REVIEW: Disney Food Blog Mini-Guide to the 2011 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival by AJ Wolfe
AJ Wolfe, writer of the online “Disney Food Blog” has issued a comprehensive (and timely) e-book Guide to the 2011 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. You’ll not only want to buy this guide to help you plan for your visit to the Festival beforehand, but also to have it in your pocket during your visit. I plan to take it with me on my iPhone next month when I visit the Food and Wine Festival with my family.
The Guide is available as an e-book, which, when purchased, is downloaded as a .pdf file. Once downloaded, you can save the file as an e-book in iTunes, and then download the file to your iPad, iPhone or other device. I tested the guide on my laptop, iPad and iPhone, and preferred the iPad to the others, as outside links worked best from this platform. Note that if you are reading the Guide on any device in a place where you cannot access the internet, the external links will not work.
As with all of the DFB e-books, Wolfe starts by giving the reader a “how-to” on using the Guide and helpful advice on getting to Epcot and navigating the Festival. The guide includes descriptions of all of the Festival events, a full day-by-day schedule, tips on how to use Disney Dining Plan snack credits at the Festival, instructions for how to book and pay for events, and a full set of indexes to help you to find your favorite chef, food, wine or beer at the Festival.
While it may be too late to book some events (check Disney's website to determine whether admission to the event you would like to attend is still available), the Guide offers helpful information on how to book, and where certain discounts might be available. Check this section out, particularly if you have a Tables in Wonderland card, an Annual Pass or are a Disney Vacation Club Member.
The Guide highlights what is new for 2011, including HGTV events (HGTV is a sponsor of this year’s Festival), Mixology Seminars and a real Cranberry Bog (can’t wait to see this one, although it would be REALLY cool if you could wade through it in hip-waders like you seen in the TV commercials!), and other signature new and special events. I am very sorry that I will miss the October 29 “Kitchen Memories Healthy Dining Event,” as it will feature my favorite TV chef and globe-trotter Andrew Zimmern (and his kids!).
The “What’s New” section lists all of the new International Marketplace Booths and new menu items for this year, and is followed by in-depth pages on each of the (new and returning) booths—including gorgeous photos sure to make your mouth start watering. My family and I plan to do at least one “Lunch Around the World” when we visit next month, and after reading this guide I know that my lunch will include a Kalua Pork Slider with Sweet and Sour Dole Pineapple and Spicy Mayonnaise from the Hawaii booth (it takes longer to say the name than it will probably take for me to wolf one of these tasty morsels down) and Swedish Meatballs with Lingonberries from the Scandinavia booth. Wolfe also offers helpful tips for touring the food booths and paying for your bites.
The Guide’s in-depth descriptions of the Festival Special and Signature Events, Low-Cost Seminars, Demos and Activities, and Celebrity Chef Spotlights should help readers sift through all of the myriad offerings to decide what events will fit their tastes and budgets. The descriptions include the Where, When and How Much for each event.
Can’t wait for the Eat to the Beat concerts? The Guide includes a helpful list of Songs You Should Know by Heart by each of the featured artists, so that guests can jog their memories and prepare to hum along (or sing out loud if you are my husband or one of my daughters). And yes, “Hold on Loosely” is a .38 Special song, not a Night Ranger song—that one is “Sister Christian,” and if you visit the Festival on the right days you can hear BOTH of them. (The '80s were SO long ago . . . )
Finally, the Guide offers touring strategies (one day, two days, on a budget, with the kids, etc.) and some suggested World Showcase Booth Crawls. I like the idea of the Continent Crawl (particularly the Jerk Spiced Chicken Drumstick from the Caribbean Islands and the Black Pepper Shrimp with Sichuan Noodles from China), but what about Antarctica? Throw in an Itzakadoozie ice pop and it’s complete!
Alice McNutt Miller is a lifelong Disney fan whose fondest childhood memories include “The Wonderful World of Disney” on Sunday nights and her first trip to Disneyland when she was 10 years old. Alice and her family are Disney Vacation Club members, and have visited Disney parks all over the world. They live in Vienna, Virginia.
The previous post in this blog was Five Tips for Food & Wine for First Timers.
The next post in this blog is Food and Entertainment Together at Teppan Edo.