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EPCOT adds dining capacity for expected crowds

EPCOT is a park of two unconnected halves, the future and the world. The thread that ties them together is food. Year round there are delicious offerings in unique settings. Plus Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival, which this year marks it’s 15th anniversary brings crowds of foodies to the park. When the guests arrive this year they will be able to experience a few new enhancements to the World Showcase at Epcot – a new lagoon-side, 12,000 sq. ft. taqueria at the Mexico pavilion, an authentic 14,000 sq. ft. pizzeria at the Italy pavilion, a new merchandise kiosk at the China pavilion, and a new exclusive Givenchy shop at the France pavilion.

Building on its more than 25 years of success in bringing Mexican cuisine to Walt Disney World guests, San Angel Inn, LLC will open a new 400-seat waterside restaurant and quick-service food location specializing in the freshly baked culinary flavors of Mexico. The Cantina de San Angel Restaurant, located directly in front of the Mexico pavilion in the World Showcase, is currently closed until fall 2010 for a significant refurbishment and expansion. The new indoor and outdoor restaurant will be nearly four times larger than the previous 3,500 sq. ft. Cantina.

The Cantina will serve as the first flex- service restaurant at Walt Disney World Resort. Disney research has shown that guests prefer a quick lunch while spending a day at the parks and enjoy a nice tableside restaurant experience in the evening hours. As a result, the new restaurant will serve quick service meals during the day where guests can enjoy an indoor, air-conditioned dining, or outdoor dining experience. Then, in the evening hours the restaurant is converted into a tableside restaurant where reservations are recommended.

At the Italy pavilion, the Patina Restaurant Group will expand its Italian culinary options by opening a new 300-seat pizzeria that will feature traditional Italian dishes straight from wood-burning ovens representing Italy’s infamous volcanoes. Guests will be immersed in the dining experience as they take in the sights, sounds, and aromas of the Italian delicacies, Florentine architecture, vaulted-ceilings, and indoor and outdoor dining. Based on its success at Naples 45 in New York, the Patina Restaurant Group will import water from a source where the composition most resembles water used in Naples, Italy, to make the authentic Italian dough.

“Together with the addition of the pizzeria and the extensive refurbishment of the Cantina, we’re expanding the table service restaurant seats in World Showcase by approximately 20 percent,” said Dan Cockerell, vice president of Epcot. “We’re excited about this significant expansion, which will certainly enhance the guest experience and the architectural landscape of World Showcase. The timing couldn’t be better since we will be celebrating our 15th annual Epcot Food & Wine Festival.”

This week, a new 20 x14 merchandise kiosk, Good Fortune Gifts, opened in front of the China pavilion. Together with Joy of Tea beverage kiosk, Good Fortune Gifts, provides an atmosphere of a small Chinese market along the World Showcase promenade.

By September, Givenchy will open a 300 sq. ft. shop at the France pavilion that will be the only retail location in the United States to offer the full line of Givenchy make-up and skincare products, as well as, a large selection of Givenchy fragrances. Currently small selections of Givenchy perfumes are available in The Plume Shop.

At Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room in the United Kingdom, guests can experience a newly-updated menu. The restaurant features hearty and fresh regional English cooking such as: Cottage Pies, Chicken Pies, Fish and Chips, Corned Beef Sandwich, Yorkshire Puddings, Mushy Peas, and more.