Pre-Order the DFB Guide to the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival…and Get the 2014 Guide FREE!

Happy 20th Birthday, Epcot Food and Wine Festival!!

Food and Wine Festival Updates

Can you believe it? 2015 will mark the 20th Consecutive Year that Walt Disney World has hosted this event. What started as a way to draw crowds during a slower part of the year has officially become a huge draw and destination in its own right.

And even though it’s only (ONLY?!?) April, it is NEVER too early to start the countdown to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival! We’re already sharing who will be playing at the Eat to the Beat Concerts, so it’s definitely time to start booking your dates…

This year’s Festival will once again run a record number of days — more than seven full weeks of food, music, and special events! But with so much awesomeness to enjoy, my number one piece of advice remains the same: Plan, Plan, Plan. And then Plan some more.

And we have a fun and easy way for you to get started, even before the first menu or culinary demo is announced!

The DFB Guide to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival is now available for pre-order. (Expected publish date is mid-Summer 2015.) And when you enter discount code “CHEFS” at checkout, you’ll enjoy $3 off the cover price!

But AJ, Why Do I Want to Order the DFB Guide to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival Now?

I’m really glad that you asked! The biggest and best reason for you to pre-order your 2015 DFB Guide to the Food and Wine Festival is that you’ll get the 2014 Guide immediately for FREE!

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Brazil Marketplace Booth

Find out our best tips for visiting the World Showcase booths in the DFB Guide to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival e-Book!

That means that you can start planning today! And I promise, that is something that you totally want to do. Because when Culinary Demonstrations, Seminars, and Other Special Events are announced, it’s usually just days before booking opens — and then they book up super fast. Time is of the essence when you’re ready to book.

And with the Festival celebrating its 20th year, we already are expecting that it’s going to be truly over the top.

Chef Gale Gand

Events with Celebrity Chefs, Like This One with Chef Gale Gand, Book Up Extra Fast

We expect an expanded Marketplace offering, plus all kinds of Special Extras.

What does all of this add up to? If you’re ever going to plan a trip to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, then 2015 is the year to do it!!!

So, What Do You Get in the DFB Guide to the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival e-Book?

As is the case with all of our DFB Guides, we’re making this edition downloadable for your convenience, and it’s a snap to install on all of your mobile devices. The 2014 version is a PDF guide with over 220 pages of detailed information about the Festival as well as photographs and customized bonus items, and we expect the 2015 guide to weigh in at a similar heft.

If you’re on a budget, you’ll love our advice on how to [Read more…]

News! The Orange Bird Returns to Magic Kingdom — With SUPER Limited Time Merchandise

As you may know, there was a little switch-up in Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland a few months ago: Aloha Isle (home of the Dole Whip) and Sunshine Tree Terrace (Citrus Swirl haven) changed places to accommodate construction — it is widely believed — for an upcoming Jungle Cruise-themed restaurant.

New Sunshine Tree Terrace location

New Sunshine Tree Terrace location

On the day the “new” locations opened, however, there was one obvious thing missing: the Orange Bird could not be found at Sunshine Tree Terrace (to learn a little more about the Orange Bird’s long Adventureland history, check out the video in this post!).

Disney assured fans, thankfully, of his impending return, and it seems it has now come to pass. The original Orange Bird figurine returned today — Friday, May 29th — to Sunshine Tree Terrace (and he is going to be honored on the location’s sign as well).

Welcome back, Orange Bird!

Welcome back, Orange Bird!

To celebrate his homecoming, the Disney Parks online store is selling a LIMITED RUN t-shirt and poster featuring our little orange pal! Through June 4 only, this Orange Bird T-shirt will be available in an Adult and Youth size:

©Disney

©Disney

A print featuring the same design is up for grabs, and so is [Read more…]

Raglan Road (In Ireland!): How Recipes are Born

We are a couple days back from the Raglan Road Master Chef Class in Ireland! And after recovering a bit from the go-go-go pace and jet lag, I’d like to share with you a few more glimpses into my time there.

The Cooking School at Dunbrody House Hotel

The Cooking School at Dunbrody House Hotel

Today, we step into the kitchen to get behind-the-scenes insight into how Chef Kevin Dundon and his team create the recipes that we enjoy on Raglan Road’s menu and during special functions.

Creating the Recipes

If you followed along during our coverage of the #RaglanRoadTrip, then you know that Master Chef contest entrants were tasked with creating a three-course menu that would be featured at Raglan Road’s upcoming tenth anniversary celebration this October.

Sancerre and Irish Butter -- How Could We Go Wrong?

Sancerre and Irish Butter — How Could We Go Wrong?

As it turns out, this exercise set the stage for the curriculum in cooking school this week!

Chef Dundon took each of the finalists’ menus, chose one dish, and refined it. The resulting collaboration turned in five dishes that were at once original and recognizable — but also over-the-top delicious.

Chef Dundon Creates and Heather Takes Notes

Chef Dundon Creates and Heather Takes Notes

Watching the process was interesting in that it gave each of us the chance to see how recipe development for Raglan Road takes place.

Starting with the seed of the finalists’ recipes, Chef Dundon and the finalists experimented with the dishes and tweaked until they were just right. He cooked as the finalists took notes. And at the end of the day, each person tested how well they paid attention by cooking the dish all over again. (They all did great, by the way.)

One of the Dishes -- Flash Fried Oyster Butter Soup with Honey Foam

One of the Winning Dishes — Flash Fried Oyster Butter Soup with Honey Foam

I think the biggest takeaway for all of us was the concept of [Read more…]

News! 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Confirmed Booths, New Dishes, and More Details!

The Epcot Food and Wine Festival will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2015, and today, we’re starting to get an idea of what this year will include.

2015 Epcot Food and Wine Logo

We have updates on everything from food to new attractions, so let’s get to it!

NEW Booths and Dishes

While we anticipate lots and lots more announcements about new food items, we’re getting our very first glimpse of some eats that will debut in the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Booths!

The Scotland Booth is back and will debut a brand new drink, the Scottish Citrus Thistle!

A Grilled Sweet and Spicy Bush Berry Shrimp with Pineapple, Peppers, Onions and Snap Peas will be a highlight at the Australia Booth, and the New Zealand Booth will tempt guests with a Seared Venison Loin with Wild Mushroom Ragout and Kumara Dumpling.

Other new dishes will include Pepper Bacon Mac ‘n Cheese (what WHAT?!??!?) at the Farm Fresh Booth. But I super hope that amazing Hash returns in 2015!

Farm Fresh Marketplace

Farm Fresh Marketplace

Of course, we are crossing our fingers and hoping that plenty of dishes that we love return as well. We do know that the Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup is returning to the Canada Booth!

Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup

Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup Will Once Again Join the Festival Line Up

So we can breathe a collective sigh of relief there. :-)

New Special Events

We cannot wait to check out a brand new festival Premium Event — the French Family Meal Traditions Lunch, which will take place on Fridays and Sundays.

Parisian Breakfast

If the French Family Meal Traditions Lunch is Anything Like the Parisian Breakfast, We Can’t Wait!

A brand new premium party, the Rockin’ Burger Block Party, will also take place on select dates. More details to come about that one!

NEW Artists Debuting and Familiar Favorites Returning to Eat to the Beat Concert Series

Taking in an Eat to the Beat Concert as the sun goes down is a great way to enjoy your evening at the festival. And this year, we have some brand new acts to choose from.

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy Performing at Eat to the Beat

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy Performing at Eat to the Beat

New acts Tiffany, Everclear, Maxi Priest, and Chaka Khan will take the stage at the America Pavilion in 2015. They’ll be joined by several returning acts, including Wilson Phillips, Smash Mouth, The Pointer Sisters, Jo Dee Messina, Boyz II Men, and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.

To check out the FULL official line up, click over to our Eat to the Beat Concert Series Page!

Celebrity Chefs to Appear at the 2015 Food and Wine Festival

One of the most fun aspects of the festival is catching a low cost culinary demonstration with celebrity chefs. 2015 will see the return of many favorites. Look for Cat Cora, Robert Irvine, Jamie Deen, Rock Harper, Kenny Gilbert, and Buddy Valastro at Culinary Demos and Special Events.

Cake Boss, 2011 Sweet Sundays Event

Cake Boss, 2011 Sweet Sundays Event

Chef Cat Cora Book Signing at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Chef Cat Cora Book Signing at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival

The festival will also welcome back chef and cookbook author John Ash, who appeared at the very first festival in 1996!

Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak Scavenger Hunt

Also new for 2015 — everyone’s favorite rat chef Remy will be joining the party with [Read more…]

News (From Ireland)! Grass-Fed Irish Beef Coming Soon to Raglan Road

In the next couple of days, I’ll be bringing you more highlights from Disney Food Blog’s visit to Ireland with Chef Kevin Dundon from Raglan Road Irish Pub. Today, we’re taking a closer look at one of the food suppliers we’ve visited, which will very soon be supplying to Raglan Road in Orlando directly from Ireland!

Grass Fed Beef at Raglan Road

I was very interested in our stop at Paddy Murphy’s to learn more about how grass fed cattle are raised for beef in Ireland. And while there, we were treated to some exciting news — grass fed Irish beef is coming to Raglan Road in the very near future!

Paddy Murphy and Chef Kevin Dundon Discuss Grass Fed Beef with the Group

Paddy Murphy and Chef Kevin Dundon Discuss Grass Fed Beef with the Group

Since grass fed beef is highly regarded as a more humane treatment for the animals, and is much healthier for beef consumers, this is pretty exciting news.

But why now, you may ask? Well, up until very recently, there has been a ban on Irish beef coming into the United States. But when the ban was lifted earlier this year, it paved the way for Chef Dundon to do something he’s wanted to do for quite a while — showcase Irish beef at Raglan Road in Disney Springs.

Raglan Road is Bringing Irish Grass Fed Beef to Its Menu (Photo © Raglan Road)

Raglan Road is Bringing Irish Grass Fed Beef to Its Menu (Photo © Raglan Road)

In recent years, there has been a huge movement by many people to leave behind the more popular grain fed beef for grass fed varieties. The reasons for this are fairly simple: grass fed beef is higher in nutrients than grain fed beef. Cows have historically grazed for their diet, which consisted of grass and grass-like plants as well as shrubs. Introducing grain into a cow’s diet does quite a lot to fatten the animal and promote nicely marbled meat, but it wreaks havoc on the nutritional profile, since animals are what they eat.

Currently, Irish raised grass fed beef is running as [Read more…]

Reminder! Just a Few More Days to Get These Limited Time Discounts!

I hope you’re all having an amazing day on this Memorial Day Monday!

As we mark a time of remembrance this Memorial Day weekend, we also look forward to fun celebrations with family and friends as Summer gets underway! And if you’re like me, that means one thing — vacation is JUST around the corner!

I wanted to remind you that here at DFB we’ve got some fantastic discounts on our best-selling DFB Disney World Dining Guidebooks for a limited time to celebrate all of the fun trips planned ahead!

Believe it or not, it’s already time to start making those Advance Dining Reservations! And we’re going to help you make sure you choose the best restaurants Disney has to offer. There are hundreds, after all!

We have three great offers for you to choose from! Read on for all the details, but hurry — you can only take advantage of these savings through Saturday, May 30!

dfb2015_guide_3d

Discount #1: $5 Off The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2015

Our fully guaranteed, comprehensive e-Book offers more than 490 full-color pages to help you plan your very best Disney World trip ever!

With reviews, tips, expert advice, and hundreds of color photographs, you’ll get the biggest bang for your planning buck! And our handy e-Book format has been completely updated for your 2015-16 Disney World vacation.

Inside the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2015, you’ll find:

  • A 5-Step Strategy for Disney Dining Planning, covering everything you need to know from budgeting and booking to kids’ meals, dining discounts, and fireworks. 5 simple steps and you’re done!
  • A comprehensive and in-depth look at EVERY Disney World restaurant, kiosk, bar, and lounge, including our personal tips to ensure a positive and stress-free dining experience.
  • Four free, [Read more…]

Update: Raglan Road Master Chef Competition

It’s a big week for us here at Disney Food Blog! While AJ has been busy reporting to you LIVE from the kickoff of Disneyland’s 60th Anniversary Celebration, I’m in Ireland with Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant!

Cod Cornucopia at Raglan Road Irish Pub in Disney Springs

Cod Cornucopia at Raglan Road Irish Pub in Disney Springs

But what does that have to do with Disney, Brooke?

Haha — Excellent question!

As we previously reported, Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant will celebrate its Tenth Anniversary this Fall, and they’re doing it up BIG! To mark the occasion, they sponsored a Raglan Road Master Chef Contest. Read more about it here.

Welp — the five finalists have traveled to Ireland to spend time soaking up the atmosphere, fine tuning their culinary skills, and honing their attention to detail with Master Chef Kevin Dundon!

Raglan Road tries to bring a slice of authentic, contemporary Ireland straight to Walt Disney World. We see it in the decor of the pub and their menu. We’ve had the opportunity to dine at some of Chef Kevin Dundon’s favorite spots that provide inspiration for the menus at Raglan Road, including brunch at Herb Street in the heart of Dublin.

Herb Street in the Heart of Dublin

Herb Street in the Heart of Dublin

But I couldn’t leave Dublin without a stroll on Raglan Road, the street that inspired the poem…that inspired the song…that inspired the Pub that we all know and love.

Raglan Road. Like, the Real Place.

Raglan Road. Like, the Real Place.

Today, we leave Dublin and head for County Wexford, where we’ll spend time watching the Raglan Road master chef finalists hone their skills at Chef Kevin Dundon’s Dunbrody Country House Hotel. Hopefully we’ll get to know what makes Raglan Road tick.

Thanks for following along!

I’m traveling to Ireland on behalf of Disney Food Blog, courtesy of Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant, but my opinions and viewpoints are my own. Please see our disclosure policy for more information.

LIVE News: Food and Fun at the Disney Parks 24-Hour Events!

Two MAJOR events are kicking off today at Disney Parks on both coasts in a BIG way!

IMG_4605

Both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure on the west coast and Disney World’s Magic Kingdom on the east coast are pulling all-nighters once again! All three parks are open today, May 22nd, from 6 am and they’re not closing until the following morning at 6 am.

That means 24 straight hours of fun and FOOD!

That’s right… the 24-Hour Day that started in 2012 for One More Disney Day continued in 2013 to launch a Monstrous Summer. Last year we Rocked our Disney Side, and now what was originally presumed to be a one-time gig is now a start-of-summer tradition!

Things are working a little differently this year, though, thanks to the 60th Birthday of Disneyland. While folks in Disney World are kicking off the “Coolest Summer Ever,” Disneyland guests will begin the official celebration of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration!

As for us here at the DFB, we’re celebrating BOTH! We’ll be updating this post throughout the day with pics from our awesome DFB Readers, as well as MY pictures from right here in Walt’s original park, Disneyland!

Oh, and… HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to the Happiest Place on Earth!

Happy 60th Anniversary, Disneyland!

Happy 60th Anniversary, Disneyland!

Disneyland

Disneyland

Sleeping Beauty Castle

Sleeping Beauty Castle with BLING!

Disneyland

Check out the pre-opening crowds (and the 24 Hour MICKEY EARS!!) in the early wee hours ready for the party to start at Disneyland!! Many thanks to Bill Cody (@VegasBiLL) for the pics!

Disneyland pre-opening

Disneyland pre-opening

Disneyland pre-opening

Disneyland pre-opening

TWENTY-FOUR HOURS!!

Hours of operation

Hours of operation

Open at 6 am

Open at 6 am!

Look who got all dressed up for the big Diamond Celebration!

Diamond Celebration Mickey Candy Apple

Diamond Celebration Mickey Candy Apple

And I’m loving Minnie’s beautiful diamond bow!

Diamond Celebration Minnie Candy Apple

Diamond Celebration Minnie Candy Apple

Diamond Celebration Krispy Treats

Mickey and Minnie Diamond Celebration Krispy Treats

And I know this is just a cup… but it is SO NOT just a cup! Disneyland guests will be spotting these beauties for their beverages!

Diamond Celebration Cups

Diamond Celebration Cups

What the Specialty 24-Hour Celebration Dopey Cupcake says is totally true…

"Being Up All Night Makes Me Dopey"

“Being Up All Night Makes Me Dopey”

2015 24 Hour Event Logo

2015 24 Hour Event Logo

Don’t forget that special treats are [Read more…]

Memorial Day Sale! DFB Disney World Guidebook Discounts for a Limited Time!

As we mark a time of remembrance this Memorial Day weekend, we also look forward to fun celebrations with family and friends as Summer gets underway! And if you’re like me, that means one thing — vacation is JUST around the corner!

Whether you’re planning a trip to Walt Disney World during the busy Summer season, or you have your eyes set on a Fall Food and Wine Festival Trip or a Holiday Extravaganza, we know one thing for sure: you need to make some plans.

Believe it or not, it’s already time to start making those Advance Dining Reservations! And we’re going to help you make sure you choose the best restaurants Disney has to offer. There are hundreds, after all!

We have three great offers for you to choose from! Read on for all the details, but hurry — you can only take advantage of these savings through Saturday, May 30!

dfb2015_guide_3d

The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2015

Our fully guaranteed, comprehensive e-Book offers more than 490 full-color pages to help you plan your very best Disney World trip ever!

With reviews, tips, expert advice, and hundreds of color photographs, you’ll get the biggest bang for your planning buck! And our handy e-Book format has been completely updated for your 2015-16 Disney World vacation.

Inside the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2015, you’ll find:

  • A 5-Step Strategy for Disney Dining Planning, covering everything you need to know from budgeting and booking to kids’ meals, dining discounts, and fireworks. 5 simple steps and you’re done!
  • A comprehensive and in-depth look at EVERY Disney World restaurant, kiosk, bar, and lounge, including our personal tips to ensure a positive and stress-free dining experience.
  • Four free, [Read more…]

We Want To See YOUR 24-Hour Disney Day Pics This Friday!

It’s almost 24-Hour Disney Party Time!

What started a couple of years ago seems to be turning into a tradition as we celebrate the third annual 24-Hour Disney Day at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.

Stay Up All Night with These Guys -- and Me! ©Disney

Stay Up All Night with These Guys — and Me! ©Disney

And we can’t wait to experience it!

We’ll be bringing you LIVE coverage from the ground in California as they celebrate the kickoff of the 60th Anniversary Celebration of Disneyland.

But we want our readers to get in on the fun, too — so I’d love to showcase all of your fun shots from the 24 Hour Disney Day! Who’s game??

To participate, send me your pictures AND reviews to webmaster@disneyfoodblog.com, twitter, instagram (tagging @disneyfoodblog) and/or facebook!

We’ll be live blogging and updating our post as all of the new stuff continues to pour in!!

I WILL be trying this Mocha Chip Funnel Cake in Disneyland on Friday! ©Disney

I WILL be trying this Mocha Chip Funnel Cake in Disneyland on Friday! ©Disney

So remember, join us for all the fun as we [Read more…]