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Happy Holidays from Disneyland Resort Paris

Our Top 10 New Tastes for 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

posted on September 18th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


All sorts of special events, cooking demos and parties make the 19th annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival worth the trip, but for us, it’s the simple pleasure of noshing and sipping our way around World Showcase that is one of the most memorable parts of the 53-day festival (the longest ever) that debuts Friday, September 19, and runs through November 10.

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival: Brazil Marketplace

This is the seventh year that Epcot Executive Chef Jens Dahlmann has been at the helm, and every year he gets a little more authentic, a little more creative. Thirty-five new food offerings debut this year, requiring multiple visits to truly savor each taste.

And while it may be nearly impossible to appreciate every single dish paired with tasting-sized servings of wine, beer (and non-alcoholic beverages) at the 25+ Marketplaces, we’ve done a little homework and are suggesting the Top 10 new, “don’t-miss” dishes for 2014.

Here, in no certain order, are 10 of the new dishes worth a taste, even if you have to share to make it all the way around:

  1. Lobster Alfredo at the Hops & Barley Marketplace, a bowl with warm macaroni noodles, generous bits of lobster and a crunch topping. Add a 6-ounce pour of crisp Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat.
  2. Eat dessert first: you don’t want to miss the rich, velvety caramel crème brûlée with fleur de sel at the France Marketplace. Pair it with a flute of Sparkling Pomegranate Kir.
  3. A hearty, healthful dish is Patagonia’s Verlasso salmon, served with quinoa salad and a flourish of garlicky arugula chimichurri. Add a pour of the fruity Cono Sur Bicicleta Viognier.
  4. At the Farm Fresh Marketplace, there’s the perfect taste of Southern comfort food: griddled “Yard Bird” (chicken thigh) with collards and a dollop of the house-made habanero sauce. Just for fun, add a Florida wine (yes, Florida), the Key Limen-Key Lime Wine from Florida Orange Groves.
  5. Also at Farm Fresh, the Florida grass-fed beef slider with a scoop of kicky pimento cheese melting over the warm burger was another don’t-miss. We added the Beer Flight (four 4-ounce servings): I-4 IPA, Ba Ba Black Lager, Duke’s Cold Nose Brown Ale and Florida Cracker Belgian Style White Ale.
  6. Even if the idea of snails is not for you, give it a try. They’ve jazzed up the escargot in France, now served with three tender snails in pastry with lots of garlic, spinach, bacon and Parmesan. Be elegant and pair with a cool Chardonnay, Macon-Villages, La Côte Blanche.
  7. The Greece marketplace has added hearty Vegetarian Moussaka, made with eggplant and potatoes and a rich béchamel sauce. Try it with Domaine Skouras Moscofilero, a white wine with rich flavors of citrus and tropical fruits. (We also loved sipping the Tzatziki martini featuring Crop Organic Cucumber Vodka and BOLS Natural Yoghurt Liqueur.)
  8. For a taste of the tropics, it’s the Ensalada de Carrucho, Caribbean conch salad with onion, tomato and cilantro at the new Puerto Rico Marketplace along the Rose Walk leading to World Showcase Plaza. Pair it with Medalla light beer.
  9. Canada’s Seared Rainbow Trout with Bacon, Frisee and Maple Minus 8 Vinaigrette deserves a pour of the Canada Mission Hill Family Estate Syrah.
  10. Desserts & Champagne Marketplace is always our final stop, and we can recommend this year’s trio: Passion Fruit Coconut Creamsicle, Blueberry Lime Cheesecake Roll and Chocolate Espresso Opera Cake. Best of all, they’re now serving Dom Pérignon Champagne. Life is good.

And we still have to make room for a few returning favorites: the grilled lamb chop with mint pesto and crunch potato chips in Australia; crispy pork belly with black beans, tomato and cilantro in Brazil; Kālua pork slider with sweet and sour Dole pineapple chutney and spicy mayonnaise in Hawaii, and the kimchi dog with spicy mustard sauce in South Korea.

Also, here’s a link to all the menus. Get out there and share your favorite Marketplace dishes with us!


For more about this year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival presented by Chase, visit the posts below:

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New Tastes on Flo’s V8 Café Menu at Disney California Adventure Park

posted on September 15th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


When you head for Cars Land at Disney California Adventure park, make a pit stop at Flo’s V8 Café to fill ‘er up. We’ve always been big fans of the Veggie-Tater Bake and any of Flo’s pies, but now there are new favorites vying for top spot on the menu.

Barbecued Pork Ribs at Flo's V8 Cafe at Disney California Adventure Park Roast Beef and Cheddar Sandwich at Flo's V8 Cafe at Disney California Adventure Park Turkey Dip at Flo's V8 Cafe at Disney California Adventure Park

Fall-off-the-bone barbecued pork ribs, with house-made Coca-Cola barbecue sauce replace the pork loin, served with creamy mashed potatoes and a side of crisp slaw. Also new is a hearty sandwich with shaved roast beef and cheddar on a garlic-chive bun topped with sweet, caramelized onions and kicky horseradish aioli, slaw on the side. The turkey dip also debuts on a potato grinder roll, with provolone cheese and turkey au jus for dipping and a side of pasta salad.

Ah, another pie joins the sweet line-up: coconut cream, making it tough to decide how to end the meal – maybe share that and the chocolate mud pie (or maybe the strawberry-rhubarb) with a friend.

Flo’s also adds Grand Am Beer on tap, joining the Racer 5 Pale Ale IPA.

Citrus Turkey Salad at Flo's V8 Cafe at Disney California Adventure Park Veggie-Tater Bake at Flo's V8 Cafe at Disney California Adventure Park

Staying on the menu are the crowd-pleasing rotisserie chicken with mashed potatoes and veggies, ditto for the Citrus Turkey Salad, but with a twist: it’s now lettuce, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and Craisins (those delightful dried cranberries) and a kicky citrus-tarragon dressing. And our favorite Veggie-Tater Bake is still there, a riff on shepherd’s pie made with bulgur wheat, roasted veggies, mashed potatoes and Cheddar cheese.

Do you have a favorite dish at Flo’s?

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‘Mahaloween Luau’ Coming to Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar at Disneyland Hotel September 29

posted on September 9th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


It’s one day only, and guaranteed to put you in the spirit of Halloween TimeTrader Sam’s “Mahaloween Luau,” with seatings starting at 3 p.m., September 29.
Trader Sams

Just 100 guests per seating will have the pleasure of this kooky seasonal party that includes beverages and eats, live music and insider info with Imagineers and Disney cast members. Guests attending “Mahaloween Luau” will receive a special edition glass available only at the event. Collectors take note, the second edition of the Zombie souvenir glass will also be available for purchase at the event, before it is available to the public the next day.
Zombie Glass

“Mahalo” is a Hawaiian word meaning thanks, praise or regards, and this “Mahaloween Luau” gives fans of the Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar trademark humor an insider’s hour of fun at the legendary watering hole.

Choose your hour: 3-4 p.m., 4:30-5:30 p.m., 6-7 p.m. or 7:30-8:30 p.m. The fun starts on the patio with appetizers and two drink tickets (beer, wine, Zombie Drink or Polynesian Punch). Move inside for live entertainment and a Disney tiki presentation by Walt Disney Imagineering. You’ll also have a chance to meet some of Disney’s concept artists and other special guests.

When the party ends, you’ll get a Jungle River Cruise Expedition Bag that includes a Trader Sam panama hat, a boxed special-edition “Mahaloween Luau” glass (with a dated stamp), a Trader Sam print on canvas, and a coupon good for 20 percent off at the adjacent Tangaroa Terrace. Guests also can purchase up to two additional second-edition Zombie souvenir glasses.

Cost is $125 per person, including tax and tip. To reserve your spot, call 714-781-DINE – reservations open tomorrow!

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Re-Imagined California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort Celebrates 1-Year Anniversary

posted on September 9th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Time flies when you’re at the top of your game, and a year after re-opening with a classy new interior and new seasonal menu, California Grill Chef Brian Piasecki and his talented team are busy keeping guests happy seven nights a week.

“California Grill is a total experience – great food, interesting wines, craft cocktails, and an incomparable view,” says Chef Brian. He and general manager Michael Scheifler conduct a beautifully orchestrated evening with efficient, knowledgeable staff.

Pork two ways (wood fire tenderloin w goat chesse polenta_ braised lacquered belly and country applesauce

Any misses on the new menu, we asked Chef Brian? “We change the menu so fast with what’s fresh and available, so far it’s been a success,” he answers with a smile. The most-ordered dish is the Pork Two Ways with grilled pork tenderloin and lacquered pork belly served with warm goat cheese polenta, mushrooms and a touch of sweetness with house-made applesauce. For starters, the house-made charcuterie is another hit. And, of course, the buttery filet mignon with heirloom tomato risotto, baby vine tomatoes, basil and tomato butter is a top pick, too.

Chef Brian loves his new kitchen, with gadgets like a sous vide machine that seals ingredients in plastic for slowly cooking in a water bath for super tender, perfectly cooked dishes. “Most guests don’t want to know about the cooking techniques, they just love the results,” says Chef Brian.

The kitchen team reaches out to local farms, and with Florida crops just coming into high season, look for lots of local fruits and produce on the fall menu – as well as Florida seafood. A simple salad has never tasted better than the one made with local greens and topped with a poached Lake Meadow Naturals egg and Palmetto Honey vinaigrette.
Yuzu-marinated Sashimi (tuna salmon himachi snapper seaweed salad

The list of favorites must include the Cucumber Fizz cocktail, flatbreads (try the heirloom tomato BLT flatbread with lemon mayo) and the sushi (we’re fans of the yuzu-marinate sashimi). “And desserts are flying out of here,” says Chef Brian, thanks to the creativity of Pasty Chef Jeff Barnes – his hot banana fritters are the biggest hit.

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As for that stellar view, the new fireworks deck has given more guests a front-row spot for the nightly Magic Kingdom Park fireworks. While you can sit at your table with the fireworks sound track piped in, most guests love to walk out on the two decks for a bird’s-eye view of the Magic Kingdom Park from the 15th floor. Now that’s a one-of-a-kind ending to a your day.

For reservations, call 407-WDW-DINE.

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‘Lakeside Casual’ Attire for Servers at New Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s BoardWalk

posted on September 9th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


As the new Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s BoardWalk gets ready for a December opening, here’s a look at the classic server attire, designed by Walt Disney Imagineer Celina Lung, who’s been a Disney costume designer for nearly 20 years.

French Bakery Hostess

“My inspiration comes from the trattoria’s interior and lakeside setting,” says Celina. “Like the restaurant, the server attire is charming, casual, a little upscale.” The warm décor matches the restaurant color palette, she explains. Celina’s research also took her to a seaside bistro in Southern California to come up with a look that’s “not overdesigned, but simple and elegant.”

French Bakery Hostess French Bakery Hostess

The burgundy shirts and blouses with gold contrast echo the décor, with khaki-colored pants for a more casual look. “We’re in America, not Italy, and I wanted the servers to look casual but polished,” says Celina. One detail, for instance, is the bladed leather belt with an antique brass buckle to lend a more refined finish.

French Bakery Hostess French Bakery Hostess

For colder months, she designed a jacket with a relaxed fit in classic tweed. Servers will also wear long bistro aprons, weaving the elegance of traditional European restaurant with the experience of a neighborhood restaurant.

Her expertise is in many costumes throughout Disney Parks, from the server attire at Coral Reef Restaurant at Epcot to various lands and restaurants at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, Tokyo Disney Resort, Shanghai Disney Resort (her current project) and Disneyland park. And she’s always got something in the works.

Meanwhile, interior work and recipe development continues on Trattoria al Forno, more details to come!

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Happy Birthday! Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue Celebrates 40 Years of Food, Fun at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort

posted on September 4th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


September 5 marks the official 40th birthday of one of the longest-running dinner shows in American history – Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. We say “official” because the show got its start that summer (on June 30) as part of the Disney World Fine Arts College Workshop program, with six young actors playing the roles, says Forrest Bahruth, the original choreographer who still creates fantastic shows for Disney Parks & Resorts Creative Entertainment.

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“Hoop-Dee-Doo was upbeat, and guests came for the corny jokes, good food and lots of fun,” said Forrest Bahruth, show director, Disney Parks & Resorts Creative Entertainment and the original choreographer for the dinner show. “Forty years later, the heart is still in it, the energy is still there.”

Of course we think the endless buckets of fried chicken and ribs play a starring role, too. The menu has only had one major change since its debut – the apple pie for dessert was changed to strawberry shortcake way back in 1979. Today, servers (who are part of the high-energy show) dish up about 900 pounds of fried chicken every night, and cooks spend about six hours each day just breading the chicken. Add 400 pounds of pork ribs, slow cooked starting at 11 a.m. daily on a big outdoor smoker.

For sides, there are 120 pounds of corn, 400 pounds of potatoes to be mashed and 30 gallons of baked beans. It takes 15 gallons of strawberries and 12 gallons of whipped cream to make dessert.

Add beer, wine, sangria and soft drinks, and you got a formula for fun – a show that has presented about 37,000 performances before more than 10.5 million guests. And like the food, the show, while fine-tuned, hasn’t changed much, says show director Tom Vazzana.

“Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue exemplifies everything that Disney stands for,” says Vazzana. “It’s interactive fun for families and stellar entertainment – six performers put on a show that’s 90 minutes of pure enjoyment.”

Performers sing, dance and act their way through the timeless classic. “I love to go and hear kids squeal with delight at Six Bits, but also hear strong American ballads,” says Vazzana. “Families tell me it’s the first time they’ve seen a Broadway-style show – it’s obtainable and accessible, quintessential Disney.”

Hoop-Dee-Doo presents three shows nightly, seven days a week, at 4 p.m., 6:15 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. For reservations, call 407-WDW-DINE or book online.

Looking Back

In true Disney fashion, Walt Disney Imagineers designed Pioneer Hall in authentic Wild West style with 1,283 hand-fitted pine logs from Montana and 70 tons of stones from North Carolina to recreate a look from the late 1800s. The building opened April 1, 1974.

Themed entertainment is always part of the Disney story. While Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue was being written and cast, a group of country-Western musicians called The Star-Spangled Washboard Band opened in Pioneer Hall, according to an historical timeline by Larry Billman, author/writer and Disney entertainment consultant, who was the author and writer of the original show.

Bob Jani, the director of entertainment for both Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort, saw the potential for a “dinner theater show” and hired Billman. After multiple rewrites (the first version was called “We’re With You, Mother McCree!”), Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue was born.

Students from the 11-week college workshop auditioned for the three female and three male character performers in Hoop-Dee-Doo: Six Bits Slocum and Dolly Drew (comic relief), Jim Handy and Flora Long (the singers), and Johnny Ringo and Claire de Lune (the dancers).

Fun Facts

  • Today, one member of the original cast from the college program still works for Disney – Marilyn Kay Magness, who played the part of Dolly Drew. She’s executive creative director, Disney Parks, Creative Entertainment.
  • An early draft of the show was titled The Whoop-Dee-Doo-Revue, which was revised to Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue.
  • Principal songwriter was Tom Adair, who also wrote words for the score for Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty” and the “Mickey Mouse Club.”
  • In 1979 the song “Apple Pie Hoedown” was replaced with “Strawberry Short Cake Walk” when shortcake replaced apple pie on the menu.
  • The writers added a nod to Disney legacy with “The Legend of Davy Crockett” skit, complete with a coonskin cap and bear puns.
  • Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue was part of the opening entertainment at Tokyo Disneyland in 1983, with Larry Billman and Forrest Bahruth directing and staging the new version. The show played there until 1995.

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A Taste of the Islands at Shutters Restaurant at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

posted on September 3rd, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


One of our favorite little Walt Disney World Resort dining gems is Shutters at Old Port Royale at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, where Chef Scott Tosh can elevate any dish with bright island flavors – he knows that “spicy” doesn’t mean “hot,” but instead an infusion of fantastic flavors.

We’re also fans of his crispy chicken wings, glazed in habanero-brown sugar. Pair those with the Shutters Salad (greens, jicama, avocado, tropical salsa, goat cheese and citrus vinaigrette) and a fruity cocktail for starters. But it’s really the sustainable fish where Shutters shines, like this Jerk-Seared Mahi-Mahi, with a demo by Chef Mike Reitzler, who was at the helm in the kitchen at Shutters, now at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

The dish may take a little time, but you can do most of the prep early in the day, then sear the fish just as your guests are ready for dinner.

Shutters is open nightly at 5:30 p.m. for dinner. For reservations, call 407-WDW-DINE. Dinner is on the Disney Dining Plan.

Jerk-Seared Mahi-Mahi with Ancho BBQ sauce, Tropical Salsa, Caribbean Rice & Green Beans
Serves 4

Tropical Salsa

  • 1 medium, ripe mango, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup diced fresh pineapple
  • 1/2 small red onion, minced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1/2 orange bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons minced cilantro

Ancho BBQ Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely diced
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1/2 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch cayenne pepper

Jerk Seasoning

  • 8 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 2 tablespoons dry mustard
  • 4 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons granulated onion
  • 2 teaspoons lemon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground white or black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

Mahi

  • 4 (6-ounce) mahi filets
  • 1 tablespoon plus 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 12 teaspoons jerk seasoning, divided

Caribbean Rice

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced chives

Green Beans

  • 1 pound thin green beans
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For tropical salsa:

  1. Combine mango, pineapple, onion, red bell pepper, orange bell pepper, and jalapeno in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk together rice vinegar, honey, lime juice, and salt in a small bowl.
  3. Pour dressing over mango mixture. Add cilantro, gently stirring to combine.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, stirring occasionally, about 2 hours.

For ancho BBQ sauce:

  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and onion, cooking until fragrant and softened, about 4 minutes. Add tomato and jalapeno, cooking until tomato breaks down, about 3 minutes more.
  2. Whisk in ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, honey, lemon juice, chili powder, paprika, sugar, mustard, salt, pepper, and cayenne.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes, or until onions are soft and sauce is thickened.
  4. Carefully transfer to a blender and puree until smooth.

For jerk seasoning:

  1. Combine allspice, dry mustard, paprika, granulated onion, lemon pepper, dried hot red pepper flakes, white or black pepper, cayenne, granulated garlic, cinnamon, salt, and thyme in a small bowl. Stir to combine.
  2. Store remaining jerk seasoning in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

For mahi:

  1. Rinse mahi with cold water, and pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Rub each mahi filet with 1 teaspoon oil. Sprinkle first side of each filet with 1 1/2 teaspoons Jerk Seasoning, patting to adhere. Repeat with the second side of each fish.
  3. Transfer mahi to a large plate, lightly cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 1 hour.
  4. When ready to serve, heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add 2 mahi filets. Sear each side 3 to 4 minutes, until cooked all the way through. Repeat using remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil and remaining 2 mahi filets.

For Caribbean rice:

  1. Melt butter and olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, cooking until translucent and tender, about 5 minutes. Add rice, stirring to coat in butter.
  2. Stir in turmeric and salt. Add water, stir a few times, then cover pan. Turn heat to low and cook 20 minutes.
  3. Remove rice from heat and keep covered 10 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork; add chives and fluff again.

For green beans:

  1. While fish is cooking, blanch green beans in boiling salted water until bright green and just tender.
  2. Melt butter in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Drain green beans and add directly to sauté pan, tossing to coat in butter. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve:
Brush barbecue sauce on serving plates, evenly divide rice and green beans among plates. Top each with a mahi filet. Serve with more sauce and tropical salsa spooned over top.

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Latin Flavors Shine During Hispanic Heritage Month at This Year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

posted on August 28th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Fabulous flavors and the vibrant music of Puerto Rico, Patagonia and Mexico brighten up World Showcase for an extended celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month September 19 – November 10, during the 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival presented by Chase.

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How about Puerto Rico’s Ensalada de Carrucho (Caribbean conch salad with onion, tomato and cilantro with Medella Light Beer; or Carne Guisada con Arroz Blanco (slow-braised beef with Puerto Rican-grown rice) with a frozen San Juan Breeze? Patagonia marketplace will showcase the tastes of Argentina and Chile with dishes such as sustainable Roasted Verlasso Salmon with Quinoa Salad and Arugula Chimichurri; Grilled Beef Skewer with Cimichurri Sauce and Boniato Purée, paired with Chilean Cono Sur Bicicleta Viognier and Argentinean Terrazas Reserva Malbec. The Mexico marketplace features three popular dishes: Shrimp Taco with Fried Shrimp, Pickled Habanero Pepper and Onions on Flour Tortilla; Rib Eye Taco with Marinated Ribeye, Roasted Chipotle Salsa and Grilled Scallions on a Corn Tortilla, and Sweet Corn Cheese Cake. Sip a Dos Equis Beer, Sangria or a Mango-Strawberry Margarita – or get a lesson in tequila with a flight of diverse vintages.

National Hispanic Heritage Month is officially September 15 – October 15, but the celebration will continue throughout the Epcot festival. Celebrating Hispanic and Latino Americans’ contributions to the United States since 1968, Hispanic Heritage Month is steeped in the centuries-old traditions that reflect the ethnic and cultural customs of their communities.

The festival also will present Hispanic and Latin culinary stars hosting dining events and demonstrations.

At the festival’s Puerto Rico experience and marketplace, guests will be transported against a colorful backdrop of Old San Juan created by Walt Disney Imagineering as the festival’s first two-story marketplace. There, guests can explore the history and culture of Puerto Rico. More tastes will include Frituras Sorullitos (sweet polenta fries), Bolitas de Queso (cheese fritters with mayo ketchup) and FlanCocho (vanilla caramel custard with chocolate coffee cake).

Puerto Rico also will host “Experience Puerto Rico – The All Star Island” gala, a premium event in the park’s World ShowPlace pavilion at 7:30 p.m. on September 20. Guests can enjoy the foods, beverages and entertainment of Puerto Rico during the island’s premier dining celebration.

More than 25 festival marketplaces in the park’s World Showcase will feature flavors of six continents. Culinary demonstrations and beverage seminars at the Festival Center in Future World will present recipes and beverages from many cultures, including Puerto Rico, Argentina and Chile. The lineup of notable chefs includes Puerto Rico’s Maira Isabel, who will create a variety of recipes with Puerto Rican ingredients at scheduled culinary demonstrations and during the September 20 gala.

Some Festival Center activities and all Eat to the Beat concerts and park attractions are included with Epcot admission. Premium wine and culinary programs require reservations and separate event admission. Guests can call 407/WDW-FEST (939-3378) to make reservations. Information and reservations for select programs are available at www.epcotfoodfestival.com.


For more about this year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival presented by Chase, visit the posts blow:

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Sneak Peek at Much-Anticipated Gingerbread Creation for Haunted Mansion Holiday at Disneyland Park

posted on August 28th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Check out the sketch of this year’s gingerbread creation for Haunted Mansion Holiday, the masterful work of a year-long collaboration between Disneyland Resort chefs, the Entertainment team and Walt Disney Imagineering. The masterpiece debuts when Haunted Mansion Holiday opens at Disneyland park on September 12.
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“The Ghost Host of Haunted Mansion Holiday always says, ‘even a gingerbread house can be scary,’ and we’ve definitely taken the design towards scary this year,” says Tim Wollweber, Graphic Designer/Sculptor.

Of course, the Haunted Mansion Holiday gingerbread house adds a little whimsy with a hapless gingerbread zombie trapped inside – and those frightening spikes are very sharp, red-and-white candy canes. The gingerbread house also will feature opening and closing doors and lights.

The wood foundation is wired, then sent to the Disneyland Resort Central Bakery for a 3-week layover to apply 200 pounds of gingerbread, 200 pounds of royal icing, 150 pounds of fondant, and all sorts of other sticky treats. The gingerbread house stands at almost 7 feet tall.

There’s plenty of time to take it all in – Haunted Mansion Holiday goes through January 6, 2015.

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Villains’ Sinister Soiree: A Wicked Takeover of Cinderella Castle with VIP Parade Viewing, Fireworks and Delicious Sweets at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

posted on August 25th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Starting Monday, you can make a reservation for this fun new, must-do last stop of the evening at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party: Villain’s Sinister Soiree: A Wicked Takeover of Cinderella Castle.

First you enjoy preferred viewing for Mickey’s “Boo-to-You” Halloween Parade and the HalloWishes Fireworks Spectacular. Then head to Cinderella’s Royal Table for devilish desserts and wicked entertainment in celebration of the villains’ favorite time of year.

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Lady Tremaine takes over Cinderella’s Royal Table after everyone has gone to bed, and she’s invited some of the most evil friends and special guests for a decadent dessert party (maybe you’ll see the Evil Queen, Maleficent, Cruella de Vil or Dr. Facilier?).

Lady Tremaine will welcome guests, and her personal piano player provides live music. (She’ll sing a few haunting solos while guests enjoy the delicious desserts inspired by the villains.)

Cost is $99 ages 3 and older, plus tax (gratuity included). Admission to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is required – this is a separate ticketed event not included in Magic Kingdom Park admission. Tickets for the soiree are limited and reservations recommended! Call 407-939-5262 – no online reservations.

Your ticket includes:

  • Preferred Viewing for the 8:15 p.m. Mickey’s “Boo-to-You” Halloween Parade
    Watch the Headless Horseman lead off the parade on a hair-raising ride, followed by a collection of frightful floats and some of your favorite Disney Characters in Halloween costumes.
  • Preferred Viewing for HalloWishes Fireworks Spectacular
    The Ghost Host from the Haunted Mansion and some of the most notorious Disney Villains light up the sky to wicked remixes of their favorite songs.
  • Dessert Soiree at Cinderella’s Royal Table
    Lady Tremaine shares her musical talents while you enjoy themed desserts, specialty non-alcoholic drinks, entertainment and visits from some of your favorite Disney villains. Each guest gets an autograph card and souvenir Maleficent dragon cup.

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Filed: Disney Dining, Magic Kingdom, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort