Mmm I love the Epcot Internation Food and Wine Festival.
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.
Call 407/WDW-FEST (939-3378) to make reservations. Information and reservations for select events and programs will be updated throughout the summer at www.disneyworld.com/foodandwine.
Since I started working at Disney, I have wanted to make a photo featuring one of our space-themed attractions in the foreground and a rocket launch from Cape Canaveral 60 miles away in the background. Well, all of the planets aligned for me this morning as I was able to capture the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launching to the International Space Station in front of Mission: SPACE at Epcot. That red streak in the sky is the flame from the rocket engines over a 64-second exposure as it arced into orbit. If all goes as planned for SpaceX, this will be the first commercial launch to the International Space Station when the capsule docks in two days and brings supplies to the astronauts on board.
Some interesting Soarin news from Screamscape!
“General Park News - (5/7/12) I’ve heard a couple of interesting Soarin’ stories this weekend. For starters, I’m not sure of the reason, but I’m hearing it said that for some reason Soarin’ at Epcot is staying open for guests until about 10pm. This is a bit unusual, as I believe Soarin’ usually closed it’s line at 9pm nightly with the start of Illuminations. One rumored reason is that with Test Track now closed for the next several months, they may have quietly extended the hours to help get more guests on board. Again… this is not on an Extra Magic Hour night, nor just running the ride after 9pm which happens anyway, but this is leaving the queue open for up to an extra hour. Can anyone confirm this?
The other weird Soarin’ story involves the rides on both coasts, as both Soarin’ rides were apparently closed fairly early in the day on May 3rd and remained closed for the rest of the day. The inside word is that on one of the rides (not sure which just yet) a man and his daughter got on board, had their belts checked, and somehow just before take-off changed their minds about riding and both freed themselves from the ride. They at least had the good sense to get clear of the ride as it went into motion, and a CM spotted them immediately and E-Stopped the ride.
All the loading and safety systems and procedures were put under the microscope to determine not only what happened, but also how to prevent it from happening again. While the rides did reopen the following day, word is there are new belt checking procedures, security camera angles have been changed, more cameras are on the way, and unfortunately, the belt straps are going to be changed in the near future. From what is being said, the new version of the belts will feature a redesigned center strap (the one normally only used for small children) in which every single rider will now be required to use it. Look for the new straps to arrive in about a month or so on both coasts.”
————UPDATE—-Soarin at Epcot in Walt Disney World and Soarin Over California at Disney California Adventures have both reopened today!———-
According to multiple sites, on Thursday May 3rd at Soarin in Epcot 2 guests were found in the corner of one of the theaters after the seatbelt checks had taken place, watching the film as the ride was cycling through. The attraction was stopped and now Disney and OSHA are looking into how this happened. Meanwhile Soarin Over California at Disney California Adventure was also closed all day as a precaution until the cause of this is ironed out.
OMG I am so excited to see the new Test Track when it reopens! Check out the Disney Parks Blog post showing some great renderings:
When complete, the reimagining of this attraction will allow guests to design their own custom concept vehicle, and then put it through its paces on the exhilarating hills and switchbacks of the Test Track circuit. In the post-show, guests can make a TV commercial featuring their concept car or truck, race their car or truck on our virtual track and take a picture with their custom concept vehicle.
The attraction is currently scheduled to reopen late fall.
Touring Plans has been tweeting info about the new Test Track. Here is some information on the new experience:
“Guests will design their car in the queue, then test the car on the ride, then they will likely be able to buy their car at the end.”
“Fastpass guests will not be able to design their car, but will have an opportunity to select a car from several premade versions.”
So excited for Starbucks to come to Disney Parks.
In June, the first of six planned Starbucks locations is scheduled to open at Disney California Adventure park. And more locations are planned at Disneyland park and Walt Disney World Resort (Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom).
The Starbucks locations inside our parks will be designed to fit the theme of their surroundings. At Disney California Adventure park, Starbucks will be located in the Fiddler, Fifer and Practical Café on Buena Vista Street, a place that transports guests to 1920s Los Angeles, when Walt Disney arrived in California and a cup of coffee was the perfect way to jumpstart a busy day. The store’s location plays off the Spanish/Mexican architecture of the period, and baristas will wear 1920s-inspired attire.
The café will serve Starbucks items, including coffee and espresso beverages, Frappuccino® blended beverages, and signature breakfast sandwiches and pastries. Guests also will have their choice of Disney favorites, including signature sandwiches and other items, as well as delicious desserts and sweet treats.
This makes me sooo happy! I love them in Walt Disney World and can’t wait to see and hear Disneyland’s counterpart!
After nearly three decades, the talented 8-part a cappella group The Voices of Liberty continues to “wow” guests at Epcot in Walt Disney World Resort with their amazing harmonies on such American classics as “Ol’ Man River” and “Yankee Doodle.”
Today, I’m pleased to tell you Disneyland park is getting its very own Voices of Liberty, bringing one of the great traditions of Walt Disney World Resort to the Disneyland Resort for the first time. Soon, guests from sea to shining sea will be able to enjoy the impeccable sounds of this beloved group. The new Voices of Liberty will hold court at the Main Street Opera House, also home to The Disneyland Story presenting Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.
For those of you who have not yet had the pleasure of hearing The Voices of Liberty sing, I hope you enjoy this video of the group at Epcot. To truly appreciate The Voices, however, you simply must experience it in person!