Disney fans who are also Chase credit or debit card holders, will be happy to hear that the Food and Wine Festival lounge has returned. Relax with complimentary amenities, electronic charging stations, air conditioning, and more. The only question I have is why don’t they do this all year long.
You may not realize this, but the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival is not the only must-attend event for foodies this fall. The culinary team at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel is already gearing up for the annual Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic. Get your plates and wine cups ready for two nights of outdoor food and fun on October 18 – 19.
Last year was my second year attending and it was bigger and better that the previous year. I left with a very fun stomach and a list of wines I knew I wanted to try again. The chefs and staff of the Swan and Dolphin’s best restaurants partner with their top vendors to make this an experience you’ll savor. Now that the classic is returning for its fourth year I urge you to attend and savor the flavor of culinary innovation along the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel’s lush causeway.
Today is my first chance to get out and explore the EPCOT Food & Wine Festival. I’m here as an invited media guest, which means I get access to a few places the day guest isn’t allowed. I’ll be sharing those and updating this post throughout the day with highlights of our excursions.
This the 17th annual International Food and Wine Festival at EPCOT and it includes more than 25 ethnic and regional marketplaces with tantalizing new drinks and flavors to explore around the World Showcase. The culinary event has even been named one of the Best Food and Wine Festivals by Travel Channel.
Foodie will celebrate with these new experiences: a new chocolate tasting, fresh Florida Local flavors, and the first marketplace with vegan cuisine. The festival also introduces its first watermelon patch, brings back the popular cranberry bog experience, and continues the nightly “Eat to the Beat” concert series — this year, featuring acts including Smash Mouth, Blues Traveler, Boyz II Men, and the Pointer Sisters.
Snuck in at the bottom of a blog post on the Disney Parks Blog is a huge piece of news. When the Beauty and the Beast themed Be Out Guest restaurant opens as part of the New Fantasyland expansion it will serve beer and wine as part of its dinner menu. Outside of private parties, this will be the first time alcohol has been served at the Magic Kingdom, breaking a tradition that goes back to an edict from Walt Disney himself.
Walt did not want adult beverages served at Disneyland. He didn’t think it belonged in a family theme park. He did allow beer at the Holidayland corporate party pavilion, but it was outside the berm. Even then, the park had repeated issues with guests leaving for lunch and then re-entering a few sheets to the wind. Before Walt died, he did approve alcohol sales at Club 33, but went pretty far to make it a private club where the day guest would not be able to get served a drink.
We know that Walt was still against general sales of alcohol in his parks because of his attempt to build a second theme park. After Disneyland was a success, Walt looked east for a great place to build another park. After a lot of research, Walt settled on St. Louis, but when city founders insisted that Walt allow Annheuser Busch to sell beer in the park, Walt declined to build there. Instead he headed south for a little crossroads he remembered from an earlier trip to Florida – Orlando.
Construction walls have been looming over the facade of Tutto Italia while Disney’s fairies prepare a whole new dining experience for Walt Disney World. The resort’s first in-park wine bar, Tutto Gusto, will open this May inside the Italy pavilion inside EPCOT Center. Gusto is… Read More »New Wine Bar Coming to EPCOT – Tutto Gusto
EPCOT has recently been rolling out some world showcase country specific merchandise, most specifically mickey ear hats and t-shirts. They also have a great tradition of a new EPCOT Food & Wine Festival t-shirt every year. But this is the first pair of shirts related… Read More »EPCOT Foodie Shirts
Disney takes its wines seriously. There are over 500 trained sommeliers at Disney’s parks, resorts, and cruise ships. With a significant number of Master Sommeliers leading the cast. In this month’s “Every Role a Starring Role” video they’re highlighting the role of the Disneyland Resort… Read More »Disneyland’s Napa Rose Sommelier Talks Wine
Editor: please welcome back guest author Suzannah!
Tuesday night I ventured over to Epcot for one of the Culinary Demonstrations for the 16th annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. The demonstration I attended was sponsored by Ocean Spray’s Craisins – not only a sponsor of the Food & Wine Festival, but also an official sponsor of both Walt Disney World and Disneyland parks. The chef for the evening was Ming Tsai, owner of Blue Ginger in Wellesley, Massachusetts, author of two cookbooks: Blue Ginger and Simply Ming, and host of the PBS programs East Meets West and the Emmy nominated Simply Ming. Originally from Massachusetts, I’ve always been a fan of Ming Tsai and loved his cooking shows, so I was excited to see him create a dish for us.
Guests were greeted at the Festival Center (former Wonders of Life pavilion) with samples of Ocean Spray Craisins as they waited to be seated at tables in front of a demo kitchen stage. This was actually my first-ever culinary demo during the festival, I’m almost embarrassed to admit for the past 16 years I’ve been attending the Food & Wine Festival, I’ve only ever taken part in the Marketplace Booths and their delicious offerings, never a demo or seminar of any kind. I was pleasantly surprised at the presentation. For a mere $11-14 per person (depending on the chef), guests get an exciting cooking demonstration with a celebrity chef, either nationally known, or famous within the Walt Disney World Resort or local area. I had no idea we’d actually be seated at a table and get to enjoy the dish being prepared. I would definitely do this again and am now looking into future demos I can bring my husband or family back to.