News: Enhancements Coming to Epcot Food and Wine Festival Chase Lounge

With the return of the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival THIS WEEK comes the return of the Chase Lounge exclusively for Chase Visa cardholders.

2015 Epcot Food and Wine Logo

Once again, the Lounge will make its home in the American Adventure Pavilion, offering complimentary non-alcoholic beverages and a device charging station (and — as always — air conditioning ;) ).

The Lounge will be open daily from 11:00 am to park close. Cast Members will be stationed outside to check your card and direct you into the Lounge for a bit of rest and relaxation as well as some great views of World Showcase and Spaceship Earth from the third floor of the Pavilion.

This year, a few new features will be added to the amenities as part of the 20th Anniversary celebration of the Festival. These enhancements will include

  • a desk dedicated to Festival Information,
  • a social media photo booth, and a station where Lounge visitors will be able to email recipes from the Festival
  • periodic animation sketch classes as well as caricature artists throughout the run of the Festival
Chase Lounge in the America Pavilion

Chase Lounge in the America Pavilion

To learn more about other Special Events for the Food & Wine Festival exclusive to Chase Disney Visa Cardmembers, click here, or visit our Special Events page for the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival. [Read more…]

Best of the Fest: What To Eat at the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Happy 20th Anniversary of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

2015 Epcot Food and Wine Logo

We’re celebrating the best way we know how, with a trip all over Epcot to bring you the best of the best from the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

It was a tough job gathering all of the goodies and pricing for you at each of the Marketplace Booths for this year’s festival, but hey… somebody’s gotta do it. Of course, we needed a little sustenance along the way ;). What better excuse to Eat and Drink our Way Around the World again this year!

Be sure to click over to our Marketplace Booth Page to see pictures of every single dish at the Festival. Just click through the links for each booth to see pictures of all your favorite dishes, along with every single new one from this year!

Then, come on back to see our must-buys among the new items at the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

Chicken Sausage with Creamy Polenta at the Canada Marketplace

Well, whaddya know… along with the Le Cellier Beef Filet and Cheddar Cheese Soup, the Canada Booth can claim even more bragging rights with the return of the Chicken Sausage with creamy polenta and Minus 8 Onion Jam.

Chicken Sausage with Creamy Polenta and Minus 8 Onion Jam

Chicken Sausage with Creamy Polenta and Minus 8 Onion Jam

This was a favorite of mine back when it was on the menu at Le Cellier, and I was super excited to see it make its way to the festival back then. Sweet, savory, and with just a bit o’ heat, we’re glad it made its way back after being on hiatus for a couple years! [Read more…]

2015 Food and Wine Festival Booth Preview: Australia and Ireland Booths

The start of the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival is so close!

Food and Wine 2015 Info Graphic Square URL

As we count down the days, the excitement for the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival is building! This year marks the 20th anniversary for the festival and we can’t wait to experience the Culinary Demonstrations, Beverage and Mixology Seminars, and the festival’s Special Events!

We also can’t wait to wine and dine our way through the Marketplace booths!

Today we’re going to take a look at two festival favorites – the Australia Marketplace booth and the Ireland Marketplace booth.

Australia Marketplace Booth

Australia has been part of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival since 1997 and each year they’re serving great dishes from the land down under!

This year we’re excited to see that yummo Lamington cake return to the menu.

2015 Australia Marketplace Booth Menu

  • Grilled Sweet and Spicy Bush Berry Shrimp with Pineapple, Peppers, Onions and Snap Peas
  • Grilled Lamb Chop with Mint Pesto and Potato Crunchies
  • Lamington Yellow Cake Dipped in Chocolate and Shredded Coconut
  • Coopers Brewery Extra Strong Vintage Ale
  • Chateau Tanuda Grand Barossa Dry Reisling
  • Bulletin Place Unoaked Chardonnay
  • Yangarra Estate Vineyard Shiraz
Australia Booth

Australia Booth

New for this year is the Grilled Sweet and Spicy Bush Berry Shrimp with Pineapple, Peppers, Onions, and Snap Peas.

[Read more…]

How Using Your Disney Dining Plan at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival Just Got Better

We all know it: having the Disney Dining Plan while visiting the Epcot Food and Wine Festival can be pretty awesome.

2015 Epcot Food and Wine Logo

Because, after all, in the past, you could save up your snack credits and use them to Eat Your Way Around the World. And the only thing better than the Food and Wine Festival is enjoying it for the price of your already-purchased Disney Dining Plan!

But if you can believe it, using your Disney Dining Plan at the Food and Wine Festival just got even better. Recent changes in how Disney Dining Plan credits can be spent will make enjoying all that the Food and Wine Marketplace Booths have to offer even more fun than before.

Want to know more about how to use your Disney Dining Plan at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival? Read on!

Turn Your Quick Service Meals Into Food and Wine Booth Eats!

This is probably the most exciting change to the Disney Dining Plan: you can now use your Quick Service Meal Credits to purchase up to three different snacks, and call it a meal!

Swap your Counter Service Credit for Snack Credits and get more of these.

Swap your Counter Service Credit for Snack Credits and get more of these.

There are rules about the way this works, however. In order to swap your Quick Service Meal Credit for snacks, you have to do it all in one transaction. So unfortunately, that means you can’t go to the Hawai’i Booth and order something, then mosey over to the Belgium Booth for something else.

Belgian Waffle with Warm Chocolate Ganache and Whipped Cream

Belgian Waffle with Warm Chocolate Ganache and Whipped Cream

But if you think about it in terms of your group or family pooling credits, it’s just a matter of logistics. After all, you can use Dad’s credits at the Canada Booth so that everyone can have their own Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup. Then use Mom’s for three different items at another booth. And really — that’s pretty awesome. Because that soup has been known to incite family spoon feuds.

Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup

Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup

Start Your Planning Today! The DFB Guide to the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival e-Book is now available!

2015 DFB F&W Guide Cover 3D

Want even more great tips? This 200+-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. Order your 2015 edition today!

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!

Use code Chefs at check-out for a $3 discount!

Be sure to check our main Epcot Food and Wine Festival Page frequently for updates, and also check out Epcot Food and Wine Festival 101 for even more information about the festival!

Want More Epcot Food and Wine Festival Info?

We’ll have all the coverage and information you need right here on Disney Food Blog! Here’s what we know so far…

2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Index

2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Booth and Menu Index 
2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Special Events
2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Low-Cost Seminars and Demonstrations
2015 Eat to the Beat Concert Schedule
Epcot Food and Wine Festival Fans Facebook Page
2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Wine and Dine Half Marathon
2015 Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic
Food and Wine Festival 101
2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Menus and FOOD PHOTOS
2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Gluten Free Items

How to Book Epcot Food & Wine Festival Events

To book all special events and demonstrations, call 407-WDW-FEST (939-3378) (join the Disney Food Blog Newsletter to find out as soon as we do about all the details!). Culinary Demonstrations, Beverage Seminars, Mixology Seminars, and general admission for some special events will be bookable online at www.epcotfoodfestival.com as well as by phone.

Tables in Wonderland members, Annual Passholders, Disney Vacation Club Members, and Golden Oak Residents will be eligible for a discount (per person, per event) for beverage and mixology seminars and culinary demos taking place Mon-Thurs during the festival. Discounts are by phone only at 407-WDW-FEST (939-3378). Stay tuned to DisneyFoodBlog.com and the Disney Food Blog Newsletter for details.

And now we’d love to hear from all of you — are you excited to use your Disney Dining Plan in this new flexible way at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival? Leave a comment and tell us what you think about the changes!

#OnTheList: Epcot Food and Wine Festival Classics

DisneyFoodBucketList 8-018
This post is part of the DFB #OnTheList series, where we feature eats you’ve GOT to have while you’re at Disney! Let us know what’s on YOUR Disney Food Bucket List @DisneyFoodBlog #OnTheList!

The 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival is just about ready to kick off!

Food and Wine 2015 Info Graphic Square URL

We are just days away from the start of the Festival, which gets underway this Friday, September 25. And we couldn’t be more excited to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the special event!

With more than seven weeks to party, there’s plenty of time to enjoy every bite and drink that you have on your list.

And speaking of, we’re celebrating our very favorite food items that are on our Disney Food Bucket List — with this special edition of #OnTheList: Epcot Food and Wine Festival Favorites!

Ready to stroll the Promenade? Let’s head out!

Fresh Baked Carrot Cake with Craisins® and Cream Cheese Icing — Hops & Barley

Nothing like starting with dessert, right? And if you’re going to limit your sweets at this year’s Festival, then the Fresh Baked Carrot Cake with Craisins® and Cream Cheese Icing has to be on your short list.

You’ll find this dreamy little cake at the Hops & Barley Booth, halfway around World Showcase — and the perfect spot to indulge in a decadent treat.

Fresh baked carrot cake with Craisins® and cream cheese icing

Fresh Baked Carrot Cake with Craisins® and Cream Cheese Icing

If you’re a frosting fan like I am, you may be concerned that the warm, liquid-y frosting won’t cut it when it comes to your craving — but I guarantee you, it will. Just be sure to ask for extra!
[Read more…]

Food and Wine Festival Review: Food for Thought with Chef Norman Van Aken

We’ve finally made it! The 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival is opening next week!

Table Setting and Food for Thought Presentation

Soon, it will be time to Dine Our Way Around the World, as the World Marketplace Booths begin serving dishes inspired by flavors throughout the world! And with more than seven full weeks of Special Events, Culinary Demos, Beverage and Mixology Seminars, and special exhibits, this event is a food lover’s paradise.

While we anxiously count down these last few days until all the fun starts, we’re taking a look at some of the events we enjoyed from last year.

In 2014, one of the Special Events was Food for Thought, an event where celebrity chefs shared favorite recipes while sharing their personal stories. (Read our review of the event featuring Chef Rick Bayless last year here.) During these events, guests also enjoyed three dishes from one of the featured chef’s cookbooks. In 2015, you’ll find a similar event called “What’s Cooking With”.

I had the pleasure of attending one of these events last year, and I learned some great tips and techniques from Florida-local Chef Norman Van Aken. Let’s check out some of the delicious dishes we enjoyed.

Food for Thought with Chef Norman Van Aken

I arrived at Festival Center for this event a few minutes early. It actually took place during brunch hours.

The Festival Stage was decked out as usual. Located at the back of the Festival Center, this is where all festival Culinary Demonstrations as well as many Special Events take place.

Ticket

Ticket

It’s a neat venue, because it’s actually open to the rest of the pavilion; if you happen to be passing, you can actually take in the presentation from outside of the dining area for free. :-) Of course, you won’t get to try any of the goodies. [Read more…]

New! DFB Podcast Episode 22: Food and Wine 2015 Preview!

We’re back! For those of you who missed listening to the DFB Podcasts, we are are happy to announce the 22nd episode of the DFB Podcast!

dfb podcast

We’ve been MIA for awhile, but we are so excited to be back in action! You’ll have to listen to this edition to hear about our whereabouts, but we are actively working on new ways to make sure we can record the podcast more often.

What’s It About?

There have been some major Disney announcements lately (Star Wars, anyone?) along with some 2015 Epcot Food and Wine news, so we had plenty to cover!

In the 22nd episode AJ and Brad apologize for being bad podcast friends, and cover the recent announcements of Skipper Canteen, Star Wars Land(s), and our favorite Food and Wine activities.

Here’s the Podcast page for Episode 22. And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast via RSS or on iTunes!

Thanks for listening! Please rate and review the podcast on iTunes and leave your comments below!

2015 Food and Wine Festival Booth Preview: Dominican Republic and Brazil Booths

The 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival is less than a month away!

Food and Wine 2015 Info Graphic Square URLThe big day is September 25 – that’s the beginning of seven weeks of incredible food and drinks in Epcot! And this year marks the Festival’s 20th anniversary so you know it’s going to be something special.

This year’s Culinary Demonstrations, Beverage and Mixology Seminars promise something for everyone; but, the food and drinks at the Marketplace Booths are what we’re most excited about.

Today we’re going to showcase two booths – one of which hasn’t been at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival since 2007! We’re talking about fan-favorite Brazil, which returned to the festival in 2013 and the Dominican Republic, which is making a return after several years away from the festival!

Dominican Republic Marketplace Booth

The Dominican Republic has been on hiatus since 2007 but is returning to the festival and we can’t wait to try all the dishes from this Caribbean island nation!

The booth used will be the brand new-last-year booth that was created for Puerto Rico. With PR not returning to the festival this year, DR will take over that booth and location!

We're Wondering if the Puerto Rico Marketplace Booth from the Food and Wine Festival May Do Double Duty as the Outdoor Kitchen During Flower and Garden!

The Puerto Rico Booth from last year will now be the Dominican Republic Booth!

2015 Dominican Republic Marketplace Booth Menu

[Read more…]

Tips from the DFB Guide: Epcot Food and Wine Festival on a Budget

It’s less than a month before the kick off for the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

Food and Wine 2015 Info Graphic Square URL

All the fun begins on September 25, and runs for more than seven weeks, wrapping up on November 16.

While there are tons of Special Events, including Regional Lunches and Dinners, Pairing Meals, and Demonstrations and Seminars, one thing is for sure: the Festival can get very pricey, very fast.

But you know what? It doesn’t have to be.

Some of the most fun and educational events are low in cost, and there are even free demonstrations and exhibits that you can take advantage of.

Today, let’s spend a little time exploring one the most useful — and one of my favorite! — strategies from the DFB Guide to the Food and Wine Festival, 2015 Edition. We’ve fully updated this popular guide with all of the 2015 information to help you make the most of your visit to this year’s festival.

Ready to experience the yum on a budget? Let’s go! [Read more…]

News: Ultimate VIP Tour Experience for the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

More news on the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival front today!

Food and Wine 2015 Info Graphic Square URL

If you enjoyed the Ultimate VIP Tour Experience for the Epcot Food and Wine Festival last year, we have great news: the package is returning again in 2015! And even better — Walt Disney World passholders can book the Ultimate VIP Tour Experience for a 15% discount!

Not to be confused with the Epcot Food and Wine Festival Tasting Sampler, or the Epcot Food and Wine Premium Package, the Ultimate VIP Tour Experience for the Epcot Food and Wine Festival offers you a combination of VIP experiences, special events, and opportunities to learn from Disney Chefs and other Festival notables in a whole new way.

Your special Food and Wine Festival experience, which will last the full day, includes all of the following:

  • Seating for What’s Cooking With…, which includes a champagne toast (See our list of who will be appearing each week on our Food and Wine Festival Special Events Page)
  • A special beverage demonstration, including Wine, Spirits, and Craft Beer, in the VIP Lounge at Festival Center
  • Escort to experience Soarin’ and Test Track attractions
  • A Private Tasting and Pairing Event with Disney Chefs at the new Sustainable Chew Marketplace Booth which includes tasting of 3 of the most popular Food and Wine Festival pairings
  • Backstage VIP Tour of The Land
  • Gold Badge Seating at the Eat to the Beat Concert, plus another champagne toast
  • VIP Reserved area for IllumiNations viewing

Please note that terms and inclusions in the package are, of course, subject to change. [Read more…]