This just in: the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival was named by the Travel Channel as one of the country’s top food and wine festivals. Chefs are cooking up fantastic new experiences for this year’s fest, which open September 28 and runs for a record 46 days through November 12.
There’s no better setting for noshing, sipping and wandering than Epcot’s World Showcase, with a one-of-a-kind backdrop of architectural icons from around the globe.
Fresh for 2012:
Two new festival marketplaces: TERRA Marketplace offers vegan menu items, including Trick’n Chick’n Curry with Basmati Rice and Chili Colorado with House-Made Chips and Cashew Cheese. The FLORIDA Marketplace introduces fresh twists on regional flavors. There are more than 25 ethnic and regional marketplaces in all.
Feel like a VIP with Marketplace Chef Tours. Each Wednesday, festival chefs host a walking-and-tasting tour around World Showcase with stops at several international marketplaces. You get to taste five marketplace dishes and five beverage items, like beer, wine and cocktails – and learn a few culinary secrets.
More kid-friendly tastes. Kids of all ages can try inventive new sips during the family’s marketplace dine-around. Pair with yummy bites like beef empanadas and cheese fondue (new this year).
Don’t miss (free) Eat to the Beat! Check out pop acts like Smash Mouth (October 11-12) and Javier Colon, winner of “The Voice” (October 13-14). With 18 different bands, look for Blues Traveler (November 5-6) and Dennis DeYoung, original member of STYX (November 7-8). Night Ranger kicks off the concert series September 28-30, and other returning fan favorites include Boyz II Men, The Pointer Sisters, Sister Hazel and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.
Back for an encore: look for HGTV designers, celeb chefs, culinary demos and wine seminars, and special culinary programs – more than 270 chefs are showing off for the festival. And, yes, the fab Party for the Senses returns October 6, 13, 20, 27 and November 3.
The Party for the Senses grand tasting events and other special wine and culinary programs require reservations and separate event admission. Guests can call 407/WDW-FEST (939-3378) for information; Aug. 16 is the date you can start booking. Festival details are available at http://www.disneyworld.com/foodandwine.
Last week, Disney Parks Blog Author Shawn Slater shared a look at the new Merida meet-and-greet experience that’s already begun at Magic Kingdom Park. But I’m happy to announce that Magic Kingdom is not the only one of the Disney Parks that’s getting in on the fun of the new Disney•Pixar film, “Brave.”
From June 1-July 8, Epcot will serve as the setting for Brave – The Highland Games Tournament, a kid-focused offering that will include games like Mini Caber Toss, Cake Toss, Haggis Flip and archery. There will also be a kids’ playground with free enhanced wireless – which is great for us parents who can’t share cute photos of their kids on Twitter and Facebook fast enough!
Brave – The Highland Games Tournament will take place on the Rose Walk (right where Future World blends into World Showcase), from 11 a.m.-7 p.m., daily. Park admission is required.
DATES: Sunday, September 30, 2012 LOCATION: World ShowPlace Pavilion, Epcot, Walt Disney World TIME: Pre-Check-in/Registration: Saturday, September 29 - 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. at Epcot main gate & World ShowPlace Pavilion entrance Sunday, September 30 - 7:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. at World ShowPlace Pavilion
Begins at 9:00 a.m. and continues through 5:30 p.m.
TICKETS Check back here on June 21 at 10 a.m. PST
COST World Passport - (general experience): $65 World Key - (enhanced experience): $185 Note: Epcot park admission is required.
October 1, 2012, marks the 30th anniversary of Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort and D23: The Official Disney Fan Club invites its members and their guests to fete one of Disney’s crowning achievements on this special occasion. The event will whisk D23 Members back to a time touted as when “the 21st century begins”—those early Epcot years when guests first marveled at “Astuter Computers,” “Smellitzers,” the novelty of “riding on sunshine,” and were awed by a massive geodesic sphere called Spaceship Earth.
D23′s Epcot 30th Anniversary Celebration offers the most detailed look at the design, development, and evolution of Epcot ever presented by The Walt Disney Company.
World Passport general admission includes:
Access to all presentations
A commemorative gift
Access to exclusive D23 merchandise
World Key level admission includes:
All features of the World Passport admission
Reserved seating for all presentations
A special dessert reception at 8 p.m. inside an exclusive Future World lounge
Exclusive meet-and-greet opportunity with Disney Legends and Epcot luminaries
Reception will also include screenings of rare film footage of Epcot’s early days
The celebration will feature rare and never-before-seen artwork; film and video footage and photos; along with a number of pioneers of Epcot, including such Disney Imagineers, Legends and Epcot luminaries as Marty Sklar (exclusive pre-taped presentation), Tony Baxter, Ron Schneider, Charlie Ridgway, Ron Logan, Bill Sullivan, Bob Garner, Jason Surrell, Jason Grandt, Alex Wright, Duncan Dickson and Steve Taylor.
October 1, 2012, marks the 30th anniversary of Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort and D23: The Official Disney Fan Club invites its members and their guests to fete one of Disney’s crowning achievements on this special occasion. The event will whisk D23 Members back to a time touted as when “the 21st century begins”—those early Epcot years when guests first marveled at “Astuter Computers,” “Smellitzers,” the novelty of “riding on sunshine,” and were awed by a massive geodesic sphere called Spaceship Earth. Check out some of the presentations D23 is has in store for this extraordinary tribute to Epcot.
Hooray for the 21st Century
Disney Legend and former Walt Disney Imagineering Principal Creative Executive Marty Sklar joins D23 guests via a virtual presentation, where we see and hear what it was like to work with Walt Disney on his original vision for an Experiemental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. Along the way, learn about Marty’s favorite memories working on the EPCOT Center project with a team of passionate Imagineers.
The Music of EPCOT Center
Some of Epcot’s most passionate fans agree that the park’s soundtrack has created one of its most lasting legacies that continue to help “makin’ memories” around the world. Join Disney historians and songwriters as we explore the incredible world of Epcot music, celebrating the talents of such Epcot songwriters and composers as Bob Moline, Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman, George Wilkins, Buddy Baker, X. Atencio, Peter Stougaard, Russell Brower, Edo Guidotti and others who have left a permanent musical mark on the park’s creative legacy. Along the way, hear stories about the recording sessions, learn about some fascinating alternate versions of some of your favorite melodies, and sing along to your favorite Epcot tunes!
We Can Do It!
Disney Legends and EPCOT Center creators review the immense challenge that loomed ahead of them when bringing Epcot to reality in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Guests will hear stories of trips to foreign countries to secure participants in the World Showcase concept, what life was like inside the largest private construction project in the world, and how they readied its highly anticipated opening day.
We’ve Just Begun to Dream
Join Disney Legend Ron Logan and other key Disney entertainment veterans as they reminisce about the official EPCOT Center opening festivities that remain among the most elaborate Disney has ever staged. This presentation will include rare footage from the grand openings of various Future World and World Showcase pavilions, which were held throughout October 1982.
Makin’ Memories: Epcot on Film
Join former Disney Imagineer Bob Garner and Disney author and historian Tim O’Day as they cast a “Magic Eye” on the marvelous world of Epcot on film. Bob was closely involved in the creation of film documentation and production at Epcot, including special video elements of Future World and World Showcase pavilions and such promotional films as EPCOT Center: The Opening Celebration.
Looking Back at Tomorrow
Few Epcot visitors, even its most avid fans, realize The Land pavilion was almost called “Harvest Tomorrow” or that Figment was slated to co-host an “Images & Imagination” pavilion with “Professor Marvel.” With recently discovered materials from the Walt Disney Archives, join Disney archivists as they examine how the “dreamers and doers” developed favorite Epcot attractions of the past including Horizons, Journey into Imagination, Kitchen Kabaret, World of Motion, the Astuter Computer Revue, and the original Universe of Energy.
The EPCOT Center That Never Was
Using rare concept artwork, guests will glimpse what it was like to design Epcot with Walt Disney Imagineering Senior Vice President Tony Baxter, designer and producer for several beloved Epcot pavilions, and explore early versions of Epcot attractions that never made it off the drawing board.
Imagineering Epcot: An Extra Perceptive Close-up Of Things
Fans of wall-to-wall carpeting and leapfrog fountains unite! Disney Imagineers Jason Surrell, Jason Grandt, and Alex Wright return with a humorous exploration of the details that make Epcot so unique. From miniature gardens to massive buildings (and every international food and beverage offering in between), they’ll show what makes Future World and World Showcase like no place else on earth.
Are you a fan of Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom? Can’t wait for Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure to debut this summer? You’re in luck because today’s live chat is about to begin and it’s all about our in-park gaming experiences!
Imagineer Jonathan Ackley will join us right here to answer some of your questions about the behind-the-scenes creation of these interactive experiences. Our chat will begin promptly at 1:15 p.m. but feel free to begin submitting your questions in the comments before we begin. We’ll answer as many as possible in the allotted time.
Jenn Fickley-Baker: Sounds like fun! Thanks, I am too stupid to spell Steel Vengeance so I'll just write SteVen and pretend I'm being cool. Now, let’s return to our Imagineer and move on to our next topic: Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure. In case you aren’t familiar, here’s a sneak peek at what this new game will entail when it debuts at Epcot later this month.
Comment From Joe: Will Agent P's world showcase adventure include Phineas and Ferb or will it be just Agent P and Dr. Doofenshmirtz?
Jonathan: When guests play Agent P's World Showcase Adventure, it will be just like they are in an episode of the show. So, as the guests are trying to defeat Doof, Phineas and Ferb will be building a contraption and Candace will be trying to bust them. I think it's likely that once you disable one of Doof's inators, it just might make Phineas and Ferb's machine disappear.
Comment From Joe: Which characters will we see te most during Agent P's World Showcase Adventure?
Jonathan: There will be a good balance of all the characters we love from the show.
Comment From Jeremiah: Jonathan, thanks for being here. Kim Possible had her sound for the Kimunicators, what will be the sound for the Agent P game? One of my fav parts was walking World Showcase and hearing that chime go off.
Jonathan: The sound is going to be Agent P's theme, but if you're interested in hearing some of the audio from the game, here's Doof!
Comment From Liz: Question ... Will Agent P adventure use upgraded technology...not Kim Possible phone?
Jonathan: From a WDI standpoint, the focus is always on the storyline and not the technology. What we will be giving the guests is "Field Operative Notification Equipment," or F.O.N.E.'s. Very high-tech stuff. (It's even got a laser).
Comment From Kaylyn: How much did you work with Dan and Swampy to come up with the story of this interactive attraction? What were their contributions?
Jonathan: They were engaged from the very beginning, helping us with ideas and characters, and going over our scripts and making sure that we were creating a theme park attraction that is true to the show.
Jonathan: By the way, here are some updated images from the attraction.
Comment From Jeff: Do you have a favorite country as far as storyline for both Kim and Perry?
Jonathan: Don't make me choose between all my children...(Germany!).
Jenn Fickley-Baker: From the blog, Matt asks "When the Agent P game debuts, will all of the missions be available or will more be coming later? If so, when?"
Jonathan: All of the missions will be available once we open the attraction, but there will be new top secret-iniators that will roll out over the summer.
Jenn Fickley-Baker: We have time for just one more question...
Jenn Fickley-Baker: A large majority of you are asking about the SOMK cards 61-70. Let me have I am too stupid to spell Steel Vengeance so I'll just write SteVen and pretend I'm being cool speak to those questions...
Jenn Fickley-Baker: I am too stupid to spell Steel Vengeance so I'll just write SteVen and pretend I'm being cool: We're currently looking at a few options as to how we're going to release cards 61-70, so stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog!
Jenn Fickley-Baker: Thanks everybody for joining us for our live-chat with Jonathan. As a reminder you can revisit this chat at any time and click 'Replay' to review all the questions and answers.
I saw a tentative menu for the Food & Wine Festival. There are about 73 food offerings! I think it's time for me to finally do the Food & Wine Festival Food Marathon! That's where you try and eat all 73 food items in one evening! It will end up costing about as much as the normal marathons, and be just about as tough. It could also make for an epic food photo TR!
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