Holidays at WDW Swan and Dolphin Resort are the Best!

Where can you have an elf tuck the kids in or see a chocolate Santa as big as you? How about some dancing lights and a special key to hang on your door so that Santa knows where to find the kids on Christmas Eve? Celebrating the holidays at Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort covers everything to make sure the entire family is happy and in the holiday spirit! 

When my kids were young and we would travel for Christmas, their biggest worry was “How will Santa find us?” WDW Swan and Dolphin has that covered with the “Magic Key!”

Holiday festivities and Santa return to the 

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort

Santa and Mrs. Claus return for their annual vacation, bringing holiday décor and festivities throughout the season.

Santa, Mrs. Claus and their elf, Kandy Kane, return for their annual holiday vacation to the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort, Santa’s favorite resort, as part of the resort’s 2018 holiday season celebration. In addition to the meet and greets with the North Pole visitors in their vacation attire, other holiday favorites including bedtime elf tuck-ins, a dancing lights show and 2,000-pound life-size holiday scene made entirely from chocolate all return to create a festive atmosphere for guests.  

Guest who make reservations at www.santasfavoriteresort.com can receive holiday season room rates up to 10 percent off at the Epcot Resort Area resort. 

The full slate of Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort holiday activities include:

Santa and Mrs. Claus Meet and Greets

Santa, Mrs. Claus and Kandy Kane, decked out in their favorite Florida vacation attire, will meet guests in Santa’s customized Tiki hut on select nights starting Nov. 23. This unique holiday photo opportunity is filled with Florida flair featuring reindeer, palm trees, flamingos and holiday cheer.

A Florida Snowfall and Tree Lighting Ceremony

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort’s holiday tree, showcasing continuously changing lights, returns to brighten up the holidays. Throughout December, guests can experience the transformation of the lobby into a festive holiday scene featuring the state-of-the-art 24-foot-tall Christmas tree. Regularly timed indoor snowfalls complete the holiday scene. On select nights, guests can join Mrs. Claus in the Dolphin lobby for the lighting of the Christmas tree starting at 6 p.m. The ceremony is followed by hot holiday beverages and crafts for kids at Santa’s Tiki Hut.

Bedtime Elf Tuck-Ins

Santa’s elves are making their return to bring holiday joy to children staying at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. On select nights starting Nov. 30, elves will deliver milk in a souvenir cup, cookies and a storybook to resort rooms. Elves, dressed in full costume, will also read a bedtime story and tuck children on Santa’s nice list into bed. Price varies by date and a service charge of 24 percent is added, in addition to tax. Reservations are required, and space is limited. To book, call 407-934-4206.

Life-Size Chocolate Holiday Santa Scene

Constructed entirely of chocolate, this life-size sculpture weighs approximately 2,000 pounds! The sculpture, created by two-time world pastry champion and the resort’s executive pastry chef, Laurent Branlard, is showcased in the lobby of the Swan. It features chocolate Santa sitting in his chair; a 7-foot-tall, 400-pound chocolate nutcracker; chocolate fireplace; chocolate Christmas tree; and chocolate toy train. The scene will be displayed in the lobby of the resort throughout December and is 100 percent edible. However, any chocolate lovers thinking of taking on the challenge of consuming this enormous sweet should consider that it is 4 million calories! (And unfortunately, the sculpture is not available for tasting.)

Dancing Lights Show

A dazzling musical light show transforms the outdoor causeway each evening into a holiday spectacle with dancing illuminated palm trees and favorite holiday tunes. The performances occur regularly from sunset through 10 p.m.  

Magic Keys for Santa on Christmas Eve

How will Santa deliver presents to each guest room without a chimney? With a magic key of course! Children can hang a magic key on their door to help Santa find his way on Christmas Eve. Magic keys are available on Dec. 24 at the concierge desk.

For more details about all the holiday excitement, including a full schedule of activities, at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort or to make room reservations, please visit www.santasfavoriteresort.com or call 1-800-227-1500.

About the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort

In the heart of the Walt Disney World Resort, the award-winning Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort resides amongst the greatest theme parks and attractions in Central Florida. The resort recently completed a $150 million transformation, the largest in the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort’s history. It is located between Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and nearby Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park and Magic Kingdom Park. Guests can discover 17 world-class restaurants and lounges, sophisticated guest rooms with Westin Heavenly Beds and the luxurious Mandara Spa. The resort features five pools, two health clubs, tennis, nearby golf, complimentary transportation throughout the Walt Disney World Resort, the extended park hours benefit, where each day, one of the four Walt Disney World theme parks is open extra time for guests to enjoy select attractions (Valid theme park admission and Resort ID required) and Disney FastPass+ service, where guests can reserve up to three select theme park experiences up to 60 days in advance of their visit. The resort can be reached at 800-227-1500. For more information, visit www.swandolphin.com and connect with the resort via FacebookTwitter and Instagram.




Eat, Drink & Be Merry – The Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

It only happens on 2 days each year. It’s spectacular. It’s a celebration. It’s more fun than a barrel of monkeys! The weather was perfect for a stroll around the celebration. We were invited to by the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin to attend the event for purposes of this review. 

There’s music, there’s food, there’s drinks, there’s seminars!

The 2018 Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic (it’s 9th year) was held on October 26 and October 27. I was fortunate to attend as an invited guest. It’s one of those events that even if I were not an invited member of the media – I would still go! It’s one of my favorite events each year in Orlando.  

For some reason, this year’s event was even more spectacular than previous years. Included in a ticket was:

  • 90 Food and beverage stations
  • 5 theme areas (Beer Garden, Bubble Lounge, Carnival Corner, Chinatown and The Pig & Poke)
  • 11 Resort restaurants represented
  • Live musical acts

There were also ten interactive food and beverage seminars available at an additional cost.

I spent hours strolling along the causeway sampling wines from all around and some of the most delightful food. Everyone should attend at least once. I’m sure once you do – you’ll make it a point to visit every year!

If you spend the weekend and visit the Food and Wine Classic both nights, you won’t be disappointed since the samplings change from Friday night to Saturday night.

The nicest part about this yearly event – Packages are available for overnight guests, and tickets are available for purchase for individual events and seminars. You can eat and drink to your heart’s content and then head upstairs for the evening!

Carnival Corner was definitely my favorite spot – who can resist fried oreos or a bag of Fritos smothered in chili!

My daughter made 3 trips for sushi!

And the desserts! OMG – the desserts!

Photo Credit: WDW Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

You should definitely plan on visiting next year – I bet it will be extra special since they will be celebrating the 10th year. The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic is always held a weekend in late October so start planning now!

TIP: Get there early to secure a table around the pool or along the causeway.




WDW Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic Returns for its Ninth Year

swan dolphin food wine classic ninth year

This is an event I try not to miss each year. It’s fun. It’s lively. It’s delicious!

The Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort returns Oct. 26-28, showcasing a vast array of food and beverage options and informative seminars conducted by members of the resort’s award-winning food and beverage team.

The Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic consists of 10 food and beverage seminars, Sunday brunch, live entertainment, a beer garden and more than 90 food and beverage stations, featuring appetizing selections from the resort’s signature restaurants including Shula’s Steak House, Il Mulino New York Trattoria and Todd English’s bluezoo, as well as wines, beers and cocktails from around the world. 

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic returns to celebrate its ninth year Oct. 26-28, featuring interactive seminars, two outdoor evening causeway events and the Sunday Bubbles Brunch. This year’s menus feature returning fan favorites alongside creative new dishes and offer attendees more than 90 food and beverage stations, 10 seminars and five themed areas to enjoy.

Guests will delight in numerous opportunities to sip and savor along the resort’s causeway, private lake and private beach Oct. 26 and 27 from 5:30-9 p.m. while enjoying live entertainment and cuisine from the resort’s award-winning restaurants.

New for 2018

Guests can take a culinary journey to the Pacific during this year’s event at the Hawaiian Luau-themed area, The Pig & The Poke. Located on the resort’s private beach, the area will immerse guests in the sights, sounds and tastes of the Pacific with live music and tasty bites including traditional earth baked Kalua pork with steamed white rice, Tuna Poke with koho sushi rice, avocado relish and crispy fried wontons and shaved ice served with a selection of tropical flavors. 

Enhancing the ambiance for 2018 will be the addition of several live musical performances throughout the event, in addition to the main stage.  Polynesian melodies will be performed by the family group Manureva at The Pig & The Poke.  The sounds of the 1920s and ‘30s, performed by Vintage Vibe, will fill the room in the Bubble Lounge and Harry “Captain Harry” Henry Hann will perform his blend of rock, soul, jazz and reggae – a style he calls Floribbean – in the Beer Garden. 

Featured Food

New dishes on the 2018 menu include:

  • Dynamite Rock Shrimp with late season Zellwood corn, wasabi foam, matsutake mushrooms, Japanese eggplant and crispy lotus root from Todd English’s bluezoo
  • Vietnamese Lemongrass Meatballs “On a Stick” with Vermicelli noodles, pickled vegetables and sriracha espuma from Cabana Bar and Beach Club
  • Braised beef agnolotti with caponata-agrodolce, baby leeks and glace de viande mornay sauce from Il Mulino
  • Shake & Bake Style Southern Fried Chicken with black eyed pea puree, white cheddar fondue and bacon-infused roasted garlic gravy from Picabu

Returning favorites include:

  • Oven roasted beef rib eye from Shula’s Steak House
  • Dragon sushi roll from Kimonos
  • Handcrafted bacon with hay smoked potato gnocchi, black truffle, thai chili brussels sprouts and grape “pudding” from Cib’s Smoke House

World Champion Pastry Chef Laurent Branlard sweetens the evening with his selection of decadent desserts. 

Seminars, Brunch and Entertainment

Favorite hands-on educational seminars taught by members of the resort’s award-winning food and beverage team return for foodies who want to add a little something extra to their festival experience. Seminars offered this year include: wine blending, Italian wines, champagne, beer, Riesling, craft cocktails, pasta making, sushi and sake and wine and cheese pairing. All seminars require separate tickets and space is limited.

Guests can extend the indulgence into Sunday morning with the Sunday Bubbles Brunch with J Vineyards and Winery at Il Mulino New York Trattoria, featuring a lavish menu of traditional and unconventional dishes like various cured meats and imported cheeses along with an array of sushi and trattoria-inspired entrees. The Sunday Bubbles Brunch is a separate ticket option and does not require an evening ticket or overnight accommodation to participate. 

Live music will be performed from the Dolphin clamshell fountain on both days of the event, featuring a variety of musical stylings.  Performances will include: 

  • Epic, performing today’s best dance, pop and party rock music
  • 501 Blues, playing the top blues, soul and classic rock hits from the past 40 years
  • Atlantic City Boys, featuring the rock ‘n’ roll harmonies of the Beach Boys, Drifters, the BeeGees and Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons

Event and Ticket Information

The Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic offers guests unlimited tastings at more than 90 stations featuring culinary selections from the hotel’s award-winning restaurants and wine from more than 60 wineries amidst a festive backdrop of live entertainment on the hotel’s scenic causeway, Oct. 26 and 27 from 5:30-9 p.m.

Ticket upgrades and add-ons allow guests to enjoy access to the Beer Garden, featuring a wide selection of craft beers and Oktoberfest-inspired cuisine, take part in interactive seminars and experience the Sunday Bubbles Brunch. More information, tickets and overnight packages can be found at www.SwanDolphinFoodandWineClassic.com or by calling 1-800-227-1500.

With 17 restaurants and lounges and a distinguished culinary and beverage team, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel continually earns national recognition for its food and beverage program. The hotel features more than 70 certified wine sommeliers and 1,400 wine selections.

Ticket Information:

  • Overnight packages and multiple-night package options are available for the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic starting at $445 and can be booked by phone at 1-800-227-1500
  • Advance purchase unlimited food and beverage samples are $127 per person; upgraded ticket including the Beer Garden is $155 per person including taxes
  • Interactive seminars start at $50 per person, per class including taxes
  • Sunday Bubbles Brunch with J Vineyards and Winery is $94 per person including taxes
  • For more information or to book, please visit www.SwanDolphinFoodandWineClassic.com or call 1-800-227-1500



2018 Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic Dates and Packages Announced

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The Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic held each year is one of my favorite events at Walt Disney World. I’m thrilled they have already announced the dates and packages available for the 2018 classic since they usually sell out quickly. Why not give the gift of a special weekend to the foodie lover in your life!

Dates Announced, Tickets Now on Sale for the 9th Annual

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic

2018 Swan Dolphin Food Wine Classic

The Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic will return in 2018 for its ninth year Friday, October 26, Saturday, October 27 and the Sunday Bubbles Brunch on Sunday, October 28. Fans can now visit www.SwanDolphinFoodandWineClassic.com to book overnight packages and purchase tickets.

The Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic offers guests unlimited tastings at more than 60 stations featuring culinary selections from the hotel’s award-winning restaurants and wine from around the world against a festive backdrop of live entertainment on the hotel’s scenic causeway. Upgraded ticket options allow guests everything from access to a festive beer garden featuring a wide selection of craft beers and Oktoberfest-inspired cuisine to hands-on seminars with the hotel’s chefs and certified beverage experts.

Overnight and multiple-night package options are available for the ninth-annual Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic and can be booked by phone at 1-888-828-8850:

  • One-night packages start at $445, and include room accommodations and two tickets to the outdoor festival
  • Two-night packages start at $865, and include room accommodations and two tickets to the outdoor festival for both nights

Seminar and beer garden tickets may be added to packages for an additional fee.

Individual ticket options are also available for the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic and can be purchased at www.SwanDolphinFoodandWineClassic.com (pricing is inclusive of tax and service fees):

  • Advance-purchase, event-only tickets to enjoy unlimited tastings on the causeway are $127 per person
  • Upgraded tickets, including unlimited tastings on the causeway and access to the beer garden, are $155 per person

With 18 restaurants and lounges and a distinguished culinary and beverage team, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort continually earns national recognition for its food and beverage program. The hotel features more than 70 certified wine sommeliers and 1,400 wine selections.

For the latest information about the event, guests can visit www.SwanDolphinFoodandWineClassic.com, like www.facebook.com/swananddolphin or call 1-800-227-1500.

About the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort

In the heart of the Walt Disney World Resort, the award-winning Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort resides amongst the greatest theme parks and attractions in Central Florida. The resort recently completed a $140 million transformation, the largest in its history. It is located between Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and nearby Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park and Magic Kingdom Park. Guests can discover 18 world-class restaurants and lounges, sophisticated guest rooms with Westin Heavenly Beds and the luxurious Mandara Spa. The resort features five pools, two health clubs, tennis, nearby golf, complimentary transportation throughout the Walt Disney World Resort, Extra Magic Hours, where each day, one of the four Walt Disney World Theme Parks is open extra time for guests to enjoy select attractions (Valid Theme Park admission and Resort ID required) and Disney FastPass+ service, where guests can reserve up to 3 select theme park experiences up to 60 days in advance of their visit. The resort can be reached at 800-227-1500. For more information, visitwww.swandolphin.com and connect with the resort via FacebookTwitter and Instagram.




Dates & Menus Announced for 8th Annual WDW Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic

WDW Swan Dolphin Food Wine Classic

Without a doubt, one of the events in Orlando that I look forward to each year. The two day event is full of music, fun and great food! Each of the restaurants located on the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin property showcase their best and each sampling leaves you wishing for a full sized portion, and makes you want to visit the restaurant as soon as you can.

I always like to use this event as an opportunity to meet up with old friends, sip a few cocktails, enjoy delicious treats and listen to great music. It’s an event that everyone should experience at least once. I know that once you go – you’ll want to be sure to be there every year!

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic will return for its eighth year Friday, October 27, and Saturday, October 28, with exciting new dishes debuting alongside returning festival favorites. Fans can now visit www.SwanDolphinFoodandWineClassic.com to view the 2017 food menu as well as book overnight packages and purchase tickets.

Highlights of the 2017 menu include featured items from the hotel’s signature restaurants: Kobe beef mini burgers with truffle aioli, Applewood smoked bacon and roma tomato chutney from The Fountain; seared Yellowfin Tuna salad from Todd English’s bluezoo; ricotta gnocchi with wild mushrooms, baby spinach and fennel sausage from Il Mulino Trattoria and oven-roasted beef ribeye with mashed potatoes and sauce bordelaise from Shula’s Steakhouse. Returning dishes include the popular dragon sushi roll from Kimonos and fish ‘n’ chips with sea salt and vinegar potato chips from Garden Grove.

Also returning this year will be Carnival Corner and Chinatown, offering specialty cuisine in immersive themed areas, as well as the Sunday Bubbles Brunch on Sunday, Oct. 29. Original dessert offerings will once again be served by World Champion Pastry Chef Laurent Branlard. For a full list of current menu offerings, please visit www.swandolphinfoodandwineclassic.com

The Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic offers guests unlimited tastings at more than 50 stations featuring culinary selections from the hotel’s award-winning restaurants and wine from more than 30 wineries amidst a festive backdrop of live entertainment on the hotel’s scenic causeway. Upgraded ticket options allow guests to enjoy access to a beer garden featuring a wide selection of craft beers and Oktoberfest-inspired cuisine. The event also includes hands-on seminars with the hotel’s chefs and certified beverage experts.

Overnight and multiple-night package options are available for the eighth-annual Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic and can be booked by phone at 1-888-828-8850:

  • One-night packages start at $424, and include room accommodations and two tickets to the outdoor festival (seminar tickets and beer garden tickets may be added for an additional fee)
  • Two-night packages start at $824, and include room accommodations and two tickets to the outdoor festival for both nights (seminar tickets and beer garden tickets may be added for an additional fee)

Individual ticket options are also available for the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic and can be purchased at www.SwanDolphinFoodandWineClassic.com (pricing is inclusive of tax and service fees):

  • Advance-purchase, event-only tickets to enjoy unlimited tastings on the causeway are $115 per person
  • Upgraded tickets, including unlimited tastings on the causeway and access to the beer garden, are $140 per person

With 17 restaurants and lounges, and a distinguished culinary and beverage team, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel continually earns national recognition for its food and beverage program. The hotel features more than 70 certified wine sommeliers and 1,400 wine selections.

For the latest information about the event, guests can visit www.SwanDolphinFoodandWineClassic.com, like www.facebook.com/swananddolphin or call 1-800-227-1500.

About the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort

In the heart of the Walt Disney World Resort, the award-winning Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort resides amongst the greatest theme parks and attractions in Central Florida. The resort is located between Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and nearby Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park and Magic Kingdom Park. Guests can discover 17 world-class restaurants and lounges, sophisticated guest rooms with Westin Heavenly Beds and the luxurious Mandara Spa. The resort features five pools, two health clubs, tennis, nearby golf, complimentary transportation throughout theWalt  Disney World Resort, the extended park hours benefit, where each day, one of the four Walt Disney World Theme Parks is open extra time for guests to enjoy select attractions (Valid Theme Park admission and Resort ID required) and Disney FastPass+ service, where guests can reserve up to 3 select theme park experiences up to 60 days in advance of their visit. The resort can be reached at 800-227-1500, www.swandolphin.com or through Facebook at www.facebook.com/swananddolphin.