By Caitlin Corsello
Epcot is home to some of the most adventurous and interesting choices of cuisine in Walt Disney World. World Showcase features eleven different countries from around the world which each feature at least one full service dining location offering up traditional cultural cuisine. However, each fall Epcot plays host to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival which celebrates all things culinary! This year will mark the twentieth anniversary of the festival, and it will be bigger and better than ever before. With new exciting new experiences joining favorites from years past, the festival is sure to be a huge hit. Here are twelve things that guests must try at the 2015 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival!
12. Go To A Live Taping –
This year the hit ABC show The Chew will be visiting the festival and filming live show for several days. A great and unique experience to have during the festival is to go to one of the live tapings! The Chew will be taping shows on October 7, 8, and 9 and tickets can be found through the show’s website.
11. Chew Some Food –
The Chew is also collaborating with the chefs at Disney for a brand new food experience for this year’s festival. The Chew Lab will feature options inspired by food-science labs and will offer dishes like New York Strip with Parsnip Silk, Balsamic Glaze, and Arugula Foam and a Liquid Nitro Chocolate Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey Caramel. Yum!
10. Rock Out –
Throughout the duration of the festival, the American Gardens Theater in the America Pavilion hosts a concert series called Eat to the Beat. Musical acts featured this year include Wilson Phillips, Sugar Ray, Boyz II Men, Hanson, and Smash Mouth. Each act plays at least two shows, so if guests have a great time they can go back for more the next day! The concerts are free and a great way to enjoy the festival.
9. Exclusive Merchandise –
The Wonders of Life Pavilion is open to the public during each festival to function as the Festival Center. There guests can shop merchandise exclusive to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Since this year marks the festival’s twentieth anniversary, there will be even more commemorative merchandise than ever before including shirts, glassware, pins, and exclusive Dooney & Bourke bags.
8. Chase Lounge –
Guests who are Chase Disney Visa cardholders have exclusive access to the Chase Lounge located on the second floor of the main building in the America Pavilion. Guests are treated to air conditioning, bathrooms, lounge chairs, free non-alcoholic beverages, and the chance to look out the second floor windows for a great view of World Showcase Lagoon.
7. Cranberry Bog –
This year the Ocean Spray Cranberry Bog will be returning on the central walkway between Future World and World Showcase. Featuring real cranberries, workers can often be found wading around in the bog and handing out samples of Ocean Spray cranberries. The bog makes for some great photos for guests walking past!
6. Cheese in Future World –
This is the first year of the festival where there are going to be food booths featured in Future World. There will be two new locations titled the Wine Studio and the Cheese Studio which will offer up several choices of wine and cheese for guests to enjoy while wandering through Future World.
5. Attend A Demo –
Throughout the festival, guest chefs can often be found hosting demos in the rear of the Festival Center. The demos cost a small additional fee per person and focus on a wide variety of cuisines and techniques. Seats for the culinary demonstrations need to be booked in advance, but if they are sold out guests can watch but not participate while visiting the Festival Center. Featured hosts this year include Cat Cora and Alex Guarnaschelli.
4. Try A Mixology Seminar –
These fun events cost an additional fee per guest, but are both informative and fun! Guests can choose from tastings hosted by professionals from places like the Jack Daniels Distillery, Deep Eddy Vodka, and Still River Winery. Each mixology seminar teaches guests about a particular spirit and unique ways to enjoy it.
3. Try A Flight –
Each festival booth offers up several beverage options and several of them offer up the opportunity to order flights. Flights are great as they feature sample sizes of several drinks allowing a guest to be able to try them all without overindulging. Some great flights to try are the Craft Beer Lovers Flight from the Craft Beers Booth, the Hard Cider Flight from the Farm Fresh Booth, the Tequila Flight from the Mexico Booth, and the Glenfiddich Single Malt Scotch Flight from the Scotland Booth.
2. Back From Hiatus! –
Guests visiting the festival this year can enjoy the Dominican Republic Booth which had been on hiatus since 2007. The booth features food options including Roasted Pork with mangu, pickled red onions, and avocado and a caramel flan with rum-roasted pineapple. Drink options include a Frozen Dominican Pina Colada and a Frozen Sugar Cane Cocktail.
1. Try Something New –
Perhaps the most fun thing to do at the festival is to try something new each time! With so many food and drink options, there are plenty of things to please even the pickiest of eaters. Guests never know when they will find their next favorite food, so they should definitely enjoy trying all that the 2015 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival has to offer!