View Full Version : Did you get the F&W fest dinners you wanted?

07-24-2003, 07:47 AM
We got very lucky this morning...we got the special dinners we were hoping for...they were selling out completely as we were making reservations.

See you all there.

They expected the lunch and learns to be gone by 8:30am this morning and the reserve/signature dinners to be gone by 9am this morning. Hubby got through...made all our ressies...I was on hold for over 30 minutes...never got through.

07-24-2003, 07:56 AM
Well, I was on hold for 30 minutes when my cell phone cut out. I'm now on hold again, and have been for 20 minutes, and no answer yet. I'm losing hope :(

07-24-2003, 08:01 AM
*cries* And my phone just gave up again. I give up :(

If anyone happens to end up with an extra seating for 6 for the Signature Dinner for Oct 26th, let me know, will ya? :)

07-24-2003, 08:12 AM
Arrrghhhhh!!!!!!!! I got through right at 6am and made ressies for Party for the Senses and then was told that for my other choices I needed to talk to group sales. For several minutes she tried getting through for me, then came back on and said she would give them my phone number and they would call me as soon as they were able. A long 45 minutes go by and I'm thinking "oh, no they're going to be filled", so I was looking for the group sales number when the cm called me back and said that I needed to call them direct and gave me the number.
Now I'm on hold......just got a recording to leave my name and number. So I did that and now I'm trying on my cell phone.
Good luck everyone!

07-24-2003, 08:14 AM
We wanted 6 for the Oct. 26 Signature Dinner too. I got through around 7:45 (after being on hold). At that time there was only an opening for two left. I took that (I guess my DH and I will have a night out by ourselves). We're hoping that there are cancellations for the other 4 people. We'll try again later.

But we DID get the Party for the Senses for Friday, the 24th! YAY!! We did one of those last year and really enjoyed it!!

07-24-2003, 08:16 AM
No I did not and I am really mad!

I called at exactly 7:00 am, got the message that said "Press 1 for Party For The Senses, Press 2 for all other dinners", I pressed 2 and then had dead air for 20 minutes. I finally gave up and called again and also called the regular dining number at the same time. The regular dining number came through after about another 20 minutes and the agent tried to connect me with no luck. After 36 minutes of being on hold on the F&W line I finally go through and my possible dates, Oct 26 and Nov 2 were already sold out! All before 8:00 am

Three things are clear:
(1) The phone system was not working properly.
(2) Group dining was not ready for the deluge of calls that actually got through.
(3) I will not be going to the Food and Wine Festival.

07-24-2003, 08:27 AM
the special number listed on disneys website...407-939-3378...very busy this morning.

07-24-2003, 08:35 AM
Teach me for not reading Disney's website. Started calling the Group Dining number (7707) at 7:00am and keep geeting bumped to their stupid answering machine. Didn't even see the other number on their site.

Just called and everything I wanted is sold out. No F&W Festival for Brad this year. Can't even begin to describe my disappointment....

(if they had a crying smilie, that would be right here)

07-24-2003, 08:37 AM
AAAAARGH!!! I called the special number (FEST) and was on hold for 45 minutes- THEN got a message saying that Disney dining was closed and to leave a message. Called back and the Signiture dinners were gone !! I can't believe their phone lines were so screwed up!!!!! Called back and got Party, one Lunch, and a F & W pairing, but I'm still really really ticked off!!!!! And there is NO wait list either!!!! &%$$*((&%$@)@*&#%$$ Or something like that at any rate!! We only needed 2 little 'ole seats for the Jiko dinner too!!!!! Sometimes I feel like the stress of planning a WDW vacation is just too much!!!!!

07-24-2003, 08:39 AM
:D Finally got through and the Lunch ' Learn was sold out. :(
However I did book several Food and Wine Pairings, so I'm happy.:bounce:
I do plan on calling back every couple of weeks just on the outside chance that someone cancels their Lunch n Learn. Not likely to happen, but Pixie Dust does happen. :D

07-24-2003, 08:54 AM
It took me 1 hour and 15 minutes to book one F&W pairing! I was on hold forever, transferred twice (even though I used the number on the Disney website) and was cut off once. Wow. :rolleyes:

07-24-2003, 09:13 AM
Originally posted by ghidorah97
Just called and everything I wanted is sold out. No F&W Festival for Brad this year. Can't even begin to describe my disappointment....

(if they had a crying smilie, that would be right here)

Here's one for you and for me:


Are you going to cancel your trip? We were planning to go to WDW for the Signature Dinner since we had so much fun at the Winemaker's Dinner 2 years ago. Now, no dinner for us and I have come to the conclusion that the Food For the Senses buffet is really worth a special trip. *sigh* I am so bummed :(.

B'rer Karen
07-24-2003, 09:31 AM
I got the one thing I wanted, the Food and Wine Pairing at Le Cellier on 10/23. I was almost late for a meeting at work, though, because I was on hold for forever. I wonder if it would be better if the reservations for these events was done so many days out, like normal Disney Dining. Like 90 days out. Then you would only be fighting the phone lines with people that were trying for one specific date as opposed to 30 different days. I agree that it didn't seem like they were prepared. Although I didn't realize there was a special number. First I called 1-407-WDW-DINE and after being on hold 20 minutes I had to hang up because I had to take a shower (I didn't really think this through). Then I called the special dining line for Disney Club Members. After 12 minutes I got through to someone who said she'd have to connect me with someone else for the F&W festival. That took about another 20 minutes, but I eventually got through. Sorry to hear so many people didn't get what they wanted. :( Maybe they need to plan more events for next year.

07-24-2003, 09:43 AM
Thank you very much robin, very sorry to hear you didn't get what you wanted either. It looks like we will be cancelling our trip for this year. I'm totally bummed, but have no one to blame but myself for not reading the F&W on Disney's site to find out the number.

Not going to be a very happy camper today...

07-24-2003, 09:51 AM
Brad, don't beat yourself up! did all the right things: called the right number, called at the right time, pressed the right buttons and still didn't get what I wanted.

I just wish the lines were better staffed so I didn't have to wait so long to find out things were sold out :(. Oh yeah, I also wish the phone lines worked properly in the first place. I'd be a lot happier today.

07-24-2003, 10:02 AM
I just have to give my 2 cents here regarding these special events. First off, there is a heck of a whole lot of things going on in Epcot during the festival that's absolutely free and open to everyone on a first-come-first-served basis. I've never participated in any of the reserve dinners,etc, and yet have had a wonderful time each and every year that I've done F&W. I can understand the frustration at not being able to get through, but to cancel a whole trip because of it seems a bit harsh. There are many wine-maker seminars, cooking demonstrations, and countless other events. You even have the ability to make your own wine pairings at the various pavilions around world showcase. So please, I urge some of you to reconsider backing out. I'd hate to see anyone short change themselves of what is arguably one of the best times to be at WDW, special events or not


07-24-2003, 10:24 AM
Robin- I'm with you---- I called the right number and pushed all the right buttons and got sent to phone "NeverNeverLand"- so didn't get my Signature dinners. I think WDW could have handled it alot better (more staffing, making sure the phones were working!) After all - we knew about the calling deadline weeks ago, they certainly had enough time to make sure the Reservation system was up to Snuff. I don't know if I'll cancel my trip on account of this- But I am going to look into alternative destinations (Disney is expensive, my APs have expired, I'm ticked)- so I guess that's a "maybe" I'll cancel it.

Horace Horsecollar
07-24-2003, 10:30 AM
As of 10:10 a.m. EDT, there's still availability for Party for the Senses and for Food & Wine Pairings.

I've heard great things about the Party for the Senses. (Last year, you could still book the Party for the Senses on the same day as the event.)

So, while some events, such as the Signature Dinners, are 100% sold out, you can still book other events.

B'rer Karen
07-24-2003, 10:40 AM
Lrodk, I think that's a great point. This is only my second F&W Festival. My first was in 2001 and I didn't do any of the "special events." I just ate and drank my way around the booths, enjoyed a couple of wine seminars, a food demonstration or 2, and the beer seminar. I had a wonderful time. I wanted to try something different this year and I decided on the Food and Wine Pairing, but I definitely wouldn't have cancelled my trip. I wouldn't even have thought about it. So I too encourage others to look on the bright side of everything else being offered.

07-24-2003, 10:40 AM
still very happy with what I did get.

I got two wine pairings, one lunch and learn at the California Grille, one vertical tasing and the Austrailian Wine School.

I will also be attending all of the free seminars I can fit into my schedule.

The first week of my vacation is for the Festival, so I plan to take advantage of everything I can. I found the free seminars can be very informative.

I cannot wait to go!!!

:Pinkbounc :bounce: :Pinkbounc

07-24-2003, 10:41 AM

I can't speak for anyone else, but this was to be a special trip we were going to sneak in so we could attend the Signature dinner. I have been at the F&W Festival twice before and ate at the little booths and did a couple of the wine seminars. Honestly, I don't particularly like the little booths ... too little food/wine/beer for too much money. The wine seminars were OK, but I didn't like planning my day around one. I missed more than one of them becuase we ended up in a different park or didn't get back in time. {{shrug}} I don't think I would enjoy the F&W Festival without looking forward the dinner ... I guess I'm a "the glass is half-empty" kind of gal on this one.

Luckily, this is not a "trip of a lifetime" for us, nor was it the only trip planned for this year. It was just a long weekend add-on trip before our APs expire.

07-24-2003, 11:11 AM
lrodk, You are absolutely right! There is so much to do at the Wine and Food Fest that I would never cancel because I couldn't get a dinner, there's so much to enjoy and do in addition to the special dinner's.
I was a little frustrated at not getting the Lunch n Learn, but mainly because I had called early enough and got right through, but since they weren't booking all the events at the same tel. number it ended up taking an hour to get hooked up for the rest of the ressies.
But I knew I might not get all the events I wanted, so I'm happy with the ones I did get. I love Party for the Senses and feel that the Wine Pairings are the 'best buy' there is.
I just wish the next few months would pass quicker!!!:D

07-24-2003, 11:16 AM
We will be there Oct 10-20th. Are any of these events (other than the booths at Epcot) happening between those dates? Even if they are sold out, I'm interested in a little backround info on the Food events (not the wine), and the cost of them. Thanks!

07-24-2003, 11:27 AM
frannn, Here's link to the Disney World Wine and Food Fest site.
Just click on the various links on the left side of the page to find out the info on various events.
There are free food demonstrations on a regular basis,
Most of the dinners, etc. that you pay for are Food and Wine.
Have a great trip!

07-24-2003, 12:29 PM
Overall. I guess I made out. I didn't up calling until 10 EDT. I called the special festival number but pressed one for Party for the senses. When I realized I was going to regular WDW Dining, I hung up and dialed again. Not on hold for too long. Booked a Lunch and Learn at Jikos, thought about the Food and Wine Pairing at Marrakesh for 10/27 (CM was so funny, I said that maybe I'd check with DH and call back, and she said "I wouldn't wait more than 5-10...MINUTES! (LOL!) Anyway, did the Party for the Senses then said, go ahead and give me the food and wine pairing, I can alwayws cancel later. I did ask about the Signature and Reserve Dinners and she said they were all gone.

My biggest Glitch was that for 10/24 the PFTS is on Friday, not Saturday! We weren't planning to arrive until Friday evening! Thanks goodness for SWA and and Ticketless exchange. Guess DD will miss another day of school! That great rate I had on the car rental will probably have to be cancelled though.

So how long do you think it will be before we see some of the dinners on ebay?

07-24-2003, 12:45 PM
I have to agree with Irodk...we have been to the F&W fest many years and have never done any of the extra special/pay as you go dinners. This is the first year.

Although, there are so many things to take party in...we were always very busy. The beer seminars, wine seminars...cooking seminars...last year Bobby Flay did one of the free seminars...the day before we arrived of course..lol.

I wouldn't cancel my plans just because I didn't get a special dinner...eating my way around the world at F&W fest is just too much fun.

Hope you all decide to join us!

07-24-2003, 02:21 PM
[i]I have been at the F&W Festival twice before and ate at the little booths and did a couple of the wine seminars.

Honestly, I don't particularly like the little booths ... too little food/wine/beer for too much money. [/B]

Gee............I thought the amount of gourmet food you recieved for $2 or $3 was a great deal! I loved sampling all different foods from all countries,and only had one or 2 that either DH or I didn't like-we shared most of the samplings and probably spent $30 each,which is what a good sit down meal at WDW would cost anyway.:)

07-24-2003, 02:26 PM
To all,

Try the Party for the Senses if you can. We went last year and enjoyed it a lot! The food was delicious, as was the wine (although I am not a wine afficianado (don't even know how to spell it)). If one is available during your stay, GO!!!

07-24-2003, 05:14 PM
Let me say that I absolutely agree with all of you in that there are a ton of other wonderful activities/events around the F&W Fest other than the special dinners. The Party for the Senses and the Culinary Demonstrations in particular were fantastic last year (not to mention the Sam Adams Beer Seminar -- free beer=very happy Brad!!).

From our personal perspective, however, it was the special dinners that absolutely made our trip last year. We are both something of amateur chefs, and experiencing the unique flavor combinations and the train of thought used for the individual pairings made the entire trip something even more special. The fact that I messed up and therefore couldn't book any of the dinners for this year is so disappointing to me that I'm not sure I could even enjoy myself.

As a counter point, I was still able to book two F&W Pairings, one Party OTS and one Beer & Food Pairing. So who knows, we may still end up going. I won't jump to any rash decisions, and hopefully my disappointment will fade...

If not, maybe I'll finally have to take that trip to Hawaii I've always wanted... ;)

Oh, and congrats to all those who did get what they wanted and PLEASE post reports (with menus!) when you get back!!!


07-24-2003, 05:39 PM
Last night I was getting everything together so I was ready this morning, I noticed Deb's site had the DINE number, and Steve Soars site had the FEST number. So, I called last night to confirm FEST was the number.

I remember in years past, Disney would say use the DINE number and the CMs would have to transfer you to Group sales.

Even with all that preparation (pressing 2 before they even say it) it still didn't help.Started calling with three phones before 7:00.(can't wait to see my phone bill:( ) Got put on hold for about 30 minutes. Signature dinners were gone, but got a Party and a tasting at the coral reef.

So, Brad Don't feel too bad. Even if you had the right number it may not have mattered.

Anyway Brad,
(if they had a crying smilie, that would be right here)

Did anyone get the tasting at Le Cellier? The Disney site shows it only having 3 courses while the tasting at the Coral Reef had 4 courses. They were both $35. Is that the same information the CMs gave you?

Anyway, I will be calling and hoping for cancellations.


07-24-2003, 09:06 PM
I got a Party for the Senses and a Food and Wine Pairing. I had also wanted a Lunch and Lear at Spoodles, but they were sold out.

I called at 7am and was on hold for approximately 25 minutes, and then my phone disconnected! I had to start getting ready for work, so I didn't call back until 8am. I was on hold until I had to leave the house. As I was driving to work, my cell phone rang. DH knew I wasn't able to get through this AM, so he called, and got the Party and the Food and Wine Pairings. I will continue to check on Lunch and Learn cancellations!

07-24-2003, 09:37 PM
I got a Tasting at Le Cellier, but I didn't ask if it was 3 or 4 courses. I was so pleased with the Tastings we did last year at Coral Reef that I just wanted to do as many as we were able to.

07-24-2003, 10:07 PM
The Tastings at le Cellier and Marakesh consist of three appetizer servings with an accompanying wine pairing. For some reason The Coral Reef's wine pairing serves 4 apperizer/wine servings for the same price as the aforementioned locations.


TDC Nala
07-25-2003, 12:10 AM
Didn't get the Signature Dinner, but I am far from disappointed. The Sig Dinner would have been on the same day as a Lunch & Learn, and I got the Lunch & Learn at Citricos. Both of those in one day would probably have been too much.

Also going to a Party for the Senses, one Food & Wine pairing each at Marrakesh, Coral Reef and Le Cellier, and a Beer & Food dinner!

And that's enough for one trip!!

07-25-2003, 12:27 AM
"had also wanted a Lunch and Lear at Spoodles, but they were sold out. "

Boy, I bet they went fast.
:teeth: :earseek:

Love Tigger
07-25-2003, 10:21 AM
I ended up getting what DH & I wanted - Int'l Beer Pairing, F&W Pairing @ Coral Reef, and Party for the Senses. We had thought about doing one of the Signature Dinners but it fell on the night we're going to MNSSH. Although I think Disney did a better job with reservations this year (at least I knew what day to call - last year I only found out they were taking reservations because I checked the DIS boards at lunch & all the dinners were sold out by then), I am still disappointed with the way they were handled. I called on Wednesday to verify when the reservations were to start and what number to call - they told me DINE. I called and got thru to DINE at 7am and was on hold for almost an hour before I go thru to make my reservations.

07-25-2003, 11:36 AM
We got the F&W pairing @ the Coral Reef. I am really excited about that one. Also, a Vertical wine tasting. I'm interested in what that is like.
Frankly, I was wondering how we would fit everything in if we got all the res. we wanted for all the events we wanted.
I am on a couple of waiting lists & would really like to do a dinner, but I am thrilled that I was able to get anything @ all.
I can always go have a nice expensive wine pairing meal if I want. They have them @ DL all the time. I am going b/c it is WDW & looking forward to being @ the Poly & relaxing & @ all the parks. Yippee! Double-digits!

07-25-2003, 05:49 PM
Originally posted by Morticia
I am on a couple of waiting lists ...

I hope it comes through for you.

When I alked about being put on a wait list for the signature dinner, the CM said no wait lists this year:confused: :confused:

It is so frustrating. Disney can't get their CMs to give out consistent information.:(


TDC Nala
07-25-2003, 08:09 PM
As far as the phone problems go...

Those Signature Dinners apparently are just too limited in seating and too darned popular to last very long even if there had been absolute clarity about the phone thing.

07-25-2003, 10:03 PM
Thanks betterlatethannever. I'm not counting on it, but it would be a nice surprise if it happened.
Actually, I didn't do any of the calling, I had the CCM make the ressies for me & she's the one would said that I was on the waiting list & would call daily for me.
I live on the west coast & no dinner is worth getting up @ 3am to make ressies for.:o

07-26-2003, 10:42 AM
Hmmm, I was also told no waitlists. Was anyone else able to get on a waitlist?
I may call back just to check and make sure, it would sure be easier than calling every week to see if there has been a cancellation.
Sounds like overall people at least got some of the events they wanted, so all is good. I'm happy with the ones I have, but I'll still keep trying to get the Lunch n' Learn.
Have a great Day!

Peggy Sue
07-26-2003, 04:18 PM
We are very angry and disappointed....

I, like a lot of you, researched and mapped out the events we wanted to attend. The signature and Reserve dinners were at the top of our list.

I started dialing at 6:58 AM..got put on hold around 7:01. I dialed the FEST number as instructed. Around 7:15 I got some DITZ of a CM who didn't have a CLUE about what I was talking about. She put me on hold for 5 minutes and told me to call the FEST number. I told her that's what I called and had selected 1 for party of the senses. She said she couldn't help and I had to call that number. So I did as instructed, put on hold again for 20 minutes..finally got a young man who helped me with party of the senses and then tried to connect me to group sales (who knew!)..15 minutes later he connected me through only to be told all dinners, lunches etc. that we wanted we totally sold out. I had stayed home from work Thursday morning to make the call. I was walking around the house fuming mad. That first ditz cost us the ability to get the reservations we wanted.

I've written a letter to Disney expressing our disappointment concerning their lack of training for their CM's and their inability to handle the volume of calls flooding in that morning. Very disappointed that their premier events were totally sold out in under a hour for an event that runs an entire month. I'm anxious to hear how they will respond. I hope it isn't the typical "we're sorry, try again" crap.

We understnad there are numerous other things to attend, but the dinners were the reason behind our food and wine trip. I'm seriously considering dumping disney and booking a cruise.

Disney makes everything so difficult..we always have to dig and dig to finally get the right information about how to reserve events etc. Have to deal with CM's who aren't properly trained, run up phone bills etc. We were also told there were NO wait lists this year.

We did get reservations to party of the senses. We enjoyed this event 2 years ago, but it can't compare to a reserve or signature dinner..just different experiences.

I'm not sure what the answer is, but they need to rethink how they set up this reservation system so that it is fair to everyone trying to make reservations. We're on the east coast..I can only image how many folks in other time zones are disappointed!

Glad for those of you who got what you wanted. They are great events.

Peggy Sue

07-26-2003, 04:25 PM
I think that calling 30 days out from the event day like you have to for CRT is a good idea. Selling out every event for a whole month w/in the 1st hour is not good planning. Or maybe they just don't care?