« D23 Sip and Stroll -- Part 1 of 2 | Main | Review of Paradiso 37 - Downtown Disney Walt Disney World »

D23 Sip and Stroll -- Part 2 of 2

http://land.allears.net/blogs/guestblog/2009/06/d23_flower_fireworks_celebrati.htmlIn the first half of this D23 Sip & Stroll report, I went over the Check-In and the Welcome Presentations at the Odyssey Center, a few tastes from the Food & Wine Festival, and the Wine Seminar & Culinary Demonstration at the Festival Center. When we left off, we were just let out for our second free period - an hour before the "Eat To The Beat Concert".

BREAK #2: FASTPASSES OR A TRIP TO THE CAR

This break would've been a good opportunity for Sip & Stroll-ers to finish using the FastPasses we were given or to have another taste or two from the Festival booths. But I decided to use this time to make a stop by the car to drop off some stuff. Apparently some other Sip & Stroll-ers had the same idea because I spotted the familiar lanyards on a couple walking back from the parking lot, and we gave each other a friendly wink and nod as we passed by.

I had parked a ways off, so I basically had just enough time to walk to my car and then all the way back to the American Gardens Theatre.

EAT TO THE BEAT" CONCERT featuring Jon Secada

Eat to the Beat Concert

A D23 cast member was waiting at the theatre's left entrance to escort me to the front rows where there were seats reserved for Sip & Stroll-ers. The cast member also mentioned that we were going to gather by the left side of the theatre after the concert for more instructions.

Jon Secada performed five songs in this first "Eat to the Beat" show of the evening:

- "Do You Believe In Love"
- "I'm Free" (English and Spanish)
- "Angel" (jazz-version, English, Spanish)
- "Always Something"
- "Just Another Day"

Jon Secada was a lively performer, moving about the stage to cover the entire audience. As it was still warm outside, he took a moment to take off his jacket and then joked "that's as far as it goes." He was very charming and surprisingly quick on his feet.

Eat to the Beat Concert

During the show, Jon Secada also sang with a lot of passion, especially "I'm Free" and "Angel" which he sang partly in Spanish.

Eat to the Beat Concert

Eat to the Beat Concert

For more pictures of Jon Secada and his band, please check out Michael Bachand's Blog:

Jon Secada acknowledged the D23 section during the show, but not to the same extent that Tony Orlando did at D23's Flower & Fireworks celebration. I shouldn't expect any extra special attention by the entertainer during the show, but I think it would've been a nice touch for Jon Secada to also have led us in singing the Mickey Mouse Club's "Alma Mater", like Tony Orlando did during his concert, as some sort of D23 tradition.

Still, everyone had a good time at the concert, and afterwards, we gathered along the theatre's left wall as previously instructed.


Eat to the Beat Concert

We were surprised with the opportunity to go backstage to meet Jon Secada and have our picture taken with him. For me, the excitement was two-fold - first, to meet someone I enjoyed listening to growing up, and second, just to see the area behind the stage. I'll let you discover backstage on your own, but here's the picture of me and Jon Secada in his dressing room.

Eat to the Beat Concert

The VIP treatment continued as we were let out for our third and final break.

D23 Sip and Stroll

BREAK #3: THE AMERICAN ADVENTURE

After going backstage and meeting Jon Secada, we had an hour free to walk around before we were scheduled to meet-up for dinner.

Without much to do in the area besides sampling more food (and possibly spoiling our dinner), a few Sip & Stroll-ers and I decided to catch the 6:00pm show of the American Adventure. Afterwards, we made our way to the World Showplace.

"PARTY FOR THE SENSES" DINNER at the World Showplace

After the American Adventure, we made our way to the gate in front of the World Showplace, where we saw some familiar faces gathered and a cast member holding up a D23 sign.

D23 Sip and Stroll

It wasn't long before we were escorted into the World Showplace.

D23 Sip and Stroll

Our private "Party for the Senses" dinner was held in the Wine Place Lounge portion of the World ShowPlace venue. As we walked in, a server was positioned to hand us our first drinks.

D23 Sip and Stroll

At the far end of the room, a four-piece band performed on a small stage.

D23 Sip and Stroll

In the center of the room were about a dozen small tables - enough to accommodate everyone comfortably - and each place-setting included a Mickey-shaped tray and a "Party For The Senses" wine glass.

D23 Sip and Stroll

The Mickey tray was supposed to be used to transport the food from the stations to our tables with the right ear of each tray designed to hold our wine glass, but many of us found this arrangement too cumbersome and just walked back-and-forth to the stations bare-handed (asides from cameras).

There was a total of eight food/beverage stations to our left and right; and they including one well-stocked open bar. I'm afraid that I didn't get good photo-coverage of these stations, but I did get a good sample of food pics.

D23 had posted the menu beforehand on the Sip & Stroll event webpage:

First Course
Artisan Cheese selection served with Complimenting Accompaniments

Second Course
European Greens tossed with Aged Sherry Vinaigrette served with Warm Goat Cheese Polenta Cake and Heirloom Tomatoes

Third Course
Pan Seared Scallop over Lobster Risotto with Piquillo Peppers and Asparagus

Perigourdine Braised Beef Shortrib with Parsnip Mash, Crisp Leeks and Petit Brioche

Pan Seared Poulet Rouge with Wild Mushrooms, Shallots and Fig Reduction

Dessert
Vanilla Bean Gelato with Whiskey Sabayon and Candied Cinnamon Almonds

Apple Tarte Tatin with Aged Stout Cheddar

Petit Baileys Chocolate Soufflé served with Crème Anglaise
Biscotti

Each dish had its own wine pairing, and an additional cast member was at each food station ready to refresh our wine glass.

Because of lactose issues, I decided to skip the selection of gourmet cheeses, and the salad was at the same station, so unfortunately, I overlooked that course completely.

D23 Sip and Stroll

Many of the night's recipes included dairy products, but I remembered to bring some lactose pills and did try to sample all of the other dishes.

I hardly had to wait in line at any of the food stations, and all of the servers were friendly and very attentive.

D23 Sip and Stroll

The pan-seared scallop was well-prepared, and the lobster risotto was very savory. I also enjoyed the beef shortrib, and the accompanying pasnip mash was a new experience.

D23 Sip and Stroll

I didn't enjoy the chicken with the mushroom-fig reduction; the chicken was dry and the sauce just did not pair well with it.

D23 Sip and Stroll

As for the desserts, I passed on the vanilla gelato but heard from others that it was very good, especially the almond brittle pieces. I tried the apple tarte tatin with cheddar, but I didn't care too much for it.

D23 Sip and Stroll

Then I had the Baileys chocolate soufflé, and it was absolutely incredible; I tried for seconds but they had ran out.

D23 Sip and Stroll

By the end of dinner, everyone was stuffed, and we couldn't imagine having any more dessert at the IllumiNations viewing. Time seemed to have flown by.

As we left the World Showplace, each guest was given their own "Party For The Senses" wine glass plus a bonus piece of stem ware - a D23-exclusive Arribas Bros. wine glass.

D23 Sip and Stroll

D23 Sip and Stroll

These parting/thank you gifts were handed to us at this point knowing that there probably be no better opportunity. And in addition to the wine glasses, tucked away in one of the bags was a pair of special "3D" glasses for us to wear during IllumiNations.

DESSERTS & ILLUMINATIONS at Italy Isola

On the walk over to our private IllumiNations viewing area at Italy's Isola, we passed by a couple other private-viewing areas set up, and it was interesting to see the variety of experiences Epcot offers special guests.

The Italy Isola is the area by the World Showcase Lagoon near the gondolas at the Italy Pavilion; it is accessible by crossing either one of the pavilion's two bridges (Isola is Italian for "island") . I took pictures of this area earlier in the day.

D23 Sip and Stroll


For the D23 event, there were several small tables and chairs set up for us, and it was again very comfortable - although I wouldn't want to imagine 200 people in this same space.

For the refreshments, there was a staffed hot-beverage station with coffee, tea, hot chocolate, water.

D23 Sip and Stroll

...and a table with a lovely assortment of truffles:

- White Chocolate Truffle with Sprinkles
- Dark Chocolate Truffle with Pralines
- Milk Chocolate Truffle with Coconut

D23 Sip and Stroll


There was just enough time for us to get a few truffles and a drink (another coffee for me), and put on our special 3D glasses before the narrator blew out the torches and IllumiNations began.

D23 Sip and Stroll

At the first explosions, we all erupted with chuckles and applause. The 3D glasses we were wearing produced swarms of Mickeys - it was like Epcot's own "Spirit of 3D".

D23 Sip and Stroll

To many of us, the 3D glasses really made the event - a simple gesture, but one that was really that cool. It was IllumiNations as we've never seen before - although I'm sure it won't be the last time.

D23 Sip and Stroll


CONCLUSION

D23's Sip & Stroll was similar to the earlier Flower & Fireworks celebration in that they both involved a concert and fireworks, but Sip & Stroll-ers were treated to so much more - more giveaways (park tickets, gift card, wine glasses), more experiences (food & wine presentations, private dinner), and more opportunities (hospitality suite, going backstage and meeting Jon Secada). It was truly an all-day event - the pace was brisk but relaxed - and very much worth the price.

The D23 team did a fantastic job organizing this event - everything ran smoothly - and I thought it was nice that some of them were able to join us and experience it from our perspective. Really, it just felt like we were one big family. And I think that's what makes these events so special - D23's Sip & Stroll was another opportunity for Disney fans of all types to get together and celebrate a brand we love. Thank you D23 team, and I look forward to Magic & Merriment in December.


The previous post in this blog was D23 Sip and Stroll -- Part 1 of 2.

The next post in this blog is Review of Paradiso 37 - Downtown Disney Walt Disney World.

Comments (4)

Greg:

Great article. Love to read about the adventures of Disney's events. Wondering if there is anywhere on property or before we visit in January 2010 to purchase the special IllumiNations 3D glasses? These seem s very fun.
Thanks!

Emma:

really enjoyed reading your review of the event :) - the prices for these D23 events do seem high but when you consider everything you were given and got to experience, it seemed well worth it!

Howdy Greg and Emma,
Thanks for your comments :).

The 3D glasses for the Sip & Stroll were much like the holographic glasses for the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights (http://bit.ly/OsborneGlasses) except with the Mickey pattern.

Last year, passholders were able to pick up a pair of glasses for free at certain DHS locations, while they were sold to the general public for $1. I haven't heard if they were going to have these available again this year, but I'll check my next time over.
~Cedric

Cedric:

I went over to DHS and learned that they are selling the same Osborne Family Dancing Lights 3D glasses ($1) -- no Mickey pattern but a psychedelic enhancement of any light source (which does work better with the DHS lights display). No word yet if they giving them away for free to passholders (like last year).

Post a comment

(All comments must be approved before they appear on the entry.)



Please type the code shown in the image:

By submitting this comment I agree I am bound by the AllEars.net Terms of Use agreement

Return to Blog Central

About

This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 16, 2009 5:00 AM.

The previous post in this blog was D23 Sip and Stroll -- Part 1 of 2.

The next post in this blog is Review of Paradiso 37 - Downtown Disney Walt Disney World.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.