Review and Preview: The Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic Beer Garden, Chinatown, and More!

We’re back today with another review from last year’s Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic — and a preview of what you can expect this year!

Last week, we shared a look at all of the delicious food and drink that you can enjoy on The Causeway. Today, we’re back for a look at the fun “extras” the Classic offers. We’ll also share what’s new for 2016!

The Causeway

The Causeway

Now in its seventh year, the Classic continues to up its game with new experiences and seminars. This year’s event will offer more than 40 food dishes, over 60 beverages, 10 interactive seminars, and three live bands! [Read more…]

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Review: Behind the Scenes at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto

We’re continuing our coverage of the 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival with a brand new special event at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort!

That’s right… we paid a visit to Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto to check out a new Epcot Food and Wine Festival Special Event that’s NOT happening at Epcot. While Signature Dining Events have long been held in and around various restaurants on property, this year is the first time that Special Events have expanded to Disney World Resorts. These debut offerings include Brunch with a Twist at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, The Secrets of Flavor at Disney’s Yacht Club, Culinary Adventures with a Master Chef at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, and the Special Event we’re reviewing today: Behind the Scenes of Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.

Of all the new Resort Special Events, this sold-out option (at a cost of $99.00 per guest) was likely the most in demand, held on four select Wednesdays from 12:00 Noon – 2:00 PM. Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto has been a HUGE hit with Disney World guests since it opened in March of 2015 due to its interactive Tiki-themed atmosphere, crafty cocktails and popular souvenir mugs. An added bonus for Disney fans is that this place is chock-full of nostalgia and Disney history… so much so that it can really help to have a cast of high-energy Skippers at hand to point some of them out (all while mixing drinks and serving up some delicious eats, of course).

So join us once again as we step inside the Grog Grotto…

Behind the Scenes of Trader Sam's Grog Grotto

Behind the Scenes of Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto

…to show you a little bit about what happens behind the scenes at Trader Sam’s! [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: September 25, 2016

Happy Sunday and happy first weekend of fall! We hope you’re having a wonderful weekend and sipping on something Pumpkin Spice, if that’s your thing! Now it’s time to sit back and check out the latest in Disney food news.

Jiko Salad

Jiko Salad

The 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival is in full swing, and we were there on day one to taste every dish at the Marketplace Booths! You can see pictures of every single dish at the festival right here!

Make sure you check out our Best of the Fest so you know what you absolutely must eat at this year’s Festival!

We have a lot to share with you this week, so let’s jump right in…

Disney Food News

[Read more…]

Disney Food Blog FAQ: How Much Should I Budget for the 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival?

It’s here! I can hardly believe it, but the 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival is finally underway!

Food and Wine Tips Graphic 1

The fun officially kicked off on September 14 and runs until November 14. That’s more than eight weeks of savoring all that this special event has to offer! And we had so much fun eating and drinking along the Promenade to discover our Best of the Fest dishes and drinks to recommend!

But of course, you can’t forget the tons of events that take place during the Festival. From Low Cost Events like Culinary Demonstrations and Beverage Seminars to high end Special Events like Party for the Senses, there’s so much to do at every turn. But here’s the catch — nearly all of it comes with a pricetag.

So that, of course, begs the question: how in the World do you plan for the Food Lover Trip of the Year?

We get it! So we’re here for you with some great tips for Budgeting for the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. And if you like what you see, be sure to check out our 2016 DFB Guide to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, completely updated with everything you can expect to enjoy at this year’s event!

The Food and Wine Festival is HERE! But it can be pricey...

The Food and Wine Festival is HERE! But it can be pricey…

How Much Money Should I Budget For a Day at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival?

Well, the answer to that is…it totally depends! [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-up: September 18, 2016

Happy Sunday! We hope you’re having a relaxing and wonderful weekend! Now it’s time to sit back and check out the latest in Disney food news!

disney-food-blog-best-of-the-fest

It’s finally here! The 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival started on September 14 and we were there on day one to taste every dish at the Marketplace Booths! You can see pictures of every single dish at the festival right here!

Make sure you check out our Best of the Fest so you know what you absolutely must eat at this year’s Festival!

We have a lot to share with you this week, so let’s jump right in…

Disney Food News

[Read more…]

News (Updated): Ultimate VIP Tour Experience for the 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Now Available

It’s SO CLOSE now, my friends…

Food and Wine Festival Updates 2016 Info Graphic SquareThe 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival begins September 14th!

That means the Ultimate VIP Tour Experience for the Epcot Food & Wine Festival is bookable now! Similar to the 2015 Package, Walt Disney World passholders, DVC Members, and Chase Disney Visa Cardholders can book the Ultimate VIP Tour Experience for a 15% discount!

As in years past, the Ultimate VIP Tour Experience for the Epcot Food and Wine Festival offers a combination of VIP experiences, special events, and terrific opportunities to learn from Disney Chefs and other Festival notables.

Your special Food and Wine Festival experience lasts ALL DAY LONG, and includes all of the following:

  • Your day begins with the Wonders Retreat at the Festival Center, where you’ll enjoy a celebrity chef hosted brunch from the best seats in the house.
  • After a break and a brief time to shop, you’ll return to the VIP Lounge for a hosted beverage demonstration featuring acclaimed wines, spirits and craft beers from around the world.
  • Next, you’ll venture to the Norway Pavilion to set sail on the newest attraction in the World Showcase—Frozen Ever After.
  • Then, it’s time to explore the Global Marketplaces! Disney Chefs will greet you and introduce you to the endless selection of bites and beverages while you taste 3 of the Festival’s most popular pairings.
  • Your next stop will be at the newly reimagined attraction, Soarin’ Around the World.
  • Afterwards, a certified Cicerone will lead you through a sampling of the Festival’s signature craft beers. Another delectable chef’s pairing will follow.
  • Post pairing, you’ll head to the America Garden Theatre to savor a glass of champagne and then rock out to the Eat to the Beat Concert Series from your priority seats.
  • When the concert comes to a close, you’ll have time to explore the Festival on your own.
  • If you choose to stay through the end of the day, you can watch IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth from a reserved location.

More details:

  • The 7-hour experience begins at 9:00 AM on the following Fridays: September 16, 23, 30; October 7, 14, 21, 28; and November 4, 11, 2016.
  • The cost of The Ultimate Day at Epcot International Food & Wine Festival experience is $399 per Guest, plus tax.
  • A 15% discount is available for Disney Vacation Club Members, Annual Passholders, and Disney Chase Visa Cardmembers.
  • See artists performing during the Eat to the Beat Concert Series.
  • View celebrity chefs who will be presenting at the What’s Cookin’ With… brunch during the Wonders Retreat. (See our list of who will be appearing each week on our Food and Wine Festival Special Events Page)
  • Theme park admission is required and is not included with the cost of the VIP Tour.

For reservations, please call (407) WDW-TOUR or (407) 939-8687.

Please note that terms and inclusions in the package are, of course, subject to change.

Ready to Plan for Your Epcot Food and Wine Festival Trip?

The DFB Guide to the 2016 Epcot Food & Wine Festival e-Book is now available! This 250+-page guide to the Festival offers insider tips and advice as well as all of the details you need to know to plan your best Festival visit ever.

2015 DFB F&W Guide Cover

Your purchase includes several bonus items as well — including a full daily schedule of events at the Festival and a printable World Showcase Booth Menu Checklist to carry with you as you Eat around the World!

Order your 2016 edition today! Don’t miss a moment of the fun!

Use code Chefs at check-out for a 20% off the cover price!

 

News! Tickets Released for Live Tapings of The Chew at Epcot

Food and Wine Festival Updates 2016 Info Graphic Square

Editor’s Note: This post was written in 2016, and as of 7/2/17, tickets for the 2017 Chew tapings at Epcot have not been released. We will let you know as soon as they are in a separate post. However, read through this post for helpful tips on how to obtain tickets. Good Luck!

The Cast of ABC TV’s “The Chew” is returning to the 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival.

Just like last year — they will be recording episodes of the show LIVE from Epcot from October 5th through 7th!

Interested in attending a taping? If so, you’ve gotta act fast. Tickets have been released, and if last year’s ticket release is any indication, they will be snatched up faster than you can say, “The Chew!”

In case you missed our little primer, here are the steps to nab your tix!

Get Tickets to See The Chew Live Taping at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Step 1: Go directly to abc.go.com/shows/the-chew.

Step 2: From there, click on the Get Tickets box on the bottom right to Attend a Taping of The Chew.

©ABC.com

©ABC.com

Step 3: Select your preferred DATE from the scroll that appears above the ticket options. [Read more…]

What NOT to Do at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

If you’ve been hanging around here much at all, then you know that we love the Epcot Food and Wine Festival.

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Tips

And what’s not to love?? In 2016, we’ll have two full months to Dine Around the Promenade at Marketplace Booths, take in Special Events and Demos, and generally soak up this culinary immersion.

So we focus a lot on things you Must Try! (Grown up frozen drinks!!) and things that you Can’t Miss! (Parisian Breakfast!!) But what about the “Don’ts”?

With 20 years of Food and Wine Festival experience under our belts, we think we know a thing or two about having a good time at F&W. ;-) So today, allow us to share our list for the Mistakes We’d Like to Help You to Avoid as you plan your visit to this year’s Festival!

Put on your stretchy pants and comfy shoes, and get your DFB Food and Wine Tray ready. Time to head in!

Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute to Book Events

There’s a reason that we tell you to be on the phone first thing bright and early on the day that Special Events, including Seminars and Demonstrations, open. These events sell out quickly — especially the ones featuring celebrity chefs.

All isn’t lost, though, if you didn’t book the second the phone lines opened. You will be able to book some events, especially the Low-Cost daily seminars and demos, right up to the time of the event.

Wine View Lounge Cheese Station

Wine View Lounge Cheese Station at Party for the Senses

Still, it’s best to plan ahead. So if you haven’t already done so, call now and square away those reservations. It’s one less thing you’ll need to worry about when you arrive. [Read more…]

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Tip: Make Your Own Custom DFB Food and Wine Fest Tray!

If you’ve visited the Epcot Food and Wine Festival before, then you know what a hassle it can be to get from Marketplace Booth to a Table (or Trash Can Top or Bench or Wall) without spilling your dishes and drinks.

That’s why one of my best tips for you is to bring your own tray to make the journey easier!

Yep — we know they sell these little jobbies…

Food and Wine Fest Tasting Plate

Food and Wine Fest Tasting Plate From a While Back

But to be honest, that’s just not enough real estate when you’re sampling more than one dish…plus drinks.

Any tray will do, of course. But why not take the opportunity to show your team spirit with a Disney Food Blog Customized Food and Wine Festival Tray?

Your Very Own DFB Food and Wine Festival Tray!

Whaaaaaa?! So how do you set about making this marvelous thing? It’s easy! First, grab a DFB Food and Wine Festival Tray Sticker, like so:

DFB bumper sticker-001

THEN, acquire a basic cafeteria tray (we won’t ask any questions how you go about it) and slap the sticker on the tray. DONE. [Read more…]

Tips from the DFB Guide: 3 Reasons to Bring Your Kids to the 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

You may think that you couldn’t possibly enjoy the Epcot Food and Wine Festival with kiddos along for the ride. But we think you totally can!

Food-and-Wine-Guide-Cover-2016 (1)

While the festival is certainly a food lover’s paradise, there’s no reason that you can’t enjoy a day there with the younger set, too. After all, Epcot is first and foremost a theme park, so even during the Food and Wine Festival, you’ll find plenty of exhibits and entertainment geared toward the small fry.

We love coming up with strategies that help you to enjoy eating your way through Walt Disney World, no matter who’s along for the ride. So if you like what you see here, be sure to check out our 2016 DFB Guide to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival for even more great tips on managing the event with kids along.

In the meantime, check out these suggestions for making the festival fun for everyone in your party!

Attend a Culinary Demonstration or Other Special Event

If you have kids that are interested in what happens in the kitchen, consider checking out what Culinary Demonstrations are available at the Festival Center for the day. Kids are permitted to attend these events with a ticket (but aren’t served alcohol, obviously). We think it’s great fun, especially for older kiddos in your party. Who knows? A future chef may be born!

Kevin

Culinary Demo Featuring Chef Kevin Dundon

If your budget allows, you may even want to check out the brand new Mix It, Make It, Celebrate It! Hands On Workshops. New in 2016, these events take place once a day, and offer guests the chance to get in on the action of exploring and creating. [Read more…]