I call it the best kept secret at Walt Disney World. The Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic is a foodies best chance to enjoy 60 food and beverage stations for just a little more than a single days admission to EPCOT. There are also 11 educational seminars taught by members of the resort’s food and beverage team. Together it makes for a memorable evening and a great value. It’s also a great party and this year it’s bigger than ever.
Attendees will delight in numerous opportunities to sip and savor along the resort’s causeway, private lake and private beach while enjoying live entertainment. The event runs over two days – October 27-28 and features cuisine from the resort’s own award-winning restaurants: Il Mulino New York Trattoria, Shula’s Steak House, Todd English’s bluezoo, Kimonos and more, with wine and spirits samplings from around the globe.
“One of our favorite parts about this festival is showcasing our creativity and adding new experiences each year,” said Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort Director of Food & Beverage Tony Porcellini. “Things that won’t change are the quality of our food and beverage selections and our vibrant street party atmosphere.”
Although the food is not to be missed, I find the many beverage stations to be my favorite. I always find a few new wines and beers that I know I’ll be adding to my shelves in the near future.
We’re told that Saturday Causeway tickets are close to selling out. Get your tickets before it’s too late.
New for 2017
A new seminar, the Grand Tasting Experience, will be presented by a master sommelier, highlighting the unique Nebbiolo grape of northern Italy. Master Sommelier Matthew Citriglia, one of only 149 master sommeliers in the Americas, will showcase several rare vintages from the Piedmont region. Tickets to this intimate experience will be extremely limited.
Also new this year is Bubbles Lounge, a secluded, whimsically themed area showcasing sparkling beverages including champagne and sparkling wine, inspired by Lawrence Welk and his champagne style. Guests will receive a special entrance ticket to the lounge upon check-in and can seek out the space to enjoy a light-hearted atmosphere and sweeping views of the festival while sipping champagne.
Bubbles Lounge joins the event’s other themed areas including: Carnival Corner, offering carnival food and games; Chinatown, featuring dishes and drinks inspired by San Francisco’s famed neighborhood; and a Beer Garden, offering a variety of local and seasonal brews from around the world alongside Oktoberfest-inspired cuisine. (Access to the Beer Garden requires an upgraded ticket.)
Highlights of this year’s menus include: 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.
Executive Chef Robert Ciborowski brings back his signature barbecue at the not to be missed Cib’s Smoke House station with his hand-crafted pork belly and smoked Spanish Iberico pork collar. Popular returning dishes include the dragon sushi roll from Kimonos and fish ‘n’ chips with sea salt and vinegar potato chips from Garden Grove.
World Champion Pastry Chef Laurent Branlard sweetens the evening with decadent desserts like the crunchy chocolate passion fruit truffle and key lime vanilla cream. The returning Sundae Action Station allows guests to choose their own toppings like caramelized hazelnuts and raspberry whipped cream.
Seminars and Brunch
Favorite hands-on educational seminars, taught by members of the resort’s award-winning food and beverage team, return for foodies who want to add a little something extra to their festival experience. Seminars offered this year include: wine blending, Italian wines, Argentinian wines, champagne, beer, Riesling, craft cocktails, pasta making, sushi and sake and wine and cheese pairing. All seminars require separate tickets, and space is limited.
Guests can extend the indulgence into Sunday morning with the Sunday Bubbles Brunch with J Vineyards and Winery at Il Mulino New York Trattoria, featuring a lavish menu of traditional and unconventional dishes like various cured meats and imported cheeses along with an array of sushi and trattoria-inspired entrees. The Sunday Bubbles Brunch is a separate ticket option and does not require an evening ticket or overnight accommodation to participate.
With 18 restaurants and lounges, a distinguished culinary and beverage team and unmatched customer service, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort continually receives national recognition for its food and beverage program. The culinary team has had the honor of presenting multiple dinners at the distinguished James Beard House. The resort boasts more than 70 certified wine sommeliers and 1,400 wine selections, including organic and rare vintages. The resort’s restaurants are annual winners of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence including Shula’s Steak House, a multiple-time recipient of the exclusive Best of Award of Excellence.
Tickets to the Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic are available as part of a resort package or individually. For more information or to book, please visit www.SwanDolphinFoodandWineClassic.com.