We’re back today with another review from last year’s Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic — and a preview of what you can expect this year!
Last week, we shared a look at all of the delicious food and drink that you can enjoy on The Causeway. Today, we’re back for a look at the fun “extras” the Classic offers. We’ll also share what’s new for 2016!
Now in its seventh year, the Classic continues to up its game with new experiences and seminars. This year’s event will offer more than 40 food dishes, over 60 beverages, 10 interactive seminars, and three live bands!
In addition to popular returning seminars, like Base to Bubbles (read our review here) and Wine Blending, guests can also experience two new seminars in 2016. Craft Cocktails shares the art and mystique of the classics. Learn how to craft the perfect Whiskey Sour or Old Fashioned! If you prefer wine, check out More than Malbec, which introduces attendees to the world of popular Argentinian wines, with tastings and tips for pairing.
We were invited out to a sneak peek to see just what you can expect from this year’s Classic earlier this week. We have lots to share with you, so let’s get right to it!
New to the Classic this year, guests can enjoy an authentic taste of Chinatown. This immersive area is inspired by staff visits to San Francisco’s Chinatown, which has undergone dramatic change in recent years.
Chef George Chen, who helms Fresh, will head up the booth. As one of the best and most authentic Chinese street food chefs in Orlando, he was the natural choice.
Guests can dig into two different dishes in Chinatown. The Crispy Duck, made from scratch, is a whole duck marinated for 24 hours before it’s hung for another 24 hours. Only then is it roasted so the texture is perfectly crispy.
The booth will also feature Pork Dumplings, which are also made from scratch.
In fact, staff have prepared over 4,400 dumplings for the classic over the last few days!
New! Sunday Bubbles Brunch
There was a lot of demand to add a brunch option to the Classic. It only makes good sense, as brunch has been making a major comeback, especially throughout Walt Disney World. So this year, guests can extend their Food and Wine Classic experience into Sunday with the Sunday Bubbles Brunch!
The event will take place at Il Mulino New York Trattoria, and will offer a mixture of stations as well as a la carte options. We had the chance to see a few of the offerings firsthand.
After a night of eating, drinking, and dancing, we love the idea of kicking off brunch with a bevy of Restorative Juices. The blends are prepared with Florida juices in the Fresh Mediterranean Market kitchen. Will you choose Antioxidant, Detox, or Energize? (I have a feeling that I’ll need to layer all three. 😉 )
Chefs also shared with us a selection of Compressed Fruit. Fruits are vacuum packed and seasoned, and then served on the plate, garnished with a Gooseberry.
Naturally, the brunch will lean toward Italian offerings, and we were excited to sample Panzanella as well. The Bread Salad features a combination of day-old Rustic Bread and fresh ingredients, like Heirloom Tomatoes.
There’s still time to book your table for the Sunday Bubbles Brunch! The cost is $75 per person, and includes one glass of champagne or a specialty mimosa (you have the option to upgrade to bottomless champagne and mimosas at the time of seating). Call 888-828-8850 for reservations.
Last year, we loved Carnival Corner! I mean, seriously — how can you not love carnival food?!?
The themed venue utilized the Swan and Dolphin’s Food Trailers, which were set up at in an area at the far end of the Causeway.
Fun House Mirrors made for a great Selfie Station!
The large patio offered some seating as well as high boy tables, so that guests could park a bit and enjoy their food and drink.
Last year, there were five food and drink trailers in all. The first was the Texas Style Corn Dog trailer. The Corn Dogs were hand dipped, freshly prepared, and delicious. We can’t wait to sample them again this year!
Funnel Cakes are always an enticing treat, since they beckon you with those yummy smells from a mile away! Lines were along all night for this one.
We’re so excited to share that Funnel Cakes will indeed return this year as well!
What’s your pleasure? Toppings for your Funnel Cake include Nutella, Berry Coulis, Vanilla Sauce, and the traditional Powdered Sugar.
For the second year in a row in 2015, the Cabot Creamery Farmers’ Gratitude Grill showed up to take part in the Classic.
Their Mac and Cheese Bar, with lots of fabulous Topping options to customize your dish, was a big hit.
I saw more than one guest going back for seconds here. And who can blame them? Cabot Cheese is so yum.
Sense a trend with the alternating sweet and savory? Well, it’s time for a carnival treat that offers a hint of both. Nitro Kettle Corn is one part comfort food, one part food science.
Popcorn, Caramel Foam, Honey Roasted Peanuts, and Sea Salt are combined with a shot of Liquid Nitrogen to super freeze the mix!
Buttery, Sweet, and Salty — I love this grown up take on a childhood favorite.
You might be wondering what you might enjoy in the way of a beverage in Carnival Corner. Last year, Mionetto Prosecco hosted a Wine trailer with lively flavored Italian Sparkling Wine.
It paired great with all of the carnival goodies!
The Beer Garden
Also back in 2016 is the very popular Beer Garden, which is an add-on option to your base Causeway ticket.
If you’ve purchased Beer Garden access, stop by Crescent Terrace, where the garden is located.
Upon check-in to the area last year, we were given these small beer tasting glasses to use at the various stations.
Lights are strung from trees above, and seating includes picnic tables on the elevated terrace.
There are also high boy tables for guests who prefer to stand.
The Beer Garden features a variety of local craft beers as well as seasonal brews from around the world. Last year, I enjoyed tasting rare editions from Samuel Adams, like Thirteenth Hour, a Dark Belgian-Style Stout that’s perfect for the cooler weather.
We also had the chance to learn more about their Honey Queen Braggot. Essentially a cross between a Mead and a Beer, this blend of Honey and Chamomile was quite lovely.
DJ’s Brew Hub offered samples of the Swan and Dolphin exclusive Phins and Feathers. (Get it?)
Breweries like Terrapin and Breckenridge were represented as well.
In addition, you can dine on Oktoberfest-inspired cuisine.
Nürnberger Sausage, a Seasoned Pork Beef Sausage, will be served with House Made Sauerkraut, Braised Red Cabbage, and a Selection of Mustard.
Look for the return of Jager Schnitzel as well! This hearty dish featured a breaded Pork Cutlet and Wild Mushrooms.
And I don’t think it would be a Beer Garden without Pretzels. Fortunately, they return this year as well! We can’t wait to try this year’s version — Pretzel Bites with Cheddar Cheese, Country Ham, and Honey-Dijon Dipping Sauce.
My advice for the Beer Garden? Pace yourself! This is seriously hearty food, and it’s easy to fill up fast.
It’s going to be absolutely spectacular! If you’re on the fence about this one, take the plunge. We regularly hear from readers who concur — this is one of the BEST events of the year!
Now we want to hear from you! Will you be attending the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic this weekend? Let us know by leaving a comment!