20170930

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival 2017


22nd Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Celebrates 35 years of Epcot

75-Day Festival Runs Aug. 31-Nov. 13, 2017

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Florida– A record number of global food and wine marketplaces – 35 in all –will sizzle with new edible delights to celebrate 35 years of Epcot during the 22nd Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Aug. 31-Nov. 13, 2017. The annual Walt Disney World Resort culinary tour of flavors will expand in 2017 for a longer-than-ever 75-day run. Growing in scope as one of America’s top food festivals each year since 1996, the Epcot event will run for 13 additional days of inspired sips and bites throughout the park’s World Showcase and Future World. Park guests can mix and mingle with celebrity chefs, experience hands-on culinary workshops and demonstrations and get their gourmet groove on at nightly Eat to the Beat concerts. They also can book special tasting experiences at Epcot and at Disney resort restaurants. Family fun will be in the mix with kid- friendly dishes geared toward young palates and a Ratatouille-inspired culinary scavenger hunt. 


Travelscore Magazine sent its team, for the very first time, to test and review this International Festival and we assigned a rank score for all the 21 represented countries. There wasn't an absolute winner but several ex-aequo in the first three final positions. This is due to the multiple examiners involved in the judgment.  The scores are the result of an average calculation  made with single votes on a predetermined index.  The parameters are also based on the traditions of those countries. Indeed we avoided to test all those not original recipes, oriented just to satisfy the local American palate and we rather rewarded the effort to be authentic. So here we are with the final verdict.



First Position Ex-Aequo:

Ireland 28 points with “Warm Irish Cheddar Cheese and Stout Dip with Irish Brown Bread"

Greece 28 points with “Bougatsa"

Japan 28  points with “Wasabi Shumai Steamed Pork Dumplings"

Thailand 28  points with “Red Hot Spicy Thai Curry Beef with Steamed Rice”

Ireland (Warm Irish Cheddar Cheese and Stout Dip with Irish Brown Bread)
Japan (Wasabi Shumai Steamed Pork Dumplings)
Thailand (Red Hot Spicy Thai Curry Beef with Steamed Rice)




Second Position Ex-Aequo:

Australia 26 points  with “Grilled Lamb T-Bone with Mint Pesto and Potato Crunches”

Spain 26 points with “Charcuterie in a Cone”

Belgium 26 points with “Belgian Waffle and Warm Chocolate Ganache and Whipped Cream”

Morocco 26 points with “Chocolate Baklava”

Australia (Grilled Lamb T-Bone with Mint Pesto and Potato Crunches)
Belgium (Belgian Waffle and Warm Chocolate Ganache and Whipped Cream”)
Morocco (Chocolate Baklava)





Third Position Ex-Aequo:

France 21 points with “Croissant aux Escargots”

Mexico 21 points with “Cajeta Mousse”

Canada 21 points with “Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup”

Mexico (Cajeta Mousse)
Canada (Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup)


The rest of the countries had these points by the jury team:


Germany 19 points 

Patagonia 18 points 

New Zealand 17 points 

Hawaii 16 points

Africa 16 points 

India 14 points

Italy 14 points

Scotland 13 points 

Brazil 12 points 

China 9 points

India (Korma Chiken)
Africa (Spinach and Paneer Cheese Pocket)
Brazil (Crispy Pork Belly)





highlight by Luca Centoni

pics by Michela Caroti



20170630

Summer at Disney's Blizzard Beach

Summer is just started at "Disney's Blizzard Beach" located among the other parks of Mickey Mouse in Orlando, Florida. It's fun for all the family indeed this water park, which standards maintained steady along the years. is the third most visited in the world. The major attractions are hosted atop the Mt. Gushmore and artificial mountain with an elevation of 90 feet.


You can discover frosty fun this one-time ski resort that has melted into a watery wonderland. Zip down the slushy slopes the mountain or float down the tranquil river and sunbathe on the white sand beach.






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highlights by Luca Centoni

pics by Michela Caroti

20170530

Disney's Magical World of Avatar Unveiled

On May 27th 2017 Disney inaugurated Pandora "The World of Avatar" located at Disney's Animal Kingdom Park in Orlando Florida. It took us almost 3 hours of line to get into this totally new  virtual experience. The trip is well worth the wait cause a real new world has been created and it doesn't looks like anything else seen around the Orlando's parks.


 The 12-Tacre location is developed in three sections, including "Avatar Flight of Passage", "Na'vi River Journey" and the "Valley of Mo'ara". First sensation at the arrival is to be really on another planet (the Bio-luminescent Pandora). Before to get into the most surprising attraction which for us was "Flight of Passage" you walk across several different ambiances inspired by Cameron's movie.


The path leads to the entrance of a research facility, where you will meet a 9 feet tall Na'vi humanoid floating inside a tub. The next step is to enter, in a small group, into an airlock where everyone is matched with an onscreen avatar 's face. Finally you sit on a banshee, ready to fly! This is what you have waited for but the first time you would never expect anything like this to be so realistic. It truly makes you soar and feel like inches over a herd of stampeding beasts, zooming through the curl of a towering emerald wave. Wind, spray and scents surround you like in no other flight simulators you ever tried.

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Of course we couldn't photograph or make any kind of video along the four minutes ride. And to be honest that wouldn't be even useful to show because this is an experience you have to do in person.


"Na'vi River Journey" is a more conventional Disney's attraction based on a floating boat and a journey into a bioluminescent rainforest  in search of the shaman of songs, who is a giant singing Na'vi animatronic. Plants and critters are all around this "out of this world" ambiance.

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"The Valley of Mo'ara" is an hiking area of the park through a landscape made of floating mountains, glowing fauna and flora, a native drum circle and more. We also had a food experience at the local themed restaurant "Satu'li Canteen". Original ambiance inspired to the Pandora's planet and  a sustainable menu. Its best dish, in our opinion, is the "Slow-Roasted Sliced Grilled Beef Bowl" for only $12.99 which is a very good affordable price for a Disney park.
















highlight  by Luca Centoni

pics by Michela Caroti

20170428

Disney's Epcot Tokyo Dining by Night

The magic of "Reflections" show at Bay Lake in Disney's Epcot park it's something you really do not have to miss. Best view location to watch it having a great authentic Japanese meal is from "Tokyo Dining" restaurant. We came back after two years and it's still great with attentive service and and very nice food.



Every night of the year at 9pm the fireworks show starts perfectly synchronized with it beautiful music which can be listened even from the interior of the restaurant.

In the meanwhile you can have a full sushi omakase selection made for you by the Japanese chef

After dinner you can have a magic night walk through the world of Japan and of course all the other nations represented in the Epcot World Show Case.







Upscale Japanese kitchen offering hot entrees & sushi, plus a view of Epcot's World Showcase Lagoon.
Address200 Epcot Center Dr, Orlando, FL 32830
Hours
Open  12–9PM



Highlight and Pics by Luca Centoni

20170331

High Tea at Grand Floridian's Garden View Tea Room



Step through time to experience a traditional afternoon tea, served in grand British style. Within the walls of the Garden View Tea Room at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, prepare to treat yourself to a rare and unforgettable event as you indulge in the relaxing ambience of an era long since passed. Tour the globe as you sip from a collection of international teas, including Mrs. Potts Tea for your little ones, all while indulging in a delightful selection of sandwiches, scones, pastries and other delicacies. Turn back the hands of the clock for this delicate and delectable treat, 7 days a week. Located on the first floor of the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Afternoon Tea at the Garden View Tea Room takes place daily at the following times: 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM – Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM – Tuesday and Thursday. In addition, beginning at 3:00 PM each day, enjoy the atmosphere within the lobby as music begins to play, courtesy of the Grand Floridian piano player or a rousing rendition from a live band. 



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Disney venue with an airy British feel attracts young princesses & the public for traditional tea.

Located in: Grand Floridian Cafe
Address: 4401 Floridian Way, Orlando, FL 32830
Hours: open from 12 to 5PM

Phone: (407) 939-3463




highlight by Luca Centoni

pics by Michela Caroti

20170228

Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & SPA


"Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & SPA" is located in Orlando, Florida, very close to all the main local attractions, including Disney Parks, Universal Studios, Seaworld and International Drive. It's a condominium style all suites facility. The floor plan include one, two, three and four bedroom suites alle decorated with granite counter tops in the full kitchen equipped with everything you might need to prepare delicious meals. The bathrooms have jacuzzi tub, also you will find a washer and a dryer. A private balcony on the quaint swimming pool is a further plus for the guests.










At the sixth floor of the resort's lobby building there is the SPA and Salon "Reflections" a 12,000 square foot facility which offers a varieties of services to please any kind of client even the kids and the little ones. We indeed tested it through the experience of a teen along a deluxe facial treatment of one hour. 
The spa products include prestigious brands like Wella, Farmhouse Fresh and OPI. The experience starts with a warm welcome by the qualified and attentive staff. You are immediately hosted in a very relaxing waiting room while gazing at the in house aquarium, before to start your selected treatment. Also available are fresh fruit,organic tea and bottled water, including the possibility to buy the cosmetic products.












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SPA experience resulted as a perfect deep facial cleansing followed by advices from the staff about the best products to use in order to maintain a longer effect on the skin. We definitely recommend it.

A relax day at the Tiki bar of the pool or a day trip to the close parks will make your perfect vacation day, not to forget the eventual shopping at Orlando's worldwide famous outlets and the fine dining restaurants in Sand Lake Rd or International Drive.



Hotel details
Adjacent to the Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores, this upscale all-suite resort is 6 miles from both Walt Disney World and SeaWorld Orlando. 

Suites range from 1 to 4 bedrooms and feature living and dining areas, full kitchens and balconies, plus washer/dryers and whirlpool tubs.


A resort fee covers Wi-Fi, parking and a shuttle to Walt Disney World, SeaWorld and Universal Orlando Resort. There’s a pool with a pirate ship, plus a spa, a 24-hour fitness center and 3 casual eateries. Meeting and event space is also available.

Address8113 Resort Village Dr, Orlando, FL 32821







highlight by Luca Centoni

pics by Michela Caroti