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Just Two More Party for the Senses at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

There’s still time to enjoy one of the real treats of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival – the Saturday night Party for the Senses, a feast of food, wine, beverages and entertainment that’s a true delight. And while the reserved seating is sold out, our favorite way to experience the party is to stroll and nosh (we never sit, but instead enjoy conversation with the chefs and wine experts, and compare notes with fellow party-goers). The final two parties for this year are on October 27 and November 3.

And while the cuisine changes each week, we always find something delicious at the tasting stations. A recent party featured everything from Peking-style braised duck (Kona Cafe at Disney’s Polynesian Resort) to Chef Paula Da Silva’s (1500˚, Miami Beach) buttery lamb belly and spicy tuna tartare cleverly wrapped in a crisp shell from Wolfgang Puck Café at Downtown Disney. All in all, there are nearly two dozen tasting stations with wine, beer and cocktails to pair. You won’t know until you arrive what you’ll be having, but the discovery is part of the fun.

Party for the Senses at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

The only thing that stops our noshing is the extraordinary spectacle of Cirque du Soleil, on stage throughout the evening with live music and thrilling acrobatics.

You can start the evening at the Eat to the Beat concert at America Gardens Theatre and end with a stroll around World Showcase and the IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth fireworks and laser show – it’s a special evening you won’t want to miss. Just come hungry (and leave satisfied).

Price is $145 per person, plus tax. Epcot admission is required. Call 407-WDW-FEST for reservations.

Heading to the 30th Anniversary of Epcot on October 1? Here’s the Schedule of Events

We know that many of you are as excited as we are to celebrate Epcot’s 30th anniversary here at Walt Disney World Resort on October 1.

In honor of the milestone, the park has lined up a few special offerings for guests who wish to mark this special occasion.

30th Anniversary of Epcot

Throughout the day on October 1, guests can attend Epcot history presentations in World Showplace courtesy of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club. These presentations are included in park admission and are limited in seating.

1-2 p.m. – Designing the Future – Past and Present: A panel of Disney Imagineers remembers 30 years of building tomorrow!
4:30–6 p.m. – Epcot: How it Changed the World with Marty Sklar
6:30–8 p.m. – Epcot: How it Changed the World with Marty Sklar
Guests can also attend an anniversary moment at the America Gardens Theatre at 3 p.m., which will feature appearances by Disney leaders and include performances by Mariachi Cobre and Voices of Liberty. (Seating for this presentation is also limited.)

That evening, the October 1 presentation of “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” will feature a special 30th anniversary tag.

 

Countdown to Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Reservations at Walt Disney World Resort

Don’t forget, the phone lines open at 7 a.m. August 14 for reservations for all of the ticketed events for the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival – call 407-WDW-FEST (939-3378). And this year, you can book some of the hottest tickets online at epcotfoodfestival.com: Party for the Senses, mixology seminars, “3D” Disney’s Dessert Discovery, Epcot wine schools and culinary demos in the Festival Center.

We know seats go fast for the signature events, but there are dozens to choose from – find all of the information to help you plan at epcotfoodfestival.com. And try something new this year!

But we’re looking forward to some of the festival events that don’t need reservations and don’t require a ticket, just admission to the park. Of course, there’s the array of tastes around World Showcase, paired with beer, wine and cocktails – we got a sneak taste of the chocolate chili mousse with salted caramel, and can tell you we’re heading there first.

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

We love stopping to talk with the cranberry farmers in the beautiful “Discover the Cranberry” featuring the Festival Cranberry Bog hosted by Ocean Spray Craisins Brand Dried Cranberries, and this year we can add the new Watermelon Patch (especially fun for kids) as we’re making the rounds. Chocolate lovers will want to head to the Festival Center for the free “The Chocolate Experience: From Bean to the Bar” hosted by Ghirardelli Chocolate Company (yep, there’s chocolate samples while you learn). The Festival Center is the perfect place to cool off when the weather heats up – take a seat and listen to the HGTV folks during complimentary 30-minute seminars. Or sit in on a free Authentic Taste Seminar presented by Driscoll’s Only the Finest Berries. Or just stroll through the Festival Center Wine Shop and sample a few of the wines.

Then, when the sun goes down, head to the Eat to the Beat Concert at America Gardens Theatre, with live entertainment every night at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m. during the festival. Favorites are back, but new this year are Smash Mouth (Oct. 11-12); Javier Colon, winner of “The Voice” (Oct. 13-14); Blues Traveler (Nov. 5-6) and Dennis DeYoung, original member of the group STYX (Nov. 7-8).

Can you recommend your favorite happening at the festival?

Top Celebs Headline 2011 Candlelight Processional at Epcot

Disney Candlelight Processional

Academy award-winning actress Mira Sorvino returns to Walt Disney World Resort Nov. 25-27, 2011, to kick off Candlelight Processional, the enormously popular Disney holiday celebration that will continue nightly through Dec. 30, 2011, at Epcot.

Sorvino is among a dozen celebrities, ranging from contemporary Christian and country music artists to a soap opera legend and award-winning actor, who will take the stage for the joyous retelling of the Christmas story. They join a 50-piece orchestra and mass choir at Epcot America Gardens Theatre for performances at 5, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m. most nights. The lineup (artists subject to change):

Nov. 25-27: Mira Sorvino
Nov. 28-Dec. 1: Michael W. Smith
Dec. 2-3: Geena Davis
Dec. 4-6: Edward James Olmos (guest shows at 6:45 and 8:15 p.m. only)
Dec. 7-9: Isabella Rossellini
Dec. 10-12: Neil Patrick Harris
Dec. 13-15: Lorraine Bracco
Dec. 16-18: talent tba
Dec. 19-21: Trace Adkins
Dec. 22-24: Susan Lucci
Dec. 25-27: Blair Underwood
Dec. 28-30: Marlee Matlin

For a guaranteed seat to Candlelight Processional, guests can purchase a special dining package on select nights.

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2011 Epcot Sounds Like Summer Concert Series Lineup Announced

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Sounds Like Summer Concert EpcotThe “Sounds Like Summer” concert series returns to Epcot featuring tribute bands that will bring back the sounds of decades of summers gone by. Opening with Hotel California – a Salute to the Eagles, June’s lineup of bands will also “play” tribute to the timeless tunes of the Bee Gees and Bon Jovi. Sounds like Summer concerts are under the skies of the open-air America Gardens Theatre in World Showcase at Epcot. Show times are 5:45, 7 and 8:15 p.m. Here’s the summer lineup (subject to change without notice):

o   June 12 – June 18: Hotel California — A Salute to the Eagles

o   June 19 – June 25: Stayin’ Alive — A Tribute to the Bee Gees

o   June 26 – July 2: Slippery When Wet — The Ultimate Bon Jovi Tribute

o   July 3 – July 9: Little Queen — The Music of Heart

o   July 10 – July 16: Frontiers — A Tribute to Journey

o   July 17 – July 23: Karin Lawson — A Tribute to Janet Jackson

o   July 24 – July 30: 2U — A Tribute to U2

*Summer concerts are included with Epcot admission*

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