Halloween at Walt Disney World Resort

It’s Baaack! Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Launches Today

posted on September 27th, 2013 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


One of the world’s biggest, best food and wine festivals opens today – the 18 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival presented by Chase at Walt Disney World Resort. And you have 46 days, through November 11, to enjoy it all.

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Launches Today

By the numbers: more than 300 national and international wines, more than 220 tastes and sips priced $3-$8 around World Showcase Lagoon, and 138 Eat to the Beat! concerts. There are opportunities to enjoy the cuisines of 100-plus celebrity chefs and 160 Walt Disney World chefs. And more than 300 wine and beer seminars. The hard part is narrowing down your picks.

Where to begin? We like to start each visit at the Festival Center to make sure we don’t miss any of the daily events – from the Ocean Spray Cranberry Bog to fireworks each night, there’s lots more to do than eat and drink – but don’t miss the new Scotland Marketplace or Brazil (returning by popular demand).

One of our favorites is Party for the Senses grand tasting events, back this year on October 5, 12, 19, 26 and November 2, with incredible eats and more than 50 wines and beers and live entertainment.

Information and reservations for select programs is at www.epcotfoodfestival.com. Call 407-WDW-FEST (939-3378) to make reservations.

See you on the Promenade!

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Starship starring Mickey Thomas Kicks off Eat to the Beat Concert Series at Epcot

posted on September 27th, 2013 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


The Eat to the Beat concert series, a feature of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, returns to the park tonight with Starship starring Mickey Thomas set to perform at the America Gardens Theatre at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m.

Starship starring Mickey Thomas

This year’s Eat to the Beat lineup includes many new performers, including the Go-Go’s, Edwin McCain, Wilson Phillips and Spin Doctors, as well as returning favorites like Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and Boyz II Men.

Check out the full schedule below:

  • Sept. 27-29 – Starship starring Mickey Thomas
  • Sept. 30-Oct. 1 – Go-Go’s
  • Oct. 2-4 – Air Supply
  • Oct. 5-6 – Sister Hazel
  • Oct. 7-9 – Sugar Ray
  • Oct. 10-11 – Edwin McCain
  • Oct. 12-13 – Manhattan Transfer
  • Oct. 14-15 – Wilson Phillips
  • Oct. 16-17 – The Pointer Sisters
  • Oct. 18-20 – Night Ranger
  • Oct. 21-23 – Boyz II Men
  • Oct. 24-25 – Survivor
  • Oct. 26-27 – 38 Special
  • Oct. 28-30 – Smash Mouth
  • Oct. 31-Nov. 1 – Spin Doctors
  • Nov. 2-3 – Christopher Cross
  • Nov. 4-5 – Hanson
  • Nov. 6-8 – Dennis DeYoung
  • Nov. 9-11 – Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

Which group are you most excited to see? If you have a favorite band, tell us in the “Comments” section below.

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Chef’s Name Revealed with a Second Look at 2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Merchandise

posted on September 25th, 2013 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


“2013

My favorite event of the year, the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, returns to the Walt Disney World Resort starting September 27. I’m counting down the hours until I can try the orange-flavored Dole Whip that my fellow author Pam Brandon mentioned in a previous article. I will be visiting the Festival Center at Epcot next week to give you a first look inside the merchandise location. Until that time, I thought you may enjoy a second helping … I mean look … at some additional items created for the event. One of the most exciting things I learned is that the chef featured in this year’s artwork now has a name.
“2013

“We named him Chauncy,” explained Randy Noble, the Disney Design Group artist responsible for this year’s merchandise artwork. “His ‘C-shaped’ wisp of hair under his hat inspired his name. I made him a French chef as it was a nice reminder of a trip my wife and I took to France. I turned to a boys’ name book and found Chauncy which seemed perfect!”

I showed you a few Chef Chauncy items in a previous article. He will also be included on new things like a banner and my usual favorite item, a coffee mug.

Randy also designed the front and back cover of the popular cookbook that contains a host of recipes inspired by things you can enjoy at the Festival (hello, Aulani Sunrise on page 3 and Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup on page 7!).
“2013

Speaking of things to enjoy, the development team is also introducing two different sized Woozies this year that contain the Festival logo. The larger Woozie paired with a bottle of wine from event seems like it make a perfect gift.

I hope to see you at the festival!


Read more about the 2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival in the posts below:

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Offbeat Ideas for This Year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

posted on September 24th, 2013 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


We tend to repeat the events we love most at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, but this year we’re stepping out to be adventurous and try some of the more unusual offerings.

Offbeat Ideas for This Year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

Scotland is new this year, and it’s on our radar to learn about Scottish cuisine starting with Scotland: Land of Food & Drink opening weekend at World ShowPlace Events Pavilion. It’s a veritable Scottish party for the senses from 7:30-10 p.m. on September 28, with tasting stations offering some of Scotland’s trademark dishes. Cost is $95 plus tax and gratuity, or reserved seating for $115 plus tax and gratuity. Epcot admission is required.

Another out-of-the-box idea from the Scottish folks is The Burns Supper (named after Scottish poet and lyricist Robert Burns) in World ShowPlace from 6-9 p.m. on October 24. Just 100 guests will enjoy a six-course dinner with Disney Chef Leonard Thomson, pairing classic Scottish dishes with exquisitely aged whisky. For instance, Chicken Bonnie Prince Charlie with Drambuie, apples and almond paired with The Balvenie Single Barrel 12; slow-cooked Scottish salmon and hardwood smoked haddock paired with The Balvenie Single Barrel 15; Scotch Whisky-infused seared Angus beef served with The Balvenie DoubleWood 17. Sign us up. Cost is $125, Epcot admission required.

Chocoholics will appreciate the Chocolate Dinner hosted by Ghirardelli at World ShowPlace on September 27 – seriously, six courses of chocolate-inspired dishes, such as Maine lobster with white chocolate beurre blanc paired with chocolate rosemary braised short ribs, baked Brie with dark chocolate caramelized onions and, for dessert, milk chocolate risotto with drunken cherries and pistachio brittle. That’s just a taste, each course paired with exquisite wine.

And while many events sell out within days, here are a few we found that still have spots – hurry, seats go fast!

The new Spirits Confidential is another that has piqued our interest, from 8-10 p.m. on November 1 at World ShowPlace. Master distillers and mixologists will share insider stories and educate as we get in the “spirit.” And, as always, plenty of interesting tastes will be paired with the beverages.

If you can’t make the November 1 events, the France pavilion is hosting “Taste, Shake and Indulge Like the French” every Saturday during the festival from 2:30-4 p.m. Grand Marnier, family owned since 1827, will give you a taste of a range of exceptional Cognacs. Then you learn how to muddle and shake like a pro. Crepes Suzette and desserts made with Grand Marnier are the icing on the cake.

If you want to get serious about sipping wine, there still are spots in the Epcot Wine School from 1-4 p.m. on October 27 with Jim Berneau from Willamette Valley Vineyards. You’ll taste several wines and conclude with a reception and certificate of completion.

Kitchen Memories offers a fun series with lots of delicious tastes and stories from notable chefs. It’s a leisurely three-course lunch paired with wines from 10 a.m – noon each Friday during the festival, except for October 25 and November 1 as these dates are sold-out. We promise you won’t leave hungry.

And there still are some spots left in the Culinary Adventures in Signature Dining series that takes you to restaurants all across Walt Disney World Resort.

Call 407-WDW-FEST (407-939-3378) for to check availability, for additional information and reservations. Or visit www.epcotfoodfestival.com.

See you at the festival!

For more about the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, click the links below:

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Opening Less Than a Month Away for Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

posted on September 2nd, 2013 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


A little fun news on the beverage front: the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival will be among the first venues in Florida to serve wine on tap in 5-gallon kegs under the new Florida law that allows wine to be dispensed from sustainable stainless-steel containers.

“Sweet,

Two locations – the Festival Center and Refreshment Cool Post – will be serving from kegs, with a Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir at Cool Post and a Cabernet and Chardonnay in the Festival Center.

“The wines on tap offer guests a fresh glass of wine with every pour,” says Marianne Hunnel, in charge of Content Development for the festival. “They’re good quality, mid-range wines, and when we tasted side by side with the bottle and keg, we couldn’t tell the difference.” From an environmental perspective there is less waste. No need for bottles, cardboard, corks or labels.

On the culinary front, sometimes it’s the little things – we got a taste of the “vegetarian haggis with neeps and tatties” from the new Scotland Marketplace, and it may be our new favorite. In case you’re wondering, in English we translate that as a “griddled vegetable cake with rutabaga (neeps) and mashed potatoes (tatties).” The name of the dish may sound odd to many of us, but the crispy, peppery haggis and mellow veggies are a real treat.

Berbere-Style beef with onions at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Scottish Banoffee Tart at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

Other delightful new-for-2013 bites we tried and recommend: the sweet, griddled lobster tail with garlic herb butter from the Hops & Barley Marketplace; Berbere-style beef with onions, jalapeños, tomato, okra and pap (grits) from Africa Marketplace; and the gooey Scottish banoffee tart (banana-toffee is such a delish combo). On the beverage side, kids are going to love the drinkable Frozen S’Mores from Desserts & Champagne, grown-ups will be lining up for the Orange Dole Whip with Crème de Cacao White.

With more than 40 new dishes and 80 new beverages, it will take a while to work our way around World Showcase Lagoon Septemember 27-November 11. Keep an eye on www.epcotfoodfestival.com for updates.

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Take 5: 2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on August 24th, 2013 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


First Look at Merchandise for 2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

This year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is just a month away! A few weeks back, we took a sneak peek at some of the merchandise you’ll see at the festival; which kicks off September 27, 2013 at Epcot at the Walt Disney World Resort. Designs paid homage to Disney•Pixar’s “Ratatouille,” as well as to classic Disney characters Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, and Goofy. Let’s look back and highlight any other news about this year’s 46-day festival that you might have missed.

Take 5: 2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival at Walt Disney World Resort

  1. What’s Your Favorite Dish? Trying All 29 Marketplaces in One Day at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival – At last year’s festival, Disney Parks Blog author Gary Buchanan tried food from every marketplace! Check out which one he liked best.
  2. Plenty of New Tastes at Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Marketplaces – This year’s festival cook book includes a shrimp dish from the Australian Marketplace. Try it out tonight!
  3. Ready, Set, Dial! Reservations for Epcot International Food & WIne Festival Premium Events Begin August 13 – It’s not too late to make your reservations for this year’s Epcot International Food and Wine Festival! Call today for details on the 46-day event.
  4. Scotland, the Newest Marketplace for 2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival – Loch Lomond signature cocktails and will be served this year to recreate Scotland at Epcot.
  5. The Go-Go’s, Edwin McCain, & Others Join the 2013 ‘Eat to the Beat’ Musical Line-Up at Walt Disney World Resort – A festival isn’t complete without live music! Check out the line-up of artists playing throughout the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival this fall.
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First Look at Merchandise for 2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

posted on August 6th, 2013 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


First Look at Merchandise for 2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

I’ve been drooling ever since my fellow author Pam Brandon shared an easy recipe from the new cookbook coming to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. This 46-day festival begins on September 27, and I can’t wait to enjoy several trips around the world. As time ticks toward the start of the event, I caught up with Disney Design Group artist Randy Noble to learn more about this year’s featured artwork.

First Look at Merchandise for 2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival First Look at Merchandise for 2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

 
“This year’s artwork is based on artwork created by Walt Disney Imagineering that you will see throughout the event,” explained Randy. “The art has a humorous point of view, which is different from the imagery found in the previous year’s events. For this whimsical image, I used pastel colors to create a softer look for the overall image. If you look carefully, you will spot Remy from Disney•Pixar’s ‘Ratatouille‘ in the top of the chef’s hat.”

The bumbling, yet-unnamed chef inspired a new item for the festival this year – a seven-inch bobble figurine of the chef. The figurine was sculpted by artist Robert King and looks awesome (especially the details on Spaceship Earth!). Look for this chef artwork on additional items like a reusable tote bag and more.
First Look at Merchandise for 2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

While the chef is a new character for this year’s event, we are also introducing a small art program featuring Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy as chefs. The character artwork was created by Disney Design Group artist Brian Blackmore, with digital rendering done by artist Dan Salgo. You may recall similar artwork introduced last year in the Italy Pavilion at Epcot.
First Look at Merchandise for 2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

Another character returning this year is a 12-inch Duffy the Disney Bear dressed in a new chef outfit. He joins other new items like a Mouse ear headband with a chef’s hat, a new cranberry bog pin featuring Chip ‘n’ Dale, and a new three-inch Vinylmation figure designed by Disney artist Thomas Scott. The limited edition Vinylmation figure features Gusteau from “Ratatouille” and will be packaged in a mystery box. The more common figure (edition size 2,250) will be in full color, while the monochromatic variant figure (edition size 250) will be rarer to find.

Stay tuned for additional updates as we get closer to the start of the festival.


Read on for more news about this year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival:

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Ready, Set, Dial! Reservations for Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Premium Events Begin August 13

posted on July 30th, 2013 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Fans of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival know that it’s best to set their alarms and dial promptly at 7 a.m. August 13 if there is a premium event they want to attend. And this year there are even more new experiences, including a Parisian breakfast, a Scottish party and a Hibachi dinner in Japan.

Ready, Set, Dial!  Reservations for Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Premium Events Begin August 13

The number to call? 407-WDW-FEST (939-3378). Dates for this year’s fest are September 27- November 11, and you can see the full list of options at www.epcotfoodfestival.com.

We had a sneak peek at a few more of the dishes for this year’s Marketplace kiosks at this past weekend’s Tables in Wonderland dinner, including our favorite from Brazil: crispy pork belly with a dollop of pureed black beans and a fresh topping of sweet onions, avocado and cilantro micro-greens. The crowd went crazy for the South Korea marketplace’s kimchi hot dog with spicy mustard sauce and Florida Local’s grass-fed beef slider with Monterey Jack and sweet and hot pickles. Scotland’s seared Scottish salmon with cauliflower puree, watercress and malt vinaigrette, is served alongside a returning favorite, Canada’s Le Cellier wild mushroom beef filet mignon with truffle butter sauce. Oh my!

We tried a fantastic Brazilian black beer, sangria made with Florida citrus, and a bubbly Moscato from Brazil, all fun, unusual pairings – just a handful of the amazing finds that will be poured at the fest.

But the news that got the biggest applause is the return of the Dole Whip, a winner at this past spring’s Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. They’ll give it a different twist for all – it will be orange (not pineapple), and you can indulge with a splash of crème de cacao white.

Click here to view a list of delicious creations you’ll find at the Marketplaces, all wonderfully paired with wine, beer and cocktails – subject to slight changes as chefs and sommeliers perfect the festival.

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Plenty of New Tastes at Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Marketplaces

posted on July 11th, 2013 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


We’ve just put the finishing touches on recipes for the 2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival cookbook and got a taste of some of the delicious new Marketplace dishes we shot for this year’s book. From seared rainbow trout in Canada to venison sausage in New Zealand and lemongrass chicken curry in Singapore, the new cookbook features recipes that you can carry home to recreate a special taste of the festival.

From September 27-November 11, you’ll have 46 days to sip and nosh your way around more than 25 World Showcase Marketplaces. What’s new this year? You’ll find Florida grass-fed beef sliders with Monterey Jack and sweet and hot pickles at the Florida Marketplace. New England clam chowder with a side of Tabasco at Hops & Barley. Braised short ribs in Cabernet with mashed potatoes in France. A kimchi hot dog with spicy mustard sauce in South Korea. Vegetarian haggis at the new Scotland Marketplace. There are 40 adventurous new dishes and more than 80 new beverages all around World Showcase. And that’s just on the promenade!

Here’s an easy recipe from the new cookbook from the Australia Marketplace to get you started thinking about all the wonderful flavors at this year’s festival. Stay tuned for more details.

Garlic Shrimp at Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Marketplaces

Garlic Shrimp with Tomatoes, Lemon and Broccoli Rabe
Serves 8

    24 medium shrimp (16/20), peeled and deveined
    1 tablespoon coarse salt
    1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
    1/4 tablespoon chili powder
    3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    3 tablespoons oil from sun-dried tomatoes
    2 tablespoons chopped garlic
    1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
    3/4 pound broccoli rabe, cut into thirds
    Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  1. Season shrimp with salt, pepper, and chili powder.
  2. Heat olive oil and sun-dried tomato oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.
  3. Add shrimp and cook for about 2 minutes, tossing once or twice. Add garlic, tomatoes, and broccoli rabe; cook another 2 to 3 minutes, tossing once or twice.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and zest. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cook’s notes: The “16/20” refers to the size of the shrimp, meaning 16 to 20 per pound.

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on June 16th, 2013 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Premium Event Reservations Open Aug. 13 for this Year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival at Walt Disney World Resort
Mark your calendars – On August 13, we begin booking reservations for premium events for the 18th annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. And this week, Pam shared a list of experiences planned for this year’s 46-day fest, including some new ones:

  • New Scotland, Land of Food And Drink (Sept. 28), $95 or $115
  • New Spirits Confidential (Nov. 1), $80 or $95
  • New Parisian Breakfast (Saturdays), $37
  • New Hibachi Experience (Oct. 8, 15, 22, 29, Nov. 5), $120

There are many more experiences, including The Discovery of Chocolate, to be found in Pam’s original Epcot International Food & Wine Festival story. Also, here’s the all-important number to keep handy: 407/WDW-FEST (939-3378).

And did you catch the water performance by The Aqualillies during their visit to Disney’s Art of Animation Resort? The synchronized swimming team showed off their skills with style in the resort’s Big Blue Pool – the largest pool we have at the entire the Walt Disney World Resort.

Here are some of the other stories we worked on this week.

Disney Parks After Dark: Mysterious Island at Tokyo DisneySea – The “Disney Parks After Dark” series continues with a beautiful view of Mysterious Island at Tokyo DisneySea.

A Look Back: Sailing Ship Columbia Debuts at Disneyland Park 55 Years Ago This Week – In honor its 55th anniversary, take a look at some new and vintage photos of the Sailing Ship Columbia at Disneyland park.

New Savory Treat at Disneyland Park: Slow-Roasted Pork Shank – The slow-roasted pork shank, which debuted at Gaston’s Tavern at Walt Disney World Resort, is now on the menu at Edelweiss Snacks in Fantasyland at the Disneyland Resort!

Finish That Disney Parks Sign: A ‘Tangled’ Poster at Magic Kingdom Park – Jenn asked us to identify what prestigious collection will be on display in the Lavender Tea Room at Magic Kingdom Park.

Retelling a ‘Tale as Old as Time’ with New Vinylmation Series Debuting at Disney Parks on June 21 – Take a look at the new “Beauty and the Beast” Vinylmation series that is set to debut at Disney Parks on June 21.

Cruise Over to Car Masters Weekend at Downtown Disney This Father’s Day – Car Masters Weekend returns to Downtown Disney at the Walt Disney World Resort June 15-16.

Like Father, Like Son: Kevin Rafferty and Kevin Rafferty, Jr. – In honor of Father’s Day, enjoy an interview with a father-son duo that help create two generations of magic for Disney Parks.

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