This year, some guests at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival have the opportunity to step into one of Walt Disney World's private party spaces -- free of charge.
The Chase VIP Lounge has moved from the Festival Center in 2012 to the American Adventure Parlor this year, and it is open to all Chase card members. Each card member may bring as many as nine guests. To access the space, there is a queue in front of the building, slightly to the right, where you can present your card.
A cast member told me the lounge can accommodate 100 people. When capacity is reached, they let in guests as others exit. Those wishing to burn off some of the calories they have consumed at the festival can choose to climb stairs to the third floor, while the rest of us opt for the elevator.
Upstairs, you'll be greeted by another cast member who will explain that complimentary drinks are available to the right in the Thomas Jefferson Dining Room. My family and I were excited to see two Coca-Cola Freestyle machines plus regular and decaffinated coffee, and guests are invited to drink to their heart's content. Beer and wine also are available for purchase.
This room typically is rented for intimate wedding receptions, rehearsal dinners and farewell brunches. The dining room, which is reminiscent of Monticello during the late 1700s, can seat 50 guests. The main focal point of the area is a large curio cabinet filled with fine china and period artifacts.
Moving out of the Thomas Jefferson Dining Room and to the left of the elevators is the colonial-style Main Living Room. It features comfortable couches, antique furniture and two cozy fireplaces. While the space functions as part of the Chase VIP Lounge, it offers guests two charging stations for a variety of mobile devices, Disney-themed board games and televisions. For weddings, the space typically is where guests would enjoy cocktails and appetizers. Beautifully appointed bathrooms are available at the far end of the space.
The Main Living Room boasts sweeping views of World Showcase Lagoon and the America Gardens Theatre, where the Eat to the Beat concerts take place. Disney Chase card members are offered preferred seating at the concerts or all Chase card members can get preferred viewing of Illuminations: Reflections of Earth fireworks, while wristbands are available. When I stopped by the lounge at 2 p.m. Sunday on the festival's opening weekend, only seating for the first concert was unavailable. There were plenty of wristbands available for the fireworks area, which is a roped off area in front of the Italy pavilion, on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays.
The Chase VIP Lounge is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. It stays open until 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
The previous post in this blog was SeaWorld's Halloween Spooktacular brings treats to theme park.
The next post in this blog is What you need to know about changes to Disney's PhotoPass.