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…]

Dining in Disneyland: The New Smokejumpers Grill at Disney California Adventure

While the Disneyland Resort continues to prepare for the much anticipated Diamond Anniversary later this month, some of the refurbishments are already starting to open.  Formerly known as Taste Pilots’ GrillSmokejumpers Grill at Disney California Adventure has its doors open and is ready to serve hungry adventurers.

Smokejumpers Grill

Smokejumpers Grill

Atmosphere

Located right next door to Soarin’, this counter service restaurant specializes in burgers and chicken sandwiches.  Enormous in size, Smokejumpers has plenty of seating both indoors and out.

Outside Seating

Outdoor  Seating ( I predict a 2nd side to the left of the restaurant once the wall for Soarin’ comes down)

This indoor seating area is located at the entrance of Smokejumpers Grill.

Just Half of the Indoor Seating at Smokejumpers

Just a Small Portion of the Indoor Seating at Smokejumpers

There is also indoor seating both to the left and right of the ordering kiosk/kitchen.  Below shows the seating to the left. It is basically identical with some different decor on the right side.

More Indoor Seating

More Indoor Seating

My absolute favorite thing about the new Smokejumpers Grill (besides the french fries) is the [Read more…]

Review and Preview: The Causeway at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

It’s almost time! The Fifth Annual Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic is just around the corner!

2014 Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic Thumbnail Logo

This event, which takes place concurrently with the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, is a fantastic evening for food and wine lovers.

This year’s Food and Wine Classic will take place on Friday, October 31 (yep! Halloween!) and Saturday, November 1. The two-day event consists of food and beverage tasting booths set up on the resort’s beautiful causeway each evening. And new for 2014, a Beer Garden experience has been added for even more great food and drink.

Guests can also take part in a number of special food and beverage seminars for an additional fee. Seminars take place at 4:30PM both days, and the Causeway booths are open from 5:30 until 9:00PM on Friday and Saturday.

We’ve enjoyed the event every year since it began, and 2013 was no exception! We thought a look back at last year’s event was the perfect way to get excited about what’s in store for 2014. Let’s head out to the Causeway for a delicious evening.

Dining al fresco on the Causeway at the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic!

Dining al fresco on the Causeway at the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic!

Atmosphere

Whether you’re staying at the Swan and Dolphin or you’re arriving from another location, head to the Promenade that connects the two resorts — that’s where the evening’s festivities will take place. We stopped by the Will Call Booth to pick up tickets.

As far as admission goes, you have options. Purchase an all-access ticket, and it’s an all-you-can-eat-and-drink pass to the booths. If you prefer, you can choose a la carte tickets instead, which are sold in books of 25.

Will Call Booth

Will Call Booth

The Check In Table provided us with handy plates and plastic wine glasses.

Check-In Table

Check-In Table

These would come in handy as we juggled plates and drinks on the Causeway.

Food and Wine Classic Tray and Glass

Food and Wine Classic Tray and Glass

Booths line the walkway leading from the Swan to the Dolphin as well as the path directly behind the Swan. There’s a lot to take in!

The Promenade

The Promenade

Hi-Top tables are scattered throughout the middle of the Causeway. You’ll also find large tables with chairs off to the side directly behind the Swan.

High Top Table

High Top Table

At the end of the Causeway closest to the Dolphin, a stage is set up for musical performance. While you sip and stroll, you can listen to live tunes!

Stage

Stage

In addition to the food and beverage booths, last year’s Classic featured a large [Read more…]

Happy Hour: Block & Hans Craft Beer Kiosk in Epcot’s America Pavilion

We have some fun news for all of you beer lovers out there!

We spied this new Craft Beer Kiosk in Epcot’s America Pavilion a while back for the first time.

Block & Hans Craft Beer Kiosk

Block & Hans Craft Beer Kiosk

Today, we’re back to tell you all about it, and to give you a closer look!

Block & Hans Craft Beer Kiosk

Block & Hans have apparently been in business since 1612, supplying fine ale to the colonies. :-) And now, you can enjoy a beer from their menu while strolling the World Showcase Promenade at Epcot.

Close Up of the Action

Close Up of the Action

You’ll find beer representing many different parts of the country on the menu here. Angry Orchard is also available for those who prefer a nice alternative to beer — Hard Cider.

Were kind of intrigued that they haven’t included any local Florida craft beers, though — you can find them on many menus around Walt Disney World.

Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Menu — Click to Enlarge

Form follows function, as they’ve chosen to “decorate” with empty beer bottles. It’s a great way to see some of the cool label art.

But all I can think of is…who got to participate in the “Let’s empty some bottles so we can decorate with them!” campaign? Because I’d really like to sign up for that team.

Beers Displayed

Beer Bottles Displayed

Fortunately, the bottles that you’ll actually consume are on ice, just as they should be on a sunny Florida day.

Brews on Ice

Brews on Ice

But — to accompany your fine beverage — Pretzels! As far as the eye can see!! And you have the full pretzel panoply here — or just about! You can choose [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland: Oktoberfest Items at Disney California Adventure

Chicken Dance your way over to DCA! As part of their Limited Time Magic promotion, Disney California Adventure is celebrating Oktoberfest with some special items at Bayside Brews.

Bayside Brews in Disney California Adventure

Available through the month of October, the special Oktoberfest items include a Bratwurst Sandwich, Bavarian Pretzels, Gingerbread Bundt Cake, and two specialty beers on tap: Karl Strauss Oktoberfest & Hofbrau Munchen Beer.

The Bratwurst Sausage is served in a garlic brioche with a side of hickory smoked bacon sauerkraut. The sandwich is $8.49 and comes with a choice of apples or potato chips.

Oktoberfest Bratwurst Meal

I have to say, my husband and I were both very surprised how great this meal was for [Read more…]

Review and Preview: The Causeway at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

In just a few short days, we will be headed to the The Fourth Annual Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic!

This event, which coincides with the 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, is a food and wine lover’s dream.

This year’s Food and Wine Classic will take place on Friday, October 18 and Saturday, October 19. The two-day event consists of food and wine tasting booths set up on the resort’s beautiful causeway each evening.

Guests can also take part in a number of special food and beverage seminars for an additional fee. Seminars take place at 4:30PM both days, and the Causeway booths are open from 5:30 until 9:00PM on Friday and Saturday.

In addition, guests can enjoy a complimentary Cocktail 101 seminar three times during each evening on the Causeway as well as live musical entertainment.

Tasting Plate from Shula's Steakhouse

We’ve had the opportunity to attend the event for the last three years, and we’re looking forward to what 2013 holds! To give you an idea of what lies in store for guests of the Food and Wine Classic, let’s take a look at the 2012 event!

Atmosphere

When you first arrive, you’ll most likely need to pick up your tickets at the Check-In Table.

Check In for the Causeway

Here, staff will check for your reservation, and you’ll receive either your tickets or a wristband, as well as a palate plate and a wine glass.

We had wristbands for the event, which meant that we were free to enjoy unlimited trips to each of the tasting stations. If you prefer a ticketed approach, however, you can purchase books of 25 tickets (most of the booth items require between 2 and 6 tickets).

Food and Wine Classic Wristbands and My Seminar Ticket

For this event, tents are lined up the length of the walkway between the Swan and Dolphin Resorts as well as along the walkway behind the Swan. The resorts are located within walking distance of Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

The Causeway Setup

Tables of all sizes are covered with brightly colored tablecloths, and offer guests a place to sit and relax while enjoying their food and drink.

Tables and Booths Ready for Guests

In addition to tables with chairs, guests can also take advantage of high tops if they prefer to stand.

Individual Tables

It wasn’t too long before the crowd began to swell as guests looked forward to tasting a myriad of dishes.

Causeway is Getting Busy

On Crescent Terrace, guests could also take advantage of [Read more…]