Quantcast

26
Sep 14

What I Ate and Drank at the Disney Media Preview for the 2014 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

2014 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival - Peach Moscato

Last Saturday I joined a small group of media invited out to the Wonders of Life Pavilion Lounge for a small sampling of select 2014 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival Bits and Sips. You can see the entire list of festival booths and menu items here: 2014 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival at Walt Disney World – Complete Listing of Marketplace Booth Menu Items

The above photo was the welcome drink. Caposaldo Sweet Sparkling Peach Moscato ($4.25) Intermissions Cafe in the Wonders of Life Pavilion. I’m not normally one for anything sweet or sparkling but the carbonation was very mild and this offering wasn’t too sweet at all. It was very refreshing and paired nicely with the eggs they had set out for brunch.

2014 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival - Peach Moscato

My favorite dish that afternoon was this. Nueske’s Pepper Bacon Hash with Sweet Corn, Potatoes, Hollandaise and Pickled Jalapeño ($4.00) Farm Fresh Booth. I had sampled this the previous day on my own out on the World Showcase Promenade for opening day and oh my was I blown away. The bacon has a deep smokey flavor that really defines this dish. This is a must try and in my top five for the entire festival.

2014 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival - Crabless Crab Cake from Terra

The real shocker for me was that I really enjoyed the CraB’less CraB Cake with Pepper Slaw and Cajun Remoulade ($4.25) Terra Marketplace. The texture of this vegan crab cake was “spot on”! It literally tasted exactly like a crab cake. I think it was the remoulade sauce that really sent this one over the edge. I will be back to purchase and enjoy another one of these soon.

2014 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival - Tzatziki MartiniTzatziki Martini featuring Crop Organic Cucumber Vodka and BOLS Natural Yoghurt Liqueur ($7.75) Greece Booth. I wanted so much to like this cocktail. I really did. I am a big fan of martinis and also a huge fan of Greek food. I did not like this drink at all. Nothing about it was appealing to me. The bits of dill floating in it. The yoghurt liqueur…nope. Not a fan. If you like savory cocktails give this one a go. They apparently aren’t my thing.

2014 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival - Slow-braised beef with Puerto Rican-grown rice

Slow-braised Beef with Puerto Rican-grown Rice ($4.50) Puerto Rico Booth. This dish was tasty, although the beef was a little more well done than I would have liked it. I have seen this dish served out on the promenade and the portion size is hearty. A good bang for your buck.

2014 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival - Seared sea scallop with spinach-cheddar gratin and crispy bacon

Seared Sea Scallop with Spinach-Cheddar Gratin and Crispy Bacon ($4.50) Scotland Booth.  Delicious! A perfectly cooked scallop on a bed of creamed spinach topped with crisp bits of bacon. What’s not to love?

2014 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival - Red and White WinePaperboy Red ($3.50) Terra Booth. This red blended wine is unique in the fact that it is offered in a corrugated cardboard bottle with a plastic bladder. Responsible and tasty. The white was a Chardonnay that was divine and I am kicking myself for not taking a picture of the bottle. Not sure which booth this wine is being offered at.

2014 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival - Waffle with Berry Compote and Whipped Cream

Belgian Waffle with Berry Compote and Whipped Cream ($3.50) Belgium Booth. One of my favorite things has returned again this year. This is a great value and absolutely delicious. The waffle was soft and fresh and the berries are cooked down into a luscious sauce. This paired well with the red wine.

2014 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival - Dessert Trio

Dessert Trio: Passion Fruit Coconut Creamsicle, Blueberry Lime Cheesecake Roll, and Chocolate Espresso Opera Cake ($4.00) Desserts and Champagne Booth. My favorite of these three was the cheesecake roll, another surprise for me since I don’t care for cheesecake. I think the fact that it was half sponge cake and half cheesecake was what made it so spectacular. The creamsicle had and overpowering taste of passion fruit. And the opera cake was rich and decadent.

2014 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival - Eat to the Beat Concert - Jo Dee Messina

We topped off our experience with a concert in the American Gardens Theatre where we rocked out to some country tunes from Jo Dee Messina. You can see a listing of the entire Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Eat to the Beat Concert Series here: 2014 Epcot Eat to the Beat Concert Schedule Dates and Times

The 19th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival presented by Chase runs September 19th – November 10th, 2014. I hope to see you out noshing your way around the promenade! For more photos of the dishes being offered at the festival follow me over on Instagram where I am posting live as I eat and drink my way around World Showcase.

Special thanks goes out to the Disney PR Team for inviting me to this complementary preview. I was not compensated nor required to write this post and all opinions are my own.


25
Sep 14

runDisney Caught Filming in Disneyland Paris for the Upcoming Half Marathon

runDisney Mickey Photo Shoot in Paris

Photo property of DLRP Express (Photo Credit: Thomas)

We’ve been getting hints for a while now about the possibility of a runDisney Disneyland Resort Paris Half Marathon happening. I attended a media function at Epcot where execs confirmed that yes, there would be a DLRP Half we just didn’t have a solid date on when that would be.

Then in May of this year, a Disneyland Paris Cast Member posted a picture of a button on Instagram revealing the date for the anticipated half.

Today I bring you further proof that the Disneyland Half Marathon is happening. Our friends over at DLRP Express posted this photo to their Facebook wall yesterday sending runners into a frenzy on the chat boards. Looks like runDisney Mickey posing with runners in Central Plaza at Disneyland Resort Paris. If the rumors are correct, the race will take place in September of 2015 with an announcement of the race coming in November of this year.

Brace your wallets runners!


24
Sep 14

What Adults Do at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party When the Kids Ditch Them

2014 Mickeys Not So Scary Halloween Party in the Magic Kingdom

Mickey’s Not-so-Scary Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom is a family tradition. I don’t think we’ve missed a party in over 10 years. Of course ten years ago I had a kindergartner and now I’ve got a 15-year-old. Gone are the days of me holding her hand as she trick-or-treated through the candy stations. Now she brings a friend along. We enter the park, get banded and then we see the kids again at midnight for a ride home.

2014 Mickeys Not So Scary Halloween Party

What are a couple of parents to do when they get ditched by the kids?

First things first. Head straight back to “Be Our Guest Restaurant” for a two-hour dinner. Don’t have a reservation? See this post – How to Get a Dinner Reservation at Disney’s Be Our Guest Restaurant Without Booking 6 Months in Advance. These are the faces of adults who just had a spectacular dinner inside the Magic Kingdom with beer and wine without the kids.

Be Our Guest Restaurant During Mickeys Not So Scary Halloween Party

At this point in the evening you will be the last guests out of the restaurant and can take fun photos like this one without other guests getting in your shot.

Be Our Guest Restaurant During Mickeys Not So Scary Halloween Party

By this time it will be around 9pm. The first “Boo to You Parade” will have already run it’s course and some guests with very small children may have left the park already. You’ll be feeling pretty good at this point and will be tempted to immediately head over to Space Mountain. This is not a good idea after beer, wine, braised pork and cream puffs. Talk yourself back down. Take a nighttime ride on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train instead. It’s right there.

Mickeys Not So Scary Halloween Party 2014 Cinderella Castle

This will give you just enough time to briefly meet your teenagers at The Lunching Pad in Tomorrowland and buy them a Frozen Coke. You will tell them they need to watch the Hallowishes firework spectacular with you and the guilt from your Frozen Coke purchase will compel them to comply. They will be embarrassed half way through Hallowishes when you begin dancing and singing. “BEWARE! BEWARE! Pink elephants on parade. Here they come. Hippity Hoppity. They’re here. They’re there. Pink elephants everywhere. Pink elephants on parade!”

This will be the last you see of them til midnight.

The rest of your hours will be spent listening to Lady Carlotta heckle guests and sing Elvis songs in front of the Haunted Mansion…

Mickeys Not So Scary Halloween Party Lady Carlotta at the Haunted Mansion

…and blazing through all of your favorite attractions like Pirates of the Caribbean, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain, Space Mountain and Peter Pan. If you don’t want to see the second installment of the “Boo to You Parade”, no pressure.

Oh, and I almost forgot. Hit up every “Trick-or-Treat” Location for all the candy your arms can carry.

Mickeys Not So Scary Halloween Party 2014 Candy Haul

By midnight the kids will be searching for a ride home, or to McDonald’s.

Mickeys Not So Scary Halloween Party 2014

This is how the Tinneys tour Mickey’s Not-so-Scary Halloween Party. Your results may vary.

Mickeys Not So Scary Halloween Party 2014

Special thanks to Disney for hosting me and my family. I was not required to write this post. All opinions are my own.

For more info on Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party see this post: Dates and Prices for the 2014 Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party in the Magic Kingdom


22
Sep 14

Culinary Photo Tour of the “Global Venture Wine Pairing Dinner” at Bull & Bear Steakhouse in the Waldorf Astoria Orlando Resort at Walt Disney World

Global Venture Wine Pairing Dinner at Bull & Bear Steakhouse in the Waldorf Astoria Orlando Resort at Walt Disney World

After months and months of anticipation, Walt Disney World’s 2014 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival has begun. If you haven’t already booked your travel arrangements, consider the Waldorf Astoria Orlando Resort for your epicurean “home base” for this year’s festivities. Not only is this resort a cut above any Disney Deluxe Resort (here’s why), it is also offering it’s own complementary Food & Wine Experiences as the resort ushers in it’s fourth year of “Food & Wine Weekends” from September 19th – November 9th, 2014.

For eight weekends, the Waldorf Astoria Orlando Resort and it’s attached sister property the Hilton Bonnet Creek Resort will feature educated diners special programming and events aimed to complement and “fill the gaps” around the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival.

This weekend I attended a preview of “Global Venture – a Wine Pairing Dinner” at Bull & Bear inside the Waldorf.

Amuse Bouche

Global Venture Wine Pairing Dinner at Bull & Bear Steakhouse in the Waldorf Astoria Orlando Resort at Walt Disney World amuse bouche

Our dinner started of with not one amuse bouche, but two, along with a celebratory glass of champagne. Above is a beef and romesco sauce and below is a cheddar cracker with fennel confit and mushroom sausage.

Global Venture Wine Pairing Dinner at Bull & Bear Steakhouse in the Waldorf Astoria Orlando Resort at Walt Disney World amuse bouche

Bread Service

Global Venture Wine Pairing Dinner at Bull & Bear Steakhouse in the Waldorf Astoria Orlando Resort at Walt Disney World Bread Service

Next diners were presented with a beautiful bouquet of bread to choose from.

Starters

Global Venture Wine Pairing Dinner at Bull & Bear Steakhouse in the Waldorf Astoria Orlando Resort at Walt Disney World Wisconsin Pride

Wisconsin Pride – Cheddar (two and four year) Cheese Souffle, Roasted Fava Beans, Pumpernickel Croutons. Warm and gooey and definitely rich. The creamy cheese is broken up nicely with the roasted favas which reminded me of crisp pepitas as well as the croutons and cracker.

This first dish was paired with a 2011 Pouilly-Fuisse unoaked Chardonnay which was a beautiful complement to the cheese dish.

Global Venture Wine Pairing Dinner at Bull & Bear Steakhouse in the Waldorf Astoria Orlando Resort at Walt Disney World Pasta Explosion

Pasta Explosion – Pata Negra de Bellota, Parmigiano Reggiano. One of Bull & Bear’s signature starters. Brought to the table with a special spoon for consuming. Diners are meant to scoop each pasta pillow up with the spoon and let the bite melt in their mouth bringing a literal pasta explosion experience.

The Pasta Explosion was paired with a contrasting 2013 Triennes Rose.

Pasture

Global Venture Wine Pairing Dinner at Bull & Bear Steakhouse in the Waldorf Astoria Orlando Resort at Walt Disney World Fried Chicken

Bull & Bear Fried Chicken – Yukon Golden Mash Potato, Gravy. The preparation of this dish is painstaking. First the chicken is brined. It is then rolled and sous-vied. Finally it is coated and quickly deep friend so as just to crispen the exterior breading. The dish is carved table side.

The chicken came paired with a 2010 L’Ecole No 41 Syrah. This was a beautiful wine.

Beefsteaks

Global Venture Wine Pairing Dinner at Bull & Bear Steakhouse in the Waldorf Astoria Orlando Resort at Walt Disney World Tomahawk Steak

Tomahawk – 38 oz Allen Brothers Prime 32-Day Dry Aged. This cut is called a tomahawk for good reason. It looks exactly like the axe is named for. Offered and priced normally for two. This cut is basically a cowboy steak or ribeye. It is carved and served table side with a bulb of slow roasted garlic and a unique tallow candle made from the steak drippings which is meant to be poured over the meat for extra flavor.

Global Venture Wine Pairing Dinner at Bull & Bear Steakhouse in the Waldorf Astoria Orlando Resort at Walt Disney World Tomahawk Steak Tallow Candle

Global Venture Wine Pairing Dinner at Bull & Bear Steakhouse in the Waldorf Astoria Orlando Resort at Walt Disney World Tomahawk Steak

For this experience we were served sides of Wilted Spinach, Au Gratin Potato and my favorite B&B Frittes, which are Hand Cut Idaho Fries Cooked in Tallow and Sprinkled with Steak Seasoning.

The Tomahawk Steak was paired with a 2009 Hugh Hamilton Jeckyll & Hyde McLaren Vale Shiraz Voignier blend. I loved the label on this wine, which was a black sheep and the caption “Every family has one”.

Wines

Global Venture Wine Pairing Dinner at Bull & Bear Steakhouse in the Waldorf Astoria Orlando Resort at Walt Disney World Wines

Dessert

On the menu, our final course was listed as “Chef’s Choice Dessert“. Little did we know that this would translate to four of the top desserts served at Bull & Bear.

Global Venture Wine Pairing Dinner at Bull & Bear Steakhouse in the Waldorf Astoria Orlando Resort at Walt Disney World Creme Brulee Flambee

Creme Brulee Flambee – Presented to the table in it’s most literal form…flaming. This delightfully burnt cream has a hidden agenda…a small layer of chocolate on the bottom.

Global Venture Wine Pairing Dinner at Bull & Bear Steakhouse in the Waldorf Astoria Orlando Resort at Walt Disney World Chocolate Cigar

Chocolate Cigar – Crisp chocolate tuile cookie filled with decadent chocolate cream. Served with squid ink dyed meringue to resemble cigar ash.

Global Venture Wine Pairing Dinner at Bull & Bear Steakhouse in the Waldorf Astoria Orlando Resort at Walt Disney World The Lemon

The Lemon – Lemon Peel which has been cooked so that it is edible. Filled with lemon and chantilly cream and garnished with a shortbread cookie. Divine!

Global Venture Wine Pairing Dinner at Bull & Bear Steakhouse in the Waldorf Astoria Orlando Resort at Walt Disney World Napoleon

Napoleon – Puff Pastry filled with pistachio pastry creme topped with Caribbean 12 year old Rum sauce, crumbled meringue, macaroons and black walnuts.

Dessert was served with a small aperitif glass of 2002 Tschida Trockenbeerenauslese Sämling, which is a sweet Riesling.

Global Venture Wine Pairing Dinners are offered on Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30 pm at the Bull and Bear steakhouse inside the Waldorf Astoria Orlando Resort. Reservations are required. There is one seating per night of up to 16 guests and the dinner is served at one large table so guests are able to talk and mingle with one another. The cost is $110 per person, plus tax and gratuity.

Bull & Bear Steakhouse
Inside the Waldorf Astoria Orlando Resort
14200 Bonnet Creek Resort Lane
Orlando, FL 32821
407-597-5500
BullandBearOrlando.com

Special Thanks to Bull & Bear for hosting me at this dinner. I was not compensated to write this post and all opinions are my own.


17
Sep 14

Special Halloween Dessert Being Served at Disney’s Be Our Guest Restaurant in the Magic Kingdom

On Friday my husband and I had the pleasure of dining at Be Our Guest Restaurant during Mickey’s Not-so-Scary Halloween Party. We didn’t even have a dinner reservation. Details on how we got in are in this post: How to Get a Dinner Reservation at Disney’s Be Our Guest Restaurant Without Booking 6 Months in Advance

Dark Chocolate Cream Puff with Blood Orange Filling for Halloween at Disney's Be Our Guest Restaurant in the Magic Kingdom

Today I wanted to bring you photos of a special dessert I had after dinner. I was told by my server that this was only being served on Mickey’s Not-so-Scary Halloween Party nights, but I assume that the closer we get to Halloween, the more this dessert may become available.

This was a delicious Dark Chocolate Blood Orange Cream Puff. It was topped with a bit of plain cream, Halloween sprinkles and a dark chocolate spider web.

Dark Chocolate Cream Puff with Blood Orange Filling for Halloween at Disney's Be Our Guest Restaurant in the Magic Kingdom

As you can see, the filling really was blood orange in color and tasted spot on like that unmistakable Florida citrus fruit. This dessert, like most of the cream puffs served at Be Our Guest Restaurant, was very light and a perfect ending to our meal. I paired it with a delicious Pinot Noir.

Future dates for Mickey’s Not-so-Scary Halloween Party can be found here: Dates and Prices for the 2014 Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party in the Magic Kingdom