Roy takes Brennan out for her birthday with their first visit to this year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival and a stop at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto. [Read more…]
Want to go to the theme parks with us? Tune in live and interact during our weekly show, “Early Night Live”. [Read more…]
Hosts Banks Lee and Jessie Reitz bring you this week’s theme park and attraction news. On this week’s episode: [Read more…]
By Kirstin Wright
Just in case you missed the enticing smells while walking by Spaceship Earth, the tastiest event at Epcot is going on right now (through Nov. 11). This past weekend, I grabbed a fork (or five) and dug into all that this year’s International Food and Wine Festival had to offer. [Read more…]
Hosts Banks Lee and JeniLynn Knopp bring you this week’s theme park and attraction news. On this week’s episode: [Read more…]
By Kevin Yee
Our highlighted destination this week is Epcot, with a tour of the new Starbucks and a look at the booths set up for the upcoming International Food and Wine Festival, plus the usual discoveries along the way [Read more…]
The Food & Wine Festival at Epcot this year will feature culinary demonstrations at the Festival Welcome Center. Signature dishes from Downtown Disney, Walt Disney World Resorts, and other restaurants will be prepared during 45 minute demonstrations. [Read more…]
Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival recently ended so it’s time to start thinking about their other very popular festival, Food and Wine. Starting in late September and through mid-November, one part of the 2011 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is the music. The Disney Parks Blog just released the full list of performers for the Eat to the Beat concert series: [Read more…]
We recently had a chance to take a look behind-the-scenes at Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival. Disney is gearing up for the festival’s 14th year and is producing an impressive new menu of foods from around the world, with 60 to 70 new items this year.
In today’s sneak peek, we spoke with Epcot Executive Chef Jens Dahlmann (above left), Festival Project Manager Michael Jenner (center), and Special Events and Quick Service Chef Bill Brown (right), all of whom have been instrumental in the event’s preparation in recent years. They walked us through the World Showplace Pavilion and its backstage areas where the festival food is prepared.
Year after year, the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival brings a wide assortment of flavors from around the world to theme park guests. “The whole idea was to be authentic and to be respectful to the cultures,” said Dahlmann. “This year if you walk the promenade or pass a kiosk, it has the aromas, the smells. Once you taste [the food], you’re going to get a real, authentic taste.”
Building upon 13 years of festival history, the chefs decided to retool many aspects of how the event is run and what kinds of foods are offered. “We really retooled the menu this year,” said Brown. “Some of the old favorites have been hanging out for a few years and this is the year that we just said, ‘Let’s take this year to really change it up quite a bit.’ So we kept a few of the standards and everything else is brand new.”
Some of the returning items from the past include the Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup, which was the most popular item (and biggest seller) last year with around 36,000 sold. Also returning are the escargot from France, sushi rolls from Japan, pot stickers from China and kielbasa and pierogi from Poland, which was the number two seller last year.
To go with this year’s menu of 70 percent new items, three new kiosks are being added: Thailand, Brazil and Champagne and Desserts, which will feature sparkling wines and desserts from all over the world.
Even the event guidebooks and maps have been retooled this year. “We got from our guest feedback that what [guests] would do is get the full festival guide, rip out the center, which was the guide map of all the kiosks, and then throw the rest away,” said Festival Project Manager Michael Jenner. Rather than printing 350,000 full guides as they did last year, only 50,000 of these guides are being printed this year. Most guests will want to pass on these lengthier guides and simply pick up the new weekly fold-out maps which give information about the week’s activities and help easily locate the various foods and kiosks around the World Showcase. [Read more…]
Disney’s 14th annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival will take place this year from Sept. 25 – Nov. 8.
Festival guests can enjoy the flavors of more than 25 international marketplaces around the World Showcase, including Bologna, Italy; Bangkok, Thailand; Wellington, New Zealand; Santiago, Chile; Marrakesh, Morocco; Shanghai, China; and, from the United States – New Orleans.
Small plates of food range from $2-to-$7 each, with wines and beers available and recommended for pairings at each kiosk.
Puglia, Italy will again this year sponsor culinary demonstrations with regional chefs and showcasing “Adventures of Pasta and Olive Oils.”
Beyond the food and drinks, live music is prominently featured during the Eat to the Beat! concert series. Concerts are performed three times each evening at America Gardens Theatre along the World Showcase lagoon. Scheduled to appear for the first time on the Eat to the Beat! stage are: Richard Marx, Better than Ezra, Vanessa Carlton, John Waite and Billy Ocean. Returning acts scheduled are Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Starship, En Vogue, Sister Hazel, Kool & The Gang, Spyro Gyra, Jon Secada, Sister Sledge, Taylor Dayne, Boyz II Men, Night Ranger and Los Lobos.
This year’s festival highlights include:
- The Festival Welcome Center, with a Champagne and Wine Bar, educational wine seminars, celebrity chef book signings, and festival keepsakes including exclusive festival pins and an official festival cookbook.
- Some 250 chefs including Disney chefs and guest chefs from across the country conducting culinary demonstrations and hosting elegant dinners and tasting events. Guest chefs who appeared last year included Tory McPhail of Commander’s Palace, Rock Harper of “Hell’s Kitchen,” Robert Irvine from Food Network’s “Dinner Impossible,” plus Jeff Henderson, Todd English, Warren Brown, Mary Meyers, Jamie Deen, Iron Chef Cat Cora and many other culinary stars. This year’s lineup currently is being booked.
- New culinary programs to feature Celebration Dinners, Culinary Adventure Signature Dining and Celebrating Family and Friends in the Kitchen. Popular returning events include French Regional Lunches at Bistro de Paris in the France pavilion, Epcot Wine Schools, Food and Wine Pairings and Sweet Sundays.
- The weekly Party for the Senses grand tasting event with tempting bites from eminent chefs, more than 50 wines and beers and live entertainment.
Guests can call 407/WDW-FEST (939-3378) for information and to make reservations for special events and programs. Festival details will be available by late July atwww.disneyworld.com/foodandwine, and guests can book special events and programs beginning Aug. 11.