Thursday, July 22, 2010

Food & Wine Festival

while back I decided that eventually I was going to dedicate an entire blog post to Epcot's Food and Wine Festival.  Last October I was lucky enough to vacation during this blessed event and suffice it to say that I will always try and vacation in October from now on. 

For those of you who know nothing about F&WF let me fill you in.  When you arrive at the main entrance to the World Showcase you can pick up a F&WF guide map and let the eating begin.  Go either way, left or right, and take a look at all of the small food booths set up depicting countries from all over the world.  Each "country" has a few selections of tapas-sized foods to choose from as well as a small handful of select wines.  Each selection costs $2-$7.  If you're on the Disney Dining Plan, you can use your snack credits for most single tastings.

On top of the food booths, there are different free food seminars and lectures going on at different areas of Epcot.  You can also pay to take special seminars, tastings, and full meals.  For foodies it is truly a radical experience. 

Last year I put $30 on a small gift card that I wore around my wrist.  Everytime I wanted something to eat or drink I just gave the cast member my gift card and it was deducted.  They even print on the receipt what your balance left is.  It's honestly the smartest way to keep track of your F&WF spendings.

This year a few countries were dropped off, a few were added, and some older ones were picked back up after being absent for some time.  Last year I had some pescetarian/vegetarian choices but I'm definitely getting loads more options this year.  Here are most of the options that Matt and I will have this year.  I'm including some the drinks that I tried last year.  Very happy to see all but my favorite South African wine return.

1.  Chile:  Shrimp Ceviche
2.  Desserts & Champagne:  Pear Streusel Pudding Cake, Rose Imperial (amazing champagne)
3.  Brazil:  Shrimp Stew with Coconut & Lime
5.  Argentina:  Roasted Corn & Cheese Empanada
6.  Mexico:  Esquites (pan-fried corn & spices), Dos Equis (one of my favorite beers ever)
7.  Poland:  Potato Pierogies with Carmelized Onions & Sour Cream
8.  China:  Black Pepper Shrimp with Sichuan Noodles
11.  Singapore:  Shrimp Cake with Singapore Noodle Salad (Brand New Country)
13.  Germany:  Octoberfest (great beer!)
14.  Italy:  Baked Cheese Ravioli (Matt will be all over this)
15.  Hops & Barley:  Crab Cake with Cabbage Slaw & Remoulade (great last year), New England Lobster Roll
17.  Japan:  Sushi (I will try sushi again.  And try and like it)
18.  Australia:  Seared Barramundi with Cherry Tomatoes, Arugla, and Lemon Oil
19.  Morocco:  Falafel Pita Pocket, Tangerine Mimorsa *drools*
20.  Belgium:  Steamed Mussels with Roasted Garlic Cream (Brand New Country)
21.  Spain:  Seared Albacore Tuna & Romesco Sauce
22.  France:  Escargots (I will try this finally!)
23.  Ireland:  Lobster and Scallop Fisherman's Pie (I loved this last year)
24.  Canada:  Maple-glazed Salmon with Lentil Salad, Moosehead Beer (yummy)
25.  Charcuterie & Cheese:  Cheese Fondue & Croutons with Roasted Potatoes
26.  Greece:  Greek Salad with Pita Bread
27.  New Zealand:  Seared Sea Scallop with Vegetable Slaw & Lemon Oil (I loved this so much I got it twice last year)

Click on this link to see the full F&WF guide map.

I plan on eating a lot of mini-meals this October.  ; )

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Coaster Radio

About seven months ago I was approached by the host of an online theme park podcast, Coaster Radio, to be on their show to talk about American Idol Experience.  It was an absolute blast recording the episode.  After corresponding with Mike for a month or so, he had asked me to come on board the Coaster Radio train and write for the blog and appear on the show now and again to add something new. 

In March, I wrote my first entry for Coaster Radio's blog.  Since then I've contributed a handful of times.  Covering lots of topics and appearing on the show a few times as well.  It's been a blast to get to share my passion for theme parks and roller coasters with other people who care about them just as much.  My confidence is finally building and I'm becoming more comfortable recording episodes with Mike and EB.

I'm looking to pick up the pace on my blog entries.  Hopefully I can pop out a new entry once every two weeks.  The hardest part is getting inspired to write something!  That's where I'm asking you, my Disney blog readers, to help me out.  You all are full of great ideas and I'd love to hear some of them.  Coaster Radio has been around for five years and there are still topics I'm sure they've never covered before.  Time for me to get movin'!

Make sure to head over to and see what's new and fresh!  Each show runs about 40 minutes and there are a lot of blog postings going on all the time.  There is even a project going on to get David Arquette to record the show introduction! 

Thank you all for reading my blog and taking interest in what I have to say.  It really means so much to me and makes me feel very special.  THANK YOU!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Salad Fork On the Outside, Dinner Fork On the Inside

It's Walt Disney World pet peeve time!  Everyone gets a nice little etiquette lesson in this blog post. 

You may have encountered them before.  They are some of the worst folks in Walt Disney World.  No, it's not the guests that step on the back of your heels when in a queue line.  Nope, it's not even your fellow vacationers that don't know their butt crack is hanging out when they sit down in front of you at Festival of the Lion King.  It's the people that are walking in front of you and suddenly decide that they have to look at the park map right then and there, in the middle of the walkway.  You dodge them quickly in fear that your crotch could collide with the top of the 2 year old childs head. 

It's not that I disapprove of guests using park maps all together.  I just disapprove of some folks' poor timing.  It seems that when those that irritate me choose stop, they stop in the busiest walkway during the busiest time of day... usually right at park opening.  You'd think that they would look at the map while waiting in line to get in and have their route memorized.

If I could suggest anything to these guests it would be this.  Keep your stampede with you at all times.  If you suddenly decide to take a peek at your map, move your rears to the side of the walkway or even into a nearby shop.  Take small children by the hair, errr, hands, and keep your arms, legs, and feet, inside the vehicle at all times.  Thank you and have a magical day!