Today we were in for a very special experience as part of the D23 Flowers and Fireworks event.
Once again folks arrived very early. D23 provided coffee and tea while we waited!
In addition to breakfast in the Yacht Club's Grand Harbor Ballroom, we would be having a series of presentations by:
Epcot Vice President, Dan Cockrell
WDW Parks Events Content Development Operations Manager, Michael Jenner
Twinings Tea's Daniel Wasilick
Epcot's International Flower and Garden Festival Horticulture Manager, Eric Darden
I was very much looking forward to this portion of the event and it far exceeded my expectations!
Walking into the ballroom was a huge wow!!! The large room was elegant and inviting.
The smells of breakfast were in the air and it would be hard to decide where to begin!
Mad Hatter Scrambled Eggs
Snow (Egg) White Vegetable Fritata
Mickey Waffle "sandwiches" with strawberry compote, pecans, whipped cream and syrup
August Gusteau's Smoked Pork Loin
Mickey Cut Breakfast Sausage Patties
Pocahontas Color of the Wind Potatoes - red, yellow and green peppers
Warm Cinnamon Loaf and assorted pastries
August Gusteau's Charcuterie Bratwurst
Spicy Apple Compote
Fresh cut fruits
After enjoying a scrumptious breakfast that featured both the sweet and savory -- it was time for the presentations.
Walt Disney World Ambassador Vanessa Rosas opened the session by welcoming everyone!
First to speak, Epcot Vice President, Dan Cockrell who shared a great deal of information with us, some announced publicly for the very first time.
Topics included the new restaurants in Epcot's World Showcase - Hacienda de San Angel coming to the Mexico Pavilion and Via Napoli, a full service restaurant coming to the Italy Pavilion. Both restaurants are scheduled to open in September 2010 and should be added to the Dining Reservation System in July or August.
Hacienda de San Angel - Mexico
Dan spent a great deal of time sharing some insights that went into the story and theming for the Hacienda de San Angel. Dan and some of the restaurant chefs went to Mexico and visited the original San Angel Inn. Art and food are Mexico's most important cultural gifts and the restaurant will reflect that.
The restaurant will have indoor and outdoor seating. It will be a dual purpose, flex restaurant. There will be 150 seats outside and 250 seats inside. During lunch the Cantina (quick service) is very busy, but there is not as much seating as desired. Therefore a portion of the sit down restaurant will be blocked off for Cantina guests to also enjoy the air conditioning..
Around 4pm, the Cantina will still be working, but the whole inside will open as the full working table service restaurant. None of the seats will have backs to the windows so you can enjoy the lagoon and IllumiNations.
Via Napoli - a full service pizzeria
The construction will create a whole new look, the area has been extended back another 50-60 feet and there will be a new piazza. Again, Dan spent a great deal of time sharing some insights that went into the story and theming of the new restaurant. In Europe there is often one building with different facades out front and that's what you will see in Via Napoli.
The 3 pizza ovens are inspired by the 3 famous volcanoes in Italy: Mount Etna (Sicily), Stromboli (Aeolian Islands), and Mount Vesuvius (near Naples). The 3 oven "mouths" where the pizzas go in are inspired by Italy's Park of Monsters sculptures. Very thin crust pizza and when it's ready it will be served quickly and hot.
Restaurant will reflect both traditional and modern Italy. Costumes will be burgundy and muted olive colors.
Dan also announced that The Germany pavilion will be getting a new Werther's Candy Shop. It will replace the Glas Und Porzellan shop, and fresh candy will be made on site.
We learned that an original Captain EO sign had been saved and will be part of the attraction when it reopens in July, in Epcot's Imagination pavilion.
Lastly, Le Plume et Pallet in France will be carrying exclusive fragrances beginning July 2010.
That's it for Part 2. Check back tomorrow for the remaining presentations from Sunday Morning's event!
The previous post in this blog was D23 Flowers and Fireworks Celebration 2010 - Part 1.
The next post in this blog is D23 Flowers and Fireworks Celebration 2010 - Part 3.