What is you favorite dish? Trying all 29 Marketplaces in One Day at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

The fun is on the griddle at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, and there’s still time to enjoy the culinary adventures throughout the park before the event comes to a close November 12.

Half the fun of the festival is discovering new dishes in the 29 marketplaces. But what’s your favorite?

That’s the assignment I had on my recent trip around the Epcot culinary world. Whether it’s the subtle seasoning of the Kefta Pocket at the Morocco Marketplace; the volcano sauce on the Spicy Hand Roll at Japan; a smooth, fine Merlot from France; Griddled Greek Cheese at Greece or the wonderful selection of ales and beers at the Hops and Barley Marketplace, there’s a lot to please every palate. Rob, our Concerned Bystander, also makes a cameo in this video, but it seems his tune has changed just a tiny bit.

So, after experiencing all 29 marketplaces in one day, what was my favorite dish?

The Kalua Pork Slider (the chutney and spicy mayo are an unbeatable blend) from the Hawai’i Marketplace takes the top spot in my (very) unscientific sampling. Although the White Corn Arepa (AREPA!) from the Florida Local Marketplace was a close second. With the famous sweet corn from nearby Zellwood, Fla., it’s a tasty treat. (And if you order it, please shout “Arepa!” and you might get a reaction just like I did in the video.)

The best thing is that I received a special stamp at the Festival Center for visiting all 29 countries. (Although I might suggest visiting Epcot a few times before the event ends to collect all of the marketplace stamps!)

Let us know in the comments if you have visited all 29 marketplaces, or if you have discovered your favorite from this year’s festival. Arepa!

For you discount Epcot tickets to this event, please call our office toll free at 1-877-406-4836 or visit our web site at http://www.officialticketcenter.com/epcot-tickets.aspx

Meet John Lasseter, Celebrity Chef Cat Cora at Epcot International Food & Wine Fest Dinner

The Official Ticket Center ~ Pixar fans will love the opportunity to meet John Lasseter – yes, he’s an animation genius, but he also makes delicious California wines (with beautiful labels, too). You can meet John and his wife Nancy for lunch at 12:30 p.m. October 19 at Citricos, where Chef Philip Ponticelli will pair Lasseter wines with seasonal cuisine. Cost is $130.

Cat Cora fans will be happy to hear that two wine dinners have been added to the line-up for this year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, with Chef Cat on hand to greet diners at 8 p.m. October 2 and October 4. Cost is $170 for a five-course dinner with wine pairings in the restaurant’s cozy CoraNation Room.

Meet Celebrity Chef Cat Cora at Epcot International Food & Wine Festival at Walt Disney World Resort

And three very famous dads are teaming up for what promises to be one of the coolest Food & Wine Fest dinners this year – Michael Voltaggio has been added to the line-up, joining his brother Bryan and Andrew Zimmern on stage for the family-friendly Magic of Healthy Living Dinner at 6:30 p.m. October 19 at Epcot World Showplace. Brothers Bryan and Michael shot to the front of the celebrity chef pack in 2009 on Bravo’s “Top Chef,” and Andrew is best known for his show “Bizarre Foods” on the Travel Channel, so diners are guaranteed entertainment with their memorable four-course dinner. Cost is $110 and includes tip and non-alcoholic beverages. (Park admission required).

To book any of these dinners, call 407-WDW-FEST. Check epcotfoodfestival.com for more event details.

Take a look at more of what to expect at this year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival:

New Fantasyland Grand Opening Set for December 6, 2012, at the Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort!

New Fantasyland to open in December 2012

New Fantasyland to open in December 2012

The Official Ticket Center 8/09/2012 ~ The grand opening for the New Fantasyland® expansion at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort will take place on December 6, 2012!  Attractions included in this opening are Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid, Be Our Guest Restaurant, Enchanted Tales with Belle, Ariel’s Grotto, Gaston’s Tavern and Bonjour! Village Gifts.

Previews of these attractions will begin earlier in mid November.

As previously planned, the New Fantasyland expansion will continue with the opening of Princess Fairytale Hall in 2013 and the debut of a new Disney “mountain” in the form of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in 2014.

The Storybook Circus section of the New Fantasyland expansion, which includes Barnstormer – Starring the Great Goofini, the Casey Jr. Splash & Soak Station, and Dumbo the Flying Elephant, opened to Guests in July.

Get you discount Disney Tickets in advance for this once in a lifetime grand opening event by calling our office to order your tickets at 1-8770406-4836 or by going to www.officialticketcenter.com

Save on your Orlando vacation by staying in a rental home?

Vacation Home Rentals In Orlando, Florida

Vacation Home Rentals In Orlando, Florida

The Official Ticket Center 7/18/2012 ~ Millions of travelers each year make the trek to Orlando, Florida to soak up the sun and visit our world famous theme parks. Most people use online booking engines to search for the cheapest way to get here, hotels and car rentals. While the most expensive aspect to a vacation is the airfare, the second is definitely the accommodations! While the average family still thinks a hotel or motel is the best and cheapest way to go, the truth is that a typical family can rent a vacation home rental with all of the bells, whistles and a pool  for the same price as a resort stay or even cheaper. One such company that specializes in this little hidden fact is www.thetopvillas.com/orlando/. Owner Tom Mannings of Top Villas states that he can find any traveler a beautiful, fully furnished vacation home rental, with pool within minutes of the Walt Disney World Resort area for about the same weekly cost that an average family would spend at a hotel within the same distance to Disney. With so many beautiful new homes in the Orlando resort area, many of these homes are bought to rent out to families wanting to have the comforts of their own home, without dragging everything in their suitcases. “Each home is a home away from home”, Tom comments, “and we can make any family feel right at home after a day at the parks or out at our beautiful beaches”. In addition to providing beautiful Orlando villas to their guests, Top Villas also can provide travelers with additional guest service items such as car rentals and discount theme park tickets.

2012 © Patrick Pulliam

Wet n’ Wild Orlando Celebrates The Grand Opening of Their Newest Attraction

Wet n' Wild's Blastaway Beach Orlando

Wet n' Wild's Blastaway Beach Orlando

On Saturday, June 2 Wet ‘n Wild Orlando celebrated the grand opening of its newest attraction, Blastaway Beach™ – a family-friendly, sandcastle-themed water playground. It’s expected to be the largest water playground of its kind in Florida and Wet ‘n Wild’s first new attraction in over four years.
Built around a sandcastle rising 60-feet high, Blastaway Beach™ spans an acre and features 15 slides and expands across two pools with 160 soakers, jets, waterfalls and water cannons. Designed especially for families, the new area has a single entrance and exit, creating a secluded environment that is safe and fun for all ages.