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Fifth Annual Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic Friday through Sunday

Written By Scott Joseph On October 27, 2014

SwanDolphin trees

A few years ago — five, to be exact — the folks at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel (which is actually two hotels, but let’s not quibble) did something very smart. Weary of watching guests leave the hotel(s) and trundle along the pathway to Epcot, drawn by the clarion call of the park’s International Food and Wine Festival, the S&D decided to co-opt on some of Epcot’s crowds and started the Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic, a weekend-long mini fest of tastings, seminars and entertainment. And people ate and drank it up. It was especially attractive to locals who wanted to have an enhanced food and beverage experience without the admission fee to Epcot.

After a couple of unsteady years, including one that had the resort’s staff scrambling to move the outdoor festival into a ballroom during a thunderstorm, the Food & Wine Classic has become its own attraction. People with no intention of visiting Epcot’s festival drive to WDW for the Food & Wine Classic.

Other hotels in the area have taken notice and offer their own events, but it will take some doing to catch up to the momentum that the Swan and Dolphin have going.

In fact, the Food & Wine Classic has become such an attraction that I think it’s time for the hotel(s) to take the drastic step to move the Classic to a weekend that doesn’t occur during Epcot’s six-week event.

Of course, the Swan and Dolphin hasn’t asked my opinion, and therefor the fifth annual installation of the Food & Wine Classic will run Friday through Sunday on the causeway between the two hotels (weather permitting). In truth, the event has grown so large that the causeway can’t contain all the food and wine stations, so they stretch out along the waterway, which provides for a very pretty setting (see photo at top).

The event is from 5:30 to 9 p.m. each day, though some seminars occur in the hour before. Seminars include wine blending, sushi and sake pairing, cheese education and modern mixology (though I’m not sure there’s such a thing as ancient mixology).

Swandolphin line

There will be more than 40 food and beverage stations featuring tastes and tipples from some of the resort’s restaurants, including Shula’s Steak House, Il Mulino New York Trattoria and Todd English’s bluezoo. The Classic has become such a big event that English actually comes to visit the restaurant licensed to use his name!

Tickets are $95 puls tax for advance purchase and includes unlimited food and beverage samples on the causeway. Seminars are priced separately. Here’s a link to the Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic website with details and ticket information.

There’s also a new beer garden this year, access to which may be obtained with an upgraded ticket of $115.

Swandolphin meat

SwanDolphin stage

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