The Casual Runner

Must Dos at Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival 2016

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Disney’s International Food and Wine Festival will be returning to Epcot at Walt Disney World September 14th, 2016 thru November 14th, 2016, and we here at Casual Adventurer could not be more excited (as in we may have 2 trips scheduled)!  We felt it was necessary to bring back a “Must Dos” article so everyone knows what they can enjoy (and should not miss) this fall.

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Remy’s Ratatouille Hide and Squeak

By far the number one thing we are looking forward to is another friendly competition of Remy’s Hide and Squeak.  Last year was the first time this event was part for the Food and Wine Festival and it was a hit.  Game boards can be purchased at the Festival Center, Pin Central, Disney Traders, or World Traveler at the International Gateway.  From there you will navigate around World Showcase looking for mini statues of Remy and place a sticker on your game board once you have found him.  When you have finished you can take your board to any of the locations selling them to get your prize.  Last year you were able to get your prize before completing the challenge so you wouldn’t forget to come back to get it, which was your choice of a Remy Pin.  

Read our FULL REVIEW of Remy’s Hide and Squeak!

This game sounds simple (because it is), but be warned, it is highly addicting and tons of fun.

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Food Kiosks

The highlight of every Food and Wine Festival are the various food kiosks located throughout Epcot where you can purchase food inspired by cultures and cuisines from around the world.

Returning kiosks this year include: Africa, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Brewer’s Collection, Canada, The Chew Collective, China, Craft Beers, Desserts and Champagne, Farm Fresh, France, Germany, Greece, Hawaii, Hops and Barley, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liberty Inn, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Patagonia, Poland, Scotland, and South Korea.  It looks like these booths will have the same food and drinks that they had the previous year.  We highly recommend the grilled lamb chop with mint pesto and potato crispies in Australia.  We also recommend everything at the Ireland kiosk: seafood fisherman’s pie, Irish cheese plate, and the warm chocolate pudding.  Just listing these foods makes me salivate to eat them again.

New kiosks this year include the Chocolate Studio, Islands of the Caribbean, and Wine and Dine Studio. We are definitely very excited for the tastings at the Chocolate Studio, which promises red wine chocolate truffles and chocolate raspberry torte.

Don’t forget to pick up your marketplace discovery passport to collect stamps from every kiosks as you try different offerings! Hint: Even if you choose not to buy anything from a particular kiosk, the cast members will still stamp your passport for that location, so you can still collect all of the stamps.

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Annual Passholder Perk

Last year Disney Annual Passholders were treated to a free commemorative port wine glass after three visits to the Food and Wine Festival (hey, making 3 visits to the Food and Wine Festival is way easier than you may think, don’t judge!).  

This year Annual Passholders will receive a commemorative tumbler glass after three visits. To check in you will have to have your magic band scanned and present your photo ID on every visit at Innoventions. On your third visit (and scan) you will receive your glass. There are usually official passholder exclusive t-shirts available for purchase as well, so make sure you check out official merchandise stands.

Eat to the Beat Concert Series

The Eat to the Beat Concerts will return to the Food and Wine Festival this year, bringing back past bands such as Hanson, Boys II Men, and David Cook.  New to the lineup this year are Wang Chung, BoDeans, Plain White T’s, Jeffrey Osborne, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Living Colour, Soul Asylum, and Delta Rae.  These concerts take place at the American Gardens Theater and are free to guests with valid park admission to Epcot on the day of the concert.   

Typically there are three shows a night performed by each band.  Seating is first come first serve for the standby entrance.  In past years guests were able to make Fastpass Plus selections for the concerts, but this does not seem to be an available option this year. Also in past years, guests with a Chase Visa card were able to visit the Chase Visa lounge in the America Adventure pavilion and get wristbands for reserved seating to the concert on the day of their visit while supplies lasted, so fingers crossed this happens this year. For a complete lineup of concerts with dates make sure you check out the official schedule.

img_8164Chase Lounge

Speaking of the Chase Lounge, make sure that, if you have a Chase credit card, you stop and visit the lounge located in the America Adventure Pavilion.  The lounge is in a very cool venue and offers free refreshments (pop, coffee, and water) along with free charging stations in case you forgot to bring a portable charger.  There are places to relax in the air conditioning to take a break out of your day.  The lounge opens at 11am and is open until park close, Chase card holders can bring in up to five guests with them.

Figment, Figment, and more Figment

Figment tends to be front and center when it comes to Food and Wine Festival.  If you love that adorable purple dragon, Food and Wine Festival is the best time to get your Figment fix and themed merchandise.  This year he is featured on multiple pins, salt and pepper shakers, oven mitts, ornaments, and t-shirts.  I’m still waiting for the day they make and Alex and Ani bracelet or Pandora charm though!  There is plenty of Food and Wine merchandise throughout the park – both  Figment and non-Figment – so you won’t be disappointed.  Make sure you check out the Festival Welcome Center in the old Wonders of Life Pavilion for official merchandise along with the kiosk between Spaceship Earth and World Showcase.

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runDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon, 10k, 5k, and Lumiere’s Challenge

What we look forward to every year is, near the end of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, runDisney hosts the Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend. As in past years, this event will feature Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  Casual Runner will be returning to the Wine and Dine Half Marathon this year as this time we will be taking on the all NEW Lumiere’s Challenge.  In addition to the Half Marathon, runDisney added Chef Remy’s Wine and Dine 10K.  Make sure to check back soon for our event preview of Lumiere’s Challenge.  

Check out more coverage of runDisney’s Wine and Dine Half Marathon:
Our look at all of the changes and additions to this year’s event
2013: FULL Wine and Dine Half Marathon Race Review: Part 1 & Part 2
2014: The infamous rain soaked “Splash & Dash” (Race Review: Part 1 & Part 2)
2015: The weather-shortened “half of a half” marathon 
runDisney’s commitment to putting runner safety first and foremost

We answered a reader’s question on whether you should you buy an after party ticket

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Enjoy the freedom of going wherever your feet, imagination, & determination take you!

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Enjoy the freedom of going wherever your feet, imagination, & determination take you!

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