So...what is the "Food and Wine Festival?" For the festival, there are over 25 countries/speciality booths around the world showcase offering appetizer sized portions along with drinks from all over the world. Along with the booths, there are cooking demonstrations, seminars, and tasting events - some are even with celebrity chefs. The booths don't require a special ticket, but many of the other events of the festival not only require reservations - some of them can be pretty pricey. For more event details, check out the Disney Food blog for great descriptions, reviews and prices.
This year is the 17th year for the festival - and it starts the last Friday in September and runs through the 2nd Sunday in November (in case you want to put it on your calendar for next year!).
Enough semantics - let's see the highlights of the food festival!! (To see a complete list of menus for 2012, check out the Disney website.)
In front of each kiosk is a huge menu so you can decide if there is something that you'd like to try. Do note that if you are on the Disney Dining Plan, you can use your snack credits for ALL the food items (including ones that are almost $8 in price!!).
(see all those dining plan emblems?! Those are snack credits!)
We tried both the empanada and the beef skewer, with the beef skewer being the favorite
Now, just a note about "how" we ate at the festival. There were the four of us (husband, daughters - aged 10 and 13, and myself) - and we pretty much split everything 4 ways. There were some things that not all of us wanted to try - but typically we each had a bite. It's a great way to make your money or your snack credits last - and a way to be sure you don't fill up so you can keep on eating!
Next up - Australia:
Australia's lamb chop was the universal favorite in my family - it was fabulous. And I actually wish we had gotten more than the one. My oldest gnawed on that bone for longer than was polite. And this year, I am kinda disappointed that it's a lamb chop with minted pesto instead of the sauce from 2011.
Here we tried (and both are still on the menu for 2012) the fisherman's pie and the lava cake:
The fisherman's pie was excellent - lots of pieces of seafood and not a "fishy" taste to it. The cake was a hit with my kids. We were urgently informed that one cake was not enough so I believe at least one more was consumed. And speaking of one is not enough, let's go to France.
Here we tried both the creme brulee and the escargots. And we each got our own plates of escargots as snails are my kids' favorite food. Really. Can you imagine going to open house at your children's school - and seeing the hallway decorated with "about me" pages. Where the students answered questions like favorite color, subject and food. And for food, the kids put things like spaghetti, tacos, mac and cheese. And then there is Madalyn's - with her favorite as "escargots."
We've had the escargots several times at the festival - but this is the first time in brioche - and it's fantastic this way. The creme brulee was just okay.
Here, we tried everything. I am not a fan of mussels, but my husband and oldest daughter thought they were great. My youngest and I shared the waffle. And I was pretty disappointed in the truffles - it's a wrapped box of chocolate (so disappointed I didn't even take a photo in protest)!
Let's look at Mexico:
My kids loved the flan - and this year there will be a variation on it - a caramel custard instead of a vanilla. The ribeye taco was not that good - and it's not on the menu for this year - but the shrimp taco was fantastic.
This was actually our first festival booth and we tried the chicken souvlaki:
This year when we go to the festival, it will just be my husband and myself while we leave the kids at home to go to school. They are both pretty upset at being left at home as the food and wine festival is their favorite time of year to go. My oldest is going to be really upset when she finds out that Greece has added spanakopita to their menu.
Did you know that you could go to the festival and eat all of the above for FREE? You can enjoy the festival with a free dining plan this fall - just email me today at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can talk about availability, dates and prices.
If you'd like to see more posts about Disney, be sure to visit Deb's Focused on the Magic!
So...what about you? Have you been to the food and wine festival before? What food are you most looking forward to trying?