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…]

Review and Preview: The Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic Causeway Booths

We’re gearing up for one of our favorite weekends of the year — the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic!

The Causeway

The Causeway

The event is in its seventh consecutive year, and promises to be bigger and better than ever. In 2016, the Food and Wine Classic will include 50 food and wine stations, 10 seminars, fun themed areas, and opportunities to meet some of the award-winning chefs who bring their artistry to life in the resort’s 17 restaurants! [Read more…]

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Review: Party for the Senses

Today, we have a big treat for you!

You know that we love to talk about the Epcot Food and Wine Festival here at DFB. It’s like the Super Bowl and Olympics and Christmas all rolled into one!

Party for the Senses Sign

Party for the Senses Sign

And while there’s tons to do and see and eat throughout the event, some of the most highly anticipated premium events are the Parties for the Senses. (See the review of our last time attending the event here.) In 2016, you can choose from parties held on October 1, 8, 15, 22, 28, and 29, featuring different themes. Read all about it on our Special Events Page! [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…]

Disney Food (and Drink) Pics of the Week: Beer at Disney!

We are back with another fun installment of Disney Food Pics of the Week, courtesy of the Disney Food Blog Photo Extravaganza, our Flickr group!

You may not know it, but Disney is offering some really great beer these days! From more interesting seasonal options, to craft beers you know and love, there’s a ton of variety happening where this adult beverage is concerned.

Kona Beer Flight at Trader Sam's Tiki Terrace

Kona Beer Flight at Trader Sam’s Tiki Terrace

Today, we’re showcasing some of the beeeea-utiful photos of Beer that our readers have captured around Disney! [Read more…]

2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Review: Rockin’ Burger Block Party

Today, we are heading back to the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival for a look at a brand new Special Event!

Epcot Food and Wine Rockin Burger Block Party Graphic 15

One of the new events introduced this year is the Rockin’ Burger Block Party, and DFB has been at two of the parties.

Join us today as we share our experience, which includes visits with a few celebrity guests and an incredible variety of burgers.

And if you like what you see, there are still tickets left for the November 6th Party, which features Cake Boss Buddy Valastro! Just call (407) 939-3378 to make your reservations.

Atmosphere

The Rockin’ Burger Block Party sounds like it might take place outside…but no.

The event is held in World ShowPlace, the events pavilion that’s tucked away behind giant doors in World Showcase. If you haven’t been there before, you’ll find the entrance between the Canada and UK Pavilions.

Just look for the Events Cast Members, and they’ll point the way!

Entrance

Entrance

Check-in for the event is located inside the main entrance. The party actually takes place in the large room that’s beyond. [Read more…]

Spotted at Epcot’s Rose and Crown: Crabbie’s Cloudy Lemonade

Ready for some beer that doesn’t really seem like beer but is still super awesome? Let’s go to Epcot!

When you’re wandering around this great-for-food-and-beverage-lovers park, you never know what you’re going to come upon. There’s that great value — and surprisingly hidden — Epcot wine walk, the sweet deal of the cheese plate and wine flight at Weinkeller, that killer cronut, and probably lots more that you might never have known about.

One of my favorite not-so-hidden gems here is the Rose and Crown Beer Stand. I say not-so-hidden because there are several times during the day when you will likely have to change your walking path in order to swerve around the line that builds up here. ;-)

Rose and Crown proper is a great pub and restaurant, and we love stopping in for a pint. But if necessary, you can skip the air con and taking a load off in the pub (thank you, toddler) and instead get your drink to go at the Beer Stand.

Rose and Crown Outside Bar

Rose and Crown Outside Bar

You’ll find the line (make sure you get into the right one) to the left of the check-in area at the restaurant. The walk-up location serves specialty bottled and draft beers.

[Read more…]

News! Morimoto Asia Opens September 30 at Disney Springs

Big nooz! Reports note that Morimoto Asia will open its doors at Downtown Disney (soon to be Disney Springs) on September 30! Reservations may be available via Open Table beginning September 16.

©Disney @WDWDowntown Twitter

©Disney @WDWDowntown Twitter

From the beginning, we’ve heard details that Morimoto Asia would feature a full panoply of Asian flavors, with special experiences throughout the soaring space of the restaurant. Today, we’re getting even more detail. [Read more…]

Review: California Grill in Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Time to check in on one of Walt Disney World’s most popular signature dining spots — California Grill.

Located atop Disney’s Contemporary Resort, the Grill has become nearly as well known for its stellar views as its market-inspired food. And those two factors can make this a tough table to book.

My last visit here, however, when the restaurant had just reopened after an in-depth refurbishment, was somewhat disappointing. At the time, I chalked it up to the kitchen having an off night; after all, I had enjoyed incredible dining here many times before.

I decided it was time to check in again. So we booked an early Advance Dining Reservation (ADR) on a recent visit, and up we went.

Atmosphere

If you’ve never visited California Grill, then there’s one thing you should know: you don’t just head to the 15th floor. Your journey actually starts on the 2nd floor of the Contemporary where you check in. Even if you’re just heading to the first-come, first-served Lounge, this is your first stop.

Second Floor Check In Desk for California Grill

Second Floor Check In Desk for California Grill

You’ll then be escorted via a private elevator to the 15th floor. In this way, staff act as gatekeepers for the popular spot. If left unattended, it would get pretty busy up there, especially around Wishes-at-Magic-Kingdom time.

Once you make your way upstairs, a bank of Wine Fridges greets you straight ahead.

Entrance and Wine Fridges

Entrance and Wine Fridges

You walk through the Lounge and Bar to get to the restaurant’s main seating area. That sounds as though these are different spaces; they aren’t. Basically, with the exception of a few private dining rooms, the restaurant features an open floor plan, accentuating the sweeping views and retro-meets-modern vibe.

California Grill Bar

California Grill Bar

If you find yourself without an ADR, there’s still hope. You can sit in the Grill’s Lounge and order from the menu, or just enjoy Drinks, Sushi, and Appetizers. Be forewarned, though: it’s not uncommon for this area to reach capacity as the night goes on. Here at 5PM, though, it was pretty bare.

California Grill Lounge

California Grill Lounge

Wrap around to the main seating area, and you see that nearly every table commands an excellent view of the surrounding landscape, including Magic Kingdom and the Resorts situated around Seven Seas Lagoon.

Seating varies here and includes both tables and chairs and booths.

Seating

Seating

There are also a selection of tables that mix banquette and chair seating. Note that white tablecloths and cloth napkins are the norm here, lending to the upscale air of sophistication.

Table for Two

Table for Two

Booths are somewhat unique in that they are located in the middle of the floor. That means that you can enter from either side, and there will be traffic on both sides of your table, similar to what you find at Jiko. While this isn’t necessarily bad, it does mean that your booth won’t be as secluded as you might like.

But the view outside of the windows isn’t the only thing you have to look at.

California Grill Kitchen

California Grill Kitchen

The well-orchestrated, professional hustle and bustle that’s happening behind the counter in the on-stage kitchen can be fascinating as well.

Prepping for Dinner Service

Prepping for Dinner Service

Although we will focus today on the food here, the sweeping, panoramic vistas certainly bear mentioning. You can see for miles!

The View

The View

And that’s one of the biggest draws of California Grill — this view, especially when it comes to [Read more…]