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Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic: Highlights

More food and bev fun at Walt Disney World! The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic returns with seminars, tastings, sweets, and beverages for another year.

2014 Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic Thumbnail Logo

The Fifth Annual Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic will be held Friday, October 31, and Saturday, November 1, 2014, from 5:30 – 9:00PM at the Swan and Dolphin Resorts in Walt Disney World. The resorts are just a short walk from Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, making this event a convenient add-on to your 2014 Epcot Food and Wine visit.

Let’s take a closer look at all the event has to offer!

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic Causeway

Immerse yourself in this culinary festival during an evening stroll of the Crescent Lake Causeway. Food, wine, and beer lovers will find delicious options while listening to live music.

With 17 restaurants and lounges, the Swan and Dolphin resorts have a nationally-recognized culinary team that will be showing off their talents! We’ve attended the event every year since it began, and it’s a delicious way to spend the evening.

The Causeway at the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

The Causeway at the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

Mulitple food and beverage stations will showcase food and drink from Shula’s Steak House, Il Mulino New York Trattoria, and Todd English’s bluezoo, among other great Swan and Dolphin restaurants.

Sip the night away with all of your favorites. And if you love wine, enjoy selections from around the world! Sommeliers will be on hand to answer all of your questions and help you to discover new favorites.

Enjoying an evening on the Causeway as I sample appetizer portions of dishes from some of my favorite restaurants is always a fun time! The Shula’s tasting station is always a popular one, and this year’s Beef Tenderloin promises to draw a crowd.

Beef Tenderloin, Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and Sauce Bordelaise From Shula's Steakhouse

Beef Tenderloin, Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and Sauce Bordelaise From Shula’s Steakhouse

Thirsty? There’s no shortage of beverage options, which include Wine, Beer, and Sake. Tasting stations will offer sips from all popular U.S. wine regions as well as celebrated wines from around the world.

Chefs and Beverage experts staff every station and are happy to answer all of your questions.

You’ll also have the chance to meet executive chefs from the Swan and Dolphin Culinary Team. And bluezoo’s Celebrity Chef Todd English will once more be on hand to greet guests and chat about the dishes he’s serving!

Seminars

If you’re interested in a more hands-on learning experience, consider booking

Continue reading →

New Frozen Holiday Premium Package at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Just in time for the holidays, Disney World debuts a yet another new seasonal experience — Disney’s Hollywood Studios Frozen Holiday Premium Package!

Elsa and Anna Letting It Go!

Elsa and Anna Letting It Go!

For those of you who love desserts, the Osborne lights, Anna and Elsa, and souvenirs, read on…

Disney’s Hollywood Studios Frozen Holiday Premium Package

This brand new VIP package includes reserved viewing in the Premiere Theater for the “For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration,” which could come in very handy during those packed holiday days at the parks.

Speaking of crowds, this package provides a reserved location (at the end of Streets of America) for the magical Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights.

Osborne Lights!

Osborne Lights!

You’ll also get to splurge on “free with the price of the ticket” specialty alcoholic drinks, non-alcoholic beverages, and Frozen-themed desserts.

As for souvenirs, you’ll receive a unique Continue reading →

Dining in Disneyland: New Halloween Glow Cubes

New for Halloween Time this year, the Disneyland Resort has introduced three new glow cubes for your lighted drinking pleasure.

The specialty cubes are available in the themed lands from which they come.  For example, The Poison Apple Glow Cube can only be found at Disneyland Park in Fantasyland — the same area where you’ll find Snow White and the Wicked Witch, who’d like to poison her with one of these little flashing beauties.

Poison Apple Glow Cubes

Poison Apple Glow Cubes

You can pick up a Poison Apple Glow Cube at Maurice’s Treats or the Small World Lemonade Cart.

Poison Apple Glow Cube at Maurice's Treats.

Poison Apple Glow Cube at Maurice’s Treats

Over in New Orleans Square, you can find Jack Skellington Glow Cubes brightening up your beverage! A Jack Glow Cube can be purchased from the Mint Julep Bar, Blue Bayou, Cafe Orleans, or the New Orleans Square Lemonade Cart.

Jack Skellington Glow Cubes

Jack Skellington Glow Cubes

Although I haven’t seen them yet, Pumpkin Mickey Glow Cubes are floating around in Disneyland drinks, too!  They can be found throughout Disneyland at Carnation Cafe, Big Thunder Ranch, the Small World Lemonade Cart, the Tomorrowland Lemonade Cart, and at the Ship to Shore Food Stand, which is just across from Big Thunder Mountain.  I’ll try to get my hands on one soon, so I can share a photo!

UPDATE: I spotted the Mickey Pumpkin Glow Cube for sale at the Small World Lemonade Cart!

Mickey Pumpkin Glow Cube at the Small World Lemonade Cart

Mickey Pumpkin Glow Cube at the Small World Lemonade Cart

In my opinion all drinks taste better with a Glow Cube in them.  I’d really love a whole bowl of Poison apples for a Halloween decoration.  I guess I’d better get to sippin’!

Are you a sucker for Glow Cubes?  Have you seen these specialty Halloween Time additions in the parks yet? Which one is your favorite?

Heather Sievers is the Disney Food Blog’s Dining in Disneyland columnist. See more of her columns here!

New! DFB Podcast Episode 21: Disney Bars and Lounges

Need something to brighten up that commute, motivate you on that walk or run, or get you through another grueling gym workout? We have just the thing!

dfb podcast

We’ve just released our latest DFB Podcast episode. And since it’s our 21st episode, we thought we needed a little celebrating! ;-)

What’s It About?

Let’s hit the bars! OK, OK, this is Disney World, so most are family-friendly, and you can find some truly amazing food and drinks when you step inside. It’s the perfect way to relax and unwind away from the sensory overload of the Disney parks.

In this episode, AJ and Brad cover some of their favorite Disney bars and lounges on both coasts, and give you lots of reasons why you may want to check a few out. Head over for a listen and let us know your picks for great bars and lounges at Disney Parks and Resorts. We also answer two listener questions and ask for new ones — so get those questions ready!

Here’s the Podcast page for Episode 21. And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast via RSS or on iTunes!

Our favorite Sharp Cheddar Beer Fondue at Territory Lounge

We Love the Amazing Fondue from the Territory Lounge at Disney’s World’s Wilderness Lodge!

Take a listen and as always, let us know what you think! And don’t forget — the podcast has its Continue reading →

Guest Review: Dinner at Epcot’s Biergarten at the Germany Pavilion

A favorite place to dine at Walt Disney World is Epcot’s World Showcase.

With unique restaurants featuring tastes from around the globe, Epcot offers a smorgasbord of dining locations. Today, guest author Rebecca Elliott shares her dinner experience at the Biergarten located in the Germany pavilion. Prost!

Epcot is designed to replicate a permanent World’s Fair with pavilions dedicated to innovation and international culture.

Future World highlights technology while the World Showcase, on the other side of World Showcase Lagoon, celebrates international culture.

The Charming Biergarten Entry Way

The Charming Biergarten Entry Way

There are 11 pavilions in the World Showcase, each themed and dedicated to a specific country. The décor can be old fashioned and kitschy, but the cast members, many of whom travel from their home countries to work in the World Showcase, give it an air of authenticity.

The restaurants are by far the main attraction. Many pavilions have two or more restaurants that serve food inspired by their representative countries. I say “inspired” because the food is not necessarily authentic, but it has elements of authentic dishes and is served in a fun atmosphere with incredible theming.

Instead of dining at our usual spot (Chefs de France in the France pavilion), my family and I decided to try something completely new on our most recent visit. This is how we found ourselves at Biergarten in the Germany pavilion.

When You Step Into the Dining Room, You Are Transported to a Lively Oktoberfest Party

When You Step Into the Dining Room, You Are Transported to a Lively Oktoberfest Party

Atmosphere

Biergarten is located in the back of the Germany pavilion, which is the fourth pavilion in if you enter the World Showcase from Future World and start from the left. Disney’s original plan was to feature a boat ride here, similar to the one at the Norway pavilion, but these plans fell through. The main entrance of the boat ride is now the dining area for Biergarten.

The setting for Biergarten is a quaint Bavarian village celebrating Oktoberfest. You are seated in the town square at communal tables, ready to enjoy traditional German music and food. It is dusk (no matter what time of day you eat), and the atmosphere is celebratory.

Stage Area and Seating

Stage Area and Seating

We checked in with a cast member at the hostess desk Continue reading →

News! Disney Fairytale Weddings Launches Wedding Cake Projection Mapping

Remember a while back when Disney was making waves in tech circles for, well, food reasons?

At that time, several tech outlets were all abuzz with the news that Disney had filed a patent application for an “interactive cake”. We did a post about what seemed like a fun adventure with food, since we couldn’t figure out how we’d approach interacting with a cake (other than eating it with wild abandon, of course), we studied the pics and did our best to imagine the end result.

Cakes and Patents...Patents and Cakes

Cakes and Patents…Patents and Cakes

Well, this week, Disney has finally let the cat out of the bag as it introduced Disney Wedding Cake Projection Cake Mapping at its Fairytale Weddings Expo.

And it actually looks pretty cool.

Disney Introduces Cake Mapping

Disney Introduces Cake Mapping

Basically, Disney has taken technology that looks similar to what it uses in its nightly slideshows at Magic Kingdom and Disneyland, and reduced it in size. The video sequence is then projected on the blank slate of a wedding cake.

Couples still have the option to customize the inside of the cake with delicious fillings and flavors. The video is customizable as well, with the aim to tell a couple’s unique story.

Want to see the effect in action? Check out these videos

Continue reading →

Review: Babycakes Treats and Tofutti Ice Cream at the Gardens “Allergy” Kiosk in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

It’s been just over a year now since the Gardens Kiosk opened in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

This kiosk (found not too far from Flame Tree Barbecue) is unique in that its focus is on providing snack options for guests with special dietary needs or restrictions. You might know it by its unofficial name: the “Allergy Kiosk,” earned not only for having treats that are free of the most common food allergens, but also because guests can receive information from the friendly and knowledgeable Cast Members about dining all over Animal Kingdom in light of restrictions.

(Oh, and also because of the “Allergy Dining Tips” sign above the menu ;) ).

Along with various pre-packaged food items, this is the main location at Disney World where you can find Babycakes items since the Babycakes store in Downtown Disney closed in order to accommodate construction for Disney Springs.

I grabbed two Babycakes treats, though you’ll just see them labeled as Gluten-Free Vegan Doughnuts and Gluten-Free Cupcakes on the menu.

Gardens Kiosk Menu

Gardens Kiosk Menu

The Gluten-Free Cupcakes come in packages of four minis, and they are not unique to Animal Kingdom. You can still find these in several Resort Quick Service locations, including (but not limited to) Art of Animation’s Landscape of Flavors and Beach Club’s Marketplace.

Babycakes Brownie Cupcakes

Babycakes Brownie Cupcakes

The full name of “Brownie Cupcakes” is Continue reading →

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Pictures and Review: France and Mexico Marketplace Booths

We’re back today with another delicious look at the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

Welcome to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

Welcome to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

It’s always exciting to see what new Marketplaces and other experiences pop up each year at the Festival, but I’m always eager to indulge in my tried and true favorites as well!

Today, let’s take a peek at some always-busy booths — France and Mexico — to take a closer look at both classics and brand new flavors.

The France Marketplace Booth

When you visit the France Marketplace, you’re participating in Food and Wine Festival Heritage! That’s right — it’s one of the original spots from the very first event, which was held in 1996.

And though the menu has changed a bit from year to year, it’s always a favorite stop for guests.

France Marketplace Booth

France Marketplace Booth

You’ll notice that the France booth has a very robust menu. With three different savory items, plus dessert, you could easily make a meal out of the offerings here. Add to that wines and cocktails, and you would definitely want to visit the Marketplace more than once to try everything.

2014 France Menu

2014 France Menu

The big news at the France booth this year was a change to the classic Escargot offering. In the past, guests have enjoyed Escargots en Persillade in the perfect stroll-and-eat version; the escargots were nestled in rounds of Brioche.

But in 2014, escargot became an ingredient in a savory tart. The Tartelette aux Escargots combined the Snails with Spinach, Garlic, Bacon, and Parmesan, presented in a deep, rectangular savory tart.

Tartelette aux Escargot

Tartelette aux Escargots

This one has probably been one of the biggest controversies of the festival this year! We’ve heard from guests who love it, and from guests who hate it.

Me? While I’m not a huge fan of spinach or snails on their own, the combo of flavors is an absolute win here. But really, is there a way to go wrong when Bacon and Garlic are involved??

Cross section of Tartlette aux Escargot

Cross section of Tartlette aux Escargots

Also joining the line up this year is Gratin de Crozets de Savoie. The savory combination of Gruyere and Mushrooms makes this rich vegetarian dish a hit.

Gratin de Crozet de Savoie

Gratin de Crozets de Savoie

The pasta used in the dish, Crozet, comes to us from Savoie. It’s a uniquely French version of pasta, customarily a whole wheat variety.

Gratin de Crozet de Savoie -- Inside

Gratin de Crozets de Savoie — Inside

Also on the menu is another popular option from years past:  Continue reading →

Grand Launch! 2014 DFB Guide to Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios Snacks E-Book

We’re thrilled to announce that the 2014 DFB Guide to Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios Snacks e-Book is now available!

And in honor of our grand launch, you can get the new Guide for $3 off the regular purchase price for a limited timejust use code SNACKS14 at the check-out!

With over 280 pages of delicious snacks, the DFB Guide to Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios Snacks is part of our DFB Guide Snacks Series!

As always, you will enjoy an instantly downloadable PDF guide with comprehensive information and advice on well over 250 delicious snacks that you can savor at the Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios parks in the Walt Disney World resort.

The DFB Guide to Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios Snacks e-Book includes:

  • Full-color photos of well over 250 of our favorite snacks
  • Over 280 pages of great information, tips, and insider info
  • Current prices and Disney Dining Plan snack credit status
  • Disney Food Blog reviews of all snacks
  • Special Bonus items you’re going to love! (Of course…how could we not include these?!)

DFB Guide to Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios Snacks Sample Page

Know what you’re getting BEFORE using a precious snack credit or spending limited vacation dollars. Whether you want sweet, salty, crunchy, healthy, or something in between, The DFB Guide to Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios Snacks e-Book tells you where to find a snack to match your craving!

Don’t forget — for easy access in the parks, put the guide on your smartphone or tablet!

Get Yours At a Discounted Price for a Limited Time!

To celebrate the grand launch and to thank you for your support of the blog, we’ll be offering the brand new Guide for $3 off its standard rate for a limited time! Order your copy now for only $11.95 (regularly $14.95). To secure the discount, use code SNACKS14 at the check-out.

Or Bundle For Even More Savings!

Headed to Disney World and want the whole scoop on snacks? Bundle four of our most popular Disney Dining Guides and SAVE!

Pick up our DFB Guide and Snacks Bundle for over 40% off! This includes our critically acclaimed DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining, DFB Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks, and DFB Guide to Epcot Snacks along with the brand new DFB Guide to Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios Snacks. All editions have been Continue reading →

Happy National Coffee Day! Three Unique Ways to Enjoy Coffee at Disney World

In case you didn’t know, today is National Coffee Day. And we all know that java lovers don’t check their passion for this Drink of Life when they step foot inside the Big Purple Gates!

coffee hut typhoon lagoon

There are the big headliners in the Disney coffee game. With Starbucks at two parks and Downtown Disney (and coming soon to Disney’s Hollywood Studios), you’re never far from your favorite coffee beverage. And Joffreys coffee stands inside and outside the parks lure us with those fresh coffee smells and giant doughnuts. But what if you’re looking for something a little different? Today, we have a few suggestions for other spots to indulge in some really unique coffee treats in Disney World.

Tipsy Ducks in Love

Looking for a coffee drink with a little “cheer” involved? Try the Tipsy Ducks in Love at the Joy of Tea in the China Pavilion at Epcot. Besides the crazy fun name, this refreshing Iced Mocha comes with two additions to make it extra special — a shot of Bourbon and a crown of Whipped Cream.

Tipsy Duck

Tipsy Duck

It’s the perfect drink for strolling the Promenade on a hot day. Or enjoy it after dinner as dessert!

Cappuccino Chocolate Cupcake

Speaking of dessert, one of my favorite ways to enjoy coffee is in cupcake form. :-) So when the craving strikes, head over to Toy Story Pizza Planet in Disney’s Hollywood Studios for a Cappuccino Chocolate Cupcake.

Since I prefer to get my coffee buzz with liberal amounts of other flavors thrown in, this mammoth cupcake is perfect! The coffee flavors are very subtle, and take a backseat to the chocolate. But it’s a flavor that’s more complex than your garden variety chocolate cupcake.

Cuppuccino Cupcake

Cuppuccino Cupcake

And the whipped Buttercream Frosting and Toffee and Nut Bits that complete this classic are a nice addition.

Victoria & Albert’s

But if you’re looking for a coffee experience, you must try Continue reading →