All the sweet chocolatey nutty goodness of Nutella (yum!) with the retro twist of a Pop Tart. Get in my belly!
EPCOT® INTERNATIONAL FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL AUGUST 30 THRU NOVEMBER 12
Like a passport specially for your palate, the Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival is a magical taste tour—one that whisks you off on a fun and flavorful journey across six continents. And everyone's favorite little chef, Remy, will help you enjoy all of this year's festivities, from all-new demonstrations to more than 30 delicious destinations. So come sip, savor and stroll your way through Epcot® as you delight in your favorite flavors, and try plenty of new ones along the way.
Foodies and anyone who’s in search of even more delicacies can treat themselves to chef demonstrations, hands-on workshops, special events like Party for the Senses and more separately priced happenings. There’s even an entire menu of family fun including Remy’s Ratatouille-inspired scavenger hunt, play area, weekend Character dance party and select dishes and demonstrations designed with kids in mind.
As evening arrives, you’ll find that taste isn’t the only thing on tour. The Eat to the Beat Concert Series is back and better than ever. Catch star-studded performers throughout the festival, including new acts like MercyMe, Glass Tiger, Sheila E. and 98 Degrees. And don’t miss returning favorites like Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, 38 Special, Hanson and Boyz II Men.
This year’s festival spans 75 days. So join us in this culinary wonderland brimming with fresh flavors and succulent sounds. It’s all here at the Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival.
Entertainment and offerings subject to change without notice.
Long gone are the days of hitting up a kiosk to get FASTPASSes for your favorite rides. Now that the parks have gone totally FP+ (Fast Pass+) here are some tips that will help you make your choices wisely:
- Disney Resort guests are able to make their FP+ selections 60 days in advance. This also means your going to need to start thinking about which parks you are going to hit on what day. Don’t forget to consider your Extra Magic Hours. If you change your mind before or even during your trip, your choices can always be changed.
- Guests staying off-property can make their FP+ selections 30 days in advance on the My Disney Experience app.
- Each guest is now limited to 3 FP+ selections per day.
- If you plan on park hopping, keep in mind that you are only allowed to make your selections for one park. For example if you are going to spend the morning at Animal Kingdom and the evening at the Magic Kingdom, you should probably make your selections at Animal Kingdom since the park is usually more crowded in the morning due to the fact that they close earlier then any of the other parks.
- You can make reservations at any kiosk for any park. If you are at Animal Kingdom you can still make your selections for Magic Kingdom later in the day.
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot work on a tiered system based on popularity. At these parks you can only pick 1 selection from tier 1 and 2 from tier two.
Disney Hollywood Studios Tier 1
- Toy Story Mania
- Slinky Dog Dash
- Alien Swirling Saucers
Epcot Tier 1
- Frozen Ever After
- If you are making your FP+ reservations at a kiosk, the ones closer to the entrance are usually more crowded first thing in the morning so head to your favorite rides and look for that empty kiosk along the way.
- Once you have made all of your reservations take a picture of the screen with your phone so you have them all available to view. My Disney Experience is a phone battery hog AND has been known to go down, leaving you with no idea what's next.
- Staying on property? Take advantage of those Extra Magic Hours. Head into the park early and hit the attractions you choose not to get FP+ for or stay later in the night to do them all again.
- Make sure you have downloaded the “My Disney Experience” app on your mobile device. You will have all of your reservations at your finger tips and be able to change them on the go.
Ravello at the Four Seasons Orlando at Walt Disney World is participating in Magical Dining Month with a $35 per person prix-fixe 3-course meal. Your meal will benefit two local charities - Best Buddies of Central Florida and Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida.
This special Ravello menu includes:
Appetiser (select one)
- Frisella, pappa al pomodoro, mozzarella with warm Pugliese bread, extra virgin olive oil, mozzarella, greens
- Calamari, fregola with sautéed calamari, fregola, crunchy zucchini, grapes
Entree (select one)
- Brasato e polenta with braised beef Piedmont style, barbera wine sauce, soft polenta
- Florida red fish, rapini, salsa verde with red fish, bell pepper, broccoli rabe, garlic, salsa verde, potato
- Reginette pasta, gamberi, melanzane with shrimp, reginette pasta, eggplant, olives, marjoram, tomato sauce
Dessert (select one)
- Torta della nonna with housemade vanilla gelato, Café Umbria espresso
- Salted caramel budino with chocolate, coffee, vanilla cream
Want to extend the magic? Just ask your MTT VIP Concierge to book your stay at the Four Seasons. Some of the amenities include the 18-hole Tranquilo Golf Club, The Oasis adult-only pool, 5-acre water park, and bi-weekly dive-in movies at the family pool.
Looking for the perfect coleslaw to bring to your 4th of July picnic? Look no further than this BBQ Coleslaw recipe served at Big Thunder Ranch in Disneyland! It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, and egg-free, plus it’s vinegar based so perfect for toting to picnics and potlucks.
Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue Cole Slaw
Serves 6 to 8
1/2 cup white-wine vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1 pound shredded green cabbage (about 1/2 large cabbage)
1 pound shredded purple cabbage (about 1/2 large cabbage)
2 carrots, shredded
- Combine vinegar, sugar, salt, celery seed, paprika, black pepper, and cayenne in a blender; blend on low speed until sugar is dissolved.
- With blender running, slowly pour oil through top of lid, processing until dressing is combined. Set aside.
- Combine shredded cabbage and shredded carrots in a separate large bowl. Add dressing, tossing to combine. Refrigerate for 2 hours, tossing occasionally, before serving.
Yum. Just yum.
In all of your vacation excitement – and the joys of packing – don’t forget to take care of making your home safe while you’re away!
From the outside
- Put your mail service on hold online or by completing the form at your local post office.
- Stop delivery on all newspaper service. If you receive copies without subscriptions, ask a neighbor to pick them up for you.
- Ask that same neighbor to clear your porch/front step of any deliveries and solicitations. Nothing says “I’m empty” like a house with piled up papers and things hanging from the doorknob!
- Since we’re already imposing on the neighbor, ask them to also take your trash to the curb for you on trash day.
- Use timers to turn lights on throughout the day and night. Leaving some key blinds and curtains open a bit will also signal someone’s home.
- Check with a neighbor or family member about leaving a car in your driveway, or consider leaving your second car out.
- Make sure your driveways/sidewalks are cleared of snow and your lawn is maintained while you’re gone.
- Bring all hide-a-keys inside and leave a key with your poor put-upon neighbor instead.
From the inside
- Set the temperature in the house to something reasonable – whether that be heat or air – but not as comfy as you’d have it if you were home.
- Clean out the fridge! Deliver perishables that won’t last to your helpful neighbor and turn the temp down just a smidge. Since it will be shut for the duration of your trip, it will hold its temperature better.
- Make sure you take out all inside trash before you leave. ick.
- Shut off the water to your washer and dishwasher, turn off pilot lights and set your hot water heater to vacation mode or shut it off, if appropriate.
- Unplug any unused electronics or appliances to conserve electricity.
- Lock all doors and windows, close your garage, and set the house alarm.
- Make a copy of your passport and other identification, and compile a list of the credit cards you’re bringing.
- Clean out your wallet of any unnecessary credit cards and rewards cards. The less you bring, the less you have to lose!
- Be smart – no flashing wads of cash or using unlit ATM locations, especially at night. You’re safer going inside a grocery store or gas station.
- Use a business address, if possible, for all luggage tags and your cell phone number so you can be found if your luggage is too!
- Costume jewelry is your friend. Leave the good stuff at home.
- Consider using identification for your kids – such as tattoos.
Now you can enjoy your vacation even more knowing that your home and family are protected!
Some favorite recipes of mine from summery, beachy, fun restaurants at Disney!
Broccoli Cranberry Salad
Cape May Café, Beach Club Resort (Walt Disney World)
4 cups broccoli flowerettes (chopped fine)
¼ cup diced celery
8 oz. pkg. dried cranberries
¼ cup shelled sunflower seeds
1 cup mayonnaise
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup vinegar
In a large bowl, combine broccoli, cranberries, sunflower seeds and celery. Pour dressing over and toss. Keep refrigerated.
New England Clam Chowder (my favorite clam chowder EVER!)
Cape May Café, Beach Club Resort
1/2 lb onion, diced
1/2 lb celery, diced
12 oz red potatoes, large diced
2 cans chopped clams and juice
32 oz half & half
32 oz clam juice
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp basil
To Taste – white pepper
4 drops Tabasco
1 oz bacon grease (or oil)
1/2 lb roux
1/4 lb butter & 1/4 lb flour
Melt butter, blend in flour to make roux.
1. In a 2 gallon stockpot, cook onion and celery in bacon grease until translucent.
2. Pour in chopped clams in juice, clam juice, diced potato and seasoning; blend well.
3. Bring to simmer over medium heat, for 5 – 10 minutes.
4. Add half & half, increase heat until it comes to a slow boil.
5. Add roux slowly, mixing well. Keep mixing until well incorporated.
6. Reduce heat – simmer for 15 minutes.
Makes 1 gallon.
Don Shula’s Barbecue Basil Shrimp
Shula’s, Swan & Dolphin Resort (Walt Disney World)
8 lg shrimp, peeled and deveined
8 fresh basil leaves
4 strips smoked bacon, cut in half
1 lemon wedges
1 fresh parsley for garnish
1 c thick, high quality barbecue sauce
1 tb ground horseradish
1 tb honey
1 tb black pepper
To make shrimp: Take each shrimp and place one fresh basil leaf
around it. Carefully warap each shrimp with half a piece of bacon and
secure with a tooth pick. Place the prepared shrimps on a flat cookie
sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes, turning once. Turn
on the broiler and let shrimp brown for 3 to 4 more minutes. Remove
To make the sauce: Combine the barbecue sauce,
horseradish, honey, and black pepper in a blender or food processor
and let machine run 1 minute.
To serve: Place the hot cooked shrimp
in a bowl and lightly toss with barbecue sauce. Serve garnished with
lemon wedges and sprinkling of parsley.
Grilled Corn Potato Salad
Napa Rose, Grand Californian Hotel & Spa (Disneyland)
1½ lb potatoes (fingerling, red new or gold)
2 c grilled corn kernels, approximately 5 cobs
1 c creamed corn
1 c cut green beans, blanched
2/3 c grilled red onions (cut onion into rings, then grill the same way as the corn)
2 Tbl chopped thyme
1 Tbl each chopped sage and chopped parsley
½ c sour cream
2 Tbl lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
Grill corn and onions. Cut potatoes into bite-sized wedges. Place the potatoes in cold water and bring to a boil. Boil for approximately 20 minutes or until just tender. Drain off all water and season potatoes, while warm, with salt and pepper. Place warm potatoes in a mixing bowl and add all other ingredients. You can now serve or chill and serve tomorrow after re-heating.
Castaway Cay (Disney Cruise Line)
3 oz. Light Rum
3 oz. Dark Rum
4 oz. Orange Juice
8 oz. Cream of Coconut
6 oz. Passion Fruit Juice Concentrate
3 oz. Ice
Mix in blender until slushy.
Whispering Canyon Berry Cobbler
Whispering Canyon, Wilderness Lodge (Walt Disney World)
Biscuit for cobbler
1½ c Shortening – all purpose
1 Tbl salt
2½ Tbl sugar
5 Tbl baking powder
7½ c flour – all purpose
2½ c buttermilk
1) Add shortening, salt, sugar, baking powder, and flour.
2) Mix until crumbly, small pea size pieces.
3) Add buttermilk and mix very little, only to bring together into a dough.
4) Roll out on flour dusted table 1/2″ thick, place on greased backing sheet.
5) Bake at 400* until light brown on top approximately 18 minutes.
6) When cool, crumple up 2 oz of baked biscuit and place in 6″ skillet.
Cobbler Berry filling:
1½ c water, cold
¾ c sugar
2¼ Tbl cornstarch
4 oz apples, sliced fresh or frozen
4 oz red raspberries, frozen
4 oz blueberries, frozen
2 oz cranberries, frozen
1) Put all fruit except blueberries in pot.
2) Place on stove on high heat.
3) Dissolve starch in water and add to fruit and stir.
4) When mixture starts to thicken, add blueberries, stir.
5) Cook until thick and clear, stirring often.
6) When cool scoop 8oz of filling over crumpled biscuit in skillet.
¾ c butter
¼ c sugar, granulated
¼ c sugar, brown
3¼ c flour – all purpose
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp cinnamon
1) Put all into mixing bowl, use dough hook or paddle and mix until crumbs.
2) Do not over mix, or it will turn into dough.
1) Sprinkle ½ oz streusel over biscuit crumbs in 6″ skillet.
2) Place berry filling over biscuit with streusel and sprinkle 2½ oz of streusel topping over fruit.
3) Bake cobbler in 400* oven for 15 – 20 minutes, or until streusel topping is light brown.
4) Serve with Loganberry ice cream.
I'm free for a beach vacation...
Are you staying at one of the 30 Disney hotels at Walt Disney World? Are you flying into Orlando International Airport (MCO)? Then Disney’s Magical Express is for you!
This complimentary round-trip shuttle service takes you to your Disney hotel without having to wait for baggage claim – the Magical Express fairies will take care of your luggage for you and deliver it to your room while you’re out having fun at the parks!
How it works
- You provide us with your airline and flight number and we’ll make your Disney’s Magical Express reservation.
- You’ll receive your special Disney’s Magical Express luggage tags in the mail directly from Disney.
- Check your bags at home airport, making sure those special tags are on your suitcases!
- Upon arrival in Orlando, bypass airport baggage claim and go directly to the Disney Airport Welcome Center.
- Scan your MagicBand.
- You’ll be assigned to a motorcoach, sit back, and enjoy the ride!
- For arrivals between 5am and 10pm ET, Disney representatives at the airport pick up your luggage and transport it to your hotel room. For arrivals after 10pm and before 5am ET, pick up your luggage and bring it to the motor coach.
If you don’t have your luggage tags, be prepared to give a description of your luggage to the folks at the Welcome Center – the better you mark your luggage, the faster you’ll get it!
Also, it can take several hours for your luggage to arrive so be sure to carry any immediate needs/wants with you in a carry-on. Think medication, swimsuits, and a change of clothes… just in case. And be sure to keep your MagicBand in your carry-on luggage or wear it on the plane. You'll need it at the Welcome Center.
Disney’s Magical Express service makes your return hassle-free as well. If you’re flying with participating airlines on a domestic flight, you can avoid airport check-in lines by checking your luggage and receiving a boarding pass before you ever leave your Disney resort! Current airline partners include Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines (US Domestic Flights only), JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines.
Have a later flight home? Just check your luggage at the Resort Airline Check-in Desk, get your boarding pass, and go play! They're open from 5am to 12noon Eastern Time.
We love Disney’s Magical Express – have you used their service?
A Piece of Gluten-Free Heaven
Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate. This old favorite from The Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios isn’t on the menu anymore but we had to share it with our gluten-free friends. The recipe makes 12 individual cakes so throw a party!
Flourless Chocolate Cakes
1 cup butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2 tablespoons freshly brewed espresso or instant espresso
2 tablespoons hot water
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons rum
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup dark chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease two 6-cup silicone muffin molds.
- Combine butter and chocolate chips in a glass bowl and microwave on high for 60 seconds. Stir until smooth. If not melted completely, return to microwave for 15-second intervals, stirring between each until melted. Set aside.
- Combine cocoa powder, espresso and water in a separate bowl. Stir until smooth and set aside.
- Combine eggs, sugar, and rum in a large mixing bowl, whisking thoroughly. Add cocoa-espresso mixture to egg mixture, then stir in melted chocolate mixture. Whisk until smooth and creamy.
- Pour batter into prepared muffin molds and bake until cakes puff slightly and surfaces are set, about 22-25 minutes.
- Cool, then refrigerate for at least three hours.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add heavy cream and bring to a boil.
- Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips; whisk until smooth.
- Remove cooled cakes from molds.
- Set a wire rack over a large bowl, and one cake at a time, place on wire rack and coat with ganache, making sure to cover sides.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
We’d planned to go to Earl of Sandwich for dinner as we often do on arrival day, but a rather lengthy check-in process at the Grand Floridian and switching rooms twice left us feeling underwhelmed at our decision to stay there – something we’d been wanting to do for ages – and we needed some magic NOW! So we wandered down to the lobby and were able to get a walk-up reservation at 1900 Park Fare for Cinderella’s Happily Ever After dinner. Sitting in the Grand Floridian’s lush lobby waiting for our name to be called helped ease the frazzled nerves and included some Daddy/daughter dancing to the sounds of the grand piano playing highlights from our favorite Disney movies.
As usual, good food calmed the savage beasts and we were laughing and talking and back to our happy Disney selves when MiaMouse suddenly reached over and grabbed my arm. “Mommy, it’s Prince Charming!” She wiggled and squirmed, waiting as patiently as she could to meet the handsome Prince and finally it was her turn.
Prince Charming walked up to the table, bowed, and held his hand out. MiaMouse gave him her hand and he kissed it! She was mesmerized. After all, the only man that had ever kissed her hand before was Daddy!
The smile on her face lit up the room and though she told Prince Charming she couldn’t marry him because he was marrying Cinderella and she was marrying Daddy, she’ll always remember how her treated her. That, my friends, is Disney Magic!