2017 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival: August 31, 2017 - November 13, 2017

Discussion in 'Disney Restaurants' started by crazy4wdw, Nov 25, 2016.

  1. OrangeCountyCommuter

    OrangeCountyCommuter DIS Veteran

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    We did PFTS Saturday night. We had convinced Disney to downgrade us from Wine View to Reserved after I complained about the changes at an earlier party.

    Got there and were seated at a table with a LOT of other people so I went to Guest Services (They apparently set up a branch to deal with things at the Party LOL!) We were reassigned to the private seating with just our party at the table. (I would have stayed at the bigger table, but I wanted a credit if I wasn't getting what I paid for.)

    That said there's NO reason to pay for Reserved either. The only difference was that we were the only people at the table.

    However, sadly, I left thinking that we are done with PFTS. The only outstanding dish was a desert that one of the food network chefs made (Keegan? ) The rest of the food was just so so..... The wines weren't bad but....

    LaCava also had a WONDERFUL couple of cocktails. Sadly you can't get them in the bar, they were just for the event :(

    I did notice there is now a small bar in the Wine View Lounge but the 'welcome cocktail' is still a glass of sparkling wine LOL!

    The entertainment was a band and they did a good job. But they play for most of the party to an empty dance floor. People finally started dancing around 9?

    The party was FAR from sold out. When they were dealing with my table issue one CM asked the guy with the table map for options and he had LOTS of them. Plus walking around the room you could see LOTs of seats where no one ever sat down!


    I think I am going to give the Swan/Dolphin event a try next year.
     
  2. MakiraMarlena

    MakiraMarlena It's a big black fish to you

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    My friend was seated in the back by herself at a table for 6, and another friend and I were seated with two other persons at a table meant for two. We just went and sat at the almost empty table for 6.
     
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  4. pepperandchips

    pepperandchips [melinda]

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    I attended the Saturday evening portion of the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic (10/28/17). This was my first Food and Wine Classic and (spoiler alert) I was very disappointed, mostly with the event organization.

    The event was moved indoors to the Dolphin ballrooms due to inclement weather. It seems obvious that we should have known from the number of empty tents on the causeway between the Swan and Dolphin that the event had been moved, but there was absolutely NO signage reflecting this anywhere. We had indicated we'd pick up our tickets via will-call when we purchased them, and we interacted with no fewer than 5 staff members in checking in. None of them mentioned that the event would be held indoors or where. Thankfully we were early so after walking around for a while trying to figure out where we were supposed to be, we noticed a group who'd just checked in going down an escalator to the convention space and followed them to the event.

    The brochure we'd received at check in had a nice map with corresponding numbered legend indicating the location of each booth and the food or beverages being offered there. Since the booths had to be rearranged due to the event being held indoors, I could not make heads or tails of what was supposed to be where. I am not saying that the booths weren't arranged as they would have been if the event was on the causeway, but I couldn't tell if that was the case and could never figure out whether the indoor arrangement correlated at all to the brochure with the map. To add insult to injury, each booth simply had a large sign indicating the region of the wines on offer (CALIFORNIA, for example, emblazoned in huge letters with only a small 8.5x11" sign at the booth listing the actual winery and wine selections). It was nearly impossible to find the booths that we'd earmarked to visit.

    I will preface my review of the food with the fact that I was already disgruntled by the disorganization of the event. I found the food underwhelming in both quantity and quality. Lines built at each of the "good" stations and other guests were intolerably rude, cutting long lines by walking up from the "plating" (exit) areas versus the chef areas. Rude guests, of course, are not the event's fault. The lack of obvious queuing areas and inadequacy of crowd control absolutely are the event's fault and it did not go unnoticed.

    We most enjoyed the (new this year) Bubbles Lounge, where the atmosphere and decorations were most concentrated. The convention space understandably lacked ambiance and the bubble lounge had charm in spades, comparatively. The "back" ballroom had musicians, and during the time we were in that space the music was uncomfortably loud.

    I would be open to trying this event in the future if I am already going to be at Walt Disney World on a weekend when it will be held. The food offerings seem to change every year so I would try again, hoping for a better menu. This year I made a special trip for the food and wine classic and won't do that again. I didn't take very nice looking photos (I had only my phone, not my camera, and eventually gave up taking photos all together). Apologies in advance for the quality, but here are some photos:

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    Sushi - my travel partner really enjoyed this. I thought it was fine but lacking something.

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    Shula's beef offering. This was pretty good and the potatoes were heavenly

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    China Town area

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    Funnel cake from the carnival trucks - these did not have a line and I was so hungry by this point I ate several, just to have something substantial
     
  5. RachelTori

    RachelTori Missing my tags :'(

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    @pepperandchips I’m so sorry to read your review of the Swan Dolphin F&W Classic, but I’m not surprised.

    I went years 2, 3 and 4 but by year 4, I was disappointed that the cost kept going up, but the quality had deteriorated.

    Saturday of Year 2 there was a torrential, long lasting downpour so the Classic was moved inside the Swan. It was so well organized we were actually wishing it would always be held indoors!

    I hope anyone who was at this year’s Classic will email their thoughts/feedback to Swolphin. They likely won’t change anything otherwise. It once was a great event. I would love to see it regain the awesomeness of those first couple years!
     
  6. GoGoBeans

    GoGoBeans Mouseketeer

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    We were at the Krusteaz demo too (and the breakfast before) and were surprised about the out of a box crumb cake. That lady clearly loves her job.

    Wish we had been there for a mix it, make it. Need to go for longer next year!
     
  7. OrangeCountyCommuter

    OrangeCountyCommuter DIS Veteran

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    The reviews of the Swan/Dolphin event surprised me as I have generally read great reviews.

    Maybe it's just time for me to move on to other events/places. (I have already sold well over half my DVC points and only kept BCV for Food & Wine. But the way it's going it might be time to just say "bye bye")
     
  8. pepperandchips

    pepperandchips [melinda]

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    I think that's part of why I was so disappointed - all I could find while planning were glowing reviews. Mind you, most of those disney bloggers were given free tickets. I would have given the event an A+ if we had free tickets too... I just didn't think it was worth the price we paid. I can have lots of superior dining experiences at Disney for the same $100+ per person.
     
  9. OrangeCountyCommuter

    OrangeCountyCommuter DIS Veteran

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    Sadly I no longer feel that way. I find very few superior dining experiences at Disney for any price :(
     
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  10. crazy4wdw

    crazy4wdw Co-Moderator, Restaurant Board Moderator

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    Can you believe it? Another Epcot Food and Wine Festival has come and gone. Just wanted to thank everyone who participated on this year's thread. Thanks for all of your advice and help to Dis'ers who were planning their first trip to the festival.

    Special thanks to Doug S who provided a fantastic spreadsheet of the Global Marketplaces and prices. Hope you'll help us out next year.

    Also special thanks go to Dis_Yoda for again hosting the meet thread for the festival. Likewise, hope to see you again next year.

    I'll keep this thread open and at the top of the restaurant board until the dates for the 2018 festival are released, then will start a thread for next year's event.

    Hopefully the dates will be out soon. The dates for the 2017 festival were announced on 11/25/16 so that information maybe coming in the next few weeks.
     
  11. JerseyJanice

    JerseyJanice A Disboards original...

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    @crazy4wdw Thank you too! It’s been fun conversing with you and everyone else. :)
     
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  12. Gryhndmom

    Gryhndmom Can't I just live at Disney ?

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    Crazy4wdw...Agree with jerseyjanice thanks so much for helping with this thread! Looking forward to next year's F&W and a new thread!
     
  13. JerseyJanice

    JerseyJanice A Disboards original...

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    @pepperandchips I think I see the lobster roll that the Dolphin’s Cabanas Beach Bar serves. I haven’t had it myself, but it’s a favorite of my brother and sister-in-law. :)

    My brother is a major germophobe. He hates housekeeping so last trip, I told them to inquire about getting credit for refusing it. They got $5 per night good at any of the resort restaurants which translated into discounted lobster rolls, which are $20 each with a full sized roll.

    Sorry you were disappointed overall with the event, but I mentioned the lobster roll because I think you were looking at staying there. And an important tip for Cabanas—get a rum float added to the pina colada or daiquiri. $2 and it seriously pumps up the flavor profile and effect of the drink. :)
     
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  14. bluecastle

    bluecastle DIS Veteran

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    Thanks crazy4wdw for hosting this wonderful thread! Thanks to everyone who contributed. It helped my family and I in so many ways!!
    My DD and I are planning a mom/daughter trip for 2019 and we are trying to time it so we can do some F&W and also see the parks decorated for Christmas. I remember someone mentioning the best way to do that, but I have no idea what page it was on! :)
    Any suggestions?
     
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  15. gharter

    gharter DIS Veteran

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    We are there for a week and spend 3 days at EPCOT. That gives us plenty of time to do 1 or 2 Food and wine pairing lunches and still have plenty of time to enjoy everything else. Avoid the weekends.
    We purchase the Disney Food Blog ebook for Food and Wine. It lists all of the booths, what they have (food and beverage), all of the entertainment, all the special events and has a handy printable list of the booths that you can take with you or transfer to the passport. There are free options that are similar to the ebook, but this puts it all together with no effort on my part.
     
  16. bluecastle

    bluecastle DIS Veteran

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    I found the Food and Wine app to be very helpful. It was so easy to check off what we'd tried and to rate what we liked and might want to have again. I agree, the weekdays were much better than the weekends. I'm just afraid if I try to combine F&W and Christmas, I might have to go to F&W on a weekend.
    So, has anyone here gone at a time where you can do Food and Wine and then also see Christmas decorations? How long do you have to stay in order to do both? TIA
     
  17. karrit2000

    karrit2000 DIS Veteran

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    If you are hoping to see some of the Christmas Decorations the best thing to do is aim to attend the last week of the Festival in November & stay through the final weekend of the festival which is usually Veterans Day weekend. That is normally the first weekend that all the parks except Epcot are fully in Christmas mode. The only problem with that week is there weren't too many Special F & W Dining events scheduled beyond the second to last weekend so if you want to attend any of those especially the ones in France you will need to at least be there before the second to last weekend of the festival as France usually holds their events Friday, Saturday & Sunday but not the final weekend. MK usually begins to transition as soon as the last MNSSHP ends, either 10/31 or 11/01, but it takes a few days (overnights) for them to get everything up & ready for the first MVMCP. This year the first weekend of November is when they did the tapings for all the Disney Holiday specials so all of the the decorations were up in DHS & MK. I know that the day we went to AK I didn't really notice too much up yet. If you don't plan to attend any special F & W dining events arriving any time that final week should be OK but the final weekend the booths will be crazy crowded & out of some items so you really want to get there earlier in the week to experience the booths when it isn't so insanely crowded.
     
  18. gharter

    gharter DIS Veteran

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    Which app is this? Don't think I've seen it, but interested in looking at it. Is it available on android or just iPhone? I looked in the android store and can't seem to find it.
     
  19. bluecastle

    bluecastle DIS Veteran

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    Thank you! Luckily, neither of us care about the special events- we just like snacking and drinking! We will just enjoy whatever is available and then soak up Christmas at MK!
     
  20. bluecastle

    bluecastle DIS Veteran

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    I wish I could help. I have an iPhone and don't know anything about availability on android. Maybe if you do a search on this thread you might find out. Sorry! It is called WDW Food and Wine.
     
  21. crazy4wdw

    crazy4wdw Co-Moderator, Restaurant Board Moderator

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    Disney starts putting up the Christmas decorations up in the theme parks as soon as Halloween is over. I think its a little bit later for the resorts. The first Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party was held on November 9 this year. Disney has most of the Christmas decorations up in the Magic Kingdom prior to the first MVMCP. So if you plan your trip around the first portion of November, you can see some of the Christmas decorations and also visit the Food and Wine Festival at Epcot as it runs through mid-November.

    Edit: Did a little bit of research and all of the Magic Kingdom's Christmas decorations were up on November 5 this year.

    Also, you might want to post your question on the theme parks thread. They'll be folks over there who can provide more specific info.

    Happy Holidays! :santa:
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2017
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