Sep 18

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Updated Guide

Each group and individual must plan how to do the festival to meet their needs and limits. I am giving a run down of key areas to look at.

IMPORTANT APPS

1. This one is awesome. Download atwww.DisneyPodcast.net/FoodandWine
They have a map that links to the menus of kiosks. BEST THING: you can search words like Gluten. I found all the gluten free items listed in the passport. You can find a drink or food that way. They have reviews by viewers and comments. Events list all the events and times along with the cost so you can see where the free things are at as seminars usually sell out. They list free book and bottle signings.

2. Beers and Ears is my favorite GPS site for WDW. They seem faster than Google. They have a map showing only the booths selling beer. They list all the beers and where in the festival to find those beers. You can use their main app for finding that beer outside the festival. They list all locations of the beers and have a list of beer sold for each kiosk. Some have pictures, links to reviews and discriptions.

Major change is to Epcot® Food & Wine Late Nights LIVE! which has been limited to Thursdays only from 9:45 PM to 1:00 AM for $79 per person. You get 6 noshes of their choice, live DJ, unnamed entertainers, and beverages at the backstage pavilion near United Kingdom Pavilion. No strolling along the park late at night and dinner is not included. It is a hefty price when the noshes and drinks are $3 to $10 each. I rather spend $30 on my favorite 6 items and use the $49 for a party and dinner at Raglan Road, Bongos, or Boatwright’s.

The cranberry bog is gone so there are three key areas to focus on. It is a bit of walking to get from one to another. It is best to do everything on that area at one time. You can get to these areas by 9:30 AM and get most rides done by the time World Showcase opens. World Showcase usually has food booths open until 9 pm or some half an hour earlier. Get rides and shows out of the way first and try for fastpasses later in the day after you used your allotment.

Spaceship Earth is at the main entrance where you pick up maps and time guides, The next major area is East. This has Ellen’s Energy Adventure with no waiting, Mission: Space, Test Track, Baby Care, Nurse’s Stations, and the Festival Center. The most important thing here for the festival is the Festival center as they have free chocolate, lectures, event merchandise, and seminars. You can stand to the side or back of seminars for free but you do not get the sip of wine or yummy decadent chocolate treat. I learned a lot about cooking at these seminars without paying. Rarely a stranger will offer you a free ticket which is how I scored yummy chocolate. Food is made ahead of time so let them know as soon as you arrive so they can see if they can make you something without the allergen.

On the opposite side is West which has Captain EO, Journey into Imagination, The Land, and The Living Seas. The Land is where you can get awesome food at Sunshine Seasons and they do most diets including vegan. Soarin’ in The Land needs a fastpass. The Seas with Nemo and Friends is in the Living Seas and is where Turtle Talk with Crush is shown, both need fastpasses or go early in the day. No festival events occur in this area.

World Showcase is the third area of concern and is area around a lake. Just keep walking until you see the Spaceship Earth. American Adventure will feature kiosks selling alcoholic beverages at Fife and Drum kiosk, Liberty Inn, and Block & Hans. Hot and iced apple maple spice lattes at a kiosk and the Fife and Drum will sell Ghiradelli sundaes. Hops & Barley booth and Puerto Rico booth will be there as well. The Chase Lounge is upstairs in the pavillion and offers free soda pop, ice water, and coffee. Nice air conditioned spot to charge scooters and technological items. The American Gardens is where Eat to the Beat is located which will have some famous bands as well as a few not so famous bands. Check the schedule and those with Chase debit or credit cards might get a wristband for seats for the concerts. They will not check to see who is the owner of the card such as driver’s license, if you are past due, or the card has been terminated. No worries.

Hotel guests staying at Swan/Dolphin and WDW resort can check out the premium package with concierge, runners who run to booths to buy your food, themed magic band, $50 gift card, chocolate truffles, wine glass, and bottle of wine. One person for $199 is not that bad if I am having someone wait on me. Looking at the map I can start with dessert and work my way through entrees to sides and salads, lol.

Right now speak with your group so everyone is on the same game plan. Nothing is worse than an adult whining about not seeing something they want to see NOW!! Have back up plans like the line is long so let’s head to another country, or the show was cancelled. Knowing where everything is helps for you to keep going from one fun thing to another. Keep an eye open for fastpasses and other time sensitive things to do. READ EVERYTHING!!!! Take photos of your tickets and have those numbers with receipt safely put away. I lost $200 when my gift cards were stolen with the receipt in the envelope.

NOTE: most, if not all, book signings and bottle signings, require the purchase of a book from the adjacent marketplace but it is worth a try as far as books go. They will ship up front or to your room, bottles of alcoholic beverages. I strongly recommend they pack and deliver to your room, home, or package pickup breakable items, awkward items, and hard to replace items. You may be careful but other guests might not be so careful. I rather be free of packages so I can eat, drink, and be in line for more food and drink.

My name is Laurie Smith and I have lived in Kissimmee, FL since March, 2012, so that I could learn about WDW and help people enjoy WDW. I have been going to Disney parks since 1960.

Sep 18

Epcot Food and Wine Festival – Changes from Last Year and Not Vegan

Today, the 18th, is soft opening for the Festival but I (Laurie) am staying home as I rather put a full day in the park. I am discussing changes from past years, some new things to check out and explaining vegetarian offerings.

Most maps are wrong as Brazil (26 on map) took over Belgium and booted them to the curb. Belgium has rebuilt a new kiosk and Brazil turned their kiosk into a party zone. The Craft Beer kiosk comandeered Odessey Restaurant aka Odessey Center (5 on map). Brazil currently shows up on old maps as being next to Mexico in the area just below the Odessey Center. Craft Beer Kiosk is showing as the first kiosk you come to as you walk toward the lake, on your right side. Apps may still show them there and maps online may not show the changes. This move allows room for the beer kiosk as that is so popular and room for the new booths. The Cheese Kiosk could not cut it and was replaced by Puerto Rico as there are other booths doing cheese plates.

Craft Beer will offer for free, with beer purchase, a savory Chex party mix type of offering with nuts, fruits, and crackers. For sale, are muffuletta pinwheels (savory take of the muffuletta) and pickles; country pate with pickled carrots and bread; and pimento cheese dip with crackers. Disney considers ale, Pilsner, lager, and other beer like drinks as beer so check menus for possible options such as stout and ale.

Chile and Argentina will be combined into Patagonia. Patagonia will be the same spot overlooking the lake when it was Argentina. Florida Fresh changed names to Farm Fresh. In the past there have been kiosks for India, New Orleans, Caribbean Islands, Cheese, Mouse Catch (cheese), Scandinavia, Spain, and Turkey. They used to have booths for cities such as Barcelona and San Francisco instead of the whole area being covered.

MENU CHANGES

Patagonia replaced pork with Verlasso salmon which is found in Chile where they are raised in fisheries. This ties the two former kiosks into one larger area.

Mexico replaced rice pudding with sweet corn cheese cake.

China replaced Silk ice cream with Peking (Beijing) Duck.

South Africa replaced the cheese and spinach paneer with bobotie, a turkey and mushroom dish.

Puerto Rico is replacing Cheese and will offer a coffee cake and flan dish, fried sweet polenta fries and cheese fritters, braised beef, and conch salad.

Germany replaced apple strudel with the Berliner donut, schinkennudein returns after rave reviews (noodle and ham and cheese)

Poland is adding sauerkraut pierogies.

Italy removed the salsiccia for chicken breast and tweaked their ravioli.

America replaces Jamacian shake with apple maple spice latte with choice of hot or cold.

Fife and Drum will offer a Ghiradelli sundae.

Farm Fresh erased their menu and offer pepper bacon hash and Griddled yard bird.

Japan got rid of their fake crab meat rolls and erased the menu. Spice hand roll, teriyaki gyoza bun, and chirashi sushi are now offered.

Morocco replaced the chicken roll for a spicy shrimp roll.

France adds a wheat pasta and cheese and mushroom dish. Creme brulee will be caramel instead of chocolate.

Refreshment Port added packaged Squishems fruit treat and croissant doughnuts.

Greece removed the calamari dish and yogurt cups. They are offering a vegetarian moussaka and spanokopita.

Desserts and Champagne changed the desserts.

Scotland has replaced the Banoffee dessert with crannachan dessert trifle.

Disney Vegetarian may contain gelatin made from fish and mammals, cochineal and carmine that are made from bugs, honey, dairy products, and anything made from animals that does not kill the animal. This is fine for someone who will, on occasion, eat a bit of meat or fish. For a dedicated vegan the festival has few items that are 100% animal free. You will have to look at each dish for ingredients such as carmine, lard, and gelatin.

Disney vegetarian dishes are:

Terra is dedicated to vegan cuisine but is not soy or gluten free, sigh.
Patagonia; quinoa salad with arugula topped with salmon, ask them to hold it.
Craft Beer: snack mix (vegan?), pimento cheese dip
Australia: berries and vanilla custard
Mexico: sweet corn cheesecake is not listed, should but is not
Germany: Berliner donut
Poland: Pierogies should be vegetarian but they come with meat
Italy: cheese ravioli, the cannoli is not listed as vegetarian
Hops & Barley: cheese plate, carrot cake
Morocco: baklava
Belgium: chocolate candy, and both dessert waffles
Brazil: cheese bread, the coconut candy should be soy and wheat free and vegetarian but no word why not
France: pasta gratin with mushrooms and Gruyere cheese, creme brulee
Ireland: cheese plate, the chocolate pudding should be vegetarian but not listed, may just be a quirk in system
Greece: spanokopita, moussaka, and the yummy griddled Greek Cheese
Puerto Rico: frituras fritters, the bolitos de papa combo dish should be vegetarian but no reason why not
Refreshment Port: croissant doughnuts, Dole Whips, Squish’ems! packaged fruit
Desserts & Champagne: not know why but only the Belgian chocolates are vegetarian
Scotland: vegetable cake but no word on Cranochan dessert
Intermissions Cafe in Festival Center: grapes, side salad, key lime tart maybe, brownie maybe, fruit and cheese plate, VEGAN trio,

If you cannot or will not eat or drink something you should speak to kiosk staff about your options.  The main concerns they have is that the food is mass produced and someone might accidentally contaminate the food. All it takes is a person touching a contaminant then touching the food in question. Ingredients may change such as Hallal vanilla flavor might be used by one person and nonHallal by another person. Brands change ingredients or mislabel ingredients. Over time chefs may tweak dishes for a newer chef might miss things like dusting with flour an item. ASK!!! If the item is made at the kiosk then they might hold the bun on your slider or not put something on your order. This has been a long 3 events for me as a soy and gluten free food explorer. It is hard work but honestly there are not enough vegan dishes out there and some dishes are not for me even though they should be.

PLEASE let us know good news and how we can make this event the best ever for you. We do need your feed back, thank you, Laurie.