Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Foodie Guide

Food Guide created by Noelle Schreiber

The 2021 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival has officially begun! Guests at Epcot can enjoy this exciting festival taking place from July 15 through November 20. The Food & Wine Festival takes Guests on a culinary tour through 6 continents and also offers fun activities and entertainment.

Global marketplaces located around World Showcase offer the opportunity to enjoy an irresistible selection of gourmet plates and unique beverages. As you indulge in flavors from around the world, you can also treat your senses to fresh sounds and toe-tapping tunes from the live performers around the World Showcase. Guests of all ages can embark on a Ratatouille-inspired adventure that’s très magnifique as they search for Remy on a savory scavenger hunt around the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Cheese lovers can’t miss Emile’s Fromage Montage,  where you can sample a variety of delicious cheeses served in inventive ways. Whatever you choose to enjoy, the Food & Wine Festival is sure to add some fun and flavor to your Walt Disney World vacation!

Click the image below to view our Foodie Guide to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want to taste some of these incredible gourmet delights for yourself? It’s not too late to start planning your Walt Disney World vacation for the Epcot Food & Wine Festival 2021. Contact your Wish Upon a Star with Us Vacation Planner or fill out the form on our contact page to get started!

Taste of Epcot® International Flower and Garden Festival Foodie Guide

Taste of Epcot® International Flower and Garden Festival

Food Guide created by Noelle Schreiber 

It may still be a bit chilly outside now, but a hint of spring is in the air as EPCOT prepares for the Taste of EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival. This beloved festival returns to EPCOT on March 3, 2021 and will continue through July 5, 2021. From garden-fresh cuisines, creative gardens and unforgettable topiaries, this vibrant festival combines the freshest flowers and flavors from around the world.

If you’re planning a visit during this exciting festival, be sure to set aside time to explore and admire the extraordinary character topiaries. Plus, a kaleidoscope of bright blooms and floating gardens scattered throughout EPCOT will make the perfect backdrop for photos.

And of course, a major highlight of this exciting festival is the arrival of 20 festival-exclusive Outdoor Kitchens to the park! A smorgasbord of flavors and beverages await throughout World Showcase as you explore flavors of Spring from around the world. Discover creative cuisine featuring the season’s
freshest flavors, bringing the garden to your table. Be sure to check out our Foodie Guide below to see all the sweet and savory bites as well as refreshing sips that await you during your visit to the Taste of Epcot® International Flower and Garden Festival!

Click the image below for the Taste of Epcot® International Flower and Garden Festival Foodie Guide:

 

Want to taste some of these incredible flavors for yourself this Spring? It’s not too late to start planning your Walt Disney World vacation to experience this exciting festival. Contact your Wish Upon a Star with Us Vacation Planner or fill out the form on our contact page to get started!

Guide to Valentine’s Day at Walt Disney World

Guides created by Noelle Schreiber 

Valentine’s Day is the season of love, and there’s plenty to love at Walt Disney World this time of year!

Check out our foodie guide for all of the special seasonal treats that will be popping up around the Walt Disney World Resort during the next month. If you’re visiting Walt Disney World soon, then you’ll definitely want to check out some of these delightful treats!

Click the image below to see the full Valentine’s Day Foodie Guide:

Shopping more your style? Love is in the air at Disney Springs! Be sure to check out our guide below to see all of the Sweet Finds and special seasonal offerings at Disney Springs.

Click the image below to see the full Sweet Finds for Valentine’s Day Guide:

It’s not too late to start planning your Walt Disney World vacation. Contact your Wish Upon a Star with Us Vacation Planner or fill out the form on our contact page to get started!

Taste of Epcot International Festival of the Arts (with Culinary Guide)

Festival of the Arts

The Epcot International Festival of the Arts has once again returned to Walt Disney World! This exciting festival will take place January 8 – February 22, 2021. Since 2017, this annual event has provided guests the opportunity to celebrate visual arts, performing arts and culinary arts through a variety of experiences! Explore your creative side and immerse in the arts with artsy activities that are fun for every member of the family.

Taste of Epcot International Festival of the Arts Decadent Delights Palette Cookie

Visual Arts

Learn how to draw in Animation Acadamy or leave your mark on the hands on wall mural. Also keep an eye out for artful photo ops and interactive experiences. Take the oportunity to bring some art home with you as well!

Taste of Epcot International Festival of the Arts

Performing Arts

Catch captivating performances everywhere you turn! Enjoy live art
performances! Listen to the Voices of Liberty sing a new songbook and amaze at Art Defying Gravity.

Culinary Arts

Art critics and gourmands alike can enjoy a feast for the eyes as well as the palate! Explore a world where food imitates art as the epicurean elite converge to create mouthwatering magic that rivals the masters.

Click the image below to view a Taste of Epcot® International Festival of the Arts Culinary Guide

Food Guide created by Noelle Schreiber

Want to taste some of these incredible treats for yourself? It’s not too late to start planning your Walt Disney World vacation. Contact your Wish Upon a Star with Us Vacation Planner or fill out the form on our contact page to get started!

Walt Disney World Holiday Food Guide

Foodie Guide to the Holidays

Food Guides created by Noelle Schreiber 

The holiday season at the Walt Disney World Resort officially started this week, and we are so excited about all the magical experiences happening around the theme parks and resorts this year!

From Nov. 6 through Dec. 30, guests can enjoy special cavalcades, seasonal décor, themed merchandise, delicious treats, characters donning their holiday best and so much more. Then, beginning on November 27, EPCOT will join in the festivities with the arrival of the Taste of Epcot® International Festival of the Holidays which will feature live entertainment, holiday kitchens, the Holiday Cookie Stroll and more.

As one of our resident ‘foodies’, Travel Specialist Noelle has created guides to the Holiday Snacks available in all four theme parks, as well as a guide to the Taste of Epcot® International Festival of the Holidays! We hope this gets you in the spirit of the season and excited to try some of these enticing holiday treats.

Here are some of the things on Noelle’s “To-Eat” list this holiday season:

❄️Sweet Potato Casserole Funnel Cake topped with Marshmallow Topping, Cinnamon-Sugar, Honey-roasted Pecans and a Caramel Drizzle

❄️Warm Brown Sugar-stuffed Pretzel with Soft-serve Ice Cream and Chocolate Sauce

❄️Salted Caramel Spaceship Earth® Cookie

Click the image below for the Holiday Snacks Guide:

Click the image below for the Taste of Epcot® International Festival of the Holidays Foodie Guide:

 

Want to taste some of these incredible treats for yourself this holiday season? It’s not too late to start planning your Walt Disney World vacation for this holiday season. Contact your Wish Upon a Star with Us Vacation Planner or fill out the form on our contact page to get started!

Toledo – Tapas, Steak & Seafood

written by Crystal Boston, Travel Specialist

During the holidays I had the opportunity to experience the newest dining experience on property – Toledo – Tapas, Steak & Seafood at Gran Destino Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.


Toledo – Tapas, Steak & Seafood opened July 2019 and has been a hit from opening day! The new Gran Destino Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort is quite amazing, feeling more like a Deluxe Disney property than a Moderate resort.

This unique rooftop dining experience is just one of three new options at Gran Destino Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort offering both food and beverage, with Toledo and Dahlia Lounge offering spectacular views as well!

The menu choices are inspired by the flavors of Spain and include tapas, steaks and seafood created in the on-stage tapas kitchen.

The atmosphere and experience was amazing and the service top notch! The food presentation was impeccable and everything was prepared to perfection!


We started our meal with an order of Tronchón Cheese Gratinado from the Cazuelas (Spanish for cooking pot) menu. This was essentially a cheese bread with tupelo honey and lavender, it was very flavorful and you could smell and taste the lavender.

Our entrées included Scallops (fava hummus, olives, harissa vinaigrette, roasted carrots, yogurt powder), Manhattan Filet (olive oil-potato purée, grilled onions, dates, sherry vinaigrette) and the Red Wine-braised Chicken (grapes, sherry vinegar, roasted tomato ‘bomba’ rice). In addition, we ordered the Roasted Cauliflower and Olive Oil-Potato Purée as sides to share.
My only critique was regarding the descriptions and recommendations from our server – – – my husband and I ended up switching plates once our food arrived because our server was not accurate with his information.


I would definitely recommend the Manhattan Filet (which is what I ended up eating) and feel that the Red Wine-braised Chicken is a heavier meal (which my husband ended up eating). And, definitely order the Roasted Cauliflower side dish – I am not a fan of cauliflower but this dish was amazing!

If you aren’t looking for a table service dining experience, but have the time, I highly recommend simply going to this new resort on property to check it out – the new lobby, Barcelona Lounge, Dahlia Lounge and Three Bridges Bar & Grill all offer amazing experiences and the feel of a Deluxe resort. And, yes, I have experienced and enjoyed it all!!

I am in LOVE with the lobby area – the lighted panels randomly change colors and the tables all have charging ports!
Barcelona Lounge
Three Bridges Bar & Grill

Let your Wish Upon A Star With Us Travel Agent know that you would like to experience Gran Destino Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort during your next Walt Disney World vacation!

Storybook Dining at Artist Point with Snow White

Snow White

written by Crystal Boston, Travel Specialist

I recently experienced the new Storybook Dining at Artist Point with Snow White at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, which opened December 16, 2018.

If you have eaten at Artist Point previously, you will notice a few changes… First, the check-in host is now located at the bottom of the ramp before you get to Territory Lounge.

And, while the layout of the restaurant has not changed much, there are new “rustic” features, inspired by the Disney film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, creating an Enchanted Forest.


If you have dined at Artist Point in the past, the menu cover will be familiar but the menu selections and experience have changed.

This is now a prix fixe dinner and Snow White, along with Dopey and Grumpy and the Wicked Queen, make appearances for meet & greets as well as song and dance performances.

For this prix fixe dining experience, you will have shared appetizers for the table. However, they bring enough for each Guest to have their own “small plate”. My favorite was the Wicked Shrimp Cocktail (center photo).

For your entrée, you will choose individually from the menu selections. With our group of 6 we ordered Magic Mirror Slow-braised Veal Shank, Royal Prime Rib Roast and Brother’s Grimm Roasted Chicken. Of these, I had the veal, which was DELICIOUS – I requested the Roasted Brussels Sprouts instead of the Wilted Winter Greens and they went very well with my veal and Celery Root Mashed – a great side to steak or chicken, tastier than mashed potatoes with half the carbs – it tasted a lot like mashed cauliflower and was delicious and light, perfect with my veal. As with all Disney dining experiences, there are also children’s selections on the menu.

And, for dessert, you have a shared experience again with plenty for everyone at the table. I love dessert but the “Poison” Apple was my favorite – I might have eaten two!

At the end of your meal your server will deliver a very special treat…
The Hunter’s Gift to the Queen – Crackled Maple Popcorn with Ganache Hearts – presented with white gloves in a royal treasure chest!

Even the adult beverages are themed! Our group enjoyed the Enchanted Apple (vodka martini) and Evil to the Core (berry margarita).

And, there is a PhotoPass Photographer on hand at the end of your meal to capture you with the Wicked Queen so be sure to purchase Memory Maker with your resort package! It’s a fun but challenging Photo opp – you want to smile for a photo but you also want to follow character with the Queen…

This is a fun character dining experience. If you are a Snow White or Wicked Queen fan, or you just love those cute Dwarfs, be sure to make a reservation for your next Disney vacation! Advance reservations are a must (they were turning Guests away when we checked in for our reservation) and are currently available via your My Disney Experience account and some Dining Plans are accepted.

Please note: Disney Characters join guests for dinner only. Character appearances are subject to change. Menu items are subject to change.

Shared Photo and Video Credit with William Coleman

Ride Line Boredom Busters

written by Christina O’Neill, Travel Specialist

Don’t let the Ride lines at Walt Disney World get you down!!!  

We all associate Walt Disney World with fun character meets, yummy food,  family adventures, fun rides and of course, ride lines.  Pretty sure we enjoy all but the last!  Those ride lines don’t have to make everyone be like Grumpy!   There are ways to pass the time and keep everyone acting like Happy instead! Here’s a countdown of my family’s personal ride-line-coping-mechanisms!

10.  Open your My Disney Experience app and start making plans for what comes next.  Check out wait times, book your next FastPass, plan your next food stop, see what rides or shows are nearby, or parades and characters you might like to meet.  Get the whole family involved in the planning!

9.  Keep a secret stash of snacks and candy in your park bag reserved for lines only and take this time to open it up and thrill your kids. I keep a little tin of mints or gum, or small hard candies in my bag and only hand it out in ride lines.  Cheetos,too, which my kids never get, thanks to that messy orange powder!  The nice thing about this is it keeps my kids from groaning when we enter a long ride line, but rather they get a bit excited because they know it’s a chance for them to get a special treat.  Or if you know you’re about to enter a long wait, grab a cotton candy, Mickey bar, Mickey pretzel or other snack before heading in.  Food always helps pass the time.  

8.  Use your wait time to take silly selfies!  Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook all have fun filters to have fun while you wait.  Even better, post them to social media and let your kids watch peoples funny responses to their posts.  Or take pics of your favorite pair of ears while waiting and have your friends guess where your ears are on social media!  

7.  Look for Hidden Mickey’s while you’re just standing around! I guarantee you’ll find a few.  

6.  Take in the your surroundings while you’re looking for those Hidden Mickey’s!  The Imagineers are some of the most creative minds in the world and the tiniest little details they come up with and add to the attractions and around the park are always so amazing.  For example, the submarine in the rocks at Journey of The Little Mermaid, a nod to the extinct ride 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea.  Look down at the sidewalks in the lines for horse shoes, boot prints, jewels or the fabled engagement ring at Haunted Mansion. Speaking of Haunted Mansion, spend some time in line reading the tombstones!   They’re super fun.  Look for Madame Leota, she’s looking for you!  And Mr. Toad, too in the pet cemetery.  There is a chemical makeup detailed on pipes in Dinosaur.  Do you know what those ingredients actually make?  Or while you’re waiting in line for the Royal Carousel, be on the lookout for Cinderella’s horse, the one with a gold ribbon on her tail.  So many fun things to notice and see while you wait!

5.  Speaking of details, some of the rides around the parks have interactive queues.  These are always a big hits with kids and adults alike!  From the dripping honey or musical garden at Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh to the giant playground awaiting you in the Dumbo queue, there are some attractions whose lines are almost as entertaining as the ride itself.  Peter Pan, Space Mountain, Journey of the Little Mermaid, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Big Thunder Mountain, Frozen Ever After and Soarin’ all have interactive queues too.  Take advantage of the entertainment and use these fun queues!

4.  SING!  Just start belting out your favorite Disney tune!  I promise not only will your kids have fun, but you might just start a chorus when others fighting boredom join in too.  

3.  We like to play games during our wait times.  The Heads Up app is always a hit with my kids. You can play any sort of alphabet game, like naming things you see in order of the alphabet, characters that start with A, B, C, etc.  If you have any games you like to play to pass the time in the car, use them here too.  

2.  Checkout the new Disney Play app!  Disney introduced this super fun new feature the summer of 2018 and it is such a great little secret.  I see so many iPads being used in queues but the Play app allows everyone to participate.  You can play Disney trivia at anytime in the app, just pick your favorite land and get started with the trivia button.  The Play app unlocks games in certain rides that don’t activate until you have entered the Ride queue.  Some even allow you to play with others waiting in line.  There are ride playlists for great Disney music, rewards for using a fastpass or even getting in line, ride specific games.  It’s just all around fun throughout the park and good for everyone to play.  It’s nice to be able to use the electronics as a time-killer, but in a way that involves the whole family.  We LOVE this new Play app and just in the few months we’ve been using it have seen lots of new additions.  I hope it only continues to grow and just add more fun to our park days!  My daughter insists I keep it on my phone and she still plays music and trivia at home, while wishing to be back at Walt Disney World of course!

1.  Use this time to TALK to each other!!  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen whole families with everyone on a different screen, noses in the iPads and phones.  Ask about favorite rides, best experience of the day, what to do next, what do you think your friends are doing back home? Use this time to find out what your kids will remember the most from this trip.  Ask your spouse or whoever you are traveling with what has been their best moment.  And don’t stop there.  Get to know your line neighbors!  Maybe you’re from the same town.  Maybe you will learn something new about the parks, get a good tip, find out that a ride is down or that something has a really short line.  And take it even further!  Talk to the Cast Members!  We love love love to do this.  We always enjoy talking to the Cast Members.  And they enjoy being acknowledged as more than just the person checking your magic band!  We have had such fun conversations in the lines waiting for attractions.  I even once met a woman who had decided on an impromptu weekend road trip for her kids first Walt Disney World visit and basically showed up the day before with a new hotel reservation.  She hadn’t booked any fast passes or done any research.  She was so confused and we stood in line at Small World and booked all her fast passes for the weekend.  She was thrilled and we kept bumping in to them around the parks.  Make a new friend and have a little fun!

The ride lines don’t have to be the worst parts of your trip!  Find what works for your family and turn the waiting into a memory too!