What NOT to Eat at the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Can you believe it? We are nearing the halfway point of the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival already!

Welcome to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

Welcome to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

So far, we’ve shown you delicious dishes — both brand new options and returning favorites — that are featured at the International Marketplaces located around World Showcase. But I’m thinking that leaves another question:

What are some of the items that we would definitely cross off the list?

Of course, in a perfect world, where there would be unlimited time, money, and stomach space, I know you’d gladly try everything on offer. But here in reality, those dollars (and Disney Dining Plan snack credits) must be spent wisely.

So while we’ve told you several dishes and beverages that we don’t think you should miss at this year’s Festival, today, I thought we’d run down the list of items that we plan to cross off. Because, well, something’s gotta give. :-) I’ll also give you some suggestions for what we’d get in place of these items.

Ghirardelli Sundae at Fife & Drum

In the past, Fife & Drum Tavern in the America Pavilion has had Festival success with extra menu additions like the Frozen Red Stag Lemonade. (That one proved to be so popular, it was added to the menu permanently.)

But while the Ice Cream Sundae with Ghirardelli Chocolate Sauce on the menu this year is good, it’s not “skip another awesome menu item” good.

The sundae is Vanilla Soft Serve with a few pumps of Ghirardelli Chocolate Sauce. There are way more tempting options all over World Showcase.

Ice Cream Sundae

Ice Cream Sundae Made with Ghirardelli Chocolate Sauce

Instead, why not go for a frozen treat with international flair? Skip the soft serve, and go for some Kaki Gori at the permanent Japan stand, Kabuki Cafe.

Guylian Seashell Truffles at the Desserts & Champagne Marketplace

So, here’s where we make a bit of a confession. If there were one booth I’d outright skip at the Festival it would probably be Desserts & Champagne.

It’s not that there’s anything wrong with it. It’s just that I find so many more compelling options circling World Showcase Lagoon. Case in point: one of the menu items here is Guylian Seashell Truffles. This is not a dish. This is something that the Cast Member takes out of the box and hands to me.

Guylian Belgian Chocolate Seashell Truffles

Guylian Belgian Chocolate Seashell Truffles

Sure, they’re only $1.75. But they can be bought at the grocery store…and when we are Food and Wine Festival-ing, we are definitely passing on this in lieu of more exotic fare.

If you’re looking for a truly satisfying chocolate dish, head to the Ireland Marketplace and try the amazing Warm Chocolate Pudding with Kerrygold Irish Cream Liqueur Custard, which is more than worth the price difference.

Dole Squish’Ems at Refreshment Port

If you want to stop at the Refreshment Port for a Croissant Doughnut, we are totally on board with that.

But one featured Festival food we will not be making time or money for is the Dole Squish’Em. The prepackaged, applesauce-based snack may be a big hit with the preschool crowd.

Dole Fruit Squish Ems

Dole Fruit Squish’Ems

But unless you’re under 3 (or you really, really like flavored applesauce), we wouldn’t worry about checking this box off your passport. If you’re looking for a fruit fix, the [Read more…]

2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Booth Updates: Craft Beer Moves Into Odyssey Center, and More

We’re headed in to the “soft opening” of the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival today, and we’re gathering some v. cool news that we want to share with our readers!

Food and Wine Festival 2014

Stay tuned the rest of this week for fun news and live updates as well as updated food pictures from the World Showcase Marketplace Booths!

And speaking of those Booths, there are a few updates that we have to share with you that are NEW for 2014. Let’s start with beer…

Craft Beer “Booth” Moves Into Odyssey Center

Remember, like, two years ago when Disney said they were going to do a “lounge” in the Odyssey Center during the Food and Wine Festival…and it never happened? Well, this may be the year!

The Odyssey Center is typically only open for private events, but we’ve seen it used as an event space during past Festivals. This year, they’ve moved the entire Craft Beer booth into the massive space!

Craft Beer Sign

Craft Beer Sign

We’ll have more details (and inside photos) [Read more…]

Review: “Best of the Fest” at the 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Marketplace Booths!

It’s here! The 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival is officially underway!

We’ve been super busy over the last couple of days, taking in low-cost demonstrations and special events. I can’t wait to share all of it with you (FYI: Parisian Breakfast = AWESOME!)!

But first, while opening weekend was a whirlwind of activity, we made it a point to check out every Marketplace Booth and try it all! It’s always our goal to do this so that YOU know which dishes are not-to-be-missed and can plan accordingly.

2013 Best of the Fest Marketplace Booth Dishes

While this “Best of” list started out a lot longer than this, we wanted to give you a breakdown of the cream of the crop — our very favorite dishes so far from the 2013 Marketplace Booths. Some of these are returning from past years, and some are brand new! Let’s go with the Best of the Fest for 2013!

Belgium: Potato and Leek Waffle with Braised Beef

Belgium features three different waffles in their lineup this year — one savory and two sweet. This Potato Leek Waffle comes with Braised Beef that reminds me of Sunday roasts.

Potato and Leek Waffle with Braised Beef

The waffle is delicious by itself — but top it with the braised beef and MELTED BUTTER!!!! and it’s heavenly!

South Korea: Kimchi Dog

We’ve been raving about the South Korea Kimchi Dog since we first sampled it at the preview event for this year’s festival. The Spicy Hot Dog (which is specially made for Epcot just for the festival!) is topped with a fresh Kimchi Slaw and drizzled with a Spicy Mustard Sauce.

Kimchi Dog with Spicy Mustard Sauce

It has a bit of a kick, but it’s [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: January 13, 2013

The big news this week? There’s a new bakery in Disney World!!

Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie in Epcot's France

Yep, “Boulangerie Patisserie Les Halles” opened its doors in Epcot’s France this week! This new bakery is several times the size of the old Boulangerie Patisserie in France, and offers several new menu items!

Be sure to check out our photo tour here!

Disney Dining News

Fun news this week…

We’ve got additional food news, including New Menu at Shutters, restaurant closures, New Orleans Bayou Bash in Disneyland, a new Mizner’s Lounge Menu at the Grand Floridian, Buffets Discontinued at the Pepper Market, and LOTS more, on our Disney Food News Pin Board! Head over and check it out!

Reader Finds

If you find a fun new food — or other awesomeness — in or from Disney, share a photo with us on facebook or twitter so we can add it to our DFB Reader Finds each Sunday! This week we have some pictures from Twitter friends.

Dana (@DragynAlly) tweeted us some love! She says, “Wearing my “I ❤ DisneyFoodBlog” shirt. Because I do!”

I LUV DFB Shirt!

Thanks, Dana!! (By the way, you can get your own I ❤ DisneyFoodBlog t-shirt — and many others — at Zazzle.com/disneyfoodblog!)

Sara Pirraglia sent us this fun find! “I just wanted to share with you what I saw at one of the $1 Stores (Dollar Tree to be exact) near me in Rhode Island…Donald Duck Orange Juice! Random but cool! Thought I would share with you, no one else I might tell would be interested!” YES. Yes, we are interested!!

Donald OJ

Headed to WDW? Pick up the DFB Mini-Guide to Epcot Snacks e-Book on Sale!

The DFB Mini-Guide to Epcot Snacks e-Book is the fourth in our Disney Food Blog mini-guide series…and it’s on SALE TODAY!

Here you’ll find in-depth information, HUGE color photos, and first-hand reviews about classic and new-to-you Epcot snacks — in great detail!

The DFB Mini-Guide to Epcot Snacks is an instantly downloadable PDF guide with over 180 pages of information and advice on over 150 delicious snacks that you can savor in Disney World’s Epcot.

Get your copy for $2 off today. Use code EPCOT at the check out!

On to the Round-Up!

Mickey Fix highlights an adorable Disney cupcake tote bag. Get yours now!

Daveland uncovers the history behind Disneyland’s Carnation Cafe.

Slightly Intoxicated shares a hysterical Disney Cruise dining experience from Remy.

AllEars has Steve Barrett looking for Hidden Mickeys at the new Splitsville in Downtown Disney.

Mouse on the Mind samples the Affogato at Italy’s gelato cart in Epcot.

Main Street Gazette enjoys a cucumber margarita at La Cava del Tequila in Epcot’s Mexico pavilion.

Disney Parks Blog announces a new menu at Shutters in the Caribbean Beach Resort.

Have a great week, all! See you soon with even more great Disney Dining news! :-)

Review: Big River Grille and Brewing Works at the Boardwalk Inn Resort

Today, it’s high time that we share with you our thoughts about the one and only working microbrewery at Walt Disney World, Big River Grille & Brewing Works!

Located at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn Resort, the American pub-style restaurant features a primo location to see and be seen right on the Boardwalk. But, I’ll be right up front with you and tell you now that this has NOT been my favorite place to eat at Disney in the past.

However, we came to it with an open mind hoping to find some improvements on our last visit. We were rewarded with a much, much better experience than in times past! What did they do right on this visit? Read on…

Atmosphere

The entrance to the restaurant on the Boardwalk, beneath an awning bearing the restaurant’s name.

Big River Grille & Brewing Works

Once inside, you’ll notice that there are three distinct seating areas within the restaurant: the bar area to the right; the seating area to the left, a rather nondescript space; and a patio area offering great views of the Boardwalk, the lake, and the Yacht and Beach Club on the other side of water. (You may even see the tops of Illuminations fireworks from here.)

There are a few good reasons to head over to Big River Grille:
1.) It’s normally pretty easy to get into, so if you’re hungry and don’t have an advance dining reservation, or you’re at Epcot or Hollywood Studios and would like to skip out on the park crazy for a while, this can be a good place to come for a bite and a sip.

2.) As I mentioned above, it’s the only working microbrewery at Disney, and the beers are quite popular! (More on the beer a little later.) It’s also pretty cool to look around the interior and see just where your brew is being produced.

Brew Kettle, Big River Grille

3.) Finally, while I don’t love the [Read more…]