Tuesday, September 30, 2014

NEW Craft Beer Center at Epcot F&W Festival!

This year the Craft Beer booth of the Epcot F&W festival got a great upgrade.  It is now located in the Odyssey Center (in Future World just before Mexico).

Now guests may choose from a selection of beers and snacks while relaxing inside air-conditioning.  (Bathrooms are also available inside.)  There are high tables to place food on, but unfortunately no real seating besides a bench near the exit door or the floor.

Unlike previous years when guests could pick what size of beer they would like, this year, there is only one size for individual beers (probably about 6-7 oz. but not specified on the menu) at $4.50 each.  Sampler flights include 4 beers (probably about 4-5 oz. each but not specified on the menu) for $10.25.

A fruit, nut, and cracker snack mix is included free with each beer purchase.

Food items available include Pate with Pickled Carrots and Farmhouse Bread $3.75, Muffuletta Pinwheels with Pickles $3.50, and Spicy Pimento Cheese Dip with Wheat Crackers (I received water crackers) $3.75.  Disney Dining plan snack credits accepted for food items.

I tried the Dogfish Head Punkin Ale $4.50.

It was refreshing on a hot afternoon.  I've had pumpkin ales before that contained "fall spices."  I did not notice any spices in this beer.  It was smooth, relatively light, and easy to drink.  

The punkin ale paired well with the spicy pimento cheese dip $3.75.  The cheese dip had a decent kick of cayenne pepper in it.  I would have preferred a non-spicy version, but it still was very good. 

As previously mentioned, I received water crackers instead of wheat crackers.  The portion size of dip is rather large.  It would have been nice to have a few more crackers to scoop it up and balance the spicy heat.

Unfortunately, Florida humidity takes its toll on cracker type foods.  Both the beer snack mix and crackers were pre-assembled and slightly stale when we received them.  I understand pre-assembly is necessary during busy times.  But, I was there on a Monday and there were no lines anywhere.  Making the items in advance when they will sit around seems unnecessary and lowers the quality on a very humid day.

Overall, it was really nice to have an inside area to relax and sample some of the festival beer offerings along with some new snacks.  Next year it might be fun to see the Odyssey Center turned into a sports pub.  TV's playing American football and big lounge chairs (similar to how it was set up during the World Cup games), beers, mini pizzas, and sliders!  Evolution!

*The Odyssey Center is handicap accessible.  If you need help carrying food or drinks to a table, just ask a cast member for assistance.

*Find Jeanie on Twitter @PrincessPapers and Follow for more great articles and F&W Festival coverage coming soon!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Food Trucks Provide Breakfast at All-Star Music During Refurb

While the All-Star Intermission Food Court undergoes renovations, the awesome Food Trucks of Downtown Disney will be on-hand at the resort to provide breakfast for guests! 

Waffles with Strawberries and Whipped Cream
Egg and Bacon Croissant
Kielbasa Biscuit with Gravy
Donut Holes

Guests can also find the Food Trucks in Downtown Disney (usually near World of Disney in the Marketplace or Wolfgang Puck Cafe on the Westside).  See my detailed blog post HERE with Food Truck menus, photos, and pricing.

The Disney Dining Plan quick-service credits are accepted by the Food Trucks.
Accessibility: Food Trucks are accessible, but the ordering windows are high.  Cast members are available to assist if needed.
Thank you to Chef James of the Downtown Disney Food Trucks for menu details and info.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

DETAILS HERE! Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic RETURNS!

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic returns for the fifth year to the Epcot Resort Area hotel October 31 – November 1, featuring more than 40 food and wine stations; 10 food and wine seminars and the opportunity to meet the masters behind the culinary magic.  

Amidst a backdrop of live entertainment, celebratory surprises and even some spooky fun on Halloween night, guests will enjoy numerous opportunities to sip and savor all weekend as they stroll along the hotel’s causeway.
The two-night event offers an enticing array of culinary options from the hotel’s award-winning signature restaurants:  Il Mulino New York Trattoria, Shula’s Steak House and Todd English’s bluezoo, as well as wine and spirits sampling from around the globe.
The food selections are as innovative as they are enticing, ranging from Italian arancini, marrying Carnaroli rice, Osso Buco and spicy tomato sauce, and the Asian-inspired grilled scallops with puffed rice, edamame and ponzu jelly; to barbeque handcrafted bacon, accented with sweet potato puree and caramelized onions. And, the hotel’s World Champion Pastry Chef, Laurent Branlard, provides intrigue on the sweeter side with finishing touches like a chocolate crunch Napoleon with hazelnut daquoise and chocolate whipped cream, and a lemon peel mousse dome with blueberry cream and lemon angel food cake at its center.
 “We’re excited about the fifth annual Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic,” said the hotel’s Director of Food & Beverage, Tony Porcellini. “This year, we’ll present even more intriguing wine selections from around the globe; showcase our culinary creativity with exciting new dishes; expand on our seminar offerings, and introduce a beer garden! Our goal is to make this event bigger and better each year and have fun doing it!” 

New to the event this year are:
 A beer garden, featuring a variety of local and seasonal brews from around the world, alongside homemade bar snacks made by the hotel’s culinary experts. An upgraded ticket option provides guests access to the beer garden.
The Cheese Course seminar, which pays homage to fromage with a unique look at the art of wine and cheese pairing.
The Fine Art of Sushi and Sake seminar, which will teach guests how to identify quality sushi and sake flavor profiles and pair the two.
A hands-on Caipirinha seminar, where guests will learn both the traditional recipe and try some unique twists to this ever-popular Brazilian cocktail.
Tequila University, offering an in-depth look at tequila, its different styles, the artisans who make it and the secrets to making the perfect margarita.
Returning seminars include: pasta-making, Italian wines, modern mixology, beer, wine-blending and champagne.  All seminars require separate tickets in addition to the causeway tickets, and space is limited.
To add to the event’s appeal, guests can enjoy a meet and greet with celebrity chef Todd English, the namesake of the hotel’s Todd English’s bluezoo restaurant. Guests can also meet and enjoy world-class desserts from the hotel’s very own executive pastry chef, Laurent Branlard, the world’s only two-time World Champion Pastry Chef.  Barbeque fans shouldn’t miss the Cib’s Smoke House station for signature barbeque dishes from the hotel’s executive chef Robert Ciborowski.
With 17 restaurants and lounges, a distinguished culinary and beverage team and unmatched customer service, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel continually receives national recognition for its food and beverage program. The hotel boasts more than 70 certified wine sommeliers and 1,400 wine selections, including organic and rare vintages.  The hotel’s restaurants are annual winners of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence including Shula’s Steak House, a three-time recipient of the exclusive Best of Award of Excellence.

Tickets to the Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic are available as part of a hotel package or individually.
What:Fifth Annual Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic

                      Info:The Fifth Annual Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel returns October 31 – November 1, showcasing a vast array of food and beverage options along with informative seminars conducted by members of the hotel’s award-winning food and beverage team. Highlighting the event is the appearance of celebrity chef Todd English.
                        The Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic consists of 10 food and beverage seminars, live entertainment, a new beer garden and more than 40 food and beverage stations, featuring appetizing selections from the hotel’s signature restaurants: Shula’s Steak House, Il Mulino New York Trattoria and Todd English’s bluezoo, as well as wines, beers and cocktails from around the world. 

When:Friday, October 31, and Saturday, November 1
5:30–9 p.m. (for seminar schedule, check www.SwanDolphinFoodandWineClassic.com)

Where:Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel Causeway
1500 Epcot Resorts Blvd.
Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830

Ticket Information:   - One and two-night packages, including tickets to the outdoor festival for two and overnight accommodations, are available starting at $315 per night
- Advance purchase event-only tickets are available for $95 per person, including taxes and include unlimited food and beverage samples on the causeway
-Upgraded tickets that include the beer garden are $115 per person, including taxes
- Beverage seminars are $45 per person, per class including taxes
- Pasta making and pairing seminars are $60 per person including taxes
- For more information or to book, please contact Katherine atwww.ImaginationsVacationsbyKatherine.com for a free quote.  Let her know that the princess sent you!!! 
About the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel
In the heart of the Walt Disney World Resort, the award-winning Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel is the gateway to Central Florida’s greatest theme parks and attractions. The hotel is located between Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and nearby Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park and Magic Kingdom Park. Guests can discover 17 world-class restaurants and lounges, sophisticated guest rooms with Westin Heavenly Beds and the luxurious Mandara Spa. The hotel features five pools, two health clubs, tennis, nearby golf, complimentary transportation throughout the Walt Disney World Resort, the Extra Magic Hours benefit, where each day, one of the four Walt Disney World Theme Parks is open extra time for guests to enjoy select attractions (Valid Theme Park admission and Resort ID required) and the new FastPass+ service, where guests can reserve up to 3 select theme park experiences up to 60 days in advance of their visit.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

NEW MENUS for the Food Trucks of Downtown Disney!

Stop by the Food Trucks of Downtown Disney for some delicious and unique food offerings.  This is not your typical greasy food truck fare.  The food is hot and fresh with a gourmet influence.  I've tried many of the dishes over the past few months and I'm happy to say that I've loved every single item that I've tried.  Go give them a taste on your next trip!

The Downtown Disney Food Trucks are mobile, so their locations can change.  They are often found parked between World of Disney and Ghirardelli in the Marketplace or scattered around the Westside near Wolfgang Puck Cafe or La Nouba.  Look for a new Food Truck Park coming to Downtown Disney (Disney Springs) Westside soon.  For those on the Disney Dining Plan, Quick-Service dining credits are accepted.  

"Delightful Dishes from Disney's Magic Kingdoms Around the World"

Ham & Cheese Sandwich- with house-made chips from the Magic Kingdom and Disneyland Paris $11.00

*NEW! Sticky Chicken & Waffles- topped with sweet Thai chili cream from the Magic Kingdom.  Chicken tenders tossed in sticky sauce (maple syrup, soy sauce, ginger, and Siracha hot sauce) combined with hot waffles and sweet Thai chili sour cream.  $9.50

Hand-Dipped Corn Dog- with house-made chips from Disneyland $7.50

"The Best of Epcot International Food & Wine Festival"

Pierogies with Kielbasa- and caramelized onions, topped with sour cream $8.50

*New! Grilled Chicken Breast Gyro- with house-made chips. Seasoned chicken breast served on gyro flatbread with tzatziki sauce $9.50

Grass Fed Beef Sliders- with Monterey jack, sweet-hot pickles, and house-made chips $9.50

Adult Beverages-
5 oz. pours for wine
Pierre Sparr Riesling $5.25
Fess Parker Chardonnay $6.00
Mac Murray Ranch Pinot Noir $6.25
Frog's Leap Zinfandel $8.75 

"Tasty Explorations Inspired by Disney's Animal Kingdom"

Butter Chicken- with basmati rice and pickled vegetables $9.50

Tandoori Shrimp- with basmati rice and pickled vegetables $12.25

*NEW! Lamb Kefta- with tomato cucumber raita sauce.  Lamb kefta meatballs on naan bread with fennel, onion, arugula salad and yogurt raita sauce $12.00

*NEW! Naan and Somosa Dipping Safari (vegetarian)-with pickled vegetables naan bread, vegetable samsosa (potatoes, green peas, coriander, and cumin in pastry) with yogurt raita sauce, hummus, and coriander chutney $11.00

"Favorite of the Stars of Disney's Hollywood Studios"

*NEW! Margherita Flatbread- topped with marinara sauce, tomatoes, mozzarella, fresh basil and balsamic glaze drizzle. $9.50

*NEW! Turkey Meatball Sub- smothered in marinara and provolone on a warm roll with house-made chips. $11.00 
*NEW! Slow-Cooked Pot Roast Sandwich- topped with melted provolone cheese on a warm sub roll with house-made chips $11.00 

For more updates on the Food Trucks of Downtown Disney, check back here to The Princess Papers often and follow me on Twitter @JeanieBlue114
*Select photos provided courtesy of the delightful chefs from the Downtown Disney Food Trucks.
Accessibility: The Food Trucks are accessible.  The order window is high, but cast members are available to assist you as needed.
Menus subject to change.