Guest Review: Epcot Food and “More Than Just” Wine Festival

As we all gear up for the 2012 Food and Wine Festival, welcome Heather Jones with a fun exploration through last year’s events!

I was so excited to experience the Epcot Food and Wine Festival for the first time. But I was thinking that Disney might be doing the festival a disservice by calling it “Food and Wine,” because there are so many more drink choices than just wine.

Don’t get me wrong I love a nice chilled Chardonnay or a spicy Shiraz. But there’s also a huge variety of beer, cocktails, and sake to be had as well. I guess they can’t call it the “Food and Booze Festival.” That wouldn’t sound very Disney!

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Signage

Beer Review

Let’s start with some beer, shall we? Our first stop was the brand new Hawaii booth for the Kalua Pork Slider and the Tuna Poke along with a Kona Longboard and a Pipeline beer.

Kalua Pork Slider

Tuna Poke

The Pipeline is dark and flavorful porter (I just love a dark beer!) and the Longboard is a tasty, light lager that paired well with the Poke.

Kona Long board and Pipeline Beer

Another favorite beer for me was the [Read more…]

Review: Le Cellier Steakhouse Signature Dinner

Time to revisit a fan and Disney Food Blog Favorite: Le Cellier Steakhouse in Epcot’s Canada Pavilion!

Signature Dinner, One Year Later

You’ll remember that we visited Le Cellier last March for dinner, just after Le Cellier dinner became a signature meal on the Disney Dining Plan (meaning it now will cost you two table service credits to dine there, rather than one).

At that time, we were focused on whether the menu could really deliver an experience that was significantly different than it had been before, and whether dinner would be worth the much higher prices than you’ll find at lunch. We walked away somewhat let down by the meal — especially disappointing was the ribeye with maple butter, a flavor combo that just seemed all wrong — but we were confident that they would pull it together. We also wondered right along with you if lunch would also become a signature meal, and if dinner would continue to be a signature meal.

Fast forward a year from that first signature dinner! It’s time to see what, if any, evolution has taken place!


In the year since we last visited, only two real changes have taken place in the dining room during the Signature dinner meal. Remember those snazzy little maple leaf napkin rings that I told you about last year? Those are gone from the tables, as are the table votive candles and their pretty little holders.

If I had to guess why, I would figure that they were so cute, they proved to be irresistible to snag as a souvenir. ;-) But that same upscale, wine cellar feeling with arches, candlelight sconces, deep reds, and dark woods throughout still signal that you are someplace lovely, cozy, and probably surrounded by snow.

Dining Room

As you can see, the lack of table candles and napkin rings makes dinner pretty indistinguishable from the lunch setting.




After we were seated, our server, Gabby, greeted us cheerfully. She was wonderful from the get go! We learned that she was on her second Le Cellier tour with the International Program, and she proved to be helpful and knowledgeable as we made our choices. Of course, we started with a few drinks.

Beer Menu - click image for larger version

First up: the [Read more…]

Review: Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater’s New Menu

At the end of Commissary Lane, nestled in an unassuming soundstage-like building, is one of the most unique restaurants at Walt Disney World — Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater.

This restaurant will get you out of the hot Florida sunshine (or downpours if you’re here this week!), take you back in time, and provide a restful setting. Stepping inside, 1950s cars and kitsch will invite you to dine in an Imagineered drive-in at night time.

After being seated in your convertible car, the welcoming car hop will take your order while you watch classic clips from silly 1950’s horror flicks, cartoons, and news reels. Check out the snack bar commercials beckoning you to visit long-ago concessions stands for a truly vintage experience!

After glimpsing the new menu that was just unveiled last week (which features a burger + hot dog in one), we had to change up our trip reservations to stop by this restaurant in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Wouldn’t you?


After checking in with your reservation, you’ll start to get the idea of what this place is about. 1950’s movie references are all around you — even tucked into the nooks and crannies of the soundstage set around you!

Movie Posters in Entrance Area

Movie Posters in Entrance Area

B-Movie Props

B-Movie Props

After a (usually long, in my experience) wait, you’ll be taken “down the highway” into the main dining area and your table.

When you first walk into this incredible room, you’ll be bowled over. At least I always am! I just want to stare for a while at the realistic looking Drive-In theater environment…the sparkly shining convertible cars, the picnic tables in the back, the stars twinkling in the night sky… [Read more…]

Review: Ariel’s Grotto in Disney California Adventure

Disneyland’s Princess meal takes place in Disney California Adventure at Ariel’s Grotto, a lovely little restaurant full of windows and under-the-sea themeing perfectly fitting for the princess from The Little Mermaid.

Ariel’s Grotto lunch at Disney’s California Adventure in Disneyland Resort begins with an impressive-looking first course followed by your choice of entrees. Go ahead and skip ahead to the dessert platter. It’s worth a quick peek now, but be sure to return here to finish our full review!

Restaurant Entrance


The princess vibe hits you before you even walk into the restaurant. Well, at least it did for us! We were required to walk past a merchandise kiosk selling princess dresses in order to get to the front door. Can you imagine walking by all of those dresses with your little girl on your way to a princess character meal? You’ll have to keep your wits about you, because I’m guessing she won’t! ;-)

Princess Dress Kiosk

Passing the princess dresses, we walked under a sign welcoming us (and the Merfolk), and headed into the reception area for Ariel’s.

Ariel's Entrance

Here, we checked in at the podium and checked out a display of celebration cakes. These were prominent throughout Disneyland during our last visit. They’re available for order when [Read more…]