2014 Food & Wine Festival Report
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  1. #1
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    2014 Food & Wine Festival Report

    DAY ONE

    We drove up to WDW for a 2-night stay, checked into the Pop Century, and arrived at Epcot around 2:30 pm. Here's a summary of what we ate and did.


    FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL BOOTHS

    Brazil: DH loved the Crispy Pork Belly and Xingu Black Beer. I had the Brazilian Cheese Bread, which was a soft roll with creamy cheese in the middle. Not spectacular, but very good comfort-type food.

    Morocco:
    The Spicy Shrimp Roll was like a greasy, bland Chinese egg roll. Although I've always had very good food in Restaurant Mararkesh and Tangierine Cafe, the F&WF Morocco booths disappoint me every year.

    Puerto Rico:
    DH had a refreshing Frozen San Juan Breeze and the Conch Salad, which he said was nothing special. I had the FlanCocho, which was dense, super-creamy, smooth flan atop a layer of chocolate coffee cake with caramel sauce. I drool at the very thought of it now.

    Hawaii:
    I had the Kalua Pork Slider with Pineapple Chutney and Spicy Mayonnaise, which was good, but not great. DH enjoyed a fruity Aulani Sunset rum cocktail.

    Greece: DH really liked the savory Vegetarian Moussaka, but said the Tzatziki Martini was bland. I had the Chicken Gyro with Tzatziki Sauce, which was just okay.

    U.K.: DH had the yummy Warm Chocolate Pudding and Chilled Irish Coffee.


    RESTAURANTS

    Spice Road Table:
    We took the waitress' recommendation and got sangria. I was not a big sangria fan to begin with, and this drink did nothing to change it. The hummus plate had two different types of hummus, plus green and black olives, a spicy tomato salad, and warm, soft flat bread—all very good. The Rice-Stuffed Grape Leaves with Fried Capers, Raisins, and Nutmeg were delicious. I’ll definitely get this again.

    Beaches & Cream: DH had a chocolate ice cream soda and I had a scoop of butter pecan with caramel sauce, plus a little bowl of extra caramel on the side. Yum.


    ATTRACTIONS/SHOWS

    Nemo, Soarin’, Figment, British Revolution


    NON-FOOD-RELATED DISAPPOINTMENT

    We had an indoor, on-the-lake window seat at Spice Road Table, but they would not lower their indoor lighting during IllumiNations, which took away from the fireworks. Another patron asked about it and the waiter replied, "We can't. This is Disney." (Whatever that meant.) For the record, La Hacienda de San Angel in Mexico dimmed their lighting for IllumiNations when we there last year.


    WORST DRESSED GUEST

    While waiting in a booth queue, a woman strolled (more like teetered) by wearing black pumps with a thick platform in the front and a 6-inch (at least) skinny stiletto heel that angled her foot straight down. What a bright woman to think of wearing shoes like that to walk around Epcot all day!


    All-in-all, a very good, albeit very cold, day. Report of day 2 of the Epcot Food & Wine Festival to come...
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  2. #2
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    Love the report Alice. I can't wait to read more!
    There's a great big beautiful tomorrow
    Just a dream away!

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  3. #3
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    Can't wait to hear about your next adventure.
    Btw whenever I see women in heels at places like disney, the zoo etc I can't help but wonder about them lol

  4. #4
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    Great report and women in high heals could be a entire different thread topic ;-)

  5. #5
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    Re: 2014 Food & Wine Festival Report

    Thanks for posting! Hawaii and Brazil were my favorite booths last year. Spice Road Table sounds like a nice little place (other than the lighting situation). I will have to put that one on my list to try. Looking forward to reading Day 2!
    Couldn't imagine life without WDW!
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    Spice Road Table sounds like a nice little place (other than the lighting situation). I will have to put that one on my list to try.
    It's like an ADR restaurant without the ADR (wait staff, full bar). They serve small plates instead of entrees so you can order a little at a time and try lots of different things. We are definitely going back.

    Part 2 is almost finished. Will post soon.
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  7. #7
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    Re: 2014 Food & Wine Festival Report

    DAY TWO


    FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL BOOTHS


    Patagonia: I get the Beef Empanada every year that we go to the F&WF, and it was just as good this year. (It used to be the Argentina booth.)

    Desserts & Champagne: We got the dessert trio, which was Passion Fruit Coconut Creamsicle (custard-like), Blueberry Lime Cheesecake Roll (like a jellyroll with cheesecake), and Chocolate Espresso Opera Cake. It was good, but nowhere near as good as the trio we got in 2012.

    Mexico: The Shrimp Tacos with Pickled Habanero Pepper and Onions were really good. Shrimp was battered and fried, then put in a flour tortilla with the other ingredients. The Sweet Corn Cheesecake was interesting. It was exactly what it sounds like. Sweet cheesecake that tasted like corn. I didn't like it at first, but then I couldn't stop eating it.

    Japan: The Teriyaki Gyoza Bun was chicken, vegetables, and sweet teriyaki sauce in a soft bun. Loved it. DH loved his Spicy Hand Roll with tuna and salmon. I don't eat raw fish.

    Africa: One of my favorite dishes was the South African Bobotie, which was sort of like a spicy chicken and mushroom omelet. I've heard they serve the same dish at Tusker House and Boma.

    Brewer's Collection: DH had a beer flight with four different beers. I'm not a beer person, but I did like one of the darker ones.

    China: The Mongolian Beef in a Steamed Bun with Chili Mayo had so much sauce, it sort of fell apart, but it didn't matter. This was delicious! One of my favorites. DH loved the Beijing Roasted Duck in a Steamed Bun with Hoisin Sauce.

    Farm Fresh: I found the Griddled "Yard Bird" (chicken) to be inedible. It was a totally bland breast of chicken with the skin that had Habanero Sauce squirted on top. It was sitting atop weirdly spiced braised greens. I found the chicken to be undercooked, but I like chicken well done. DH said it was cooked ok, but he didn't like the dish, either.

    Singapore: The Lemongrass Chicken Curry with Coconut and Jasmine Rice was not as good as it sounds. It was not very spicy and had very few pieces of chicken. But it was ok.

    Italy: How can a cannoli be bad? It can't!!! Yum!


    ATTRACTIONS
    Spaceship Earth, Test Track, Mission Space (green...I'm a wimp), O Canada movie (hate the Circle Vision), and Impressions de France (beautiful, especially the music), IllumiNations from a special viewing area


    FESTIVAL CENTER

    Ghirardelli had an area with chocolate scuptures of Disney characters and movie scenes. The drinking chocolate was extremely rich. I preferred the little square of caramel-filled chocolate they were handing out.

    Seminar: We went to a cocktail seminar given by two famous mixologists. One of them has competed several times on Iron Chef and won. They made three vodka drinks: pumpkin, chocolate truffle, and mango. All we're good, especially the pumpkin, which was surprising to me.


    CHASE LOUNGE
    American Adventure set up the Chase Lounge (great play on words), an exclusive second floor area of the building for people with Chase Disney Visa cards. They had complimentary soft drinks and were handing out wristbands for a special IllumiNations viewing area in Italy. We were able to get a window seat in the lounge that had a great view overlooking the park. Perfect for people-watching.


    PURCHASES
    A ring in Morocco, a couple keychains from Mouse Gear (one for me, one for a friend), Dole Whip car freshener (DH wanted it), and a glass mug from Germany for family member. And one more thing that might shock Winkster. We went into the Norway store, which had changed the entire front area to "Frozen" merchandise. As I walked through the store I smelled something very fresh. It turned out to be the Laila perfume, which totally shocked me because I've never liked it in the past and I've never understood why people rave about it. But on this day it smelled very clean and pretty, so I very impulsively bought a bottle. I'll probably be sick of it soon, but I like it today.


    WEIRD/ANNOYING GUESTS

    There was a woman in the Festival Center ladies room who was constantly pulling paper towels out of the dispenser in the handicapped stall. I don't know what she was doing with all those towels, but she must have emptied the dispenser. I later saw her walking around (identifiable by her strange, blingy, multi-colored shoes), but there was no clue about what she did with the massive amount of towels she took.

    Drunken, rowdy 20-somethings in Impressions de France. They did quiet down for a while in the middle. Grrrrr...

    After IllumiNations, we went to the front of the park to pick up the purchases we made. The pickup line was long, but moved at a good pace. There was a man who was filming his family standing in line the whole time. What a boring video that will be.


    SOMETHING NEW TO US
    When we received our seasonal pass renewals at AAA, they gave us a AAA Diamond parking pass for the first time, which allows cars to park in a special front section of the Disney parks' parking lots. Very nice!


    Report on our third and final day to come...
    Last edited by Curious Alice; 11-11-2014 at 03:00 PM.
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  8. #8
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    That made me laugh!

    Congrats on your new perfume.
    There's a great big beautiful tomorrow
    Just a dream away!

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  9. #9
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    Re: 2014 Food & Wine Festival Report

    Quote Originally Posted by Winkster View Post
    That made me laugh!

    Congrats on your new perfume.
    Still liking it.

    Duffy, Laila...what's next for me, turkey legs? (I think I can safely say that will never happen.)
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    DL: At least 5 times in '80s
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  10. #10
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    Re: 2014 Food & Wine Festival Report

    Another great write-up! Getting me excited for our trip next year. I am jealous you got the special seating for Illuminations from Chase Lounge. I asked about it last year, but was told they didn't have it that day. I guess it's hit or miss?
    Couldn't imagine life without WDW!
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  11. #11
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    Re: 2014 Food & Wine Festival Report

    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    Another great write-up! Getting me excited for our trip next year. I am jealous you got the special seating for Illuminations from Chase Lounge. I asked about it last year, but was told they didn't have it that day. I guess it's hit or miss?
    Not sure. I wish they always had the Chase Lounge, though. It's a nice getaway. The Italy special area was good, but the Showcase Plaza's special viewing area for people who book Candlelight Processional packages was so much better.
    TALK DISNEY MODERATOR

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  12. #12
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    Re: 2014 Food & Wine Festival Report

    Quote Originally Posted by Curious Alice View Post
    Not sure. I wish they always had the Chase Lounge, though. It's a nice getaway. The Italy special area was good, but the Showcase Plaza's special viewing area for people who book Candlelight Processional packages was so much better.
    The day we were there it was extremely hot, so the a/c and free drinks at the lounge were very much appreciated. It would be nice if they had it year round!
    Couldn't imagine life without WDW!
    Last Trip: Oct 2015
    Upcoming: Feb 2016
    Treehouses(2) Vaca. Villas(2) Poly(1) Contemporary(1) CSR(1) CBR(4) POR(1) Sports(4) OKW(1) SSR(2) AKL(1)
    **Oo-de-lally, Oo-de-lally, Golly, what a day!**

  13. #13

    Re: 2014 Food & Wine Festival Report

    I love the Laila...made my husband buy me a bottle for my birthday when we were there in April. I get so many compliments when I wear it. I think I may need a new bottle this upcoming December for Christmas :-)
    And I can't believe I missed the ghiradelli chocolate sculptures in September!! Did you get any pics of them? Would Love to see them!!
    SEPT'89 Contemporary, MAR'01 A.S. Sports, AUG'07 A.S. Sports, OCT'08 A.S. Sports, SEPT'09 POP Century,
    NOV'10 P O Riverside, JAN'12 POP Century,
    JAN'13 P O French Quarter, OCT'13 Art of Animation
    APR'14 Caribbean Beach, SEPT'14 Coronado Springs
    DEC'14 FW Cabins, OCT'15 Caribbean Beach

  14. #14
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    I finally smelled the perfume and it is awesome! I loved it. Great report!
    Last edited by Freshee61; 11-11-2014 at 07:22 PM.
    Frying pans! Who knew, right!?

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  15. #15
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    I must remember to smell the perfume when I'm there! I've been hearing about it for years!

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