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Old 11-02-2009, 11:41 AM   #2296
JillU-DVC
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Just back from the Food & Wine festival - we were there Fri Oct. 23 through Sat Oct. 31.

Saw huge crowds on Fri & Sat nights (10/23 & 10/24), then crowds were very light. This was our first time at teh Food & Wine festival, so can't compare to previous years.

Our top three favorites:

DH: Salmon in Canada, Paprika Beef Stew in Poland, and Braised short ribs in France

Mine: Chicken & rice in Puerto Rico, Braised short ribs in France, Pork pot-stickers in China

Fourth for both of us would be Lobster and Scallop pie in Ireland.
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Old 11-02-2009, 11:57 AM   #2297
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I just wanted to add my 2 cents....about my experience at this year's "event".

Loved:

The food and wine pairing at Tutto.....we had a great table with great Disers One brought her mom, and she was so sweet.
Loved the Banfi....refills were even sweeter
Lots of food, more than anticipated....didnt even order an entree at Citricos that night! ha!

Didnt have much love for:

The wine seminars....had the song from Mary Poppins "Spoonful of Sugar" in my head, cause thats about how much wine you received...a Spoonful!

We actually skipped one...

We did 2 wine/culinary...felt it was at least worth it since there was food involved

Tequila Tasting!!

They did their best, but we had some drunkards in the bar area who ruined the event...love the cave though!

Loved Tutto enough to book an ADR for lunch there next month

Met some nice disers at events, so that was an extra free perk
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Old 11-03-2009, 06:17 AM   #2298
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2009 Event

I felt that crowds were down this year. I suspect it was for econmoic reasons rather than format changes. I had reserve for one Wine Seminar but didn't go. I attended Wolfgang Puck Signature Dinner, Jens Dahlmann Signature Dinner, French Regional Lunch (Bordeaux) and French Regional Lunch (Burgundy). Puck's dinner was the best, by far. The French lunches were their usual wonderful (although for Burgundy the kitchen got behind and we ended up drinking maybe 50% more wine than usual as we were there for almost 4 hours). Come to think of it, it was like lunch in France! Dahlmann's dinner was good but not great, however the wines were fantastic. We compared a French and a Califiornia Pinot Noir with three of the courses. First course had a Meursault, so no need to compare to anything!! I have to say that Jean Charles produces some fantastic California Pinots (JCB #7, #11, #22). He also brought some terrific French Wines to the Burgundy lunch. Best kiosk food: Parmentier de Boeuf (short rib).

Last edited by Steve-O; 11-05-2009 at 08:07 AM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 11-03-2009, 08:19 AM   #2299
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We, too, attended the Wonders of Life Signature Dinner featuring Jean Charles Boisset wines. The food was nice, but the wines were off the charts -- exactly the kinds of wines that keep us coming back to the Festival each year. The Boisset Burgundy wines were truly outstanding -- and pairing each with a Boisset Pinot Noir from CA for comparison was inspired. We loved it! This event was the closest thing to an Exquisite Evening at Epcot that we've attended since the sad demise of those dinners. It was great to have Pam Smith back as moderator. Jean Charles was a charming and delightful host with a true passion for wine -- both the old world Burgundies and the new world Pinots. Truly a wonderful night!
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Old 11-03-2009, 02:06 PM   #2300
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We, too, attended the Wonders of Life Signature Dinner featuring Jean Charles Boisset wines. The food was nice, but the wines were off the charts -- exactly the kinds of wines that keep us coming back to the Festival each year. The Boisset Burgundy wines were truly outstanding -- and pairing each with a Boisset Pinot Noir from CA for comparison was inspired. We loved it! This event was the closest thing to an Exquisite Evening at Epcot that we've attended since the sad demise of those dinners. It was great to have Pam Smith back as moderator. Jean Charles was a charming and delightful host with a true passion for wine -- both the old world Burgundies and the new world Pinots. Truly a wonderful night!
Couldn't agree more. I do not think I have tasted wine from such small productions - 450 bottles (not cases) - before.

The only downside to the evening was having to walk through Epcot to get there. I wasn't expecting that at all. (When the info on the dinner says Epcot ticket not required, I didn't think I would have to walk through Epcot). Too bad Disney couldn't have brought back the Exquisite Evening/Reserve Dinner feature of a limo ride to the venue.

As TDC Nala mentioned in her review, it is a long walk from the IG.

Ed
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Old 11-03-2009, 03:11 PM   #2301
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I wish the Food and Wine Festival was year round. It is such a fun time with great food and entertainment.
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Old 11-03-2009, 03:31 PM   #2302
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Quote:
Originally Posted by betterlatethannever View Post
The only downside to the evening was having to walk through Epcot to get there. I wasn't expecting that at all. (When the info on the dinner says Epcot ticket not required, I didn't think I would have to walk through Epcot). Too bad Disney couldn't have brought back the Exquisite Evening/Reserve Dinner feature of a limo ride to the venue.

As TDC Nala mentioned in her review, it is a long walk from the IG.

Ed
I met a lady from Ft Myers by the elevator who had just walked from IG and had the same remark.
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Old 11-03-2009, 04:02 PM   #2303
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I didn't think I would have to walk through Epcot). Too bad Disney couldn't have brought back the Exquisite Evening/Reserve Dinner feature of a limo ride to the venue.

Ed
LOL...have to love the limo ride through the back lot to the venue.
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Old 11-06-2009, 06:30 AM   #2304
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Just want to chime in to say that the F&W festival was excellent. I was able to attend 2 nights at the beginning of the event and saw Voodoo Daddy. The food is incredible, the crowd is lively and it is all out just a great time. For those who have not been there during this I event, I highly recommend it
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Old 11-06-2009, 07:45 AM   #2305
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Agree totally with the limo ride comments! Dh and I felt the walk from IG would be just too long in our dinner attire, given we were running late. So we took a taxi from the Boardwalk to the front gate at Epcot. That helped, although it was still a bit of a hike.

Worse, though, was the situation after the dinner. I don't know about others, but we were told that we could not exit through IG. We wouldn't have minded a slow and leisurely walk back through IG after the dinner. Instead, we were led to the front gate. Well, of course, there are no buses from the front gate to the Epcot resorts! So, a taxi was our only alternative.

No problem, really, but the disorganization regarding getting people to and from the venue was odd given the excellence of the rest of the evening.

Oh well. No more limo rides I guess!
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Old 11-06-2009, 08:12 AM   #2306
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We did walk back through IG - they escorted us as far as the fountain plaza and then left us on our own recognizance. There were still stragglers in WS. I'm surprised they made Elizabeth go back out the main gate.
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Old 11-06-2009, 10:00 AM   #2307
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...Worse, though, was the situation after the dinner. I don't know about others, but we were told that we could not exit through IG. We wouldn't have minded a slow and leisurely walk back through IG after the dinner. Instead, we were led to the front gate...
When we left, there were two groups of guests forming - one to the front and one to the IG.

I'm gussing you were in a later group of guests and there were only enough CMs to escort to the front.

From what I could tell, there was only one group that went to the IG. We were walking pretty slow, and nobody else walked past us.

Ed
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Old 11-06-2009, 10:32 AM   #2308
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Had they stranded me at the front gate with no transportation other than a cab I had to pay for, they would have gotten an earful from me.
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Old 11-06-2009, 12:54 PM   #2309
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... Dh and I felt the walk from IG would be just too long in our dinner attire, given we were running late. So we took a taxi ...

Along this line, was I the only one who thought that there would be a limo ride? ElizebethB, how did you know that there wouldn't be a limo ride?

I know this was ONLY a signature dinner, but we had a limo ride to the American Pavilion for the Piedmont chocolate signature dinner (maybe four years ago).

The last reserve dinner we attended, we had a limo ride to the front of Epcot guest relations, and then, after a shiort wait, a limo ride to the venue.

Ed
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Old 11-06-2009, 12:57 PM   #2310
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Got towncar (not a full limo) rides from IG for both wine schools attended in past years, so it was not just the reserve dinners. (The Wonders dinner is the only signature dinner that was held inside the theme park and did not require Epcot admission.)

On the other hand there was a signature dinner at The Seas two years ago and I walked into and out of that one (to the main gate, not to IG)
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