A favorite for many people (including us), the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, is rapidly approaching. Disney has released new details about this year’s festival which runs from August 30 – November 12, 2018. Catch all the details below.
Throughout the celebrated 75-day event, guests will have a chance to meet their favorite celebrity chefs, try a new Food & Beverage Pairing in the Festival Center each Friday through Sunday, and get their gourmet groove on at nightly Eat to the Beat Concert Series shows. One of America’s top food festivals since 1996, the Epcot dine-around extravaganza will surprise guests with new and inspiring sips and bites throughout the park’s World Showcase and on into several Future World venues.
Here’s the latest festival buzz:
- The NEW Taste Track global marketplace featuring specialty croissant doughnuts (add gelato for an extra-sweet treat) joins dozens of popular returning marketplaces. For a fourth year, global marketplaces will extend into Future World to offer brand-new taste sensations. Disney chefs are in the kitchen whipping up delicious new bites like Butternut Squash Ravioli with brown butter vinaigrette, Parmesan cheese and pumpkin seeds at The Wine & Dine Studio; Charred Chimichurri Skirt Steak with smoked corn cake, pickled vegetable slaw and cilantro aïoli at Flavors from Fire; and New Brunswick Slider, slow-braised beef brisket “pot roast-style” on a potato roll with horseradish cream, crispy fried onions and pickled vegetables on the side at the Hops & Barley
- The NEW “Sunday Brunch with the Chef” series in World ShowPlace will kick off Sept. 2 with Top Chef All-Star Richard Blais and continue on select Sundays through Nov. 11 with a lineup that includes Jamie Deen, Tiffani Thiessen, Masaharu Morimoto, Buddy Valastro, Art Smith, Geoffrey Zakarian, Carla Hall and Alex Guarnaschelli.
- Eat to the Beat concerts – 225 shows in all – will rev up the America Gardens Theatre stage three times each night with new musical acts including Vertical Horizon, Sheila E, 98 Degrees, MercyMe and Glass Tiger, along with returning festival favorites spanning a broad range of eras and genres from rock and pop to rhythm and blues.
- The grandest of the festival’s don’t-miss tasting events, Party for the Senses at World ShowPlace, will welcome acclaimed chefs and vintners Sept. 22, Oct. 6, 13, 20 and Nov. 10 to showcase creative bites and palate-pleasing sips with sensational live entertainment.
- “Mix It, Make It, Celebrate It!” hands-on workshops Wednesdays and Thursdays will offer new opportunities for guests to interact with visiting chefs, bakers, mixologists and other pros. Event hosts and topics will be announced this summer.
- Popular TV chefs and other culinary icons will entertain guests and inspire their palates at festival seminars and other events. Just a few of the big names on tap are Robert Irvine, Maneet Chauhan, Jet Tila, Shaun O’Neale, Keegan Gerhard, Dan Pashman and Rock Harper.
Throughout the festival, park guests can pair wines, beers, and cocktails with savory and sweet dishes as they stroll the park and let their complimentary festival passports be their guide. As guests explore, they’ll find something for everyone in the family:
- A “Ratatouille”-inspired adventure is back as Chef Remy encourages families to play together during Remy’s Ratatouille Hide ‘n’ Squeak scavenger hunt. This year Remy is hiding in all new locations!
Other returning favorites include:
- The complimentary Back to Basics weekend series offered in the Festival Center will share epicurean tips and tricks from the pros. Book and bottle signings by some of the world’s top vintners will be available, and The Chocolate Experience: From Bean to the Bar, hosted by Ghirardelli, will offer guest samples.
- Culinary Demonstrations and Beverage Seminars will offer daily learning and tasting sessions at the Festival Center. On select Saturdays, Cheese Seminars will be a fromage fan’s delight.
- Eat to the Beat Dining Packages and other Specialty Dining and Pairing events will be on tap at a number of Epcot participating restaurants. Bookings for special programming and premium festival events is open now.
Included with Epcot Admission
Back to Basics series, book signings, Eat to the Beat concerts, Festival Passport and all attractions and park entertainment are included with regular Epcot admission.
Special Programming by Reservation
Party for the Senses grand tasting events, signature dinners and other special wine and culinary programs require reservations and separate event admission. Guests can call (407) WDW-FEST (939-3378) to make reservations and find more details at TasteEpcot.com.
RELATED ARTICLE: 9 Reasons Why We Love the Epcot Food & Wine Festival
by Mike and Jamie Sylvester
When we see the month of September appear on the calendar it’s not because of our anniversary, birthdays, or any other big family celebration… it’s simply because that means the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival is about to begin! Countdown with us for our top 9 reasons why we love the Epcot Food and Wine Festival and why we are sure you will too!
9 – Fall in Florida
Disney World Imagineers surely had all of us in mind when they planned for the Epcot Food and Wine Festival because they picked the most amazing time of year – the Florida fall season. With the festival taking place from August 30 – November 12 this year, we all have an opportunity to leisurely explore Epcot and the many festival happenings without the humid summer heat. This fall time really is perfect because it’s not chilly but it’s not typically steaming hot, especially in late October and November festival days. Yay for enjoying the festivities without melting!
8 – Beautiful Scenery
Other than Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival, the Food and Wine Festival is one of our favorite times to catch Epcot’s scenery at its’ best. Among the specially shaped shrubs, romantic lighting, and unique artworks displayed, we also enjoy that there are so many more countries represented. As you travel around the World Showcase, you’ll spot the usual 11 countries – but take a look at the special kiosks that represent diverse countries from all around the world. Get that camera ready to snap photos!
7 – Special Merchandise
Let’s go shopping! Food and Wine Festival merchandise is available throughout many of the typical Epcot gift shops, especially around the World Showcase. Don’t forget to head to the Festival Center to explore the merchandise available there! They have many more unique items to select from including specialty gift shops such as the Wine Shop and the Stockpot Shop. Maybe it’s a good thing they don’t have shopping carts!
6 – Scavenger Hunt
The inner child in us has a great love for the Epcot Food and Wine Festival Passport. This baby gives you the location of where all the different kiosks are and provides you with the ability to sort of “check off” where you’ve been. It’s a fun way to be sure you are hitting all the booths you want to and to look back a few months down the road and retrace your steps down memory lane. Kids in tow? Get them involved! Better yet – check out the Remy’s Ratatouille Hide and Squeak. Purchase a special map and stickers and let the scavenger hunt begin.
5 – Celebrity Spotting
Did you know the Food and Wine Festival is an excellent place to spot celebrities from all over?! We aren’t just talking about our favorites like Mickey and Minnie, but celebrity artists like Blue October, Dennis DeYoung, The Hooters, Hanson, Boyz II Men… and so much more! But – wait, that’s not all. The festival also has TV celebrities from ABC’s “The Chew”, world-renowned Chefs, authors, and even the world’s top beverage experts. This is one trip where you might end up with some autographs besides the usual Disney characters!
4 – Festival Center
Mistakenly overlooked at times is the Festival Center which located near Universe of Energy. Different demonstrations, seminars, taste testing, culinary masterpieces at work, and even beginner’s sessions are available in the Festival Center. Be sure to check the activities calendar for what is to come to the Festival Center Stage. Some of these special events are an extra ticket cost so be sure to check this out in advance so you can plan for it.
3 – More Bang for Your Buck
So, you’ve always wanted to visit Epcot but you think the park admission might be a little steep? The Food and Wine Festival is the perfect way to get more bang for your buck. Most of the festival activities are included in your park ticket. Plus, you have to eat anyway – so why not pick and choose what you’d like to eat around the World Showcase? Make it easy on yourself and purchase a gift card upon arrival so you can go around the world cash free! Visiting Epcot during the Food and Wine Festival is the perfect way to get more of an “experience” out of your park admission.
2 – The Music
Have you heard about the Eat to the Beat Concert Series? Well, it’s just more to add to your experience with your standard park admission! Eat and drink with musicians performing in a concert setting in the American Gardens Theater. This live music isn’t performed by just anyone – but instead, they are well-known artists that most of us have downloaded their songs at one point in time or another. Don’t forget to check out the Eat to the Beat Dining Packages for reserved seating.
1 – FOOD and WINE
Well of course – one of our favorite reasons why we love the Epcot Food and Wine Festival is because of just that – the food and the wine! The FOOD… oh my goodness, the food is unbelievable. Known as the “celebration of global cuisines” it’s hard not to try a little bit of something from as many of the roughly 35 kiosks as possible. The different flavors of wine are out of this world and fun to delight in the small (or large) tastings. It’s ok, you’re at a festival – have another!
These are our top 9 reasons why we love the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. Why do you love this incredible festival? We’d love to hear from you!
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