonade slushes when you’re parched in the parks.

Dole Whip Float

Part beverage, part Dole Whip soft serve, this is one of Disney’s classic must-eat treats! The Dole Whip Float combines sweet-tart soft serve pineapple goodness with pineapple juice to provide one of the most refreshing icy drinks in the Kingdom.

Breakfast of Champions!

You CAN get this with vanilla or orange dole whip as well — either choice will cut the tartness a bit. But I prefer pineapple-on-pineapple, myself! Find this great treat at Aloha Isle in Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland.

Ice Cream Martinis

Looking for a new entry on your Drinking Around the World card? THE newest frozen drink concoction in Disney World can be found — where else? — World Showcase!

Head to Epcot’s newest eatery, L’Artisan des Glaces in the France Pavilion for the beautiful and crave-inspiring Ice Cream Martini.

Ice Cream Martini from L'Artisan des Glaces in Epcot's France Pavilion

The drink-sundae fusion is made by combining [Read more…]