Resorts

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The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic 2017

Published March 29, 2017 by Disneyways.com

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic will return for its eighth year Friday, October 27, and Saturday, October 28, 2017 with exciting new dishes debuting alongside returning festival favorites. Fans can now visit http://www.SwanDolphinFoodandWineClassic.com to view the 2017 food menu as well as book overnight packages and purchase tickets.

Highlights of the 2017 menu include featured items from the hotel’s signature restaurants: Kobe beef mini burgers with truffle aioli, Applewood smoked bacon and roma tomato chutney from The Fountain; seared Yellowfin Tuna salad from Todd English’s bluezoo; ricotta gnocchi with wild mushrooms, baby spinach and fennel sausage from Il Mulino Trattoria and oven-roasted beef ribeye with mashed potatoes and sauce bordelaise from Shula’s Steakhouse. Returning dishes include the popular dragon sushi roll from Kimonos and fish ‘n’ chips with sea salt and vinegar potato chips from Garden Grove.

Also returning this year will be Carnival Corner and Chinatown, offering specialty cuisine in immersive themed areas, as well as the Sunday Bubbles Brunch on Sunday, Oct. 29. Original dessert offerings will once again be served by World Champion Pastry Chef Laurent Branlard. For a full list of current menu offerings, please visit http://www.swandolphinfoodandwineclassic.com/eat/menu/all.html.

The Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic offers guests unlimited tastings at more than 50 stations featuring culinary selections from the hotel’s award-winning restaurants and wine from more than 30 wineries amidst a festive backdrop of live entertainment on the hotel’s scenic causeway. Upgraded ticket options allow guests to enjoy access to a beer garden featuring a wide selection of craft beers and Oktoberfest-inspired cuisine. The event also includes hands-on seminars with the hotel’s chefs and certified beverage experts.

Overnight and multiple-night package options are available for the eighth-annual Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic and can be booked by phone at 1-888-828-8850:

· One-night packages start at $424, and include room accommodations and two tickets to the outdoor festival (seminar tickets and beer garden tickets may be added for an additional fee)
· Two-night packages start at $824, and include room accommodations and two tickets to the outdoor festival for both nights (seminar tickets and beer garden tickets may be added for an additional fee)

Individual ticket options are also available for the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic and can be purchased at http://www.SwanDolphinFoodandWineClassic.com (pricing is inclusive of tax and service fees):

· Advance-purchase, event-only tickets to enjoy unlimited tastings on the causeway are $115 per person
· Upgraded tickets, including unlimited tastings on the causeway and access to the beer garden, are $140 per person

With 17 restaurants and lounges, and a distinguished culinary and beverage team, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel continually earns national recognition for its food and beverage program. The hotel features more than 70 certified wine sommeliers and 1,400 wine selections.

For the latest information about the event, guests can visit http://www.SwanDolphinFoodandWineClassic.com, like http://www.facebook.com/swananddolphin or call 1-800-227-1500.

 

Join us for Lunch with Terri Hardin!

Published November 6, 2016 by Disneyways.com

Lunch with Terri Hardin inside Wilderness Lodge at Walt Disney World! This event will take place at an undisclosed location inside Wilderness Lodge on November 20th 2016. Tickets are $20 to reserve your spot and do not include lunch. Email me (Krista) NOW at Disneyways@Disneyways.com for info on how to reserve your spot at the table! Exact location and time beyond what has been mentioned here (LUNCH at Wilderness Lodge….) is confidential except to our guests who reserve their spot via email.

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Tickets are very limited and are priced at $20 to guarantee your seat, time with Terri, and include a FREE decal from My Fantasy Bands designed by Terri especially for our group. You will also get a goodie bag sponsored by TD Collectibles – Disney Pins & Collectibles! Your meal is NOT included in the ticket price so please come prepared to order off the menu. Get amazing inspiration from Terri, a former Disney Imagineer, and Jim Henson Muppeteer. More on Terri can be found at HERE

Check out our exclusive interview with Terri over at Living The Dream Podcast HERE.

Hey and there are some optional perks for our guests to consider! We wanted to let you know about a couple of exclusive add-on items that you MAY want to take advantage of – if you secure your seat today!

Now available with special pricing ONLY to guests at the luncheon…inspired by Terri’s recent trip to Disneyland Paris… art created just for you BY Terri … “Rémy- For the love of Paris.”

“Rémy- For the love of Paris.”

“Rémy- For the love of Paris.”

This figure is about 3″ tall and a limited edition of 50. Remy is made of cold cast porcelain (resin) but is painted to look like a bronze figure! As you can see – he is hugging the Eiffel Tower, which is so adorable and sweet. He even comes to you complete with a beautiful little box and a certificate of authenticity.

Your Remy will come in this special box!

Your Remy will come in this special box!

“Rémy- For the love of Paris” will be offered at $65.00 exclusively for attendees of our luncheon. Regular price is $75.00 – for a savings of $10 when you attend the lunch!! When you write to me for ticketing information – just be sure to let me know if you would like to purchase Remy. There is a limit of 2 per person.

We also have one other limited edition add-on for you when you purchase your lunch ticket. Terri will bring and personally autograph a small number of her book TALES FROM TERRI: A DISNEY SCULPTOR’S LIFE (Volume 1) for just $20. That’s right!! Be sure to let me know you want to reserve one of these. You will have the option to get your photo taken – just like Disney Legend Bob Gurr did!

Terri with her book and Disney Legend Bob Gurr! Bob won't be attending the lunch. Photo Credit MiceChat.com

Terri with her book and Disney Legend Bob Gurr! Bob won’t be attending the lunch. Photo Credit MiceChat.com

Photos of a prototype Remy as well as further information about ADDITIONAL SURPRISE CELEBRITY GUESTS as they are revealed can be found HERE (Please note that Bob Gurr will not be there – I just thought that was a cute image of him endorsing Terri’s book!) – but I have confirmed some other Disney celebrities that WILL be with us. They can’t wait to see Terri when she comes to town!

Email me NOW at Disneyways@Disneyways.com to reserve your spot to dine with Terri Hardin! It is sure to be an afternoon of inspiration and fun. Conversations with Terri are so incredibly special, sometimes life changing. Come create some memories with us that will last forever. I look forward to getting an email from you.  Seating is very limited! My email again is Disneyways@Disneyways.com – deadline is November 18th 2016.  -Krista

Dining Review: The LakeHouse at Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress

Published February 24, 2016 by Disneyways.com

The next time you are in the Walt Disney World area and need a refreshing break from the Parks – we hope you will consider dining at the newly opened LakeHouse at Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress! It is super close to Disney Springs. They specialize in highlighting healthy, locally-sourced, farm-to-table cuisine. You do not have to be staying overnight at the Hyatt to enjoy this restaurant – and you can stop in any day of the year.

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When you enter this glorious space you will realize quickly that the $2.8 million redesign was a wise investment on the part of this resort. During the daytime you are immediately surrounded with light, and the vibrant setting is also very lovely in the evening. The vibe is totally modern and sleek – yet you will still feel very cozy and welcomed at the same time. Just look at this lovely booth where they seated us!

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Chef Max visited with us once we were seated to introduce us to the menu. There was a wide variety of dishes from appetizers, soups & salads, entrees & desserts! There were even several vegan and gluten free options for my friend and dining companion – the fabulous Sarah Norris of Gluten Free Diary Free WDW!

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There is a full bar available too, so we kicked it all off with sipping on some cocktails to get the full experience. Everything we tried was wonderful and The LakeHouse version of the Moscow Mule had a nice presentation in a copper mug.

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I’m not usually a sushi person but the Rainbow Roll and the Caterpillar Roll were gorgeously presented and I am so glad I gave them both a try. We went back and forth trying to decide which was our favorite, as they were both so delicious and fresh!

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Next came the appetizer course. Chef Max and the team brought out Grilled Shrimp Cocktail and French Onion Fondue. Both sounded great but to actually taste them – was incredible. If you’re a fan of shrimp like I am, you will enjoy the grilled shrimp cocktail served with Bloody Mary Cocktail Sauce, shaved horseradish (which added a unique twist), and sliced cucumber. The shrimp was perfectly grilled and was complimented with the Bloody Mary Cocktail Sauce. I loved this unique take on one of my traditionally favorite appetizers.

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The French onion fondue was also a highlight of the evening. Served with warm bread, this rich and decadent fondue combined everything I love about French onion soup in one dish. Warm gooey, savory and even a little sweet – I found it hard not to eat every bite of it! The little cast iron skillet was adorable too.

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For our soup and salad course, our group sampled the Warm Spinach Salad, the Salad Bowl, and the Manhattan Style Shrimp Chowder. Both salads were big hits, and if you’re a beet fan, you’ll love the warm spinach salad served with golden beets.

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If you enjoy a bit of texture in your salad, order the salad bowl with spicy pecans, pecorino cheese, and figs.

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If soup is more your taste, the Manhattan Style Shrimp Chowder is a must order. Normally I enjoy a creamier based soup. But again the LakeHouse rocked my world with this one. It had a hint of spice, lots of shrimp, and before I knew it I had eaten the entire bowl. I will go back just to order this soup alone!

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For entrees, Chef Max brought out 4 dishes. First, the Cauliflower Steak – featuring fresh grilled vegetables and a sun-dried tomato vinaigrette. The grilled cauliflower had tons of flavor, making it the star of this dish. Chef Max noted that you can add chicken or steak to this dish for some added protein.

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The second gluten free entrée was the KC Bone In Strip Steak served with steak fries, grilled tomato, and watercress salad. The steak was expertly cooked and very flavorful.

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My favorite entree of the evening was the filet mignon with herb bread pudding, red wine sauce, mushrooms, and asparagus. The herb bread pudding reminded me of my Mom’s homemade stuffing. Dipping it in the red wine sauce was especially divine. The mushrooms had a delightful meaty flavor and I have never had asparagus that tasted so delicious before. The star of course, was the filet. We cut it with a fork – and the incredible flavor was like a party in my mouth.

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Normally I am not one to order fish – but even I had to admit – another highlight of the entrees was the Sea Bass in citrus butter and served on lemongrass orzo. Everyone agreed the fish was beautifully cooked. There was a very light crunch on the outside and the flaky white fish inside was beautiful, moist and savory. The citrus butter sauce was delightful.

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Finally, Chef Max served a variety of desserts that included: Hot Roasted Apple Tart, Key Lime Cheesecake, Peanut Butter Brownie Sundae, Sticky Toffee Date & Fig Bread Pudding, and Classic Double Fudge Cake. Save room for dessert – you will not want to miss this. Everything we tasted seemed better than the last!

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Overall, those visiting the LakeHouse will find the food delightful and delicious and the ambiance inviting. We loved sipping drinks, enjoying our dinner, and looking at the views of the lake. We timed it just right and got to enjoy a perfect Florida sunset. We hope you’ll give it a try. While you are there say hello to the little pink flamingo for me.

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We can’t wait to go back to the LakeHouse again for another delicious meal and thank the LakeHouse at the Hyatt Grand Cypress for inviting us to experience all that the newly opened restaurant has to offer.

**Disclaimer: The LakeHouse at the Hyatt Grand Cypress invited the team and I to enjoy dinner at no cost to us. This did not influence my honest opinion.

The Best Christmas Trees at Walt Disney World 2014

Published December 14, 2014 by jpmdo

Recently Tony and I mentioned some of our favorite Christmas trees on property at Walt Disney World. I thought it would be fun to bring  you some photos too, so you can see for yourself how beautiful some of these trees and decorations really are. Click on each photo for a closer look! Be sure to leave a note in the comments to let us know some of your favorites from this year!

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Boardwalk Resort

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Yacht and Beach Club

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Special thanks to Jennifer at OrlandoConnections.com for the awesome photos! You can check out the podcast episode with our picks for favorite Disney Christmas trees HERE. 

 

Four Seasons Resort at Walt Disney World Celebrates First Holiday Season by Joshua Snyder

Published November 26, 2014 by jpmdo

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If you’re one of the thousands of people that want to escape the wintry doldrums to someplace nice and warm, the Four Seasons Resort at Walt Disney World has holiday excitement to spare as it celebrates its first Christmas season.

As you enter the lobby of the resort, you’re greeted by a beautifully decorated 12 foot Christmas tree, along with festive wreaths and columns wrapped in garland, seasonal floral arrangements, and a few surprises. You’ll also get a chance to view Executive Pastry Chef Rabii Saber’s gingerbread masterpiece while sipping on complimentary cider and hot chocolate from 2:00pm to 5:00pm daily.

If you’re looking to indulge your sweet tooth, you’re covered too. Throughout the resort there are chances to try sweet delicacies, such as peppermint bark, gingerbread cookies, ice cream (served each afternoon in The Hideout) and an awesome chance to decorate your own holiday cookies with Chef Saber on select dates. Executive Chef Fabrizio Schenardi has even created some gelato masterpieces for the season such as chocolate peppermint, gingerbread, and cranberry (yum).

The resort also offers a complimentary kids camp each day for kids 4-12 years old. Open from 10:00am to 6:00pm, the Kids For All Seasons has all sorts of offerings for children, ranging from lazy river races to face painting and candy cane scavenger hunts. Each week the KFAS camp will also offer classic holiday movies along with a chance to write a personalized letter to Santa.

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And of course you can’t forget the adults. The resort offers Mixology Classes each week, taking place in the Ravello demonstration kitchen from 3:00pm to 4:00pm. These classes are led by a highly qualified team of master mixologists and range from rum based cocktails to cocktails from exotic locales. These classes are sure to be a hit and may fill up quickly. And for those looking to catch a quick NFL football game, they can visit Ravello Bar, which will be transformed into Cigar City Brewery’s Fan Club. And don’t forget to check out the spa and golf course for special holiday offerings as well.

Of course, who can pass up an excellent dining adventure during the holidays? Not this writer. In addition to the character breakfasts offered daily from the resort, they will offer special holiday dinners at several of the resorts restaurants. In PB&G, you can find a Craft Beer & Holiday Cheer event, held on December 19th from 6:00pm to 8:00pm. At a cost of $49.00 per person, this event includes small hors doeuvres and unlimited (yes, unlimited) beer tasting on more than 20 season beers across the country with a souvenir 5-ounce glass to take home with you. The resort’s Cuban American restaurant, Plancha, will be offering an amazing family style dinner Cuban-style. Chef Pedro Sanchez Negron will be presenting a few of his family’s favorite holiday recipes, offering a new and exciting take on the traditional Christmas dinner. Dinner at Plancha will be served December 22nd from 7:00pm to 10:00pm and will cost $55 per adult and $22 per child. On December 29th, Plancha will transform and offer a unique Turkish take on Christmas dinner. At a cost of $75 per adult and $26 per child and will feature fresh vegetables, herbs, and fish with a Turkish flair. On Christmas Eve, Ravello will offer a five-course prix-fixe dinner menu for $95.00 per person. Also, Capa will serve a prix-fixe dinner menu for the same price on Christmas Eve. On Christmas Day, look for a brunch buffet served at Ravello at a cost of $95.00 per adult and $35.00 per child. Capa will once again offer a prix-fixe dinner menu at a cost of $95.00 per person. On New Year’s Even the resort comes to life with several different dining options. At Ravello, enjoy an amazing holiday buffet for $115.00 per adult and $45.00 per child. At Capa, they will offer two seating options for dinner: between 5:00pm and 7:00pm they will offer a three-course prix-fixe seating at a cost of $145.00 per adult and $65.00 per child. They will also offer a second, five-course prix-fixe seating between 8:00pm and 11:00pm at a cost of $295.00 per adult and $95.00 per child. Both seatings at Capa will offer access to the amazing New Year’s Eve “After Party”, held in the grand Ballroom. Featuring a DJ, dance floor, balloon drop, cash bar, appetizers, deserts, and more, this event is not to be missed. Resort guests also have the option of attending the “after party” with dining reservations for a rate of $65.00 per adult and $35.00 per child. Kids For All Seasons will be open New Year’s Eve for Resort guests only at a cost of $95.00 per child.

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Space for most of these options is limited, so make sure to make your reservations early by calling the resort at 407-313-6161.

What holiday options will you and your family enjoy most at Four Seasons Resort at Walt Disney World? I’d love to hear your stories and see your pictures. You can send them to joshua@mousehunterstravel.com with the subject line “Four Seasons Holidays”.

Joshua Snyder is a Disney fanatic and Travel Agent, working with MouseHunters Travel. He is an annual passholder for Walt Disney World, Sea World, Aquatica, and Universal Studios. In his spare time, he enjoys reading everything he can about the parks and visiting as frequently as possible. He currently resides in the Orlando, FL area. He can be reached at joshua@mousehunterstravel.com.

American Q the Place to ‘B’ for BBQ!

Published October 9, 2014 by Disneyways.com

B Resort & Spa at Lake Buena Vista is home to American Q – THE new hot place in town for anyone who craves a modern take on classic barbecue.

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It all begins in this beautiful resort – formerly occupied by The Hotel Royal Plaza just outside Downtown Disney. Join me as we relive this wonderful culinary cowboy adventure, won’t you?

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Upon arrival to the the B Resort – the wonderful smell of smoked meat coming from American Q was already beckoning us inside – and we knew we were in for a treat.

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First, it was time for cocktails!

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Normally more of a gin and tonic kind of guy – my husband went with the Moscow Mule. Ingredients included Russian Standard vodka, pickled ginger juice & ginger beer – and he really enjoyed it. What they don’t mention on the menu is how it comes in this awesome little copper barrel shaped mug. It was really unique, and added a special touch.

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I went for the Strawberry Slush. Made with Fifty Pounds gin, Carpano Antica, fresh strawberries and lime with shaved ice. I was expecting a frozen drink, but this had a nice light, refreshing taste. Yummy!

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Do not adjust your computer – what you are about to see is pretty amazing – and very real. This Bar Snack is called Swine Candy – and this photo made a pretty big splash on my facebook page! Take some smoked bacon, roast it with molasses and spice until crunchy… and you have yourself a little piece of salty, sweet, (and at times spicy) heaven! The spice is subtle and it will sneak up on you. Wait for a glass of water before you take your first bite – just in case you may need it.

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Our next Bar Snack was the House Made Tater Tots. Creamy mashed potatoes fried to perfection in little bite-sized pieces with flavorful ketchup on the side. I think I am in love…

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How about some Deviled Crab Stuffed Eggs? Deviled eggs with blue crab and remoulade…what’s not to like?

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If this was all I got to eat for the rest of the night – I think I would have went home happy and satisfied! But we are still on the Bar Snacks, and there’s so much more!

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Next up were the Starters – maybe you thought we “started” already? Think again!

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The only thing I like as much as BBQ – is probably SIDES. I was very excited for the next portion of our evening, when we indulged in the all-you-can-eat FLATBED BUFFET served from the back of a cherry red ’51 Ford F1 pickup truck! Favorites included homemade soups and chili, a baked potato bar, peel and eat shrimp, a selection of hot and cold seasonal vegetables, pasta and potato salads, and a 20+ item salad bar all served from the flatbed! You can order the Flatbed Buffet for $34.95 $10 for kids age 7 and under – ala carte! This is an amazing value. Photo courtesy American Q!

 

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Not from the Flatbed Buffet – but just as lovely – this wonderful sampling of various meats…

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Next up was the star of the show: something American Q has creatively named Tableside Cowboy Carvings! Yep, they come to your table with 8 different meats and even vegetable brocette – all sliced to order! Turkey legs, bacon wrapped boneless chicken thighs, brisket of beef with Texas Bark, House made sausages…and more.

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Photo credit American Q

 

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I think there’s a lot of truth to the American Q saying that there’s smoke in their bones, vinegar their veins and the cowboys really do keep carving  until your tank is full! Endless options and great kids menu takes barbeque to at a whole new level here in Orlando.  Last but not least – self and valet parking are FREE if you are driving. If not, why not take a cab and break up your Disney vacation just a hop, skip and away at this amazing restaurant?! You won’t regret it! In the meantime you can follow them on facebook , Twitter, and check out their gorgeous website including full menus here.

Disclaimer: Recently my husband and I were treated to a complimentary dinner by the wonderful people at American Q – so that I could bring you photos and  an honest review. This did not influence my opinions. Our thanks to Jason at OrlandoFunandFood.com for the invitation!

The Disney Parks Podcast Interviews Stephen Wancha Director of Food and Beverage for Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort

Published September 8, 2014 by Disneyways.com

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Recently, Tony and I were very honored to interview Stephen Wancha, Director of Food and Beverage at Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort. Stephen has been one of my all-time favorite guests on the Disney Parks Podcast.  He has a passion for his work at the Four Seasons that truly shines. Click the photo above to be taken directly to the podcast, or check it out on the YouTube Video below. As you listen, get ready to learn more about all the wonderful dining experiences you can enjoy in the brand new (stunning!) resort. If you just can’t get enough of food at the Four Seasons (I know I can’t!) click HERE to check out video and more from our first visit to Ravello! In Stephen’s own words, “Our food and beverage program is a true dining destination for Orlando locals and guests alike, where great food and innovative concepts meet passionate, attentive service.” I couldn’t agree more!

From the Four Seasons Website:

“In a relatively short period of time, Stephen Wancha has lived in 10 different major cities (returning to live in three of the cities twice), so it’s easy to see why he developed a propensity for travel, and in turn, for dining out. The affable Wancha, Director of Food and Beverage for Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World® Resort, brings 10 years of Four Seasons experience with him to lead the Food and Beverage operations at the Resort, which includes five on-site restaurants and a large-scale banquet operations team.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to be at this amazing property,” says Wancha. “Orlando is not well-known for its culinary scene – it’s definitely emerging. With the team we’ve together and the concepts we’re bringing to the market, we are giving our guests and Orlando locals a special dining experience.”

Prior to joining Four Seasons Resort Orlando, Wancha’s first Director of Food and Beverage position was at Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis. At the time, Wancha was 28 years of age, making him the youngest Director of Food and Beverage among all Four Seasons properties worldwide. This coup alone is a testament to the wealth of food and beverage knowledge Wancha brings.

The Resort’s star restaurant is Capa, the 17th floor rooftop Spanish-influenced steakhouse that offers a romantic setting above the treetops and a stunning view of the nightly Magic Kingdom Park® fireworks. Ravello is the Resort’s Italian concept; PB&G is the Southern rotisserie; and Plancha is a Cuban American grill. One of Wancha’s favuorites is Lickety Split, a grab-and-go on the lobby level, offering a variety of cappuccinos and lattes, smoothies, Italian donuts and pastries, gelato and more. Wancha, a coffee connoisseur, has set up the ultimate coffee bar.

When not fueling up on java, Wancha’s other beverage of choice is wine. An avid wine collector, Wancha is proud of his large private collection of mostly New World/Napa wines and Old World/Italian wines. He’s excited about the wine program at the Resort, with 400 labels and many available by the glass. Wancha’s own famous Sangria is on the menu at Capa.

Wancha loves to travel the globe for inspiration, often jet-setting to New York or San Francisco for weekend culinary expeditions. He dined at 27 different restaurants over two days in New York, and enjoyed 16 eateries over two days in Chicago. A true “foodie” who is fun to dine with, and fun to “talk shop,” Wancha is always in line with, and often a step ahead of, the culinary scene.”

For more on the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort, check out our interview with Thomas Steinhauer; Regional Vice President and General Manager.

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