Epcot Food and Wine Festival Review: Behind the Scenes at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto

We’re continuing our coverage of the 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival with a brand new special event at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort!

That’s right… we paid a visit to Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto to check out a new Epcot Food and Wine Festival Special Event that’s NOT happening at Epcot. While Signature Dining Events have long been held in and around various restaurants on property, this year is the first time that Special Events have expanded to Disney World Resorts. These debut offerings include Brunch with a Twist at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, The Secrets of Flavor at Disney’s Yacht Club, Culinary Adventures with a Master Chef at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, and the Special Event we’re reviewing today: Behind the Scenes of Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.

Of all the new Resort Special Events, this sold-out option (at a cost of $99.00 per guest) was likely the most in demand, held on four select Wednesdays from 12:00 Noon – 2:00 PM. Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto has been a HUGE hit with Disney World guests since it opened in March of 2015 due to its interactive Tiki-themed atmosphere, crafty cocktails and popular souvenir mugs. An added bonus for Disney fans is that this place is chock-full of nostalgia and Disney history… so much so that it can really help to have a cast of high-energy Skippers at hand to point some of them out (all while mixing drinks and serving up some delicious eats, of course).

So join us once again as we step inside the Grog Grotto…

Behind the Scenes of Trader Sam's Grog Grotto

Behind the Scenes of Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto

…to show you a little bit about what happens behind the scenes at Trader Sam’s! [Read more…]

New Video! The Best of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival Now on the DFB YouTube Channel!

I am so excited about our latest Disney Food Blog project — the NEW Disney Food Blog YouTube Channel! If you love being in the theme parks and eating ALL the food, then you aren’t going to want to miss it.

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Today, I’m super psyched to share that we’ve posted our very first video!

[Read more…]

2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival: Festival Center Tour and Festival Merchandise

The 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival is officially underway!

festival-center-outside-16

We spent the better part of last week taking a look at all there is going on this year, and shared with you our Best of the Fest so far. And we aren’t finished yet!

We’ll be sharing our reviews of Marketplace Booths as well as impressions of some of the Special Events taking place throughout the Festival.

And speaking of special events, many of them take place in Festival Center, which serves as the headquarters for the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. But there’s more to the space than just stages for Culinary Demos and Beverage Seminars.

We are eager to share with you all that the Festival Center offers this year. Let’s head in and take a tour of the space. Along the way, I’ll also share with you some merchandise we spotted for 2016.

The 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Center

You’ll find the Festival Center located to the left as you enter Epcot and pass beneath Spaceship Earth. Head toward the old Wonders of Life Pavilion in Future World East, and you’ll be going in the right direction.

Entrance

Entrance

Enter and head left or right down the easily accessible ramp, and you’ll come to the Information Desk. This is your first stop if you have questions, but it’s also where you’ll pick up tickets for events taking place in Festival Center. These include Culinary Demos, Beverage Seminars, and several other special events. [Read more…]

News: Adventures By Disney Debuts Rhine River Food & Wine Cruise

OK, I MUST DO THIS!!!

If food, wine, travel, and Disney top the list of things you love, then this is the trip for you!

©Disney

©Disney

Disney has announced that their luxury travel brand, Adventures by Disney, is teaming with AmaWaterways to offer a special Rhine Food & Wine River Cruise. [Read more…]

Disney Food Blog FAQ: How Much Should I Budget for the 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival?

It’s here! I can hardly believe it, but the 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival is finally underway!

Food and Wine Tips Graphic 1

The fun officially kicked off on September 14 and runs until November 14. That’s more than eight weeks of savoring all that this special event has to offer! And we had so much fun eating and drinking along the Promenade to discover our Best of the Fest dishes and drinks to recommend!

But of course, you can’t forget the tons of events that take place during the Festival. From Low Cost Events like Culinary Demonstrations and Beverage Seminars to high end Special Events like Party for the Senses, there’s so much to do at every turn. But here’s the catch — nearly all of it comes with a pricetag.

So that, of course, begs the question: how in the World do you plan for the Food Lover Trip of the Year?

We get it! So we’re here for you with some great tips for Budgeting for the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. And if you like what you see, be sure to check out our 2016 DFB Guide to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, completely updated with everything you can expect to enjoy at this year’s event!

The Food and Wine Festival is HERE! But it can be pricey...

The Food and Wine Festival is HERE! But it can be pricey…

How Much Money Should I Budget For a Day at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival?

Well, the answer to that is…it totally depends! [Read more…]

News: Menu for the Sept. 30th Rockin’ Burger Block Party at the 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Have you chosen your Special Events for the 2016 Epcot Food & Wine Festival?

Maybe you’ve had some interest in attending one of this year’s Rockin’ Burger Block Parties, but you’re not quite sure what the menu entails. Or perhaps you’ve already booked the first Block Party on September 30th, and are already excited to find out what kind of burgers you’ll be diving into!

Burger Victory at the Rockin' Burger Block Party

Burger Victory at the Rockin’ Burger Block Party

Either way, we’ve got some info that may help (and if you need anything further, be sure to check out our review from the Rockin’ Burger Block Party we attended last year).

We’ve got the scoop on six of the seven Burgers that guests will be chomping into at the very first Rockin’ Burger Block Party on September 30th featuring Celebrity Chef Maneet Chuahan, who will be joined by Chefs from various Disney restaurants. (Remember, each of the three parties features a different Chef… AND different burgers!)

Seating at the Rockin' Burger Block Party

Seating at the Rockin’ Burger Block Party

Maneet Chuahan will showcase her Indian-inspired Malai Chicken Mushroom Burger, while Chefs from STK Orlando will be serving up some of their lil’ BRGs made with Wagyu beef.

Lil' BRGs

Lil’ BRGs

Raglan Road will offer a beer-battered burger! This one will be topped with garlic aioli, tomato chutney, and greens.

Here’s a beer battered burger we had at Raglan’s counter service spot — Cookes of Dublin — that we think is the inspiration for the Bash choice.

Battered Burger and Chips from Cookes of Dublin

Battered Burger and Chips from Cookes of Dublin

[Read more…]

Best of the Fest: What to Eat (and Drink!) at the 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

It’s heeeeere… the 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival has officially begun!!

disney-food-blog-best-of-the-fest

And since the first day of the Festival is my favorite day of the year, I’m here, too, of course! The DFB Team has been hard at work tasting our way around every single Marketplace Booth to let you know the items you absolutely MUST EAT at the Festival this year!

Be sure to click over to our Marketplace Booth Page to see pictures of every single dish at the Festival. Just click through the links for each booth to see pictures of all your favorite dishes, along with every single new one from this year!

Then meet me right back here to check out our recommendations for the BEST of the FEST!

Peanut Butter and White Chocolate Mousse with a Caramel Drizzle at Chew Collective

Layers of thick peanut butter mousse and white chocolate mousse with some sugared peanuts on top make up this dessert at Chew Collective…and it’s my idea of perfection. Super rich and salty-sweet, you will not be disappointed.

Peanut Butter and White Chocolate Mousse with a Caramel Drizzle

Peanut Butter and White Chocolate Mousse with a Caramel Drizzle

It’s a small portion, but the sweetness will knock your socks off.

[Read more…]

2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Booth Preview: Brazil and Greece

The 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival is just DAYS away and we can’t wait to visit all the Marketplace Booths this year! We’ve already made our list of all the things we have to eat!

Food and Wine Festival Updates 2016 Info Graphic

Two of our favorite booths are returning to the Festival this year – Brazil and Greece.

These booths are always fan favorites and we think that will ring true again this year. While the Griddled Greek Cheese isn’t returning for 2016 you can still make it at home with our recipe!

Brazil Marketplace Booth

The Brazil marketplace is one of my favorites, both for its design and it’s awesome food!

Brazil returned to the Festival in 2013 and we’re so excited to see it back this year! We loved the layered meat pie with yucca mash in 2015.

Brazil Marketplace

Brazil Marketplace

[Read more…]

News! Passholder Exclusive Keepsake Glasses Returning for 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Last year, Walt Disney World introduced an Annual Passholder exclusive gift for guests attending the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. And this year, the offer is back again.

Food and Wine Festival Updates 2016 Info Graphic

While APs could head home from the Festival with a Port Wine Glass last year, in 2016, they can add an etched glass tumbler to their collection. Special thanks to reader Alex for the heads up about these!

Passholder Exclusive Food and Wine Festival Tumbler © Disney

Passholder Exclusive Food and Wine Festival Tumbler © Disney

How does this magic come to pass? Here’s the low-down: [Read more…]

2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Preview: Chocolate Studio and Wine and Dine Studio

It’s almost here! The 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival starts in less than two weeks and we can’t wait to try all the dishes and beverages at the Marketplace Booths!

Food and Wine Festival Updates 2016 Info Graphic Square

The Festival kicks off September 14 and runs through November 14, and this year several new Marketplace Booths are featured in both Future World and World Showcase.

Today we’re giving you a preview of two of the new Future World Marketplace Booths: Chocolate Studio and the Wine and Dine Studio.

Chocolate Studio Marketplace Booth

Chocolate lovers are going to LOVE this new marketplace booth! It is the perfect spot to satisfy your sweet tooth!

2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Chocolate Studio Booth Menu

Food:

  • Red Wine Chocolate Truffle
  • Ghirardelli® Chocolate Raspberry Torte
  • Liquid Nitro Chocolate-Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey Caramel

Beverages:

  • Fonseca Bin No. 27 Port
  • Justin Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Rosa Regale Sweet Sparkling Wine
  • Blandy’s Alvada 5yr-Old Madeira

We highly recommend the Liquid Nitro Chocolate-Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey Caramel! This not-quite-ice-cream dessert is something truly unique — and the perfect treat for a warm Festival day.

Chew Lab Liquid Nitro Chocolate Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey Caramel

Liquid Nitro Chocolate Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey Caramel from the 2015 Food and Wine Festival

This sweet treat actually debuted at the 2015 Festival, and we are crazy happy to see it back for another year. [Read more…]