Thursday, October 15, 2015

2015 Epcot Candlelight Processional Narrators

The holiday season is one of my favorite times to visit the Disney Parks.  The parks are always decorated so beautifully, and it always seems as if everyone is even happier than usual.  Strolling through the decorations, seeing it *snow* in the parks, having hot chocolate....ahhhh....

I have written before about the Candlelight Processional, as it's a very popular event and is frequently standing room only (often with long lines waiting to get a seat for the shows.) If you are not familiar with the Processional, it is part of the Holidays Around the World celebration at Epcot and is a re-telling of the Christmas story with celebrity narrators, a large choir singing traditional and contemporary Christmas songs, complete with a symphony orchestra. 

Continuing with tradition, it is held in the America Gardens Theater at Epcot, it will be presented three times nightly (beginning November 27th and continuing until December 30th.)  The showtimes are at 5 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 8:15 p.m.  Want the BEST way to see the show?  Book a Candlelight Processional Dinner Package and get guaranteed seating for the show.  Dining packages include an appetizer, an entrĂ©e, a dessert and a non-alcoholic beverage at select Epcot full-service restaurants (or one full buffet where applicable). (Dining packages do not include park admission.)  Contact your DreamFinder agent for more information on booking one of these dinner packages.

Here is the list of narrators for the 2015 Candlelight Processional (subject to change). 

11/27 – 11/29 — Gary Sinise
11/30 – 12/3 — Neil Patrick Harris
12/4 – 12/5 — Whoopi Goldberg
12/6 – 12/8 — Joe Morton
12/9 – 12/11 — Ana Gasteyer
12/12 – 12/14 — Meredith Vieira – NEW
12/15 – 12/17— America Ferrera – NEW
12/18 – 12/20 — Chandra Wilson – NEW
12/21 – 12/23 — Daniel Dae Kim – NEW
12/24 – 12/26 — Edward James Olmos
12/27 – 12/28 – Blair Underwood
12/29 – 12/30 — Amy Grant

So who will be the narrator for your Candlelight Processional?

Book your holiday trip to Walt Disney World today and take advantage of DreamFinder Travel's FREE Santa Mickey Hat/Holiday Minnie Ears promotional offer!  Click here for your complimentary no-obligation pricing quote.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Epcot's Food & Wine Festival by the Numbers

Epcot's Food & Wine Festival.  By far one of my favorite times to visit Walt Disney World (well, other than the holidays!)  Being a self professed foodie and wine enthusiast, the festival is a wonderful time to just take in the sights and sounds of Epcot, and enjoy amazing food and wine from around the world.  The festival is believed to be the largest Food & Wine Festival of its kind in the world.  

There are so many wonderful events that you can attend, with great seminars and culinary gastronomy.  One of my favorite Festival offerings is the Premium Package.  This will be the second year that this is offered, and it provides "VIP" treatment from Noon until 8:00 p.m. Monday - Thursday of the Festival.  This includes cast members to get your food and beverage selections for you, as well as shaded areas to relax, eat and drink the festival offerings. The Premium package also includes admission to one Illuminations Sparkling Dessert Party, a culinary demo or beverage seminar, a wine glass, special Festival theme MagicBand, and a bottle of 20th celebration Festival Wine and more.   Later this month we will blog more pictures as we "show you the world" of Food & Wine and the Premium Package advantage.  Also, be sure to keep a watch for a live periscope video from us of the festival as well.
Today I'm going to just leave you with some "Food & Wine Festival by the numbers" to chew on!  

Contact your DreamFinder Travel agent today to make reservations to attend the Festival.

Here are 20 fun facts about the 20th festival celebration.
  • ·         Now 53 days long, the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival began in 1996 with a first run of 30 days
  • ·         At the 2015 festival, a record 30 global marketplaces will include the new Sustainable Chew, Chew Lab and Artistry of Wine & Cheese marketplaces
  • ·         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
  • ·         The 20th festival will feature 32 new marketplace dishes and 75 new cocktails, beers, wines and ciders
  • ·         In 1998, 200 domestic and international wines were poured at the festival. This year, at marketplaces and premium events, more than 300 domestic and international wines will be offered
  • ·         More than 60 wineries and more than 40 breweries from around the world, including local craft beer operations, will be represented at festival marketplaces
  • ·         The 20th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Cookbook by Pam Brandon and the Disney Chefs features 75 recipes from the global marketplaces that span the entire 20 years of the festival.
  • ·         3 Rockin’ Burger Block Parties and 5 Party for the Senses grand tastings will take place at World Showplace during the festival run. In all, the festival will feature 193 premium events ranging from Signature Dinners and Food & Wine Pairings to Beverage Boot Camps and Festival Events in World Showcase pavilions
  • ·         Guest chefs and Disney chefs numbering 250 will present culinary demonstrations and will cook for festival events
  • ·         Celebrity chefs and visiting culinarians from 6 countries and 26 U.S. states will participate in the festival at culinary demos, book signings, and special tasting events and dinners
  • ·         Nearly 400 culinary demos, beverage and mixology seminars will take place during the 53-day festival
  • ·         During the new 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 will find 12 Remy statuettes hidden in each of 11 countries of the World Showcase and at the African Outpost location.  Guests can redeem the 12 stickers they collect for one of 6 special pins at Port of Entry.
  • ·         159 Eat to the Beat concerts will be performed; 4 musical acts will appear for the first time at this year's festival featuring entertainment ranging from rock and soul to fun and blues.
  • ·         The Marketplace Discovery Passport was introduced in 2010 for the 15th annual festival; today the free passport will feature pages with all 30 festival marketplaces that guests can have stamped during their dine-around-the-world culinary adventure.
  • ·         More than 1,200 fireworks will explode each night over World Showcase Lagoon in IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth nightime spectacular
  • ·         Chase is the festival’s presenting sponsor for the 4th year; its Chase Lounge at American Adventure Parlor features guest amenities that include complimentary beverages and comfy furniture where guests can chill out and recharge
  • ·         The Ocean Spray Cranberry Bog, back for a fourth year, is filled with 900 pounds of the tart red fruit and is accessible to cast members who wear waterproof waders
  • ·         100,000-plus desserts, including the Chocolate Cherry Explosion and Strawberry Basil Champagne “Toast” at Desserts & Champagne Marketplace, are expected to be served
  • ·         In 1997, during the festival’s second year, festival planners introduced the first Grand Tasting culinary extravaganza; in 2002, the event was renamed and moved to World Showplace as Party for the Senses, now featuring up to 50 food and beverage stations and breathtaking entertainment by Cirque du Soleil’s “La Nouba” performers
  • ·         At the new Artistry of Wine & Cheese, each keg of premium wine on tap will hold the equivalent of 26 wine bottles, eliminating bottle, cork, cardboard and paper waste from labels. Recycling and repurposing of glass bottles and corks from other marketplace locations will be part of the 20th-year festival story

Bon Appetit!