2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival: Festival Center Tour and Festival Merchandise

The 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival is officially underway!

festival-center-outside-16

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!

We’ll be sharing our reviews of Marketplace Booths as well as impressions of some of the Special Events taking place throughout the Festival.

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.

Entrance

Entrance

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.

Information Desk

Information Desk

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.

Festival Shop

Festival Shop

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.

Book Signing Area

Book Signing Area

Just beyond the Festival Shop, you’ll find Intermissions Cafe, which offers light bites and a variety of beverages.

Intermissions Cafe

Intermissions Cafe

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. :-)

Intermissions Cafe Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Intermissions Cafe Menu — Click to Enlarge

Across from the Cafe is Spotlight Stage, home to free Back to Basics Seminars.

Spotlight Stage

Spotlight Stage

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.

Stock Pot Shop

Stock Pot Shop

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.

Thermal Wine Tote

Thermal Wine Tote

And I absolutely fell in love with this retro Chef Mickey plush!

Retro Food and Wine Festival Mickey Mouse Plush

Retro Food and Wine Festival Mickey Mouse Plush

For those of you who are always interested in seeing the poster for this year’s Festival, here’s the 2016 edition.

2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Poster

2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Poster

We found it nestled among other 2016 Taste Your Way Around the World-themed items.

Taste Your Way Around the World Merch

Taste Your Way Around the World Merch

Festival T-Shirt

Festival T-Shirt

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).

Wine Bottle Christmas Ornament

Wine Bottle Christmas Ornament

Will you and yours be taking on Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak challenge? Get your map here!

Remy's Hide and Squeak Scavenger Hunt

Remy’s Hide and Squeak Scavenger Hunt

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.

Festival Wines and Pam Smith Books

Festival Wines and Pam Smith Books

The Best of Epcot Festivals Cookbook, new for 2016, is also available here.

Festival Center Cookbook

Festival Center Cookbook

This sweet little Mickey and Minnie print comes matted. Looks like they’re heading to the fromagerie next!

Mickey and Minnie Print

Mickey and Minnie Print

Prefer beer to wine? You’ll want to check out the line of Brews Around the World stuffs, which was redesigned for 2016.

Brews Around the World T-Shirt

Brews Around the World T-Shirt

And look! Another super cute Christmas ornament!

Brews Around the World Ornament

Brews Around the World 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.

Wall of Figment Merch

Wall of Figment Merch

Figment Trash Can Salt and Pepper Shakers

Figment Trash Can Salt and Pepper Shakers

Even Figment for your tree!

Figment Christmas Ornament

Figment Christmas Ornament

Figment Christmas Ornament

Figment Christmas Ornament

He’s also the star of his very own Food and Wine Fest poster.

Figment Poster!

Figment Poster!

Figment 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Poster

Figment 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival 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.

Chef's Showcase Schedule

Chef’s Showcase Schedule

We happened to be walking through while the Cheese Seminar was happening.

Cheese Seminar in Progress

Cheese Seminar in Progress

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.

From Bean to Bar Exhibit

From Bean to Bar Exhibit

Check out exhibits that walk you through the chocolate making process.

Timeline in From Bean to Bar

Timeline in From Bean to Bar

View chocolate sculptures by the talented Disney culinary team.

Chocolate Sculpture

Chocolate Sculpture

And don’t forget to try out Ghirardelli Drinking Chocolate. It’s divine!

Ghirardelli Drinking Chocolate

Ghirardelli Drinking Chocolate

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.

Seasons of the Vine Film

Seasons of the Vine Film

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.

The Vineyard Stage

The Vineyard Stage

The Vineyard Stage Event Schedule

The Vineyard Stage Event Schedule

Festival Sponsor Chase offers information at a convenient desk located adjacent to The Vineyard Area.

Chase Disney Visa Card Information

Chase Disney Visa Card Information

The Festival Wine Shop stocks many of the wines and other beverages that you can sample throughout the Festival.

Wine Shop

Wine Shop

Marketplace Wines For Sale by the Bottle

Marketplace Wines For Sale by the Bottle

And back for 2016, you can also indulge in a Wine Tasting at two different price points.

Wine Tasting Station is Back for 2016

Wine Tasting Station is Back for 2016

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.

Festival Stage Featuring Clips from The Chew

Festival Stage Featuring Clips from The Chew

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!

Ready to Plan for Your Epcot Food and Wine Festival Trip?

The DFB Guide to the 2016 Epcot Food & Wine Festival e-Book is now available! This 250+-page guide to the Festival offers insider tips and advice as well as all of the details you need to know to plan your best Festival visit ever.

2015 DFB F&W Guide Cover

Your purchase includes several bonus items as well — including a full daily schedule of events at the Festival and a printable World Showcase Booth Menu Checklist to carry with you as you Eat around the World!

Order your 2016 edition today! Don’t miss a moment of the fun!

Use code Chefs at check-out for a 20% off the cover price!

Will you be making a trip to the Festival Center during your Epcot Food and Wine visit? Leave a comment and let us know!

Comments

  1. Mark says

    We’ve spent a lot of time in here over the years. Definitely worth a stop. My wife and I were struck by the massive reduction in the numbers of wines being sold in the wine shop this year. Wonder what that is all about. To be fair, I have lambasted Disney for the Festival Wines, which were a rip off last year, not very good and way over priced. We have tried the 2016 Festival Chardonnay and it is much improved and they lowered the price by $3 a bottle. Did our first culinary demo last week. It was outstanding. My wife has already duplicated it at home and it was terrific. The chef was from Publix Cooking Schools. Can’t go wrong with them.

  2. Frank says

    Festival Center, aka Wonders of Life, aka Met Life Pavilion, brings back loads of great Disney memories.
    One of our favorite places was what is now Intermissions Cafe. Used to be called Pure and Simple. We always managed to have breakfast there. Loved the waffles. To the left of the cafe, they had a fruit condiment bar, and you could sit at the “counter” that faced the pavilion and people watch. Not to mention we enjoyed Body Wars and the other attractions. Plus they played a catchy synthetic sounding song… Celestrial Soda Pop.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_50jvefly0

    Sad to say, for me anyway, Future World has totally changed. Even though Spaceship Earth’s ride path is the same, the interior, music, and narration has changed.

    Maybe that’s why it’s called “Future World.”
    Thx for the opportunity to reminisce a bit!!

    Frank

  3. connie williams says

    Great site! Fantastic photos! My one disappointment is I came looking for the “running” dates and I could not find the dates of the festival on here. I was on facebook posting about the quick trip I had last night and although I picked up a “passport 2016″ book that didn’t have the dates so I googled and your blog came up I clicked on it first. Nothing saying the dates so I couldn’t complete my post after clicking on this wonderfully yet not complete site.

  4. says

    Mark — I agree – we always begin our first Festival day at the Center. Also, I agree about the Festival wines — much better this year. I thought the red was pretty decent, too.

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