It’s time for the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic, the annual event that capitalizes on the popularity of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival but has the good sense to wait until the weather cools a bit.
This year’s Classic is Friday and Saturday, October 26 and 27, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. both nights, and takes place largely on and around the causeway that connects the two large hotels.
This is the ninth annual Classic and as in years past it entails eating, with samples of food from the many restaurants housed at the two resorts — Il Mulino, Shula’s Steakhouse, Todd English’s bluezoo and Kimonos among them; drinking, with wine, beer and cocktails from around the world (but not from around the World Showcase); and even education if you feel guilty about indulging in the other two without bettering yourself as a human being.
Actually, the educational events mostly involve eating and drinking, too. There are seminars on wine blending, pasta making and sushi and sake, among others. You should note that the seminars start at 4:30 p.m., so that’s an exemption to the 5:30 starting time I listed above. Also, there’s a Sunday brunch option, too, so just forget what I said about this being on Friday and Saturday.
But for most attendees, the Food & Wine Classic means the eating and drinking — and listening to the live music — on and around the causeway.
This year the event threatens to spill into the lake with a new Hawaiian luau called The Pig & the Poke that will take place on the resort’s private beach. By the way, that’s Kalua Pork with steamed rice and Tuna Poke.
Other new food items include:
- Dynamite Rock Shrimp with late season Zellwood corn, wasabi foam, matsutake mushrooms, Japanese eggplant and crispy lotus root from Todd English’s bluezoo
- Vietnamese Lemongrass Meatballs “On a Stick” with Vermicelli noodles, pickled vegetables and sriracha espuma from Cabana Bar and Beach Club
- Braised beef agnolotti with caponata-agrodolce, baby leeks and glace de viande mornay sauce from Il Mulino
- Shake & Bake Style Southern Fried Chicken with black eyed pea puree, white cheddar fondue and bacon-infused roasted garlic gravy from Picabu
And of course you’ll want to seek out whatever World Champion Pastry Chef Laurent Branlard is offering.
Tickets for unlimited food and beverage samples start at $127 and seminars are $50, but there are package deals and other things to consider, such as overnight packages, so I’ll just give you the link to the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic and you can look them up yourself. You’ll find lots of other useful information there, too.