My Photo Shoot With Tigger

One thing I love about Disneyland character meals is that they always have such a variety of characters present! In WDW, you often have a set cast of characters who are all associated with one another in some way — the fab five, the 100 Acre Wood characters, princesses, etc… . But in Disneyland, many of the character meals are haphazard in a fantastic way! Captain Hook is hob-nobbing with the Fairy Godmother; Minnie’s hanging out with Rabbit; Baloo is leading a dance party with Aladdin — it’s so much fun!

Also, because Disneyland table-service restaurants aren’t quite as packed as Disney World’s (you can get a reservation for most of them a week ahead of time) you can often spend a good amount of time with the characters themselves!

For example, at a recent visit to the Minnie and Friends Breakfast at the Plaza Inn in Disneyland, Tigger and I had plenty of time to get to hang out and goof off!

Plaza Inn -- Disneyland

First, I got to watch him dance with a new friend…

Then he showed off [Read more…]

Guest Review: 15 Beers for 15 Years Kiosk at Epcot Food & Wine Festival

Please welcome Charles Bockway of CraftBeerRestaurant.com as he uses years of expertise in brew to review some of this year’s beer selections from the Epcot Food & Wine Festival.

15 Beers for 15 Years Booth

15 Beers and the winner is…
Because I’m sort of a beer geek and craft beer advocate, I’m visiting the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival to take a close look at the beer landscape. I found the 15 Beers for 15 Years kiosk in World Showcase to be a nice addition at this year’s festival. That’s one beer for each of the festival’s 15-year history. Sounded like it might be fun to select the best beer of the 15.

Overall Beer Menu -- click for larger version

Criteria and Round 1
To get started, I devised a selection criteria: [Read more…]

The Beaches and Cream “Kitchen Sink Kit”

Update: Beaches and Cream is no longer serving the Kitchen Sink sundae unassembled.

Many Disney food fans know about the Beaches and Cream “Kitchen Sink Sundae” — a monstrous dessert filled with multiple scoops of ice cream, Oreo cookies, candy bars, cake, bananas, cherries, brownies, all of the toppings in the house, and an entire can of whipped cream — at Disney’s Beach Club Resort.

Kitchen Sink Sundae at Beaches and Cream

It’s clearly meant to be shared by multiple eaters, and while the Sink is served with dishes for each individual guest, a major complaint about the dessert is [Read more…]

Guest Review: Andrew Zimmern Demo at Epcot Food & Wine Festival

The amazing Ms. Sarah Holodick is back to share some insights and pics of her recent encounters with two of TV’s most famous foodies — Robert Irvine and Andrew Zimmern! Don’tcha just wish you coulda been there? Stay tuned for the review of Robert Irvine’s demo. Below is the review of Andrew Zimmern’s demo.

Andrew Zimmern Demo: Saturday, October 23, 2010

On Saturday, October 23rd, Matt and I had the opportunity to see Andrew Zimmern’s Culinary Demonstration at the Festival Center of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. We had seen him at last year’s demonstration and book signing, and he did not disappoint! He is a sincerely personable individual, and his stories are not only entertaining — you truly learn from him. It’s entertaining to watch him cook (as opposed to eating grubs and durian)!

Andrew Zimmern

What stood out to me not only last year, but this year as well, was the slight fear among guests that he would prepare bugs or the like for us. Andrew has literally been typecast as “the guy who eats all that weird stuff on TV.” While this is true of what he often does on his show, he does in fact realize that most Americans probably [Read more…]

Best of the Fest: 2010 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Favorites

In honor of the 2010 Epcot Food and Wine Festival‘s final weekend, I’d like to rattle off a few of my favorite dishes from this year’s 15th Anniversary Event World Showcase Promenade! To see menus, pricing, and more food photos from the Festival, check out our Booth Pages!

Puerto Rico: Medianoche Sandwich and Bacardi Frozen Torched Cherry Colada
The Puerto Rico booth packs a punch this year, with just about everything on the menu being crave-worthy! We particularly loved the Medianoche Sandwich, partly for its name and partly for its incredible, savory taste. What a great mix of flavors!

The perfect accompaniment: a Frozen Torched Cherry Colada. A creamy, icy, sweet treat, this had a very distinctive flavor and texture — truly a winner.

medianoche sandwich

Bacardi Frozen Torched Cherry Colada

Canada: Chicken Chipotle Sausage with Sweet Corn Polenta and Nanaimo Bar
The Canada booth remains my favorite from the festival. The Chicken Chipotle Sausage (a miniature of [Read more…]

New Epcot Coffee Kiosk and Snack Stand Opens By Monorail

Yowza!! Thanks to Amanda Tinney, who writes Disney Every Day, for sending along these photos of the brand new snack and coffee stand outside of Epcot.

New Epcot Snack Stand and Coffee Kiosk

This is located next to the monorail station outside of the main entrance of Future World. I love the EPCOT Center-esque fonts and [Read more…]

Review: Epcot’s Via Napoli

Alrighty, folks, settle in — this is gonna be a long one! I very happily stuffed my face at Via Napoli twice on my last Orlando trip, and I’m pleased to share all the news on what has become one of my favorite restaurants in Walt Disney World!

Atmosphere

Located in Epcot’s Italy pavilion (walk straight to the back; you can’t miss it), this massive, airplane-hanger-of-a-room is cavernous, but beautiful and filled with light, hustle, bustle, and the most amazing smells.

Via Napoli Dining Room

Artisan tiles dot the floor; whimsical chandeliers hang like ornaments throughout the restaurant; chipping frescoes give depth to the walls; and old-fashioned travel-themed artwork reminds you of all the places in Italy you haven’t been. The warm, neutral colors with pops of [Read more…]

Food Network’s “24-Hour Restaurant Battle” Casting in Orlando This Weekend

24 Hour Restaurant Battle, Food Network’s successful competition reality series, is currently casting for its second season and is holding an open casting call in Orlando on Sunday November 14, 2010.

We are looking for charismatic and outgoing two person teams with pre-existing relationships, who have always dreamed of running their own restaurant. Applicants may have lots of restaurant experience, no restaurant experience, or some combination of both. One member of the team will run the “back of the house” and one member will run the “front of the house”. As a team they must have the skills to open and run their own restaurant!

Specs
Sunday, November 14, 2010
10am-1pm
Holiday Inn Orlando
5905 Kirkman Rd, Orlando, FL 32819

Please click on the following flyer for [Read more…]

Slushies for Grown-Ups: Which Is Your Favorite?

Don’t get me wrong, I love slush puppies and slurpees as much as the next kid-at-heart, but sometimes ya just need a little vodka.

Disney has been wowing guests for years with two citrus-y, slushie concoctions that you need to be above 21 to order; and at this time of year they a third to the mix — only in town for a limited time — that might just top the other two…

Grand Marnier Orange Slush and Grey Goose Citron/Lemon Slush
The Grand Marnier Slush and the Grey Goose Slush sit side by side in Epcot’s France pavilion at a little outdoor champagne kiosk across from Les Chefs de France.

Slush Machines in Epcot's France Pavilion

Nothing about the slush machines swirling those orange and yellow mixtures would tip newcomers off to the fact that these two drinks are some of the most highly-recommended and beloved signature cocktails in Walt Disney World, but every once in a while [Read more…]

The Big Deal About Butterscotch Pudding

“Holy delicious!!” “Not to miss.” “Crazy good.” These are the kinds of reviews I’d been hearing about the butterscotch pudding at the new La Luce by Donna Scala at the Hilton Bonnet Creek Resort. That’s right; butterscotch pudding. Like, the stuff you remember from when you were a kid that came out of a box or a plastic cup and was pretty much what was left over after everyone else ate the chocolate pudding. I was skeptical to say the least. I’ve clearly never been a butterscotch pudding fan.

But my favorite review — and the one that made me finally want to close the book on this dessert — was from TampaBay.com’s food critic, Jim Webster: “There are other options beside the butterscotch pudding. They may even be good. Ignore them.”

It turns out this stuff even has its own facebook fan page.

Fast forward to my recent Orlando trip where we got the chance to head over to La Luce (the Hilton Bonnet Creek is located between Downtown Disney and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, inside the WDW gates) and finally try it.

La Luce Butterscotch Pudding

And, yeah. This is not the pudding you remember from your lunch box — or even from your grandma’s homemade recipe. Made with 12-year Macallan Scotch, the pudding is velvety rich, and creamy. There’s no hint of [Read more…]