New Events Added to the 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

Two new events have been added to the 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival! See below for details. Experience go on sale at 7:00am today, so get ready to book!

2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

Do you already have 407-WDW-FEST on your speed dial? Are you excited to book your 2014 Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival Events?

Good news!

As a little extra magic we have added two new experiences to this year’s Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival:

Epcot® Food & Wine Late Nights LIVE!

&

Epcot® Food & Wine Premium Package

epcot food and wine late nights live

epcot food and wine premium package

For more information on these exciting new additions please visit our updated E-Reader. (Click here to download the updated PDF)

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Be Our Guest: The Master’s Cupcake

Matt and I have dined at Be Our Guest restaurant in the Magic Kingdom at both lunch and dinner in the past, and we even got a sneak peek of the space before it opened to the public. Before it opened, everyone was abuzz about “The (elusive) Grey Stuff.” I had heard about what it was comprised of, thanks to an overzealous cast member spilling the recipe to a friend during Destination D in 2011. Alas, during our visits, we weren’t special enough to receive the treat. Womp, womp….

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This fact never really bothered me, but last year, after our dinner visit, they made the concoction available to all guests in the form of The Master’s Cupcake – Chocolate Sponge Cake topped with Lumiere’s special “Grey Stuff.” I was walking by Be Our Guest one morning the in park, and saw there was virtually no line, so I took advantage of the opportunity to give the cupcake a shot.

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Dinner at Grand Floridian Cafe

I was recently able to enjoy breakfast at the Grand Floridian Cafe, making another dent in my dining experiences at the restaurant at the Grand Floridian Resort. After having to make some reservation changes for a party of 10, we managed to swing a dinner reservation here. I apologize for the photo quality (or lack thereof); I was having some camera setting issues and needed to fall back on the ol’ iPhone, but I managed to resolve the issue. So let’s just right in!

grand-floridian-cafe-bread-serviceBread service

Matt was looking at the appetizers and decided on starting with the Pan-seared Scallops, which are served with Bacon-laced Arugula, Spinach, and Fennel Meyer Lemon Butter Emulsion.

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The portion consists of two scallops, which were nicely cooked. My favorite part, however, was all the good stuff underneath. It was a bit smoky from the bacon with a nice hit of salt, while the greens still retained their brightness. We’d certainly order these again.

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For his entree, Matt ordered the Orecchiette Pasta, served with Grilled Chicken, Prosciutto, Peas, and Asiago Cream Sauce. He noted the dish was a bit on the salty side, but otherwise he liked it. I don’t think he enjoyed it enough to order it again, however.

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I’m not especially big on pasta, and between the sauce and the prosciutto, there was indeed a bit salty. Perhaps this would make a better side than a main course. Some more peas would have been nice as well.

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I had been craving a burger, so opted for the Grand Floridian Burger, an Angus Chuck Burger with Butter-poached Lobster, Red Onion Marmalade, and Arugula on a Brioche Bun with Chips. Matt’s interest in this burger was piqued by the Red Onion Marmalade.

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There was a good portion of lobster on the burger, which was was all tail meat and I imagine was Florida lobster. While texturally it was cooked nicely, it didn’t taste like it was poached in butter. After a couple bits of burger and lobster, I ended up eating the lobster off the burger as the two flavors and textures didn’t work for me.

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There was a plentiful amount of arugula, some of which I removed. The marmalade was really fantastic and brought an unexpected sweetness to the burger, and the burger was cooked pretty close to the medium-rare I requested. I ended up bringing half of the burger home.

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The chips were a bit hit and miss. Some had a good crunch, while others were on the soft side, and some had a lot of salt on them.

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Here are some of the items our fellow diners ordered:

grand-floridian-cafe-pan-roasted-chicken-breast-green-beans-ricePan-roasted Chicken Breast: Normally comes with Chef’s Seasonal Risotto and Chicken Jus, modified for a special diet with no Chicken Jus and added Green Beans and Rice

grand-floridian-cafe-shrimp-and-gritsShrimp and Grits: Jumbo Shrimp with Chorizo and Fennel served on top of Creamy Mascarpone Cheese Grits

grand-floridian-cafe-kids-meaty-macaroniKids’ Meaty Macaroni

grand-floridian-cafe-kids-chicken-nuggets-and-friesKids’ Chicken Nuggets and Fries

grand-floridian-cafe-dessert-samplerDessert Sampler (display): Fresh Berry Tart, Boston Cream Pie, Key Lime Tart, Lemon Cheesecake

Matt decided he wanted dessert, and the small portions were a perfect end to the meal. The desserts on the sampler ($10.99) can be purchased individually for $3.49 each, and I think it’s a fair price for the size. Matt liked everything about the Boston Cream Pie: Vanilla Chiffon Cake with Vanilla Custard and topped with a Dark Chocolate Glaze. I had a bite and though it was pretty good, but my favorite part was the dark chocolate since I like the slight bitterness of it.

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Here are the menus from our visit:

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Overall, our dinner and experience at Grand Floridian Cafe was very good. Our server was great handling our large party and anticipated our needs without rushing us. The Pan-seared Scallops and the Grand Floridian Burger were stand-outs for us, and we wouldn’t hesitate to order either dish again. Everyone in our party seemed pleased by their dishes as well. I look forward to our next visit to try some more menu items and revisit some new favorites as well.

Have you enjoyed dinner at Grand Floridian Cafe? What do you like to order?

Appetizers for Dinner at California Grill

Matt and I are big fans of California Grill. It’s a restaurant we don’t visit often enough, but we recently stopped by after Outer Rim drinks with family. It was late and a work night, and neither of us were looking for anything heave, so appetizers at the bar were the perfect fit. Duck in All Its Glory, which we had during our first visit after the restaurant’s refurb, is no longer on the menu.

We were brought some bread to enjoy while we waited for our order, and the Herb Focaccia is as delicious as it was back in December.  The Whole Wheat Sourdough doesn’t do it for me, though.

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For his meal, Matt ordered the Pork Belly Nigiri, which features House-cured Pork, Bacon and Yuzu Rice, and Spicy Teriyaki sauce. Matt’s not crazy about wasabi, so the bits placed on the pork belly were promptly removed.

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Mouse Bites for July 27, 2014

What a week! We had a great time visiting with family and friends over the past weekend at WDW. The days were long and hot, but I got a lot done for the blog. This weekend has brought and is bringing some solo park time for me so I can get some goals for the blog accomplished. But back to the food!

espn-club-chicken-and-wafflesESPN Club’s Chicken and Waffles

We kicked off our reviews this week with Dinner at Contempo Cafe. We also revisited Fairfax Fare for a quick breakfast, followed by Pizza Planet for lunch. We found ourselves back at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Cafe for another lunch, but managed a (relatively) quiet dinner for just the two of us at ESPN Club.

2014-flower-garden-fleur-de-lys-confit-de-canard-pommes-de-terre-sarladaiseI’d love to see a recipe for the Confit de Canard from Flower & Garden

A new Epcot Cookbook will be debuting at Food & Wine this September, and I’m really excited! Instead of the normal cookbook the festival has sold over the years, this one will also feature recipes from the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival as well as Holidays Around the World.

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Tickets for Culinary Demonstrations, Beverage Seminars, and Mixology Seminars at the F&W Festival this fall have gone on pre-sale for Tables in Wonderland members, annual passholders, DVC members, and Golden Oak residents. All other events will go on sale on Thursday, July 31, 2014 at 7:00am, so set your alarm! Stay up-to-date with all of the 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival news by visiting our dedicated page!

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As a big Haunted Mansion fan, I’m very much looking forward to the new Haunted Mansion Merchandise coming this fall to the parks. I adore the dishes!

Now let’s see what our friends have been up to!

Krystle of Tasty Chomps shares a Sneak Preview of Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World. Check out her gorgeous photos!

2013-food-wine-greece-griddled-greek-cheese2Greece’s Griddled Greek Cheese

Katherine of Food · Fitness · Fantasy tests out several cheeses to recreate the Griddled Greek Cheese from F&W at home.

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Ryan at Main Street Gazette shares a recipe for Pioneer Hall’s Pork Rib Rub.

2013-food-wine-craft-beers-sierra-nevada-torpedo-ipa-abita-fall-festSierra Nevada Torpedo IPA & Abita Fall Fest, on a trash can.

Scott of Beers and Ears takes an in-depth look at the beers of the 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.

splitsville-juicy-lucy-and-friesSplitsville’s Juicy Lucy and Crinkle-cut Fries

Nick and Nora of Extra WDW Magic order a simple, yet satisfying, Turkey Club Sandwich at Splitsville.

boatwrights-butterscotch-creme-brulee-2Boatwright’s Dining Hall’s Butterscotch Creme Brulee

Sarah of Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free at WDW visits one of her top spots for dining, Boatwright’s Dining Hall.

Melissa of The Hyperion Papers dissects the Food & Wine Festival menus for 2014.

Jenn of The Fairest Run of All shares her Food & Wine Festival To-Eat List. Have you started yours yet? We have… ;) Check out the menus here!

frozen-summer-2014-wandering-oakens-trading-post-panoramaWandering Oaken’s Trading Post

Disney Parks Blog took us on a quick tour of Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, where you can also find Frozen-themed treats! They also shared a recipe for Tomato Cake from the Disney Cruise Line. Finally, Dole Whips are also now available, self-serve, at Lava Shack at the Aulani resort in Hawaii!

frozen-summer-2014-wandering-oakens-trading-post-menuClick for larger

Thank you for reading, and have a fantastic week! :D

New Haunted Mansion Merch Coming This Fall

The Disney Parks Blog released some photos of new Haunted Mansion merchandise to be released in the parks this fall. As an avid Haunted Mansion fan, I’m completely psyched for this! Apart from some shirts, jewelry, an awesome scarf and MORE Haunted Mansion-themed Dooney & Bourke bags (!), there will also be items to deck out your house and kitchen!

haunted-mansion-kitchn-merchandise-1Matt has dibs on the bookends!

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How fun is this merchandise? I especially love the dishware, and am pretty sure I’ll be scooping up some of those towels and napkins. And I’ve been wanting a cool apron for years… I think I may have found it!

Which items are going to follow YOU home? ;)

Dinner at ESPN Club

I don’t think Matt and I can be at the BoardWalk Inn and not stop in to ESPN Club. Almost every visit, however, is for a beer or two, and any hunger is usually satiated prior to or after, usually at Epcot. This particular evening, however, we would be meeting up with others who had already eaten, and since it had been almost a year since our last dining experience, we decided to grab a bite while watching some golf.

While several items stood out to Matt, he ordered the ESPN Dingers – Chicken Breast Nuggets tossed in Medium, Hot, Flame, or Barbecue Sauce served with Celery and Blue Cheese Dressing. Matt ordered his “hot.” Once upon a time, these were served in a metal basket lined with paper. Now, they are presented in a bowl, and, quite honestly, look a lot more appetizing this way. Also, the price on this appetizer hasn’t changed since 2011, and you get a lot of chicken; Matt maybe made it through 2/3 of the dish. Teriyaki flavor is no longer an option, which was Matt’s favorite, but he was still happy with these. It seems to have disappeared from the menu since last August.

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