Where’s the Festival? It’s Round 2!

I was wondering if anyone would notice.  Well, it didn’t take long, that’s for sure.  Mere minutes after I posted Round 1 of this weekend’s “tournament”, I got this via Facebook:

“It looks like Festival of the Lion King is missing.”  Well, yes.  It is.

Later in the day, I received, “Where was the Lion King?”

DAK Festival

My answer?  “From wdwinfo.com: This show will move to an all-new theater in 2014 in the Africa section of the park. A new walkway will be built from Tusker House towards the new theater. This will make room for the Avatarland project to begin in the Festival of the Lion King’s current location.”

In short, the Lion King attraction is currently closed, so Disney has pulled it from its web site.  Therefore, it misses this year’s “tourney”.  Controversial, I know, but it’s out of the game, nonetheless.

In the meantime, sixteen attractions are …

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Into the Lion’s Den!

Do it, my friends!  Walk “into the lion’s den” and vote for your favorite Disney’s Animal Kingdom attractions!  There are tons of ’em!  Huh?  Yes.  There are … tons!

I have to admit … we’re like a lot of people.  We don’t give the Animal Kingdom near enough love.

In fact, for us, it’s usually just a place to take a safari trip through the Harambe Wildlife Reserve and, then, for me to enjoy a quick dash through the the Himalayas on Expedition Everest.  After that, Mrs. All in WDW and I, typically, go on our way to our next WDW destination.

Welcome to AK!

Imagine my surprise when I collected the entries for the 1st Round of this weekend’s “tournament”.  I came up with …

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The Captain Gets a Facelift?

If you read yesterday’s post, you saw me express a lot of concern over the Disney Parks Blog’s report that the food in “Food” & Garden will “… return [in 2014] to showcase a slew of new ‘sweet & savory’ and ‘spring-inspired’ menu items.”

New?  When it comes to some of my personal favorites, like China’s Spring Pancake, Florida’s Shrimp and Stone-Ground Grits, and the American Adventure’s Pig Slider and Beef Brisket, change would NOT be a good thing.  Not to me, at least.

So, imagine my near panic when I caught the big Captain’s Grille update a few days ago.  Also reported by Disney Parks Blog, it described “Décor, Menu Makeovers for Captain’s Grille at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort.”

Menu makeovers?!  Huh?!  Really?  Please!  Say it isn’t so!

Why such a reaction?  Let me braise it down to this – yes, braise, not boil – Cabernet-Braised Beef Short Ribs.

Braised Beef Short Rib

PHENOMENAL!  Might very well be my favorite meal on property.  Bar none.  If not, it’s very near the top of the list.  Oh, who am I kidding?  It IS my favorite.  Please tell me that they will remain on the Captain’s menu!

Disney reports, “… a redesigned menu that still features longtime favorites but adds more than three dozen new dishes to the breakfast, lunch and dinner menus.”  But, also, they advise that Chef David Hutnick acknowledges that the short ribs are their top seller.  Uh, I’ll take that as a ‘they’re staying on my menu’, Chef!  Don’t let me down!

Pull-apart tender beef.  Sweet corn risotto.  In Disney’s own words, they are, “… braised for six hours to buttery perfection.”  In my words, they are, oh, SO good.

It looks like I might have dodged a bullet on this “refurb”.  The Grille may have an updated look, “with new tables and chairs, wallpaper and paint”, but its new menu appears to be keeping its “flagship” entree’.  What a relief!!

Folks, I’m telling you … I get asked one question the most.  “When it comes to dining, what do you recommend, Bob?”  My answer is always the same.  The Captain’s Grille at Disney’s Yacht Club is a hidden treasure … and, their braised beef short ribs are pure “gold”.

I highly recommend you stop in and enjoy a serving.  Like me, you might end up adding it to your WDW “must-do” list!  It took me a long time to find your short ribs, Captain, but I always come back for more!  Do not take them off the menu!

It’s Almost H-e-e-e-r-e!

Oh, yeah, it is!  You know it, and I can’t wait for it.  “Food” & Garden ’14 is definitely almost here!

A little over a week ago, in a fit of near-despair over the lack of any 2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden (er, “Food” & Garden) Festival news whatsoever, I resorted to shooting out an “all-points bulletin” via Twitter.  “Anyone hear any ‘Food’ & Garden menu news as yet?”, I asked.

I mean, what is up with the lack of information coming out of Epcot’s kitchen?  Hello?  Chefs?  Do you know that “Food” & Garden opens in a mere six weeks?  Six!  How are we supposed to plan our menus if we don’t know what you’ll be serving?

Finally, two days ago, the blog-o-sphere started popping forth some details.  I saw it first on Dining at Disney.  Then, Disney Parks Blog provided the confirmation when they reported that Epcot’s, “Outdoor Kitchens, which debuted at the festival last year, will return to showcase a slew of new ‘sweet & savory’ and ‘spring-inspired’ menu items.”

Mmm.  New items!  Hey, wait a minute!  Some of last year’s dishes were pretty darn good!  Let’s not get too carried away, Chefs!

Researching this year’s festival on Disney’s own web page a bit further, we see that Epcot has announced ten marketplaces … with one more yet to be revealed.  What’s the scoop?  Here’s the initial “List of 10”:

  • Florida Fresh
  • Hanami (Japan)
  • Jardin de Fiestas (Mexico)
  • Fleur de Lys (France)
  • Lotus House (China)
  • Pineapple Promenade
  • Primavera Kitchen (Italy)
  • Taste of Marrakesh (Morocco)
  • The Smokehouse: Barbecue and Brews (American Adventure)
  • United Kingdom Outdoor Kitchen

The big question?  What IS on the menu?!  Well, no definite news as yet, but a quick read through the descriptions (or view of the pictures) of each marketplace on Disney’s site provides a few clues.

For example, one of my absolute favorite dishes in 2013 was Florida Fresh’s Shrimp and Stone-Ground Grits.  Please, oh, please, tell me they are going to make it back to the “party” this year!  Well, the Florida Fresh picture on Disney’s site is a bit on the small side, but it does look suspiciously like shrimp on a bed of grits.  Yahoo!  I sure hope they’re back!

Don’t forget to click on the names of the dishes in order to see a picture of 2013’s yummy items!

The paragraph for Jardin de Fiestas mentions “savory tacos”.  A very good thing because Mexico’s Food & Wine tacos always please the crowd.  Bring ’em on, Chefs.  And, hey!  Step “Food” & Garden’s offering up a notch!  2013’s Crab Tostada and Pork Tacos were only so-so.

The Smokehouse challenges us to, “Sink [our] teeth into savory barbecue meats …”  OK!  Give it to me!  Last year’s Pulled Pig Slider and Smoked Beef Brisket ruled the festival.  Give them an encore appearance!

Finally, what do you think we’ll find at the Pineapple Promenade?  Well, in 2012, it was this little lovely … spiced rum and all!  Mmm.  Dole Whip!

Dole Whip with Rum

So, when will we get the scoop?  When will Epcot clue us in to what they’ll have on their griddles, grills, and cook-tops at this year’s Spring feast?

Well, I did a little bit of digging, and it appears that the 2013 menus were spilled to the Disney-sphere on January 23rd.  Hey!  That’s later this week!  Wahoo!!!

Bring on da’ food!

Everything from Soup to Nuts!

Every once in a while you have to stop in your tracks and take the time to tie up all the loose ends you left for your readers earlier in the week.

For example, do you want to know what I have been forgetting to do?  Enter Disney’s Family Time Resolutions Sweepstakes, that’s what!

You know what that means?  Someone else won my trip to Disneyland!  It’s really quick and easy, folks.  Please don’t be like me … remember to submit your daily entries!  I would love to see one of you win!

Did you nominate your favorite snack for the 2014 All in WDW Readers’ Favorite WDW Snack poll?  Did you?  Oh, we received some delicious entries.  For example, as proclaimed by one reader, “Anything from Karamell-Küche!”

Karamell-Küche

Mmmm, yes you’re right.  Anything caramel is a very good thing.

But, then, there were Mickey Bars, funnel cakes, School Bread!  How in the world did I forget School Bread?!  Jalapeño Cheese-Stuffed Pretzels, Mickey Pretzels, Dole Whip, Dole Whip Floats, Caramel Apples, and on, and on, and on!

But is that it?  Is that all you’ve got?  No?  Then, leave a comment on this post, on Facebook, or on Twitter.  What other snacks earn the right to compete to be called the All in WDW Readers’ Favorite WDW Snack?

Yesterday, I quizzed you on The World of All in WDW.  First, I asked, “Of these World Showcase countries (Norway, Morocco, China, and Japan), which one was the last to visit All in WDW?

I cannot tell you how long I waited for Showcase Country #11 to arrive in The World.  In fact, I remember telling Mrs. All in WDW that I never expected that anyone from China would ever take a trip to visit All in WDW.  Yet, it finally happened, and our World Showcase was complete.

WordPress is an interesting piece of blogging software.  It gives you easy access to site statistics, but, unless you’re watching on a daily basis, there are some things you can miss.  Hence, my second question was a trick question, of sorts.

Of the 106 countries that have touched All in WDW’s life, which one of these was the 100th to honor us with their presence?

Well, it could have been the Southeast African nation of Uganda.

It might have been the Syrian Arab Republic – the official name of the Middle Eastern country of Syria.

Or, maybe it was the Island of Guernsey, a small British dependency in the English Channel off the coast of France with an area of 30 square miles and a population of just over 65,000 people.

Sadly, I can’t really tell.  But, if you answered any of these, your guess was right on target!

Have a great Saturday, my friends.  Holy smokes, I’m glad the weekend is finally here!  Aren’t you?