Exploring Future World | Innoventions & the Festival Center

Festival Center at Epcot

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Green Loop. Today we are taking a closer look at the fun you can find in Future World at Epcot. We’ll be checking out Innoventions, which is a part of Future World where you can find interactive experiences and Disney characters, and the Festival Center, where you can see seminars, shop, and more during Epcot’s festivals.


Innoventions opened in 1994 in an area of Epcot that was called Communicore. It is located in the center of Future World and is divided into two sections, east and west, but most of Innoventions West is no longer open. All that remains is the Exclusive Character Meet-and-Greet for Disney Chase Visa cardholders.

But at Innoventions East you can visit:

StormStruck Innoventions

    • StormStruck® Presented by the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH®)Get caught in the midst of a perfect storm before testing your knowledge on how to protect your home and family in the event of severe weather. Kids can enjoy building a storm safety kit, and everyone will have the chance to send a postcard home from the “Weather Safe” kiosks.
Sum of All Thrills

Photo Credit: WDW News

    • The Sum of All Thrills™ Presented by RaytheonUse your math, science and engineering know-how to design your very own thrill ride. How mild or wild is up to you! Determine height and velocity on an interactive touch screen while adding features like hill climbs, dive rolls and corkscrews. Then, hop aboard a 4D robotic simulator to experience the ride you’ve just created—complete with the realism of high-definition video, audio and motion.
COLORTOPIA by Glidden Exhibit

Lake Buena Vista, Fla. – COLORTOPIA presented by Glidden is a new experience in Innoventions East at Epcot where guests can experience color in a fun and interactive environment. It comprises three zones, connected to a website and mobile app that enables Guests to play with color before, during and after the experience. Epcot is one of four theme parks at Walt Disney World Resort located in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (David Roark, photographer)

  • Colortopia Presented by GliddenExperience the wonderful world of color! Explore 3 interactive zones—the Color Lab, Color Our World Studio and Power of Color Theater—for a fun, informative take on the numerous ways color affects our lives. From creating custom hues and digital painting to understanding how different shades can impact moods, you’ll learn how every color tells a story. Download the free Colortopia app to take your masterpiece home, colorize photos and play with various palettes at your fingertips!

Epcot Character Spot

Epcot Character Spot

The Epcot Character Spot is one our favorite character meet and greet locations. All of the meet and greets are inside so it’s a great spot to get out or the heat or rain. You can meet:

  • Mickey and Friends – This meet and greet offers Fastpass+. You can also visit early in the morning or later in the day to avoid long wait times. You’ll be able to meet Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and Goofy.
  • Joy and Sadness – We haven’t been able to see them yet but we can’t wait to meet Joy and Sadness from Inside Out.
  • Baymax – We met Baymax when he was over at Hollywood Stuidos but he has a new home in Epcot that looks like Hiro’s workshop from Big Hero 6.

Festival Center

Food and Wine Festival Center Sign

The Festival Center is located in what used to be the Wonders of Life Pavilion (you can find out more about the history here and take a tour here.) The pavilion is now only used during the Flower & Garden Festival and the Food & Wine Festival. I think some people miss it because it’s not on the main path but it’s definitely a place you need to explore.

Food and Wine Festival Center

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

Seminars and other events are also held at the Festival Center during the Food & Wine Festival. While there are some pricey experiences most of the seminars are around $15 a person. We did too beverage seminars a couple of years ago and they are well worth the price of admission. We learned a lot and were able to try four drinks a piece. They aren’t huge so don’t worry about drinking too much. 🙂 Reservations open up on July 21, 2016 so book early to make sure you get the seminars you are most interested in.

Food and Wine Seminar

More offerings at the Festival Center include:

    • Festival Stage hosted by ABC-TV’s The CHEW –  This one you can enjoy from home too! Tune in throughout the day to watch ABC’s Emmy Award® winning series, The CHEW, a daily talk show featuring the latest dish on everything food. Watch episodes and segments filled with mouthwatering recipes, trends and tips on entertaining. Plus, get a list of “CHEW-approved” Festival favorites from locations throughout World Showcase.
    • Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak – Kids of all ages can search for Remy on a savory scavenger hunt around World Showcase. Simply purchase your map and stickers from select Festival merchandise locations—including the Festival Center, Pin Central, Port of Entry or World Traveler at the International Gateway.
    • Back to Basics – Discover delish tips and tricks that’ll have a profound effect on your next meal—from the food industry’s top culinary pros! With insights on techniques, products and easy-to-follow fixes, your epicurean expertise is sure to soar! Back To Basics sessions are held at the Festival Center Spotlight Stage, Fridays through Sundays, at 1:15 PM and 3:15 PM.
    • The Chocolate Experience: From Bean to Bar – Hosted by Ghirardelli® Chocolate Company – Sample this delicious confection, purchase gourmet drinking chocolate or shop for your favorite Ghirardelli treats. Guests can also learn about cocoa bean processing as well as enjoy amazing chocolate sculptures created by the master chefs at Walt Disney World Resort.

Chocolate Experience Epcot Food and Wine Festival

  • Book Signings and Meet & Greets – Meet celebrated authors and other food- and wine-industry personalities at one of their special Festival appearances. Bring purchased books or other merchandise along for a personalized inscription or autograph.
  • Bottle Signings – World-class vintners and industry professionals will be on hand to autograph purchased bottles for a fabulous souvenir.
  • Seasons of the Vine – Get a behind-the-vines look at the process that transforms delicate grapes into the “nectar of the gods”—step by heavenly step. This 7-minute film runs continuously throughout each day of the Festival and is a must-see for wine aficionados!
  • Stockpot Shop – Commemorate your visit with a poster and cookbook or browse our top-notch kitchenware to continue the culinary magic at home!
  • Wine Shop – Connoisseurs can choose from an incredible selection of wines, beer and spirits from prestigious makers featured throughout the Festival.
  • Intermissions Café – Recharge and relax with mouthwatering menu options. From wine and cheese to salads, sandwiches and more, there’s something to satisfy every appetite.
Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

Flower and Garden Festival Merchandise

  • Garden Information Desk – Ask questions of Master Gardeners from the Institute of Food and Agricultural Science (IFAS) at the University of Florida.
  • Garden Theater – Watch a film about how the festival comes together.
  • Horticulture Heritage – See how horticulture has played a role in creating Walt’s vision
  • Greenhouse Stage – Gardening specialists will share their expertise
  • Fresh Epcot Stage – Demonstrations from experts
  • Spotlight Stage – Planting tips from the Institute of Food and Agricultural Science (IFAS) at the University of Florida.
  • Festival Stage – A variety of horticulture topics
  • Intermissions Cafe – stop by for a selection of wine, cheese, wraps and salads
  • Festival Center Shop – Flower & Garden Festival-themed merchandise and more.

Discover Future World | Innoventions & the Festival Center - Rolling with the Magic

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  1. Lee Beatens on July 29, 2016 at 5:53 pm

    Stormstruck and ‘Sum of…’ are awesome! I like that this area is always changing so that there is something new each time we visit. But it is hard to see old favorites go!

  2. Kimberly on July 26, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    So much to do! I didn’t know about a lot of these. I think i need to visit The Chocolate Experience next time!

  3. Cindy Howell (@superheroteacup) on July 19, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    I remember Communicore from way back when. I actually liked it a little better than Innoventions. And I really miss Wonders of Life!

  4. Mary on July 16, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    I am so happy they are starting to re-build Innoventions. Of course I would love to see Communicore return. But that is just a 1980’s girl’s wish.

  5. Jennifer Kaufman on July 14, 2016 at 10:23 pm

    This is a great post…. but it actually makes me sad! I LOVED Innoventions and have watched it wither away. And don’t get me started on the Wonders of Life pavilion. I admit it’s mostly flashbulb memories (and probably a bit of a scarcity mindset), but I swear that was my favorite stuff in any park, anywhere. 🙂

    Thanks for the recap and pictures, though. It does make me excited for our Food & Wine trip! 🙂

  6. Heidi Strawser on July 14, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    I need to get down there sometime when the Festival Center is open! I see all the pictures and it looks like a neat place to shop for goodies that you can’t find elsewhere. Plus, I would love to participate in some of those extra events!

  7. kim051172 on July 14, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    The Epcot Character Spot is one of our favorite places to meet characters as well! I will admit, we don’t spend much time in these locations at Future World. I’m glad you reminded me of what we’re missing.

  8. Mike Ellis on July 14, 2016 at 11:47 am

    Great post, Melissa, chock full of great details about an often overlooked part of Epcot. Thanks for writing about it. One thing I wish was that the house was still open — that was at Innoventions West, wasn’t it? I enjoyed that tour.

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