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Disney Short Films to Replace ‘Captain EO’

15 Nov

Captain EO and his rag-tag band of misfits will change the world one last time on December 6.

Captain EO poster.jpg

The Magic Eye theater will welcome a Disney and PIXAR short film festival starting in mid-December, according to the Disney Parks Blog announcement.

While I love the idea of showcasing underrated short films, I’ll miss Captain EO.

The 1986 film brought together entertainment powerhouses Michael Jackson, George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola in a way that’s never been duplicated. Jim Henson’s puppetry only added to the quirky space odyssey. The original attraction was replaced with Honey, I Shrunk the Audience in 1996 until fan demands brought EO back in 2010 as a tribute to Michael Jackson.

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Food and Wine Review Part Deux and the Cost of Eating Around the World

9 Oct

Thirty-eight booths comprise this year’s Food and Wine celebration, which means my first review barely scratches the surface of Epcot’s culinary offerings.

For those wishing to eat and drink around the world, I calculated how much it would be to eat one item and drink one beverage at each booth. The average cost of a food item is roughly $4.50 – $5, and drinks run a bit higher at $5.50 – $6. That last average obviously excludes the $10 martinis or margaritas (looking at you, Mexico pavilion). Averaging the cheapest estimates, the Around the World challenge costs roughly $380. Granted, I haven’t tracked my spending like I should, but this might be a good ballpark figure if you’re gung-ho about sampling a little bit of everything.

Here are more highlights from my third (and fourth and fifth) expeditions to the World Showcase:

-Pomegranate kir, France:  

 If you love sweet adult beverages, the pomegranate kir will satiate your taste buds. It’s sweet to the point of being sour (hello, pomegranate juice), but the tart flavor is cut by the champagne. I walked around the France pavilion feeling fancy with my flute and pretended I’d actually be able to afford a meal at Monsieur Paul’s one day.

-Grilled Bush Berry Shrimp, Australia:  

 While the lamb chop sounded divine, I couldn’t pass up the smell of the grilled shrimp. Well-seasoned shrimp lightly buttered and smothered in a sweet and sour sauce served on a bed of sugar snap peas and a little bit of pineapple. The colorful plate kept me satisfied yet not weighed down. I’d recommend pairing the shrimp with the Unoaked Chardonnay to cut some of the sweetness.

-Sweet Mango bubble tea, China: I love Bubble teas. I love mango. There’s literally no way I can’t not put this on the list. All ages can enjoy this non-alcoholic staple of the China pavilion. 

 
-Ravioli, Italy: It’s already a staple for Food and Wine and with good reason. The cheese blend inside the ravioli is sweet yet tangy. The tomato sauce isn’t too heavy or over-seasoned. I’m a big cheese fan, so the additional cheese topping the ravioli bake might be a bit much for some but I love it.  

-Haggis with neeps and tatties, Scotland: They finally did away with vegetarian haggis this year! The haggis was well-seasoned and tasted exactly like when I had it in the UK studying abroad. The rutabaga and mashed potatoes offset the savory with traditional UK “bland” palette cleansers, and overall, the dish tasted extremely comforting. Scottish comfort food is the best way for me to describe this one. Be brave and give it a try!

Y’all know I’m not done here. I convinced myself that if I walk around Future World enough before hitting World Showcase, the calories won’t affect me. A sequel to these reviews might entail my adventures in losing the Food and Wine weight, but it’s worth it.

Comment below with your favorite Epcot snacks from this year or years past!

Food and Wine Review 

4 Oct

It’s that time of year, the time when wallets get lighter and waistlines larger. The Epcot Food and Wine festival is upon us, and this year with more pizazz than ever before.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary, Epcot is going above and beyond previous years to offer the largest selection of countries and experiences.

However, not everyone can eat around the world, so here are the points you don’t want to miss:

– Beef tips, Africa: Beautifully plated spicy and savory beef tips cannot be missed this year. While I’m still irritated that Disney lumps an entire continent into one small booth, I’m beyond pleased with my experience in Africa (but then again, I’m totally biased).

– Apple drink, Poland: It’s literally an apple pie slushie with vodka. Nothing could be wrong about this beverage, not even the $9 price tag. The biggest challenge is deciding whether you should eat it with a spoon or a straw.

 – Chocolate pudding, Ireland: This bite-sized desert has been a favorite of mine the last three years. A small chocolate cake morsel is drizzled with a Kerrygold creme sauce and has a molten, “lava” center. Paying $3.50 for such a small cake might seem too steep for some, but it’s worth the price.

– Mussels, New Zealand: I’m normally not a mussels or oysters fan. However, the seasoning and presentation of the seafood won me over.

 – Loaded mac and cheese, Farm Fresh: I bought this in frustration because Farm Fresh booth got rid of the watermelon juice I loved so much. However, THIS IS SO GOOD. Delicious cheddar cheese with crispy bacon and scallions combine for a fancy mac and cheese dish I want to replicate at home.

As I continue my travels “eating around the world,” be sure to look for further updates and reviews!

Epcot Food & Wine Festival

5 Oct

The culinary spectacle known as Food & Wine Festival is in full swing at Epcot, and this Wednesday, I was fortunate enough to visit for my very first time.

Everything I sampled was delicious. Absolutely delicious. The beauty of F&W is that you’re paying for a small sample, not a whole meal, so prices are much smaller than most Disney meals.

My favorite countries were Greece, Ireland, and Australia for their overall atmosphere.

I sampled the Greek gyro, Irish chocolate pudding with Bailey’s cream sauce, Japan’s California roll, and Africa’s spinach and paneer cheese pocket. And, while I am still under-age and cannot partake of the alcoholic beverages served at F&W, I can say they all looked and smelled delicious. France is offering a Sparkling Pomegranate Kir and it smells amazing. Of course, Ireland doles out the pints of Guinness more than they do their Fisherman’s Pie; naturally, it made me homesick for my study abroad experience last semester (*sigh*).

When I go back to Epcot, I’m trying the Canadian cheese soup. It’s received rave reviews from my friends. Also, everything sold in Italy looked fresh, and I’m not one to pass on good Italian food.

There are only a few things I wish Epcot included for F&W. Where was the Indian food? Where are the delicious curries? I get a feeling Indian food would be a huge hit at F&W if given the chance.

I also couldn’t comprehend why the entire continent of Africa had one booth with two food options, and the states of Hawai’i and Florida both had large booths with more options. Come on, Epcot. I know for a fact Egyptian food and Kenyan food are completely different. Don’t just clump the continent together and say “Meh, Africa has part of Animal Kingdom… That’s enough.”

Overall, I had a great time at my first Food & Wine festival. I cannot wait to go back and sample more food.

What do you look forward to most about Food & Wine? Leave comments below.