Welcome to our latest roundup of What’s New in Epcot!
We have a LOT to cover today, including tons of merchandise and new Food and Wine Festival booths!
Nǐ hǎo from China! Well, Epcot’s China of course. We recently heard about a dish on the Nine Dragons Restaurant menu, and you know that means we HAD to check it out. Even more intriguing is that the dish is referred to as “Numbingly Spicy.” Well, Nine Dragons, you had my interest, but now, you have my attention.
Nine Dragons Restaurant is China’s table service restaurant. We recently went for dinner, and had an unexpectedly delicious meal! Nine Dragons is also a good spot to try and grab a last minute reservation while wandering around Epcot.
Epcot’s World Showcase at Walt Disney World
is home to so many interesting restaurants serving high-quality food from around the (actual) world that it can be hard to decide which to choose.
And frankly, Nine Dragons in the China Pavilion has been one that we’ve decided to skip much of the time. The setting is lovely and worth exploring, but in the past, the food has been lackluster, no better than most of the Americanized Chinese restaurants found in strip malls around the country.
But we give second chances (and third and fourth and fifth) here at the DFB, so I made a reservation and hoped for something to love in this table service spot. And while I won’t say Nine Dragons has clawed its way up too far in the rankings of table service restaurants at Epcot, I will say that my most recent visit was the best I’ve had here.
While I encourage you to take that with a grain of salt, I also want to acknowledge that plenty of you do enjoy eating here, and I will always cling to optimism that even the least palatable of Walt Disney World dining locations will be in a constant state of flux, striving for better.
But let’s start with what we already love about Nine Dragons: its magical decor and warm atmosphere.
We had a case of wanderlust this week, and instead of getting out the passport and packing, we just hopped over to spend the day in Epcot. Our journey started with some time spent in Future World, followed by a trip around the World Showcase. And boy, did we find a lot new eats and buys for you on this “trip”!
We have a fun treat for you at the China Pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase!
Let’s face it: Disney World is hot. With the exception of a few weeks out of the year, you’re going to be craving a refreshing drink as a mid-day treat. And Epcot’s Joy of Tea has just the thing for you!
We’re big fans of this snack stop. For such a tiny booth, it has a pretty extensive menu! The egg rolls and curry chicken pockets are tasty little snacks that will hold you over until your next meal while you explore the World Showcase.
And, most importantly, they have a wide selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks (including the fan favorite Tipsy Ducks in Love!).
Today, we’ll check out the Bubble Milk Tea!
If you’ve been keeping up on all the latest food news in Walt Disney World with us here at the DFB, then you know that the latter half of May brought all kinds of additions to the Disney dining scene!
And the arrival of the summer season also brings expanded food options to feed the increasing crowds at the parks and beyond, so our tour will include all sorts of updates, changes, and additions – both big and small – as we check out What’s New around Walt Disney World! [Read more…]
Happy (almost!) Chinese New Year!
The “Year of the Monkey” begins on February 8th, and Nine Dragons Restaurant in Epcot’s China Pavilion will celebrate with special menu items for nearly the whole year. From February 8, 2016 through January 27 of next year, guests at Nine Dragons will find a new prix-fixe option available for lunch as well as additional items on the regular menu.
For lunch, the prix-fixe special will include three courses for $17.98. Begin your meal with spring rolls or pot stickers, then choose from three entrees for the main course: Happily Family (sliced chicken breast, beef and shrimp stir fry), Moo Goo Gai Pan featuring stir-fried chicken breast with mushrooms and snow peas, and General Tso’s Chicken Buns Lunch Box: three steamed buns (basically, these are Chinese tacos) and hot-and-sour soup. For dessert, try either strawberry-red bean or ginger-caramel ice cream.
Three steamed buns will also be featured on the regular menu for the year-long celebration: Braised Pork Belly with chili aioli, Sweet-and-Sour Batter-fried Fish with a pork floss topping, and General Tso’s Chicken buns (also batter-fried). [Read more…]
We’ve stopped by the Joy of Tea kiosk in Epcot’s China Pavilion several times…because it’s awesome.
So you may know by now that it’s packed with much more than tea, despite the name. I mean, sure, you can absolutely grab an iced or hot tea depending on the weather or just your personal preference. But it’s also got a decent snack selection for such a small place (I love the Strawberry Red Bean Ice Cream), and an “appetizer sampler” of sorts with their Lucky Combo, which allows you to try all three hot snacks (BBQ Pork Buns, Curry Chicken Pockets, and Egg Rolls) along with a soft drink and some ice cream.
You’d think that would about cover it! But you’d be wrong ;). Because there is a whole slew of specialty drinks here including some adult beverages, which is what we’re trying out today.
You’ll spot the choices under “Alcoholic Beverages” (natch), and they include the Mango Gingerita, Canto Loopy, Peach Snap!, and Green Tea Plum Slush, in addition to beer and wine. (Oh, and don’t forget the Tipsy Ducks in Love.)
I went with the Green Tea Plum Slush with plum wine, since I know it’s a guest favorite at the park. I really enjoyed the Strawberry Oolong Tea Slush here many moons ago, so I had high hopes for this one. I mean, plum wine? Sure — sign me up! I love that stuff.
Unfortunately, those hopes were [Read more…]
Welcome back to Nine Dragons Restaurant in Epcot’s lovely China Pavilion! We’re visiting this Table Service restaurant for lunch.
It’s been a while since we’ve visited Nine Dragons. While we truly enjoy the beauty of this spot (and will provide a few more glimpses for you today), the food has never really elevated it to a “Must Go” spot. In fact, for some it has been a “Must Skip!” So, it’s time for another visit to see how things are faring, and what — if anything — has changed.
You’ll spot Nine Dragons immediately upon approaching the China Pavilion from Norway. I find nearly everything to be eye-catching in the China Pavilion. The outdoor colors of Nine Dragons echo those in the Pavilion’s entrance gate and the replica of the Temple of Heaven.
But we’re more interested by what’s inside, so let’s have a look.
There is a definite change in the color palette upon entering the space. Dark and ornately carved woods are dominant in the décor, but the restaurant is peppered with fun and colorful lanterns that keep things from feeling too heavy or overwhelming.
The large windows also provide natural light along with some great views of World Showcase.
Even if you aren’t seated near a window, some of the glass in the walls serve to let in some of that light, while also separating dining areas.
While we’re on the subject of seating, I know many people have found this restaurant doesn’t offer much in the way of elbow room in regards to space between tables. We arrived at a rather off-time for lunch (2:00 pm), when much of the noon-time crowds had dispersed. So, feeling overcrowded was not my experience, but the potential for it is something you’ll want to consider when choosing a time.
So, what about the dragons? They’re incorporated into several spots around the restaurant! You’ll find artistic dragons throughout the restaurant, from the beautiful green-glass wall at the check-in…
… to the ceiling in the same area.
And they can be spotted in the dark wood entrance and exit of the dining area.
You’ll also want to check out the wall nearest to the kitchen in the central dining area. Because seating in Nine Dragons is divided up into separate sections, you may miss it, so be sure to take a stroll at some point during your visit.
This wall is where you’ll find… what else? Nine Dragons 🙂 .
All nine of these glass sculpture dragons are truly beautiful; but out of respect for your time, I’ll just give you a glimpse of my top three dragons!
Okay, top four… because they are pretty cool!
All right, enough with the dragon-spotting… It’s time to eat, so grab a cool place mat and join us!
My friend and I went with the Appetizer Trio for starters (meant to serve two).
This allowed us to try [Read more…]