Recent News

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Adds Eat to the Beat Dining Packages

by on August 1, 2014

©Disney

©Disney

Do you have a favorite band performing at this year’s Eat to the Beat Concert Series that you just cannot miss? Well you are in luck, because at this year’s Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, for the first time, guests can choose to purchase an Eat to the Beat Dining Package.

These packages, which work in a similar fashion as the Candlelight Processional Dining Packages, not only guarantee a spot for one Eat to the Beat Concert performance, but guests will also be able to enjoy a delicious meal at select Epcot restaurants for either lunch or dinner.

The dining package includes an appetizer, entree, dessert, and non-alcoholic beverage or 1 full buffet. Guests on the Disney Dining Plan may utilize it here, but it will cost two table service entitlements.

Pricing is as follows: 

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Update on Disney’s Polynesian Resort Pool Refurbishment

by on July 31, 2014

Disney's Polynesian Resort Pool

©Disney

For those of you who are unaware and will be staying at Disney’s Polynesian Resort over the next few months, the Nanea Volcano Pool and Slide are now closed for an extremely lengthy refurbishment. As I previously mentioned, Disney is offering guests staying the resort access to Blizzard Beach Water Park, while work is being done on the pool area.

When the announcement was first made, guests would only be given a one day pass to Blizzard Beach; however, it now appears that has been amended. Now Polynesian guests can choose to visit the water park on any day and will receive complimentary admission throughout their entire stays.  In addition, guests will receive a complimentary beach towel, and if a Polynesian guests have purchased resort Rapid Fill refillable mugs, those mugs will have access to the beverage stations at the water park. (So make sure you bring your refillable mugs with you!)

Bus transportation will be provided to guests directly between Blizzard Beach and the Polynesian, and when guests arrive at the front gate of the water park, Polynesian guests must check-in using their MagicBands or RFID room keys.

When Blizzard Beach closes for its refurbishment in the winter (which right now is slated for January 4 through March 14, 2015), guests will instead have access to Typhoon Lagoon. Keep in mind that Polynesian guests will not have access to any other resort pool during this refurbishment work.

During the Volcano Pool refurb, work will be done to create a new aquatic playground with slides for children, a new hot tub, and a larger deck with more seating for guests. The pool is expected to reopen sometime in early 2015.

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Two New Events Added to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival

by on July 31, 2014

©Disney

©Disney

Today is the day you can begin to book events for the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival! With that, Disney has released information on two brand new special events that have been added to the roster– the Epcot Food and Wine Festival – Late Nights LIVE! street party and the Epcot Food and Wine Festival Premium Package.

The Epcot Food and Wine Festival Premium Package is available for guests staying at a Walt Disney World Resort (or at the Swan or Dolphin) from 12:00 noon until 8:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday from September 22 through November 6. The package will cost $199, plus tax (plus Epcot admission will be required). It will include an in-room gift with wine (for those who are 21 and older); a festival wine glass; truffles; and a special Epcot International Food & Wine Festival MagicBand plus a $50 Disney Gift Card!

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Tables in Wonderland Changes To Take Place August 1

by on July 29, 2014

tables in wonderland logo

©Disney

I wrote about this last year, but I wanted to remind everyone. (I did write about it a year ago…so I am sure you’ve likely forgotten.) Effective Friday, August 1, the Tables in Wonderland card will see some changes.

One major change is that select restaurants will see a few more blackout dates. These dates will include–November 23-29; December 21-27; March 8-April 4, 2015; and May 31-June 20, 2015. The restaurants that will be impacted are:

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Chase Lounge Returns for 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

by on July 29, 2014

Chase Lounge at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Chase Lounge at the American Adventure Parlor for the Epcot Food and Wine Festival

For the third year in a row, thanks to Chase’s sponsorship of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, the exclusive Chase Lounge will make a return. The lounge will be located, once again, at the American Adventure Pavilion, in the American Adventure Parlor, which is located on the third floor, with its entrance found between the attraction and the gift shop.

The lounge allows guests to have a seat, relax, recharge electronics, grab a complimentary soft drink, read a magazine, check out the interactive festival map, grab a Discovery Passport, and – most importantly – soak up some much needed air conditioning! (Touring and eating around World Showcase gets HOT!) During last year’s festival, beer and wine were also available to purchase; there is no word  yet on whether that option will return this year. Also, in previous years guests could obtain preferred viewing of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth and Eat to the Beat concerts as long as wristbands (which were distributed on a first come, first served basis) were available. No word yet on if that will be available for guests, either. I’ll make sure to keep you posted.

Chase cardholders must present a Disney Visa Card to gain access (though in the past any Chase card would work for entry, and, of course, Epcot theme park admission is required), and each card member may bring up to nine guests. The Chase Lounge will be available from 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday during the Festival. Do keep in mind that the lounge often reaches capacity, and when it does, will move to a one person out-one person in system.

I visited the Chase Lounge last year, so if you are curious about how it works, make sure to read my post.

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A New Haunted Mansion Gift Shop To Debut This Fall at the Magic Kingdom

by on July 28, 2014

©Disney

©Disney

I hinted at it being true a while back, but today the Disney Parks Blog made it official: The Haunted Mansion will indeed receive a gift shop (finally!) in Magic Kingdom‘s Liberty Square. The store will be located right near the attraction, in the location of the Yankee Trader store, which closed for refurbishment today. (Bye bye, Smuckers jams and jellies!)

The new merchandise location is slated to open officially this fall, drawing inspiration from Madame Leota herself, and will include a whole slew of hauntingly good merchandise for Haunted Mansion fans to purchase. (On my next trip, if the majority of my money is going to be spent at the Marketplace Co-Op at Downtown Disney, the rest of it will now officially be spent here. Basically, bye bye money.)  It’s been heavily rumored that this new store will also feature an on-ride photo pickup location.

While Disney didn’t announce an official reopening date, it is expected that the new store will debut on October 1, just in time for Halloween!

Stay tuned for more details as they get released!

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2015 Disney Dining Plan Information Released

by on July 28, 2014

Disney Dining Plan

©Disney

Earlier today, it was mentioned by Len on the TouringPlans forums that the 2015 Disney Dining Plans informational brochures had officially been released in PDF format. (A quick heads up: the 2015 Vacation Packages will be available starting on Wednesday, July 30.)

The actual details of the 2015 Disney Dining Plans haven’t changed from 2014, meaning that guests will still receive the same number of entitlements that were available under the 2014 Plans. RapidFill refillable mugs will also continue to be offered with the 2015 Disney Dining Plans.

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Walt Disney World Newsworthy Notes – 7/28/14

by on July 28, 2014

I’m back with all the great little Disney planning details that I think you need to know!  There’s quite a few little nuggets that have passed through my desk, so enough with this chit chat, yick yack, and flim flam; let’s get on with it!

  • As always, we’ll start with refurbishments. This time I only have one to let you all know about. The Magic Carpets of Aladdin at the Magic Kingdom will be closed for a brief refurb this Fall from November 10 – 21, reopening on November 22.
  • The WonderGround Gallery, which can be found at Disneyland Resort’s Downtown Disney, now has a presence at the Marketplace Co-Op in Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World.
  • The Epcot After Hours Wind Down event has been extended. The extra experience, which takes place after Illuminations:Reflections of Earth on select nights, will now last until November 9. The event was originally supposed to run until September 15. The After Hours Wind Down includes a menu featuring a selection of appetizers and one beverage flight. The price is $35 per person, per location. A cash bar option is also available.

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Epcot Food and Wine Festival International Marketplace Menus

by on July 25, 2014

Roasted Verlasso Salmon with Quinoa Salad and Arugula Chimichurri from the new Patagonia Marketplace ©Disney

Roasted Verlasso Salmon with Quinoa Salad and Arugula Chimichurri from the new Patagonia Marketplace ©Disney

The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is rapidly approaching! We are only two months away from opening date, which has been moved up this year to September 19. And the Festival lasts until November 10! That means that guests who enjoy this event will have 53 full days worth of delicious delicacies and wonderful beverages!

Of course, the most popular part of the Food & Wine Festival has to be the International Marketplace booths, which are scattered throughout World Showcase. This year there are more than 25 different booths you can choose to stop at to try a cornucopia of cuisines. The event is a food lover’s paradise.

Today, I share with you the menus of each Marketplace. I’m starting to figure out my list of where my must-stops will be, and I bet you will be too!

 

Africa

Food Beverages
Beef tenderloin tips berbere style with okra, jalapeños, tomato and pap MAN Vintners Chenin Blanc
South African bobotie with turkey and mushrooms (gluten free) Fairview Pinotage
The Wolftrap Red: Syrah, Mourvèdre and Viognier

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Epcot International Food and Wine Festival Premium Events Information

by on July 25, 2014

A Taste of The World

©Disney

Are you excited about this year’s Epcot International Food and Wine Festival? It is my favorite time of year at Walt Disney World, so you can bet I’m excited. If you’re anything like me,   you want to know all the details of the Festival so you can start your planning! (And I would suspect you are like me; you’re reading this post).

For those of you who love to take part in the Festival’s Premium Events, they go on sale next week, Thursday, July 31. Make sure you have those dialing fingers ready, cause a lot of these events go fast!

There are a TON of events that take place during this event and there’s really something for everyone, whether you’re skilled in the art of fine dining or a you are a complete novice, like me. They also have different events with everyone’s budget in mind too. So, if you’re excited, I’m excited! Let’s get into it!

There are quite a few new events scheduled to take place for this year’s Festival. They include:

NEW – Epcot International Food & Wine Festival – Boot Camp Series

During the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival – Boot Camp Series, you will discover the inspiration to create, based off of instruction from an expert in this 2-hour event. The event will take place in the World ShowPlace Events Pavilion East Hall on select Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Cost is $119 per person. The boot camps include:

  • Food and Wine Pairings 101 (September 21)
    Hosted by Andrea Robinson – Master Sommelier
  • Chocolate (October 5)
    Hosted by Erika Davis – Graycliff Chocolatier
  • Cake Decorating (October 12)
    Hosted by Gabrielle Parisi – Carlo’s Bakery
  • Pickling 101 (October 19)
    Hosted by Allen Susser – Chef Allen’s

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