Welcome to DisneyBizJournal.com - News, Analysis and Reviews of the Disney Entertainment Business!

Brought to fans, investors, entrepreneurs, executives, teachers, professors, and students by columnist, economist, novelist, reviewer, podcaster, business reporter and speaker Ray Keating

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Fourth of July, Star Wars Style

 by Beth Keating



July 6, 2022


A pup recovering from surgery and receiving medication every few hours kept us tethered to our house over the Fourth of July holiday. Facing a stretch of three days of unstructured time, my son declared it a “Star Wars marathon” weekend. 


He broke out the Galaxy’s Edge cookbook he’d bought me several Christmases ago, and paged through the recipes to find some dishes that would coordinate with his selection of movies, carefully linking recipes geographically and thematically to the films.  I readily agreed to his plan for the weekend, expecting him to pull out, at most, three or four recipes for the main meals of the weekend.  We ended up with a dozen recipes to test out.

Our guide for the weekend’s culinary journey was Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge: The Official Black Spire Outpost Cookbook by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel and Marc Sumerak. It’s a fun book which has served us well in the past, with a few caveats (such as the fact that the Ronto Wrap recipe in the book looks, and tastes,  NOTHING like the delicacy you know and love from Batuu). Beautiful full color photos accompany the recipes, and origin stories and tales from Intergalactic cook Strono “Cookie” Tuggs are shared throughout.  Even if you aren’t a chef, the book is an entertaining read, and the recipes are offered at various levels of difficulty.


Armed with pages of instructions, bags of supplies, and new batteries in the remote control, we began our adventure. And almost came to a grinding halt.  Our first recipe was a disaster of epic proportions. For starters, the picture of the Sunrise Caf, a coffee-based drink, was photographed as a glass of basically black coffee.  Our finished product looked so different (and off-putting) that we thought we must have done something wrong, and we poured it out and started over. Attempt number two wasn’t much better.  The flavor of the drink was somewhat Christmasy, but the color was a kind of burnt orange and a touch on the oily side, due, we assume, to the coconut oil in the recipe. To put it kindly, it was not a success.  


We tried a much more enjoyable beverage on the next round. The Coruscant Cooler was a sweet-tart blend with cranberry, dark cherry puree, bourbon, vermouth and lime juice, along with a viewing of The Phantom Menace. (In the parks, the Coruscant Cooler is $16.00 at Ronto Roasters.)

The Phantom Menace was followed up with Attack of the Clones, to which we added a serving of Moogan Tea, a chocolate milk and iced tea concoction that was much tastier than it probably sounds on paper! Dinner that night was an entrée of Yobshrimp Noodle Salad from Naboo, since that was where our movie was based, and it was delicious enough that we will offer it for dinner again in the future. The soy sauce and lime marinade gave it a bit of tang, and you can never go wrong with lots of chilled shrimp.

The next day found us queuing up Revenge of the Sith on the television, and lining up chicken and bread in the kitchen.  It was a much more fruitful operation, and the Fried Endorian Tip Yip and Mustafarian Lava Buns were well-received.  In fact, the Lava Buns will probably make their way into our regular dining rotation. They weren’t terribly difficult to make, and were kind of like a pretzel roll in flavor.  The hardest part was actually waiting for the dough to rise.  And the house smelled wonderful with all that yeasty goodness baking up. Plus, it was kind of fun to see the black outer shell of the bread crackle during baking to show the red dough underneath, looking just like a lava rock.  The addition of a few pinches of coarse salt to the outside of the dough also gave the “rocks” a bit of texture and sparkle.


Our libations during the movies that evening included the Blurrgfire, a lemony blend with pomegranate juice that was allegedly developed by one of the bartenders at Oga’s Cantina on Batuu, according to our book narrator. In the world of Hollywood Studio’s Oga’s, the Blurrgfire goes for $7.00. It’s normally served non-alcoholic, but we added a touch of watermelon rum to our version.  


The Endorian Tip Yip was basically fried chicken strips served over mashed “chokeroot” (with artichoke hearts and parsnips) and a bright green “Gurreck” sauce made from lots of fresh herbs. As a note to those of you trying to order the Tip Yip at Docking Bay 7 in Hollywood Studios ($15.49), it’s a slightly different take than the cookbook. The park’s version has a mac-and-cheese side. (Chokeroot supply chain issues in the Outer Rim, presumably.)

Our final day’s entertainment on the Fourth of July completed our marathon with the original trilogy of Star Wars movies, and a fancier dessert. We cheated a little on our main entrée, using the Pitmaster’s Choice as a burger, rather than as the longer-baked jerky it was meant to be, and paired it with a side of Xizor Salad with its blue Chadian dressing and parmesan crisps. 

For dessert, we baked up the Wroshyr Tree Cake, a lovely chocolate frosted spice cake with crushed pistachio “moss” on the outer edges, designed to look like a section of a tree ring.  Accompanying the films were two non-cookbook recipes: the Yub Nub, a citrusy-pineapple drink, in honor of our Ewok friends in the movie; and Blue Milk, which a quick google search brought to us from the internet, rather than the Galaxy’s Edge book. (The on-planet Yub Nub comes in a souvenir glass at Oga’s in Hollywood Studios for $45.00!) 

And in case you felt bad for us that we missed the various local fireworks’ shows, don’t be sad. George Lucas provided ample fireworks in the final movie of our marathon, Return of the Jedi. And we didn’t need to find parking or fight the crowds! 




Beth Keating is a theme parks, restaurant and entertainment reporter for DisneyBizJournal.


Please support the efforts of DisneyBizJournal.com to bring news, analysis and commentary on Disney to readers such as yourself. Make a contribution right here via PayPal. Thanks!

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

“Lightyear” Ranks as a Big Flop, Raising Questions about Pixar

 by Ray Keating



July 5, 2022


Disney-Pixar’s Lightyear ranks as a rather staggering flop. There’s just no way around that for Disney. And with it comes questions about Pixar.


To drive home the point, consider that Minions: The Rise of Gru, from Universal, opened on July 1, and through July 4, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com, it raked in $125.2 million domestically and $219 million globally. In contrast, Lightyear opened domestically on June 17, and thus far it has earned $106.7 million domestically and $188.9 million globally. 


That is, the opening July 4th weekend for Minions generated more ticket sales than Lightyear has over three weekends. Yikes.

Putting aside Minions, the reported production budget for Lightyear was $200 million. That excludes marketing costs, which generally run anywhere from 50 percent to 100 percent of the production budget. Let’s take a middle point, and therefore, assume a total costs of $350 million for Lightyear. At just less than $190 million in revenue after its third weekend, there’s just no way that Lightyear will come close to breaking even, never mind making a profit in theaters. Yikes, again.


This was Pixar’s first big move back into theaters since Onward was cut short in theaters when the pandemic hit in March 2020. Since then, SoulLuca and Turning Red went to Disney+. Consider that Lightyear’s production budget at $200 million isn’t all that different from reports that Soul cost $150 million, Luca $200 million, and Turning Red $175 million – again, absent marketing costs. Those are big numbers for few dollars coming in at the box office, while one is left trying to figure out their contributions to Disney+ subscriptions. They no doubt contributed positively to subscriber growth, but to what degree? Also, can these types of budgets be sustained in the future without substantial profits at the box office?


Of course, Pixar has a stellar track record over the long haul, and it might just snapback with more hits. It’s hard to bet against them. 


But doubts lurk. After all, the creators at Pixar today are not the same as those who gave us Toy StoryThe IncrediblesMonsters Inc. and other Pixar classics. Indeed, one could argue that there has been a drop off in the quality of Pixar films over its past 11 movies – starting with The Good Dinosaur in 2015 which had the worst Pixar box office pre-pandemic – again especially when compared to the incredible run with its first 15 movies. 


So, Pixar seems to be another question for Disney CEO Bob Chapek, who is a CEO in no shortage of questions and challenges.




Ray Keating is the editor, publisher and economist for DisneyBizJournal.com, and author of the Pastor Stephen Grant novels and assorted nonfiction books. Have Ray Keating speak your group, business, school, church, or organization. Email him at raykeating@keatingreports.com.


The views expressed here are his own – after all, no one else should be held responsible for this stuff, right?


Two great ways to order Cathedral: An Alliance of Saint Michael Novel, which is Ray’s sixteenth work of fiction, and the first in the Alliance of Saint Michael series. Signed paperbacks here and the Kindle edition here


Two great ways to order Ray Keating’s new nonfiction book – The Weekly Economist: 52 Quick Reads to Help You Think Like an Economist. Signed paperbacks here, and paperbacks, hardcovers and Kindle editions here.  


Get all of Ray Keating Pastor Stephen Grant thrillers and mysteries in paperback and for the Kindle at Amazon.com and signed books at www.RayKeatingOnline.com


Get more out of the rest of 2022 with The Disney Planner 2022: The TO DO List Solution! It combines a simple, powerful system for getting things done with encouragement and fun for Disney fans, including those who love Mickey, Marvel, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Pixar, princesses and more. Also, “The Disney Planner 2022: The TO DO List Solution” comes with a handy spiral binding for easy use. It’s on sale and shipping is always free!


Also, check out Ray’s podcasts – the Daily Dose of DisneyFree Enterprise in Three Minutes, and the PRESS CLUB C Podcast.

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Flavors of Florida Festival Returns to Disney Springs

by Beth Keating



July 3, 2022


When you think of Florida flavors, your taste buds probably go the citrus route: orange and Key Lime, or maybe, to Florida’s recently legislated “state dessert,” the strawberry shortcake.  (Florida strawberry farmers produce 75 percent of the winter strawberry crop in the United States.)  Given a few minutes, you’d potentially come up with Gulf shrimp or the Florida favorite Cuban sandwich. With a stretch, crispy little gator bites could even pop to mind.

But at this year’s “Flavors of Florida” festival at Disney Springs, you might be surprised by the variety of unexpected dishes.  Take, for example, the “Home Grown Strip Steak” at Raglan Road, a 12oz, grass-fed cut locally raised at Florida’s Adena Farms. Or Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’s “Southern Fried Hand Pies,” made with a strawberry moonshine-glaze.  The Coca-Cola Rooftop Bar will be serving up a 
“Sunshine Orange Chill,” made with St. Augustine vodka. Betcha vodka wasn’t your first thought when we said “Florida flavors”!

From July 5 through August 14, the Flavors of Florida festival will be adding delicious Florida-inspired offers to more than 30 restaurants and shops in Disney Springs. Presented by CORKCICLE!, this chance to sample some new menu items from the phenomenal chefs at Disney Springs will add a unique twist to your summer vacation. (All photos courtesy of Disney Parks Blog.)


You can pick up a Flavors of Florida event guide at the Disney Springs Welcome Center, but here’s a quick Foodie Guide to get you started.


Amorette’s Patisserie

  • Blood Orange Éclair – Éclair filled with triple blood orange mousse, topped with tangy citrus jam and candied blood orange.
  • Blue Citrus Sauvignon Blanc Slushie – Matua sauvignon blanc, Blue Curaçao syrup and lemonade. Served in a Flavors of Florida Corkcicle.



  • Coconut Panna Cotta – Coconut panna cotta, layered with mango gelée and topped with tropical fresh fruit, shredded coconut and a crispy coconut shortbread cookie.


Chef’s Art Smith’s Homecomin’

  • Southern Fried Hand Pies – A pair of fried pastries filled with moonshine-glazed strawberry compote and served with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. 
  • Blood Orange Margarita – Dobel Diamanté tequila with fresh-squeezed lime juice and blood orange purée, garnished with a fresh Florida orange.


Chicken Guy!

  • Florida Sunshine Shake – Hand-spun, vanilla, soft serve ice cream and fresh Florida orange juice, topped with whipped cream and garnished with an orange wheel. (Not available for online orders.)


City Works Eatery & Pour House 

  • Smokehouse Cuban – Hardwood-smoked pulled pork shoulder, ham, shaved hot link, smoked provolone, Robonaut Red mustard and spicy bread & butter pickles, on a Cuban roll.


Coca-Cola Rooftop Beverage Bar

  • Sunshine Orange Chill – St. Augustine vodka, orange juice, topped with Sprite and served in a souvenir Coca-Cola glass.


D-Luxe Burger 

  • Lime Garage Burger – Deluxe patty, topped with pepper jack cheese, pork belly and fried green tomato, served with an avocado, lime and jalapeno spread. 
  • Orange Garage Burger – Deluxe patty, topped with pepper jack cheese, pork belly, lettuce, served with an orange and onion marmalade. 
  • Orange Bird Milkshake – Artisanal shake made with vanilla gelato and orange, topped with sprinkles.


Dockside Margaritas

  • Strawberry Basil Margarita – Herradura reposado tequila and lime juice, with strawberry purée and garnished with shredded basil leaves.


Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC

  • Orange Blossom Cupcake – Moist vanilla cupcake, piped with orange-flavored frosting, topped with orange zest and a flower garnish. (Vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free.)


Everglazed Donuts & Cold Brew

  • Citrus Dream Donut – Orange glazed donut with white buttercream, drizzled with orange icing and topped with an orange gummy and fresh mint leaf. 
  • Orange Lemonade with Sweet Cream Foam – Limited-edition summer treat, made with fresh-squeezed orange lemonade and topped with sweet cream foam.


Frontera Cocina

  • Shrimp Ajillo Tostada – Tostada topped with roasted garlic-guajillo Florida pink shrimp, avocado, jicama, local heirloom cherry tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, orange and a citrus-soy vinaigrette.


Gideon’s Bakehouse

  • Orange Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookie – An almost-half-pound vanilla bean cookie infused with orange essence and mixed with dark chocolate, covered in pecan pralines and candied orange peel.


The Ganachery

  • Strawberry Shortcake Chocolate Treats – Strawberry chocolate, white crisp pearls, speculoos cookie crumbles and strawberry crispies.


House of Blues Restaurant & Bar

  • Voodoo Shrimp – Sautéed Florida Gulf Shrimp in an Abita Amber beer reduction sauce, served over jalapeño-cheese cornbread. 
  • Green Gator – Siesta Key Toasted Coconut Rum mixed with melon liqueur, simple syrup and pineapple juice.


Local Green Orlando Food Truck

  • Kingston Mango Pineapple Lemonade – Tropical flavors of mango and pineapple with refreshing lemonade.


Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar 

  • Florida Gulf Shrimp Tacos – Jerk-spiced shrimp served in a grilled corn tortilla with watermelon pico de gallo and topped with sliced jalapeno. 
  • Jock’s Citrus Old Fashioned – A cocktail classic with a Florida summer twist.
  • Florida Mule – Florida cane vodka, ginger beer, orange juice and simple syrup. Served in a Flavors of Florida Corkcicle. 


M&M’S Store 

  • M&M’S White Chocolate Key Lime Pie Candy – Brightly colored, white chocolate candies, available by the half-pound and pound from the color wall. 


Outdoor Vending 

  • Blood Orange Gin & Tonic – St. Augustine Gin, Tipplers orange liqueur, blood orange Monin and tonic water, garnished with an orange wedge.



  • Key Lime Pie – A rich but tart key lime filling and airy toasted meringue. 


The Polite Pig 

  • Cuban Sandwich – Classic Florida sandwich made with crusty bread and piled high with sliced ham, roasted pork, cheese and dill pickles, spread with a tangy sauce. 
  • Key Lime Mojito – Rum cocktail, mixed with fresh-squeezed lime juice and club soda, garnished with fresh mint sprigs and lime.


Rainforest Cafe

  • Key Lime Ceviche Tostada – Shrimp, scallop and mango ceviche, avocado mousse and cilantro-cabbage slaw with citrus vinaigrette, accompanied by cilantro lime rice and Cuban black beans. 
  • Sailfish Brewing Sunrise City IPA – West coast-style IPA brewed with Columbus, Amarillo and Mosaic hops, featuring a smooth finish and notes of bitter citrus.


Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant 

  • Home Grown Strip Steak – A 12oz cut, grass-fed and locally raised at Florida’s Adena Farms, served with béarnaise sauce, Cipollini onions, sautéed wild mushrooms and Raglan’s twice-cooked millionaire homemade chips. 


Salt & Straw 

  • Strawberry Honey Balsamic with Black Pepper ice cream


Splitsville Luxury Lanes

  • Grilled Key West Pink Shrimp Salad – Grilled shrimp served over a spring mix with strawberries, oranges, cucumbers, tomato, parsley, onions and feta tossed in strawberry vinaigrette. 
  • Spiked Guava Lemonade – Guava puree and fresh-squeezed lemon juice with St. Augustine vodka, topped with a splash of soda water. 


Swirls on the Water 

  • Orange Bird DOLE Whip – Soft-serve DOLE Whip Orange topped with sprinkles and an Orange Bird garnish. 
  • Watermelon DOLE Whip – DOLE Whip Watermelon piled high on a slice of fresh watermelon. Limited quantities available daily, while supplies last.


Terralina Crafted Italian

  • Italian Sangria – Special blend of cabernet sauvignon, brandy, peach and lemon, garnished with Florida orange slices and served by the glass or in a pitcher for four. 



  • Blackened Shrimp Salad – Salad greens dressed with Florida orange blossom honey and Key lime vinaigrette topped with blackened shrimp, seasonal berries and goat cheese croutons. 
  • Oyster City Mangrove Pale Ale – Classic pale ale with a malty body and mild hops, fermented in mangos to add a tropical, fruit-forward flavor. 


Vivoli il Gelato 

  • Pineapple and Coconut Shake – A rich and creamy shake made with pineapple and coconut sorbetto, topped with a mini pineapple and coconut layer cake. 
  • Orange Blossom Gelato – Frozen Italian treat made with orange blossom pilsner beer and Savannah Bee orange blossom honey, served in a cup or waffle cone. 
  • Key Lime Cannoli – A delicate pastry shell filled with sweet cream made of ricotta and key limes. 


Wine Bar George 

  • Frozen Old Fashioned featuring DOLE Whip Orange. (Purchase a Wine Bar George limited edition Corkcicle and enjoy a complimentary frozen drink.)




Beth Keating is a theme parks, restaurant and entertainment reporter for DisneyBizJournal.


Please support the efforts of DisneyBizJournal.com to bring news, analysis and commentary on Disney to readers such as yourself. Make a contribution right here via PayPal. Thanks!

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Finally Got To Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’!

 by Beth Keating and David Keating



June 30, 2022


Located in the Landing section of Disney Springs, Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ is a smaller restaurant than you’d expect based on its incredible popularity. Hence, the difficulty getting reservations, particularly for the coveted Sunday brunch slots. We’ve waited for a long time for the opportunity to eat at this in-demand venue.  And I confess, I wasn’t the one who snagged the dining reservation. Our out-of-town guests were able to find a lunch time table.


Bright and airy, with large windows that let in plenty of light, the décor is “farmhouse adjacent,” not quite as relaxed as a “barn” motif, but definitely with an agricultural feel. There’s an open kitchen and central indoor bar area that keep the place a flurry of activity.


Homecomin’ specializes in “farm-to-fork cuisine showcasing Florida’s freshest flavors,” and it has a comfort foods, casual vibe to the venue. The service was fabulous.  Our cast member, a mom herself, was quick to bring lunch out for the toddler travelling with us, ahead of everyone else’s food, so that the parents could feed a fussy little one, and then get a chance to eat their own meals while their food was actually still hot.  Hey, moms, imagine that?

Homecomin’ is the creation of Chef Art Smith, one of Disney Springs celebrity chefs and a native of Jasper, Florida (thus, the Homecomin’ name). He is also famous either for being Oprah Winfrey’s personal chef, or for serving a stint as a Disney cast member in his early days. You can pick whichever moniker excites you more.  He is especially known for his Sunday brunches, and for his selection of “moonshines.” If you can’t score a dining reservation, there is also an attached outside Shine Bar if you just want to grab a drink.


Since moonshine is one of the specialties of the house, several of our seatmates opted to try something from that category.  We ended up selecting two different libations: the Muleshine Cocktail, and the Moonshine Mash, both $14.00.  


The Muleshine was the restaurant’s version of a Moscow Mule, served up in chilled copper mugs. It featured Midnight Moon Moonshine, with peach puree, lime juice and a splash of Q Spectacular Ginger Beer. It contained everything you would want in a Moscow Mule. The ginger flavors were there, but what made it especially nice on a hot day was the way that the lime came through in a much stronger way compared to most mules that you might expect to get at a location like this. I don't typically think of Moscow Mules as being particularly "summer-y", but whether it was the Florida sunshine or the flavors present in this drink, Chef Art Smith's made me a cocktail that was perfect for that summertime feel.


The second moonshine-centric drink we tried was the Moonshine Mash ($14.00), a watermelon-infused moonshine, with fresh watermelon, lime juice and simple syrup that had a light, summery feel, perfect in the Florida heat. Next time, we may also try one of the “Shine on Taps,” because Homecomin’ features so many unique flavors. (Maybe the “Strawberry Lemonade,” made with strawberry moonshine, or the “Blue Hooch,” made with both Blue Flame Moonshine and lemon infused moonshine?)  Either way, it’s a good excuse to go back to Homecomin’ again.


For appetizers, we also went with a couple of the headliners that Homecomin’ is known for.  The Church Lady Deviled Eggs ($13.00) are HFK-style whole deviled eggs, smooth and creamy.  (HFK stands for Homecoming Florida Kitchen). There are three whole eggs in the portion (for a total of six servings when the eggs are halved and served up), and they are the most overstuffed eggs you’ve ever seen.  The chilled eggs were topped with a crispy piece of bacon, and were a delightfully cool way to start off a meal on a very hot and humid day. All in all, they were good, and had a distinctly homemade flair to them. 

Our out-of-town visitors were also intrigued by the opportunity to eat alligator in the Sunshine State, so we also requested an order of the Gator Bites ($16.00).  And while they didn’t proverbially “taste like chicken,” the tender bites of gator tail were delicately flavored, just a hint of a fish undertone, and nicely crispy. They were hand-battered and lightly fried, and much of the flavor actually came from the seasonings in the batter, the dipping remoulade, and the house-made hot sauce. The hot sauce was spectacular, by the way.

We selected four different entrées for our meals, including the Cuban Sandwich ($18.00). Fresh, enormous slices of Cuban bread were pressed around house-smoked pork, shaved country ham, and Swiss cheese. House-made barbecue chips drizzled with icebox dressing jazzed up the side of the dish. Our server assured us that fellow cast members from the Miami area confirm that the sandwich is one of the best Cubans they’ve had, and our diners were quick to agree.  The meats were tender, with just the right amount of “pickley-ness” on the sandwich, owing to the substantial number of house-made pickles layered in. The sandwich was huge!  While we took part of ours home, it easily could have been split between two diners, especially if you were looking to sample a variety of foods from the menu.

Another diner opted for the fried chicken and doughnuts ($30.00). While it was a bit on the pricey side for a lunch entrée, especially compared to the chicken sandwich entrée, it was delicious.  Two pieces of the restaurant’s famous fried chicken came with two miniature house-made sugar doughnuts, still warm from the fryer, and served with a ramekin of warm syrup.  (The doughnuts are also available as a side dish, and truthfully, we could have eaten a whole plate of just the doughnuts.)  The doughnuts were sweet and fluffy, with just a bit of chew to the inside of the doughnut, and a touch of texture from the sugar on the outside.  So good!  It’s up to you if you decide to use the syrup on the doughnuts alone, or over your chicken as well.  We won’t judge!  The chicken was juicy and tender, with a good crunch to the outside coating.  Umm, yes, we drizzled our syrup over the chicken as well, and it was delightful! The entrée also came with a side of creamy mashed potatoes, which definitely had that homemade feel to them, with small chunks of potato in the mash.  


Another diner opted for the fried chicken sandwich ($19.00), and while still pricey for a sandwich, it was a filling selection.  The chicken on the sandwich is buttermilk-brined for 24 hours and hand-battered, then served up with that delicious house-made hot sauce, a swirl of aioli, lettuce, tomato and bread and butter pickles. It also came with the house-made barbecue chips drizzled with icebox dressing.  The fried chicken was an especially thick piece, making for a large bite of sandwich by the time the veggies were factored in.

The final diner selected the Chopped Pork Barbecue ($27.00), and they were very happy not only with the flavor of their dish, but the size of the meal as well. The portion again was big enough to share, especially having enjoyed appetizers. The pork was a pulled pork style meat, sauced with Homecomin’s sweet and spicy barbecue sauce. It was also served with a big bowl of “Momma’s mac and cheese,” southern slaw and a cheddar drop biscuit.  The BBQ Pork Mac and Cheese hit all the right notes as far as comfort food is concerned. The ratio of pasta to cheese was generous on the side of cheese and the BBQ pulled pork had the right mix of savory and sweet flavors. Pairing the two for forkful after forkful left our diner feeling satisfied, if not a few pounds heavier. 


All in all, Chef Art Smith’s was worth the wait.  When they say this is southern comfort food, this is really a code for a delightful, but heavy, meal. Be sure you come hungry!




Beth Keating is a theme parks, restaurant and entertainment reporter for DisneyBizJournal.


Please support the efforts of DisneyBizJournal.com to bring news, analysis and commentary on Disney to readers such as yourself. Make a contribution right here via PayPal. Thanks!

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Menus for 2022 EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival Released

 by Beth Keating



June 29, 2022


Yay!  The Warm Raclette Swiss Cheese at The Alps booth and the “Le Cellier” Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with truffle-butter sauce are both on the list of returning items at Food & Wine this year.  They are particular favorites in our family. And among the new items at the festival, we’re looking forward to the Mini Piña Colada Funnel Cake with piña colada ice cream, whipped cream, toasted coconut, and maraschino cherry drizzled with coconut-rum sauce at the funnel cake booth.  Grab your fork and let’s go!

The 2022 EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival  returns to Florida on July 14 and runs through November 19, bringing with it more than 25 Global Marketplaces (also known to the rest of us as food booths), with small bite plates from six continents. 


There will be a new marketplace added to the festival this year. The Fry Basket, serving specialty French fries including a Fry Flight (!), will be joining the line-up.  Several booths, including Hawaii, Brew-Wing, Coastal Eats, Mac & Eats, and The Noodle Exchange, will open later than the other booths, on August 11.  


The Eat to the Beat Concert Series will be back, and two family activities including Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak scavenger hunt and Emile’s Fromage Montage food stroll will also provide entertainment. 


The newly released Foodie Guide to the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival includes (all photos courtesy of Disney Parks Blog):


Earth Eats hosted by IMPOSSIBLE (Near Port of Entry)


Food Items:


  • IMPOSSIBLE Burger Slider with wasabi cream and spicy slaw on a sesame seed bun (Plant-based) 
  • IMPOSSIBLE Meatball with herbed polenta, rustic puttanesca sauce, and basil pesto (New) (Plant-based)




  • Strawberry Freeze featuring Twinings Lemon & Ginger Herbal Tea (non-alcoholic) (New)
  • Stephen Vincent Pinot Noir
  • Strawberry Freeze featuring Twinings Lemon & Ginger Herbal Tea with Ketel One Botanical Cucumber & Mint Vodka (New)

Shimmering Sips hosted by CORKCICLE (Near Port of Entry)


Food Items:  


  • Guava Mousse on a sugar cookie with coconut-lime whipped cream (New) (Plant-based)



  • Tropical Mimosa with sparkling wine and Minute Maid passion fruit, orange, and guava juices
  • Key Lime Mimosa with key lime sparkling wine and cranberry juice
  • Blood Orange Mimosa with sparkling wine and blood orange juice
  • Berry Sour Ale Mimosa: Boulevard Brewing Co. berry noir sour ale and sparkling wine (New)
  • Mimosa Flight
  • CORKCICLE Stemless Flute

Hawaii (Near Port of Entry; opening Aug. 11)


Food Items: 


  • Kālua Pork Slider with sweet-and-sour DOLE pineapple chutney and spicy mayonnaise
  • SPAM Musubi Nigiri with sushi rice, teriyaki-glazed SPAM, spicy mayonnaise, eel sauce, and nori (New)
  • Passion Fruit Cheesecake with toasted macadamia nuts (Emile’s Fromage Montage)




  • Kona Brewing Co. Hanalei Island IPA
  • Florida Orange Groves Sparkling Pineapple Wine
  • AULANI Sunrise: Vodka, DOLE pineapple juice, and grenadine 

Australia (Near Port of Entry)


Food Items: 


  • Grilled Sweet-and-Spicy Bush Berry Shrimp with pineapple, pepper, onion, and snap peas (Gluten/ Wheat Friendly)
  • Roasted Lamb Chop with mint pesto and potato crunchies (Gluten/ Wheat Friendly)
  • Lamington: Yellow cake with raspberry filling dipped in chocolate and coconut (New)




  • Coopers Brewery Pacific Pale Ale (New)                 
  • Yalumba ‘Y’ Viognier (New)
  • Robert Oatley Chardonnay
  • Château Tanunda Grand Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Jansz Premium Rosé (New)
  • Wine Flight


Refreshment Port hosted by Boursin (Near Canada)


Food Items: 


  • Braised Beef Poutine: French fries, Boursin Garlic & Fine Herbs Cheese Sauce, cheese curds, and gherkin relish
  • Maple cheesecake with whipped maple bourbon cheese and candied pecans




  • Frozen Mango Martini: Boyd & Blair Vodka with mango nectar and lemon




Food Items: 


  • Canadian Cheddar and Bacon Soup served with a pretzel roll (Emile’s Fromage Montage)
  • “Le Cellier” Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with truffle-butter sauce (Gluten/ Wheat Friendly)




  • Collective Arts Audio/Visual Lager
  • Château des Charmes Cabernet-Merlot Estate

Appleseed Orchard (In Canada Far and Wide Theater)


Food Item: 


  • Apple Crumble Tart




  • Frozen Apple Pie (non-alcoholic)
  • Cinnamon Apple Cider (non-alcoholic)
  • Bold Rock Imperial Apple Hard Cider (New)
  • Original Sin Hard Cider McIntosh
  • Blake’s Hard Cider Co. Saint Chéri Bourbon Barrel Aged Cherry
  • Cider Flight
  • Big Storm Brewing Co. Apple Blonde Ale
  • Playalinda Brewing Caramel Apple Pie Ale (New)
  • 3 Daughters Brewing Apple Pecan Brown Ale
  • Beer Flight
  • Apple Blossom Sky: Apple cider, ginger ale, apple brandy, maple syrup, and mini marshmallows
  • CORKCICLE Classic Tumbler

Ireland (Near the United Kingdom)


Food Items: 


  • Fisherman’s Seafood Pie
  • Roasted Irish Sausage with colcannon potatoes and onion gravy
  • Warm Chocolate Pudding Cake with Irish cream liqueur custard




  • Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale
  • Bunratty Mead Honey Wine
  • Guinness Baileys Coffee Shake


Brazil (Between France and Morocco)


Food Items: 


  • Feijoada: Black Beans with crispy pork belly, Brazil nut pesto, and Ben’s Original Long Grain White Rice (New)
  • Pão de Queijo: Brazilian cheese bread (Gluten/ Wheat Friendly) (Emile’s Fromage Montage)




  • Xingu Brazilian Black Lager                                                   
  • Frozen Caipirinha with Cachaça

Belgium (Between France and Morocco)


Food Items: 


  • Beer-braised Beef served with smoked gouda mashed potatoes
  • Belgian Waffle with warm chocolate ganache
  • Belgian Waffle with berry compote and whipped cream




  • St. Bernardus Witbier
  • Belgian Abbey Ale
  • Delirium Red Fruit Ale
  • Chilled Coffee featuring Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
  • Beer Flight


Tangierine Café: Flavors of the Medina (Morocco)


Food Items: 


  • Grilled Chermoula Chicken or Moroccan-spiced Lamb Kebabs with carrot-chickpea salad and garlic aïoli
  • Fried Falafel Pita with tahini sauce (Plant-based)
  • Stone-baked Moroccan Bread with hummus, chermoula, and Zhoug dips
  • Pistachio Cake with cinnamon pastry cream and candied walnuts




  • 3 Daughters Brewing Fig Hard Cider
  • Bold Rock Ginger Turmeric Hard Cider
  • Stem Ciders Hibiscus Session Hard Apple Cider (New)
  • Fig Cocktail with white cranberry juice and fig vodka
  • Cider Flight
  • CORKCICLE Classic Tumbler


Greece (Near Morocco)


Food Items: 


  • Spanakopita
  • Griddled Cheese with pistachios and honey (Gluten/ Wheat Friendly)
  • Lamb Gyro with shaved lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, and tzatziki on warm flatbread (New)




  • Mylonas Assyrtiko White Wine
  • Zoe Rosé
  • Kir-Yianni Naoussa Xinomavro Dry Red
  • Wine Flight


Hops & Barley (American Adventure)


Food Items: 


  • Chesapeake Crab Slider with tangy coleslaw and Cajun remoulade (New)
  • Hot Beef Sandwich with horseradish cream and pickled vegetables
  • Freshly Baked Carrot Cake with cream cheese icing




  • 81Bay Brewing Co. Strawberry and Lime Wheat Ale
  • Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co. Kentucky Pumpkin Barrel Ale (New)
  • Lord Hobo Brewing Boom Sauce DIPA
  • Bold Rock Roast Coffee Hard Cider
  • Longevity Chardonnay
  • Tribute Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Beer Flight


Spain (Between Italy and Germany)


Food Items: 


  • Charcuterie with a selection of imported Spanish Meats, Cheeses, Olives, and an Herbed Vinaigrette (Gluten/ Wheat Friendly)
  • Paella with Rice, Chorizo, and Shrimp (Gluten/ Wheat Friendly)
  • Seafood Salad with Shrimp, Bay Scallops, Mussels, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, White Balsamic Vinegar, and Smoked Paprika (Gluten/ Wheat Friendly)




  • Estrella Galicia Cerveza Especial Lager
  • Kentia Albariño Rías Baixas (New)
  • Faustino VII Rioja Rosado
  • Quinta del ’67 Almansa Garnacha Tintorera (New)
  • Wine Flight




Food Items: 


  • Schinkennudeln: Pasta gratin with ham, onions, and cheese (Emile’s Fromage Montage)            
  • Roasted Bratwurst in a pretzel roll
  • Apple Strudel with vanilla sauce




  • Gaffel Kölsch
  • Weihenstephaner Lager
  • Schöfferhofer Pineapple Hefeweizen (New)
  • Selbach-Oster Riesling
  • Beer Flight


The Alps (Near Germany)


Food Items: 


  • Warm Raclette Swiss Cheese with alpine ham, baby potatoes, cornichons, and baguette (Emile’s Fromage Montage)
  • Warm Raclette Swiss Cheese with baby potatoes, cornichons, and baguette (Emile’s Fromage Montage)
  • Warm Raclette Swiss Cheese with Riesling-poached pears, red wine-braised figs, candied pecans, honey, and cranberry toast (New) (Emile’s Fromage Montage)




  • Wicked Weed Brewing Uncle Rick’s Pilsner (New)
  • Huber Vision Grüner Veltliner
  • Cave De La Côte Rosé Gamay
  • René Favre Dôle
  • Frozen Rosé
  • Wine Flight


Kenya (Near Refreshment Outpost)


Food Items: 


  • Kenyan Coffee Barbecued Beef Tenderloin with sweet potato and corn mealie pap and kachumbari slaw (Gluten/ Wheat Friendly)
  • Piri Piri Skewered Shrimp with citrus-scented couscous




  • 81Bay Brewing Co. Congo Pilsner


Refreshment Outpost


Food Items: 


  • Spicy Githeri with white beans, pigeon peas, Ben’s Original Quinoa & Ancient Grains Medley, and kachumbari slaw (Plant-based)




  • CORKCICLE Classic Tumbler


India (Near China)


Food Items: 


  • Crispy Paneer with mango-curry ketchup (New) (Emile’s Fromage Montage)
  • Potato and Pea Samosa with coriander-lime cream (New) (Plant-based)
  • Chicken Tikka Masala with fennel-spiced yogurt and naan bread (New)




  • Mango Lassi (non-alcoholic)
  • Taj Mahal Premium Lager
  • Sula Brut Tropicale Sparkling Wine
  • Sula Chenin Blanc
  • Mango Lassi with Sōmrus Chai Cream Liqueur


The Swanky Saucy Swine (Near Disney Traders)


Food Items: 


  • Crispy Barbecued Pork Rinds with pimento cheese (Gluten/ Wheat Friendly) (Emile’s Fromage Montage)
  • Soy-glazed Sticky Ribs with green onions and peanuts
  • Grilled Pork Shoulder Lettuce Wrap with charred corn salsa, pickled red onion, and cilantro-lime crema (New) (Gluten/ Wheat Friendly)




  • Parish Brewing Co. SIPS Cabernet Franc Strawberry (New)
  • Rombauer Zinfandel
  • Bourbon Bloody Mary with Seaside Grown Bloody Mary Mix and Labrot & Graham Woodford Reserve Bourbon Whiskey


The Noodle Exchange (Near Disney Traders; opening Aug. 11)


Food Items: 


  • Traditional Spicy Vietnamese Beef Pho with shaved beef, mushrooms, and Thai basil (Gluten/ Wheat Friendly)
  • Chinese Char Siu Pork Udon with mushrooms, bok choy, and soy pickled egg
  • Thai Shrimp and Coconut-Curry Rice Noodles with shiitake mushrooms and Thai basil (Gluten/ Wheat Friendly)
  • Tofu Pho with mushrooms and Thai basil (Gluten/ Wheat Friendly) (Plant-based)




  • Playalinda Brewing Company Yaupon Brothers Green Tea Pale Ale
  • A to Z Riesling


Brew-Wing (Opening Aug. 11)


Food Items: 


  • Sticky Wings with Peanut Sauce and Grape Gel with Celery and Ranch (New)
  • Garlic-Parmesan Wings with celery and ranch (Gluten/ Wheat Friendly)
  • Traditional Buffalo Wings with celery and ranch (Gluten/ Wheat Friendly)
  • Sriracha-Lime Wings with celery and ranch (New)
  • Dry-rubbed Jerk-spiced Wings with papaya chili sauce with celery and ranch (New)
  • Crispy Brussels Sprouts with buffalo sauce (Plant-based)




  • Ivanhoe Park Brewing Company Pineapple Vibes Blonde Ale
  • 3 Daughters Brewing Watermelon Wheat Ale (New)
  • Central 28 Beer Company Groveland Road Blood Orange IPA (New)
  • Beer Flight
  • Bold Rock Honeycrisp Hard Cide
  • Woodchuck Guava ‘Nother Hard Cider (New)
  • Blake’s Hard Cider Co. Strawberry Lemonade Hard Cider (New)
  • Cider Flight


The Fry Basket (Near Test Track presented by Chevrolet)


Food Items: 


  • Adobo Yuca Fries with garlic-cilantro aïoli (New) (Gluten/ Wheat Friendly) (Plant-based)
  • Fry Flight (New)
    • Sea Salt and Malt Vinegar Fries (Plant-based)
    • Barbecued Bacon Fries with smoked aïoli
    • Sweet Potato Casserole Fries with candied pecans, toasted marshmallow cream, and caramel whisky




  • Salty Dog Cocktail: Boyd & Blair Vodka with grapefruit juice, ginger, simple syrup, and lime with a salted rim (New)
  • 81Bay Brewing Co. Key Lime Lager (New)


Flavors from Fire (Near Test Track presented by Chevrolet)


Food Items: 


  • Smoked Corned Beef with crispy potatoes, cheese curds, pickled onions, and beer-cheese fondue (Emile’s Fromage Montage)
  • Banh Mi Bao with char-grilled Asian skirt steak, chicken liver aïoli, pickled vegetables, and cilantro (New)
  • Rocky Road Chocolate Cake with marshmallows, spiced almonds, and chocolate ganache (New)




  • Saugatuck Brewing Company Bonfire Beer
  • Four Virtues Bourbon Barrel Zinfandel
  • Swine Brine featuring Jim Beam Bourbon
  • CORKCICLE Classic Tumbler


Coastal Eats (Near Mission: SPACE; opening Aug. 11)


Food Items: 


  • Baked Scampi Dip with shrimp, scallops, and baguette (New)
  • Oysters Rockefeller (New)




  • Bell’s Lager of the Lakes Bohemian Pilsner (New)
  • Villa Wolf Sparkling Pinot Noir Rosé
  • Sean Minor Chardonnay
  • Cape Codder: Boyd & Blair Vodka with cranberry, pomegranate, and lime


Mac & Eats (Near Mission: SPACE; opening Aug. 11)


Food Items: 


  • Traditional Macaroni & Cheese with herbed panko (Emile’s Fromage Montage)
  • Cowboy Macaroni & Cheese with smoked pork belly, brisket burnt ends, pickled peppers, onion straws, and barbecue aïoli (Emile’s Fromage Montage)
  • Chili-Cheese Macaroni & Cheese with sour cream and cheddar cheese (New) (Plant-based) (Emile’s Fromage Montage)




  • 81Bay Brewing Co. Lemon Hazy IPA
  • Catena White Clay Sémillon-Chenin (New)  
  • Evolution by Sokol Blosser Pinot Noir (New)




Food Items: 


  • Taco al Pastor: Seared pork belly pastor on a corn tortilla with chipotle black beans, pineapple, pickled onions, and chives (New) (Gluten/ Wheat Friendly)
  • Tostada de Barbacoa: Barbacoa beef on a fried corn tortilla with chipotle black beans, salsa verde, Mexican crema, queso fresco, and chives (New) (Gluten/ Wheat Friendly)
  • Capirotada de Chocolate: Abuelita chocolate bread pudding served with a chocolate crème anglaise




  • Mexican Craft Beer
  • Blood Orange Charm Margarita: Centinela Blanco Tequila, blood orange aperitif, blackcurrant-infused vodka, and prosecco served on the rocks with pink peppercorns and sweet-dried-chile salt rim (New)
  • It Takes Two to Mango Margarita: Mezcal Ilegal Joven, mango purée, Nixta Corn Liqueur, rum, and ancho chile lime juice served on the rocks with hibiscus-salt rim (New)




Food Items: 


  • Beignet aux Trois Fromages: Warm beignet filled with three cheese blend
  • Brioche aux Escargots, Sauce Crème à l’ail et Persil: Escargot brioche with creamy garlic and parsley sauce (New)
  • Parmentier de Boeuf Braisé au Cabernet: Braised short ribs in cabernet with mashed potatoes
  • Crème Brûlée Vanille à la Confiture de Framboises: Vanilla crème brûlée with house-made raspberry jam (New) (Gluten/ Wheat-Friendly)




  • Strawberry Rose Mimosa: Pol Remy Sparkling Wine, orange juice, and Monin Strawberry Rose Syrup
  • Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon Blend, Bordeaux, Château de Riffaud (New)
  • Chardonnay, Louis de Camponac
  • La Passion Martini Slush: Vodka, Grey Goose Le Citron, cranberry, and passion fruit juice




Food Items: 


  • Gnocchi di Patate: Potato dumplings with four-cheese sauce and roasted cremini mushrooms (New)
  • Gnocchi di Patate: Potato dumplings with vodka sauce, Romano cheese, and crispy bacon (New)
  • Panna Cotta: Orange blossom panna cotta with seasonal berries (New)




  • Prosecco
  • Moscato
  • Italian Sangria
  • Italian Margarita with tequila and limoncello
  • Peroni Pilsner




Food Items: 


  • Pan-fried Chicken Dumplings with house-made sweet-and-spicy sauce
  • Mongolian Beef Bao Bun with onion (New)
  • Dandan Noodles: Spicy pork with sichuan sauce, peanut butter, sesame, and green onion (New)




  • Passion Fruit Bubble Tea (non-alcoholic) (New)
  • Good Fortune Citrus: Triple sec, grapefruit, and white boba
  • ByeJoe Punch: Chinese baijiu spirit, piña colada mix, and lychee
  • Fireworks: Jose Cuervo Gold Tequila, Smirnoff Vodka, orange, and mango
  • Jasmine Draft Beer




Food Items: 


  • Teriyaki Chicken Bun: Steamed bun filled with chicken, vegetables, and teriyaki sauce
  • Takoyaki: Octopus, green onion, and cabbage bites topped with tonkatsu sauce, bonito flakes, and nori (New)
  • Spicy Salmon Donburi: Spicy salmon with sushi rice, shiso leaf, red tobiko, and rice pearls (New)




  • Yuzu Lemon Drop: Vodka, yuzu, and lemon
  • Hana Fuji Apple Sake (New)
  • Orange Blossom Brewing Co. Moon Blossom Pilsner (New)


Funnel Cake


Food Items: 


  • Mini Piña Colada Funnel Cake with piña colada ice cream, whipped cream, toasted coconut, and maraschino cherry drizzled with coconut-rum sauce (New)


Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company


The American Adventure – Mocha Madness: A sweet frozen cappuccino blended with chocolate syrup (non-alcoholic) (Spirited version available with Godiva Chocolate Liqueur) (New)


World Showcase (Near Disney Traders) – Castaway Cold Brew: A creamy combination of Joffrey’s Shakin’ Jamaican Nitro and sweet cream (non-alcoholic) (Spirited version available with Grey Goose Vodka and Kahlúa Liqueur) (New)


Near Canada – Arctic Sunrise: A cool citrus treat featuring passion fruit over ice and coconut syrup (non-alcoholic) (Spirited version available with Bacardí Tropical Rum) (New)


World Discovery (Near Mission: SPACE – Nitro Dreams: A creamy combination of Joffrey’s Shakin’ Jamaican Nitro Cold Brew, Irish cream syrup, and half & half topped with cream (non-alcoholic) (Spirited version available with Angel’s Envy Bourbon) (New)  




Beth Keating is a theme parks, restaurant and entertainment reporter for DisneyBizJournal.


Please support the efforts of DisneyBizJournal.com to bring news, analysis and commentary on Disney to readers such as yourself. Make a contribution right here via PayPal. Thanks!