Best of the Fest: What to Eat at the 2016 Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival

I’m back after a whirlwind visit to Disneyland this past weekend — and it was all to check out (and present at!!) the 2016 Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival!

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The Festival, which has been on hiatus since 2010, made a surprise comeback this Spring. And we are so thrilled! We gave you a first look a few days ago, and now we’re back to share more! [Read more…]

Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival FIRST LOOK!

Woo-hoo! We were SO excited to hear that the California Adventure Food and Wine Festival was coming out of hiatus this year. And I’m thrilled to report that it’s AWESOME!

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Yep — the festival, which runs in Disney California Adventure in Disneyland Resort on weekends through May 1, opened for business yesterday. And DFB was there to explore!

Food and Wine Festival Signage

Food and Wine Festival Signage

Yesterday, we mostly explored the brand new food booths that are debuting at the festival for the first time. Those of you familiar with the Epcot Food and Wine Festival in Walt Disney World will know the set-up. Small booths featuring several tapas-sized menu items and selected beverages are set up around the festival. This is the first time that the California festival has done this, so we were super excited to check it out.

Here’s what we sampled and tasted yesterday!

[Read more…]

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Recipe: Shrimp on the Barbie from the Australia Booth

We’re still months away from the 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival but it’s always fun to look back at favorite dishes from the past years!

Food and Wine 2015 Info Graphic Square URL

We loved these Shrimp on the Barbie with Pepper Berry Citrus Glaze way back in 2012 and we’ve had a few reader requests for the recipe too!

Now it might be a wee bit cold in your neck of the woods for grilling outside but you can use a grill pan on the stove for this recipe and it’ll be just as delicious! Plus, the pepperberry sauce is delightfully spicy so it’s the perfect dish to whip up on a cold winter day!

We love exotic-sounding dishes that are actually really easy cook, and this Shrimp on the Barbie recipe is right up our alley! The shrimp would make a great, quick appetizer for a dinner party or a spicy side dish with pasta or steak.

Let’s get cooking and throw a few shrimp on the barbie!

Shrimp on the Barbie with Pepper Berry Citrus Glaze

Shrimp on the Barbie with Pepper Berry Citrus Glaze

Ingredients: [Read more…]

News: Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort Discounts — Just in Time for the Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Will you be heading to Walt Disney World to celebrate the beginning of the 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival? Then you’ll be excited to hear about this special deal!

Swan and Dolphin Causeway

Swan and Dolphin Causeway

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort has announced special savings for guests who book rooms from August 22 to September 30. That’s perfect timing for a Labor Day Weekend getaway, or to kick off the Food and Wine Festival, which begins September 14! [Read more…]

Photo Tour: The 2016 Grand Floridian Resort Chocolate Easter Egg Display

It’s time once again to celebrate a GRAND tradition… the Fifth Annual Easter Egg Display at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort!

Grand Floridian Easter Egg

Grand Floridian Easter Egg

And it’s become something of a tradition for us here at the DFB to share them with you in case your spring break plans don’t include a visit to Disney World this year. (If they DO, you’ll want to note that the Eggs are on display through April 4th.) [Read more…]

Guest Review: Star Wars Symphony in the Stars Dessert Party at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

The Force is strong at Symphony in the Stars, a Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party! Beth Wesesky, guest author, takes us to this hard ticket event at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. No faster-than-light travel necessary. ;)

A short time ago…in a state far, far away…
Nerd, geek, dweeb, scruffy-looking Nerfherder… any way you describe it, my family and I are proud Star Wars fanatics! So, on our most recent trip to Walt Disney World, we just KNEW that we had to get our “fix”! That “fix” included booking reservations for the “Symphony in the Stars, A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party” held in Disney’s Hollywood Studios on select nights through April 30th, 2016.

Symphony in the Stars

Symphony in the Stars

The day the reservation window opened, I made the jump to hyperspace and booked our party! Admission price is $69.00 for adults and $39.00 for children ages 3-9 and Hollywood Studios admission is required. Disney Dining Plan entitlements may not be used and prepayment with a credit card is required.

The party is described on the Walt Disney World website as: The Dessert Party You’re Looking For! Enjoy an out-of-this-world selection of desserts and specialty drinks—including alcoholic beverage options. Nibble on Darth Vader cupcakes as you take in an up-close view of the enthralling Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular Fireworks Show.

A Galactic Evening

A Galactic Evening

Atmosphere

We arrived in Disney’s Hollywood Studios around 6PM on January 24th, and headed for the Dessert Party check-in, which is located beside Min and Bill’s Dockside Diner. We were checked in by a lovely Cast Member who instructed us to return closer to 7PM. We were given a wrist band to present at the entrance when we returned.

Around 6:45PM, we headed back to an already very long line of party-goers waiting to be admitted to the viewing area. The viewing area was set up on the left side of Center Stage, in the hub of the park. The tables were standing tables, draped with black and red (nice Dark Side touch) tablecloths that just touched the ground. Keep in mind, there is no seating available, but the area is spacious and comfortable. Besides, once the fireworks begin, you’ll be on your feet in awe! The evening of our party, the temperature was about 38 degrees (brrrrr…), so Disney had several heat sources set up in the area to keep guests from shivering through the show!

Standing Tables

Standing Tables

Dessert Party Tables

Dessert Party Tables

Before the event got started, park-goers were entertained by an awesome light show and DJ who was playing modern dance tune mixes, which everyone enjoyed! As soon as we got into the viewing area, we headed for a table near the front to get a clear view of the fireworks. There were some trees blocking a bit of the view for other tables, but I’m sure this wasn’t a deal breaker.

Eats

We made the table our own, and went off to scope out the offerings! WOW…I’ve got to say, we were very impressed with not only the taste of the desserts and savory bites, but also with the presentation and layout as well! There were two food buffet stations, one on either side of the viewing area. Each station had the same selections, and it made navigating the area very stress-free. No bumping into other people reaching over you for food!

The sweet dessert options that were beautifully displayed on the stations included: Blue Milk Panna Cotta with Crispy Pearls (our 15-year old son’s favorite), “Darth Maul” The Pastry Menace Eclairs, [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland: The Banana Corn Dog from DCA’s Award Wieners

First off, if you have yet to see Disney’s Zootopia, get out there and do it!  My whole family loved the movie.  It’s fun for all ages including temperamental, too cool for school tweens and teenagers.  Secondly, if you love bananas, we hope you got over to California Adventure’s Award Wieners to celebrate the movie with a Banana Corn Dog.

Award Wieners

Award Wieners

Located in DCA’s Hollywood Land, Award Wieners is a counter service hot dog spot currently offering (today is the last day!) the specialty Banana Corn Dog in honor of Zootopia’s release.

Zootopia Banana Corn Dog & Sipper Offerings

Zootopia Banana Corn Dog & Souvenir Tumbler Offerings

The Banana Corn Dog is actually two small banana corn dogs.  My guess is that they prepare it this way because a whole banana might get too mushy when fried and wouldn’t hold its shape.  The bananas are dipped in Corn and Honey Batter, fried, and topped with Powdered Sugar.  Two dipping sauces are served with the banana corn dogs: Red “Pawpsicle” Raspberry Sauce and Chocolate Sauce.

[Read more…]

Best of the Fest: What to Eat at the 2016 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

There’s a lot to love about Epcot during just about every season. With the Epcot Food and Wine Festival in the Fall, and Holidays Around the World celebrating Winter holidays, this has truly become a festival Park!

But Spring in the park is especially beautiful as the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival gets going. (I know. It doesn’t feel like Spring everywhere. But trust me. It does in Florida.)

Flower and Garden Festival

The Flower and Garden Festival, which runs through May 30, opened last week, and we were there for the very first day! After an afternoon of Eating and Drinking Around the World, we came away with pictures of all of the dishes — and more than a few new favorites! Today, we’d like to share with you our Best of the Fest — our top picks from the new dishes that you can enjoy when you visit this year’s Festival.

Jerk-spice Grouper (or Chicken) from La Isla Fresca

La Isla Fresca debuted at the 2016 Flower and Garden Festival, and it brings with it the fresh flavors of the Caribbean. Everything that we tasted here was a winner!

La Isla Fresca Dishes

La Isla Fresca Dishes

But we especially liked the option to choose between Jerked Grouper or Chicken (although we went for both! :-D) But seriously — not everyone is a fish lover, and not all folks eat chicken. So having a dish where you can decide, but still enjoy the flavors, is a great idea! [Read more…]

Guest Review: Club Villain at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Are you ready for some Club Villain Thrills?! DFB welcomes guest author AM Appleby with a review of Club Villain at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Let’s take a look at this Walt Disney World event that has now been extended with dates into March 2016!

What is our fascination with villains? Do they perceive themselves as villainous or simply misunderstood? Whatever your reasons, the four villainous characters at this Club Villain in Disney’s Hollywood Studios are well worth your time!

Club Villain Marquis

Club Villain Marquis

Club Villain

Club Villain

As soon as they became available last fall, I purchased tickets to the newest Disney villain bash, Club Villain. My seven-year-old daughter and I enjoyed the last villains party at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Villains Unleashed, in August 2014, but Club Villain was a complete departure (it is still a hard ticket event at $129 per person, tax and gratuity included).

The wait time to meet Maleficent at Villains Unleashed was four hours at the start of the party. Needless to say, we didn’t wait for her that evening. I honestly knew nothing about Club Villain when I purchased, I was just excited for another villains event!

Atmosphere

Club Villain takes place in Sunset Showcase, located just behind Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. The venue was indoors, which was lovely on the rainy evening we attended, and included a full buffet dinner and two bars serving wine, beer, and a signature cocktail specially created for each villain. Host Dr. Facilier, and his club manager Kanzo, kept everyone entertained. Music throughout the evening was provided by DJ Thibodeaux, creating a loud and festive Mardi Gras atmosphere. The food was inspired by traditional New Orleans cuisine, and I will tell you now — it was delicious!

Stage

Stage

DJ Thibodeaux Booth

DJ Thibodeaux Booth

Dr. Facilier

Dr. Facilier

The check-in podium was located in the front of the building. We arrived 20 minutes prior to our 7:45PM reservation time (there was one seating time the evening we attended), and we were given our invitation, which included our table number and scheduled times to meet the characters: Cruella de Vil, The Evil Queen, Maleficent, and the Queen of Hearts.

Invitation with Table Number and Meet the Villains times

Invitation with Table Number and Meet the Villains times

All of the guests were welcomed into the building promptly at 7:30PM, where the DJ was already spinning tunes. The food was [Read more…]