Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Gluttoberfest aka the Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Well, you know it's late July when kids will start telling their parents "I'm bored" before the Back-To-School sales have begun, or when Disney fans all over the internet are asking each other, "Did you see the Food and Wine Festival schedule yet??"

Last year, Disney gave people a scant three days advance notice of events on their website before the booking date. So mad props to Disney for giving us twenty days to make our plans. Of course, I'm being slightly facetious, because the Examiner website had presented some info ahead of time, much of which turned out to be accurate. Here's Disney's link.

And here's the Examiner post that had us all chomping at the bit:

One of the interesting changes this year is that the culinary and wine/liquor demos that used to be free with the price of admission to Epcot are now going to have an $8 fee per person. I believe the changes stem from Disney needing a source of income to offset budget cuts, or they are trying to discourage the "festival freeloaders" that have rudely left the seminars in the middle of a session just to get back into queue early for the next "freebie". After I read the description of the food demo, if I get a food item with a wine pairing, I find the $8 charge reasonable. I expect that the $8 wine seminars will give people better pours, as well.

I'm going to the festival in mid-October, which is how it became Gluttoberfest. I'm not that clever. A friend of mine heard me call it "Gluttonfest" and changed it. It will be appropos for me, because I intend to nosh at the festival kiosks, but I have two signature dining events on the list that I want to book. If I am successful booking these events, I'll post later. I hate jinxing myself. I am excited about the tequila tasting event. That's also new this year. Events I did in the past that I am not doing this year include the French Regional Lunch, Sweet Sundays, and Party for the Senses.

I used to go to the Party for the Senses every food and wine trip. It's a grand tasting event of the festival. Visiting chefs from around the country (and world?), along with executive chefs at Disney restaurants from the parks and resorts, would create tasting samples of higher quality than could be found at the outdoor kiosks. Wineries would pour tastes of their wines, and entertainment was typically Cirque de Soleil acts (until very recently). You would eat and drink your way around different stations, and your wine glass was a commemorative souvenir. This year, there's an upcharge for a VIP section with guaranteed seating, premium bar with spirits, and some sort of upscale cheeses.

I'll pass on that and put the money towards some upscale dining events instead.

I can say that I did try to get Victoria and Albert's Chef's Table for October 18th....and failed. Someone with fingers that dialed like the wind managed to shut my friends and me out of this. But that's ok. We'll have dinner in the main dining room...and enjoy the Tables in Wonderland discount!

Friday, July 17, 2009

R.I.P. Walter Cronkite

Well, I just heard the news. Beloved journalist and anchorman Walter Cronkite is dead at 92 years of age. Known as "the most trusted man in America", Walter would be remembered by many as a reassuring presence on TV news in turbulent times from the 1960's through the early 1980's.

But I will remember him most fondly as a presence at Walt Disney World.

Walter Cronkite replaced the original narrator of Spaceship Earth in 1986. My first experience on Spaceship Earth in 1987 featured Walter Cronkite. I will always have a place in my heart for his narration.

But that's not the only place I'll remember him at Walt Disney World. When I returned to WDW on my next trip in 1992, I enjoyed his contribution to the Magic of Disney Animation area at the Disney-MGM Studios. He played a wonderful comedic straight man to Robin William's manic improvisations in "Back to Neverland".

I still have those memories of Walter on TV and at Disney. He will be greatly missed.
Rest in Peace, Walter.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Blog? Me?

Hi there.

I'm Lori, also known as BriarRosie in various Disney fan communities. The last thing I ever thought I'd do is start blogging, but here I am. I usually limit my ramblings to the DIS message boards, where I'm usually found talking about food. Complete with "food porn" reviews from Walt Disney World restaurants.

I'll probably share my food porn and other random blatherings about my trips to Disney. And perhaps my birthday trip to Vegas will make it here, too. Although parts of that might fall under "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!"

But I will also tackle what I call The Disney Podcast Soup.

I often find myself wanting to comment about things I hear on various podcasts. I might comment on someone's interview, opinion, list, or even mini-rants.

If you're actually reading this, I might fall off my chair in a dead faint. ;)