Looks like a lovely morning at the China pavilion at Epcot. How amazing is this sunshine on this already beautiful pavilion?
Is it too early for some yummy honey sesame chicken at Nine Dragons Restaurant?
posted on August 31st, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager
posted on August 30th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks
As we continue to count the days until the start of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, we shared a few experiences you may want to try at this year’s event.
One of the ideas for maximizing your fun is experiencing the new 20th Festival Tasting Sampler that gives you a credential (and a cool collectible pin) to taste your way around the fest. For $59 you get your choice of eight tastes of food or beverages at all of the 30 marketplaces plus priority seating at the nightly Eat to the Beat concert.
Be sure to check Pam’s story for other ideas on how to best enjoy this year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.
Faron shared that the intergalactic quest through Walt Disney World theme parks blasts off April 14-17, 2016 and channels the Dark Side of the Force. The events will include a 5K, 10K, kids races and half marathon plus a special challenge for completing the 10K and half marathon called the Star Wars Dark Side Challenge.
Registration for the East Coast event opens September 22, 2015 at noon ET. Check out Faron’s original story for more details.
Here are some of the other stories we worked on this week.
Happy National Waffle Day from Walt Disney Parks and Resorts – National Waffle Day may be over, but it’s never too late to indulge in one of our top 8 waffles from Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.
Disneyland Resort Million Dollar Dazzle Crew Hits the Road, Surprises Next $60,000 Recipient – Once a month during the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, our Million Dollar Dazzle Crew is surprising local nonprofits with $60,000, amounting to more than $1 million.
Video: Alexa PenaVega and Carlos PenaVega Announced as ‘Dancing with the Stars’ Contestants at Disneyland Park – Disneyland park was the setting for the latest “cast reveal” for “Dancing with the Stars” as Alexa PenaVega and Carlos PenaVega were announced as the first-ever married couple to compete for the coveted Mirror Ball Trophy!
It’s Almost Time for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom Park – Summer’s winding down. The kids are back in school. What are we going to do next? Plan for Halloween, of course!
FastPass+ Reservations Now Available For Eat to the Beat Concerts During 20th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival – If you enjoy toe-tapping tunes as much as tasty treats, you will love this: now you can make FastPass+ reservations for the Eat to the Beat concert series.
posted on August 28th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer
Who knew there’s a national day to remind us to step away from the salt shaker, meant to encourage us to reach for herbs instead of salt? The Disney chefs love the idea, and we’re sharing a few of their favorite tips.
Chef Christian Rumpler, Trattoria al Forno, Disney’s Boardwalk: “You could always liven up a dish with fresh parsley and oregano, but acidic flavors like lemon balm, lemongrass or something cool like lemon thyme are at the top of the list,” says Rumpler. He also recommends a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and flavored vinegars like apple cider vinegar. “Those flavors give you a punch of flavor without the salt.”
Chef Marcel St. Pierre, Steakhouse 55, Disneyland Hotel, Disneyland Resort: “Sorrel is my favorite substitution for salt, and one of my favorite perennial herbs,” says St. Pierre. “It adds a lightly sour taste with a little acidity to any dish.” He uses it at Steakhouse 55 to finish the fresh pasta tagliatelle. “It adds a surprising, refreshing lemony flavor, reducing the amount of salt needed to finish the dish.”
Executive Chef John State, Disneyland Resort: Cilantro is State’s favorite herb when there’s a need to cut salt. “Cilantro is bright and complements multiple cuisines, from Thai and Mexican to Indian and Middle Eastern.” It’s the acidity and fragrant aroma that are so appealing to the taste buds, says State. “Cilantro is rounded in flavor with lemony, floral, balanced acidity – and you can use it all, even the stem,” explains State.
Chef Dee Foundoukis, Le Cellier, Canada pavilion, Epcot World Showcase, Walt Disney World Resort: Foundoukis will give up her fleur de sel or truffle salt for a combination of fresh thyme and oregano. “That earthy feel-good adds so much flavor, it makes me forget about the salt – for a while,” says Foundoukis.
Chef Tim Keating, Flying Fish Cafe, Disney’s Boardwalk, Walt Disney World Resort: “That’s an easy one for us at Flying Fish,” says Keating. “We utilize classic French ‘fines herbes’ to amp up flavor and easily displace salt in salads, vinaigrettes, vegetable sautés and to crust our fish.” You can buy it dried, but their fresh, house-made mixture is a combination of half Italian flat-leaf parsley and half equal amounts of tarragon, chervil and chives, all finely chopped.
Chef Brian Piasecki, California Grill, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Walt Disney World Resort: “If I am making lighter foods like salads, flatbreads and appetizers, I like basil, cilantro, oregano, Italian flat parsley, onion sprouts and tops and even finely chopped radish tops (micro radish or wasabi),” says Piasecki. “These are great raw and delicate in flavor.” For cooked dishes, Piasecki goes for something heartier such as rosemary, thyme, and sage. “These hold up to the heat of cooking and are a bit stronger in flavor and infuse the food,” he explains.
Do you have a favorite herb to recommend when you’re cutting back on salt?
posted on August 27th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager
posted on August 27th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator
Last month on the Disney Parks Blog, we announced breakfast would be coming to Garden Grill Restaurant beginning November 8. Today, I have a deliciously easy recipe to share from this new dining experience: Chip’s Sticky Bun Bake. This new signature item is ooey-gooey and sure to be something the whole family will love.
For reservations, visit DisneyWorld.com/dine or call 407-WDW-DINE.
Chip’s Sticky Bun Bake from Garden Grill Restaurant at Epcot
Yield 6 – 8 servings
Sweet Cinnamon Dough
For cinnamon smear:
For sweet cinnamon dough:
posted on August 26th, 2015 by Victoria Lim, Managing Editor, Walt Disney World Public Relations
If you enjoy toe-tapping tunes as much as tasty treats, you will love this: starting today, you can make FastPass+ reservations for the Eat to the Beat concert series. These nightly shows during the 20th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival span the decades of pop music.
Normal FastPass+ booking guidelines apply. Log onto My Disney Experience to secure a spot for your favorite performers up to 60 days in advance (plus your length of stay) for resort guests, and up to 30 days in advance for Annual Passholders.
Catch season seven American Idol winner David Cook, who just released a new album. Swoon to Air Supply, which is celebrating 40 years as a duo. And can you believe, Wilson Phillips hit their first #1 single “Hold On” 25 years ago?
The shows are at 5:30, 6:45, and 8 p.m. each night of the Festival. Look for the FastPass+ line at the American Garden Theatre at least 20 minutes before each show, and from there you’ll be led to your special seating area.
Here’s a complete lineup of bands. Which performer are you most excited to see?
posted on August 25th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer
We’re counting down the days and deciding the best ways to take advantage of all the food, wine, celebrity chefs, live music and more at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.
Looking ahead, here are three ideas to maximize your fun. We love the idea of the new 20th Festival Tasting Sampler that gives you a credential (and a cool collectible pin) to taste your way around the fest. For $59 you get your choice of eight tastes of food or beverages at all of the 30 marketplaces plus priority seating at the nightly Eat to the Beat concert.
Your credential will include ideas for pairing a dish and a drink at the marketplaces – we’re excited to try some of the new dishes such as the pepper bacon mac ‘n’ cheese paired with a hard cider at Farm Fresh Marketplace (both new); lamb meatball with spicy tomato chutney and a pinot noir at New Zealand (both new), and the butter chicken with naan bread with a chenin blanc in Africa. There are 29 new dishes this year, and 72 new cocktails, beers, wines and ciders!
We’ve always had fun at Eat to the Beat, and this year’s dining package includes lunch or dinner at 13 different restaurants from Coral Reef Restaurant and The Garden Grill in Future World to France, Italy, Germany, Mexico, Japan, Morocco and United Kingdom. This is a nice “plan ahead” experience.
Price varies by restaurant, starting at $34.99 for lunch and includes appetizer, entrée, dessert and drink or buffets. And then you get guaranteed seating at the 5:30 p.m. Eat to the Beat concert for lunch reservations, and the 6:45 or 8 p.m. show for lunch or dinner.
Fan favorites are back on the America Gardens Theatre stage, including Wilson Phillips, Smash Mouth, The Pointer Sisters, Jo Dee Messina, Boyz II Men and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. And there are four new acts in the concert series lineup — Tiffany, Everclear, Maxi Priest and Chaka Khan.
For a really special treat, set aside a week for the Food & Wine Premium Package that gives you VIP treatment from noon- 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday at the festival. Eleven shaded “Premium Package” areas are reserved for a spot to eat, drink and relax, and you get to choose an IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party to attend, as well as a Festival Center culinary demo or beverage seminar.
Cost is $199, and you also get a gift bag with your own wine glass, a bottle of 20th celebration festival wine, a Food & Wine Fest-themed MagicBand and four food tickets for food or beverage from festival marketplaces.
For reservations, call 407-939-3378. Admission to Epcot is required.
posted on August 22nd, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer
While it’s still summertime, tickets are selling fast for special events at Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, opening September 25 for 53 days of fun, through November 16.
If you’re picking and choosing from the hundreds of special events and culinary demos, here are two all-new parties for 2015 – and tickets are going fast.
If you love a designer burger, the Rockin’ Burger Block Party in World ShowPlace lets you pick and choose from more than a dozen sliders at each party – where to begin? How about a coffee-crusted beef short rib burger topped with smoked Gouda, garlic potato string and sangria ketchup? Or a spiced lamb burger topped with feta, pickled watermelon rind and za’atar aioli. Go all out with the mixed grill burger topped with fried egg, bacon grease fries and nacho cheese sauce.
If you’re not a meat fan, there’s still plenty to choose from, such as a shrimp and scallop burger topped with spicy Thai slaw and cilantro-lime mayo (with a side of smoked sea-salted fried edamame), or a grilled grouper patty topped with butter lettuce, vine-ripened tomato and lime aioli.
Along with the burgers, there are finger foods like spicy-sticky pig wings, veggie pot stickers and cheeseburger spring rolls. Mini-rolls, perfect for a bite or two, include moonshine barbecued meatballs, chickpea and roasted corn fritters and Caribbean spiced seafood cakes.
Sweet endings are over the top, too: cinnamon roll fireball bread pudding with cream cheese glaze, snickerdoodle-crusted apple custard crisp and Valrhona chocolate ganache brownies.
It’s an all-you-care-to-eat affair, with burgers paired with craft beers, wines, cocktails and more. And you can burn a few calories – there’s a DJ, so you can shimmy or quick step your way to the next gourmet burger station. (A fun twist: you get to vote on the best burger of the night.)
Dates are September 25, October 8 and November 6 from 7-9 p.m., with hosts of ABC’s “The Chew” joining the fun on October 8. Cost is $99; $119 for reserved table on main floor, early admission at 6:45 p.m., and a specialty cocktail; or $199 for Nosh Pit seating with a private reserved table, early admission at 6:45 p.m., specialty cocktail and premium bar.
And for one night only, we’re planning our chic yellow and black costume for the elegant Yelloween Masquerade Party, a very special Party for the Senses from 7-9:30 p.m. Octpber 31 in celebration of Halloween. “Yelloween” is a reference to the night’s top pour – golden Champagne. Think elegant, and plan to eat, drink and party the night away with special entertainment. Cost is $169 plus tax general admission; $199 plus tax for a reserved table on the main floor with specialty cocktail toast, and $319 plus tax for a private reserved table, early entrance at 6:45 p.m., specialty cocktail toast, artisanal cheese station and more.
For reservations to these and other special events, call 407-939-3378. Admission to Epcot is required.
posted on August 21st, 2015 by Anne Macklin, Talent Relations Manager, Disney Destinations
Best buds Michael Strahan and Chris Rock recently vacationed together with their families at Disney’s Animal Kingdom where they ran into other longtime buddies, Chip & Dale. Both families are taking full advantage of these last few days of summer fun in the Disney Parks before the school year starts again. Michael was anxious to get back to riding Expedition Everest a few more times! He and his daughters had been on the attraction four times already before pausing to take a photo in front of the Tree of Life.
posted on August 19th, 2015 by Victoria Lim, Managing Editor, Walt Disney World Public Relations
Want a chance to win a trip to Walt Disney World Resort during our most delicious time of year?
We’re thrilled the Emmy award-winning ABC hit show “The Chew” is joining us for the 20th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival – and they are giving you (and three of your guests) a chance to win a visit too.
The Chew’s Magical Culinary Adventure Sweepstakes includes a visit to Walt Disney World Resort during the week of October 8-12, 2015, the opportunity to attend a live taping of The Chew, a stay at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort (within walking distance of Epcot), and a chance to dine at one of our newest restaurants in Downtown Disney – The BOATHOUSE. You’ll even get to ride an amphicar.
More than 30 marketplace experiences will be served up for this year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, including new tasting areas in Future World. That’s where you’ll sip, savor and sample in the Sustainable Chew Marketplace, which will offer dishes inspired by the show. At Chew Lab, food and science meet to create hot culinary tech trend treats like the Liquid Nitro Chocolate Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey Caramel.
Also on the menu for the Festival’s 53 days (September 25-November 16), we’re bringing back some guest favorites from the two decades of the event, the Dominican Republic Marketplace returns, and you can rock out to live music during the Eat to the Beat concerts.
You have until September 18th to enter.
What better combination than food, foodies, and fans of food and foodies to celebrate 20 delicious years?
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Ends at 11:59 p.m. ET on 9/18/15. Open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. & D.C., 18 years of age or older. Grand Prize winner must travel between October 8 – 12, 2015. See Official Rules for full details including entry requirements, eligibility restrictions, prize description & limitations. Void where prohibited.