News! 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Updates — World Showcase Booths, Special Events, Culinary Demos

Hooray! We finally have a few more updates on the 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, which will be showcasing tons of awesomeness from September 14-November 14 this year!

epcot food and wine festival logo 16

We’ve been reporting the latest and greatest for you as soon as we hear it, from new Eat to the Beat Concert acts to confirmed Food and Wine Festival World Showcase Booths. And now we have even more great info to help you as you plan your Fall trip to the World.

2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Updates

Disney releases Food and Wine info in trickles this time of year, and today we’ve got more details on World Showcase Booths, new special events, a reimagined Party for the Senses, and a twist to the standard culinary and beverage seminars at the Festival Center. Read on for more!

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Eats at Epcot’s Holidays Around the World, 2015

Epcot is once again bringing us some holiday cheer with Holidays Around The World!

2015 Passport for Holidays Around The World

2015 Passport for Holidays Around The World

Travel around the world showcase to discover stories, shows, and (most importantly) foods from each country and learn about how they celebrate this special time of year.

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Review: New Menu Items at Epcot’s Liberty Inn

We are back at Liberty Inn, the Quick Service spot in The American Adventure in Epcot!

If you’re strolling around World Showcase and are on the hunt for some perfectly patriotic eats, Liberty Inn is your place. For a long time, offerings were pretty basic at this Counter Service location, which primarily features expected fare like burgers, chicken breast nuggets, and salads.

While that still holds true in most regards, it’s worth noting that Liberty Inn made some strides late last year towards providing a couple of options that reflect a greater array of American cuisine, including a few regional dishes like a Lousiana-Style Shrimp dish as well as Maryland Crab Cakes.

However, the menu has changed up once again, so we returned to scope out the situation and see what’s new, what’s gone, and how things are shaping up.

Liberty Inn Sign

Liberty Inn Sign

So, let’s step back into everyone’s favorite Publick Dining Room, Liberty Inn! [Read more…]

Review: Lunch at Via Napoli in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion

One word: PIZZA!

Two more: VIA NAPOLI!!

Okay, so we’re having more than “just pizza” at Via Napoli today (even though it still easily takes the top spot on our Best Pizza in Disney World list by a mile). We’ll also be trying some soups, pasta… and maybe even a little vino while we’re at it.

No matter what I order, though, I look forward to my Advance Dining Reservation for Via Napoli — tucked in the back of Epcot’s Italy Pavilion — on every Disney World trip without fail (especially when my husband’s with me — this is a MUST for him). Not only does it serve up the Best Pizza in all of Disney World, but it also earns gold stars in my book for a pretty rare accolade from me: it is consistently good food.

Via Napoli Window

Via Napoli Window

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Review: Le Cellier Steakhouse in Epcot’s Canada Pavilion

Le Cellier Steakhouse is tucked inside Epcot’s Canada pavilion.

Le Cellier has seen a few changes over the years. Once upon a time, it was a very much in-demand restaurant requiring one Table Service credit on the Disney Dining Plan. These days, while you’ll still typically find it to be quite crowded (the same goes for most Table Service restaurants in World Showcase), it’s now a Signature Restaurant requiring two Table Service credits to dine there at either lunch or dinner. And there’s no longer a less-expensive lunch menu as in days of yore.

Much more recently, it’s gone through another change as well. For those who enjoy keeping up with the whereabouts of Disney Chefs, you may know that Chef Dee Foundoukis (formerly of Kouzzina by Cat Cora and Trattoria al Forno) is now heading up Le Cellier.

So I thought it was high time to head back and see how things are shaping up…

Le Cellier Steakhouse -- Outside View

Le Cellier Steakhouse — Outside View

… and check out what’s new and what’s remained the same inside “The Cellar.” [Read more…]

Review: Apple Turnover and White Chocolate Eclair at Epcot’s France

Just when you think you’ve eaten everything there is to eat at Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie in France’s Epcot Pavilion…you find a couple more pastries hiding out in the case. It’s a tough life. ;-D

This bakery and pastry shop in Epcot’s France is your one stop for everything for a petite dejeuner in the morning. And their soups, sandwiches, quiches, and cheese plates make for a delicious light meal anytime of the day.

But their decadent pastries are still my favorite things to enjoy here. Today, we try two that are new to us — Chaussons aux Pommes and the Vanilla White Chocolate Éclair.

Chaussons aux Pommes

There’s tons to choose from here, but I couldn’t believe I hadn’t tried the updated version of the Apple Tart. During a recent Orlando rainstorm (deluge…it was a deluge), I took refuge at Les Halles with everyone else and made lemonade out of those lemons!

Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Menu — Click to Enlarge

No lie — I’ve passed over the Chaussons aux Pommes, or Apple Turnover, at Les Halles time and again for flashier stuff and old favorites (Oh, Frangipane). But it was time to try one of these sweet little apple empanadas.  [Read more…]

Review: Les Chefs De France in Epcot’s France Pavilion

We are enjoying a leisurely lunch today at Les Chefs de France, the table service restaurant in Epcot’s France Pavilion.

This iconic eatery has been the location of many happy meals and memories for me through the years. But as with other Disney spots, it’s always good to check in occasionally. Disney restaurants can be wildly inconsistent; a place that’s spot-on during one meal can go south the next time you visit. So I always make it a priority to check back in at all of Disney restaurants to see if they’ve gotten better or worse, and to show you what they’re serving up lately. You get to choose if they’re worth your time and money.

Let’s go. :-)

Atmosphere

I have very early memories of this restaurant. When you walk by at night, it just looks so cozy inside! And it’s honestly beautiful any time of day.

Les Chefs de France in Epcot

Les Chefs de France in Epcot

Little has changed here since the restaurant first opened when the park did. But that’s ok. Because the whole point here is to look like a classic French bistro that you’d find in Paris. And it really, really fits the bill. [Read more…]

Dining Details: Wall Murals at Via Napoli in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion

It just goes to show… you can visit Disney World a million and one times (and I’ve got to be coming up close to that number ;) ), and still notice something new every time.

I’m a fan of Via Napoli in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion. Not only does it serve the best pizza in Disney World; it’s become a tradition for us.

So how is it, then, that I only noticed this incredibly cool detail on my most recent visit? OK, at least I THINK it’s a cool detail. I might be totally making it up, but I could super see Disney Imagineers doing this on purpose.

Look at this orange tree as seen through one of the restaurant’s windows.

Orange Tree outside the window

Orange Tree outside the window

And now check out the fresco painting on the wall right next to it.

Wall mural next to the window

Wall mural next to the window

Hmmmm…. Looks similar, right?

I think this may be a continuation, bringing the [Read more…]

Snack Series: Caramel Brownie and Caramel Toffee at Epcot’s Karamell-Küche

We are taking another lap around World Showcase today and stopping into Karamell-Küche for a couple of treats!

Who can resist all of that buttery caramel? Super not me.

It’s true. We rarely make it all the way Around the World without stopping for a sweet treat here. Stepping inside is like finally realizing your best candy store dream ever. You don’t have candy store dreams, you say? Well you will after you’ve been here. There are so many outrageously good things to try, and we always finds something new!

Recently, I told you about two other treats we tried here — the Caramel Bacon Square and Caramel S’more.

Today, we’re back with two oldies but goodies to share!

Caramel Brownie

The first treat I want to show you is the Caramel Brownie. I was excited to finally try this one. I have no idea why I hadn’t indulged before. It’s drizzled heavily with that golden Werther’s Caramel, and that turned out to be the best part.

Caramel Brownie from Karamell-Küche in Epcot's Germany Pavilion

Caramel Brownie from Karamell-Küche in Epcot’s Germany Pavilion

The brownie itself was more cakey than fudgy, and it really didn’t have the moistness I was looking for. It was a little dry and crumbly in fact. This alone kind of ruined the treat for me, but that may have just been a bad batch.

Look a little more closely, and you can see that, in addition to the drizzle, there’s caramel baked right into the top of the brownie! It’s like a double shot of golden, buttery sugar.

Caramel Brownie -- Inside

Caramel Brownie — Inside

If you like chocolate and caramel in more of a cake-like form, grab a glass of milk. This one’s for you.

Caramel Toffee

But I also had to try something for the candy lovers out there! And this time out, I chose the Caramel Toffee. The marbleized detail on the top of the square really made it stand out from the [Read more…]

News! Festive Treats Returning to Epcot’s Holidays Around the World

Every year we look forward to the return of Holidays Around the World in Epcot! Beginning November 28th and running through December 30th, this yearly celebration features special events like the Candlelight Processional, a special ending to the IllumiNations spectacular, and unique opportunities to listen to storytellers share holiday traditions from around the globe in each Pavilion.

Holidays Around the World Passport

Holidays Around the World Passport

We’re happy to share that a more recent “tradition” will be returning this year as well… Holidays Around the World will once again feature tastes of holiday cuisine from the countries represented in World Showcase! If you’d like to get even more of a start on your holiday snack planning, check out our review of several of these treats from last year’s celebration! (Please note: prices on signage in the pictures below may differ this year from last.)

The Sugar and Spice Holiday Bakery in the American Adventure Pavilion will once again be THE place to grab a gingerbread, chocolate chip, or sugar cookie while waiting in line to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus! This will also the place to grab some peppermint bark or warm up with some hot cocoa.

Sugar and Spice Holiday Bakery

Sugar and Spice Holiday Bakery

Cookies at the Sugar and Spice Bakery

Cookies at the Sugar and Spice Bakery

Epcot American Adventure Peppermint Bark

Epcot American Adventure Peppermint Bark

Also among the treats that will be returning this year is the beautiful Bûche de Noël au Chocolate (Chocolate Christmas Log) to Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie in France.

Chocolate Christmas Log

Chocolate Christmas Log

And Gingerbread Ice Cream will [Read more…]