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The “DFB Guide to the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival” Grand Launch and Discount!

We’re thrilled to announce the grand launch of the DFB Guide to the 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival e-Book! With over 220 pages and multiple bonus items, it’s pretty substantial! And just in time to make your plans — general public booking begins on July 31st!

2014 Food and Wine Guide 3D

In honor of our grand launch, we have a discount option for DFB readers (as always!). You can get the new mini-guide for $3 off the regular price for a limited time — just use code MENUS at the check-out!

The DFB Guide to the 2014 Epcot Food & Wine Festival e-Book

The DFB Guide to the 2014 Epcot Food & Wine Festival e-Book features all the info you need to know before you attend the Food and Wine Festival this year, from what’s NEW this year to touring strategies — and a new section with top tips on how to use MyMagic+ at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

And with the Epcot Food & Wine festival rapidly approaching, the time is now! Booking for festival events opens July 31st at 7AM ET, and our exclusive daily schedule of events is the most efficient way to plan your festival strategy. (Did you purchase a pre-order of the DFB Guide to the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival and not receive your book? Let us know at Support@DFBGuide.com!)

With a detailed schedule of seminars and events for every single day of the festival, it’s a quick, easy way to decide what activities and events you want to book! Don’t waste time flipping between web pages, PDFs, and websites — just find the date you need and we’ve got it all right there in front of you. Just like that!

Find Everything That’s Going On During Your Visit in our FULL Daily Schedule of Events!

As always, we’ve made this guide instantly downloadable for your convenience, and easily installed on your mobile devices. It’s a PDF guide with

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Review: Croissant Berry Bread Pudding at Sunshine Seasons in Epcot’s Land Pavilion

When it comes to Disney World, sometimes I think there are morning park people and there are night park people.

I’ve always considered myself a night park person… I’m always up for a viewing of any of the nighttime spectaculars, and I’ve never been able to pick a favorite out of Illuminations, Wishes, or Fantasmic!

And the lights on the buildings on Main Street or the torches surrounding World Showcase only add to atmosphere. Plus, the blazing Florida sun has set, so you know… bonus!

But even I have to admit that sometimes the early bird really does catch the worm. Check out this unbelievably peaceful atmosphere for an early morning breakfast of Croissant Berry Pudding at Epcot’s Sunshine Seasons!

Early morning at Sunshine Seasons

Early morning at Sunshine Seasons

Sunshine Seasons Sign

Sunshine Seasons Sign

Can’t you just hear the music from Soarin’ somewhere in the back of your mind :) ?

Anyway, while the crowds are lining up for their morning java over at Fountain View (Starbucks) Cafe, Sunshine Seasons has a few great A.M. treasures (available until 11:00AM) that shouldn’t be overlooked.

You can find plenty of bakery pastries alongside hot breakfast dishes, including an Egg and Bacon Breakfast Panini; a full Breakfast Platter featuring eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes, and a biscuit; and – the reason for today’s visit – a Croissant Berry Bread Continue reading →

News! FULL 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Menus and Booths Announced!

Shazam!! The 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival FULL Booth Menus are now available!

Menus graphic

See the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Menus and Start Planning!

As always, we have individual pages created for every single booth for this year’s Festival, including the menu and food photos of many of the dishes!

Head over to our 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Booth Menus and Photos page to see the full booth menus!

While we wait together for the beginning of this year’s Food and Wine Festival, I’ll share some of the brand new items we can’t wait to try this year!

Some things that we are most excited about for 2014 are:

The NEW Patagonia Booth will merge the flavors of Argentina and Chile! We look forward to sampling Sustainable Roasted Verlasso salmon, Quinoa Salad and Arugula Chimichurri, in addition to other regional specialties!

Salmon Quinoa Salad with Chimi-Churri at the NEW Patagonia Marketplace Booth

Salmon Quinoa Salad with Chimi-Churri at the NEW Patagonia Marketplace Booth

After a hiatus during the 2013 Food and Wine Festival, we’re excited that the Continue reading →

News! 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Culinary Demos and Beverage Seminar Details

Today, we are excited to share details for the Culinary Demonstrations and Beverage Seminars that will take place during the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

Food and Wine Festival Updates

With not a moment to spare (whew!) we now have details on the low-cost demos and seminars that are one of the hallmarks of the Festival. Everyone is anxious to see what’s available, and to book their favorites (starting July 31st for general public; July 25th for Annual Passholders, DVC members, Golden Oak Residents, and Tables in Wonderland Members; and July 29th for Chase Disney Visa Cardmembers)!

Not only do the demos and seminars represent good value; they also offer some of the most interesting educational and cultural options that guests enjoy during the Festival.

Click through to our Culinary and Beverage Seminars and Demonstrations page to see links to the Culinary, Beverage, and Mixology events.

All seminars and demos are $15 this year, and feature a mix of talent from the culinary world. You’ll find celebrity chefs as well as standout talent from throughout the Walt Disney World company — and beyond. And representatives from wineries and other beverage companies make learning about wine and spirits a hands-on experience with tastings.

Presenter During a Mixology Seminar

Presenter During a Mixology Seminar

There will be many familiar names returning in 2014, so check the details to find out when guest favorites like Gale Gand, Robert Irvine, and Carla Hall take the stage! With demos and seminars taking place daily during the Festival, you’re bound to find options that tempt your palate!

As always, stay tuned to DisneyFoodBlog.com, the DFB Newsletter, and our DFB Food and Wine Festival Fans Facebook Page for all the details as soon as they happen!

Booking and Discounts

You can book most of the events on Continue reading →

News! 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Cookbook Will Combine All Three Epcot Festivals

It’s one of our favorite souvenirs at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. We line up every year to get the latest edition of the Festival Cookbook!

food and wine festival logo

But this year, Disney will do things a little differently.

For the first time ever, the cookbook that’s released in time for the Epcot Food and Wine Festival will feature all three Festivals that now call Epcot home.

The 2014 version of the book will combine recipes from the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival, and Epcot’s latest celebration of food, Holidays Around the World.

Piggylicious Bacon Cupcake From Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival --- Think This Popular Treat Will Make It In to the New Festival Cookbook?

Piggylicious Bacon Cupcake From Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival — Think This Popular Treat Will Make It In to the New Festival Cookbook?

While the Epcot Food and Wine Festival has always been

Continue reading →

Guest Review: Whispering Canyon Café Breakfast at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

The Wilderness Lodge at Walt Disney World is a fabulous escape! Even if you’re not staying at this inspiring resort, we highly recommend making an Advance Dining Reservation for the Whispering Canyon Café. Today, guest author Rebecca Elliott shares a breakfast review.

We like to eat breakfast at the Whispering Canyon Café when we stay at the Wilderness Lodge. It’s convenient, the portions are hearty, and there’s usually no wait for a table. (Even so, get the Advance Dining Reservation – just in case! You never know!)

Atmosphere

My family and I love staying at the Wilderness Lodge. The hotel is modeled after the Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone National Park, a historic landmark built in 1904. Its lobby is inspired by the Pacific Northwest and is absolutely stunning.

Like most of Disney’s deluxe hotels, the Wilderness Lodge has three levels of dining options: counter service, family-ish, and fancy schmancy. Whispering Canyon Café is the moderately priced (for Disney) family restaurant located just off the hotel lobby.

The View of the Breath Taking Wilderness Lodge Lobby

The View of the Breath Taking Wilderness Lodge Lobby

The Dining Features Graphics and Elements of a Child's Playroom in the 50's

The Dining Features Graphics and Elements of a Child’s Playroom in the 50′s

The décor of the Whispering Canyon Café reminds me of a little boy’s bedroom in the 50’s. It’s decked out in a cowboy and Indian motif with a Lincoln log-like ceiling and a floor that looks like a homemade quilt.

The Chairs Are Adorned with Cowboys and Indians

The Chairs Are Adorned with Cowboys and Indians

Here Are the Cowboys and Lincoln Log Ceiling

Here Are the Cowboys and Lincoln Log Ceiling

The wait staff take on the persona of wayward cowboys out to have a good time. They encourage diners to take part in their hijinks, which include singing, pony races, and general tomfoolery.

Chandeliers are Adorned with Buffalo Cut Outs

Chandeliers are Adorned with Buffalo Cut Outs

Here’s where I am going to abide by the old honesty-is-the-best-policy rule: I’m not a huge fan of the wait staff’s antics. Many, many people (including my husband and daughter) love it. They play along and find the jokes entertaining. I hate to say it, but they’re just not that funny to me. Not all of the servers are good at improvisation, so watching a non-funny person trying to be funny can be uncomfortable.

When They Say Large, They Mean LARGE

When They Say Large, They Mean LARGE

The entertainment can also be physical, and some people don’t like that. The servers throw straws and napkins on diners; if you order ketchup, they bring you all the bottles in the restaurant; they also slap diners on the back and try their best to throw funny insults. The good news for me is, the shtick doesn’t start until after 8:45am.

Every time I’ve eaten breakfast there, it hasn’t been too crazy. I’ve heard that diners can ask not to participate in the hijinks, but I’ve also heard that can backfire and cause even more unwanted attention. Beware! (Editor’s Note: If you’d rather not take part in the antics, let the cast member know at check-in that your table wants to be left out of the “fun.” It’s not Disney’s goal to make their guests uncomfortable, and the cast member should pass your wishes on to your server.)

Ready for Service!

Ready for Service!

Eats

We’ve eaten breakfast at Whispering Canyon Café many times, and every time it’s been good. Drinks are served in mason jars and meals at lunch and dinner are served in cast iron skillets!

Despite my ambivalence about their style, the servers are all efficient, excellent at answering questions about the menu, and very accommodating of special dietary needs. Here’s what we had on our last visit:

My daughter ordered the Belgian waffle. We’re all huge fans of Mickey waffles, so we were thrilled to see it was a Continue reading →

Orlando’s Magical Dining Month is Back This September!

Once again, if you’re planning to visit Walt Disney World during the month of September, you can take advantage of Orlando Magical Dining Month! And this year, the discounts actually start six days early during a brand-new Preview Week!

Magical Dining Month 2014 Logo-001

Mark your calendars for August 25 — September 30. During that time, guests can enjoy prix-fixe menus at more than 75 Orlando Area Restaurants — including a few at Disney-area spots!

Dinners at all of the restaurants will feature three courses from a set menu for $33. And even better — $1 from each dinner will go to benefit the Foundation for Foster Children!

La Luce Butterscotch Pudding - YUM!

La Luce Butterscotch Pudding – YUM!

If you’re Disney-bound during this time and would like to take advantage of the savings while dining on property, check out the offerings from these participating restaurants!

Il Mulino

Il Mulino, located at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin, offers some of the best Italian fare that we’ve enjoyed in Walt Disney World. Check out a review of our recent visit!

Il Mulino Magical Dining Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Il Mulino Magical Dining Menu

La Luce by Donna Scala

You’ll find La Luce by Donna Scala at Hilton Bonnet Creek Resort. The menu features Continue reading →

Review: New Items (and a Classic) at Kringla Bakeri og Kafe in Epcot’s Norway Pavilion

We are checking out some new finds — and taking a look at an old favorite! — at Kringla Bakeri og Kafe.

This quaint (read: tiny) spot in Epcot’s Norway Pavilion has a big cult following for interesting pastries and sandwiches. And it’s a great spot to try something a little out of the ordinary on your Drink Around the World stroll — Aquavit!

But today, we’re a sampling a few sweet treats that are new to us, plus one snack that we absolutely can’t visit Kringla without getting! Three guesses? ;-)

Let’s take a closer look.

Frozen Bundt Cake

Our first item is another entry into the wildly popular Frozen food team! It’s a Frozen-themed Bundt Cake.

You’d have to imagine that Elsa and Anna had a hand in putting this one together, since they both love chocolate. (Smart women that they are.)

It doesn’t look all that spectacular, does it? Just rich, Dark Chocolate Cake, Blue Icing, Coarse Sugar for a little crunch, and a Frozen Souvenir Ring in the shape of a snowflake.

Frozen Dessert

Frozen Bundt Cake

But it’s ah-MA-zing! I was shocked. I left it to eat until last as I thought it would be forgettable. But it super wasn’t. In fact, I still haven’t forgotten about it, and hope it’s there when I go back to Disney World next!

Frozen Dessert -- Cross Section

Frozen Bundt Cake — Cross Section

Just look at the dense, decadent cake! You actually don’t need frosting. (Whaaaa? Did I just say that??) It’s almost like a cross between a cake and fudge. So good!

Brown Goat Cheese Waffle

The next new treat I tried was the Brown Goat Cheese Waffle. I love Cheese, and I love the Waffles here at Kringla. So hey, why not?

The waffle is filled and topped with a traditional Norwegian Cheese called Ekte Geitost. It’s a type of Brunost, or “Brown Cheese” made from goat’s milk. The cheese is produced by boiling together milk, cream, and whey, until the sugars caramelize, giving the cheese its distinctive brown color and sweet flavor. See? You learned something today!

Goat Cheese Waffle Topping

Brown Goat Cheese Waffle Display

Here’s my Brown Goat Cheese Waffle, freshly made. You can see the Continue reading →

Review: Espresso Gelato “Affogato” in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion

We’re in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion, and that means it’s GELATO TIME!!!

Unless, of course, it’s pizza time, but for now we’re just going to focus on the sweet stuff :).

Italy’s simple Gelato Stand is located just before you enter the Pavilion coming from Germany.

Gelato Stand

Gelato Stand

We’ve enjoyed grabbing Gelato Ice Cream Sandwiches during a stroll or two around World Showcase, and you can always get a scoop of your choice of gelato in a cone or cup.

Gelato Selections

Gelato Selections

But there are some additional items on the menu as well. For instance, the Coppa Delizia pretty much rocked our world. Given that bit of awesomeness, we were curious to try one of the other “Gelato Creations” (designated as such on the menu): the Espresso Gelato “Affogato.”

Gelato Stand menu

Gelato Stand menu

I’m going to steal the description directly from the menu: this creation is “Italian Espresso poured over Fior di Latte Gelato topped with chocolate coffee beans.” And here’s what it looks like:

Espresso Gelato Affogato

Espresso Gelato Affogato

You’re getting a few treats in one here: a scoop of vanilla gelato, a shot of espresso, and several accompaniments: two simple cookies, chocolate coffee beans, and a wafer “straw”. By the way, am I right that the cookies stuck just so into the scoop of gelato make a Mickey?

Mickey?

Is that you, Mickey?

Affogato means “drowned,” and that pretty much sums up the consistency of this gelato creation. The weird thing is, even though Continue reading →

Review: Lunch at Landscape of Flavors in Disney World’s Art of Animation Resort

Today, we are taking in lunch at one of Disney’s newer counter service locations, Landscape of Flavors at the Art of Animation Resort.

Landscape of Flavors took Walt Disney World by storm when it opened a couple of years ago. It was similar to other value resort counter service spots and food courts, in that it offered quick service food from various stations. But right from the start, Landscape of Flavors offered fresh flavors and customizable options that set it apart.

And with it, there came a bit of a wait.

Today, we’re heading back to see what is the same, what has changed, and if the wait times for food that we feared have come to pass.

Let’s head in!

Atmosphere

One of the most interesting things about Landscape of Flavors is its entrance. You actually access the restaurant through the Ink and Paint Gift Shop.

You Shop Your Way Through the Ink and Paint Shop to Get to Landscape of Flavors

You Shop Your Way Through the Ink and Paint Shop to Get to Landscape of Flavors

Go past the wares, and here you are!

Landscape of Flavors Sign

Landscape of Flavors Sign

Seating is ample, to say the least. More than 500 spots await you once you receive your food, and there are more tables and chairs outside.

Seating

Seating

The beautiful lights overhead are painted to represent scenes from each of the four films highlighted at the resort: Finding Nemo, Cars, Lion King, and The Little Mermaid.

Overhead Lights

Overhead Lights

I know that was a pretty quick tour of the surroundings, but I promise you there’s a lot to look at in the ordering area! So let’s get to it.

Eats

Like many other Disney food court-type counter service spots (think Everything Pop or Sunshine Seasons), Landscape of Flavors offers different stations for different types of food. The difference here is that the options have an international flair that’s a little more interesting than some other spots.

But don’t worry; there are flavors to appeal to picky and discriminating eaters alike.

During breakfast, stations change up with morning meal options. Today, we’re taking a look at a few of the stations you’ll find for lunch and dinner. I was visiting for lunch at the time.

The name of the game here is customization! Nearly everything can be made according to what you like. You can order a custom salad from the Salad Station.

Salad Station

Salad Station

I absolutely love their Create Your Own Pasta Station! I had one of my favorite meals here on a recent trip.

Create Your Own Pasta Station

Create Your Own Pasta Station

I also snapped a picture of the Continue reading →