I am just popping in here for a moment before heading back out to this evening’s “First Bites” event at the Food and Wine Festival Center. I’ll be the kid wearing the Duffy Ears hat and singing along to all the Taylor Dayne songs (hammered).
The Cranberry Bog is new to the Festival this year. Part of the Craisin invasion of Walt Disney World. I’m not sure if presenting your product swimming in disgusting Florida rain water with people walking all over the fruit for 12+ hours a day is the best way to make people want to eat cranberries any time other than Thanksgiving. But I’m not a marketing genius either.
A couple more looks:
Mmmmmmmm. No, you can’t join them in the bog without getting thrown out of Epcot.
They finally took down the “15 Beers for 15 Years” sign and replaced it with the “Craft Beers” sign. As someone who dabbles in alcoholism, I consider myself to be both an expert and not an expert on beer.
Here’s this year’s lineup.
This is a pretty disappointing selection, even within the breweries that were selected to participate. Full Sail, Red Hook, Sierra Nevada, etc. all make terrific “craft brews,” but these aren’t them. This basically looks like a list of beers you can pick up from the supermarket in a 12 pack for $16 (at most). Full Sail makes an AMAZING imperial stout. Their “Bump in the Night” Reserve for 2011 is a little disappointing, but still would be an awesome addition to the lineup. Why Red Hook isn’t serving their Late Autumn Ale or Sierra Nevada isn’t serving one of their 100+ more interesting beers is beyond me. Anyway, there’s one opinion.
Promenade Refreshments is now the Desserts & Champagne booth.
The Greece menu, which wasn’t up until today:
The Canada menu, also not up until today:
A better look at the France menu, though we’ve seen it before:
Belgium is out in the open now. Looks great.
And their menu:
Here’s some Festival merchandise:
Chef Duffy. Seriously people, it’s time to get on the bandwagon. Disney is going to keep shoving him down our throats until we love him. And once we love him, only then will they take him away.
Hats and charms.
Bottle opener or murder weapon.
Gift card wristlets.
Ladles (boss edit: spoon rests) and plates.
Cook books – $14.95
Aprons and coaster sets.
Some brand called “Rinse” has a little booth on the promenade next to one of the Festival “pop up stores” on the way to the Canada Pavilion. I’m not fancy enough for this stuff. If soap doesn’t come in a 14 pack I’m not interested. And I like my shampoo in 144 ounce bottles. Here it is though, you might be classier:
Ginger Lemonade (boss edit: grass). Give me a break.
I’m dorky, but not sure I’m dorky enough for these t-shirts.
These are better.
Japan’s Food and Wine Booth has been serving full size entrees since the closure of Yakitori House last month, but they have switched menus over to the Food/Wine Festival:
The Hops and Barley booth in the American Adventure is sure to be one of the most popular. They serve a wide range of Samuel Adams beers and some expensive lobster items that people on the Disney Dining Plan can use a snack credit to purchase.
Fife and Drum Tavern is serving a Frozen Jim Beam Red Stag Lemonade for $6.50. I’m interested to try their lemonade. Red Stag is a very syrupy bourbon:
Germany is out in the open now. We’ll be returning for one of everything shortly:
The Brewer’s Collection:
All of the booths look great now:
They have signs explaining a bit about the culture and food that’s offered. The sponsors don’t always seem to fit. For example, Hendrick’s Gin is sponsoring Singapore. They are a Scottish spirits company. Maybe the sign explained it. Too hot to bother reading or learning anything today.
I think this is our first look at the Argentinian menu:
Open for business. A lot of the lines are off to the side of the booth so they don’t run into the middle of the promenade.
Which booth is this!!!! Actually, I knew you needed a break so we’re popping into Impressions de France. There are a few other good rest stops in the World Showcase – Gran Fiesta Tour in Mexico and Hall of Presidents in the American Adventure (boss edit: American Adventure in the American Adventure, though Hall of Presidents would be good too) are my two favorites. O’ Canada and Reflections of China are okay, but you still have to stand. Impressions is 18 minutes long, which is a nice length.
Today was the “cast member preview” of the Food/Wine Festival. Booths began opening around 12pm and most were open by 2pm.
We’ll try the full meal deal at the Germany booth to start things off:
Germany has picnic tables right next to it, which is nice. It can be difficult to manage all the food at a lot of the booths because there’s no nearby seating. Disney has set up picnic tables near the Germany/Brewmaster’s Collection booths, across from the Italy Pavilion, and to the right of the entrance to the Hall of Presidents in the American Adventure.
We’ll start with the goulash. At $3.50, it’s not necessarily a compelling value. We have about four bites here. It was something that probably should have been spicier, but you know how our McDonalds palettes go. If I were a betting man, I would say that the paprika was the strongest “note,” but don’t quote me on that. It’s a nice mix of vegetables and spices, served nice and hot. I saw AJ from the DisneyFoodBlog ordering it right after me and she will probably have a better rundown. Officially, the goulash is a nice accompaniment if you’re ordering a few other items from Germany, but it wouldn’t wait in line for it specifically.
The Nuremberger Sausage in the Pretzel Roll is actually why we’re here. This is always a Festival favorite. The sausage is flavorful and while the pretzel roll is amusingly short, it’s crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, just as it should be. You also get a generous helping of spicy mustard to accompany it, something which has been sorely missed at Sommerfest recently.
Also excellent and a great value. The apples maintain their texture without being mushy and the crust is soft, but not at all soggy. The vanilla and caramel sauce is decadent and provides additional sweetness. A real treat.
Cheeeeeeeeese. A very quick line. We’ll have to return here because I am about to head out the door.
Just as a side note, Disney has found a way to cover the “laser hole” on the “Hotel” Frontenac in the Canada Pavilion. You may remember there was previously a hole in the scrim.
Overall, a very promising beginning to the Food and Wine Festival.