Dining Reviews

Preview of Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic 2015, Including Food & Beers; Event to be Held October 30th – 31st

Hi everyone!

We are just a couple of days away from the 6th Annual Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic. This is an event we anticipate as fall draws near, our favorite foodie event of the season! This is our 5th year attending. We had a chance this year to preview some of the food and beverages, and are delighted to be able to share them with you. Tickets can be purchased here for the event, which runs from 5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. on Friday, October 30th, 2015 and Saturday, October 31st, 2015. For those who haven’t ever been, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic offers food samples from the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort restaurants, including Shula’s and Todd English’s bluezoo, along with the pop-up Cib’s Smokehouse. On the adult beverage side, there are plenty of wines and beers to try and a Beer Garden for additional beers and food items at an extra charge. I’m not sure if room packages are still available, but they are a very good value.

This is a look from last year at booths on the causeway. I do recommend arriving on time (or a few minutes early) and then staying until the end. The beginning and end are the least busy times.

Todd English will again be featured at the event. The Causeway ticket is $105.00, and the Causeway with Beer Garden is $125.00. Beverage seminars cost $45, and pairing seminars $60.00. Food, wine and beer samples are umlimited during that time.

Here is a look at our video from the event, then enjoy the 40+ photos with information following!

Shrimp Cocktailer Steamrollers from Todd English’s Bluezoo were being filled. This is at least the second year that this item has been featured, and it will be available Friday. One of the things I really like about the Classic is that menus are released months in advance. The planning on the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic begins about one month after the current event ends, just after Thanksgiving.

Here is a close-up on the Shrimp Cocktail Steamrollers.

One booth we never miss each year is Shula’s Steakhouse. No matter what the cut of meat, the flavor is outstanding. This year, Prime New York Strip comes with garlic mashed potatoes and bordelaise sauce.

Here is a look at the meat before it was carved.

While I needed a knife to cut it, the meat was quite tender and soft. The NY Strip will be available both Friday and Saturday nights.

Saturday night will offer the Smoked Wagyu Short Ribs from Cib’s Smokehouse. We were busy with photographs and video much of the time and I didn’t try this yet, but will on Saturday. It looks delicious!

The Mascarpone-Chestnut Ravioli is from Il Mullino, with Italian sausage, celery root and bacon jus. This is available on Saturday.

The flavor combination here is fantastic.

One of Jeff’s favorite items was the King Crab & Hickory Smoked Mozzarella Fritters from Cabana. This will be available on Friday.

Here is a close-up of it.

I somehow forgot to photograph the sign for this Southern Fried Chicken from Cib’s. This is available on Friday, and the chicken with the BBQ “gravy” is absolutely a favorite of mine. Not only that, but there is a tiny little carrot accompaniment, it almost looks like a garnish. If I hadn’t tried it, I would have missed out on one of my favorite parts of this dish. The carrot is pickled, and has a flavor almost like ginger. With the dishes at the Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic, each little detail is thought of.

New this year is Carnival Corner for both nights, which will include Nitro Kettle Corn, Corn Dogs and Funnel Cakes. I’ve had nitrogent infused popcorn once before, and it was too sweet of a dish for me. But the kettle corn here is neither too salty or sweet – just a hint of each. The popcorn is very cold, and an excellent snack.

Nitrogen is poured into the popcorn.

Immediately after it is poured, the popcorn is served!

Funnel Cakes are up next, including a mixed berry compote; apricot compote; pineapple compote or Nutella.

The funnel cakes are individually sized, which is perfect considering how much food there is at the event.

We chose the Nutella, but apricot sounds wonderful too.

Here is a look at the toppings.

DJ’s Brew Hub is the Beer Garden name this year. It is an additional charge, but it offers extra beer and food items.

The Wiener Schnitzel was a favorite of mine last year, with German style potato salad.

Here is a look at the Wiener Schnitzel portion. The potato salad is excellent.

Handcrafted German Style Sausage includes braised cabbage on Laugen bread.

Here is a look at the sausage.

Last year, Phins and Feathers debuted as the Swan and Dolphin’s craft beer. Shipyard Brewing Company brews it for the resort, and this year two Phins and Feathers beers are part of the Beer Garden. Oktoberfest can currently be purchased at the resort, but the other beer – an ale – will be up next for the holiday season.

Phins and Feathers.

These beers are a combination of causeway and Beer Garden beers. Beer has become much more popular over the past few years, not only at the Classic, but in general. While I’m not showing wine today, there will be plenty of that as well.

Kentucky Pumpkin Barrel Ale is on the causeway.

Cigar City Tocobaga is on the causeway on Friday.

Founders All Day IPA is also Friday on the causeway. And most breweries bring more than one beer style (Founders is bringing three).

Save room for dessert! This is a Friday offering, Eclair with carmelized banana cream and coconut streusel. This dessert was a favorite at our table.

This is the Lime Panna Cotta, and is a Saturday offering.

The desserts are always so creative!

This will be served Friday, the Rasberry and Dark Chocolate Fondant Cake with raspberry mousse. It honestly looked too pretty to eat (and yet we did anyway).

Executive Pastry Chef Laurent Branlard and his team created this beautiful Florida-inspired display. It is all made of sugar (not the case, of course!) We were told it is encased so it can be used indefinitely inside the resort, otherwise the humidty would break it down quickly.

Chef Laurent and his team also created the fabulous chocolate Santa display that guests can enjoy visiting each holiday season. It is always impressive to see the latest concoction, and I still can’t believe that this is all sugar!

We’ve never attended a seminar and don’t have time available to do so this year. But I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews from those who have attended. Hopefully next year for us.

We tried the Piper Heidsiech at a dinner a few years back, and it made a memorable impression. Look for this in the From Base to Bubbles class if you attend.

And don’t forgot to stop and say hi to Chef Todd English while there! We have photos with him over several years.

Here is a photo from the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin showing what the event looks like from high above.

We are looking forward to attending for the 5th time!

Full disclosure: We were invited to attend the media preview and the event this year. All views are ours.