The 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival is officially underway!
We spent the better part of last week taking a look at all there is going on this year, and shared with you our Best of the Fest so far. And we aren’t finished yet!
And speaking of special events, many of them take place in Festival Center, which serves as the headquarters for the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. But there’s more to the space than just stages for Culinary Demos and Beverage Seminars.
We are eager to share with you all that the Festival Center offers this year. Let’s head in and take a tour of the space. Along the way, I’ll also share with you some merchandise we spotted for 2016.
The 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Center
You’ll find the Festival Center located to the left as you enter Epcot and pass beneath Spaceship Earth. Head toward the old Wonders of Life Pavilion in Future World East, and you’ll be going in the right direction.
Enter and head left or right down the easily accessible ramp, and you’ll come to the Information Desk. This is your first stop if you have questions, but it’s also where you’ll pick up tickets for events taking place in Festival Center. These include Culinary Demos, Beverage Seminars, and several other special events.
The Festival Shop is back again this year, and features Disney artwork as well as cookbooks by several of the chefs appearing at this year’s Festival. We also saw a whole table of books by the crew from The Chew.
Interested in a book signing or chef meet and greet? This is where they take place. Check in with the Information Desk to receive a wristband if you’d like to participate.
Just beyond the Festival Shop, you’ll find Intermissions Cafe, which offers light bites and a variety of beverages.
Enjoy a drink while you contemplate your Festival Strategy. It’s always a great place to rest for a bit and take advantage of the a/c.
Across from the Cafe is Spotlight Stage, home to free Back to Basics Seminars.
Daily schedules are posted outside of each stage area, so you’ll always know on the spot what events are taking place.
Looking for the perfect souvenir or gift for the Disney food lover in your life? Then the Stockpot Shop is the stop for you. You’ll find all kinds of stuff here, including Festival collections. But you’ll also find items themed to the various countries of World Showcase and Marketplace Booths.
In addition to sharing highlights from this year’s collections, I thought I’d share a few pieces that caught my eye in particular. I loved this Thermal Double Wine Tote. What a cool gift for the vino lover in your life.
And I absolutely fell in love with this retro Chef Mickey plush!
For those of you who are always interested in seeing the poster for this year’s Festival, here’s the 2016 edition.
We found it nestled among other 2016 Taste Your Way Around the World-themed items.
Check out this cute Taste Your Way Around the World Wine Bottle Christmas ornament! It’s one of a few ornaments we spied (more pics to come).
Will you and yours be taking on Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak challenge? Get your map here!
We also spied Festival Exclusive Wines for sale as well as books by Pam Smith, who emcees Festival Center events and is also a dietician.
The Best of Epcot Festivals Cookbook, new for 2016, is also available here.
This sweet little Mickey and Minnie print comes matted. Looks like they’re heading to the fromagerie next!
Prefer beer to wine? You’ll want to check out the line of Brews Around the World stuffs, which was redesigned for 2016.
And look! Another super cute Christmas ornament!
If you’re a fan of Figment, you’ll be happy to see that he has a whole line of Food and Wine themed merch in his honor. From aprons and oven mitts to mugs and salt and pepper shakers, you’ll find all kinds of cute things.
Even Figment for your tree!
He’s also the star of his very own Food and Wine Fest poster.
Love me some Figment.
Did you make it through the shop without blowing your budget? Well done, You! Let’s head around and see some of the other reasons you might visit Festival Center.
If you’re attending some Special Events or a Culinary Demonstration, you’ll head to the Chef’s Showcase, the stage at the back of Festival Center.
We happened to be walking through while the Cheese Seminar was happening.
Beyond Chef’s Showcase, head into the From Bean to Bar exhibit, sponsored by Ghirardelli. This is your one stop for learning about all things chocolate.
Check out exhibits that walk you through the chocolate making process.
View chocolate sculptures by the talented Disney culinary team.
And don’t forget to try out Ghirardelli Drinking Chocolate. It’s divine!
After you get your fill of chocolate (really, is that possible?) Stop into the theater in the middle of the the Center, where you can view the film Seasons of the Vine.
Exit out of the film and you’ll be facing Festival Center’s third stage area, The Vineyard. You’ll head here for Beverage Seminars.
Festival Sponsor Chase offers information at a convenient desk located adjacent to The Vineyard Area.
The Festival Wine Shop stocks many of the wines and other beverages that you can sample throughout the Festival.
And back for 2016, you can also indulge in a Wine Tasting at two different price points.
Fans of the ABC TV show The Chew can catch clips of the Culinary Fab Five in action — even if you didn’t score tickets to a taping of their show.
There’s so much to see and do at Festival Center. We definitely recommend that you stop in, get your bearings, and browse all of the fun merchandise while you’re at it. Who knows? You just might get a little early Christmas shopping marked off your list!
Will you be making a trip to the Festival Center during your Epcot Food and Wine visit? Leave a comment and let us know!