Swan Dolphin Resort will begin an annual tradition this year with their Food and Wine Classic as part of Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival. Dates are Friday Oct 8th and Saturday Oct 9th. There will be beverage tastings and tasting stations open on the causeway between the two resorts. A latin, jazz band, Pieces of a Dream will provide entertainment. Sounds like a great time!
“Whether you’re seeking to delve into the details of wine blending or just looking for a few good eats, you’re sure to find a culinary experience you’ll enjoy here in the heart of Walt Disney World®. Appropriately taking place at the home of extraordinary culinary talent, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin is proud to showcase our passion for food and beverage by inviting you to partake in the first Annual Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic October 8 and 9, 2010. Conveniently taking place during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival (Oct. 1 – Nov. 14) and located just a short walk from Epcot®, the event offers foodies the ideal opportunity to continue their culinary experience after enjoying the festivities at Epcot®.
Save the date and prepare your palate for a taste of diversity and culinary brilliance. Begin by delving into one of the six seminars offered by our very own food and beverage experts. Elevate your knowledge from wine appreciation to wine wisdom with a Bordeaux Blending seminar, or take part in a Sake Hour to learn about this enticing Japanese beverage. Other seminars available for your picking pleasure include Mixology, Beer, Bubbles, and Riesling.”
As Disney World is in a constant state of evolution, as it should be, some cherished details may disappear with each refurbishment.
World Showcase in Epcot is currently adding a new pizzaria in the Italy Pavilion and Mexico’s Cantina de San Angel is transforming into Hacienda de San Angel. With the refurbishment of this dining location, one of my favorite details is currently missing. I’m referring to the little boat known as Bonita Verdad.Will it return? It remains to be seen. Most likely if it returns, it will become part of the interior of the restaurant as the “shore” is currently non existant.
Nestled on the stony shore of the Cantina de San Angel, the Bonita Verdad was one of the details that added depth and story to the Mexico Pavilion. A miniature version of the boats of Xochimilco that float the canals and carry the party atmosphere of people eating, drinking and listening to live music. Xochimilco is a district located within Mexico City. It is known for it’s series of canals down which these festive boats float.
Although the Bonita Verdad was mostly a haven to pigeons trying to shade themselves from the harsh sun of World Showcase, the charm of this little boat and the stories that it sparked in my imagination will not be lost, even if it doesn’t return.
I want it to return. Do you?
Here is a tribute to the Bonita Verdad, taken just months before the refurb began.
For a glimpse into the the festive atmosphere of Xochimilco-
If you are in the mood for a glass of wine but you don’t want to sit down for a table service meal, Look for Les Vin De France in Epcot.
France is one of the leading wine-producing countries in the world. At Les Vin De France, an assortment of wine and champagne is offered by the glass. Beaujolais, Cote du Rhone, Cabernet, Merlot, Pouilly-Fuisse and Chardonnay are some of the wines available for tasting.
The storefront resembles a turn of the century wine boutique. The interior looks like a countryside wine shop. Bottles line the shelves and are displayed in windows. Gingham table-cloth covered tables display everything related to wine from linens, aprons, kitchen utensils, soaps, cookware, bottle toppers and openers to chocolates and cookies.
French beer and specialty drinks are also available. Most offerings are under $10. Since the wine and price list is always subject to change and Les Vin De France does not have a link to an online menu, the best choice is to go in and explore for yourself.
Samantha Brown of Travel Channel chose France for her favorite drink at Epcot-The Grand Marnier Orange Slush. Who doesn’t trust Samantha or at least want to try her favorite drink? You can find that frozen drink here.
Walking through, the shopkeepers are welcoming. Stop and share a glass of wine with friends or with someone romantic. Or have a glass for yourself to take the edge off. Another option is to buy a bottle to take home or back to the resort. If you don’t want to drink at all, take in the aroma of the wine or enjoy some chocolate.
The wine glass can be saved as a souvenir. Take it with you next door to the Palais du Cinema (make sure it’s empty when you get there) and go to a comfortable, plush seat in the air-conditioned theater and enjoy Impressions de France. Impressions de France is an 18 minute movie which is projected onto five screens. It is my personal recommendation for best movie in Epcot. This is the perfect place to relax with a warm, soothing wine afterglow while virtually strolling the market places, palaces, country sides and regions of France.
I would like to hear from anyone who has visited Les Vin De France in the France Pavilion at Epcot. Leave a comment below and share your experience. Thank you!
If you enjoy sushi like I do, you crave it. There are places in Walt Disney World to satisfy that craving.
You are best advised to go outside of the Japan pavilion in Epcot and venture into the Polynesian, the Contemporary or the Swan Resort. There you will find Kona Island Sushi Bar, California Grill and Kimonos respectively. Sushi is almost completely absent from the menus of both Teriyaki House and Teppan Edo in Epcot. Aside from an eel roll or the common California roll, there aren’t many sushi choices the Japan Pavilion. I’m guessing that for most families sushi is probably as foreign as the country of Japan itself. Kids may not like it, but what about the adults?
Follow me to the Kona Island Sushi Bar in the Polynesian Resort. It is not the best of the three above mentioned places but it does have it’s unique attributes and strong points.
Sushi and Tikis
Let’s start with atmosphere. Located in the second floor lobby of the Great Ceremonial House of the Polynesian Resort, the sushi bar is directly across from the monorail. It is situated immediately to the left of the entrance, on the outside perimeter of the Kona Cafe. (During the daytime, the sushi bar converts to a coffee/pastry bar).
Seating at the sushi bar is extremely limited. There are only about seven stools. Another 10 or so are lined along the window looking out toward the monorail. Originally I had intended to eat at Ohana. I had a reservation but I had arrived early and had also brought along two new friends. After waiting longer than I had liked with a pager in my hand, anticipating that it would soon light up or vibrate or something, it didn’t happen quickly enough for my growling stomach. I turned the pager in and headed over to Kona Island Sushi Bar located just steps away. I lucked out. Four of the seven stools became available almost immediately. The tiki gods were smiling on me.
We took our places around the sushi bar. Surrounded by a view of tikis, a garden with a waterfall, in short by all things Polynesian, the mood is set for a festive, Brady Bunch goes to Hawaii kind of good time.
Next, the quality of the food. Even though the full menu of Kona Cafe is available at the bar, we order sushi. I have eaten sushi many times in my life. I am not expecting a life changing sushi experience.
Kona Island does put their own spin on sushi. Ingredients associated with Polynesia such as pineapple and mango are incorporated into the dishes. Our chef, Dre, served our sushi with impressive presentation accentuating the dish with designs of fruit puree or infused mayo.
We ordered the Volcano Roll which is spicy tuna with tempura crunch. Priced at $13.99 I really like spicy tuna rolls and I always order them. The Volcano Roll satisfied my craving. We also tried the Dragon Hand Roll which is barbecued eel wrapped in rice and covered in seaweed. Hand rolls are large and as the name implies are eaten by hand, not with chopsticks. That was delicious but on the expensive side at $13.99 We also ordered some salmon and yellowtail sashimi. You can not mess that up. The fish was fresh and light. The sushi chef can also make whatever you request if it’s available. Overall, we were pleased with our food. It will satisfy any craving you have for decent sushi. Like I said, my expectations were set to decent and my expectation was met.
Chef Dre serves up sushi with a side of cool.
What also gives Kona Island Sushi Bar an edge over it’s competitors is the specialty drink menu. It’s awesome that you can get a Mai Tai served in a tiki mug. It definately enhances the fun factor. A variety of sake, wine and beer is also offered. I was offered quite a large sample of sake by the waitress and liked it so I then ordered sake to go with the Mai Tai. Yee haa. (Mai Tai are made with rum and an assortment of tropical fruit juices). Since we were winding down our day and not driving, we mixed and didn’t worry. Priced at $8.25, Mai Tai were a good deal. You do not get to keep the mug, but then again I didn’t ask.
That Mai Tai has met it's match.
One too many Mai Tai for that camera flash!
I recommend Kona Island Sushi Bar as a good option for those dining solo, with a date or with a couple of friends. Operating hours are from 5pm-10pm. Kona is great for those seeking sushi served in a fun, casual atmosphere. No reservation is required, just a little luck or alot of patience. Make sure to enjoy what makes Kona Island Sushi Bar special, it’s signature cocktail the Mai Tai.
It’s my first day in Walt Disney World. I begin my ritual of heading to the Magic Kingdom first and riding my favorite attraction The Haunted Mansion.
I walk through the turnstiles. It is 2:25pm. Under the train station, I take time to look at the posters of some classic attractions. Next, I continue past the sculpture of Roy O. Disney and Minnie Mouse. The topiary is decorated for Halloween. Now, I am standing before Main Street, alone! I can do whatever I want. I take in all of the details of Main Street, the shops, the windows, the merchandise. I see things I never took the time out to see before.
There is the mailbox perched on a lampost from which you can send mail from within the Magic Kingdom. I take my time noticing more details. The second floor windows reference Disney Imagineers. I make a left past Casey’s Corner and cross the bridge with the colonial street lamps leading into Liberty Square. I can see the Haunted Mansion down and to the left. It is all mine! I enjoy the experience of the attraction in the way that one would lose themself in a good book. It’s my world.
I spend the entire day indulging. I ride whatever attraction I want. I eat in whatever restaurant I choose. I shop without shame.
I take time to explore attractions I never made time for before. The Carousel of Progress is not all that bad!
I have taken both my Nikon camera and Canon camcorder. One is stashed in my over the shoulder camera bag. The other is in constant use. Having my camera and camcorder added a sense of purpose. The need to document my experience enhanced my experience. I took many pictures.
The park is to close at 10pm. I stay until Wishes fireworks. Then head for the monorail for Extra Magic Hours at Epcot.
At this point I am deliriously tired. Still I have to get those extra hours! I arrive at Epcot. Again I am noticing details. The sidewalk in Future World is glittering with lights. As I make my way to World Showcase, the Illuminations fireworks begin to explode. The welcoming display is relentlessly pleasing. One explosion of sound and color outdoes the next. When it is over I decide to end the night with some late night dinner.
Every restaurant I go into is booked completely at 10pm! Nine Dragons is completely mobbed. Akershus has some seats available but honestly it looks tired. From the staff to the buffet. It has peaked for the night. I make my way to Japan. Teppan Edo has got a line out of the door. No chance. Down the stairs I go and up again across the way. Yakitori House is just what I need. Some sushi (ok California roll but close enough) and a large lemonade hits the spot. I enjoy my food while texting my partner to share my experience.
It was an exhausting but fun day. Time to head over to the Friendship IV and head back to the Dolphin Resort.
In the morning I will get up early. Animal Kingdom then Spirit of Aloha with a last stop at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.
WDWPRINCE is a resource which explores all facets of adult-friendly activities within Walt Disney World. I aim to provide valuable information from which to help create an experience which is tailored to your interests both within the parks and beyond.
WDW EXPERIENCES. Click each Disney experience above for reviews of dining, resorts, attractions, water activities and more. All categorized by experience.
DAILY PRINCE REPORT will bring you relevant links to bloggers guest experiences, planning tips and more to illustrate all that Disney World has for adults. Look for links to other points of interest that I like, so you just may too!
WDWPRINCE QUICK TIPS are short videos providing information aimed at enhancing your Disney park experience.
"To all that come to this happy place: Welcome!" Walt Disney.
WDWPRINCE welcomes all. Traveling solo, as a couple or with friends to Walt Disney World, gay or straight, welcome all!