2015 Epcot Food And Wine Festival: 9 Things To Eat and Drink

With so many great things to choose from at this year’s Epcot Food and Wine Festival, it was really wonderful to be able to attend a brunch held by Walt Disney World to try some of this year’s food items and beverages.

So what are we waiting for?

9 Things to Eat and Drink at the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival:

1.2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival -  Loaded Mac and Cheese

You have to give the Loaded mac n’ cheese with Nueske’s® pepper bacon, cheddar cheese, peppers and green onions from Farm Fresh a try! Do you want to know what is wrong with this mac n’ cheese? Nothing! Get one ASAP! ($4.25)

2.2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival - Belgium Waffle

The Belgium waffle with berry compote and whipped cream in Belgium is always on my ‘Must Eat’ list, because it is just the right size and sweetness level to round out the savory dishes I tend to purchase during the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. This dish is Vegetarian. ($3.75)

3. 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival - Hidden Gem

The Escondidinho de carne, “Little Hidden One”, a layered meat pie with mashed yucca, available in Brazil has a cute name and a familiar, homey taste. This item is gluten free. ($5.00)

4. 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival - Flan

Now if I had to chose one dessert to eat for the rest of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, the Caramel flan with rum-roasted pineapple from Dominican Republic would be my choice. The flan is light and airy, and the pineapple adds a great pop of acidity. This dish is vegetarian. ($3.25)

5. 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival - Shrimp Australia

Love some ‘Shrimp on the Barbie’? The Grilled sweet and spicy bush berry shrimp with pineapple, peppers, onions, and snap peas from Australia is a lovely mix of flavors that you won’t want to pass up. This dish is gluten free.($4.75)

6. 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival - Smoking Hibiscus

For those of you who love the liquid nitrogen craze, this year that a ‘smoking’ beverage is available on the promenade. The Smoking Hibiscus featuring Montelobos Mezcal Joven from the chew lab is an Alcoholic Beverage that is incredibly refreshing. And don’t forget to give the hibiscus bud a try! ($8.75)

7. 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival - Sparerib

New to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival this year is the Sustainable Chew, and their Pork Spareribs with red wine, fennel, and cheesy mascarpone grits does not disappoint. The fresh herbs cut through the smoke of the meat and add a great pop to the creamy grits. This dish is gluten free. ($5.50)

8. 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival - Yuca

I have something to say…I love Yuca! The Soufflé de yuca: Yuca soufflé topped with griddled cheese from Dominican Republic is crazy! The firm griddled cheese with the creamy and slightly sharp yucca soufflé was an interesting and tasty combination. This dish is vegetarian. ($4.75)

9. 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival - Chewtini

I saved the best for last… My favorite alcoholic beverage at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival is the Frozen Chew-tini from Sustainable Chew! It has a great consistency, slightly sweet taste, and crunch from an apple chip garnish. Be warned…these bad boys are dangerous! ($7.50)

We will be bringing you more coverage of this year’s Epcot Food and Wine Festival, so make sure you follow our adventures on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook!

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10 Things To Know On The Go: 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

The 20th Epcot Food and Wine Festival kicks off tomorrow and runs until November 16, 2015 and with so many new offerings (and days) added to the festivities I thought it was time for…

Things to Know On the Go Header Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party Epcot Food and Wine Festival

10 Things To Know On The Go:

2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

1. Admission

Admission to the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival is included with your daily admission to Epcot. And while the food, beverages, seminars, and other special events aren’t included there is a lot that is!

Epcot Food and Wine - Food and Wine with Spaceship Earth

During the Epcot Food and Wine Festival you can enjoy Eat to the Beat Concerts, the new Back to Basics Series at the Festival Center, Celebrity Chef demonstrations, Celebrity Chef Book Signings, Marketplace Discovery Passport, and Festival Center entertainment & exhibits.

2. Marketplaces

It’s a good thing that the Epcot Food and Wine Festival is 53 days this year, because the Festival will feature 30 unique global marketplaces, located around Epcot’s World Showcase and for the first time in Future World, where you can try small plates of food and beverage pairings from around the world.

Epcot Food and Wine - Global Marketplace

And before you explore, visit the Epcot Food and Wine Festival Center to pick up your Marketplace Discovery Passport to collect stamps and pick up a Festival Gift Card that you can conveniently wear around your wrist to make paying convenient.

3. Festival Center

The core of the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival can be found in the Festival Center located in the former Wonders of Life Pavilion.

You’ll find shopping, celebrities, demonstrations, exhibits, and more inside the Festival Center! I always like to start my visits at the Center to make sure I don’t miss anything!

Check out all the great things you will be able to find in the Festival Center here.

4. Eat to the Beat Concert Series

Eat to the Beat

This year’s Eat to the Beat Concert Series is full of great new artists and bands!, 

Take a peek at the Eat to the Beat Concert Line-up:

  • David Cook – September 25-27, 2015

  • Wilson Phillips – September 28-29, 2015

  • Christopher Cross – September 30-October 1, 2015

  • Starship – October 2-4, 2015

  • Smash Mouth – October 5-7, 2015

  • The Pointer Sisters – October 8-9, 2015

  • 38 Special – October 10-11, 2015

  • Rick Springfield – October 12-13, 2015

  • Sugar Ray – October 14-16, 2015

  • The S.O.S. Band – October 17-18, 2015

  • Air Supply – October 19-21, 2015

  • Fuel – October 22-23, 2015

  • Tiffany (NEW!) – October 24-25, 2015

  • Dennis DeYoung – October 26-28, 2015

  • Jo Dee Messina – October 29-30, 2015

  • Everclear (NEW!) – October 31-November 1, 2015

  • Boyz II Men – November 2-4, 2015

  • Sister Hazel – November 5-6, 2015

  • Big Bad Voodoo Daddy – November 7-9, 2015

  • Hanson – November 10-12, 2015

  • Maxi Priest (NEW!) – November 13-14, 2015

  • Chaka Khan (NEW!) – November 15-16, 2015

Daily show times for the Eat to the Beat Concert Series take place at 5:30 pm, 6:45 pm, and 8:00 pm in the American Gardens Theater.

Also new this year is the opportunity to book FastPass+ for the Eat to the Beat Concerts!

Note: All entertainment and artist appearances are subject to change without notice.

5. NEW: Remy’s Hide & Squeak

Epcot Food and Wine - Ratatouille Hide and Squeak Logo

Building on the past success of the sticker based scavenger hunts in World Showcase, beginning September 25, while supplies last, take part in Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak and help Remy as he ventures around World Showcase at Epcot collecting ingredients for his signature dish, Ratatouille.

Maps and stickers can be purchased for $7.95, plus tax at Epcot – Disney Traders, Festival Center, Pin Central, Port of Central, Port of Entry, and World Traveler (International Gateway) in the park. 

Note: Maps, stickers and surprise available while supplies last. No discounts apply. Purchasing limits may apply.

Epcot Food and Wine - Ratatouille Hide and Squeak Prizes

Whether you choose to search for each ingredient or not, return your map to the redemption location at Port of Entry by November 16, 2015 at Port of Entry to pick up your surprise pin!

6. Cranberry Bog

After taking a year off the Ocean Spray Cranberry Bog is back!

You can find the mobile Ocean Spray Cranberry Bog in its old place on the way to Future World as you walk to World Showcase from Spaceship Earth.

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Shelley in the Cranberry Bog

Make sure you take a moment to talk to the actual Ocean Spray farmers that you can often find in their waders inside who are excited to share their passion for this unique form of farming.

7. NEW: Rockin’ Burger Bash

New to the Festival line-up of premium events this year is the Rockin’ Burger Block Party.

Epcot Food and Wine - Rockin Burger Bash

Party the night away and savor specialty sliders and beverages created by Epcot Chefs and inspired by recording artists who have left their mark on the world of potables.

While you enjoy these scrumptious treats, a DJ spins their best tracks. Find “your” burger, “your” drink, “your” music, and then vote on your favorite burger of the night!

For one night only, October 8, 2015, the Emmy-winning talent from the daytime hit The Chew will serve as block party hosts!

You can find out more about how to attend this new party experience here.

8. Learn from Epcot Chefs and Celebrity Chefs

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Epcot chefs

At the Epcot Food and Wine Festival you have the chance to learn from some of the most famous kitchens (including Epcot), restaurants, and cooking shows. These individuals make up an unbeatable collection of leading culinary experts.

Through special dining events and demonstrations, Guests will get the rare opportunity to see their magnificent skills in action and pick up tips from these maestros of mealtime.

You can find the full list of Chefs here, and events for chefs will vary. See the full schedule of events for details. Appearances are subject to change.

9. The Chew

For the first time ABC’s “The Chew” is leaving its Manhattan to broadcast from the 20th annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.

Epcot Food and Wine - The Chew Cast

The Emmy-Award Winning lifestyle series will tape five shows with co-hosts Mario Batali, Michael Symon, Carla Hall, Clinton Kelly, and Daphne Oz on October 7, 8 & 9 to air during the week of October 12 -16 on “The Chew.”

And while tickets may be sold out, you have a few more days to enter tickets from icFlorida!

10. Chase Lounge

If you are a Chase cardholders, you can visit the Chase Lounge in the American Adventure where you can grab a complimentary soft drink and try some interactive fun.

And these 10 Things To Know: 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival are just the tip of the iceberg! We’ll be bringing you tons of coverage during the Festival, so make sure you follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook!

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2015 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival Additions

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival 2015 Epcot Walt Disney World

Today the 2015 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival begins and runs until May 17th, and I was lucky enough to be an invited guest of the Walt Disney World Resort to take a special Behind-the-Scenes tour of some of the things you will find at this year’s Festival.

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival 2015 Epcot Walt Disney World

Eric Darden, Horticulture Manager for the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, and Carla Shuman, a Walt Disney World Landscape Architect, served as our guides as we walked around the Festival as all the pieces were coming together.

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival 2015 Epcot Walt Disney World
Eric Darden and Carla Shuman leading our tour

2015 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival New Additions

1. The 2015 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival can’t Let It Go!

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival 2015 Epcot Walt Disney World

The Anna and Elsa topiaries are beautiful and are sure to be a hit this year!

One of my favorite touches is that Anna’s side is full of a vibrant assortment of flowers, while Elsa’s side is delicate white flowers representing snow. I personally wish that Olaf was joining them, but I do love their faces and the scale of the topiaries.

This is sure to be a crazy busy spot for photos, and PhotoPass Photographers will definitely be stationed there for the duration of the Festival.

2. Botanas Botánico joins the Outdoor Kitchen line-up

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival 2015 Epcot Walt Disney World

This year Botanas Botánico, located between the Morocco and France Pavilions, joins the Outdoor Kitchens group with great food options and a beautiful garden that tells a vivid story of indigenous foods.

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival 2015 Epcot Walt Disney World

I had the opportunity to taste the Cachapa con Queso (Sweet Cortn Pancake with Farmers Cheese), and it is a light and flavorful treat that will be great on a hot day! The sweet corn and rich cheese are a wonderful combination.

3. Farmer Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse Topiaries

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival 2015 Epcot Walt Disney World

This year Farmer Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse have Spaceship Earth as their backdrop in an American Gothic-esque photo opportunity.

I loved Goofy here, and can’t wait to take my picture here this year.

4. Fun New Gardens can be found everywhere

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival 2015 Epcot Walt Disney World

The Flower and Garden Festival this year features several new mini-gardens that are themed to their surrounding areas, educational experiences, and even upcoming movies.

I especially love the Shakespeare Garden, located near the United Kingdom Pavilion Restrooms, and the Inside Out Emotion Garden, located just outside of Journey Into Imagination with Figment, because while they are completely different their integration with their surrounding areas is a great added touch.

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival 2015 Epcot Walt Disney World

5. 2015 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival Merchandise

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival 2015 Epcot Walt Disney World

The Disney Parks Blog shared a peek at this year’s Flower and Garden Festival Merchandise, and I am in trouble!

The Festival Exclusive Disney Dooney & Bourke might be one of my favorite prints of all time!

Steven Miller shared the Festival Merchandise information here.

6. Fun Fresh Weekends

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival 2015 Epcot Walt Disney World

Every year the Flower and Garden Festival is full of great presentations, performances, and more, but this year the Festival launches Fun Fresh Weekends.

During select Fun Fresh Weekends, guests of the Festival will be treated to additional experiences. You can find the Fun Fresh Weekends schedule here.

I am excited to bring you more coverage of the 2015 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, because this year’s additions really make the Festival special!

Disclosure: I was invited guest of the Walt Disney World Resort to experience this Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival Behind-the-Scenes tour, however all opinions are my own.

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Epcot International Food and Wine Festival Disney Dooney & Bourke Purses

I have to say that the latest addition to the Disney Dooney & Bourke line of purses, may be my favorite event based pattern yet!

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival Dooney & Bourke Purses
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

The Disney Dooney & Bourke release will have four purses and will feature a special dated ‘2014 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival’ tag.

The Disney Dooney & Bourke purses (prices coming soon) will be:

  • Wristlet – $98
  • Crossbody – $268
  • Tote – $278
  • Satchel- $268

The black background with the gem toned Chef Mickeys, are perfect for fall! I especially love how the green pops!

The new Epcot International Food and Wine Festival print will be released at the Festival Center in Epcot starting September 29.

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival Dooney & Bourke Purses
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

The Festival Center is located between the Universe of Energy and Mission: SPACE pavilions in Future World. We will have these items on display in that location when the event kicks off on September 19. This Dooney & Bourke collection will not be available on our Disney Parks online store at this time.

What do you think of the newest Disney Dooney & Bourke pattern? Will you be picking one up at the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival?

 

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Epcot International Food & Wine Festival: 2014 Preview

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival: 2014 Preview

 The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival runs September 19 – November 10, 2014, and I can’t wait!

Photo Sep 04, 1 06 42 PM

We were able to attend a sneak peek at this year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival at the VIP area of the Living Seas, and this year looks like it stacking up to be absolutely amazing!

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival: 2014 Preview

Chef Jens Dahlmann spoke on the changes that are coming to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, and here are some of the highlights of what you can expect at this year’s marketplaces.

  • This year there will be 25 ‘Marketplaces’ at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.
  • There are several returning favorite marketplaces, however some of the marketplaces have broadened, for example last year’s Florida Fresh is now Farm Fresh, allowing Chef Dahlmann to be more playful with the menu and ingredients.
  • The Hops & Barley menu has received a lot of attention, and as a result the items featured at the marketplace will be more sophisticated while still having a twist of fun.
  • With more cooking going on inside of each Marketplace, this year several booths will feature fried items for the first time.
  • Favorites from the France Marketplace have received a HUGE facelift!
    • The escargot will now be presented on a tart with creamed spinach, bacon, and parmesean cheese. The brioche presentation was a fan favorite, but this new set-up sounds delicious.
    • Creme brulee caramel fluer de sel: sea salt caramel crème brulee with caramalized sugar has arrived, and it is quite possibly one of the most delicious things I was able to sample. Again with the new marketplaces focusing on preparing items on-site, the sugar will be caramalized inside the kiosk.

So enough yammering, let’s get to the food!

2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Media Preview

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival: 2014 Preview

Ensalada de Carrucho which is a Caribbean Conch Salad with Onion, Tomato, and Cilantro from Puerto Rico.

This was my first time trying Conch Salad, and it did not disappoint! Prepared in a more traditional way the Ensalada de Carrucho is extremely refeshing with a unique texture.

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival: 2014 Preview

Grilled ‘Yard Bird’ with Braised Greens and House-Made Habanero Sauce from Farm Fresh.

The grilled ‘Yard Bird’ aka chicken in this dish had a really great flavor and crispy skin, however the star fro me was the braised greens that were cooked to salty yet still firm perfection. My only wish for the dish was that there was more of the house-made habanero sauce, because it added some moisture, sweetness, and kick to a very savory plate.

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival: 2014 Preview

Florida Grass Fed Beef Slider with Pimento Cheese from Hops & Barley paired with MmmHops Pale Ale from Fife and Drum.

If I could only eat one thing for the entire Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, this would be my choice! The Florida grass fed beef in the slider had a great flavor that served as a wonderful anchor for the heat in the pimento cheese, crunch from the sweet raw onions, and sweetness from the bun. As a gal with South Carolina roots, the pimento cheese is beyond delicious!

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival: 2014 Preview

The MmmHops Pale Ale from Fife and Drum, yes this is the Hanson Beer, pairs well with the slider’s heat with a crisp bite that helps cool things down from the spicy pimento cheese.

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival: 2014 Preview

Baked Lobster Alfredo from Hops & Barley.

While I am an absolute sucker for lobster, the baked lobster alfredo seems like a great choice towards the end of the festival on a night that is a little chillier. The dish is extremely rich with generous chunks of lobster. Talk about comfort food!

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival: 2014 Preview

Sauerkraut Pierogi with Pork Goulash from Poland.

I grew up eating a lot of potato and cheese pierogies, so when I saw a sauerkraut pierogi on the Poland menu I was really excited because it was two of my favorite things in one dish! I found that the sauerkraut pierogi had a interesting, but tasty texture that was a great contrast to the spicy sauce of the pork goulash.

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival: 2014 Preview

Roasted Verlasso Salmon with Quinoa Salad and Arugula Chimichurri from Patagonia.

Usually salmon isn’t really my thing, but the roasted Verlasso salmon had an amazing taste that was taken to the next level with the arugula chimichurri!

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival: 2014 Preview

Crème Brulee Caramel Fluer de Sel: Sea Salt Caramel Crème Brulee with Caramalized Sugar from France paired with Nicolas Feuillatte Rosè from Desserts & Champagne.

Every year one of my favorite desserts at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival items is the Crème Brulee from France, and the Crème Brulee Caramel Fluer de Sel: Sea Salt Caramel Crème Brulee with Caramalized Sugar has taken my devotion to the next level. The predominant coffee and caramel flavors play so well off the savory hints of sea salt. The caramelization of the sugar topping completed on-site in the marketplace, really makes this dish special and definite must-do for your visit to the festival.

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival: 2014 Preview

 

The Nicolas Feuillatte Rosè from Desserts & Champagne paired so well with the Crème Brulee Caramel Fluer de Sel, because the berry notes really added a lovely sweetness to the slightly savory crème brulee. 

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival: 2014 Preview

Fresh Baked Carrot Cake with Craisins and Cream Cheese Icing from Hops & Barley.

When you will eat this fresh baked carrot cake at Hops & Barley at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, you are going to feel like you just stole a treat from your Grandmother before dinner! The carrots, walnuts, and craisins are all on the larger scale inside the cake to give it a very homemade feel and familiar taste. What makes this carrot cake so special, is that it is served warm and iced inside the Hops & Barley marketplace for an interesting combination of temperatures and textures. If you like carrot cake, you definitely have to give this a go!

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival: 2014 Preview

I really had a great time at the Media Preview for the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, and I left with a new spring in my step about this year’s marketplaces! 

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Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Premium Event Registration!

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival 2013

The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is quickly approaching, September 19 – November 10, 2014, and the chance to register for Premium Events begins on July 31, 2014 at 7 am EST by calling (407) 939-3378!

Since the Premium Events tend to fill up pretty quickly, it is a good time to take a look at what events will be offered to see if there is anything that you might be interested in registering for during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.

The new Premium Events for this year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival:

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival - Demonstration

  • Dining Through the Decades, A Tribute to Walt Disney (October 24) $99 per person or $119 per person
  • Experience Puerto Rico – The All Star Island (September 20) $99 per person
  • Epcot International Food & Wine Festival — Boot Camp Series interactive epicurean adventure (September 21, October 5, 12, 19, Nov. 2) $119 per person
  • Food for Thought (Fridays, plus Saturday October 11) $169 per person
  • Mediterranean Food & Wine Pairing (Wednesdays) $55 per person
  • Italian White Truffle & Wine Pairing Dinner (October 2, 9, 16, 23, 30) $295 per person

Here are some of the most popular Epcot International Food & Wine Festival events returning in 2014:

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

There are even more special dining opportunities at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, such as the Italian and French pairings and lunches, a Japan “Hibachi Experience”, and a Mexican tequila lunch. You can find more information on the World Showcase Dining Events during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival here.

You can also book the popular Culinary Demonstrations ($15), Mixology Seminars ($15) and Wine Seminars ($15). For more information about Culinary Demonstrations & Seminars during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival here.

Always keep in mind the following things about the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival:

  • Admission to Epcot is required. While most Epcot International Food & Wine Festival events are included with admission to the Park, several experiences require a separate purchase or a separate admission fee, including food and refreshment samples, entry into Premium Experiences and entry into Cultural Dining Opportunities. Availability is limited for some experiences.
  • Events may be rescheduled or cancelled at any time.

 

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Tables In Wonderland Food & Wine Pre-Sale Starts Today

image copyright Disney
image copyright Disney

 

This year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is just around the corner starting in a little over a month and a half from now. Tables In Wonderland members have the opportunity to take advantage of pre-sale tickets to select demonstrations and seminars starting today at 9:00am EST. The pre-sale tickets are available exclusively over the phone by calling 407-939-3378. Tables In Wonderland members are eligible for a $2.00 discount on select bookings Mondays – Thursdays, but only when these events are booked over the phone. Tickets to Food & Wine Festival events go on sale to the general public on Thursday, July 31st at 7:00am EST and will also then be bookable online at www.epcotfoodfestival.com.

More information from the Tables In Wonderland release directly:

 

To prepare for the sale, please see below for information on the Festival Demonstrations.

2014 Culinary Demonstrations

2014 Beverage Seminars

2014 Mixology Seminars

All appearances, presentations and events are subject to change without notice. The above links are temporary links and will be disabled once the information is available on www.epcotfoodfestival.com.

Additionally, the below events will be available online, via www.epcotfoodfestival.com:

–          Culinary Demonstrations

–          Beverage Seminars

–          Mixology Seminars

–          “3D” Disney’s Dessert Discovery (General Admission Only)

–          Party for the Senses (General Admission Only)

–          Dining Through the Decades, a Tribute to Walt Disney   (General Admission  Only)

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Candlelight Processional Packages Available

Candlelight Processional
Photo: Disney

It’s Christmas in July as the Disney Parks Blog announced that  Candlelight Processional Dining Packages can be booked starting today.

For those who don’t know, the Candlelight Processional is a holiday tradition at Walt Disney World! During this moving show, a celebrity narrator accompanied by a full orchestra and choir fill the America Gardens Theater at Epcot with Christmas songs and stories.

Candlelight Processional
Photo: Disney

Candlelight Processional Dining Packageare available on select days during the holiday season, and start at $35 for lunch and $50 for dinner for adults. Included in the Candlelight Processional Package is a delicious meal at an Epcot restaurant and a guaranteed seat for one of the Candlelight Processional performances.

You can find more information, including all the restaurants participating here.

Here are some things to know about the Candlelight Processional Dining Packages before you book:

  • Seating at the Candlelight Processional is first-come, first-served unless you’ve reserved a Candlelight Processional Dining Packages.
  • Dining packages are paid for at the individual restaurant, where you’ll receive your Candlelight Seating badges for seating at the America Gardens Theatre for the booked showtime.
  • Advance reservations are highly recommended for the Candlelight Processional Dining Packages and can be made up to 180 days prior to your visit.
  • Park admission is required and is not included in the price of the dining package.

Note: Availability is limited. Guests can call 407-WDW-DINE (407-939-3463) or book online at www.disneyworld.com/holidays.

Also released today, was a partial list of celebrity narrators for this year including Candlelight veterans Whoopi Goldberg and Jodi Benson, and the addition of two fabulous new narrators Academy-Award-winning actress Sharon Stone and Saturday Night Live alum Ana Gasteyer.

Candlelight Processional
Photo: Disney

Here is the early schedule of Candlelight Processional Narrators:

  • Jodi Benson – 11/28 – 11/29
  • TBD – 11/30 – 12/2
  • TBD – 12/3 – 12/4
  • Whoopi Goldberg – 12/5 – 12/6
  • TBD – 12/7* – 12/8
  • TBD – 12/9 – 12/11
  • TBD – 12/12 – 12/14
  • Sharon Stone (New) – 12/15 – 12/17
  • Ana Gasteyer (New) – 12/18 – 12/20
  • Marlee Matlin – 12/21 – 12/23
  • TBD – 12/24 – 12/25
  • TBD – 12/26 – 12/27
  • Steven Curtis Chapman – 12/28 – 12/30

Some things to keep in mind about this early list of Candlelight Processional celebrity narrators:

* Narrators are subject to change without notice.

* Show Times are at 5 p.m., 6:45 p.m. & 8:15 p.m. each night.

*Show Times on December 7 are 6:45 p.m. & 8:15 p.m. only


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Epcot Summer Experiences

 Epcot

If you are looking for a way to step up your experience at Epcot this summer, you won’t be disappointed by the experiences and concerts that you will find in the park!

The IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party offers a sweet ending to your day, the After Hours Wind Down are great new way for adults to experience and explore the park, and the ‘Sounds Like Summer’ concert series returns.

IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party

Epcot

Held weekly Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday nights from 7:45 pm to 9:20 pm, the IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party celebrates the countries and cuisine of the nations in the World Showcase.

The cost of the party is $49 for adults (ages 10 and up) and $29 for children (ages 3-9), and includes unlimited desserts and drinks.

The IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party is held at the World Showcase Plaza, between the Port of Entry and Disney Traders Gift Shops, but can be moved inside in case of inclement weather.

The Menu, subject to change, features sweets from the various Epcot pavilions:

  • Italy -Tiramisu
  • France – Vanilla Pot de Crème
  • United Kingdom – Shortbread Cookies
  • Morocco – Traditional Baklava
  • American Adventure – Sugar Dusted Cronis with Strawberry Sauce and Whipped Cream
  • Disney Parks Ice Cream Novelties
  • Lemonade, water, coffee, and teas
  • Sparkling wine from Washington State and Prosecco from Italy.

Here are some things to know about the IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party:

  • Advance reservations are highly recommended and can be made up to 180 days prior to your visit by calling 407-WDW-PLAY
  • An Event Party Ticket is required when participating in the IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party.
  • To check-in for this event, please meet the greeting Cast Member at World Showcase Plaza, directly next to Port of Entry and adjacent to the Mexico Pavilion.
  • The IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party venue is uncovered and seating is not available. In the event of inclement weather, the dessert portion will take place at an alternate indoor location. A Cast Member will direct you to the alternate location at the time of check-in. You may call (407) 560-7377 after 5:30 PM for recorded weather information.
  • Please note that IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth may be changed or canceled without prior notice due to inclement weather.

Epcot After Hours Wind Down

Epcot

After the finale of IllumiNations, you don’t have to rush out of the park thanks to the Epcot After Hours Wind Down.

Weekly Thursday through Sunday from 9:20 pm to 11:00 pm, you can experience the park and one of four authentic lounges in an exclusive event where the Epcot Chefs and Sommeliers have created specialty beverage flights that perfectly pair with food offerings.

The locations included in the Epcot After Hours Wind Down are:

  • La Cava del Tequila (Mexico),
  • Spice Road Table (Morocco),
  • Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar (Italy),
  • Rose & Crown Pub (United Kingdom)

For $35 per person (ages 21 and up)/per location (tax and gratuity not included), you will get a selection of appetizers and one beverage flight. There is a cash bar option available to purchase additional beverages, however the kitchens do not offer a full menu option.

Here are some things to know about the Epcot After Hours Wind Down:

  • Admission to Epcot is required and is not included in the price of the after-hours lounge.
  • Each nightly celebration begins immediately after the conclusion of evening fireworks.
  • An event ticket is required for all nights when participating in Epcot After Hours Wind Down.
  • Advance reservations are highly recommended and can be made up to 180 days prior to your visit by calling 407-WDW-DINE.
  • This event takes place in participating lounges only. All other Epcot offerings—including attractions and entertainment—will not be available.

Sounds Like Summer Concert Series 

Epcot

This summer Epcot brings back the Sounds Like Summer Concert Series where you can hear some of your favorite classic songs from high-energy tribute bands. 

Performing hits from U2, Journey, Boston, and more, seven acts will take the stage in June and July at America Gardens Theatre in World Showcase.

This year’s concert line up includes:

  • June 8-14:  Hotel California ~ A Salute to the Eagles
  • June 15-21: Don’t Stop Believin’ ~ Journey Tribute Band
  • June 22-28: Good Vibrations ~ A Tribute to The Beach Boys
  • June 29-July 5: Don’t Look Back ~ Boston Tribute Band
  • July 6 to 12: Stayin’ Alive ~ A Tribute to the Bee Gees
  • July 13 to 19: Slippery When Wet ~ The Ultimate Bon Jovi Tribute
  • July 20 to 26: 2U ~ A Tribute to U2

Show times are 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m. – except on July 4 when show times are 5:15, 6:30, 7:45 and 9 p.m.  Sounds Like Summer concerts are included with Epcot admission (Entertainment subject to change without notice).

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Short, Short Tip: Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

We’re launching a new series on our YouTube channel of Short, Short tips and we are starting off with a tip for the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival!

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

With so many great activities, shows, demonstrations, concerts, topiaries, and more to see during the 2014 Epcot International Flower and Garden festival it is easy to overwhelmed.

If your schedule only permits one or two days at Epcot, you want to make sure that you go in with a great plan for how to see and experience all of your Must Do’s for the trip.

What I find helpful is making a list of highlights from the festival that I show my family to make sure that we include a little something for everyone during our visit. You can find my 2014 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival Highlights here.

Short, Short Tip: Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

httpv://youtu.be/9IIUa8hLgu0

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Epcot International Flower And Garden Festival Special Event

tiw_flower_garden

Tables in Wonderland – Special Event

Saturday, April 19, 2014, 5:30 pm

East Hall, World ShowPlace Events Pavilion at Epcot

Price: $95.00 per person, plus tax. Gratuity is included

Tables in Wonderland will celebrate the Flower & Garden Festival on April 19th! Our groovy evening will begin at Epcot’s World ShowPlace Events Pavilion, where there will be tasty libations and food samplings from some of the festival’s most popular Outdoor Kitchens. Following dinner, enjoy reserved seating at the Flower Power Concert Series featuring The Grass Roots, best known for their song “Midnight Confessions”!

 

Timeline

  • 5:30pm – Outdoor Kitchen themed Buffet Dinner at East Hall, World ShowPlace Events Pavilion
  • 7:15pm – Move to America Gardens Theatre
  • 8:00 pm – Reserved seats for The Grass Roots show at the Flower Power Concert Series

 

Menu

Station 1

  • Florida Fresh – Watermelon Salad with pickled Onions, BW Farm Baby Arugula, Feta Cheese and Balsamic Reduction
  • Florida Fresh – Shrimp and Stone Ground Grits with Andouille Sausage, Sweet Corn, Tomatoes and Cilantro

Station 2

  • Buttercup Cottage- Field Greens with Plant City Strawberries, Toasted Almonds and Farmstead Stilton
  • Urban Farm EATS- Land-Grown Eggplant “Scallop” with Romesco Sauce and Spaghetti Squash

Station 3

  • The Smokehouse: Barbeque and Brews – Pulled Pig Slider with Cole Slaw
  • The Smokehouse: Barbeque and Brews – Smoked Beef Brisket with Collard Greens and Jalapeño Corn Bread

Station 4

  • The Smokehouse: Barbeque and Brews – “Piggylicous” Bacon Cupcake with Maple Frosting and Pretzel Crunch featuring Nueske’s®  Applewood Smoked Bacon
  • Florida Fresh – Florida Kumquat Pie
  • Buttercup Cottage – Fresh Baked Lemon Scones with Berry Preserves and Crème Fraîche

 

Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages will be available around the room,

featuring select Festival Beverages

 

For reservations, please visit the following website www.disneyurl.com/TIWAprilSpecialEvent  for self-booking and instant confirmation.  The website will go live and begin taking reservations on Tuesday, April 1, 2014 at 10:00am.

 

Please have the following information ready:

  • Tables in Wonderland Ticket Number starting with the “W” (i.e. if you purchased your Membership at Epcot®  your card number would begin WEC)
  • First and Last Name of everyone in your party (maximum is Party of 10)
  • Home address
  • Phone number
  • Credit Card Number
  • Billing Address of the Credit Card (Your credit card will be charged at the time of booking, and you will receive an immediate confirmation email.)
  • Personal Email Address (Please use a personal email address as many work email addresses think the confirmation email is spam.)
  • Special Dietary Needs (if any)

 

Guest Policies

  • The event is limited to 240 Guests, and is exclusive to Tables in Wonderland members.
  • You must show your valid Tables in Wonderland ticket to gain entrance into the event.
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2014 Epcot International Flower And Garden Festival

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

The 2014 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival is here, and I couldn’t be more excited because it is my favorite time of year!

There are some great new additions joining returning offferings making this year’s Festival even more fun (if that’s even possible)!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFLH3_dhIvI&list=UUxhza5Nkv4ukqKmIFLE9dgA&feature=share

While there visiting the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival is always a multi-day experience for us, here are some of my ‘Must Do’s’ if you only have a day to visit!

Must Do’s 2014 Epcot International Flower And Garden Festival

1. New Topiaries

This year two new topiaries have joined the line-up for this year’s Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival!

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

The Muppets Most Wanted topiary perfectly captures the charm and spirit of Kermit and Miss Piggy! I love that Kermit has his banjo and that Miss Piggy is a fabulous as ever.

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

I have to say that my favorite new topiaries and bonus photo opportunity at the Flower and Garden Festival is the World Cup area, where you can try your best to stop Goofy and Donald from scoring a goal! It was really fun to actually get into the display to be a part of the Festival. There are Cast Members there to help keep the area organized and help take your photo, because on the day we visited there wasn’t a Photopass Photographer available.

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

You will also notice that some familiar favorites, like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs have had a bit of a face lift. At first it was a little odd seeing this new technique being used on the them, but it has definitely grown on me!

2. Mike and Sulley’s Monsterous Garden

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

Tthe play areas of the Flower and Garden Festival are where we spend a lot of time as a family, because it’s a great chance to let Zoe run off some energy! This year Mike and Sulley’s Monsterous Garden is full of fun, vibrant colors, and benches in the shade for parents to take a break. We really loved how close you could get to the Mike and Sully topiaries for pictures!

3. Flower and Garden Passports

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

Make suer that you pick up this year’s Garden Passport, because it serves as your interactive guide to all the activities and delicious food that make up the Flower and Garden Festival. Plus collecting stamps is a great way to keep the kids involved in all there is to explore. Passports can be found at the Festival Welcome Center, at any Disney Vacation Club Information Center throughout the Park, at all Outdoor Kitchens, and at several merchandise locations.

4. Flower Power Concert Series

The Flower Power Concert Series is a great way to end your day at Epcot!

This year’s series is full of returning fan favorites, and two new-to-the-festival-acts: Gary Lewis and The Playboys (“This Diamond Ring”) and Alan Parsons Live Project (“Eye in the Sky”).

Performances are at America Gardens Theatre at 5:30, 6:45 and 8:00 p.m. every Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival and are included with Epcot admission.

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival
Photo: Disney

Here is this year’s lineup (subject to change without notice):

April 4-6 Paul Revere & The Raiders “Good Thing”
April 11-13 Village People “Y.M.C.A”
April 18-20 The Grass Roots “Midnight Confessions” 
April 25-27 Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone “I’m Henry the VIII, I Am”
May 2-4 Starship starring Mickey Thomas “We Built This City”
May 9-11 Chubby Checker & The Wildcats “The Twist”
May 16-18 NEW! Alan Parsons Live Project “Eye in the Sky” 

 

5. HGTV and DIY Network Stars

I love having the chance to see some of my favorite TV stars up close, and the Superstars of HGTV and DIY Network shows will be appearing at the 21st Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival presented by HGTV until May 18, 2014.

The popular HGTV celebrities will meet festival guests and showcase expert tips and clever tricks at noon and 3 p.m. each Friday, Saturday and Sunday on The Designers’ Stage presented by HGTV at the Festival Center.

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

Here is the line-up of presenters:

April 4-6 – Taniya Nayak, ”House Hunters on Vacation”

April 11-13 – Amy Matthews, “Renovation Raiders”

April 18-20 – John Gidding, ”Curb Appeal”

April 25-27 – David Bromstad, “Color Splash”

May 2-4 – Chip Wade, ”Elbow Room”

May 9-11 – Genevieve Gorder, HGTV Star

May 16-18 – Alison Victoria, ”Kitchen Crashers”

6. Food

With 11 outdoor kitchens and the Intermission Cafe in the Festival Center offering so many great dishes, it is hard to choose a favorite!

Make sure that when you walk up to the outdoor kitchens, you take a moment to look at the plants and displays around them so you can learn a little more about what they’re offering at each location.

I have to say that my early delicious dishes are the Land-grown eggplant “scallop” with romesco sauce and spaghetti squash from the Urban Farm Eats Kitchen and the Macaron à la fleur d’ Oranger – Orange blossom macaron with white chocolate ganache from Fleur de Lys!

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

I hope that you’ve enjoyed taking a look at some of our highlights of the 2014 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival! Make sure you keep up with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for ongoing coverage!

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HGTV and DIY Network Stars at 2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

Top HGTV and DIY Network Stars to Appear

at 2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

HGTV DIY Network 2014 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

Superstars of HGTV and DIY Network shows will appear at the 21st Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival presented by HGTV until May 18, 2014. Three HGTV stars will “crash” the festival for the first time: Matt Blashaw from “Yard Crashers,” Matt Muenster from “Bath Crashers” and Alison Victoria from “Kitchen Crashers.”

The popular HGTV celebrities will meet festival guests and showcase expert tips and clever tricks at noon and 3 p.m. each Friday, Saturday and Sunday on The Designers’ Stage presented by HGTV at the Festival Center. The Crashers and their crews are known for plucking regular folks out of home improvement stores to help them – in just three days – make over the family’s yard, bathroom or kitchen.  Also new to this year’s festival are “Renovation Raiders” star Amy Matthews and Chip Wade, who started with John Gidding on “Curb Appeal” and now has his own hit show, “Elbow Room.”

HGTV/DIY favorites returning to this year’s festival include Vern Yip, “Design Star” judge, Florida’s own David “Color Splash” Bromstad, John Gidding of “Curb Appeal” and HGTV Star Genevieve Gorder.  Here’s the lineup (subject to change):

HGTV DIY Network 2014 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival
Vern Yip
  • March 21-23 – Matt Blashaw, “Yard Crashers”
  • March 28-30 – Matt Muenster, ”Bath Crashers”
  • April 4-6 – Taniya Nayak, ”House Hunters on Vacation”
  • April 11-13 – Amy Matthews, “Renovation Raiders”
  • April 18-20 – John Gidding, ”Curb Appeal”
  • April 25-27 – David Bromstad, “Color Splash”
  • May 2-4 – Chip Wade, ”Elbow Room”
  • May 9-11 – Genevieve Gorder, HGTV Star
  • May 16-18 – Alison Victoria, ”Kitchen Crashers”

Presentations by HGTV and DIY Network stars and all gardening programs and exhibits are included with admission to the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.  For more information, call 407/W-DISNEY (934-7639) or visit www.EpcotinSpring.com.

 

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