Posts Tagged ‘World Showcase’
by Brian McNichols
on August 21, 2012
I did not go to Walt Disney World looking for love, yet I found it. I was walking the promenade of Epcot’s World Showcase when my eye was pulled towards such beauty that my heart stopped. Okay, I will stop with the strange romantic novel opening before this starts getting really weird. As you have probably gathered from the title of this post, I am not talking about a person but the Morocco pavilion.
The reason this reminds me of a love story is because of the organic way that my affection for Morocco began (please note that when I say ‘Morocco,’ I mean the pavilion. I have never even been on the African continent, let alone in the actual country of Morocco). As a child I was underwhelmed with World Showcase in general as most kids tend to be. As I have gotten older however, I have developed an affinity for other cultures and travel. Well, you can probably guess that makes World Showcase one of my favorite places to be in Disney World.
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by AJ Wolfe
on July 16, 2010
Howdy all! We just finished taping a WDW Today episode about the 2010 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, but I thought it’d be fun to highlight the new additions for this year and remind you of a few key dates to help in your planning.
When: October 1-November 14, 2010
Where: All around Epcot
How Much?: Variable. You can drop a month’s pay at the festival or you can have fun for free.
International Marketplace Booth
- Free: Many events held in the Festival Center are free, including Authentic Taste Seminars and Authors Without Borders. You’ll also find several seminars set up throughout the World Showcase that are free. Find out more here.
- Low-Cost: Several culinary and beverage demonstrations are in the $8-$13 range. Tastes from the International Marketplace booths will run from $2-$8.
- Expensive: Dozens of special events from celebrity chef-studded signature dinners to chocolate seminars with renowned chocolatiers to the uber-popular Party for the Senses are again available this year. Costs range from $40-$450 and up.
Booking Details: Booking for the special (expensive) events opens on July 20th at 7am. Just call 407-WDW-FEST for details or to book. If you’d like tickets to the lower-cost seminars and demonstrations, booking opens August 26th for Tables in Wonderland and DVC members and Annual Passholders. Booking opens August 28th for the General Public. Again, 407-WDW-FEST is the number to call.
New Events and Attractions to Anticipate
In addition to some old favorites like the French Regional Lunches and Sweet Sundays, Disney is introducing several new events on the 2010 Food and Wine Festival docket:
Graphic for 2010 Festival
Delicious Discoveries First Bites
This is basically a festival sneak peek. Disney is promising glimpses of celebrity chefs, tastes of new Food and Wine Festival dishes, and other exciting secrets to be revealed before the festival officially opens. The event will be held September 30th from 6:30-9pm and sounds pretty exciting, but the $195 price tag — not including tax — might make folks a little skittish.
Don’t forget, the Food and Wine Festival usually has a “soft opening” the day before the grand opening, so you might get a chance to try some of the World Showcase booth menus prior to the big day anyway.
3D: Disney Dessert Discoveries
This is being touted as a private Illuminations Dessert Party…and then some. Taking place on most Fridays (with one Thursday tucked in there on October 21st), the $45 ticket price will get you plenty of desserts, wines, and cordials along with reserved seating for Illuminations, Reflections of Earth — Epcot’s fireworks show.
Belgium, South Korea, and Charcuterie and Cheese Booths Come to the Festival
Every year Disney introduces a few new booths to its International Marketplace — a set-up of over 25 mini-kiosks offering small portions of food and drinks from different regions and countries around the world. These booths are set up around the World Showcase, and items can be purchased a la carte for around $2-$8.
This year, we get to try waffles from the Belgium booth, barbecue from the South Korea booth, and fondue from the Charcuterie and Cheese booth. Of course, there’s plenty more to sample. Check out all of the menus here.
Passport Stamp Example
Marketplace Discovery Passports
Another fun addition to the International Marketplace this year are the Marketplace Discovery Passports. These are free pamphlets that you (and your kids!) can use to keep track of which marketplace booths you’ve visited and which you’d still like to enjoy. At each booth, just ask a cast member to stamp your passport!
New Eat to the Beat! Concerts
Disney’s Eat to the Beat! Concert series is a free (with Epcot admission) group of concerts that take place three times per night throughout the festival. Every few days the band changes, but you’re bound to find a few of your favorites on stage. This year, new acts include Sugar Ray, Air Supply, Howard Jones, 38 Special, Roger Hodgson, Hanson, and Rick Springfield. To see the full line-up and dates for each band, go to our Eat to the Beat! page.
Low-Cost Wine Tasting Seminar
Taste Shake and Indulge: Grand Marnier Tastings
For those who love this orange-flavored liqueur, you now have the chance to immerse yourself in it. (OK, not literally — there won’t be any bathtubs of Grand Marnier sitting around Epcot.) On Saturdays from 2:30-4pm, $45 will buy you not only a tasting of a full range of liqueurs, but also a short class on shaking and muddling Grand Marnier cocktails as well as some sweet treats from Bistro de Paris where the event is held.
For those who just can’t get enough of the Food and Wine Festival, Disney is introducing a full vacation package this year — the Grape Getaway. While we don’t know pricing or booking date, yet, we do know that the package will include 4 days and 3 nights of exclusive Food and Wine Festival fun. The package is limited to 100 people and will run from October 24th-October 27th, 2010.
Those are just a few of the new events and attractions scheduled for this year’s festival, and you can believe me when I say you can have a great time no matter what your budget. As always, check out the Disney World Website for more information, and don’t forget to come see us over at the Disney Food Blog!
by AJ Wolfe
on April 12, 2010
To me, dining at a restaurant with a beautiful view makes the meal taste just a bit better. Maybe it’s because I’ve lived so much of my life in snowy trundra and urban wastelands (where very few restaurants have wonderful views); or maybe I’ve just always been the type of eater who’s greatly influenced by surroundings like table location, smells, sounds, crowd level, etc.; but an incredible view from my table is something I’m willing to fight for.
So, whether you want to do some people-watching, see the Magic Kingdom fireworks or Illuminations from your table, spend your dinner spotting African wildlife, or just relax with a tranquil lookout, here are a few Disney World dining spots that I think afford incredible views:
California Grill Sunset
The California Grill in Disney’s Contemporary Resort is probably my top suggestion when someone wants an outstanding restaurant view. From the top floor of the resort, the floor to ceiling windows offer amazing views of the whole of Walt Disney World — and the rest of Orlando. Watching the sun set behind the Grand Floridian Resort, or catching the nightly Magic Kingdom fireworks show from this location, will probably be one of your grandest memories from your vacation.
Rose and Crown Pub and Dining Room
Because this is one of the most well-known “good view” locations, it’s also one of the very crowded! Guests line up nightly to wait for Rose and Crown‘s outdoor patio tables where the view of Illuminations is one of the most spectacular in Epcot, but I also suggest booking a table for lunch. Sitting outside on the lovely patio, watching the boats glide back and forth over World Showcase Lagoon, and taking in the detail of the other pavilions within your view is a wonderful way to spend a mealtime.
View of Giraffe from Sanaa Table
Sanaa‘s casual, relaxed atmosphere and tucked-away location make it a wonderful place to detox after a hectic morning in the theme parks. But what I find enchanting about this place is that it’s the only Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort restaurant that actually has a view of the hotel’s main draw — the African animals on the savanna. Go for lunch or an early dinner to guarantee plenty of daylight, and request to be seated next to one of the restaurants large picture windows. Expect to see giraffe, zebras, Ankole cattle, African birds, and other incredible animals.
Another one of the best views in Walt Disney World, ‘Ohana‘s wall-to-wall windows give guests a generous view of Seven Seas Lagoon, the Polynesian Resort grounds and Volcano pool, and the major landmarks of the Magic Kingdom. Book a spot here when the restaurant opens for dinner at 5pm to take in the relaxing late-afternoon and evening sunlight spilling over Seven Seas Lagoon, or make an advanced dining reservation just in time to catch the Magic Kingdom fireworks and the Electrical Water Pageant!
The View From Tokyo Dining
An excellent restaurant for sushi gourmands, Tokyo Dining also offers one of the best views in Epcot’s World Showcase. During the day, look out over the World Showcase promenade and amuse yourself with some wonderful people-watching; in the evening, schedule your meal in time to see Illuminations: Reflections of Earth explode over World Showcase Lagoon.
Other great spots to enjoy the view, in my opinion of course, are Narcoosee’s, in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort; Cantina de San Angel in Epcot’s Mexico — I imagine the new incarnation opening in the Fall will have some astounding views of the World Showcase Lagoon; and Animal Kingdom’s Flame Tree Barbecue, where you can enjoy a stunning view of Expedition Everest from the seating area.
What are your thoughts? Any additions to the list or experiences you can share about great views from Disney restaurants — and whether or not they make the meal better for you?
You can find more Disney Restaurant information from AJ Wolfe over at The Disney Food Blog.
by Kristen Helmstetter
on June 30, 2009
This post marks the conclusion of my trek around World Showcase to drink in every country with my friends. This time around Tom and I were the only ones left to tackle the task. We spent a quiet afternoon checking off the last few countries on our list. Thanks for following me on my trip to bars around the world!
First up was a stop at the Tangerine Café in Morocco. In the back of the café there is a coffee bar which also serves up frozen drinks, desserts, and other alcoholic drinks. I’ve had the Tangerine slush on a few occasions and its ok, but I prefer some of the other frozen drinks around the world. This time around I decided to try the Mimosa. It was a lovely way to start the afternoon especially since it was a little early in the day. Tom opted to get Casa beer which he also enjoyed. We took the opportunity to wander around the pavilion a bit since we often overlook it. The details in this area are lovely so you should check them out early in your tour when you are sober enough to appreciate them! The Moroccan stop on the tour was definitely the most enjoyable of the day.
Next up was some Japanese beer. We headed to Yakitori House so we could try to snag an indoor table and enjoy some air conditioning with our drinks. This counter service eatery offers Kirin Ichiban beer on draft as well as hot saki and plum wine. We both chose the beer this time around. Unfortunately I think I should have selected something else. I didn’t even finish mine! Tom wasn’t a big fan of it either. This was definitely low on my list around the world showcase.
Finally the very last stop was Italy to pay a visit to the outdoor kiosk. One would think this would be one of the best places to grab a glass of wine and sit by the water or people watch. But honestly, I didn’t really enjoy my wine choice nor did Tom like his beer. Maybe I don’t have the most sophisticated palate, but it wasn’t easy to finish my glass. I think I may just avoid this pavilion from now on because I also dislike Tutto Italia table service restaurant, but I’ll save that for another blog.
I’m really glad we decided to give drinking around the world a try. It was a ton of fun! When I started writing these blogs I realize we didn’t take one single picture of the festivities! So round two is already in the works, and we’ll be bringing cameras this time. I’m sure I’ll write about it again after we complete it. It’s a great activity, but there are certainly some things to think about before committing to it. First of all be sure to budget for buying 11 drinks. The tab adds up quickly! You also have to decide if there is going to be a designated driver or you’ll use Disney transportation after your last call. Also drinkers need to know their own limits. I couldn’t possible do all 11 countries in one try so I didn’t even try. I’m all for getting tipsy and silly, but please don’t make yourself sick in the parks.
Next week I’m going to take the weekend off from writing to enjoy the holiday at the Jersey Shore with family and friends. I hope you all have a wonderful long weekend! In two weeks I’ll be back with a look at Biergarten in Epcot’s German pavilion.
by Kristen Helmstetter
on June 23, 2009
Last week I wrote about the first leg of our drinking around the world adventure.
Please refer to this link to read the first part of this report: http://blog.touringplans.com/2009/06/16/drinking-around-the-world/ This time around Don had to go to work so Julie, Tom, and I set out to scratch a few more countries off of our list. We also stuck to beer on this portion of the journey. So without further ado, here are the details of our second day of drinking around the world.
Our first stop was Lotus Blossom Café in the China pavilion to grab some snacks and beer. This location offers Tsing Tao, plum wine, and a few American beer options. Since we were trying to experience the cultural options around World Showcase we all opted for the Tsing Tao to go along with our egg rolls. The beer was light and refreshing on a hot day. I would definitely stop in here again to grab a beer before watching the acrobats or continuing around the World Showcase.
After our relaxing stop in China, we backtracked to Norway. A cart in this pavilion sells Carlsberg beer native to Norway. Kringla Bakeri og Café also offers Carlsberg along with other tasty sweet treats. We just hung out near the water and enjoyed our beers. While I’ve had this one before, there were not many Scandinavian options. Luckily, I like Carlsberg so it made for a yummy stop on the tour. After finishing up and taking a ride on Maelstrom, it was off to the next country.
Our next stop was one of my favorite pavilions, Germany. Sommerfest serves an assortment of beers from Deutschland. We all picked Beck’s to try. Maybe it’s the German girl in me, but I always like this beer. Julie and Tom also agreed that it was a good choice. It may have been wise to also get a pretzel to sop up all that alcohol! We’ll have to remember that next time.
We skipped over Italy to hit the American Adventure. The Fife and Drum Tavern serves Turkey Legs, other snacks, and of course beer. The draft beer options include Bud Light, Samuel Adams, and a seasonal selection. Being a northeasterner I love Sam Adams and I was going to get that, but the seasonal selection was Beach Bum Blonde Ale. It was light, like Corona or Landshark, and we all loved it. This was the last stop on today’s tour mostly because after our American beer we were too tipsy to continue. It was a hot day and we hadn’t had a lot to eat so it was a slippery slope.
Next week I’ll finish my report up our drinking trip around World Showcase…