2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival: Festival Center Tour

The 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival is officially underway!

Festival Center Food and Wine Festival 15-044

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!

In the coming days, look for reviews of many of the Marketplace Booths, and we’ll also be sharing with you 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 Mixology Seminars.

Let’s head into Festival Center as we show you some returning features from previous years — and introduce you to a couple of enhancements that are making their first appearances in 2015.

The 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Center

You’ll find 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.

Festival Center -- Outside View

Festival Center — Outside View

Get your bearings as you walk in the door — you’ll find a handy diagram of the circular space just to the left of the Information Desk. [Read more…]

Tips from the DFB Guide: Recommended Epcot Food and Wine Festival One-Day Strategy

The 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival will be here before you know it! Mark your calendars for September 25-November 16, 2015!

2015 Epcot Food and Wine Logo

That’s more than seven full weeks to enjoy all that this incredible event has to offer. And there is so much to do and see!

I’ve often thought through the years that it would be great to stick around for the entire Food and Wine Festival and take in every special event, cooking demonstration, and Eat to the Beat Concert. But we both know that’s not gonna happen. Who has that kind of time, right?

Well, here’s the good news. Even if you’re short on time, you can still enjoy so much of what the festival has to offer by planning ahead.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll take a look at some of the Touring Strategies featured in the DFB Guide to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. And don’t forget — when you pre-order the 2015 Guide, you’ll receive the 2014 immediately for free, so you can get started planning right away!

Today, we’ll get started by discussing how to make the most of the festival when you only have one day to enjoy it!

Get An Early Start

Even if you only have one day to spend at the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, you can still make the most of your time. Plan to arrive early — a day where there are morning Extra Magic Hours would be ideal. And then head to the Festival Center when it opens at 9:00AM.

Festival Center

Festival Center

Here, you can browse the shops and pick up your free [Read more…]

News! 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Culinary Demos and Beverage Seminar Details

Today, we are excited to share details for the Culinary Demonstrations and Beverage Seminars that will take place during the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

Food and Wine Festival Updates

With not a moment to spare (whew!) we now have details on the low-cost demos and seminars that are one of the hallmarks of the Festival. Everyone is anxious to see what’s available, and to book their favorites (starting July 31st for general public; July 25th for Annual Passholders, DVC members, Golden Oak Residents, and Tables in Wonderland Members; and July 29th for Chase Disney Visa Cardmembers)!

Not only do the demos and seminars represent good value; they also offer some of the most interesting educational and cultural options that guests enjoy during the Festival.

Click through to our Culinary and Beverage Seminars and Demonstrations page to see links to the Culinary, Beverage, and Mixology events.

All seminars and demos are $15 this year, and feature a mix of talent from the culinary world. You’ll find celebrity chefs as well as standout talent from throughout the Walt Disney World company — and beyond. And representatives from wineries and other beverage companies make learning about wine and spirits a hands-on experience with tastings.

Presenter During a Mixology Seminar

Presenter During a Mixology Seminar

There will be many familiar names returning in 2014, so check the details to find out when guest favorites like Gale Gand, Robert Irvine, and Carla Hall take the stage! With demos and seminars taking place daily during the Festival, you’re bound to find options that tempt your palate!

As always, stay tuned to DisneyFoodBlog.com, the DFB Newsletter, and our DFB Food and Wine Festival Fans Facebook Page for all the details as soon as they happen!

Booking and Discounts

You can book most of the events on [Read more…]

2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Culinary Demos and Beverage Seminar Details

We’re thrilled to finally share the 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Culinary and Beverage Seminars and Demonstrations details!

The wait is over (and just in time!) as the details on the low-cost seminars and demos that showcase the delicious and educational options of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival are available.

Click through to our Culinary and Beverage Seminars and Demonstrations page to see links to the Culinary, Beverage, and Mixology events.

Seminars and demos are priced between $14-15 this year, and feature chefs and beverage companies that are at the top of their game. Check the details to find your favorites, like Warren Brown, Robert Irvine, and more!


Booking will be available for most events on [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…]

Interview: Marianne Hunnel, Epcot Food & Wine Festival Content Development

Chef Marianne Hunnel

As you know, I was given the opportunity to speak yesterday evening with Marianne Hunnel, Area Manager, Event Content Development for the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. She has a job that seems to be in equal parts exhilarating and difficult — and she loves it!

Without further ado, let’s jump into what I learned about the Epcot Food and Wine Festival and its true headliner, Marianne Hunnel! At the end of this post, we have a few pieces of news about what you’ll find that’s new at the 2011 Festival!

How A Festival Comes Together

With five years of directing content development for the Epcot Food and Wine Festival (six festivals altogether), Marianne Hunnel is an expert at shepherding her small, mighty team when it comes to building something bigger and better every single year. Of course, her 15 years working as a Chef on Disney World Property doesn’t hurt in terms of knowing what Disney guests are looking for when it comes to a dining experience!

Planning and development for these 45 festival days takes all year, and includes a lot of research. The first place they turn? Last year’s Food and Wine Festival guests! “[We] take a look at feedback from guests — what people liked, what was not doing very well. We really listen to the guests.”

After taking stock of what you, me, and the rest of the guests preferred last year, the team begins scouting the global trends taking over the food space and begin putting together menu items and tastings. To get unique and authentic input, Hunnel and the team speak with cast members — especially those hailing from countries represented in the World Showcase Marketplace Booths — to collect ideas, reviews, and even family recipes!

According to Hunnel, the festival should always be “interesting, exciting, and educational.”

Trends and Concepts Affecting the Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Healthy Dining
An ongoing focus of the festival is healthy dining. “[We are] trying to incorporate fresh and healthy foods that are indigenous to the regions represented around the marketplace. …And we do it in subtle ways. Guests can say, ‘Wow, you can eat healthy and enjoy going to a festival without feeling really guilty,'” says Hunnel.

In fact, a new event focusing on families and healthy dining will take place on October 29th, featuring Andrew Zimmern and two other celebrity chefs, Bryan Voltaggio and Chris Cosentino. The event will “show the Chefs as Dads. They’re going to have their kids with them, who will be showing techniques that the family can [Read more…]

Mixology and Beer Seminar Details: Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

The Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic is coming up at the end of this week, and we’re excited to bring you the final post in our series of sneak peeks into the event!

We’ve already discussed some tasting booth menus and details as well as more sneak peeks from the tasting booths, and two weeks ago we highlighted the details behind this weekend’s Champagne and Sake Seminars! Today, we’re taking a look at the Classic’s Mixology and Beer Seminars!

Don’t forget, due to the popularity of the seminars, the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic has added a new seminar! Vino of Veneto will showcase some Italian wines like you’ve never seen before! Call 407-934-1609 to book!

smoking White Sangria at bluezoo


Learn the science behind our mixologists’ methods as we play with aromas, temperature and texture. We apply the same concepts as some of the world’s most innovative chefs — Ferran Adria, Jose Andres, and Thomas Keller — to create our unconventional libations. We’ll balance out your experience in this course with tasty treats from our bluezoo chefs’ culinary laboratory. Impress guests at your next social gathering with these clever cocktail tips!
Instructors: Douglas Draper, Todd English’s bluezoo Manager, Christopher Windus, Todd English’s bluezoo Executive Chef

Let me just say one thing to start this off — those of you in the Mixology seminar are going to have a blast! I got [Read more…]