Expanding for a longer-than-ever 75-day run, the 22nd Epcot International Food & Wine Festival returns to Walt Disney World Resort from August 31 to November 13, 2017. The Disney Parks Merchandise team has developed more than 75 items celebrating the many ways guests can sip and taste their way throughout Epcot. I recently spoke with the Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media Creative Group about designing this year’s merchandise artwork.
“Each year we look forward to designing artwork for [Epcot International Food & Wine Festival],” explained Creative Manager Doug Strayer. “The art includes nods to Epcot’s 35th Anniversary on October 1, and beloved characters like Figment and Remy. As cast members, we love this event as much as our guests. It’s fun for us to see guests at Epcot wearing the artwork we created.”
Disney Creative Group artists Richard Terpstra, Susan Foy, Dave Holbrook, and Brian Blackmore contributed to this year’s assortment. Their artwork was compiled into a style guide which merchandise product developers referenced when creating apparel, pins, home décor, accessories and more.
Fans of Figment will be delighted to find several new items featuring the lovable purple dragon. Doug said the 1980s-looking Figment artwork was inspired by a classic Epcot attraction.
“During the design phase, we kept referencing the Kitchen Kabaret attraction once located in The Land Pavilion. That food-themed show included the song ‘Veggie Veggie Fruit Fruit,’ which we couldn’t get out of our heads [laughs]. We liked the show’s art style, so we combined it with a stylized Chef Figment. It’s a fun way to salute the heritage of Epcot.”
Another nod to Epcot’s heritage is found within the Passport collection. Look carefully to see stamps containing World Showcase marketing artwork from 1982.
The Brews Around the World collection returns this year with new designs by Susan Foy. Look for the artwork on apparel and drinkware, including a new stainless steel growler and baseball cap with a bottle opener.
For the first time, we are introducing an “Eat to the Beat” concert T-shirt with a World Showcase-inspired guitar graphic.
Dooney & Bourke handbags with Figment and World Showcase graphics will also be released during the event.
Annual Passholders will also find a specially designed Dooney & Bourke handbag along with several other Passholder Exclusive products such as pins, salt and pepper shakers, and accessories.
Finally, guests can help Remy as he ventures around Epcot to collect the ingredients for his signature dish with Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak scavenger hunt. This year, guests will have 15 spots to look for Remy in World Showcase and Future World.
Look for these items at the Festival Center located adjacent to Mission: SPACE, and at select merchandise locations throughout Epcot. Select items will also be offered on Shop Disney Parks app and the online store.