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Disney Parks Blog Readers Chow & Dine at Food & Wine

posted on October 2nd, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager


Earlier this week we celebrated the return of the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival with 500 Disney Parks Blog readers at a special event in World Showplace.

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Disney Parks Blog Readers Chow & Dine at Food & Wine Disney Parks Blog Readers Chow & Dine at Food & Wine

Our guests dined on an impressive menu that included the “best-of” menu items that can be found at the festival this year. Some favorites were the Patagonia Inspired Beef Empanadas, Loaded Mac‘n’Cheese with Pepper Bacon, Chef Judi Truck Stop Burger, Drunken Blue Velvet & Cream Cheese mini-cakes.

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Rob, The Disney Delivery Guy, also made his debut (surprise) appearance. Keep your eye out for this character on the blog and at our events in coming months!

Of course, being with our guests was the highlight of the event – especially when an impromptu dance-off took place to the Disney tunes supplied by the amazing DJ Elliot. To watch a full recap, check out the video above. For more photos from our event, follow the Disney Parks Blog on Instagram.

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Walt Disney World Event Snapshot – October 2015

posted on September 30th, 2015 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Here are a few special artist appearances and signings taking place during October at Walt Disney World Resort that you won’t want to miss. So mark your calendars!

October 1 – 4: Look for special appearances by artist Larry Dotson throughout the month of October at Walt Disney World Resort. Larry will appear throughout the day, each day October 1 – 4, 15 – 18 and 28 – 31 at Art of Disney in Epcot; and Oct. 22 – 25 at Main Street Cinema in Magic Kingdom Park. Learn more.

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October 1 – 12 : Artist David E. Doss returns this month with special appearances and signings from 1 – 9 p.m., each day, October 1 – 12 and 28 – 31 at Art of Disney in Disney Springs Marketplace and October 22 – 25 at Art of Disney Epcot. Learn more.

October 2 – 3: Meet artist Dave Perillo who will be on hand for a special artist showcase and signing from 5 – 8 p.m. in WonderGround Gallery at Marketplace Co-Op in Disney Springs Marketplace. Learn more.

October 2 – November 2: Representatives from Precious Moments dolls will be on hand for the release of some of their newest dolls, among other fan favorites. Meet the representatives and see the dolls throughout the day, each day, at Marketplace Fun Finds in Disney Springs Marketplace. Tip: Artist & Doll Designer Linda Rick will be on hand for a special appearance and signing October 2 – 4 and October 9 – 11. Learn more.

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October 6 – 11: Be sure to stop by this month when Greg McCullough returns to Walt Disney World Resort with special appearances from 1 – 8 p.m., each day, October 6 – 11 at Art of Disney Epcot and October 19 – 23 at Art of Disney in Disney Springs Marketplace. Learn more.

October 8 – 11: Meet artist William Silvers who will appear throughout the day, each day, October 8 – 11 and October 29 – November 1 at Main Street Cinema at Magic Kingdom Park and October 15 – 18 at Art of Disney in Disney Springs Marketplace. Learn more.

October 24 – 25: Join us for an artist showcase at Art of Disney in Disney Springs Marketplace as we celebrate the release of new works of art by Noah, Randy Noble and Don “Ducky” Williams, October 24 from 6 – 8 p.m. and October 25 from Noon – 2 p.m. Learn more.

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Just a few other things before I go …

Throughout the month look for other additional appearances and signings at select World Showcase pavilion locations in Epcot, including Plume et Palette and La Signature in France, The Tea Caddy in the United Kingdom and The Puffins Roost in Norway. Learn more.

Or if you are planning to take part in the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival 2015, be sure to check out the commemorative merchandise available at the Festival Center and other select locations. Tip: Look for special artist appearances, demonstrations and signings throughout the course of the festival.

Which events will you check out?

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New Wearable Disney Gift Card Design Celebrates 20 Years of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

posted on September 27th, 2015 by Virginia Scanlon, Manager Alliance Management, Disney Gift Card Services


When visiting the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, give yourself the gift of convenience and complete your experience by using the Festival-themed wearable Disney Gift Card.

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In addition to the many features of a Disney Gift Card, it also comes with a wristband to ensure quick and easy access for convenience at festival kiosks. Just activate your Disney Gift Card with as little as $15 and just swipe or scan to pay as you sample your favorite food and beverages throughout the festival.

The Festival-themed Disney Gift Card is currently available throughout Epcot as well as at surrounding Walt Disney World Resort hotels including Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, Disney’s Beach Club Villas and Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels while supplies last.

New to this year’s Festival is a limited-release gift card design celebrating the 20th anniversary. The card must be activated with $200 and comes with an Epcot International Food & Wine Festival-themed lanyard, medallion and carrying sleeve, available only with this gift card purchase. Supplies of this Festival exclusive are limited.

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The fun doesn’t have to end with the conclusion of the festival! Reload your Disney Gift Card on property and use it for practically all things Disney throughout Walt Disney World Resort and at other Disney destinations nationwide.

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PHOTOS: First Look at Festival Center For 20th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

posted on September 26th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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September is my favorite month of the year as I celebrate two awesome things – my birthday and the return of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival at Walt Disney World Resort. The latter is celebrating 20 years this fall, and I can’t wait to taste my way around the world again. I recently stopped by the Festival Center in Future World to check out the merchandise being offered this year. Here are some of my favorite things you will find throughout Epcot.

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The Festival Center is located between Universe of Energy and Mission: SPACE pavilions in Future World. This location houses many experiences including a merchandise location, wine shop, Intermission Café, and cooking demonstrations. This is also a great place to pick up the new scavenger hunt called Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak (see my fellow author Michelle Harker’s article for details.

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This year, there are three distinct art programs for the merchandise – World Showcase logo, Disney characters dressed as chefs, and Brews Around the World. You may recall reading about some of these items in a previous Disney Parks Blog article. Guests will find many of these items including apparel, home décor, drinkware and other goods at this location. One item that won’t arrive until later during the festival is the previously shown Figment coffee mug (just in case you were looking for it).

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I’m also happy to announce a specially designed charm from PANDORA. This sterling silver charm with white and black enamel features Chef Mickey, and it will be released during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.

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Finally, we will offer a limited release tee-shirt on our Disney Parks online store from September 25 through October 1. Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery. You can order the shirt by visiting DisneyStore.com/ParkEvents.

Here are a few other items I found including a new Disney Gift Card and Festival Cookbook. I hope to see you at Epcot this fall!

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Facebook Place Tips Help You Taste Your Way Around the 20th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

posted on September 25th, 2015 by Victoria Lim, Managing Editor, Walt Disney World Public Relations


While you’re savoring and sipping around the world during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, we have a cool new way to experience the culinary extravaganza this year.

Through a collaboration with Facebook, we’re adding a new feature to this year’s festival experience – Facebook Place Tips. As you taste your way through 30 Marketplaces in World Showcase and Future World, Facebook Place Tips will appear at the top of your News Feed within the Facebook mobile app.

You’ll see information about the Marketplaces you’re visiting, such as menus, festival maps, event information and more.

Here’s an example of what you’ll see; this is from the Australia Marketplace.

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Turn on Bluetooth and location services on your mobile device to see Facebook Place Tips for each marketplace in your News Feed.

Tell us what you’re most excited to try this year at the 20th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival!

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Disney Parks Blog Food and Wine 20th Anniversary Celebration

posted on September 25th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks


UPDATE: This entry period has ended. Please keep your eye on the Disney Parks Blog for future opportunities.

It’s the first day of the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival and we’re celebrating the 20th year of the event with a special Disney Parks Blog party. On Wednesday, September 30, 2015, we’re hosting the first-ever Disney Parks Blog Food and Wine 20th Anniversary Celebration for 250 winners of our sweepstakes.

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The Disney Parks Blog Food and Wine 20th Anniversary Celebration begins at 6:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, September 30, 2015 but we’re asking winners to begin arriving at 4:30 p.m. ET to check in for the event. We’ll kick off the party with a dinner at World Showplace Events Pavilion in Epcot and guests can end their night with IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth.

This year, the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is stretching into the park’s Future World with four new food and beverage marketplaces. The festival begins today and runs through November 16, featuring more than 30 global marketplaces for sipping and noshing throughout the park.

You can enter for a chance to win by clicking here and following the entry instructions to complete an official entry form. Your entry must state your valid email address and full name.

Also, there are a few things you should know:

  • All entrants must be 18 years or older (or the age of majority in their state of primary residence, whichever is older) at time of entry, but guests of the winners do not need to be 18 or older (as long as the guest is the child of the winner).
  • Limit one guest per winner.
  • We will send a notice, via email, to the winning entrants.
  • It will be necessary for the winner and guest to check in at the front of Epcot for access to the event. The notice will include those details.
  • Valid photo I.D. will be required at check-in.
  • Winning prizes are non-transferrable and have no cash value.

Hope to see you there.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited. Open only to persons who are legal residents of, and physically located within, the 50 United States or DC, and who are 18 years of age or older (or the age of majority in their state of residence, whichever is older) at time of entry. Starts 11:00 A.M. ET on September 25, 2015, and ends 3:00 P.M. ET on September 25, 2015. To enter, follow the instructions at http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2015/09/disney-parks-blog-food-and-wine-20th-anniversary-celebration. Prize does not include accommodations or transportation between winner’s home and the event taking place on September 30, 2015. Limit one (1) entry per person per email address. For full details including eligibility requirements, odds of winning and prize limitations, see Official Rules.

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Today’s the Day! 20th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Opens

posted on September 25th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


We’ve never missed a single festival since the first one in 1996 at Epcot, and the 20th celebration that starts today and runs through November 16 promises to be the best of the best.

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With hundreds of wine tastings, parties, culinary demos, where to begin? Hosts of ABC’s “The Chew” will be there (October 7-9) to tape five episodes of the show, and two cool new Chew-themed marketplaces stretch the festival into Future World for the first time, with 30 marketplaces for sips and tastes of food from around the globe, two wines celebrating 20 years created just for the festival, whew!

Other things you won’t want to miss:

  • Chef and TV personality Andrew Zimmern kicks off the first Rockin’ Burger Block Party tonight at World Showplace (you might still snag a ticket); “The Chew” celebs will be there on Oct. 8, and Cake Boss Buddy Valastro will welcome guests on Nov. 6.
  • Party for The Senses – five in all this year, including a “Yelloween Masquerade Party” on Oct. 31, with up to 50 food and beverage stations and show-stopping entertainment.
  • Free Eat to the Beat concerts – David Cook this weekend, coming up Chaka Khan, Wilson Phillips, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, The Pointer Sisters and more!
  • Celeb chefs doing all sort of fun demos – Cat Cora, Robert Irvine, Jamie Deen and more – John Ash, who was at the very first festival in 1996, is back for the 20th. More than 250 chefs in all during the 53-day festival.
  • If you’ve got a Chase debit or credit card, check out the Chase Lounge at the American Adventure pavilion for free refreshments (and a spot to take a break from the Florida fall sunshine).
  • The Ocean Spray Cranberry Bog is back, a floating carpet of 900 pounds of red berries that’s fun for all ages.
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak scavenger hunt is aimed at little ones, but fun for any age. Details at the Festival Center.

Pick up a free Marketplace Discovery Passport that features pages with all 30 festival marketplaces that you can have stamped as a cool souvenir (make notes of your favorite dishes on the pages, too).

Included with Epcot Admission: Back to Basics series, special book signings, Eat to the Beat concerts, cultural adventures, Marketplace Discovery Passport and attractions and park entertainment.

Special Programming by Reservation: The Party for the Senses grand tasting events, and other special beverage and culinary programs require reservations and separate event admission. Guests can call 407/WDW-FEST (939-3378) and get details at EpcotFoodFestival.com.

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#DisneyFamilia: Sabor Latino in Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

posted on September 23rd, 2015 by Sarah Domenech, International Public Relations Manager


The Caribbean and Latin America are known for its delicious food and during the 20th celebration of Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, we will be able to enjoy new flavorful Latin dishes from Dominican Republic, Mexico, Brazil and Patagonia.

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The Dominican Republic’s marketplace is returning to the Festival this year and it will feature Mangú and Lechón Asado (roasted pork with mashed green plantains and pickled red onions, and avocado), Suflé de Yuca (Yucca soufflé topped with griddled cheese) and Caramel Flan with rum-roasted pineapple. It will also have Presidente beer and several cocktails made with Ron Barceló, the country’s signature rum.

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The popular Brazil’s marketplace will now have Escondidinho de Carne (“Little Hidden One”), a layered meat pie with mashed yucca as well as the favorite Crispy pork belly with tomatoes and black beans.

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Mexico will also be featuring some new items: Chilaquiles de Pollo (corn chips layered with seasoned chicken, queso fresco, sour cream and cilantro) and Tacos de Camarón (battered shrimp, pico de gallo, pickled onions with chipotle mayonnaise.)

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival: Patagonia Marketplace

And last but not least, at Patagonia guests can enjoy delicious beef empanadas, grilled beef skewer with chimichurri sauce and boniato purée, and roasted salmon with quinoa salad and arugula chimichurri. New this year are the Undurraga Sparkling Wine Brut, the Calle Ocho Chardonnay and the Kaiken Torrontés wines.

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival takes place from September 25 until November 16 with more than 30 global marketplaces around the theme park. For more information visit epcotfoodfestival.com. Admission to Epcot is required.

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Celebrity Chefs Join Fun for Rockin’ Burger Block Parties at Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

posted on September 22nd, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Fans of Andrew Zimmern, Buddy Valastro and “The Chew” celebs won’t want to miss the Rockin’ Burger Block Parties, a new add to this year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.

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Andrew Zimmern (host of the Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Foods”) will kick off the first party on September 25, welcoming guests and reminding them to vote for their favorite burger of the night. Next up, the cast of ABC’s “The Chew” will be at the party on October 8. And, finally, “Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro will launch the final burger party on November 6.

It’s always fun to see the celebrity chefs out on the town, and the Rockin’ Burger Block parties look like a blast, with more than a dozen sliders at each party, from a coffee-crusted beef short rib burger topped with smoked Gouda, garlic potato string and sangria ketchup to a shrimp and scallop burger topped with spicy Thai slaw and cilantro-lime mayo (with a side of smoked sea-salted fried edamame). As you pair burgers and beverages inspired by top recording artists, a DJ will spin their best and most popular tracks.

Other savory and sweet bites assure you’ll leave satisfied, from spicy-sticky pig wings to a cinnamon roll fireball bread pudding with cream cheese glaze. Bites are paired with craft beers, wines, cocktails and more.

Don’t forget to vote for your favorite burger!

Dates are September 25, October 8 and November 6 from 7-9 p.m. Cost is $99; $119 for reserved table on main floor, early admission at 6:45 p.m., and a specialty cocktail; or $199 for Nosh Pit seating with a private reserved table, early admission at 6:45 p.m., specialty cocktail and premium bar.

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9 Reasons to Love Fall Vacations at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on September 11th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager


Fall is one of my favorite times of the year and experiencing this season at Walt Disney World Resort is simply amazing.

Here are just a handful of reasons you should consider planning a fall visit this year.

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  1. Magic Kingdom Park Gets Dressed for Fall – Main Street, U.S.A. is already alive with fall colors and new decor.
  2. Night of Joy Returns September 11-12Disney’s Night of Joy 2015 will return to Magic Kingdom Park in September. This year’s lineup includes performances by TobyMac, MercyMe, Jeremy Camp, Colton Dixon and many more. We just shared that you can watch a live feed of the sold-out shows. Check out Charles’ post for more details.

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  1. Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Returns September 15 – Halloween fun will return to Magic Kingdom Park on September 15, and will run select nights through November 1. The Halloween party is a blast and this year will feature a brand-new stage show “Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular!” Other party highlights include trick-or-treating, Mickey’s “Boo To You” Halloween Parade, Happy HalloWishes Fireworks, Disney attractions and much more.

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  1. Sweet Fall Treats – Our candy shops will soon be stocking fall-inspired treats that guests can only find this time of year, such as candy corn-shaped rice krispie treats, fall-themed candy apples, and more. (Although you can get it year-round, one of my all-time favorite fall treats is the Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate at Ghirardelli’s Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop at Downtown Disney. It’s a must try!).
  2. The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Begins September 25 – This fan-favorite event will run September 25-November 16, 2015 at Epcot. In honor of it’s 20th year, the festival will expand into Future World area of the park for the very first time and include new offerings, such as booths inspired by the cast members of “The Chew,” and a brand-new Rockin’ Burger Block Party, and much more.
  3. Eat to the Beat Concerts – This year’s concert lineup features a bevy of new acts Tiffany, Chaka Khan, Everclear and Maxi Priest. Returning favorites include Rick Springfield, Sugar Ray and many more. Check out the full list here. (Concerts are included in Epcot admission).

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  1. Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar is set to open at Downtown Disney this fall – Themed around Jock Lindsey, a the pilot from the “Indiana Jones” films, the aviation-themed lounge will feature unique drinks and small plates. Check out Pam Brandon’s sneak peek at the menu here.
  2. Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend – This exciting race weekend will take place November 6-7. Guests are welcome to come out and cheer racers on – get more info on that here.
  3. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Begins November 8 – Get an early dose of holiday cheer at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, which returns in early November. Don’t miss this holiday offering, which includes special entertainment, fireworks, a parade, holiday decor and much more.
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