The 22nd Epcot International Food & Wine Festival has set the table for its most delectable menu yet. Course-ing a delicious 75 days (August 31 to November 13), the Festival’s 35 Global Marketplaces are an homage to Epcot’s upcoming 35th anniversary. In addition to the returning Eat to the Beat concert series, celebrity chef demonstrations (including the gang from ABC’s THE CHEW), specialty dining and pairings, and Festival packages (such as the Eat to the Beat Dining package), several dining events at the Disney resort hotels are offered: The Secrets of Flavor and Culinary Adventures with a Master Chef at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Brunch with a Twist at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, and Behind the Scenes at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto.
Premiering in 2015, the highlighted event is hosted at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort on select Wednesdays through September, from 12:00 to 2:30. Though the cost is a whopping $126 per Guest, we decided to dig in and digest the secrets behind this lounge, its mystical libations, and tropical culinary delights.
The second of this “Head Salesman’s” watering holes, and Walt Disney World’s answer to Disneyland’s Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar, Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto opened its tiki doors in 2015. I have visited Sam often, and on both coasts, but I have to say, seeing his establishment with the lights up was an entirely new adventure. The Orlando destination’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea motif sets the stage for this adventure. The entertainment was what you would expect from the unpredictable yet hilarious “former Jungle Cruise skippers” and Trader Sam’s servers. As each course was delivered, a full description of the dish was provided by the chefs.
As the steaming, glowing, and decorated potions appeared, the “skipper” gave animated mixology instructions:
Even better yet, we were each given recipe cards to replicate our beverage “antics” at home. The courses were perfectly paired with a beverage (and show) to compliment the experience.
Let’s face it, I rarely head to Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto for the food, but these servings were absolutely delectable. Match that with the side effects that accompany each beverage, and this special event was a hit. Once again, the skippers never steered us wrong! If you are a fan of Disney storytelling and interactive dining, this event was worth the price tag. Sam has done it again.
Not full yet? Perhaps you need a taste of these: