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

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!

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.



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. [Read more…]

News! 2016 Epcot Food & Wine Festival Mix It, Make It, Celebrate It! Workshops Schedule Now Available!

Today, we are excited to share details for the Mix It, Make It, Celebrate It! Workshops that will take place during the 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

Food and Wine Festival Updates 2016 Info Graphic Square

We now have details on the this hands-on, (fairly) low cost experience (woo!!!) that’s brand new to the festival. And just like the festival favorite culinary demos and beverage seminars, the Mix It, Make It, Celebrate It! Workshops will take place in the Festival Center.

Booking all of your favorites starts in just a few daysJuly 21st for the general public, and July 19th for Annual Passholders, DVC members, Golden Oak Residents, Tables in Wonderland Members, and Chase Disney Visa Cardmembers*! 

We’re so excited to try this new offering for ourselves. Disney promises that this event will give guests a chance to “roll up your sleeves and learn some new techniques from the professionals. This new hands-on workshop series will give guests the opportunity to learn from the pros, whether it be cake decorating, garnishing, cocktail mixing, or a variety of other fun topics! ”

Frosting and drink making? Sign me up!!

Click through to our Low-Cost/Free Events, Seminars, and Demonstrations to see links to the Mix It, Make It, Celebrate It! Workshops as well as the  Culinary Demos and Beverage Seminars! 

[Read more…]

2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival: 20th Anniversary Festival Merchandise

Sure, Eating and Drinking Around the World is a MUST DO at the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival. But don’t forget to save time for the shopping too!

Of course, there’s a TON of Festival Merch available this year — just like always.

But I mostly wanted to share with you the really special stuff that’s available to mark this year’s milestone 20th Anniversary.

Let’s take a look!

2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Merchandise

Whether you’d like to wear your souvenir or eat and drink off of it, you’ll find just the right piece to take home with you.

Grey, long-sleeved T-Shirts bear the main logo of the 2015 20th Anniversary Festival.

Festival T Shirt

Long Sleeved Festival T-Shirt

We found a slightly different version in a short-sleeved, burgundy model as well. [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.



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…]

News! 2015 Epcot International Flower and Garden (PLUS FOOD!) Festival Details Announced

As we say goodbye to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival for another year and anticipate the eats at Holidays Around the World, we welcome news of more fun to come at Epcot this Spring!

Disney Food Blog Epcot Flower and Garden Festival (2)

Details have been announced for the 22nd Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival. Mark your calendars for 75 days full of flowers, fun — and food! The 2015 Festival will run from March 4 until May 17.

What can we expect from the 2015 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival? Read on to find out!

Outdoor Kitchens

For the third year running, the Festival will feature Outdoor Kitchens situated around World Showcase.

The Smokehouse in the American Adventure Pavilion

The Smokehouse in the American Adventure Pavilion

The Outdoor Kitchens have been a welcome addition to the Festival, drawing a whole new crowd for the mammoth event. Reminiscent of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, the kiosks feature flavors of many of the World Showcase Pavilions.

Think the Piggylicious Cupcake Will Return for 2014?

Think the Piggylicious Cupcake Will Return for 2014?

Appetizer portions make it easy to experience lots of variety, and the smaller scale of the event — there are only about half as many Booths as you find at the Food and Wine Festival — makes it easier to try all of your favorites.

Duck Confit with Garlic Potatoes Was a Must-Have at the 2014 Flower and Garden Festival!

Duck Confit with Garlic Potatoes Was a Must-Have at the 2014 Flower and Garden Festival!

We’ve really enjoyed strolling the Promenade, taking in the international array of [Read more…]

Chocolate Sculptures on Display at the Food and Wine Festival “From Bean to the Bar” Experience

Greetings from the Epcot Food & Wine Festival Center!

Festival Center

Festival Center

Tucked in the waaaaaay back of the center is a small area hosted by Ghirardelli that’s dedicated to all things chocolate: From Bean to the Bar. This is a returning exhibit, but they’ve got all new surprises this year.

From the Bean to the Bar

From the Bean to the Bar

You can pick up packaged Ghirardelli goodies here, and get an education about the chocolate-making process. But today we’d like to show you something that’s easy to miss if you’re not on the lookout. There are some pretty amazing displays created by none other than Disney Pastry Chefs… and they’re made of CHOCOLATE!

Chocolate Sculpture Introduction

Chocolate Sculpture Introduction

Check out this gathering of many of our favorite Disney Villains created by [Read more…]

Review: Epcot Food and Wine Festival Cheese Seminar

Everyone knows my deep and passionate love for all things cheese, right?

I’ve met very few varieties that I didn’t love…from classic plastic cheese all the way to the fanciest cheese plates available at Disney World.

Cheese Tasting Plate and Table Decor at Epcot Food and Wine Festival Cheese Seminar

This fact made taking part in a Cheese Seminar during the opening weekend of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival even more ideal for me! (Can you believe I’d never done a Cheese Seminar before?!?)

So on the first Saturday of the Festival, I hightailed it over to the Festival Center to take part in this seminar that I’ve been wanting to experience for a while. Today, I’m excited to have you join me!


Doing a Cheese Seminar in Disney World might mean drinking two glasses of wine at 10:30, so just be prepared for that! ;-) (Ah…the [Read more…]

Epcot Food and Wine Festival: Festival Center and Chase VIP Lounge Photo Tour

Greetings from the 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival! For those of you coming to Walt Disney World over the next month and a half for the festival, here’s a quick tour of the Food and Wine Festival Center!

Festival Center - Outside View

Located in Future World (within the old Wonders of Life Pavilion – go left at MouseGear), this is where you’ll head for many of the culinary demonstrations and seminars.

You’ll also find HGTV events here, as well as some terrific Festival merchandise.

Let’s take a little tour, shall we?

Festival Center Sign

Festival Center Attractions

When you come down the ramps to enter the building, you’ll find helpful Cast Members at the Information Booth ready to answer all of your questions and steer you in the right direction.

This is also where you’ll find your Food and Wine Festival Passports – great for gathering stamps to commemorate your mission to eat and drink your way around the World!


The info booth is also where you’ll go to get wristbands for celebrity chef meet-and-greets and book signings. 2 signings per wristband this year!

The check-in area is where you’ll go when you’re ready to check in for any seminars or demonstrations that you’ve signed up to attend. TIP: Head to the check-in area if you don’t have a reservation for an event, but you’d like to attend. They just might have some openings!

Demo and Seminar Check In

This interactive [Read more…]

Disney’s California Food & Wine Festival — First Food Reviews

I finally get to share some food pics and reviews from Disney’s California Food & Wine Festival Center! I’ll be putting together blog posts specifically about merchandise and the Festival Center soon, but I always give the food pics priority, as you know ;-) Here’s how the Festival Food (beer and wine will be discussed separately) is set up, for those of you who might not have been here, yet:

The Festival Center: Here, you can find the “Taste of California” items — eight tapas-sized portions of food representing California, the Festival Center “Wine Seller,” other festival merchandise items, a Stella Artois-hosted “Star Lounge” and Belgian Brewers Collection, and one of the festival seminar locations.

Around Disney’s California Adventure: Throughout DCA, you can find six dining locations offering “festival-inspired” dishes, like “Mangia Meatballs” and Award Weiners!


Today, I headed to the Festival Center to nosh on several of the “Taste of California” Marketplace items as well as try out the brand-spanking new, still-in-testing-stages, 106-flavor, “PurePour” Coke Machine…which I’ll be telling you all about in the next week or so. Here’s the full list of food items available. These all cost between $3 and $5:

We started out with a selection of Artisinal Cheeses:

This included three extremely mild cheeses — the Cheddar had [Read more…]