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17 Fun Facts About The 2017 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

17 Fun Facts About The 2017 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

17 Fun Facts About The 2017 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Walt Disney World Resort guests are invited to join the fun when the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival turns 22 from Aug. 31-Nov. 13, 2017.  On Oct. 1, Epcot will celebrate its 35th anniversary, and this year’s festival will feature, for the first time, 35 global dine-around marketplaces. Guests will discover delicious ethnic and specialty cuisine, refreshing new beverages and more concerts and musical acts than ever.

The record 75-day festival at Disney’s Epcot theme park will include five new Future World marketplaces featuring fresh culinary concepts to pair with select wines, beers, cocktails and other beverages.  ABC’s Emmy Award-winning lifestyle series, “The Chew,” will broadcast from the festival for the third year and will again showcase dishes inspired by “The Chew” show hosts. The festival is believed to be the largest food and wine event of its kind in the world.

Here are some fun facts about the 22nd festival celebration.

  • Now 75 days long, the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival began in 1996 with a first run of 30 days
  • At the 2017 festival, 35 global marketplaces will include five new marketplaces to help celebrate 35 years of Epcot –they include Active Eats, Coastal Eats, Flavors from Fire and Light Lab, all expanding into the park’s Future World area. The Almond Orchard, hosted by Blue Diamond Almond Breeze, is the fifth new marketplace located along the World Showcase promenade
  • Producers of ABC’s “The Chew” will tape 5 episodes of the show before 5 festival guest audiences numbering in the hundreds for each show Oct. 4-6 against a backdrop of the park’s iconic Spaceship Earth
  • The 22nd festival will feature 39 new marketplace dishes and 65 new cocktails, beers, wines and ciders
  • This year, more than 50 domestic and international wines will be offered at global marketplaces
  • More than 50 wineries and more than 35 breweries from around the world, including local craft beer operations, will be represented at festival marketplaces
  • The new “Disney Food and Wine Festivals Coast to Coast Cookbook” by Pam Brandon and the Disney Chefs features 50 irresistible recipes, 26 recipes from the Epcot festival global marketplaces and 24 from Disney’s California Adventure
  • 5 Party for the Senses grand tastings will take place at World Showplace during the festival run. In all, the festival will feature 177 premium events ranging from Signature Dinners and Food & Wine Pairings to “What’s Cookin’ With” and additional festival events in World Showcase pavilions and Walt Disney World resorts
  • Guest chefs and Disney chefs numbering 197 will present culinary demonstrations and will cook for festival events
  • Celebrity chefs and visiting culinarians from 11 countries and 23 U.S. states will participate in the festival at culinary demos, book signings, and special tasting events and dinners
  • 379 culinary demos, beverage and interactive seminars will take place during the 75-day festival. That’s equal to more than 6,360 hours of scheduled seminars at the Festival Center. These include the fun-filled Mix It, Make It, Celebrate It! interactive events, plus more
  • During Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak festival scavenger hunt, guests can help Remy scour the park for the ingredients to make his signature dish, ratatouille. Along the way, they’ll find 15 Remy statuettes hidden throughout World Showcase and the global marketplaces.  Guests can purchase their map and stickers at select merchandise locations, then take their completed maps to Disney Traders at the entrance to World Showcase or World Traveler at International Gateway to choose a new surprise, compliments of Chef Remy
  • 225 Eat to the Beat concerts will be performed;11 musical acts will appear for the first time at this year’s festival featuring entertainment ranging from rock and soul to funk and blues
  • The Festival Passport (previously called the Marketplace Discovery Passport) was introduced in 2010 for the 15th annual festival; today, the complimentary passport will feature pages with all 35 festival marketplaces and other outdoor food and beverage locations with special festival offerings such as Refreshment Cool Post, Fife & Drum Tavern and Refreshment Port
  • More than 1,200 fireworks will explode each night over World Showcase Lagoon in IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth nightime spectacular
  • 100,000-plus desserts, including Passion Fruit Cheesecake with Toasted Macadamia Nuts (new at Hawaii) and Sweet Olive Oil Cake with Powdered Sugar and Lemon Curd (new at Spain), are expected to be served
  • In 1997, during the festival’s second year, festival planners introduced the first Grand Tasting culinary extravaganzain 2002, the event was renamed and moved to World Showplace as Party for the Senses, now featuring dozens of food and beverage stations and, in 2017, confirmed seating for all guests plus new and different themed entertainment and surprises for each event

Siera is a travel agent with Destinations in Florida, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. She would love to help you plan your next vacation at no cost to you. Contact Siera today at or at 734-771-1290 for more information or your free, no obligation quote. 

Visit the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort on O’ahu

Your perfect Hawai‘i vacation awaits!

Located on O’ahu and Hawai’i, The Big Island, the Hilton Hotels & Resorts in Hawaii are the crown jewels presiding over the world-renowned tropical islands. You can pamper yourself in world-class spas, find adventure on a water excursion, or simply experience a vacation with shopping, dining and authentic activities for the whole family. These resorts are the perfect destination for an island retreat.

Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort – O’ahu

Located on Waikiki’s widest stretch of beach, this unique getaway offers a wide selection of 90 shops and boutiques, nightly live entertainment, weekly fireworks, award-winning restaurants, lounges and bars, 5 pools including a 5 acre salt-water lagoon and the Paradise Pool which features a ’77 foot waterslide, Camp Penguin® – children’s activity program, Waikiki Starlight Luau Mandara Spa and much, much more.

Guests staying a minimum of 4 nights will receive:

  • Special Daily Rates, mandatory Resort Charge is included
  • One Category Upgrade

Book by March 31, 2014 for travel through March 31, 2014

Honeymoon Package

Honeymoon guests staying a minimum of 4 nights will receive:

  • Special Daily Rates, mandatory Resort Charge is included
  • One Category Upgrade
  • Coupon for 2 Tropical Drinks
  • Coupon for 2 Golden Circle Tickets to the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Starlight Luau

Booking  by March 31, 2014 for travel through March 31, 2104

Kids Stay FREE
Guests are allowed to have up to 3 children 17 and younger stay free of charge when sharing a guestroom with an adult and utilizing existing bedding.

Booking by March 31, 2014 for travel through March 31, 2014

Siera is a Hawaii Destinations Specialist and would love to help you plan your Hawaiian vacation at no cost to you. Request a free, no obligation quote on the right side of the page or email 

Enter to Win the Oz the Great and Powerful Sweepstakes

You can enter the Oz the Great and Powerful Sweepstakes for your chance to win a trip to the world’s largest balloon festival. Disney Movie Rewards and Delta Vacations have teamed up to bring you the Oz the Great and Powerful Sweepstakes.

The grand prize winner will receive a family vacation to Albuquerque, New Mexico and the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, including:

  • Round trip airfare for a family of four
  • Three day, two night stay
  • Car rental
  • VIP Gondola Club tickets to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
Fifty first prize winners will receive an Oz the Great and Powerful dress up prize package, including:
  • Theodora’s reversible witch hat
  • Spellbinding necklace and ring
  • Glinda’s signature light up tiara and wand
Fifty second prize winners will receive the Oz the Great and Powerful soundtrack from Walt Disney Records.

The Oz the Great and Powerful Sweepstakes is open to Disney Movie Rewards member who are at least 13 years of age and a legal resident of the United States or Canada. You can enter here now through October 31, 2013.

Have you not joined Disney Movie Rewards yet? You can create a free account here and still enter the sweepstakes!

Don’t forget, Oz the Great and Powerful is now available on Disney Blu-ray combo pack and HD Digital. Have you seen the movie yet? What did you think?

Are you thinking about your next vacation? I can help you find the perfect vacation for your family. Email for more information! 

Great Spots to See “Magical” Fireworks at Disneyland

Magical is the nighttime fireworks spectacular at the Disneyland Resort in California. You will celebrate Disney magic with the “Magical” fireworks display. You are sure to feel the enchantment as bursts of vivid color and brilliant visual effects dance in the sky while beloved Disney songs from classic films fill the air. A golden comet streaks across the sky as Tinker Bell flies around Sleeping Beauty Castle. You can hear “Chim Chim Cher-ee” and other favorites as part of the tribute to the magic of imagination. Lastly, glittering pink hearts erupt in the sky as part of a prince and princess salute to the magic of a kiss!

Here are some great spots to see “Magical” fireworks at Disneyland. Plus, all three of these locations also allow you to hear the show’s soundtrack!

  • Main Street, U.S.A.- There is something magical, exciting, and awe-inspiring about watching fireworks bursting around the iconic Sleeping Beauty Castle from Main Street, U.S.A.
  • “It’s a Small World”- One feature that makes this location unique is that it even offers its own mini-show, with projections onto the attraction that complement the fireworks and music.
  • Rivers of America- This is a fantastic place to catch two Disneyland park nighttime shows. If you arrive early, you can watch the first “Fantasmic!” show of the night and then, stay right there in your spot to watch “Magical.”

Have you ever seen “Magical” at Disneyland? Where do you think is the best spot to see the fireworks?

Are you considering a Disneyland vacation? Email for more information and get a great deal! 

Great Deals Available at Paradissus Resorts for an All-Inclusive Vacation

Whether it’s a luxurious getaway or an action-packed family vacation, Melia Hotels International offers several distinct vacation brands custom-tailored to meet the needs of your client’s ideal getaway. Paradisus Resorts are part of the Melia Hotels family and are currently offering resort credits, free golf, free weddings and vow renewals, and even kids stay free discounts! Paradisus Resorts feature all-inclusive luxury vacation resorts designed to blend in with their natural surroundings in very exotic locations for a truly unique experience.

Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Esmeralda – Riviera Maya
$1000 Pure Freedom Bonus!
This elegant resort has a Mayan ecological feeling, and an oceanfront location surrounded by a lush tropical mangrove preserve and with views of Cozumel Island.

  • 11 remarkable restaurants serving delicious cuisine from all around the world
  • Tango dance classes, sushi-making, and sensorial experiences
  • State of the art meeting spaces
  • Spa services

Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Perla – Riviera Maya
$1000 Pure Freedom Bonus!
Located in a stunning little bay, Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Perla is the superior luxury resort in the Riviera Maya.

  • Adults-only resort
  • Tango dance classes, sushi-making, and sensorial experiences
  • State of the art meeting spaces

Paradisus Punta Cana Resort – Punta Cana
FREE Golf, Wedding & Vow Renewal!
Whether you seek relaxation or excitement, there is something for everyone at this upscale resort.

  • Sporting activities such as sailing, horseback riding, windsurfing and water biking
  • Luxurious golf and spa services

Paradisus Palma Real Resort – Punta Cana
FREE Golf & Kids Stay FREE!
Combining world-class facilities and modern amenities with indulgent golf and spa services, this polished resort transports guests into a world of sparkling pools and manicured gardens.

  • Casino, spa, and fitness center
  • 3 pools and 7 outdoor hot tubs
  • “Le Cirque” dinner and show, “Party Animals” dinner and show

Siera is a travel agent with Destinations to Explore. She would love to help you plan your next all-inclusive vacation and you can take advantage of one of these great offers. Email for more information.

Enter The Little Mermaid Adventure At Sea Sweepstakes to Win a Disney Cruise

You can enter The Little Mermaid Adventure at Sea Sweepstakes for your chance to win a Disney Cruise Line vacation aboard the Disney Dream. You will discover a whole new world at sea with Disney Cruise Line, the vacation everyone in your family will think was created just for them.

The Grand Prize winner of The Little Mermaid Adventure at Sea sweepstakes will receive a 4-night Bahamian cruise for four aboard the Disney Dream, including a stop at Disney’s own private island paradise, Castaway Cay.

One first prize winner will receive a $500 Disney Store gift card!

Plus, there are even more prizes, including:

  • A Little Mermaid Home Prize Pack for 25 winners
  • A Little Mermaid Toy Prize Pack for 25 winners
  • A Little Mermaid Back to School Prize Pack for 25 winners
You can enter for your chance to win The Little Mermaid Adventure at Sea Sweepstakes here now through January 31, 2014. You must be a member of Disney Movie Rewards, at least 13 years of age or older, and a legal resident of the United States or Canada. You can sign up for a free Disney Movie Rewards account here if you don’t have one so you can still enter the sweepstakes!
Good luck and don’t forget to let us know if you win The Little Mermaid Adventure at Sea Sweepstakes!

Disney’s The Little Mermaid will be available on Blu-ray and HD Digital for the first time beginning October 1, 2013. You can even pre-order your copy now!

Siera is a Disney travel specialist and would love to help you plan your next Disney vacation at no cost to you! You can contact her at!

New Sandals LaSource Grenada Resort and Spa Opening December 2013

Sandals is opening its newest location in Grenada, the new Sandals LaSource Grenada Resort and Spa. What was already picture perfect is being transformed into “The Most Alluring Destination in the Caribbean”. An exotic, unspoiled hideaway, Sandals LaSource Grenada will offer guests a romantic, authentic Caribbean vacation while providing the Luxury Included amenities and exceptional service that have come to be associated with the Sandals Resorts experience.

Here are some of the amazing features you will find at the new Sandals LaSource Grenada Resort and Spa:

  • 231 rooms and suites
  • 3 Villages: Pink Gin Village, South Seas Village, & Italian Village
  • Just minutes from the airport
  • 9 restaurants, including a Sandals first – a steakhouse
  • 3 pools plus 2 river pools
  • State-of-the-art fitness center and spa
  • Meeting facilities
  • A total of 75 professional butlers suites
  • Ultra luxurious Millionaire, Rondoval and Skypool suites
  • Romantic soaking tubs in all South Seas & Italian Village rooms
Grenada is known as “the island of spice” and is a mesmerizing island with some of the most incredible natural wonders in the Caribbean from stunning beaches and waterfalls to lush rainforests and pristine mountain lakes.

You can now book your tropical getaway for the new Sandals LaSource Grenada Resort and Spa for stays after December 12, 2013. Email for more information! 

Transportation from Animal Kingdom to Downtown Disney Now Available

If you’re going to be at Disney World this month or next, you will want to know about this exciting new test! Direct transportation is now available from Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park to the Downtown Disney area. The Walt Disney World Resort in Florida will be running a limited time test now through October 31 which will allow guests to take Disney transportation (by bus) straight to Downtown Disney from Animal Kingdom. The bus service will run every day from 3:00 p.m. through 1:00 a.m. This transportation option will allow guests who are leaving Animal Kingdom the opportunity to enjoy the unique shopping, delicious food, and great entertainment that is available at Downtown Disney. You will be dropped off near Cirque de Soleil, near the Downtown Disney West Side bus station. Then, you can use return service for any of the Walt Disney World Resorts (Downtown Disney Marketplace or Pleasure Island bus stations) or the parking lot at Disney’s Animal Kingdom (Downtown Disney West Side bus station).

What do you think of this new transportation option? Do you plan to try it out?

Siera is a Disney travel specialist and would love to help you plan your next Disney Parks vacation at no cost to you. Request your free, no obligation quote on the right side of the page or email! 

Experience Orlando with the Orlando FlexTicket

Did you know that you can enjoy hotel accommodations, unlimited admission to Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Universal Studios Florida, SeaWorld Orlando, Aquatica – a one-of-a kind waterpark by SeaWorld, and Wet ‘n Wild-Orlando, all-club access to Universal CityWalk, and much more?

You and your family can experience it all with a vacation package including the Orlando FlexTicket:

  • 7-Night hotel accommodations
  • Orlando FlexTicket, which is valid for the entire length of your stay, to Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, SeaWorld Orlando, Aquatica, and Wet ‘n Wild Orlando.Plus, you can even upgrade to an Orlando FlexTicket Plus and also receive admission to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay!
  • Admission to select live entertainment venues at Universal CityWalk
  • Plus, travel by 9/2/13 and receive Early Park Admission to TRANSFORMERS: The Ride 3-D
  • Early park admission to experience The Wizarding World of Harry Potter before the rest of the general public
  • FREE transportation to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay with the purchase of Orlando FlexTicket Plus

It’s a great time to visit Universal Orlando with the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the new Simpsons area, and the new Transformers attraction!

You could stay at Quality Inn International, a Universal partner hotel, from $595 per adult, including taxes:

  • FREE scheduled transportation between hotel and Universal Orlando
  • Discounts on merchandise, food & non-alcoholic beverages at select Universal Orlando® theme park & CityWalk locations
  • Additional Universal Partner Hotels available

You could even stay at Loews Royal Pacific Resort, one of Universal’s on-site resorts, from $1425 per adult including taxes:

  •  Universal Express Unilimited ride access to skip the regular lines in both theme parks – a FREE benefit worth up to $89 per person, per day!
  • Complimentary water taxi or shuttle buses to make getting around the resort fast and easy & complimentary delivery of merchandise purchased throughout the destination to your hotel room
  • Universal Orlando character dining with some of your favorite theme park characters!

Siera is a travel agent with Destinations in Florida, 2009 & 2011 Disney Destinations Top Sales Performer and 2010, 2011, and 2012 Universal Orlando Travel Agency of the Year! Request your free, no obligation quote on the right side of the page or email for more information! 

On-board credit for select Disney Cruise Line Castaway Club Members

Disney Cruise Line has mailed invitations to Platinum, Gold and select Silver Disney Cruise Line Castaway Club Members with a special offer to receive a $100 on-board credit when you book a 4- or 5-night Disney Magic cruise departing from Miami Nov. 1 – Dec. 18, 2013 (excluding Nov. 24 and Dec. 8, 2013). You can use your $100 credit for a variety of on-board activities and experiences, including spa treatments, shopping, adults-only dining, and more!

  • Platinum and Gold Castaway Club Members will automatically receive the $100 on-board credit when they book an applicable sail date
  • Silver Castaway Club Members must have sailed on at least four Disney Cruise Line sailings in order to be eligible for this special offer.

Additional Details:

  • The number of staterooms for this offer is limited.
  • Offer excludes IGT, OGT and VGT Categories with Restrictions.
  • This offer cannot be combined with any other offers or discounts.
  • The on-board credit is per stateroom booked and is nonrefundable and nontransferable.
  • This offer is subject to Disney Cruise LineTerms and Conditions.

Are you a Platinum, Gold, or Silver Disney Cruise Line Castaway Club Member? I can help you book your next cruise so you can take advantage of this $100 on-board credit!

Siera is a travel agent with Destinations to Explore and would love to help you plan your next cruise! Request your free, no obligation quote on the right side of the page or email!