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October 2, 2015

Downtown Disney Transforms Into Disney Springs!


Denise Preskitt
AllEars® Guest Blogger


Downtown Disney has been in transformation for over two years, with a slew of new restaurants and shops opening over the past months. Signage has also been added through the past year with the moniker Disney Springs, but that name is now official as of yesterday, September 29th, 2015.

This past week has seen the opening of two new venues. Last week, the already extremely popular Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar opened to rave reviews. We were the first in the door when it opened to the public, and we had the opportunity to go back during a media event that included a visit to not only Jock Lindsey's, but also the new Morimoto Asia. In between the two restaurants, we attended a brief ceremony to cap off the Disney Springs name change.

Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar is themed to the adventures of the pilot to Indiana Jones. The reason it was geared toward the lesser-known character – as opposed to Indiana Jones – is to allow for a new backstory to be written. It gave Imagineers a lot more freedom.

Food and drinks at Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar are outstanding. Not only did the Imagineers utilize their creativity to the fullest, but the chefs did as well. There are items on the menu that I've never had anywhere else. We recommend almost everything, and the price point is very reasonable. From the Snack of Ra (a full meal in itself, regardless of everything being an appetizer) to the Rolling Boulder Meatballs, the dishes are served with aesthetics and taste buds in mind.

From Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar, we walked outside for the Disney Springs name change ceremony. It was open to the public, between Jock Lindsey's and the recently opened (and also fantastic) restaurant The Boathouse. ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Senior Vice President Maribeth Bisienere and Walt Disney World Resort President George Kalogridis spoke. Mark Daniel introduced Bisienere, who talked about the making of memories, story creation and even making the parking situation easier. Disney Springs will have 4 sections: The Landing, Town Center, Marketplace and the West Side. Kalogridis said that the project will have provided a total of 1200 construction jobs when everything is complete, and will add 4000 operational roles. He also continued,“One in every 50 jobs in the state of Florida is tied directly or indirectly to Disney."

The finale of the Disney Springs name change event was the switching of large cards that spelled out Downtown Disney, flipped to say Disney Springs. The weather held out just long enough to see almost the entire ceremony before the rain began, when umbrellas emblazoned with the Disney Springs logo were lifted almost in unison.

The last portion of the media event was visiting Morimoto Asia, which was just one day from opening to the public. Chef Masaharu Morimoto was featured both as a speaker during the opening ceremony, and later showcasing his culinary skills as he filleted a 100-pound tuna. A lion dancer helped open the ceremony, and Bisienere again was a speaker. She welcomed Patina Group CEO Nick Valenti and Chef Morimoto. Morimoto is apparently a huge fan of Mickey Mouse, wearing a Mickey pin and introducing Chef Mickey to the podium. He later proposed a toast over a special container of sake, joined by Kalogridis, Valenti, Bisienere, and Disney Springs Vice President Keith Bradford.

Morimoto Asia is a beautiful restaurant, with chandeliers that seem to go on forever. The restaurant fills the space of the former Pleasure Island Mannequins nightclub. Mannequins was one of the nightclubs I didn't spend any appreciable time in, so the space feels totally new to me. There are two levels, with an open kitchen on the first level and bars on both the first and second floors.

Chef Morimoto drew a large crowd when a 100-pound tuna was brought to him to filet. With quick agility, the tuna was soon looking like a meal and no longer like a fish. And within a half-hour or so, pieces of sushi with fresh tuna were brought out to guests.

The food we tried were some appetizer items, including Tuna Pizza and Duck Caesar Salad. What we had was tasty, and we look forward to enjoying a full meal at the restaurant in the future!

October 10, 2015

2015 EPCOT Pin Event

Carol Cruise banner

When I left the event last year I left with the knowledge that the 2015 EPCOT Pin Event was going to be themed GenEARation D. I also had a Steamboat Willie GenEARation D pin in my hand, the first of a series of 13 pins, one to be released each month leading up to the September event.

"GenEARation D is a chance to pay homage to the key moments in Disney history that made an impact on the lives of Disney fans, both young and young at heart. The content for the 2015 event will span the decades from 1901 to today."

GenEARation D logo

The official dates had not been announced so for several months I kept an eye on the event page of the Official Disney Merchandise Blog. On January 29th the announcement came "Please plan to join us for the GenEARation D Pin Trading Event on Sept. 11-12, 2015 at World ShowPlace in Epcot! Registration for this year’s pin trading event will take place on April 22, 2015."

Event Registration Package

Pin Breakfast

GenEARation D Agenda
Click the image to see a larger version.

The challenge I faced was trying to obtain each of the limited edition of 500 monthly pins. I had a couple of trips to Walt Disney World planned so I was able to get three of the pins myself, then thanks to several friends who could do the pick-up for me I was able to go to the event only missing two of the pins, which were only released at Downtown Disney in the pin store. I had purchased a few doubles so I had some trading power and was able to complete my set quite easily. The final pin was released at the event using the Random Selection Process (RSP) system and I was lucky enough to get it too.

This is a quick recap of my annual trek to the world of pin trading, an adventure that I look forward to every year.

Tuesday Sept 8th
I was up just minutes before the 3 a.m. alarm sounded. We hurried to be out of the house and on the road by 3:40 a.m. Gary was driving me to the Syracuse airport so that I could catch the 7 a.m. flight to Orlando. It was clear sailing; he dropped me off at the airport at 5:45 a.m. My flight was on time and I landed at Orlando 5 minutes early. Rather than stand and stare at the empty baggage carousel I dashed down to Alamo and registered for my rental car. Then I went back upstairs just as the luggage started to come out. All was done and I was on the road to the Beach Club Villas by 10:10 a.m. I picked up my roommate Carrie at Old Key West and then headed over to Fort Wilderness to meet a friend and pick up some of the pins she had bought for me. We decided to have lunch at Port Orleans French Quarter and then proceeded to the Beach Club Villas to check in. Our room wasn't ready so we slipped over to the grocery store for some supplies; by the time we got back the room was ready so we unpacked and got settled.

It is always extremely hot in September so our plans usually keep us from the usual running around that most are accustomed to when going to Walt Disney World. We simply headed over to Earl of Sandwich for a sandwich, wandered through a few shops and then back to the resort. It was an early night for me after a very long day.

Wednesday Sept 9th
We spent the day relaxing. I like to arrive at the event a day early so that I do have some down time before the marathon pin trading begins. We were slow getting up and enjoyed a couple of cups of coffee. Carrie was doing some work so I went out for a walk around the resort before it became too hot. It is a beautiful place, and very peaceful in the morning. By the time I got back to the room Carrie was wrapping up with work so we walked down to Beaches & Cream for lunch; after lunch we went to the pool for a couple of hours.

Stormalong Bay Pool

Even lounging beside the pool was just too hot for us so we went back to the room. Carrie worked some more and I had a short nap. Then it was time to meet up with a group of our pin trading friends and celebrate a birthday at the Captains Grill. It was a fun time with a dozen of my friends and a really good meal. It was the first time I had eaten there and I would definitely go back.

After dinner we went back to the room to get organized for the next day; there would be no more relaxing this trip.

Thursday Sept 10th
We were up at 6:30 a.m. and out the door headed to the Studios by 7:45 a.m.

Hollywood Studios

I always start the event with the Breakfast With the Artists. This is a non Disney event, organized by Janis Lavender and John Rick from Central Jersey Disney Pin Traders. This was the 5th annual breakfast and was held back stage at the Prop Shop.

The Prop Shop
Set up for breakfast in the Prop Shop

The Prop Shop
It was a very popular event!

Happy Traders
Happy traders!

There are usually 4 to 5 artists that participate but this year we had 6 artists from the Disney Design Group and Erin Cantalano, Merchandiser and Trading Advocate, Disney Theme Park Merchandise. The artists that attended this year were: Maria Clappis, Derek Lesinski, Alex Maher, Tim Loucks, Jess Willis and Quynh Kimball.

The Artists
Jess Willis, Erin Cantalano, Alex Maher, Tim Loucks, Derek Lesinski, Maria Clappis & Quynh Kimball

We had a wonderful breakfast followed by an hour of open dialogue with the artists. Lots of interesting information was exchanged and many questions were answered. A question I had for Erin was "What is happening with Vinylmations and why are they not included in this year in the event"? Her response to me was that when they first marketed Vinylmations, Disney considered them a collectible and did not anticipate the trading frenzy that would evolve. They have taken a step back and are now re-positioning the product back to the original intention, a collectible. So Vinylmations are not going away, they will continue to be available on a more focused basis, such as Eachez for special events and occasions. They will no longer be included in the pin events.

After the breakfast a few of us decided to ride Toy Story Midway Mania on our way out of the park. You can't come to Disney without riding at least one ride! We then wandered over to the new pin merchandise area. Now that the Big Hat has gone, they have moved the pins over by the food court area on Sunset Boulevard. By then it was getting very hot so Carrie and I made our way back to the parking lot, hopped in the car and headed over to Coronado Springs Resort to register and pick up our event merchandise.

We arrived at the resort around 12:30 and walked in anticipating the usual long line, but it wasn't too bad.

The Registration line
In line for registration.

Everything was well organized and we were signing for our credentials and pins within 45 minutes. Once we had everything we headed into the big trade room. This was a Disney Pin Trading room for all registered guests.

The Trading room
The Trading Room.

I immediately started wandering around the room, looking to trade for the two missing GenEARation D pins - Ariel (Little Mermaid) and Rapunzel (Tangled). I got lucky and was able to find them both. Once I had that feat accomplished I sat down to open my event Mystery Box pins. I like to have the complete set when they are event pins! There were 16 pins, 8 limited release and 8 chasers limited to 250. I had purchased 8 boxes and I was very lucky, I was only missing a couple and was able to trade for them over the next 2 days.

Mystery Box pins
The complete set of Mystery Box Pins.

I did a bit more trading and checked out the pins that I had been able to get with my RSP. There were a couple of them that looked better in the catalog than they did up close so I decided to return them; you have until Friday 6 p.m. to return any merchandise that you don’t want.

My pins
My purchases and trades from the first day.

I also noticed that the trade room was much less crowded than previous years. I think that attendance was down this year. There were several changes implemented this year that may have contributed to that. The big change that many complained about was the bag restriction; you could only bring one trade bag into the event. The bag had to fall within the guidelines as far as size goes. This didn't bother me as I only take one small pull bag, but I have seen people show up with Costco grocery carts filled with bags and boxes of pins. The new guidelines included this prohibition: Suitcases, coolers or backpacks, with or without wheels, larger than 24” x 15” x 18” (61cm x 38cm x 46cm) in size.

The other change was that you could only go through the lines 4 times each day; our credentials had tabs and each tab entitled you to two trades at the board.

Tabs on the Credentials
My event credentials; tabs for the pin trading board lines are on the sides.

The idea behind this was it would reduce the number of people in the lines and thus reduce the wait times to get to the boards. Guess what - it didn't work.

And I think the other change that many were disappointed with was the removal of the Sunday portion of the event that had been designated as the Vinylmation Trade Event. There are still a lot of us out there who want to trade Vinylmations!

Carrie and I decided that we would leave about 5 p.m. and head back over to the Beach Club and try our luck at getting into Beaches & Cream for dinner. We were successful and as an added bonus I got to sit with some good friends that I hadn't seen in a while. It was great having some time to visit with Georgie and Joe.

Banana Split

After a very good dinner, and a shared banana split, we went back to the room.

Friday Sept 11th
We hit the ground running; it was time to get in line. The next 2 days would consist of standing in lines and it started outside of EPCOT at 7:30 a.m. for us.

Outside the International Gateway
Lined up outside the International Gateway.

The sniffer dog
Rowdy, the security dog, at work sniffing our pin bags.

This year there were no troubles or communication breakdowns; the cast members and security were ready for us. We got through security by 7:50 a.m. and got in line for our breakfast that started at 8:30 a.m.

Lined up for breakfast
The line for breakfast.

We had been given special orange lanyards to wear so that we could be easily identified as paid breakfast attendees and when they opened the doors we were able to just march right in.

The breakfast allows you to enter the event 1 ½ hours early and it sells out almost instantly.

Breakfast fare
Breakfast in World ShowPlace.

Breakfast fare

It isn't about the food, although it was pretty good this year, it’s about getting in line for the pin boards that extra hour and a half with fewer people. I was able to get through 2 lines before the doors opened to the rest of the guests. You also did not have to use any of your tabs during the breakfast.

Another change this year was the event pins that are usually on the boards; this year everyone received a full set at registration, so there was no need to hunt for them.

Event pins
It was a relief that we didn't have to search the boards for these pins!

This was a good change for me; it allowed me to focus on other pins on the boards instead of just looking for the event pins. I was able to get some really nice limited edition pins for my collection. There were lots of Artist Proof pins and Pre-Production pins as well.

The day consisted of standing in line, taking a break for lunch at Rose & Crown and then standing in line again. There was a box lunch option that could be ordered at registration, but I like to leave the building for an hour.

The hall was nicely decorated
This is a sample of the decor in World Showplace.

GenEARation D Oswald pin
This is the pin that mirrors the decor pictured above!

Each line’s wait for the board averaged 1 ½ hours. I also did a bit of trading in the back room. While we were in line, at 11 a.m., Jeanne Lewis and Erin Cantalano took the stage to talk us through a presentation featuring the up and coming pins for 2016.

Jeanne Lewis and Erin Cantalano
Jeanne and Erin

This is always an exciting presentation as we get to see our favourite characters up on the big screen, displayed in a new pin.

New pins

New pins

This is also when they announce the theme for the next year’s event and for 2016 it will be “Pixar Party - It's a Celebration.”

Pixar Party - It's a Celebration

We left the event at 6 p.m. and walked back to the Beach Club where we dropped off our bags and then hopped in the car. We had dinner at Sweet Tomatoes then made a quick stop at D-Street so that I could pick up the Halloween Eachez Vinylmation. I bought 2 and got one of each. Successful mission! Then it was back to the room; we were both ready for bed.

Saturday Sept 12th
We didn't have to get up quite so early! We left the room at 8:30, got in line for the security check and then entered EPCOT to get in the line for the event that opened at 9:30 a.m.

Another sniffer dog
Rowdy at work again.

As soon as we got through the door we went directly to a line. After we got though the first line we wandered around looking at the displays and silent auction items.

The displays this year were Pin Trading Disney Parks, Pin Trading Disneyland Paris and Pin Trading Disney Hollywood Soda Fountain. Each of the groups had displays set up that included upcoming pins for the remainder of 2015 and into 2016.

Disneyland Paris Pin Display
The Disneyland Paris display.

The silent auction items are amazing and include framed sets of Artist Proof and Pre-Production pins.

Auction items
Items for the Silent Auction.

A framed pin set
A Framed Pin Set in the Silent Auction.

When the winners are announced they do not divulge the winning bid but I know several of them were in the thousands of dollars range.

Pin signing

Pin Artists
The Pin Artists were on hand to sign their pins!

After our little tour of the rooms we got back in line for one more trade off the boards before we went to lunch at the Rose & Crown. While we were in line we did some trading, by this time of the day everyone has some very nice pins from the boards and you can easily trade for pins that you want for your collection. I was able to complete the Mystery Box Alphabet series.


As I mentioned earlier, the final GenEARation D pin was available through the RSP process and the first pin of next years Pixar Party - It’s a Celebration event was also available by RSP. I was able to purchase one Olaf pin and one Pixar pin, so I completed my GenEARation D series and started the next year’s series.


Here is another example of the decor.

GenEARation D Passholder pin
And here is the corresponding pin.

More decor.

GenEARation D Figment pin
And another matching pin.

We spent the rest of the afternoon using our final 2 tabs for the trade boards and visiting and talking with friends. We also picked up our exit gift. We thought about leaving once our tabs were used but there was a draw for some grand prize's and the you had to be present to win. Neither of us won but our good friend John Rick did so we were very excited for him.

The Trading Room
The Trading room.

We walked back to the Beach Club and dropped our bags off; neither one of us wanted to go anywhere in the car so we walked back to EPCOT and had a delicious dinner in France at the Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie. We then walked over to Mouse Gear and the Art of Animation before returning to the room.

Sunday Sept 13th
In previous years the event has always carried over to the Sunday however this year there was nothing. That's where our good friends Janis Lavender and John Rick from Central Jersey Disney Pin Traders stepped in; they organized a pin meet at the Yacht Club Convention Center. It started at noon so after a leisurely morning of coffee and pastries we walked over with our trade bags. We spent a fun couple of hours wandering around looking at pins, chatting and trading. I was able to make some good trades. We left about 3 p.m. and walked back to our room to drop off our bags. We had decided to go to the Polynesian Resort for dinner at Kona Café; we were able to get a 5 p.m. reservation.

After an excellent meal and a huge portion of 'Ohana bread pudding we hopped on the monorail and went to the Magic Kingdom. We wandered down Main Street but it was so hot that we decided to go into Philharmagic to watch the show and cool down. When we came out it wasn't any cooler; we decided it was just too uncomfortable so we got back on the monorail and got off at the Contemporary Resort to wander through the shops. Then it was back on the monorail to the Polynesian Resort and to the car. It felt good to be back in the room and out of the heat, plus we had to pack for the trip home the next day.

Monday Sept 14th
After my coffee I walked my bags over to the airline check in desk, checked my luggage and got my boarding pass. I went back to the room to meet Carrie and we gathered up our carry-ons and headed to the car. We drove over to Animal Kingdom and met our friends Susan and Allison at the entrance to The Festival of the Lion King.

Animal Kingdom

After the show we walked over to Yak & Yeti and had a late lunch before heading off to the airport.

Both of our flights were on time, Carrie's to Toronto and mine to Syracuse. Home we went, another successful event behind us. Can't wait to do it again!

October 11, 2015

Epcot Food & Wine Festivals Gone By

Gary Cruise banner

I'd like to begin this blog by explaining to you that Carol and I are neither gourmets nor epicures! We are simple “meat and potatoes” people. In fact, for a long time we avoided the Food & Wine Festival for that very reason. Neither of us enjoys wine and our impression of the festival was that you ate overpriced little samples of exotic foods paired with wines that we knew we wouldn’t enjoy.

Festival Logo 2014

Many of our friends assured us that we would enjoy the food, even if we didn’t drink wine, so we finally decided to give it a try.

Festival Logo 2012

On November 3, 2009 we picked up a little gift card on a coiled bracelet which fits handily on your wrist so it can be swiped at each food kiosk.

Gift Cards

We loaded it with a $75 credit and very warily began our culinary experiment!

The "International Marketplaces" are scattered around the promenade that rings the World Showcase Lagoon. As you approach each of the Marketplaces the menu is prominently displayed.

Australia Menu

After selecting what you would like to sample, you queue up for the cashiers who are located beside the kiosk. They take your order and scan your gift card; "CA-CHING". These days you can also pay with your MagicBand.

After paying you move on to the kiosk where your order will be ready quick as a wink!

Australia Marketplace

Our trek around World Showcase took us in a clockwise direction and we ordered one or two items from each kiosk to share between us.

Taste Your Way Around The World

We started with a Shrimp Stew with Coconut and Lime from the Brazil Marketplace; it was excellent. Then we tried a Grilled Beef Skewer with Chimichurri and Boniato Puree from Argentina; excellent as well. Next came a Corn Tortilla with Chipolte Chicken from Mexico; I liked it but Carol wasn’t thrilled with the refried beans on it.


Terra Menu

We stopped at Spain and enjoyed a tasty Crème Catalana, similar to Crème Caramel.

From Poland we ordered Kielbasa and Potato Pierogie with Caramelized Onions and Sour Cream.

Poland Marketplace

Poland Menu

Poland Kielbasa and Potato Pierogie

Mmm, Mmm good!

The Pork Pot Stickers from China were excellent but the Rice and Lentil Crepe with Potato and Onion Filling from the India Marketplace didn’t suit our palate; after a quick taste it was immediately tossed in the trash!

We sampled the Chicken and Coconut Soup with Mushrooms from Thailand and really enjoyed it.

German Food 2012

By the time we finished our Nuernberger Sausage on a Pretzel Roll from Germany we were getting full, so we topped it all off with a divine Bread Pudding from New Orleans and decided to head back to Fort Wilderness, the dogs needed to eat too!.

We had both enjoyed a wonderful lunch and there was still a $34.25 credit on the gift card so we decided that we would head back and use it up at dinner time!

When we returned we picked up our journey around World Showcase right where we left off at lunch. Our first stop was Puerto Rico where we shared Chicken with Rice, quite good!

Puerto Rico Marketplace

Puerto Rico Menu

We walked on to Greece where we ordered the Greek Salad with Pita Bread, the Spanakopita and the Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki. I liked them all but Carol wasn’t fussy about the Spanakopita. We stopped to watch a bit of the Off Kilter set beside Canada and then moved on toward England where we shared an order of Seared Scallops from New Zealand. They were OK, not great but OK.

Then came Ireland where I had the Lobster & Scallop Fisherman’s Pie and Carol had the Warm Chocolate Lava Cake with Bailey’s Ganache. Both were excellent! Once again our last stop was New Orleans for bread pudding. Terrific! We were both stuffed again and there was still $2.00 left on the card . . . so Carol bought some popcorn and a drink.

Think about that folks, two excellent lunches and two equally good dinners for $73.00! If we had eaten at any combination of table service restaurants we would have paid more; so not only was it great food, it was great value too!

Belgium Marketplace

Belgium Menu

Belgian Waffle

Since 2009 we have returned to the Food & Wine Festival every year except 2011, we missed the opening of the festival by just a few days that year!

There are more than 30 food and drink Marketplaces scattered around World Showcase during the festival which typically runs from late September to mid November.

Italy Marketplace

Italy Menu

We’ve developed a nice routine; we read the menu when we arrive at each Marketplace and decide what we’d like to sample. Then Carol hops in line to buy our selections while I snap photos of the menu and the kiosk. By the time she has picked up the food I have normally found a spot at a nearby table and we settle for a few minutes to enjoy our little nibbles.

Food 2012

Food 2012

Note: There are more diners than there are tables, but most folks are happy to share table space. There have been many times, while Carol was still in line and I was standing alone at a table, that I noticed another couple or a small group with their hands full of food looking for a spot to eat it. I always wave them over and offer to share our table. Many times other folks have invited Carol and I to join them and we’ve had some interesting conversations with some total strangers! Don’t be afraid to share!

Sharing a Table

Our typical Food & Wine experience extends over a few days; we start our lunch at one side of the World Showcase Lagoon and eat until we’re full. Then we come back a few days later and pick up where we left off. The last couple of years it has taken us three days to complete the circuit and we have spent about $100 over the three days. That’s six quality lunches for a hundred dollars . . . we would have spent that much if we’d eaten nothing but burgers and fries!

So we’ve been converted . . . even though we’re not wine-drinkers, we really enjoy the festival! In fact, Carol found a beer she actually enjoyed! She has never been able to acquire a taste for beer, but we had heard good things about Schöfferhofer Grapefruit Beer from the Brewer's Collection kiosk.


In 2014 I picked up a Schöfferhofer to wash down my bratwurst from Germany. After drinking more than her share of it, Carol announced that it was the only beer she ever enjoyed!

Our favourite dish? For Carol it’s Boeuf Bourguignon from France, braised short ribs in cabernet with mashed potatoes.

France Marketplace

France Menu

My perennial “fave” is from Ireland, the Lobster and Seafood Fisherman's Pie.

Of course, there’s more than food involved. During the festival the America Gardens Theatre is home to the “Eat to the Beat” concert series. There’s always a terrific line-up of performing artists for these free nightly concerts. The 2015 schedule includes Wilson Phillips, Christopher Cross, Starship with Mickey Thomas, The Pointer Sisters, Rick Springfield, Air Supply and many, many more!

Eat To The Beat - The Pointer Sisters

Eat to the Beat schedule

There really is something for everyone at the Food & Wine Festival. If you are a oenophile you can find many of the wines offered at the International Marketplaces on sale at the Festival Welcome Center Merchandise Shops. The Welcome Center (formerly the Wonders of Life Pavilion) is located in Future World between Mission: SPACE and Universe of Energy and hosts many seminars and demonstrations including Wine & Beverage seminars, Culinary demonstrations, Mixology seminars, Cheese seminars, etc., etc.

Festival Welcome Center

Every Friday and Sunday there are plated brunches hosted by renowned chefs and Saturday nights you can enjoy the ultimate Food & Wine Festival experience, the Party for the Senses. Guests start the evening with reserved seating at the Eat to the Beat Concert, then head to an exclusive party held in the World ShowPlace Events Pavilion between Canada and the United Kingdom.

Party For The Senses

This elegant party is perfect for foodies who can sample great food from famous chefs, taste 50 wines and beers and enjoy live entertainment.

Party For The Senses

Party For The Senses

For compulsive collectors like Carol there’s a Marketplace Discovery Passport available every year. It lists the Marketplaces, in the same order that you find them as you travel around World Showcase in a clockwise direction, and gives a brief description of what’s available at each location.

Marketplace Discovery Passport

There is a box beside every menu item where you can tick off what you sampled, and a larger box where the cast members in the kiosk will stamp your “passport.” How could a collector possibly resist something like that? It’s also pretty handy for a blogger who’s trying to remember what he had for lunch on a particular Tuesday about six years ago!

Even the youngest gourmands can enjoy the festival by participating in “Remy's Ratatouille Hide & Squeak Scavenger Hunt”. Kids can search for little Remy statuettes with maps, stickers and prizes.

So if you’ve been holding back from the annual EPCOT Food & Wine Festival, take my advice and give it a try! I think you’ll like it!

To find out more about the festival follow these links.

AllEars.net pages with detailed information can be found HERE

There are also AllEars.net blogs about the “Sneak Preview” for the 2015 event.
Part 1 is HERE . . . . Part 2 is HERE

For the menus and prices at the 2015 Marketplaces look HERE

AllEars.net even has some great tips to help you plan your Food & Wine adventure HERE

The official Disney festival information is HERE

Maybe Carol and I will bump into you one of these years as we “Taste Our Way Around The World.”

See you then!

October 18, 2015

Mid-Month Mousy Mindboggler - October 2015



If you subscribe to the AllEars® Weekly Newsletter, you'll know that we run a little game called the Mousy Mindboggler. Sometimes it's a word game, sometimes it's a riddle, sometimes it's some other brain-teasing challenge -- but it's always fun!

Once each month, in the AllEars® Bits and Bites issue, our friend James Dezern (known as "dzneynut" around several Disney discussion forums) supplies us with a puzzle of his own design.

Around the middle of each month, James Shares the Magic in another way -- by posting an all-new puzzle here in this AllEars.Net Guest Blog. The subject of the puzzle will vary, and James will award the winner of the challenge a collectible Disney pin!

This month, James writes:

I was very happy to receive 50 correct responses to the September Mid-Month Mousy Mindboggler!

Here are the answers to last month’s photo quiz:
Photo 1: Haunted Mansion
Photo 2: Enchanted Tiki Room
Photo 3: Pirates of the Caribbean
Photo 4: Country Bear Jamboree

As far as what they have in common: Each of these attractions featured the exquisite voice talents of Thurl Ravenscroft. The clue, “That’s Grrreat!” in quotes was to let you know I was thinking about something spoken, like this famous slogan by Tony the Tiger, the mascot for Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes, which was popularized for many years by Thurl Ravenscroft. Thurl’s voice can be heard in the Haunted Mansion in the graveyard scene; he is the singing broken bust of Uncle Theodore (no, that's not Walt Disney). In the Enchanted Tiki Room, he provides the voice of Fritz, the animatronic parrot. In the Country Bear Jamboree, the voice of the lovable bison head named Buff was provided by Thurl. You can also hear his voice as some of the many pirates in the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction. In an unrelated note, he could also be heard on the Disneyland Railroad in the 1990s.

I also received many ‘incorrect' responses; not necessarily wrong answers, just not what I was going for!

The winner of a Jasmine pin, randomly drawn from the correct responses, was Thomas B. of Darien, IL. Thanks everyone for playing!

If you missed it last month, don't worry -- Here’s another chance!

Continuing with the photo quiz with a twist idea, I’m going to show you a few cropped pictures from Walt Disney World.

You need to first identify the attraction, shop or restaurant where these pictures were taken. Don’t worry about exact location, just generally identify the location, such as "the Great Movie Ride in Disney's Hollywood Studios."

Next is the ACTUAL answer that I’m looking for!

Tell me what these images have in common that is unique to these attractions. Note: It will not be something obvious, like "they are all located in the Magic Kingdom." I’m hoping to make these challenging! And don't forget to look for my hint!

OK, if everybody is neat and pretty, let’s begin!









So, what do they have in common that was specific to these attractions?

HINT: This may be a little more challenging, so the hint will be even more important!

There were 23 of these!

The object is, as always, to have fun, but if you'd like a chance to win a Disney collectible pin, send me the answer -- that is, what these images have in common -- IN THE SUBJECT LINE OF AN EMAIL addressed to dzneynut.puzzle@gmail.com.

NOTE: Please don't reply to this blog with your answers! If you want a chance at winning the pin, you MUST submit your answer to the email address.

Send your entries no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on November 17, 2015. All correct answers will be entered into a random drawing, and the winner will be awarded a Disney pin. The answers and drawing winner will be posted in this Guest Blog in mid-October.

As always, any feedback on the puzzle format or topics would be appreciated! Drop me a line at dzneynut.puzzle@gmail.com.


October 25, 2015

From the Tickle Trunk – Disney Recipes

Gary Cruise banner

I was looking for a topic for a new blog; nothing was coming to mind so I took another exploratory trip through Carol’s trusty old Tickle Trunk. What do you suppose I found?

Six old Disney Magazine articles featuring some fabulous Disney recipes! The series of articles spans a year and a half, from Winter 2003 to Spring 2005 and contains the recipes most requested by magazine readers!

Have a look at the pages below; some of your favourite Disney dishes are sure to be there!

Here’s the Winter 2003 Issue which features:

1. Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup – from Le Cellier Steakhouse, EPCOT
2. Caramel French Toast – from Storyteller’s Café, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel
3. Frunch – from Boma, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
4. Cheese Pizza – from Gasparilla Grill & Games, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
5. Monte Cristo Sandwich – Blue Bayou Restaurant, Disneyland

Click on each of the pages to see a larger, more readable version. You’ll want to write some of these down!

Disney Magazine Winter 2003  pg 71

Disney Magazine Winter 2003 pg 72

Disney Magazine Winter 2003 pg 73

Yes, the article is a bit dated and many things have changed in the past decade. Garsparilla Grill & Games is now known as Gasparilla Island Grill, but they still serve that great cheese pizza! The Blue Bayou no longer serves the Monte Cristo Sandwich, but just a few months ago I had one just like it at Café Orleans which is right next door to the Blue Bayou. It was yummy, as always!

The Spring 2004 Issue tells how you can make:

1. Caesar Dressing – Concourse Steakhouse, Contemporary Resort
2. Breakfast Lasagna - Crystal Palace, Magic Kingdom
3. Tomato-Basil Sauce – Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port, Disneyland
4. Honey Coriander Chicken Wings – ‘Ohana, Polynesian Resort
5. Rice Cream – Restaurant Akershus, EPCOT

Disney Magazine Spring 2004 pg 71

Disney Magazine Spring 2004 pg 72

Disney Magazine Spring 2004 pg 73

Hmmmm . . . breakfast lasagna! That reminds me, it’s time we went back to The Crystal Palace for breakfast. It’s a tasty dish and not at all like the name suggests. It’s a deliciously fruity “bread-pudding-like” dish; a sweet treat to get your day started!

The Summer 2004 Issue gives instructions for:

1. Kate’s Coyote Grilled Chicken - Whispering Canyon Café, Wilderness Lodge
2. Butterscotch Crème Brûlée with Almond Biscotti – California Grill, Contemporary Resort
3. Ginger Dressing – Mitsukoshi Teppanyaki Dining Room, EPCOT
4. Goofy’s Peanut Butter and Jelly Pizza – Goofy’s Kitchen, Disneyland
5. Stuffed French Toast – Cinderella’s Royal Table, Magic Kingdom

Disney Magazine Summer 2004 pg 74

Disney Magazine Summer 2004 pg 76

Disney Magazine Summer 2004 pg 77

Would it surprise you to hear that I’ve sampled Goofy’s Peanut Butter and Jelly Pizza? It’s served on the breakfast buffet and I just had to try it! It’s very rich, oh-so gooey, and just as childishly delicious as it sounds!

I've never sampled that Stuffed French Toast, but it sounds delicious. If it's similar to the Tonga Toast at Kona Café I may have to endure some princesses and give it a try!

Wow, I think I’ve gained a few pounds just writing this blog, so I’m going to leave it there for now!

There are three more articles and lots more recipes to go. I’ll include them all in Part II of this blog in just a few weeks.

If you can’t wait that long, or if you have a favourite Disney dish you’re wishing you had the recipe for, check out the AllEars.net recipe page HERE!

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About October 2015

This page contains all entries posted to All Ears® Guest Blog in October 2015. They are listed from oldest to newest.

September 2015 is the previous archive.

November 2015 is the next archive.

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