Tag: epcot

EPCOT’s Festival of the Holidays is Here!

Walt Disney World’s EPCOT has transformed into a wonderland, brimming with festive cheer and cultural delights. The International Festival of the Holidays, running from November 25th to December 30th, 2023, invites guests to embark on a joyous journey around the world, exploring diverse holiday traditions and indulging in seasonal treats.

Highlights of the Festival:

  • Holiday Kitchens: Embark on a culinary adventure as you savor delectable holiday dishes from over 25 food and beverage booths scattered throughout the World Showcase. Each kitchen offers unique flavors inspired by different countries and their holiday customs.
  • JOYFUL! A Celebration of the Season: Immerse yourself in the soulful sounds of gospel, R&B, and holiday music at this uplifting concert held daily at the World Showplace.
  • Candlelight Processional: Witness the heartwarming retelling of the Christmas story, narrated by a celebrity guest and accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra and mass choir. This beloved tradition takes place nightly at the America Gardens Theatre.
  • Holiday Storytellers: Gather around in each World Showcase country to hear enchanting tales of holiday folklore and traditions shared by captivating storytellers.
  • Meet Santa Claus: Jolly old St. Nick awaits your visit at the Odyssey Pavilion, ready to spread Christmas cheer and capture memorable photos from November 24th to December 24th.
  • Cookie Stroll: Delight in a sweet scavenger hunt as you purchase delicious cookies from designated locations and collect stamps in your Festival Passport. Upon completing the stroll, you’ll receive a complimentary specialty cookie.
  • Olaf’s Holiday Tradition Expedition: Join Olaf on a festive quest to discover holiday customs from around the world, adding stamps to your passport as you go along.
  • Holiday Illuminations: As dusk falls, witness the dazzling spectacle of EPCOT’s nightly fireworks display, set to a medley of holiday music.

Whether you’re seeking culinary delights, heartwarming entertainment, or simply the spirit of the season, EPCOT’s International Festival of the Holidays promises an unforgettable celebration. Come and experience the magic of holidays from around the world!

I’ll be visiting the Festival next week and will come back with tips and reviews!

Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure Preview!

We had a chance to ride EPCOT’s newest attraction a little bit early at a Passholder Preview for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, which opens to the public on October 1, 2021. It was a lot of fun! Here’s a largely spoiler-free (no ride pics, but a few helpful bits of information) review.

After being lucky enough to get a spot at the preview (Passholders, always check your emails!), we headed to EPCOT last week. The new Remy ride is on the right-hand side of the France pavilion, towards the back. The entire area is Remy-themed and full of delightful details.

ratatouille gusteau sign
Visitors to the France Pavilion feel like they’re in the world of Ratatouille.
ratatouille sculpture
The Little Chef himself!

Also in this section of the France Pavilion you’ll find La Crêperie de Paris, a new restaurant that offers both sweet and savory crêpes. There is a sit-down section as well as a to go window. If you want to check out the menu, visit the Disney Parks Blog for all the details. Lines at all of the previews were long, so this new dining offering is sure to be a hit.

la Crêperie de Paris restaurant

After a short wait in line, we were able to ride!

The ride car and indeed much of the experience of Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is very similar to another relatively new ride, this one in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Minnie & Mickey’s Runaway Railway. Both feature trackless cars and digital screens. Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is suitable for guests of any height.

Remy ratatouille ride vehicle
Ride car for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, from the Disney Parks Blog.

The ride car, which looks like a friendly rat, has two rows with three seats each in a bench with small dividers. I am tall and not small, and I fit comfortably in the middle seat of the back row (a Cast Member told me the back row has a little more legroom than the front). The door to get into the vehicle is a bit small and up a step; it helps to turn a bit sideways and shimmy in. Once seated, you lower a lap bar yourself to a comfortable point and then you’re off!

In Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, your point of view is that of a rat scampering around Remy’s kitchen. A combination of force perspective and 3D screens (yes, there are glasses) create an immersive illusion, with a few surprises I won’t ruin for you here. I will say, though, for those concerned about motion sickness: while I was fine for 90% of the ride, there was one particular segment that had me feeling a little too dizzy. I closed my eyes for maybe ten seconds until the scene calmed down and then was fine.

A spoiler-free review of Remy's Ratatouille Adventure at Walt Disney World. Share on X

Overall, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is a delightful ride that is a terrific addition to the World Showcase. Remy has long been the Food & Wine Festival’s mascot and he deserves a little love! What this ride isn’t is a game-changer or a thrill ride of any kind. Anyone expecting the an awe-inspiring experience like Flight of Passage is going to be disappointed; anyone looking for a fun update on the much-loved dark rides of Fantasyland (Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh) will enjoy it a great deal.

Having said that, be prepared: when the ride opens on October 1, Disney plans to use a virtual queue similar to that being used on Rise of the Resistance. From the Disney World site:

“When Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure initially opens, in order to experience the attraction, Guests will be required to join the virtual queue. A standby queue will not be available at opening. The virtual queue will be limited and subject to availability. Each Guest can enter the virtual queue no more than once per day.”

Of course, when the new Genie+ and Lightning Lane system comes online this fall, there may be other options for securing a spot on this new attraction. Stay tuned for more details!

ratatouille us
We had a terrific time and look forward to riding Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure again!

Review: Le Cellier Steakhouse

Le Cellier Steakhouse in Epcot’s Canada Pavilion serves tender steaks, fresh seafood, cheesy poutine fries and other regional cuisine inspired by the provinces of Canada. From Disney:

Under sweeping stone arches and flickering candle sconces, this sizzling steakhouse recalls the wine cellars of grand château-style hotels like Fairmont Le Château Frontenac and Fairmont Château Laurier. Enjoy such signature dishes as the Canadian cheddar cheese soup and the “Le Cellier” mushroom filet mignon—or, for a lunch-time exclusive option, design your own 3-course feast from a selection of luscious prix fixe menu choices. And for a sweet ending to any meal, save room for maple crème brûlée or one of our other decadent desserts!

le cellier

I’ve had the pleasure of eating at Le Cellier twice and enjoyed both experiences greatly. The first time was during the Christmas holidays; the restaurant was decorated in a festive but understated way with garland and white lights. We had a wonderful time.

When we had the chance to return last month, we were worried that our meal, and our impression of Le Cellier, wouldn’t live up to the first impression it gave. Luckily, it very much did.

le cellier

My husband and I both started with the Canadian Cheddar Cheese soup. Made with Moosewood Beer and Applewood Smoked Bacon, this is unbelievably tasty. I thought it would be fun to dip Le Cellier’s famous pretzel bread in the soup, but in all honesty that made for too salty of a bite. As an aside, when we tried the “same” soup at Biergarten last year, we found it overall too salty, as well. But the soup offered up at Le Cellier is perfect.

le cellier

We tried the poutine on our previous visit and… we’re not fans. I love a good french fry and my husband does as well. But we like fries that are crisp, on the outside at least, and drowning fries in gravy or cheese creates a texture we’re not fond of. You know, my mother used to make what was, I’m told, a fantastic pork roast. I don’t like pork roast, though. So even the best pork roast in the world, which for all I know hers might have been, wasn’t ever going to be my favorite thing to eat. It’s the same thing with poutine. Le Cellier’s might be fantastic, if you like that kind of thing. We found it soggy. But it might be just what you’re looking at on a plate of smothered fries.

For the main course, I can never resist filet mignon. Le Cellier’s is served on a bed of mushroom risotto and with an asparagus relish (which I omitted) and truffle butter sauce. The risotto is creamy and rich; I didn’t quite finish all of it as a result. If I had one complaint it might be that the flavor is a little too strong and could overwhelm the flavor of the filet.

le cellier

The beef itself was cooked to an absolutely perfect medium rare, as requested. It had a nice char, but truly could be eaten with a butter knife, it was so tender. And delicious — drenched in the truffle butter, this might have been the most wonderful steak I’ve ever had. Is it buttery and rich? Yes. If you don’t like your beef that way, you might want to ask them to omit the sauce. I personally couldn’t resist ever bit just as it was.

Review: Le Cellier Steakhouse in Disney World's Epcot lived up to expectations & then some. Share on X

le cellier

My husband enjoyed the Angus New York Strip, and he felt just as I did about the beef — perfectly cooked, tender and delicious. As per the menu it is normally served with a potato turnip gratin and crispy onions. This didn’t appeal to him (personally, I love turnips) so he asked if he could substitute the sides for those which normally accompany the Rib-Eye instead. Of course his request was accommodated, and so instead he enjoyed Crisp Fingerling Potatoes and Frisée salad with Bacon Viniagrette and Heirloom Carrots. He wasn’t excited about any of them; the salad was okay and the rest unmemorable.

Another disappointment was the side of Smoked Macaroni & Cheese that we ordered to share. We were debating between that and the Loaded Mashed Potatoes, and I think we should have gone the other way (next time!). The dish was creamy and the bacon crumble added nice texture, but when they say “Smoked”, they mean smoked. I found the flavor way too smoky. The portion size was very generous, though, and this was easily shared.

On our previous visit, my husband ordered the creamed spinach and enjoyed it very much. Our waitress also recommended the aforementioned Loaded Mashed Potatoes (and I ignored her, more fool I) so those are two sides you might want to give a try if smoky cheese isn’t your thing either.

le cellier

Finally, we arrived at dessert — who can resist? And neither of us could resist ordering the house specialty, the Maple Crème Brûlée. I can very highly recommend it, especially if you don’t have too much room left for dessert. The served dish wasn’t skimpy, but the creamy brûlée was light and airy, and didn’t feel overwhelming. The whipped cream tasted fresh, and the crisp, crunchy maple tasted wonderful. We were both very glad of our choice.

le cellier

Overall, we had a wonderful time at Le Cellier. You have to want steak, and you have to want it buttery and seasoned.  If you’re a fan of poutine, as well, I doubt you’ll be disappointed. The service was excellent and we enjoyed our experience there, both times. Give it a try and see if you agree that Le Cellier is not to be missed.

Eat to the Beat concert line-up for 2016

Eat to the Beat Concert SeriesThe 2016 Eat to the Beat concert line-up for the Epcot Food & Wine Festival is out. The Festival runs from September 14 through November 14.

The Eat to the Beat concert series is one of the most popular events during the annual Epcot Food & Wine Festival. Concerts are included in your Epcot admission and are performed three times per evening, in the America Gardens Theatre, and FastPass+ reservations may be available, as well as dining packages. Showtimes are 5:30 PM, 6:45 PM and 8:00 PM.

All entertainment and artist appearances are subject to change or cancellation without notice.

Wang Chung — September 14-15
Starship — September 16-18
Air Supply – September 19-20
The Bo Deans — September 21-23
Fuel – September 24-25
Sugar Ray — September 26-28
Los Lobos – September 29-30
David Cook — October 1-2
Wilson Phillips — October 3-4
Blues Traveler – October 5-6
Plain White T’s — October 7-9
38 Special — October 10-11
Jeffrey Osbourne — October 12-13
Tiffany — October 14-16
Dennis DeYoung and the Music of Styx — October 17-19
Christopher Cross – October 20-21
Toad the Wet Sprocket — October 22-23
Chaka Chan — October 24-25
Billy Ocean — October 26-27
Living Colour — October 28-29
Hanson — October 30-November 1
Soul Asylum — November 2-3
Delta Rae — November 4-6
Boyz II Men — November 7-9
Sister Hazel — November 10-11
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy — November 12-14

Candlelight Processional Dining Packages are available

Run don’t walk — Dining Packages or the Candlelight Processional are now available!

Candlelight Processional

Held every year at Epcot in Walt Disney World, the Candlelight Processional is a holiday treat and features a mass choir, joined by a 50-piece live orchestra and a celebrity narrator to tell the story of Christmas in words and music, in a very moving performance. Performances are held at the America Gardens Theatre.

The Candlelight Processional dining packages guarantee you a seat for the show — and sometimes this is the ONLY way to get a seat, especially for the most popular narrators. Those with Dinner Packages are the first to be seated, and anyone waiting in line without the package will be given the very few seats that remain.

2016 dates are from November 25 to December 30. Shows take place 3 times per day at 5:00 PM, 6:45 PM and 8:15 PM, except on December 4, 2016 when shows take place at 6:45 PM and 8:15 PM only. Celebrity narrators, dates and other entertainment are subject to change without notice.


The schedule of narrators released so far is as follows:
(will update as more information becomes available)

November 25 – 27, 2016: Steven Curtis Chapman
November 28 – December 1, 2016: Neil Patrick Harris
December 2 – 3, 2016: Whoopi Goldberg
December 4 – 12, 2016: TBA
December 13 – 15, 2016: Meredith Vieira
December 16 – 18, 2016: TBA
December 19 – 21, 2016: Joe Morton
December 22 – 27, 2016: TBA
December 28 – 30, 2016: Cal Ripken, Jr.


Dining Package Pricing by Restaurant, 2016:

Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room (United Kingdom Pavilion)
Lunch Adult $59.00
Lunch Child (3-9) $23.00
Dinner Adult $58.00
Dinner Child (3-9) $23.00

Coral Reef Restaurant (The Living Seas)
Lunch Adult $69.00
Lunch Child (3-9) $24.00
Dinner Adult $69.00
Dinner Child (3-9) $24.00

Biergarten Restaurant (Germany Pavilion)
Lunch Adult $39.00
Lunch Child (3-9) $22.00
Dinner Adult $53.00
Dinner Child (3-9) $29.00

The Garden Grill (The Land Pavilion)
Lunch Adult $57.00
Lunch Child (3-9) $34.00
Dinner Adult $57.00
Dinner Child (3-9) $34.00

Nine Dragons Restaurant (China Pavilion)
Lunch Adult $59.00
Lunch Child (3-9) $23.00
Dinner Adult $58.00
Dinner Child (3-9) $23.00
$41.00 $14.00 $51.00 $18.50

Restaurant Marrakesh (Morocco Pavilion)
Lunch Adult $50.00
Lunch Child (3-9) $21.00
Dinner Adult $58.00
Dinner Child (3-9) $21.00

Spice Road Table (Morocco Pavilion)
Lunch Adult $50.00
Lunch Child (3-9) $21.00
Dinner Adult $58.00
Dinner Child (3-9) $21.00

San Angel Inn Restaurante (Mexico Pavilion)
Lunch Adult $57.25
Lunch Child (3-9) $15.50
Dinner Adult $71.50
Dinner Child (3-9) $17.50

Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria (Italy Pavilion)
Lunch Adult $54.00
Lunch Child (3-9) $20.00
Dinner Adult $57.00
Dinner Child (3-9) $24.00

Chefs de France (France Pavilion)
Lunch Adult $65.99
Lunch Child (3-9) $17.99
Dinner Adult $75.99
Dinner Child (3-9) $22.99

Tokyo Dining (Japan Pavilion)
Lunch Adult $62.00
Lunch Child (3-9) $16.99
Dinner Adult $74.00
Dinner Child (3-9) $20.75

Teppan Edo (Japan Pavilion)
Lunch Adult $62.00
Lunch Child (3-9) $16.99
Dinner Adult $74.00
Dinner Child (3-9) $20.75

Tutto Italia Ristorante (Italy Pavilion)
Lunch Adult $64.00
Lunch Child (3-9) $22.00
Dinner Adult $70.00
Dinner Child (3-9) $25.00

La Hacienda de San Angel (Mexico Pavilion)
Lunch Adult Not Available
Lunch Child (3-9) Not Available
Dinner Adult $76.50
Dinner Child (3-9) $17.50

Akershus Royal Banquet Hall (Norway Pavilion)
Lunch Adult $69.00
Lunch Child (3-9) $41.00
Dinner Adult $69.00
Dinner Child (3-9) $41.00

Trattoria Al Forno (BoardWalk)
Lunch Adult Not Available
Lunch Child (3-9) Not Available
Dinner Adult $58.00
Dinner Child (3-9) $23.00

Captain’s Grille (Yacht Club)
Lunch Adult $47.00
Lunch Child (3-9) $20.00
Dinner Adult $64.00
Dinner Child (3-9) $23.00

The following restaurants will also serve a Breakfast Dining Package:

  • The Garden Grill Restaurant: $39.00 for adults; $23.00 for children
  • Trattoria Al Forno: $27.00 for adults; $14.00 for children
  • Captain’s Grille: $31.00 for adults; $17.00 for children
  • Akershus Royal Banquet Hall: $54.00 for adults; $32.00 for children


To book the Candlelight Processional Dining package go HERE, you can call 407-WDW-DINE (407-939-3463).