2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Booth Preview: Greece and Puerto Rico

We are just a couple of weeks from the start of the most wonderful time of the year! The 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival gets underway on September 19!

food and wine festival logo

Today, we’re bringing you another preview of some of the Marketplace Booths that will be featured at this year’s festival.

It’s hard to figure out just which one of the more than 25 kiosks is our favorite. We love trying returning classics and brand new dishes every year.

Come check out what’s new and what’s returning at the Greece and Puerto Rico Marketplace Booths.

Greece Marketplace Booth

Night and day, it’s never surprising to see loooooong lines at the Greece Marketplace Booth. This exotic spot has been a favorite for as long as it’s been around.

Greece Marketplace Booth

Greece Marketplace Booth

But a few years back, it cemented its claim to fame when they introduced a simple dish — Griddled Greek Cheese with Pistachios and Honey. It’s a favorite, and it’s returning again this year.

2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Greece Booth Menu

  • Vegetarian Moussaka
  • Griddled Greek Cheese with Pistachios and Honey (gluten free)
  • Chicken gyro with tzatziki Sauce
  • Spanakopita
  • Domaine Skouras Moscofilero
  • Domaine Siglas Assyrtiko/Athiri
  • Alpha Estate Axia Syrah-Xinomavro
  • Tzatziki Martini featuring Crop Organic Cucumber Vodka and BOLS Natural Yoghurt Liqueur

Throughout the Food and Wine Festival, we continue to see a commitment on Disney’s part to offer inventive and delicious vegetarian dishes. Brand new for 2014, the Greece Marketplace will offer a classic dish – Moussaka! But this version is vegetarian, made with soy as a meat replacement. We tried it at the Food and Wine Festival Preview dinner, and it won rave reviews.

Vegetarian Moussaka

Vegetarian Moussaka

The dish was surprisingly hearty and full of bold flavor.

But our real reason for trip after trip to the Greece Booth is the super simple  [Read more…]

Guest Review: Harambe Nights at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Today, we welcome @MealTrip back to Disney Food Blog with an in-depth look — and some incredible photos! — of the opening night performance of Harambe Nights!

We enjoyed our first experience with this new hard ticket event at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom when we brought you a sneak peek from a media event recently. Now that the performance — which includes the new show The Lion King –A Concert in the Wild, a Welcome Reception, and a Street Party afterwards — is open to the public, we wanted to bring you another look at the event.

Let’s see what works — and what still needs a little work.

Harambe Nights at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

I made my way to the event location in plenty of time to check out the area for Harambe Nights before many of the guests arrived, and the set up is quite well done.

Festively-capped Cast Members greet guests of the event at the front gate of Animal Kingdom.

Cast Members Welcoming Guests to Harambe Nights

Cast Members Welcoming Guests to Harambe Nights

Here’s a close up of the Harambe Nights sign.

Welcome Sign

Welcome Sign

Let’s head in and take a look around.

Welcome Reception

As you enter the area, don’t forget to grab a program right after you check in and receive your wristband. The program contains information about merchandise, food, and the show.

Distributing Programs

Distributing Programs

It also gives you a handy schedule so you know just how the evening will unfold.

Event Program -- Click to Enlarge

Event Program — Click to Enlarge

Here’s the view as I arrived. The streets of the new Harambe Theater District are set up and ready to go before the party.

Streets of the New Harambe Street District as Guests Arrive

Streets of the New Harambe Street District as Guests Arrive

And here’s the area after 1,000 people are let in!

Streets of the New Harambe Theater District as it Fills with People

Streets of the New Harambe Theater District as it Fills with People

There are numerous beverage and food stations set up throughout the area. Here’s an example of one of the beverage stations. And yes — that’s Jungle Juice!

Beverage Station

Beverage Station

The Welcoming Party menu is somewhat light, and everything food and drink-wise is repeated at all stations, so if you’ve found one, you’ve found them all.

Welcome Reception Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Welcome Reception Menu — Click to Enlarge

The self-serve hot “appetizer” stations are well-looked after by Cast Members, and if you feel the line is too long when you walk up to one, just hang back and wait a few minutes. The crowds tend to ebb and flow, and there’s plenty of time to visit the food tables multiple times without standing in a long line.

Self Serve Appetizers at the Welcome Party

Self Serve Appetizers at the Welcome Party

Spicy Durban Chicken will be familiar to guests who have dined at Boma or Tusker House.

Spicy Durban Chicken

Spicy Durban Chicken

Also throughout the area, there are numerous [Read more…]

Review: Yak Attack at Quality Beverages in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

If you’re in need of serious refreshment pre- or post-Maharajah Jungle Trek, then I have the perfect adult beverage for you!

It’s one of our Top 10 Frozen Drinks in Disney World, so you know it’s gotta be good!

Maharajah Jungle Trek Sign

Hang a right at Anandapur Local Food Cafes (Yak and Yeti’s counter service spot), and you’ll find Quality Beverages.

Quality Beverages Serving Window

Through the little walk-up window, you see walls that are “antiqued” to give them character. Since this is basically a beverage stop, most of the counter space inside is taken up with frozen drink machines and beer taps. There are a few chips and snacks that are displayed, too.

Inside Quality Beverages

I can’t resist pictures of [Read more…]

Guest Review: Dawa Bar in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Welcome to Friday Happy Hour! Guest Author Melissa Sue Sorrells Galley takes us to one of our favorite rest stops — the Dawa Bar in Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

You sure do a lot of walking in Animal Kingdom. The paths are beautiful, but they’re long. And after a morning touring Disney’s most animalriffic theme park, I like to stop for a nice, refreshing drink. Luckily, there’s a perfect place for resting and sipping in Africa’s Harambe Village.

Dawa Bar in Harambe Village

Atmosphere

Located just as you cross the bridge into Harambe, Dawa Bar is inside a huge, covered pavilion just next to the line to get into Tusker House and across from Tamu Tamu Refreshments.

Dawa Bar Seating

It’s a great place to sit, relax and watch Harambe pass you by. If you time your cocktail right, you can even [Read more…]

New Dessert and Cocktails at La Luce, Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek

A few weeks ago I had the superb luck to head over to La Luce at the Hilton Bonnet Creek Resort (inside the gates of Walt Disney World) to sample a brand new dessert and some innovative cocktails they’ve just added to the menu!

La Luce

New Cocktails on the Menu

Mixology is a passion for the bartenders at La Luce, and their seasonal cocktail menu clearly shows that. This season’s list includes three infusion-based drinks, which basically means that the drinks are made with alcohol that’s been flavored with fruits, vegetables, or other foods. For example, in one La Luce drink, you’ll encounter a Cocoa and Chipotle-infused Vodka while in another, you’ll find a Cranberry-infused Tequila.

Infusions -- citrus, tomato, and Buddha's Hand

If you think those jars of infusions are beautiful; wait until you see the drinks.

Infusions and Drinks

First up, a drink made with a tomato-infused Gin, along with Campari (a bitters flavored with a bitter/sour Italian citrus fruit) and a honey truffle syrup. There’s a bacon rim on this one to give a [Read more…]

Review: Epcot Haiti Drinks Booth (or “The Best Frozen Lemonade EVER”)

At the 2012 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival, the Haiti: Garden of Many Colors display is a fun, new exhibit where guests can learn about Haitian culture.

Haiti Sign

We stopped by the beverage kiosk, which features Haitian rhums (rum) and liqueurs in delicious frozen cocktails along with other non-alcoholic options.

Personally, I think this addition is awesome. I love any time they add new food kiosks, but, I have to say, the yummy treats I tried were seriously rockin’. I can’t wait to tell you about ‘em! (Oh, and there’s a video of one of my favorite songs at the bottom of this post, too, so…just sayin’.)

An added plus? The booth area is even lighted — allowing for Happy Hour to continue long after the sun sets!

Atmosphere

The bright colors of the booth and surrounding decor made for a great, attention-grabbing display!

Haiti Booth Sign

Those of us who were at the 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival will remember a veeeeery similar-looking booth to this one! ;-) Reduce, Reuse, [Read more…]

Review: Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar

“Aloha, ahoy, aha! And welcome to the mystery, romance, and adventure of Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar.”

These are the words that lure you into Trader Sam’s story when you first look at a menu in this brand new Tiki bar in the Disneyland Hotel! In fact, a good friend of mine has referred to it as “the best of the Jungle Cruise, Adventurers Club, and Tiki Room rolled into a liquor license.” I heartily agree.

Let’s take a trip to the “happy outpost,” shall we?

Trader Sam's Welcome Message - click image for larger version

Atmosphere

I had been watching the creation of Trader Sam’s with great interest during the Spring and early Summer of 2011.

All I’d heard is that this destined-to-be-great spot might incorporate some of the decor of the old Pleasure Island Adventurers Club in Disney World, one of my very favorite places. And with the brilliant artistry of Kevin Kidney and Jody Daly behind it, it had [Read more…]

DIY Magical Drinks: Enchanted Tiki Drink

Our own Chef BigFatPanda is back with a thirst-quenching new drink recipe inspired by a classic Disney attraction!

As you know, Chef’s DIY Disney column here on the Disney Food Blog provides us with simple directions to make recipes that bring some WDW magic to our homes. His latest concoction in the DIY Magical Drinks series honors the Enchanted Tiki Room. This beverage may induce spontaneous singing! “In the tiki tiki tiki tiki tiki room”! Take it away, Chef!

Enchanted Tiki

Just in time for summer! A Tropical Serenade! Welcome to a Tropical Hideaway, you lucky people you!

This Pina Colada style drink is made with a special Seven Tiki Spiced Rum. It has hints of Madagascar Vanilla and makes for a unique refreshing island enchantment.

Seven Tiki Brand Spiced Rum is delicious and very strong at 70 proof, so be careful not to anger the Tiki Gods!

Seven Tiki Brand Spiced Rum

INGREDIENTS: [Read more…]