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.”
There are many books and apps out there that will help you plan your next Disney vacation…for a price. Do it for FREE through the Disney website. Then upload your itinerary to the iBooks app. Easy, efficient, cost-effective and easy to access.
Planning for your visit to the Disney Parks is essential if you want to maximize your experience. Did you know that Disney offers an excellent way to plan an itinerary?
Here is how-
1) You must create an account on the Disney website. It’s free and takes minutes.
2)Once you create your account, sign in and click on My Disney Vacation.
3)On the dropdown menu choose Itinerary. Here you can build an itinerary for each day of your vacation. You can add anything from which parks you’ll visit, favorite attractions at each park, resorts, activities, even dining and reservations and more! The list is comprehensive. Just check off the info and it’s added into your itinerary. You can even type in your reservation number for ADRs. No more hassle to find it. There is also a blank box for notes to add reminders or anything else you’d like to put there.
If that wasn’t great enough, I took the itinerary one step further toward convenience. I emailed each itinerary as a pdf to my email account and saved it to the iBooks app.
1)Choose print on the upper right hand corner of the itinerary.
2)Click on PDF. Choose Mail PDF from the dropdown menu.
3)Mail the itinerary to your email account.
4)Open the email on your iPhone and click on the pdf.
5)Next, Click open in iBooks.
You now have an itinerary for each day easily visible and locatable on the shelf of your iBook app. One click on my iPhone is now all I need to locate every detail of my daily itinerary!
Try it. The itinerary is free through the Disney website. The iBook app is free in iTunes. This the most effective and convenient tool I’ve found. And the price is definately right.
PS WDWPRINCE coined the term iTinerary. There isn’t an actual app with this name.
The dates are Sept 20-24. Originally I was planning on going the last week in Sept like I’ve done for the last 2 years. I was intent on staying at my resort of choice for this trip, the Swan/Dolphin. When I went to book today, both resorts were sold out.
I’ve decided to go with the flow. I booked the trip a week earlier. The money I saved by shortening the trip, I put toward an annual pass. So even though I won’t be able to do both Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Food and Wine Festival in one trip, like last year, I will be able to make as many short trips as I like with my annual pass.
So maybe I’ll go to Food and Wine and Mickey’s Christmas Party in November! I love creative thinking.
I’m already planning and will be asking for some suggestions as the date nears.
I’ve come up with an itinerary for my trip. As of now it goes like this-
Monday Sept 20
Pick up Annual Pass and MNSSHP tix at Magic Kingdom
MK from noon-3pm Lunch at Columbia Harbor House.
Rent a boat from Sammy Duvall and cruise Seven Seas Lagoon until 4:30
Back to Dolphin Resort. Swim in pool. Late lunch at The Fountain or Cabana Bar.
Epcot 7-9pm. Dinner at Tokyo Dining or Flying Fish. OR go to Hollywood Studios 7-10pm for Extra Magic Hours.
Tuesday Sept 21
Breakfast at Fresh Mediterranean
Animal Kingdom 9am-3pm then Dolphin pool OR Surfing at Typhoon Lagoon, stay until 3pm.
Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show 5:15pm at Poly
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. Late dinner Pecos Bill.
Wednesday Sept 22
Kouzzina for breakfast.
Dolphins in Depth in Epcot stay until 2pm. Lunch at San Angel Inn.
Dolphin Resort pool until 4:00
MK 430-8pm. Dinner at Liberty Inn.
Downtown Disney-Characters in Flight, shopping 9-11pm
Thursday Sept 23
Breakfast at Fresh Mediterranean
Open choice of park morning-afternoon
Parasail at Contemporary 3:30pm
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. Dinner at Tony’s Town Square.
This is my itinerary as of now. I may add a tour or event. Since my trip is so short, I’m not sure I want to commit 3 hours or more to a tour even though I really want to try one. You may have noticed that my itinerary is MK heavy. That is not by chance. I’ve decided I need to be there at least once every day of my trip, lol. And yes I’m going twice to MNSSHP and I can’t wait. Although I’ve done Spirit of Aloha, that is also worth a repeat visit even though I could be trying something different. I like it that much. So that is how things stand for now. Any suggestions or comments are welcome.
See ya real soon!
PSRumor Alert. As I sit here in Starbucks in the theater district of Times Square typing this post, I over heard a guy near me talking to another. One of the guys is the lead actor in the puppet musical Avenue Q. (No, they’re not muppets). The other was telling him that his next show would be with Disney. And it’s Freaky Friday. Has anyone else heard of Freaky Friday coming to Broadway? You heard it here first.
Imagine having plentiful breakfast choices all made from the freshest ingredients.
Fresh Mediterranean Market being true to its name, serves fresh Mediterranean style breakfast daily in a bright, airy space. Fresh is my favorite breakfast destination at Walt Disney World.
As you enter the restaurant on the ground floor of the Dolphin Resort, the hostess will seat you at a comfortable, sunny table. All tables are pleasant and most have views. The dining area is surrounded by floor to ceiling windows with views of the Swan, lagoon and Friendship boats. A server immediately brings coffee, tea and freshly squeezed orange juice to your table.
You then begin your quest for the perfect breakfast.
Mine usually goes like this-
First I go to the made-to-order omelette station. I take a plate and choose some freshly grilled sausage or bacon and add sautéed rosemary potatoes, then go ahead to create my omelette.
Currently there is a veggie/cheese bar where you can choose the ingredients for your omelette, put them in ramekins and bring them to the chef. (Shout out to Britney for being the best omelette maker!) I choose plenty of fresh vegetables and ask the chef to make my omelette with egg whites. While the chef is making my omelette, I go check out the muffin and pastry bar. (The omelette is healthy so I can offset with some yummy baked goods). Everything always looks so good. I have a weakness for baked goods. They are all miniature sized so the cause for guilt is miniature too, right?. I choose a couple of muffins or danish (or both) and put them on a separate plate.
The omelette is then added to my plate. All fresh! I add some fresh fruit to my plate and go to my table. I return one more time to get two more necessities to finish off creating my breakfast table. Oatmeal and juice. I like my oatmeal with butter, brown sugar and raisins. I get that and go to the juice bar and choose one of three different freshly squeezed juice concoctions. My favorite is the wheatgrass. I drink on average three glasses of that juice.One of the things that makes Fresh special is the choice of juices at the juice bar. They all have different health benefits and all are really delicious.
Now, I am ready to sit down and enjoy my breakfast. While eating, the server continues to pour coffee and fresh juice.
Fresh squeezed orange juice and wheatgrass juice
This is the perfect breakfast before hitting the Disney Parks. Fresh, nutritious and all you care to eat. All for around $20.
I always choose Fresh Mediterranean for breakfast during my stay at Walt Disney World. Give Fresh a try. I guarantee that your hunger will be satisfied and that you’ll leave with a big smile on your face!
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.
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