Disney Food Blog FAQ: How Much Should I Budget for the 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival?

It’s here! I can hardly believe it, but the 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival is finally underway!

Food and Wine Tips Graphic 1

The fun officially kicked off on September 14 and runs until November 14. That’s more than eight weeks of savoring all that this special event has to offer! And we had so much fun eating and drinking along the Promenade to discover our Best of the Fest dishes and drinks to recommend!

But of course, you can’t forget the tons of events that take place during the Festival. From Low Cost Events like Culinary Demonstrations and Beverage Seminars to high end Special Events like Party for the Senses, there’s so much to do at every turn. But here’s the catch — nearly all of it comes with a pricetag.

So that, of course, begs the question: how in the World do you plan for the Food Lover Trip of the Year?

We get it! So we’re here for you with some great tips for Budgeting for the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. And if you like what you see, be sure to check out our 2016 DFB Guide to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, completely updated with everything you can expect to enjoy at this year’s event!

The Food and Wine Festival is HERE! But it can be pricey...

The Food and Wine Festival is HERE! But it can be pricey…

How Much Money Should I Budget For a Day at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival?

Well, the answer to that is…it totally depends! [Read more…]

Review: Morocco Juice Bar at Epcot’s Spice Road Table

It’s no secret that we think Morocco has some of the most intriguing options in Epcot’s World Showcase, so we’re going to take a closer look!

The juice bar outside the Spice Road Table restaurant in the Morocco pavilion has some refreshing options you might be interested in! The bar is basically a walk-up window serving some unique drinks. (They used to have house-made ice cream, but, alas, no longer.) While you wait for your table at Spice Road Table or walk around the World Showcase, stop by the juice bar for a pick-me-up!

Morocco-Juice-Bar-505x625

Morocco Juice Bar

[Read more…]

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Review: Mediterranean Food and Wine Pairing at Spice Road Table

It’s hard to believe that the 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival is right around the corner!

2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Logo Official Disney

This year, it stretches to a full two months! The fun begins September 14 and runs 62 days — ending November 14!

While there’s so much to eat, drink, and explore, it’s always fun to take in a few of the Special Events happening throughout the festival.

Events are varied, and include premium parties like Party for the Senses as well as special lunches and dinners that emphasize food and beverage pairings.

In the past we’ve really enjoyed these experiences, ranging from Beverage Pairings in Japan to Beer and Food Pairing in Italy — and even a Tequila Pairing in Mexico!

Last year, we decided that it was time to try a few new experiences. And since we had already tried the Moroccan Wine Pairing (loved it!), the other event in the Morocco Pavilion piqued our interest.

Wondering About ALL of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival Events?

The DFB Guide to the 2016 Epcot Food & Wine Festival e-Book is now available for pre-order! This 250+-page guide to the Festival offers insider tips and advice as well as all of the details you need to know to plan your best Festival visit ever.

2015 DFB F&W Guide Cover

Your purchase includes several bonus items as well — including a full daily schedule of events at the Festival and a printable World Showcase Booth Menu Checklist to carry with you as you Eat around the World!

Order your 2016 edition today and we’ll immediately send you the 2015 edition for FREE to get started on planning right away! Don’t miss a moment of the fun!

Use code Chefs at check-out for a 20% off the cover price!

And now, onto the review!

Mediterranean Food and Wine Pairing in the Morocco Pavilion

The Mediterranean Food and Wine Pairing event took place at Spice Road Table in Epcot’s Morocco Pavilion. [Read more…]

Review: Chocolate Honey Baklava at Tangierine Cafe in Epcot’s Morocco Pavilion

Tangierine Cafe is one of Epcot’s World Showcase Counter Service classics thanks to delicious and authentic eats.

However, this beautiful Pavilion can be overlooked in regards to dining, even while showcasing great food in beautiful surroundings with Restaurant Marrakesh, Spice Road Table, and again, the spot we’re visiting today — Tangierine Cafe. It’s understandable, though, that when groups (especially families with little ones) travel together, the Pavilion offering possibly the most different flavors from what the majority of the group may be used to might be the easiest to pass.

Still, no matter what your or your traveling companions’ flavor preferences might be, I can think of few people who can argue against Baklava. Buttery and flaky puff pastry filled with honey and nuts (walnuts, cashews, or pistachios, while we’re at it), you’ll find a few varieties tucked into the pastry case located past the primary ordering counter at Tangierine Cafe.

Tangierine Cafe Sign

Tangierine Cafe Sign

You’ll have to go on a hunt because the pastries are located in a small alcove of sorts beyond the main ordering area. They’ll be on your left when facing the entree ordering stations. Your search will be rewarded with the view of a case full of items like Chocolate or Tangerine Rolls (or Roulades), Semolina Cookies and Almond Pastries alongside more standard muffins and cookies. [Read more…]

Recommended Disney Dining Plan Quick Service Credit Values

We are back with the final installment in our popular series sharing our picks for the Top Value Restaurants when it comes to using your Disney Dining Plan in Walt Disney World.

Disney Food Blog Recommended Disney Dining Plan Quick Service Credit Values

Previously, we shared our recommendations for the Recommended Disney Dining Plan Two-Credit Restaurants as well as our choices for Recommended Disney Dining Plan One-Credit Restaurant Values.

Today, we’re sharing our recommendations for Quick Service Restaurants when you’re using the Disney Dining Plan.

Remember — the name of the game here is finding the restaurants that hit the right balance: they have 1) a high average entree price, but they’re also 2) spots that we here at DFB would recommend.

Why is this important? Because we want to help you maximize those Disney Dining Plan Quick Service Credits. Note that we have plenty of our own favorites that don’t make this list because the average price didn’t put them at the top.

Here are our picks for the restaurants that give you the best overall bang for your Disney Dining Plan buck when it comes to quick service credit spots.

Wolfgang Puck Express

Wolfgang Puck Express has been around forever, it seems. But one thing doesn’t change — even after all of these years, it still represents amazing quality and value, whether you’re dining on the DDP or not.

Wolfgang Puck Express Roast Chicken -- One of My All-Time Favorites

Wolfgang Puck Express Roast Chicken — One of My All-Time Favorites

That’s because the food here is easily on par with many table service spots. And when you consider that the average price of an entree here is just over $13, it also makes a lot of sense to spend your DDP credits here. [Read more…]

Review: Tangierine Cafe in Epcot’s Morocco Pavilion

It has been too long since my last visit to Epcot’s Tangierine Cafe. (Yep, that’s spelled correctly. It’s like a play on words, right? Tangiers, Morocco — Tangierine? Get it? OK, moving on.)

My absence from this spot recently is kind of shocking, since it’s always voted some of the best and most interesting counter service food that you can get anywhere in Walt Disney World.

Located right on the promenade in the Morocco Pavilion, Tangierine Cafe offers an immersive atmosphere and good food with the ring of authenticity. Or at least, that’s always been my experience before.

Atmosphere

Tangierine Cafe is very photogenic. The whole Morocco pavilion is gorgeous, and this is no exception.

Tangierine Cafe

Tangierine Cafe

Once inside, you’ll find a cafeteria-style ordering area, and limited seating.

Ordering Counter and Seating Area

Ordering Counter and Seating Area — Notice the Beautiful Light Fixtures and Ceiling Detail

Assembling Plates

Assembling Plates

Indoor Seating Area, as Seen From the Coffee Bar at the Back

Indoor Seating Area, as Seen From the Coffee Bar at the Back

As you probably know, the construction of the Morocco Pavilion was sponsored by the government of Morocco; the design was overseen by King Hassan II himself! And so, the intricate decor and detail you see here represent design details authentic to Moroccan ideals.

Zellige tile, colored glass, and beautiful light fixtures punctuate the space and transport you to your exotic destination.

View from indoor table

View from indoor table

Seating

Seating and Stunning Tilework

Beautiful Lighting and Ceiling Detail

Beautiful Lighting and Ceiling Detail

Choose a seat inside, or enjoy lunch on the outdoor terrace that’s off to the side of the front entrance. It provides an excellent vantage for people watching.

Tangierine Cafe Terrace

Tangierine Cafe Terrace

View from Outdoor Seating

View from Outdoor Seating

There’s also a wonderful little room in the back of the space, set apart from the high-celinged main dining room. Since it’s rather hidden, sometimes you’ll find it empty. It’s a great spot to take a break from the Epcot crowds.

Small Room Off to the Side of the Coffee and Dessert Bar

Small Room Off to the Side of the Coffee and Dessert Bar

Additional outdoor seating, with umbrella-shaded tables, is available on the other side of the restaurant.

Additional Outdoor Seating on the Other Side of Tangierine Cafe

Additional Outdoor Seating on the Other Side of Tangierine Cafe

Back inside, you’ll make your selections and await your food. Beverage options include a few Moroccan beers, which are available by the bottle, in addition to standard soft drink options.

Top Cooler with Bottled Soft Drinks and Beer

Top Cooler with Bottled Soft Drinks and Beer

Some of the Beers Available

Some of the Beers Available

You’ll find another hidden gem in the back of the restaurant, near the cash register. A bar devoted to [Read more…]

Review: Lunch at Spice Road Table in Epcot’s Morocco Pavilion

Happy (almost) First Birthday, Spice Road Table!

Spice Road Table hit the scene in Epcot’s Morocco Pavilion almost one year ago now, so we thought it would be a great time to pay another visit to this beautiful restaurant and see how things are going.

Since it’s opening, this Table Service location has offered Mediterranean tapas (small plates) and a unique wine and beer list. However, Spice Road Table recently changed its approach a bit with the addition of Advance Dining Reservations and acceptance of the Disney Dining Plan, as well as a new focus on entree-sized menu options.

So now is a great time to show you what’s evolved, and what’s remained the same at Spice Road Table!

Atmosphere

While we will be discussing some of the recent changes at Spice Road Table, the atmosphere definitely falls under the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” category.

Spice Road Table

Spice Road Table

The decor remains stunning, from the restaurant itself to the waterfront views it provides of World Showcase Lagoon. You can get an idea of those views as you approach Morocco from the bridge that connects Epcot’s France and UK Pavilions.

Spice Road Table View from the water

Spice Road Table View from the water

The first thing to greet you as you step inside is the bar area, made remarkable by bold blue on the walls and the view of the water wheel outside.

Spice Road Table Bar -- straight ahead as you enter

Spice Road Table Bar — straight ahead as you enter

Spice Road Table Bar

Spice Road Table Bar

From here, you’ll be seated either indoors or outside (preferences can be stated at the check-in podium, and are honored as availability permits). While the indoor seating area is small and narrow, it is beautiful, featuring intricate woodwork surrounding the booths.

Indoor seating

Indoor seating

Indoor seating

Indoor seating

Gorgeous — there’s no other word for them — Moroccan lanterns and decorative items are on display near the ceiling.

Spice Road Table Indoor Lanterns

Spice Road Table Indoor Lanterns

Decor

Decor

But the most striking decorative element is the view of the water from the large windows lining the inside of the restaurant. (It’s worth noting that most of the indoor booths, with a few exceptions, are situated facing the windows for great water views from just about anywhere in the space).

Indoor seating

Indoor seating

Spice Road Table Setting Indoors

Window seat

But Spice Road Table might be best known for it’s outdoor seating area, offering prime views for the nightly IllumiNations fireworks spectacular (and likely the very reason Spice Road Table began offering Advance Dining Reservations, since the spot is in higher demand in the hour before IllumiNations begins).

Outdoor seating

Outdoor seating

Beautiful lighting fixtures are key decorative elements outside as well.

Spice Road Table Outdoor Lanterns

Spice Road Table Outdoor Lanterns

Hanging lantern

Hanging lantern

And it’s a cool fact that the [Read more…]

What’s New Around Walt Disney World: December 11, 2014

HAPPY HOLIDAYS from Disney World!! The season is rolling right along with festive treats and special events. And, as always, there’s plenty of other food news to go around: menu changes, new eats (did somebody say “Barbecued Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese?!”), completed refurbishments, ongoing Downtown Disney construction, and more. So join us on another trip around the World to see What’s New

EPCOT

Holidays Around the World is in full swing at Epcot! This annual festival shares holiday traditions from around the globe through story, music, and — our favorite! — FOOD!

Happy Holidays from EPCOT!

Happy Holidays from EPCOT!

Epcot Christmas tree ornaments

Epcot Christmas tree ornaments

Holiday Storyteller in Japan

Holiday Storyteller in Japan

France decoration

France decoration

Remember, this is the only time of year to grab such treats as Happy Face Fried Cakes at the Joy of Tea in China, Gingerbread Ice Cream at L’artisan des Glaces in France, and Panettone sweet bread at Italy’s Gelato Stand.

Happy Face Fried Cakes

Happy Face Fried Cakes

Gingerbread Ice Cream

Gingerbread Ice Cream

Panettone Sweet Bread display

Panettone Sweet Bread display

But there’s plenty of non-holiday food news as well… Starting in Morocco, Spice Road Table has not only started taking Advance Dining Reservations — they’re also now accepting the Disney Dining Plan.

To offer guests the ability to maximize their one Table Service plan credit, this tapas-based restaurant is now also serving full-sized entrees, including Coriander Crusted Rack of Lamb, Roasted Chicken, and a Mediterranean Vegetable Platter, among others.

Spice Road Table

Spice Road Table

Spice Road Table menu

Spice Road Table menu

Staying in Morocco, Tangierine Cafe debuted new entrees as well: a Meatball Platter and Saffron Rotisserie Chicken.

Tangierine Cafe menu

Tangierine Cafe menu

Tangierine Cafe entree display

Tangierine Cafe entree display

At the United Kingdom’s Rose & Crown Pub and Dining Room, the [Read more…]

Review: Tangerine Delight Slushie at Spice Road Table Juice Bar

On a recent stroll around Epcot’s World Showcase, I paid a visit to the Spice Road Table Juice Bar in the Morocco Pavilion. It was a hot afternoon (no surprise there!), so I was seeking out the Chef-created ice cream to cool down a bit.

Spice Road Table and Shops in the Morocco Pavilion

Spice Road Table and Shops in the Morocco Pavilion

However, I noticed a few new additions to the non-alcoholic Oasis Slushies on the menu: the Desert Rose and the Tangerine Delight have joined the Royal Blue Slushie.

Spice Road Table Juice Bar Menu

Spice Road Table Juice Bar Menu

Since I was after anything cold at that point, I thought I would try something new.

Guests could previously find the Desert Rose (made with Pink Lemonade) and Royal Blue Slush (made with Blue Raspberry) at the Morocco Oasis Kiosk which also offered the Sultan’s Colada and the Moroccorita cocktails.

Since the arrival of Spice Road Table, that kiosk has been removed, so it’s nice to know that some – in fact, most — of those offerings are available at the Juice Bar (by the way, it’s a little difficult to read in the photo, but the price for a non-alcoholic Slushie is $5.99).

Tangerine Delight was new to me, so I decided to give it a whirl!

Tangerine Delight

Tangerine Delight

I am SO glad I did… this simple slush packs a TON of flavor. Everything you need to know about it is [Read more…]