The 16th Annual Epcot International Food and Wine Festival started on September 30th and ends November13th. The theme for this year’s event is “Passport to a World of Flavors.” The theme is very catchy and fitting. Three new marketplaces were announced: Caribbean, Craft Beers, and Hawaii. I’m sad to say, Idid not try any of these. I really did not try much. It was just so hot! That is not a reflection on the qualityor presentation of the food. It is just when I get hot, water is what I reach for.
Now, it is never too hot to shop! To get the event merchandise and shop in a setting with air conditioner, visit the Festival Welcome Center. It is located between Universe of Energy (Ellen’s Energy Adventure) and Mission Space. The hours of operations are 9am – 9pm. The center houses festival merchandise, book signings, seminars, and wine shop.
Merchandise included t-shirts, pins, aprons, magnets, mugs, glasses, cookbooks, cosmetic bags and messenger bags made from last year’s festival banners (huge hit last year), plates, and so much more. Duffy, The Disney Bear, even made an appearance as a chef. Please keep in mind that Chef Duffy’s outfit cannot be removed.
I purchased the Passholder festival pin and Food & Wine Festival Vinylmation. I was very excited about the Vinylmation because it was the first for the event.
I collect Vinylmation, in case you do not already know that about me. I have over 100 and display them in my home office. If I get enough positive responses, I may just do a post on my collection. Oops! I strayed from the topic. Well, that happens when I start talking about Vinylmations!
I also place money on the festival gift card with wrist band. This can be a little memento of the event as well as helping you maintain a budget when sampling food and wine. I set an amount before I leave home on what I want to spend at the festival and once that amount is gone, that is it. I find it easier to use a gift card than cash because I do not have to go digging for cash. I can just take the card off my wrist, hand it to the Cast Member, and place it back on my wrist after paying. The gift card is good at all locations that accepted the Disney gift cards, not just for the festival.
Another cute souvenir that is free is the Festival Passport. It lists all the food and wine by marketplaces. You can check off what you have sampled and have it stamped with the country’s name. It is a little small to use to write major notes, but you can highlight and/or rate what you tried.
If you are unable to attend this year’s event or forgot to purchase something, limited merchandise is available at disneystore.com
Contributed by: Elantrice Hughley (NDI#132) Elantrice is the DDL Shopping Blogger.