Review: Epcot Food and Wine Festival Party for the Senses

So this is pretty exciting — I finally got to attend a Party for the Senses at this year’s Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

For those who aren’t sure what I’m talking about (I know — “Party for the Senses” can sound a bit odd!), the Party for the Senses is held most Saturdays during the Epcot Food & Wine Festival each year. This exclusive event impresses the taste buds, of course, but it also aims to awaken all of your senses. During this 2 1/2 hour extravaganza, food and beverages flow freely as awe-inspiring entertainment is performed by Cirque du Soleil, La Nouba.

Party for the Senses at World Showplace Pavilion in Epcot (Photo copyright Disney)

There are two more parties being offered this year — November 5, and November 12 — for $145 per ticket (plus you’ll need Epcot park admission). Note that the Wine View Lounge upgrade, which includes private tables ($260) is sold out. Reservations can be made at 407-WDW-FEST or at Disneyworld.com/foodandwine.

Interestingly, the artfully prepared menus (including chefs and vinters) change, so your party may not have the same offerings as the one that we attended.

Now that we have the specs out of the way, let’s get into the meat of the night!

Atmosphere

We attended the Party for the Senses during the “Deluge of 2011,” as I like to call it. That’s right; we got all gussied up and sloshed over to Epcot on October 8th. When we arrived at the World Showplace [Read more…]

Top 10 Disney World Bars and Lounges

South African Wine at Jiko

When it comes to a happy hour beverage, a night out with your spouse or some friends, or…let’s face it…a margarita at the stroke of noon…there are a few spots in Disney World that get the job done better than others! FYI — The Disney Food Blog offers a full list of bars and lounges — complete with descriptions of each place — in our DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining e-Book.

Now, let’s take a tour of our Top Ten Disney World bars and lounges — these are the places that really make us want to get up and dance. ;-) Don’t forget to check out our list of Honorable Mentions at the end! Many of these spots offer the standard Disney Parks bar and lounge menu should you be interested.

Top Ten WDW Bars and Lounges

Top Ten Walt Disney World Bars and Lounges

1. La Cava del Tequila

Nestled in the twilit atmosphere of the Mexican pavilion in Epcot, La Cava del Tequila is popular with tequila and margarita fans. Try the Avocado Margarita while perusing the limited appetizer menu. See our margarita reviews here and a pic of the tequila flight here!

Due to its cozy and dark location, La Cava makes a great place to escape the heat and bright sunshine while touring World Showcase. However, it gets crowded quickly, so to ensure that you get a table, head over to La Cava at opening time — noon!

La Cava Bar

2. Jellyrolls

While Jellyrolls isn’t for everyone, if you love music from the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s, and especially if you love dueling piano improv, it’s going to fit the bill for you!

An entertainment spot on Disney’s Boardwalk bringing you non-stop dueling pianos, the bar at Jellyrolls plays second fiddle to [Read more…]

Review: Narcoossee’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

It’s quiet, it’s refined, the food is decent, and it’s one of those “hidden gems” when it comes to seeing the Magic Kingdom fireworks!! What more could you ask for? ;-)

Narcoossee’s boasts prime real estate at the Grand Floridian resort on the shores of Seven Seas Lagoon and has some of the best seafood on Disney World property.

Atmosphere

Getting to Narcoossee’s can be a bit of a trick — maybe that’s why it’s still not all that difficult to get an ADR here!

The restaurant is located at the end of the Grand Floridian transportation boat dock, which means it’s about as far from the front door of the lobby (and the monorail) as you can get! If you wind up taking a boat there, it’ll be easier; but since Narcoossee’s is a signature dining location, you’ll likely be a bit dressed up, so a boat from the theme park might not be the best choice. ;-) Once you arrive at the lobby, ask a Cast Member how to get there. It’s much easier than trying to follow signs or a map.

Narcoossees Sign

Upon arriving at the restaurant, you’ll walk past the Chef’s vegetable and herb garden, which lines each side of the entry sidewalk to the resort. (Oh yeah, remember that Narccoossee’s is outside the main lobby, so bring your ‘brella if [Read more…]

Chefs and Beverage Presenters at the 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

The list of Visiting Chefs and Presenters has been announced for the 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival! Are your faves on the list?

Visiting Chefs and Speakers include Cat Cora, the Food Network’s Iron Chef known for her Greek and American cooking. WDW guests love Kouzzina! You’ve seen Robert Irvine on several Food Network shows including 2011’s Restaurant: Impossible. Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern may shock picky palates with his Bizarre Foods but he’s also a huge fan of Walt Disney World! And Keegan Gerhard, host of multiple Food Network Challenges, will surely present something mouth-watering!

Visiting Chefs - click image for larger version

And the renowned Walt Disney World Chefs (insert huge applause!) include Chef Brian Piasecki, Chef de Cuisine at the California Grill! Chef TJ Sudiswa has wowed many guests dining on a Special Diet. Once at ‘Ohana, he’s now [Read more…]

Review: Gasparilla Grill at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

Tucked into one of Disney World’s most iconic resort hotels — The Grand Floridian Resort and Spa — Gasparilla Grill is one of the only restaurants open 24 hours in Walt Disney World!

Atmosphere

Gasparilla Grill is the the counter service location at the Grand Floridian and is sandwiched between the Grand Floridian Cafe and the Grand Floridian Kids’ Club.

It offers both hot and cold (grab-and-go) items as well as bakery items and soft-serve ice cream.

Gasparilla Entrance

Gasparilla Food Area

You’ll find plenty of seating inside and outside. Outdoor seating has a fantastic view of [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: July 17, 2011

2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Event Banner

We’re so excited about the response to our 2011 WDW Foodie Fest Snack Attack event. Tickets sold out within just a couple of hours on Friday!

For those who won’t be able to join us, we’d love to see you at the other WDW Foodie Fest events. You can check out the Schedule of Events here!

Disney Food News

Check out some of the latest news in the Disney food world!

New Disney Food Blog Mini-Guide Just Around the Corner…

Yep, we’re finishing up the final edits on our brand new Mini-Guide e-Book!

As you know, our DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining e-Book covers a wealth of information about Disney World food. But after hitting 250 pages, we reserved some of the more detailed info for our upcoming series of Mini-Guides.

The first in the series will be the Disney Food Blog Mini-Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks, and it will be debuting very soon.

Detailed reviews, photos, prices, and snack-credit-worthiness of over 70 snacks in the Magic Kingdom are packed into this Mini-Guide, but, as always, we’ve included a few extras and bonus items as well!

We’ll have more information for you very soon; we can’t wait to hear what you think!

Let’s go…On to the Round-Up!

WDW for Grownups checks out some Disney dining discounts!

Disney Tourist Blog reviews Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue in Disneyland Resort.

DisneyContemporary.com looks back at the Contemporary Resort’s Fiesta Fun Center.

Eating (and Drinking) Around the World looks at tuna-inspired dishes.

Main Street Gazette tours the Magic Kingdom restaurant signs that beckon us to dine.

Hoperatives reviews the brew pub, Big River Grille and Brewing Works at the Boardwalk resort. Find your “better beer”!

DLP.info shows updates us on construction at Colonel Hathi’s Pizza Outpost in Disneyland Paris.

4Parks1Blog.com reviews Kouzzina at the Boardwalk resort.

Tables in Wonderland: July 2011 Events

Tables in Wonderland has announced July 2011 events! Details can be found below the photos. Click on photos for larger version!

click on image for larger version

click on image for larger version

Sunday Brunch at Narcoossee’s

Featuring the Wines of Domaine Chandon-Moët & Chandon USA

Location: Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Date and Time: [Read more…]

Disney’s Victoria & Albert’s Restaurant Earns AAA Five Diamond Award

The Disney Food Blog congratulates Victoria & Albert’s on receiving the AAA Five-Diamond for the 11th year in a row!

Located at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, Victoria & Albert’s well deserves this honor – the highest awarded by AAA. Fifty-five restaurants were distinguished on the 2011 list, with V&A’s being the sole recipient from Central Florida.

The memorable meals are due to the fine talents of Chef Scott Hunnel, manager and sommelier Israel Perez, and Master Pastry Chef Erich Herbitschek.

Chef Scott Hunnel

Check out some of the gorgeous cuisine Chef Hunnel creates at the Victoria & Albert’s Chef’s Table in this guest review from our [Read more…]

Review: 1900 Park Fare

OK. We all know that one of my major qualms with many Disney restaurants is inconsistency of experience. Some days, it’s great. Some days, it’s awful. You just don’t know what you’re going to get.

My visit to 1900 Park Fare was on one of those not-so-great days.

Now let me fully admit — here up front — that I know many folks who love 1900 Park Fare, swear by the food quality, and find the atmosphere charming. They have a great time at this restaurant, so understand that my review is just one of many.

Hopefully some readers (HINT HINT ;-)) will add their two cents to the comments section below so you can base your decision to go on a number of experiences.

Atmosphere

1900 Park Fare is located in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort (read: swanky), but it’s not a hoity toity spot. As a character meal and buffet, feel free to wear your shorts and t-shirt.

You can get to the Grand Floridian by car (park valet — the walk from self-parking can be long), monorail (take the resort line), or boat from the Magic Kingdom or the Polynesian Resort. The restaurant is located near the [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: May 22, 2011

Star Wars Weekends Specialty Popcorn Bucket

We’re reporting from Walt Disney World this weekend, and over the past couple of days I’ve racked up about a hundred new things to share with you! Better get your stretchy pants, my friends!!

This week in Disney food news:

Here’s what’s happening in the World of Disney Food this week…

DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining Reviews

Thanks to Magical Kingdoms for publishing a great review of The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining! Here’s what they had to say…

The 250 pages cover pretty much everything you need to know about dining at Walt Disney World, and even those who have made multiple trips may learn something new by reading this book.

See the full review here. And get your copy of The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining right here!

And now… on to the round-up!

The Passporter Moms Podcast this week is all about Disney food, and guess who they asked to join them? Thanks to Jennifer and Sara for letting me talk about my favorite subject with them!

Yesterland bids farewell to Pizza Oom Mow Mow in Disney California Adventure.

Fatherhood…Video Games…and Ice Cream shares what it’s like to be Prince of the Day at Cinderella’s Royal Table.

DisneyContemporary.com leads us to some fun (and romantic!) Contemporary Resort dining options for grown-ups.

Main Street Gazette reviews the Steakhouse Salad at the Contempo Cafe.

All Fare’s Food Blog features a guest article (by yours truly ;-) ) about dining aboard the Disney Dream.

Around Disney highlights upgraded menus at Disneyland.