2010 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Preview

Since I’m not based in Florida, I asked my great friend and colleague (and Disney World Moms Panelist) Suzannah DiMarzio of ZannaLand, to attend the Tables in Wonderland preview of the 2010 Epcot Food and Wine Festival in my place. She kindly obliged and put together this fantastic review of the evening!

Of course, for all the latest information and breaking news, check out our 2010 Epcot Food and Wine Festival pages. Take it away, Zanna!

Concept Art for the 2010 Food and Wine Festival Entryway Display at Epcot

On July 8, 2010, I was given the amazing opportunity to be a special reporter for the Disney Food Blog and experience the Tables in Wonderland Food & Wine Festival Sneak Preview. This was the third Tables in Wonderland special event I’ve attended and the experience was, as always, uncompromisingly good. Here is a rundown of the evening’s service, all of which were previews for upcoming dishes at Epcot’s 15th Annual International Food & Wine Festival:

Arrival

The event took place in the retired Wonders of Life pavilion. It had been quite some time since I’d been inside, so it was really cool to see the building still there (though it could really use some pressure washing on the outside!) and most of the inside still intact. Of course it was sad not seeing the big Cranium Command sign, the cool exercise bikes that showed Main Street, USA, on the TV screens as you pedaled, and Body Wars.

We were escorted backstage through an area next to Body Wars at the old Frontiers exhibit (still there for the most part). We ascended in a beautiful, mirrored elevator to the second floor and what used to be the VIP Lounge when Wonders of Life was functioning with a sponsor.

Passed Appetizers

The moment we stepped off the elevator and found our place card with table location on it, we were given our first wine selection: Paul Cheneau “Lady” Blanc de Blanc Cava from Spain. It was a lovely sparkling wine that came in a beautiful bottle.

Soon servers came around with our reception selections: Roasted Corn and Cheese Empanada from the Argentina kiosk;

Corn and Cheese Empanada from Argentina

Lettuce Wraps with Roast Pork and Kimchi Slaw from the new kid on the block, South Korea; [Read more…]

Disney’s Aulani Resort Restaurants and Dining Details

Thanks to Werner Weiss at Yesterland for the heads up on this great news. Here are all the details on Disney dining at Aulani Resort, Disney’s newest Vacation Club property at Ko Olina on Oahu, Hawai’i. Details can be found at DVCMember.com for those with log-ins and passwords.

Makahiki Buffet Restaurant

This restaurant will have an open-air dining room featuring murals created by local artists depicting the story of Makahiki, the Hawaiian harvest festival. This location will be on the Main Building’s lower level, and will offer character breakfasts and casual dinner buffets with cuisine reflecting local favorites. These will include fresh, line-caught sustainable seafood and chef-inspired dishes.

The ‘Olelo Room

This will be a fun, interactive lounge serving tropical beverages, Continental breakfast, traditional Afternoon Tea, and cocktail service. You’ll find it adjacent to the Makahiki Buffet.

‘AMA’AMA Beachside Restaurant

Ah, yes! The beautiful Aulani beachside restaurant we speculated about so many months ago! Seating will be inside hale (beachside houses) and will serve traditional and locally-inspired meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You’ll be able to get omelets, bakery items, hot and cold sandwiches, salads, seasonal and sustainable seafood, steak, duck and vegetarian selections, and other menu selections.

'AMA'AMA Beachside Restaurant concept art

Beachside Lounge/Pool Bar

Right next to the ‘AMA’AMA Beachside Restaurant, this lounge will serve favorites like the Mai Tai, Pina Colada, Blue Hawai’i and Long Island Iced Tea. Of course, you’ll be able to get anything from the full bar, such as margaritas, sangria, sparkling cocktails, wine, and local beer. Be sure to ask about the ‘Ike Mua, the discovery drink of [Read more…]

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Sneak Peek: South Korea and Belgium Marketplaces With Food Pics!

That’s right — sneak peek food photos from an event that’s still three months away!

Mock Up of 2010 Food and Wine Festival Garden Decor in Epcot

Since I’m not based in Florida, I asked my great friend and colleague (and Disney World Moms Panelist) Suzannah DiMarzio of Zannaland, to attend Thursday night’s Tables in Wonderland preview of the 2010 Epcot Food and Wine Festival in my place. She kindly obliged, and now we’ve got some fantastic Sneak Peek pictures of what’s new at the Festival!

I’ll be posting Suzannah’s full write-up of the event on Monday, but here’s a little Sneak Peek of the Sneak Peek! ;-) I couldn’t help myself — I had to post these pictures of what the newest International Marketplace booths, South Korea and Belgium, would be like, along with their menus and pics of [Read more…]

Disney’s Grape Getaway

A brand new addition to the 2010 Epcot Food and Wine Festival is this exclusive, 4-night, 3-day vacation package that will get you up front and personal with incredible food and wine.

The Grape Getaway will be offered from October 24th-27th, 2010, and will be limited to only 100 people.

See pricing and booking details on our Disney’s Grape Getaway page!

Grape Getaway Details

Click here for more information about the 2010 Epcot Food and Wine Festival events.

Epcot’s Via Napoli Menu

Disneyland's Naples Pepperoni Pizza -- Sister Restaurant to Via Napoli

Update: This restaurant is now in soft opening! See full Via Napoli menu here.

Thanks to Pam Brandon and the Disney Parks Blog, we now know that Via Napoli will be opening early — next month! — and we have a good idea of the menu for the upcoming Via Napoli in Epcot’s Italy pavilion!

Appetizers will include:

Main course salads will include:

  • Manzo (filet of beef) with greens, red onion, gorgonzola, apple and cucumber with a red wine-mustard vinaigrette
  • chopped salad with lemon chicken, greens, cantaloupe, cucumber, red pepper, green beans, onions, almonds and pasta crisps with honey-citrus vinaigrette
  • calamari with arugula, carrots and fennel with orange vinaigrette

Pasta dishes will include:

  • candele (long, tube-shaped pasta) with sausage ragù
  • linguine with seafood; malfadine (ribbon pasta) with guanciale (unsmoked Italian bacon) and pomodoro sauce
  • lasagna verde

The Wood-fired pizzas, which is what Disney is hoping the restaurant is known for, will be made with caputo flour imported from Southern Italy, San Marzano tomatoes, handmade mozzarella, and water from a local spring just like in Italy’s Campania region. The 10-inch, 20-inch or 1/2 meter-sized pies will come in a dozen choices, from a simple pizza Margherita with tomato, mozzarella and basil to carciofi with artichoke, potato, pecorino cheese, prosciutto and cantaloupe.

Also available will be Piatti alla Parmigiana, which are dishes topped with Parmesan and mozzarella gratinée. These will include veal, chicken, and eggplant.

Finally, the desserts! These will include:

  • tiramisù
  • zeppole di ricotta (ricotta cheese-fried dough, whipped cream and chocolate sauce);
  • apple cake with almond sorbetti
  • vanilla gelato with almond cookies and amarena cherries

The pictures I’ve linked to in this post are what we sampled at Naples in Disneyland, a restaurant also run by The Patina Group. You can see the full review of Naples here.

To see more of our coverage of Via Napoli, along with specifics about the restaurant’s interior decor, three massive pizza ovens, and more, check out this page for links.

As always, check out the Disney Parks Blog for further info on Via Napoli.

Disney World Free Dining Extended Through December 21, 2010

Yay! The 2010 Free Dining promotion has again been extended into December.

Specs

  • You must book a full-price WDW vacation package, checking in *most nights* on these dates: August 15 – October 7, 2010, October 22-October 28, 2010, November 12-18, 2010, November 27 – December 2, 2010 and December 10-21, 2010.
  • You must stay at least three consecutive nights at an official Walt Disney World hotel (i.e., a hotel that is owned and operated by Walt Disney World) and at least a 2-day theme park ticket.
  • If you stay in a Value Resort: You’ll receive the Magic Your way Plus Quick Service Dining package for the price of a standard Magic Your Way package. You can upgrade to the regular Dining Plan for $10 per adult per night and $2 per child (age 3-9) per night, or you can upgrade to the Deluxe Dining Plan for $40 per adult per night and $12 per child per night.
  • If you stay in a Moderate, Deluxe, or Villas Resort: You’ll receive the Magic Your Way Plus Dining package for the price of a standard Magic Your Way package. You can upgrade to the Deluxe Dining Plan for $30 per adult per night and $10 per child per night most nights. Upgrade cost if you’re staying between December 17-21 is $25 per adult per night and $9 per child per night.
  • This offer must be booked by August 14, 2010, and the number of packages is limited (so book fast!)
  • Note: As long as you check in during a dedicated free dining period, you will have free dining throughout your stay — even if your stay extends into a black-out period.

To learn more about Disney World’s Dining Plans, check out our Disney World Dining Plans reference page!

To learn more about how to make dining reservations in Walt Disney World, check out our Advanced Dining Reservations reference page!

Cooking Classes for Adults at Downtown Disney July 10, 2010

Portobello, Fulton’s Crab House, and Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe are hosting a one day, progressive adults-only cooking class on Saturday, July 10th, 2010.

Where: Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe, Fulton’s Crab House, and Portobello in Disney World’s Downtown Disney
When: The progressive class will take place from 11 AM to 2:00 PM
Pricing: $59.95 per person

Adults will learn how make the restaurant’s signature recipes and will enjoy their own creations with complementing wine pairings.

Specs and Menu:

Wolfgang Puck Café
o Maryland Style Crab Cakes
o Paired with Concerto Grunerveltliner

Fulton’s Crab House
o St. Augustine, Florida Yellowtail Snapper
o En Papillote with Julienne Vegetables, lemon and Fresh Thyme
o Paired with Fulton’s White Wine

Portobello
o Panna Cotta with Florida Peaches
o Paired with Oltrepo Pavese Muscato Dolce

Space is limited and reservations are recommended by calling 407-828-8996.

Details on Grand Marnier Tasting at 2010 Epcot Food & Wine Festival

Scott Joseph Orlando is reporting a few more details on the Grand Marnier Tasting events that are scheduled to be part of the 2010 Epcot Food and Wine Festival‘s Taste, Shake, and Indulge series this year.

When: Saturdays in October from 2:30-4:30 PM at Bistro de Paris in Epcot’s France Pavilion.
What: The seminars will consist of tasting a full range of Grand Marnier liqueurs and a mini-class on how to shake and muddle Grand Marnier cocktails. Guests will be treated to Bistro de Paris-prepared flambeed crepes Suzette and frozen souffle glace.
Pricing: Cost will be $45 per person, including tax. Epcot admission is required and must be paid separately.
To Book: Call 407-WDW-FEST after 7AM on July 20th, 2010.

Be sure to check out our 2010 Epcot Food and Wine Festival page for more information and breaking news about this year’s events.

ESPN Club Review: Preserving What We’ve Got

Editor’s Note: As of May 2013, hot dogs are no longer being offered and the nachos are served with BBQ Pork.

In light of the news that the Walt Disney Company has already closed or will be closing most of the existing ESPN Zone restaurants, I thought it was timely to pay homage to the ESPN Club in Walt Disney World. This place happens to be a favorite of ours here on Disney Food Blog, seeing as it’s one of the only places to get my favorite food: Buffalo Chicken Wings.

Atmosphere
Located on Disney World’s Boardwalk, the ESPN Club is more than a restaurant — it’s a sports fan’s dream come true. With televisions everywhere showcasing current ESPN sports, classic sports, and more; a live studio right in the restaurant; and a huge game arcade under the same roof, there’s really no reason to leave once you arrive! Speaking of arriving, be sure to do so EARLY on game days — this place fills up fast.

The Place Can Get Pretty Busy on Game Day

Once you enter the restaurant, you get to choose whether you’ll sit in the dining room or the bar area. How to choose? Easy: if you want the potential to watch Mike and Mike in the Morning do their ESPN show, sit in the Dining Room, which doubles as a studio. If you want to play computer games and have your own personal [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: June 27, 2010

The Frito Kid

It’s been another big week in Disney Food news! Here are a few of our favorite stories from the past few days:

Also, just some quick reminders:
1. Disney Food Blog now has a Flickr GroupDisney Food Blog Photo Extravaganza! If you’re a flickr user, come peruse and post Disney Food pics!
2. The Disney Food Blog Foodie Fest is scheduled for October 3rd, 2010! Save the date, and sign up for The Disney Food Blog newsletter for all the latest updates on this and other Disney Food Blog events.

Now, on to the round-up!

Kevin Kidney, whose blog is one of the most interesting things in the Disney space, has sent me into Disney Food heaven with this post on the Frito Kid. You MUST (must, must, must) click this link of Jim Campbell’s Frito Kid “interactive experience.” Just drop the coin in the slot to sample a taste of Disney history. (Click here to read the history of the Frito Kid. To see more of Jim Campbell’s work, click here.)

Cookie Madness (hands-down one of my favorite baking blogs of all time) has put together a new recipe for Minnie’s Bakeshop Inspired cookies! Yum!

The Disney Blog has details on Adult Cooking Classes in Disney World’s Downtown Disney on July 10th, 2010! If you go, send pictures! :-)

Party Through the Parks has taken Drinking Around the World to a new level.

Main Street Gazette Heads to two rarely-open Magic Kingdom counter-service spots!

Scott Joseph Orlando shares a rumor that the Empress Room might make a reappearance — for one night — this Fall.

50's Prime Time Cafe Malted Milkshake

Touring Plans had a foodie kind of week on their blog! Two of my favorite bloggers showcased favorite treats in Disney World and a meal at the 50’s Prime Time Cafe!

The English Disney Blog reviews dinner at the California Grill.

Chip and Co. posted a video about the central Disneyland Resort bakery and the work they do throughout the resort.

WDW Public Affairs released info about a Disney World-sponsored Chef’s Gala raises $170,000 for a local United Way Chapter. Thanks to StitchKingdom.com for the tip.

The Disney Website has a couple of fun interactive games for kids that will help them learn about food groups and how to choose healthy foods. I liked Mickey’s Mess Hall and Lilo’s Luau — just watch the animation and click to train for and play the games.