The Walt Disney World Company announced the dates for this year’s Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, along with many new additions of tastings and events for this milestone celebration!
The festival will run from September 25th thru November 16th, and will welcome many celebrity chefs, debut new tastes from around the world, and incorporate many dining traditions.
Whether you attend the Food and Wine festival every year or happen to be going when it is going on, you will not want to miss all of the new and exciting aspects this year has to offer!
For starters, something new and exciting is debuting for kids of all ages to enjoy, Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak! It is a scavenger hunt around World Showcase where you must find little Remy statues hidden in the countries located on the map, put the appropriate sticker on it, and once completed, get a prize! My thoughy is it will be similar to the Easter Eggstravaganza Hunt.
Now onto the main course, the food! This festival will debut dishes including the Pepper Bacon Mac ‘n Cheese, Seared Venison Loin with Wild Mushroom Ragout and Kamara Dumpling at the New Zealand Marketplace, and Sweet and Spicy Bush Berry Shrimp with pineapplr, peppers, onions, and snap peas at the Australian Marketplace. Culinary stars Cat Cora, Jamie Deen, Buddy Valastro and John Ash will be at the premium events at the weekly Party for the Senses tastings in October.
Eat to the Beat concert series was also announced with David Cook opening Sept. 25th thru Sept. 27th. Four new acts have been added to the lineup as well-Tiffany, Everclear, Maxi Priest, and Chaka Khan. Smash Mouth, Wilson Phillips, The Pointer Sisters, Jo Dee Messina, Boys II Men, and Big Bad Daddy Voodoo Daddy, will return to rock during the festival.
What would the Food and Wine Festival be without drinks? Guests can enjoy culinary demonstrations, beverage seminars, and mixology seminars daily for a nominal fee! A complimentary alternative is Back to Basics weekend series featuring tips and tricks from the pros.
Do you happen to own a Chase debit or credit card? If you do, head to the American Adventure and head to the Chase Lounge for complimentary refreshments and interactive fun, just for banking with Chase!
This lively festival is included with your Epcot admission, so yes. That means the Back To Basics weekend series, special book signings, Eat to the Beat concerts, cultural adventures, Marketplace Discovery Passport, and all of the regular attractions and park entertainment are free during this festival! If interested in one of the nominal fee events or programs, reservations are required and can be made at 407-939-3378. Currently the booking date is not announced, but keep your eyes peeled!
Now that I’ve mentioned all of the 270 chefs and culinary stars from across the country and more than 50 wines and beers and live entertainment that will be available at the International Food and Wine Festival, now onto the tips on how to enjoy such an amazing festival, along with the rest of the park.
Step one, I believe us figure out who is going to be in your party. Is it mostly kids? Parents maybe? Have you been to Epcot before? These questions are very important since kids might not want to sit through a seminar, nor are allowed in most of the wine tasting seminars. Also, some people come to the festival strictly for the festival and do not detour to the ride side of the park making wait times lower.
Step two, what are you more concerned about, rides or the festival? The best way to plan for both rides and the festival to embrace it all (in one day) is to make your Fastpasses as soon as possible. Plan them for the mid afternoon to take a break from World Showcase (and the sun). If you happen to get there for park opening, go to the ride that you do not have a Fastpass for first. Ex. If you have a Soarin Fastpass, head to Test Track. Or vice versa. Those are the two longest lines in Epcot.
One ride that has a very short wait and is fun for all ages is the Mexican ride inside of the building in Mexico and is a boat ride through Mexico. It’s a great way to get out of the blistering sun!
Step Three, the faster and smoother everything goes, the more pleasant the experience! My tip is instead of always pulling out your cash or credit card to buy your tastes at the festival, purchase a festival gift card that goes around your wrist for fast, no hassle, access!
Step Four, with the gift card in mind, or in hand, remember to set a budget! Yes the prices are usually between 3 and 5 dollars for a sample so it’s tempting to just keep swiping, but those add up since there are more than 20 marketplaces! With that being said, enjoy the free festival activities that is around every corner!
To read more about the upcoming Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, click here!
My biggest tip for all of you is get there early, cool off as much as possible, and enjoy the festival and all it has to offer!