Denise's Corner

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic Preview as Event Returns for 9th Year October 26th – 28th, 2018

Hi everyone!

We were invited to a preview of the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic last week, which is one of my favorite events of the year – certainly my favorite foodie event. We’ve only missed one year so far and this is the ninth year it has been put on. While I’ve always hoped there would be a second weekend added, the Swan and Dolphin now packs SO much into one weekend. There are two nights of the causeway and seminars, followed by a Sunday Bubbles Brunch at Il Mulino.

The seminars here are fantastic and I will talk more about them later. But before diving into the preview (thank you to Leah Emmanouilidis from Our Florida Project for covering this while we were out of town), I’m going to say that one of the best things about going to the event is trying foods from some of the Swan and Dolphin’s top restaurants – Shula’s Steakhouse, Todd English’s bluezoo and Kimonos are just a few of the highly regarded restaurants serving up samples. Then add wine, beer, a variety of other food samples and entertainment and it’s really a night to remember. The Beer Garden is back again this year, that is an extra charge but a nice option. Keep reading for more information on the 2018 event!

Here is our video overview before the article, with Luciano Sperduto, Assistant Director of Food & Beverage talking about the event. There are more than 26 food booths and more than 62 beverage booths at the Classic! He calls it “A big party for adults” and talks about some of the different themed areas and more.

Another of my favorite aspects of the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic is that there are few surprises. It really helps in planning. And each year there seems to be a new additional themed location. In 2015, the Swan and Dolphin debuted Carnival Corner and it quickly became very popular. This year, it’s back with a new item – Funfetti Fried Oreo. Did I mention popular? Get there early for it!

Carnival Corner won’t only be serving up this tasty treat but it will make the wagon line much longer. There is a dark chocolate ganache added to it as well.

Cib’s Smoke House is presenting a Roasted & Smoked Iberico Park with Fennel Puree, Honey Caramelized Apple, and Buttered Turnip.

The Todd English bluezoo booth will be serving two different lobster items, one on Friday and one on Saturday. Some booths offer the same item both nights and others mix it up. This is the Brown Butter Poached Maine Lobster with a toasted brioche bun, lemon aioli, frisee. It will be offered Friday but not Saturday.

New for this year is The Pike & The Poke. According to a press release we posted months ago, it will feature Hawaiian décor along with several food favorites of the island state including:

  • Traditional Earth Baked Kalua Pork with steamed white rice, barrel aged tamari and Napa cabbage
  • Tuna Poke featuring Hawaiian yellowfin tuna, sushi rice, avocado relish and crispy fried wontons
  • Finely Shaved Ice in a variety of tropical flavors: guava, pineapple, coconut cream, passion fruit, lychee, kiwi and mango

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort Executive Chef Robert Ciborowski drew upon his years of living and working in Kapalua, Hawaii as inspiration for the dishes.  

Here is a look at the Kalua Pork.

The Sunday Bubbles Brunch has gotten rave reviews, in particular from friends who I know who have booked it. The food looks fantastic! The grilled organic vegetables below look especially delicious.

Here is a closer look at the vegetables, along with meats – the brunch offers one entree and includes then a variety of stations.

We never seemed to have time available for seminars until a couple of years ago, even though I always enjoy hands-on learning experiences. The seminars here are really excellent, last year we took The Cheese Course seminar. I learned a lot and there were a variety of wines and cheeses to try. The seminars often book up early so definitely reserve in advance.

There is a Craft Cocktail seminar, which is one of the ten seminars offered.

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic is a wonderful night out – or weekend, depending on what you are looking for. Packages are available for one or two nights for those looking for a room as well. Thank you again to Leah for covering this preview for us!