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


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


15
Sep 14

How to Get a Dinner Reservation at Disney’s Be Our Guest Restaurant Without Booking 6 Months in Advance

Be Our Guest Restaurant Gargoyle

How fitting that these sad little gargoyles line the walkway to the entrance of Magic Kingdom’s Be Our Guest Restaurant. Undoubtedly the hottest reservation to score for guests visiting the Walt Disney World Resort. Reservations (by Disney resort guests) book up six months in advance leaving locals, day guests and guests staying at non-Disney owned and operated hotels scratching their heads on how to score a dinner reservation.

Take me for example. I’ve only had dinner here once since they opened and that was because I swindled my way into a friend’s reservation (Thanks Carol!).

But there is a way, a not-so-well-known way to get a walk-up dinner reservation at Be Our Guest Restaurant…however, it’ll cost ya.

The secret lies in the “Hard Ticket Event”.

On Friday night my family and I attended Mickey’s Not-so-Scary Halloween Party. The party runs from 7pm – Midnight. Normally on nights like this, Be Our Guest Restaurant takes dinner reservations up until 6:30 pm for regular park guests. These are the reservations that book up six months in advance. If you look on the MNSSHP Map you will see that the only restaurants advertised as “open” in Fantasyland for the party are Pinocchio Village Haus, The Friar’s Nook, Storybook Treats and Gaston’s Tavern. So how did my husband and I score dinner there that night?

We arrived at the Magic Kingdom around 6pm and made a bee line for Be Our Guest Restaurant. When we arrived, there was a manager with a clip board taking walk up reservations. The company isn’t stupid. They know visitors are clamoring for a chance to throw more money at them, so why not allow them to during these “after hours” events? Our dinner bill ended up totaling around $130 that night. Why turn this kind of money away?

When I asked the manager what the “Special Event” protocol was, I was told that on Mickey’s Not-so-Scary Halloween Party nights, she would book walk-up reservations from 6:30 pm to around 7:10 pm. It’s not always a guarantee that this will be the case and depends on the demand that she sees. She said that the same protocol was in place for the Night of Joy events the previous weekend. I assume this will also be the case for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. We arrived at the hostess station around 6:30 pm and were given a “Party of Two” reservation for 6:45 pm. Being that this was one of the earlier parties, we only saw a handful of other guests arrive after us and ask for a reservation. By around 6:40 pm that booking cast member was gone.

Once inside, our server told us that if there is still demand beyond 7:10 pm, management will open up another one hour block of reservations for guests, again this is on a case-by-case, night-by-night basis and only on separate hard ticket event nights. I don’t think that I would have wanted to take a later reservation time slot however. Dining at 6:45 pm put us out of the restaurant at around 8:45 pm, just in time to see Hallowishes. A later reservation and we would have missed this limited time fireworks extravaganza and that would have been a deal breaker for me.

So there you have it folks. If you’ve been dying to get into Be Our Guest Restaurant for dinner and have been unable to secure a reservation, here’s your chance. It’s not a guarantee, but it’s worth a shot and if you don’t make it in, at least you can party the night away after hours in the Magic Kingdom.

Stay tuned for my dinner review, MNSSHP review and a look at an event exclusive dessert offered only during party nights at Be Our Guest Restaurant.