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…]

More 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Details and Menus!

This year’s Epcot International Food and Wine Festival will run from September 19 – November 10, 2014! This 53-day festival will give fans a fun culinary experience.

Food and Wine Festival Updates

So far we’ve gotten the chance to check out the Eat to the Beat Concerts and a few Special Events. We’ve even heard the news that a new Patagonia Booth will be debuting at the 2014 Festival and we’ve got details on the 2014 Wine and Dine Half Marathon!

Let’s look at a few more details we’ve just discovered!

Returning Festival Fun

Stroll around World Showcase sampling food and beverages from over 25 international marketplaces. Don’t forget to have your complimentary festival passport stamped at each booth!

There’s lots to choose from — with more than 270 chefs and culinary experts involved in the Festival menus. Everyone loves the Cranberry Bog brought to the festival by Ocean Spray! If you’re still noshing at night, choose from three Eat to the Beat concerts.

Looking for something extra-special? Look for a special event! Make reservations for Party for the Senses or a signature dinner on select festival evenings. Also, Parisian breakfasts return on Saturday mornings. See our 2013 review here!

Cheese Display at 2013 Parisian Breakfast

Cheese Display at 2013 Parisian Breakfast

New Festival Fun

What’s new? “Back to Basics” will be offered as a new Festival Center series. (We’re guessing this will be a LOT like the Authentic Taste Seminars from previous years.) And on Friday mornings, “Food for Thought” will be a new cookbook event by celebrity chefs.

“Sunday Mornings With …” is a new plated brunch. This will be similar to Sweet Sundays from past festivals, but the plated brunch means no more buffet! Three desserts will be created by an expert pastry chef or baker.

Cooking with Carla at Sweet Sundays

Cooking with Carla at Sweet Sundays

The new Patagonia Marketplace merges Argentina and Chile flavors offering menu items like sustainable roasted Verlasso salmon with quinoa salad drizzled with a kicky arugula chimichurri. Pair your dish with a great Chilean wine: Cono Sur Bicicleta Viognier or Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir Rosé.

Farm Fresh Market replaces the Florida Local Marketplace with a breakfast for dinner dish or “brinner”: Bacon and Eggs (applewood-smoked, pepper-coated bacon, sweet corn, potatoes, Hollandaise, and pickled jalapeños). Or dig into the griddled “yard bird” (chicken) with braised greens. Quench your thirst with Orlando Brewing Company’s I-4IPA or a trendy Ba Ba Black Lager from Salt Lake City’s Uinta Brewing Company.

The returning Brazil Marketplace will once again offer crispy pork belly with black beans, onions, avocado and cilantro. New items will include: moqueca de pescado (tilapia with coconut lime sauce and steamed rice), pao de queijo (Brazilian cheese bread), and cocadas (Brazilian coconut candy).

Crispy Pork Belly at 2013 Festival

Crispy Pork Belly with Black Beans, Onions, Avocado and Cilantro

The Poland Marketplace has a new version of the popular pierogi dish that’s been around forever — sauerkraut pierogi and pork goulash.

What’s Free?

With your Epcot admission, the following Festival goodies [Read more…]

2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Special Event Updates

We have a bit of new information — including pricing, dates, and times — for some highly-anticipated events at the 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

As always, you can visit our Epcot Food and Wine Festival index page for all updates at any time. Bookings will begin for special events on August 14th, 2012, at 7am. Call 407-WDWFEST or book online for some events at

New Epcot Food and Wine Festival Details

Italian Regional Food & Wine Luncheon: Replacing the French Regional Lunches this year are Italian Regional Food & Wine Luncheons in Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar. Noon-2 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays. Cost is $75 (plus tax, gratuity included, park admission required).

Veal Parmesan at a 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Event in Italy

Party for the Senses: Held this year on October 6, 13, 20, and 27, and November 3 Party for the Senses in the World ShowPlace is back. As we previously reported, there are three tiers of pricing this year:
1.) A reserved table on the main floor ($170 plus tax, gratuity included, park admission required)
2.) A reserved table in the premium Wine View Lounge is $270 plus tax (gratuity included, park admission required)
3.) General admission $145 plus tax (gratuity included, park admission required). Both of the reserved seating options also include a specialty cocktail and early admission at 7:15 p.m.

Party For the Senses 2011 -- all photos copyright

Marketplace VIP Access Chef Tours These take place at 10:30am each Wednesday during the festival and feature five dishes and five beverages (alcoholic). The tour will last 2 hours. Cost is $90 [Read more…]

Guest Review: Epcot Food and Wine Festival’s Party for the Senses

Please welcome guest author Melissa Sorrells Galley with a review of the October 15th, 2011, Party for the Senses at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival! Thanks to Melissa for TONS of awesome and useful PftS tips!!

Party for the Senses is a truly magical dining event offered on Saturday nights throughout the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. Bringing food and beverage specialists from around the world in one giant, colorful pavilion, the Party takes place in the World Showplace, located between the United Kingdom and Canada pavilions on the west side of the World Showcase Lagoon.

Signage outside World Showplace


Parties this year last from 7:30-10pm. Cost is $145 per person, and $260 for the Wine View Lounge (not including park admission, which is required). In addition to the wonderful food and drink, the ticket price includes performances by the artists and entertainers of Cirque Du Soleil La Nouba during the Party as well as reserved seating for the Eat to the Beat Concert prior to the Party.

Check In
When you arrive, there will be a huge throng of people gathering outside the gates of the World Showplace Pavilion. Resist the urge to join them! Check in for Party for the Senses is located near the [Read more…]

Review: Epcot Food and Wine Festival Party for the Senses

So this is pretty exciting — I finally got to attend a Party for the Senses at this year’s Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

For those who aren’t sure what I’m talking about (I know — “Party for the Senses” can sound a bit odd!), the Party for the Senses is held most Saturdays during the Epcot Food & Wine Festival each year. This exclusive event impresses the taste buds, of course, but it also aims to awaken all of your senses. During this 2 1/2 hour extravaganza, food and beverages flow freely as awe-inspiring entertainment is performed by Cirque du Soleil, La Nouba.

Party for the Senses at World Showplace Pavilion in Epcot (Photo copyright Disney)

There are two more parties being offered this year — November 5, and November 12 — for $145 per ticket (plus you’ll need Epcot park admission). Note that the Wine View Lounge upgrade, which includes private tables ($260) is sold out. Reservations can be made at 407-WDW-FEST or at

Interestingly, the artfully prepared menus (including chefs and vinters) change, so your party may not have the same offerings as the one that we attended.

Now that we have the specs out of the way, let’s get into the meat of the night!


We attended the Party for the Senses during the “Deluge of 2011,” as I like to call it. That’s right; we got all gussied up and sloshed over to Epcot on October 8th. When we arrived at the World Showplace [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…]

2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Special Events Details

Great news! Dates have been announced for some of the 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival special events!

If you’ll be at the 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival between September 30 and November 13, you can now start planning what dates you might be attending certain specific events in Epcot.

Check out our 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Special Events page for dates for Sweet Sundays, Grand Marnier Tastings, Cheese Seminars, Wine Schools, Party for the Senses, Kitchen Memories, 3D Delicious Dessert Discovery, HGTV Home Entertaining Seminars, Food and Wine Pairing Dinners, and Signature Dinners (restaurants are not yet available). Booking for these events opens August 16th at 7am ET. Call 407-WDW-FEST.

Note that we do not yet have the dates or details on the low-cost seminars and demonstrations that will be taking place during the week at the Festival.

As always, we’re bringing you the most up-to-date details on the 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

Follow along over on our 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival index page!

Thanks to Stitch Kingdom for a heads up on a recent press release!

Guest Review: Epcot Food and Wine Festival Party for the Senses

One of my favorite people in the whole internet, Kelly Tressler, captured her 2010 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Party for the Senses experience for us! Sit back, relax, and get ready for a treat…

Party for the Senses

I just returned from a week-long trip to Walt Disney World (mainly for the Epcot Food & Wine Festival) where I had the pleasure of attending the first Party for the Senses of the year on October 2, 2010. This was my fourth trip to Disney World during Food & Wine, but the first time I experienced any paid events. My traveling party consisted of myself and my fiance — both of us newcomers to the Party for the Senses — and my parents, who enjoyed the Party 2 years ago.


The Party for the Senses is held between Epcot’s UK and Canada pavilions in the old Millennium Village (now called World Showplace). The Party offers [Read more…]

2010 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Preview

Since I’m not based in Florida, I asked my great friend and colleague (and Disney World Moms Panelist) Suzannah DiMarzio of ZannaLand, to attend the Tables in Wonderland preview of the 2010 Epcot Food and Wine Festival in my place. She kindly obliged and put together this fantastic review of the evening!

Of course, for all the latest information and breaking news, check out our 2010 Epcot Food and Wine Festival pages. Take it away, Zanna!

Concept Art for the 2010 Food and Wine Festival Entryway Display at Epcot

On July 8, 2010, I was given the amazing opportunity to be a special reporter for the Disney Food Blog and experience the Tables in Wonderland Food & Wine Festival Sneak Preview. This was the third Tables in Wonderland special event I’ve attended and the experience was, as always, uncompromisingly good. Here is a rundown of the evening’s service, all of which were previews for upcoming dishes at Epcot’s 15th Annual International Food & Wine Festival:


The event took place in the retired Wonders of Life pavilion. It had been quite some time since I’d been inside, so it was really cool to see the building still there (though it could really use some pressure washing on the outside!) and most of the inside still intact. Of course it was sad not seeing the big Cranium Command sign, the cool exercise bikes that showed Main Street, USA, on the TV screens as you pedaled, and Body Wars.

We were escorted backstage through an area next to Body Wars at the old Frontiers exhibit (still there for the most part). We ascended in a beautiful, mirrored elevator to the second floor and what used to be the VIP Lounge when Wonders of Life was functioning with a sponsor.

Passed Appetizers

The moment we stepped off the elevator and found our place card with table location on it, we were given our first wine selection: Paul Cheneau “Lady” Blanc de Blanc Cava from Spain. It was a lovely sparkling wine that came in a beautiful bottle.

Soon servers came around with our reception selections: Roasted Corn and Cheese Empanada from the Argentina kiosk;

Corn and Cheese Empanada from Argentina

Lettuce Wraps with Roast Pork and Kimchi Slaw from the new kid on the block, South Korea; [Read more…]

Latest News: Epcot Food and Wine Festival Info, Taste of Africa, and a New Cookbook

Whew! There’s been a multitude of news items that have popped up in the Disney Food world, so I decided to devote a post to all of them this morning:

Bangkok Marketplace Booth

2010 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Booths

The Food and Wine Festival CMS website is now showing the 27 Epcot Food and Wine Festival International Marketplace Booths slated for the 2010 Epcot Food and Wine Festival. As we know, these include new additions South Korea and Belgium, and returning booth Singapore. It also includes another new addition, Charcuterie and Cheese (perhaps replacing The Mouse Catch booth)!

Check out the 2009 Food and Wine Festival Booth menus and photos here for inspiration about what might be offered this year!

Food and Wine Festival Event General Info … and Cirque du Soleil News?

The same website also offers information on general timing for each of the 2010 Epcot Food and Wine Festival seminars, demonstrations, and signature special events. While specific details (e.g. which Chefs will present on which days) have not yet been announced, this information can help with basic trip planning around the Festival:

Also exciting, it looks like Cirque du Soleil will be returning to the Food and Wine Festival’s Party for the Senses this year.

As always, stay tuned to the master 2010 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Page, where we’ll link out to all of the latest news, details, and information.

Dawa Bar in Harambe Village

Taste of Africa Street Party News

A new culinary and cultural experience is coming to Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom this summer. The Taste of Africa street party will take place every evening from July 9th through July 24th in Harambe Village in Animal Kingdom’s Africa.

The party will begin right after Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade and will continue through closing time (even during Extra Magic Hours). Included will be food and beverage tastings, authentic African entertainment, unique merchandise, and more.

New Disney Cookbook on the Horizon

Pam Brandon, Disney’s food writer extraordinaire, will be releasing a new official Disney cookbook this Fall. Currently titled Treasures from the Vault & Delicious New Favorites, I’m eager to see what dishes made the cut! If you’re wondering about the other cookbooks available, check our our Disney Cookbooks post! (Thanks to Stitch Kingdom for the tip!)

Remember, because we’re reporting this news so far ahead of time, details are always subject to change.

Now, in addition to all of that awesomeness, stay tuned tomorrow for an exclusive guest review of the Ariel’s Grotto World of Color Prix Fixe menu!