Chocolate Sculptures on Display at the Food and Wine Festival “From Bean to the Bar” Experience

Greetings from the Epcot Food & Wine Festival Center!

Festival Center

Festival Center

Tucked in the waaaaaay back of the center is a small area hosted by Ghirardelli that’s dedicated to all things chocolate: From Bean to the Bar. This is a returning exhibit, but they’ve got all new surprises this year.

From the Bean to the Bar

From the Bean to the Bar

You can pick up packaged Ghirardelli goodies here, and get an education about the chocolate-making process. But today we’d like to show you something that’s easy to miss if you’re not on the lookout. There are some pretty amazing displays created by none other than Disney Pastry Chefs… and they’re made of CHOCOLATE!

Chocolate Sculpture Introduction

Chocolate Sculpture Introduction

Check out this gathering of many of our favorite Disney Villains created by [Read more…]

2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival: Festival Center Tour

Whew! The 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival is half over, and it feels like it just began!

There’s been a ton to do and see, but we couldn’t let another day slip by without showing you around one of the must-visit spots — Festival Center.

Festival Center

Festival Center

Located in the old Wonders of Life Pavilion in Future World East, the venue comes alive each year for the Food and Wine Festival. This is your spot to attend low-cost seminars and demonstrations and other special events. You’ll find Festival information, Intermissions Cafe, and some great shopping here as well.

Festival Center Sign

Festival Center Sign

We recently toured the spot to bring you pictures of every corner. There’s a LOT to cover, so let’s get started!

2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival — Festival Center

Festival Center is THE place to begin your Food and Wine Festival Adventure. Helpful Cast Members provide you with information regarding all aspects of the Festival — from Marketplaces to Special Events.

Check out this map [Read more…]

2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Review: The Chocolate Dinner!

How many times have you said to yourself, “I wish I could eat CHOCOLATE for dinner!!!!” I know. TONS, right? Well the dream has finally come true! And it happened at the 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

This year, a brand new signature dining experience kicked off the festival during opening weekend. The Chocolate Dinner, hosted by Ghirardelli Chocolate, promised to be a sumptuous experience for the discriminating chocolate lover.

The dinner consisted of a reception, followed by six plated courses, presented by the Disney chefs who created them.

Let’s head over to Epcot’s World Showplace Event Pavilion for a look at this decadent event!

Reception

Ever wonder what’s behind those enormous brown doors between the Canada and UK Pavilions within Epcot’s World Showcase? You might, if you’ve never attended an event at the World Showplace Pavilion. But if you look closely at your Epcot map, you’ll see it there.

That was the setting for the evening’s event, and the sign above the beautiful awning announced it in style.

Chocolate Dinner Sign

Pan back a bit, and you can see the main entrance to the building. A reception preceding the plated dinner took place in the World Showplace courtyard, to the left of the main entrance.

World Showplace Entrance to the Chocolate Dinner

As we entered through the massive brown wooden doors, a team of servers greeted us with beverages. Guests could choose from Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, Chocolate Martinis, or Sparkling Wine. The drinks disappeared quickly every time the staff came out with another tray of them!

Young's Double Chocolate Stout

Chocolate Martini

While guests sipped on their cocktails, beer, and wine, teams of cast members passed trays of [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: September 22, 2013

This week, we got our first look at the 2013 Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party! Once again, the party is brimming with unique treats!

From candy corn soft serve to cupcakes galore (YUM!), we recommend snacking your way through the party. Don’t forget about the complimentary trick-or-treat candy!

Here’s some more food news from your favorite Disney parks…

Disney Food News

Enjoy this week’s delicious news!

Of course, there’s more! Check out all the latest Disney Food News — even the stuff we don’t mention in posts on the blog! — on our Disney Food News Pin Board, including a Ghirardelli at El Capitan Theatre, and more.

DFB Reader Finds

If you find a fun new food — or other edible 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!

We’re featuring delicious eats from Disneyland this week from Reader Wendy Hofmann!

First up: “Bowl of gumbo ($9) from Cafe Orleans! Delicious! The bowl is a much better deal than the cup ($6). The gumbo is rich, with lots of chunky chicken and sausage. The restaurant serves it with a big serving of dirty rice on top of the soup.”

Gumbo Soup

Wendy shares this next delight: “OK, next picture does not do this item justice…carrot cake from [Read more…]

Top 14 Disney Sweet-Salty Eats — Share Your Favorite!

We’re all about snacks lately on DFB, and we recently shared a list of our Top 12 Salty Snacks at Disney World! We came up with a couple of obvious choices (Popcorn!), but we also surprised some of you with other outside-the-box suggestions, like the Sleepy Hollow Waffle Sandwiches.

Out of that post, however, there came a fantastic suggestion from a DFB reader: we needed a list of sweet-meets-salty recommendations, too! I mean, you know how much I lurve some sea-salty sweets. :-)

And so today, we answer that challenge! Presenting, the DFB Top 14 Disney Sweet-Salty Foods (and Drinks!).

And yep, this one spans BOTH coasts. You’re gonna love it…

King Cupcake

When I first heard about the King Cupcake at Everything Pop Food Court, I absolutely couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.

A chocolate cupcake with banana pudding filling, peanut butter frosting, and candied bacon? Yes, pls.

So what’s up with this daring (for Disney) cupcake? I tried it…and I loved it!

King Cupcake from Everything Pop Food Court

The name is, of course, an homage to the King himself, Elvis Presley, and his love of peanut butter and banana sandwiches. But throw in the sweet-salty candied bacon, and you have the makings of a truly epic cupcake. You will be all shook up. (Ba ha ha ha!) I guarantee.

Chocolate-Covered Sea Salt Caramel

Ah, this is one of my favorites…and one of Disney’s truly hidden gems if you ask me. If you are seeking a few perfect bites of decadence, then look no further than the Chocolate-covered Sea Salt Caramel at Karamell-Küche in Epcot’s Germany.

(Seriously. This one could have a commercial made for it. One of those ads where the chick, like, shuts the door and locks it so that she’s all alone with her chocolate-covered caramel? You know what I mean.)

Chocolate-Covered Sea Salt Caramel at Karamell-Küche in Epcot

This is the quintessential sweet salty treat — super sweet caramel enrobed in chocolate (your choice of milk or dark), and sprinkled generously with crystals of sea salt. Each bite is the perfect combination of flavors and textures.

I’ve been known to walk around Epcot with one of these in my camera bag taking surreptitious bites throughout the day. Just sayin’.

Cinnamon-Glazed Nuts

If you’re looking for a sweet-salty treat that also packs a protein punch, then Cinnamon-glazed Almonds and Pecans are the indulgence for you.

We’ve spotted the treats in Epcot and Magic Kingdom, and our guest author Joey B. wrote about them just recently in a review of Animal Kingdom’s Dino Diner Snacks as well.

Cinnamon Glazed Almonds

Sweet, salty, and spicy, you smell these amazing pecans and almonds before you see them — and then you must have them!

And because they’re a snack that really stays with you (AND they don’t melt — a snack requirement in Orlando through most of the year), they’re perfect to tide you over until that next advanced dining reservation.

Monte Cristo Sandwich

No list of sweet salty favorites would be complete without paying tribute to what is quite possibly the best sandwich on the planet: the Monte Cristo Sandwich at Cafe Orleans in Disneyland. While not technically a “snack,” — it’s hard to finish this even as a meal — it’s still an awesome addition for any of you sweet-salty lovers out there.

Monte Cristo Sandwich

Also available at Blue Bayou, this is probably the closest that a sandwich ever came to being a donut! ;-)

Thick, rich bread envelops a combination of [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: February 17, 2013

It’s busy, busy in Disney World this weekend! Lots of vacationers, competitors, and more are making it very crowded; but I’m here and looking forward to sharing all of the awesome new eats and sights I’m gathering on my camera with you over the next few weeks!!

Cinderella Castle on a NOT so busy weekend! :-)

Stay tuned for more fun and tempting updates…like a gorgeous new “gourmet” caramel apple in the Magic Kingdom’s Confectionery! But first, the NEWS!

Disney Dining News

Check out new menus…

  • Disney World’s Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater at Disney’s Hollywood Studios has an updated menu!
  • New menu updates have debuted at ‘Ohana in Disney’s Polynesian Resort.

We’ve got additional food news, including restaurant closures, Tower of Terror 10-Miler tickets on sale, Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend tickets on sale March 12, Ghirardelli’s Chocolate Shop accepts Disney Dining Plan snack credits, and LOTS more, on our Disney Food News Pin Board! Head over and check it out!

The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2013 e-Book Review

Thanks to Running at Disney for a wonderful review of our DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2013 e-Book.

Pick up your copy today at DFBGuide.com — and don’t forget to use code 2013 at check-out to get your discount for a limited time!!

Running at Disney shares this tip:

I’ve found the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining incredibly useful in planning meals for my trips and it has saved me money along the way. I thought I knew everything there was to know about Disney dining, but boy was I wrong!

In-depth information on planning your meals AND money saving tips! Read the full review here.

Don’t miss out. Treat yourself to the new, 400+-page DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2013 e-Book. Just click here now for an extra $4 off using code 2013 for a limited time!

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!

AlisonD64 tweeted “Pumpkin soup, ham & cheese croissant, and duo aux chocolat at Les Halles Bakery–all great!”

Pumpkin Soup with Ham and Cheese Croissant at Les Halles Bakery

Reader Wendy Hofmann sent us a yummy treat — by picture! Check out the new Cappuccino Cupcake at Sunshine Seasons in Epcot’s The Land pavilion.

Cappuccino Cupcake

On to the Round-Up!

Walt Disney World for Grown Ups heads to the Polynesian Resort for a stop at the Kona Island Sushi Bar.

Daveland enjoys the Chef’s Table at Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel.

Eating (and Drinking) Around the World sips a Perfectly Proportioned Margarita during a seminar aboard the Disney Fantasy.

Yesterland visits the former Candy Shoppe at Disney California Adventure.

AllEars has a quiet lunch at the Grand Floridian Cafe.

Main Street Gazette has a quick service lunch at Be Our Guest Restaurant in the Magic Kingdom.

Disney by Mark shares the Italian Food and Wine Pairing Luncheon event at Epcot’s Via Napoli during the Food and Wine Festival.

 

Snack Series: Sundaes at Ghirardelli in Downtown Disney

Ghirardelli deliciousness can be found at both Disneyland AND Walt Disney World now.

And I knew it was time to take a look at a couple more fan-favorite sundaes at these lovely locations!

Recently, I showed you the amazing Sea Salt Caramel Hot Cocoa and the to-die-for Drinking Chocolate, but today it’s time to check out some sundaes that many of us can only dream about as we count down ’til our next Disney vacation!

Atmosphere

In case you aren’t familiar with Ghirardelli Soda Fountain in Walt Disney World, it’s a combo chocolate shop and old-fashioned ice cream parlor located right beside World of Disney at Downtown Disney’s Marketplace.

Even if you don’t indulge in a decadent treat, be sure to pop into the retail shop; they’re often giving out Ghirardelli chocolate square samples!

Ghirardelli Soda Fountain, Downtown Disney, Orlando

But if it’s ice cream you’re after, you are in for an amazing treat! There is a fantastic collection of huge ice cream sundaes here, big enough to share (although you may not want to).

Sundae Menu -- Click to Enlarge

There are also plenty of other options, like ice cream cones, shakes, floats, hot cocoa, and espresso.

Ice Cream Cones and More Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Ghirardelli Sea Salt Caramel Hot Cocoa

But let’s get on to the sundaes!

Cookie Bottom Sundae

There are few things in life that I love more than a good cookie and ice cream combo. And I loved checking out this highly recommend sundae!

Cookie Bottom Sundae

Half of a warm Colossal Chocolate Chip Cookie forms the base of this sundae. To that, they add [Read more…]

Must-Have Treats: Sea Salt Caramel Hot Cocoa and Drinking Chocolate at Ghirardelli

One of the long-time favorites of many Disney fans for dessert at Downtown Disney is the Ghirardelli Chocolate Shoppe and Soda Fountain in Orlando. Luckily — a new location just opened in Disney California Adventure in Disneyland Resort as well!

This spot serves some truly incredible sundaes and ice cream treats, but sometimes the dessert drinks get overlooked by guests (myself included) in favor of the more substantial menu items.

Over the past week I’ve sampled two Ghiaradelli dessert drinks that are Out. Of. This. World!! They are definitely now on my must-have (and go back and get again!) list…

Ghirardelli Soda Fountain Downtown Disney, Orlando

Sea Salt Caramel Hot Cocoa

On a recent visit to the Downtown Disney Ghirardelli location, I decided to forego the ice cream and instead order the Sea Salt Caramel Hot Cocoa that I’d been hearing so much about…

Ghirardelli Sea Salt Caramel Hot Cocoa

You can see this dreamy indulgence on the menu under [Read more…]

It’s National Root Beer Float Day! Celebrate in Disney World and Disneyland!

I don’t know who comes up with these things, but today, August 6, is National Root Beer Float Day. Google it. It’s true. In honor of this frosty treat of perfection we are happy to share with you some Root Beer Floats of the Disney Parks.

Our first float comes to you from the newly opened Ghirardelli Store in Disney California Adventure.

Ghirardelli in Disney California Adventure

Ghirardelli uses hand scooped ice cream and serves their floats up in open-top plastic cups. You can opt for a cover, but not until you have a few sips/bites. It overflows quickly, so have your straw and spoon ready to take action!

Ghirardelli Root Beer Float

Next up, I give you the “Route” Beer Float served over at Disney California Adventure’s Cars Land. You can find this one in the Ice Cream Cone (Cone #2) over at the Cozy Cone Motel! [Read more…]

Guest Review: Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop at Disney California Adventure

Today we’re welcoming guest author Kent Walker with a cool review of the brand new Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop at Disney California Adventure. Read on for a delicious dose of ice cream and brownies!

Having been big fans of chocolate since before we could spell the word, my wife and I were very excited to find out that a Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop would be opening at Disney California Adventure. Not only would we be able to ride Radiator Springs Racers, we’d be able to do it with a belly full of ice cream, hot fudge, and brownie.

Atmosphere

The Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop occupies the space that used to be the Mission Tortilla Factory, which was an original DCA attraction in 2001.

While we were sad to see the factory go (our sons especially loved the free corn and flour tortillas – including a whole bag on their birthday!), our depression was short-lived when we found out we could drown our sorrows in sea salt caramel hot cocoa!

Inside Ghirardelli at Disney California Adventure

Our family has been to San Francisco and visited the Ghirardelli Square shop, so we knew how good their chocolate, sundaes and chocolate drinks were. Other than the much larger selection of chocolate in San Francisco, the soda fountains are very similar.

Ghirardelli in DCA made the wise choice of having much wider aisles for easier stroller navigation and crowd control, and a Ghirardelli staffer hands out samples and menus out at the door. They even go the extra step and cut off the top of the foil package so it’s easier for you to get at your free chocolate treat. On the day we stopped by, it was a caramel filled milk chocolate piece.

Other than the wider aisles for crowds and strollers, the inside is very similar to other Ghirardelli Soda Fountains across the country. One nice touch, though, is a [Read more…]