Food and Wine around the World!

The 2018 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival is right around the corner, starting on August 30, 2018 and going through November 12, 2018. There is always so much to do and see, (not to mention taste!) at this staple Epcot festival.  One of my favorite things to do is to check out all the various food booths that circle World Showcase, not only to look for returning favorite dishes (hello Belgium Waffles!) but also to look at what new tidbits are being offered. This year’s new offerings including the Impossible Burger Slider, with wasabi cream and spicy Asian slaw on a sesame seed bun (A vegetarian dish), as well as a New Brunswick Slider, which is a “Pot Roast Style” beef brisket on a potato roll.

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The Impossible Burger Slider – hooray for a Vegetarian Dish! 

In addition to the new food, there’s over some exciting new events being offered, including Sunday Brunch With the Chef. This experience includes a brunch buffet followed by a conversation with some of the most recognized chefs in culinary television. I’m a big fan of both Chef Art Smith and Chef Carla Hall, who will both be a part of this event.

One of the other things I always look forward to at the Food and Wine Festival is checking out the new merchandise, and this year is no exception. I can never resist the trash can shaped salt and pepper shakers that are released each year, and I’m sure I’ll be adding to my collection again with this year’s cute design. Figment is once again the honorary mascot for the Food and Wine Festival, and is being featured on various merchandise including coffee mugs and the exclusive Dooney and Bourke purse.

Of course, no visit to the Food and Wine Festival is complete without checking out the Eat to the Beat Concert Series, which has over 30 different acts performing at the America Gardens Theatre.  Along with some traditional returning favorites like Sugar Ray and Tiffany, this year has some fun new acts coming to the stage, including 98 Degrees and Vertical Horizon.  Don’t forget you can always book an Eat to the Beat Dining Package where you can you can eat at select restaurants and have reserved seatings for the concert being offered that night.

What event are you looking forward to the most at the Food and Wine Festival? Will you be watching for a certain band at Eat to the Beat? Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to contact Adventure is Out There Travel for all your Food and Wine booking needs.

Epcot Food & Wine Fest and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Since it is time for Epcot’s Food & Wine Fest, I thought it was a perfect time to write about our 2016 Fest experience.  My husband and I went to the Fest during the last weekend of the festival.  It was a last minute decision because we had already had a vacation in 2016 (see blog about Alaska) and we had not planned to go to the festival in the same year as our Alaskan cruise.

My husband is somewhat of a foodie, and the festival is something he had expressed a desire to experience “some day”.  Once the decision was made to go, I was able to snag a Pirate room at the Caribbean Beach Resort.  We thought the decor was fun!

pirates

 

We purchased the dining plan, so we made our first night’s dinner at Boma in Animal Kingdom Lodge, featuring an African flavor.  We arrived early so that we would be able to enjoy the decor of the Lodge and go outside to view the animals housed on the grounds.  The food was excellent at Boma.

After dinner, we went to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.  The tickets are an additional expense, but I am a Christmas nut and I was very much looking forward to the party.  Main Street U.S.A. was all decked out for Christmas with lights, wreaths, music, and it even ‘snowed’!  We went on a few rides, enjoyed the free hot chocolate and cookies, shopped a bit and then watched the parade.  The Disney characters were all dressed up for Christmas.  The music, the lights, the smells……oh, how I loved it!

Disney christmas

 

The following day we went to the Food & Wine Fest.  I had done a little research and knew that we could use our quick service for some of the food (one quick service will get you 3 samples of food but must be used at the same booth).  I figured that we both could pick up food at different booths and share.  The booths all have a menu posted by them so it is easy to see what they each serve.  Below are photos of one of the booths and a sample of food.  I took many photos of booths and food and, looking through them, I wish I was back there!

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During our trip, we enjoyed Mickey’s Party at the Magic Kingdom at night, two days at Epcot’s Food & Wine Fest, one day at the Magic Kingdom, and one day at Animal Kingdom.  For a last minute trip, we were able to do all the things we wanted and even a few things we didn’t expect to do!  We had a few fast passes but, when we did not have fast passes, we were still able to ride other rides without too long of a wait, with just a few exceptions.  Since we did not have any little ones with us, if we chose to do a long wait, it was do-able.

Three tips:  1) instead if purchasing a dining plan, a quick service plan would do; 2) I would not recommend going on the last weekend of the festival.  It got extremely crowded, especially after 4 o’clock or so; and 3) I recommend doing research before you go to find out which booths serve what foods so you can make a daily food plan.

If anyone was considering the Food and Wine Fest and/or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, I would definitely encourage them to do so!

Claudia Eggenberger

 

 

A Stay at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

On a recent trip to Walt Disney World, we decided to finalize our “stay at every resort” challenge and booked a stay at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort. After countless trips, and visits to the resort, how have we never stayed here? Well, I have a guess, and it may be because we are from New England and felt like the theming would be the same as where we live, so why not stay somewhere where the décor is different. But that was just silly. This picturesque seaside resort has just risen to the top of my favorites list!

Yacht Club is one of Disney’s Deluxe Resorts. It is located behind Epcot on the Boardwalk. It connects to Disney’s Beach Club Resort in more ways than one. You can walk from one resort to the other, as they are literally connected. They share a pool (more on that later), Ship Shape fitness center, restaurants, and a fabulous location.

The décor of the resort upon entering is more formal than its sister Beach Club, which I liked!  You can see this in the dark wood furniture, chandeliers, and brass accents. It was a nice change to find a lobby that was quiet with not

much of the “hussle-bussle” we have seen in other resorts. The exterior of the resort has a gray and white clapboard appearance with a meticulously cared for lawn.

The rooms at the Yacht Club are currently undergoing a beautiful modern refurbishment! Upon entering the room I was surprised to see the changes already!  The location of our room was at the end of one hallway. The walk from the lobby was lengthy, and one elevator was turned off due to construction. But there was a door to a staircase which put us on the Boardwalk quickly! It may be worthwhile to request a room closer to the lobby, but we enjoy the extra steps so it was no bother to us.

Restaurants at the resort are great too. When I was there in July, there was a bit of construction going on behind cleverly placed walls. What’s happening behind them is the creation of a new lobby lounge and the new Ale & Compass Restaurant, which will replace the former Captain’s Grille. This new gastro-pub style restaurant will present a New England-inspired menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The plans for the cozy lighthouse-inspired décor look really cool.

Other restaurants and lounges include the Marketplace at Ale & Compass for a quick bite to eat, Yachtsman Steakhouse, Crew’s Cup Lounge, Beaches ‘n Cream Soda Shop (you gotta order the No Way Jose, you’ll thank me), andCape May Café (which has a great character breakfast). There are even more but we didn’t visit them this trip.

One afternoon we abandoned Epcot and had fun in the pool .  Storm-a-Long Bay is often considered the “best” pool at a Disney resort, for many reasons. Most prominently is its sand bottom! Yes! when you get in the pool, you are walking on sand! Weird at first, but then it seems really neat. There is also a lazy river and amazing pirate-ship slide! Now, I don’t do water slides, but I did this one and loved it! Because of its popularity, cast members do check magic bands to ensure you are staying at Yacht Club or Beach Club and give you a bracelet granting access for the day.

Another great feature of this resort is its location. You can quickly walk to Epcot, a little bit longer walk to Hollywood Studios, or you can take a short boat ride!

My family and I just loved this resort. The beautiful décor, quiet ambience, super cool pool, variety of restaurants, and location to the parks makes it the perfect choice.  We will be staying here again on our next trip!

-Bekka C

As an aside, this resort would be PERFECT for a honeymoon or couples getaway!