Jan 15

2015 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival {Flower Power} Garden Rocks Concert Dates and Times

Taylor Dayne Epcot Concert 2015

Performances are at America Gardens Theatre at 5:30, 6:45 and 8:00 p.m. every Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the 2015 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival (March 4 to May 17) and are included with Epcot admission. Here is this year’s lineup (subject to change without notice):

March 6-8: Gin Blossoms “Hey Jealousy”
March 13-15: Pablo Cruise “Love Will Find a Way”
March 20-22: En Vogue “Free Your Mind”
March 27-29: Starship “We Built This City”
April 3-5: The Orchestra starring former members of ELO “Evil Woman”
April 10-12: Village People “Y.M.C.A.”
April 17-19: Jon Secada “Just Another Day”
April 24-26: The Guess Who “These Eyes”
May 1-3: Taylor Dayne “Tell It to My Heart”
May 8-10: Little River Band “Lady”
May 15-17: Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone “I’m Henry the VIII, I Am”

Oct 14

10 Things You Didn’t Know About the 2014 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

2014 epcot international food and wine festival

Walt Disney World Resort guests can taste the cuisine of six continents, sip beverages from around the globe and eat to the beat of live entertainment at the 19th annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival presented by Chase through November 10th, 2014. That’s 19 years that the festival has been taking place at Epcot. Here are ten things you may not have known about this year’s festival.

  1. More than 250 food-and-beverage menu items are being offered this year with 35 of those offerings being new.
  2. Nearly 400 culinary demos, beverage and mixology seminars take place during the 53-day festival.
  3. 159 “Eat to the Beat!” concerts will be performed.
  4. More than 60 wineries are represented at festival marketplaces.
  5. More than 40 breweries from around the world, including local craft beer operations, are serving cold ones at festival marketplaces.
  6. The festival began in 1996 with a first run of 30 days.
  7. 200-plus chefs will present culinary demonstrations and cook for festival events.
  8. 100,000-plus desserts will be served.
  9. More than 80,000 servings will be dished up of the “Le Cellier” Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with Truffle Butter Sauce from Canada.
  10. More than 1,200 fireworks explode each night over World Showcase Lagoon in  “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth”.

Oct 14

Looking for New Years Eve Dining Options at the Walt Disney World Resort?

New Years Eve at Walt Disney World

Guests visiting Walt Disney World Resort can ring in the new year with special holiday meals at more than a dozen spots within the theme parks and resorts.

At Epcot World Showcase, Biergarten Restaurant in Germany is offering both lunch and dinner celebrations; La Hacienda de San Angel in Mexico is offering a New Year’s Eve dinner; Le Cellier Steakhouse in Canada has three seatings, and Monsieur Paul in France starts celebrating at 11:45 a.m. with seatings throughout the day and evening.  The World ShowPlace pavilion also will host a custom dinner package.

In the Magic Kingdom, Tomorrowland Terrace will feature a New Year’s Eve fireworks dessert party twice nightly on December 30-31. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Hollywood & Vine will host a special holiday dinner buffet.

In the resorts, special dining for ringing in the New Year is planned at Flying Fish Café at Disney’s BoardWalk; Victoria & Albert’s and Narcoossee’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa; The Wave…of American Flavors and California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort; and Trail’s End Restaurant at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground (lunch and dinner).

For information and reservations, 407-WDW-DINE.

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.

Sep 14

Dates for the 2015 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival at Walt Disney World

2014 epcot international flower and garden festival

Spring will bloom in a big way with bountiful blossoms, colorful Disney topiaries, gardening seminars and flavors of the season when the 22nd Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival runs March 4 to May 17, 2015, at Walt Disney World Resort.

Dozens of Disney character topiaries, from Chip and Dale to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, will rule the festival kingdom in the park’s Future World and World Showcase, and popular Outdoor Kitchens will return with refreshing beverages and tantalizing tastes from the garden and grill.

Home and garden seminars, children’s play gardens and other popular festival features will return for the 75-day event.  At the Festival Center, interactive gardening workshops will set the stage for outdoor do-it-yourself inspiration, and guest speakers will cover the latest in outdoor trends and home and garden topics.

Guests can try new food and beverage tastes from Outdoor Kitchen menus and pose for selfies among whimsical topiaries, multiple themed gardens and children’s play areas. Disney-crafted “flower towers,” herb gardens and beds of multi-colored blooms will add to the floral splendor of the park’s landscape.  On the park’s Future World lakes, more than 200 mini-gardens will be set afloat.

Hundreds of butterflies of several species will dazzle guests at the festival’s screened butterfly house.  As the sun begins to set, illuminated gardens will brighten the evening and cast a magical glow across the park.

Festival events are included in regular Epcot admission.