Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Disney Review: Party For the Senses Wine View Lounge

Party For the Senses is the signature event of the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival.   It takes place in the World Showcase Pavilion which was built for the millennium celebrations and the cavernous space is now used for special events.

If one purchases tickets for Party for the Senses with our without the additional cost for Wine View Lounge you are asked to check in for the event at the American Gardens Theater located in front of The American Adventure Pavilion between 4 and 5 p.m.   You are given a wrist band (different colors for regular party and Wine View Lounge).    Wine View Lounge guests are also issued a magnetic pin to wear that provides easy visual identification to the cast members for their additional perks.    You are then given priority access to seating for the 5:15 p.m. Eat to the Beat concert.  

Note: if you do not wish to arrive early and attend the concert, after 5 p.m. the check in for Party for the Senses switches to the front of World Showcase.

Following the concert, cast members with light sabers direct traffic to the World Showplace Pavilion.   A large crowd of party goers will quickly assemble in front of the entrance.    Here's where the first perk of Wine View Lounge occurs:  Wine View Lounge are permitted to enter the party 45 minutes early through a side door.   You are given a champagne welcome and escorted to your reserved table.

In addition to having a reserved table which is segregated from the "masses", you also have a waiter dedicated to a few tables who helps keep your used plates clear and brings a few additional culinary surprises only available to Wine View Lounge participants.  During the extra time you get a head start on the extraordinary amount of food and beverage choices.     Then, sit back and enjoy what the cast members call the Disney running of the bulls - as the regular Party for the Senses guests enter at 6:30 p.m. and make a mad dash to secure the unreserved tables.  

As one is serenaded during the evening by musicians from Cirque du Soleil's La Nouba (interspersed with acrobatic performances), one wanders and samples an amazing variety of food.   Highlights of the 2010 offerings include:

From David Njoroge of Jiko-the Cooking Place, Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
   Vanilla Rooibos Rubbed Wild Boar Tenderloin, Caramelized Apple Compote, Whipped Sweet Potato-squash puree, Game Reduction.

From Brian Bell, Pacific Time, Miami, Florida
   Coriander Sea Scallop with Curried Bananas

From Terry Letson, Fume Bistro and Bar, Napa, California
   Quail Saltimbocca

From Alphonso Walker, Akerhaus Royal Banquet Hall, Norway, EPCOT
  Braised Berkshire Pork Cheeks with Truffle Risotto, Poached Quail Egg and Foam of Mushroom.

In addition to several wines there are also beers and mixed drinks including the Rosita Margarita from La Hacienda de San Angel and a Black Magic cocktail made with Stoli Vodka.  They were very, very tasty.

The only downside to the event would be for vegetarians.   There are some vegetarian foods available, but they are few and almost none of them are suitable for someone on a stricter vegan diet.    This event is also apparently not restricted to persons of legal age to drink as there were a few children in attendance.

So, is paying extra for Wine View Lounge worth the additional expense?   Yes, it is.   You get to enter the party before the main crowd, the reserved table with a better view of the Cirque performances, the waiter, a private bar, a private artisan cheese station, a few special indulgences, special commemorative Wine View Lounge glasses (everyone else gets a Party for the Senses souvenir wine glass), a gift bag which contained Twinings Tea and a Stella Artois bottle opener and a nice program of the food and wine available.  Your table card makes another nice souvenir.

Party For the Senses, with or without Wine View Lounge was held on Saturday evenings during the 15th Annual EPCOT Food and Wine Festival.   It was a separate ticketed event above the cost of required theme park admission.  

For information on special events at Walt Disney World visit www. and select Parks and Resorts and then search for either special events or special dining events.


  1. There have been changes for 2011. The Party runs 7:30 to 10:00 p.m . Wine View Lounge only gets early entry at 7:15 p.m. The Party is also not being held on every Saturday during the 2011 Food and Wine Festival.

  2. Check in is at 4:30 p.m. with guaranteed seating for the 5:15 Eat to the Beat concert. Disney will phone confirm your reservation about a week ahead of time. At that time they will ask wine view lounge if they want to be seated with another party. Also, the phone confirm states they will try to get wine view lounge in between 7:00 and 7:15. Still a big change from 2010 when wine view lounge was given admission 45 minutes before the rest of the partygoers