This past Thursday I had the opportunity to attend the Disney Parks Blog Food Truck Meet Up at Downtown Disney at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Several times throughout the year, the Disney Parks Blog hosts special experiences that are open on a first come, first served basis. This is how it works. They publish a blog post about the upcoming event and when it is along with a few general rules and an email address to RSVP. The first however many people who send an email get in. If you are fast enough, you will get an email back later that same day confirming your acceptance. These events fill up in minutes so if you aren’t looking at the blog at the exact right time you will likely miss out. I actually have Twitter alerts set up from Disney Parks so if they tweet about it, I usually know pretty quickly. Unfortunately, I’m rarely there during one of these events so I usually have to live vicariously through others.
This time, however, I was planning to be there for Marathon Weekend and was hoping to get into another runDisney meet up. I already had about a half an eye on the blog anyway, and it just happened to work out that when they updated the blog with the post about the Food Truck Meet Up, I saw it before the tweet even happened. So I sent my email right away and about an hour later I got an email back confirming my attendance. I was so excited! Fifty people were selected and we were each able to bring a guest. I invited my friend Heather, whom I was rooming with for Marathon Weekend. I was also very excited to find out that several more of our friends got in, and I knew we were going to have so much fun!
The email instructed us to be at Downtown Disney West Side between House of Blues and Cirque Du Soleil for a 3 pm check in. When we got there, it was pouring down rain, and I was thrilled to see that the event was set up under the Cirque Du Soleil awnings to keep us dry.
Upon check in, we were given lanyards in one of four colors and a poncho.
I love that Disney thinks of everything. The purpose of the different lanyard colors was so each color would start at a different truck to balance out visitors to each truck. So after everyone was checked in, we were given a brief introduction and description of each of the four trucks. Each truck is themed after a different Disney park, and there are three different offerings per truck.
Going into the event, we thought we would get to try one item from each truck so we were shocked when they told us we were getting one of EVERYTHING. Score!
Our first stop was World Showcase of Flavors, the truck representing Epcot. We were given a lobster roll with homemade potato chips, a grass-fed beef slider with homemade potato chips, and a potato perogie with sausage and carmelized onions on the side.
This was by far my favorite truck so I was thrilled to get to try it first. I am a long-time fan of the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival held each fall, and these are some of the most popular offerings from the festival. The lobster roll was my favorite!
Up next was Superstar Catering, the truck representing Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Meatballs were the star here. We were given turkey sausage and golden raisin meatballs served on creamy polenta, a lamb meatball flatbread sandwich, and a spinach and feta beef meatball sandwich.
They were all good but I liked the beef meatball sandwich the best.
Next was Fantasy Fare, representing Magic Kingdoms from all over the world. We tried the famous hand-dipped corn dog with homemade potato chips from California, a croque monsieur ham and cheese sandwich from France (and Be Our Guest in Florida) and glass noodle salad from Japan.
I have to say I was not a fan of the glass noodle salad. The hand-dipped corn dog was a definite hit! I liked the sandwich but it did not hold a candle to my favorite croque monsieur sandwich at Les Chefs De France in Epcot.
Finally, we tried the Namaste truck, representing Animal Kingdom. This was set up a little differently. The other three trucks put each item on a separate tray, but Namaste put all three on one big tray and even covered it in aluminum foil to help keep the rain out. I liked that. The food, however, was probably my least favorite of the four. We were given tandoori spiced shrimp, butter chicken, and beef short ribs. The tray also had jasmine rice and naan bread.
I loved the naan bread! I also enjoyed the beef short ribs. I think I would have enjoyed all of it more had I not been so incredibly full by the time I got to this truck. Plus, the food here was a bit spicy. While I normally love spicy food, we were all running a 10k bright and early the next morning and were a little afraid of the spicy food.
In addition to the food, we were also served wine, beer, sodas and bottled water.
Door prizes were also given out throughout the event, and we learned that each of us could stop by Pop Gallery on our way out and get a free print and glass of champagne, which we took full advantage of. Our friend Jenn won a $25 gift card to Splitsville. Also on the way out, we chatted up Thomas Smith, the Social Media Director for Disney Parks, and got some insight on an upcoming meet up opportunity. He also gave us an exclusive Disney Parks Blog pin.
It was a great event and a wonderful way to start the weekend! I’ve already been asked by several people who have seen my food pics what it is and where they can get it. My family has even added this to our to-do list for our fall trip. We were also stopped by several people who saw our lanyards as we were walking back and asked us where the food trucks are. I predict they are going to be a huge success!
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