By Jackie Roseboom
It’s time again to enjoy the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. Besides just walking around and trying different foods and wines, there are many other events and activities. One of the most popular events is the Party for The Senses. A different one is held every Saturday night during the festival.
After reserving your tickets you are asked to check in around 5 p.m. the day of the party at the World Showplace Pavilion between the Canada and U.K. pavilions. Once checked in, you’ll get a wristband which gives you reserved seating for the Eat To The Beat concert in the American Gardens Theatre. After the concert you’re led to the party.
Once inside, there’s a dramatic opening of the curtains as guests are allowed to enter the vast room. The room is artfully decorated and has different sections to explore. A stage in the center of the room features live music.
The chefs at the multiple food and wine stations come from Disney and other restaurants and are different for each party. There’s a variety of foods, which are a feast for your eyes and taste buds. For example, if you don’t care for red meat or seafood you’ll still find something to enjoy. The various beers and wines are from all over the world. It’s fun to try different ones and you may find a new favorite.
Even though they’ve added more seating for this year’s parties, you aren’t guaranteed a table. But you are able to use standing tables if no seats are available. A lot of people never sit down. They just mingle, carrying with their plate with them (which has a nice slot in it for holding your wine glass).
A new addition to the parties is the Wine View Lounge, which offers reserved seats, access to a full bar, a cheese table and a goodie bag. Access to the lounge is $75 per person in addition to the regular party price. The Lounge has already sold out for most dates.
This year, each Party For The Senses will have a new theme. The first one was Celebrating Spanish Cuisine (as featured in the video and photos below). Here are the upcoming themes:
Oct. 3 — Celebrating Comfort Foods with a Twist
Oct. 10 — Celebrating South American Cuisine
Oct. 17 — Celebrating Classical Cuisine
Oct. 24 — Celebrating Asian Cuisine
Oct. 31 — Celebrating the Fall Harvest
Nov. 7 — Celebrating Italian Cuisine
Each party costs $135 per person, which includes unlimited food and wine. Theme park admission is also required. On your way out you’ll be given a bag to carrying your souvenir wine glass home. The party runs from 6:30 to 9 p.m., letting out just in time to see the fireworks.
The other Food Wine events around the park include:
• Mexico Tequila Tastings
• Food & Wine Pairings
• Cheese Seminars
• Epcot Adventures in Wine Varietals
• Sweet Sundays — Hosted by Martini & Rossi
• French Regional Lunches
• Epcot Wine Schools
• Celebrating Family & Friends in the Kitchen
These events vary in price and are booking quickly. Call 407-WDW-Fest (939-3378) to reserve your Party For The Senses and other event tickets.