Last year, Disney gave people a scant three days advance notice of events on their website before the booking date. So mad props to Disney for giving us twenty days to make our plans. Of course, I'm being slightly facetious, because the Examiner website had presented some info ahead of time, much of which turned out to be accurate. Here's Disney's link.
And here's the Examiner post that had us all chomping at the bit:
One of the interesting changes this year is that the culinary and wine/liquor demos that used to be free with the price of admission to Epcot are now going to have an $8 fee per person. I believe the changes stem from Disney needing a source of income to offset budget cuts, or they are trying to discourage the "festival freeloaders" that have rudely left the seminars in the middle of a session just to get back into queue early for the next "freebie". After I read the description of the food demo, if I get a food item with a wine pairing, I find the $8 charge reasonable. I expect that the $8 wine seminars will give people better pours, as well.
I'm going to the festival in mid-October, which is how it became Gluttoberfest. I'm not that clever. A friend of mine heard me call it "Gluttonfest" and changed it. It will be appropos for me, because I intend to nosh at the festival kiosks, but I have two signature dining events on the list that I want to book. If I am successful booking these events, I'll post later. I hate jinxing myself. I am excited about the tequila tasting event. That's also new this year. Events I did in the past that I am not doing this year include the French Regional Lunch, Sweet Sundays, and Party for the Senses.
I used to go to the Party for the Senses every food and wine trip. It's a grand tasting event of the festival. Visiting chefs from around the country (and world?), along with executive chefs at Disney restaurants from the parks and resorts, would create tasting samples of higher quality than could be found at the outdoor kiosks. Wineries would pour tastes of their wines, and entertainment was typically Cirque de Soleil acts (until very recently). You would eat and drink your way around different stations, and your wine glass was a commemorative souvenir. This year, there's an upcharge for a VIP section with guaranteed seating, premium bar with spirits, and some sort of upscale cheeses.
I'll pass on that and put the money towards some upscale dining events instead.
I can say that I did try to get Victoria and Albert's Chef's Table for October 18th....and failed. Someone with fingers that dialed like the wind managed to shut my friends and me out of this. But that's ok. We'll have dinner in the main dining room...and enjoy the Tables in Wonderland discount!