Time for another Monday Mouthful where I talk about one of my favorite Disney trip planning topics: FOOD! As we get closer to the festival (and selfishly my October trip) it got me thinking back about my trip to the Food and Wine Festival of 2013 and I felt it would be good to report back (even belatedly) on my experience with the Party for the Senses. Bear with me, as this was almost 2 years ago!
Party for the Senses is an event offered on Saturday nights during the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival (this year on 10/3, 10/10, 10/17, 10/24, and 10/31) for an additional fee on top of your admission to EPCOT. During the event, you have the opportunity to try a large variety of small plate dishes prepared by different chefs (sometimes from all around the world) as well as many different adult beverages. Live entertainment is typically provided by Cirque du Soleil La Nouba and you also get reserved seating prior to the event at the Eat to the Beat concert of the night.
There are three categories for admission for this event:
- General Admission: For $169 per person (this year) you gain entry to the event with unlimited food and drink during the party, access to the live entertainment and reserved seating for the Eat to the Beat concert. You will not have a reserved table for you, however, there will be limited seating as well as standing bar tables for your convenience.
- Reserved Seating: For $199 per person (this year) you get everything that you would with general admission but will also have a reserved table for your party on the main floor, admission to the party at 6:45 (15 minutes prior to general admission) and a specialty cocktail toast at the beginning of the event.
- Wine View Lounge: For $319 per person (this year) you get everything you would with a Reserved Seating ticket, but also have a private (I believe this means unshared) reserved table for your party, access to a premium bar, an artisanal cheese station, and speciality cocktail toast.
We decided to go with just the general admission when we went in 2013 and did not regret it. First of all, we had a table (seated) for the entire event which we shared with two ladies. We simply switched off when grabbing plates and brought things back to share. We also did not feel that we were at a disadvantage at all in terms of access to food or drink. You are a bit father removed from the entertainment for pictures sake, but you can see the entertainment fine from anywhere in the pavilion.
Overall, almost everything we tried was delicious, there were just a few things that weren’t our taste (not necessarily the way it was cooked). One was some kind of lobster push pop with a Bourbon (perhaps?) gelée… which I actually had to spit out. We also had a culinary adventure in signature dining meal for lunch that day, which was very poor planning on our part (what were we thinking?). There is so much food available that having anything more than a light lunch might cause you some severe FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). There were many things we didn’t enjoy as much as we could have because we were simply feeling full to the point of explosion and other things that we didn’t even attempt because we simply had no room.
I loved the set up of the event, being able to browse through the different stands while sipping on a drink and taking in the live entertainment. I do also think it is quite possible to enjoy the event without snagging a table (either reserved or not) if you have the stamina and ability to remain standing during the duration. For those with mobility or stamina issues, however, I would recommend splurging on the reserved seating or having someone rush ahead to grab a table for you!
Here are a few pictures of our experience of the event to make your mouth water a bit: