The International Food & Wine Festival in Epcot at Walt Disney World is kicking off in just a couple days. The first day of the event is scheduled for August 31st, and we can’t wait!! This is the 35 anniversary for Epcot, so the park is celebrating with 35 different marketplaces at the festival, making it the largest festival that the park has had in all of the years. The festival runs for 75 days through November 13th, so there will be plenty of time to visit and enjoy all that the festival has to offer. If you are planning your trip, then you will definitely want to head to the Festival Center first to get your schedule and passport so that you can navigate the entire festival. Then you will definitely want to check out these 6 great events at the festival during this opening weekend (and all the other days)!
- Global Marketplaces: This year there are 35 total marketplaces throughout Future World and World Showcase. You can purchase a Tasting Sampler voucher for $65, which pre-pays for eight food or beverage items at the marketplaces. Plus you also get a limited-release Epcot Food & Wine Festival trading pin when purchasing the sampler. There are several returning marketplace favorites as well as these five new additions:
- Active Eats: sweet avocado crema with strawberries, cake and tortilla streusel
- The Almond Orchard: cauliflower risotto with pulled chicken, artichokes, spinach and Parmesan cheese
- Coastal Eats: lump crab cake with slaw and avocado lemongrass cream
- Flavors From Fire: smoked corned beef with crispy potatoes, pickled onions and Blonde Ale Beer fondue
- Light Lab: various alcoholic drinks.
- Celebrity Interactions: On Sunday, Sept. 3, with Chef Shaun O’Neale (winner of FOX TV’s “MasterChef”) will be there for opening weekend at “What’s Cookin’ With . . .”. This event will be held on select Friday and Saturday mornings in the Festival Center. The cost to attend is $129 per person. The event consists of a cooking demo, breakfast and time for Q&A. Other chefs that are planned for the event are Alex Guarnaschelli, Buddy Valastro, Geoffrey Zakarian, Jamie Deen, Robert Irvine and more. If you want to make reservations for the event, you can call 407-939-3378.
- Live Music Nightly: Every evening at the park, guests will be able to enjoy the scheduled performance at the Eat to the Beat Concert Series. It is held on the outdoor stage at America Gardens Theatre three times each night. The first act planned in the line-up is Delta Rae, a folk rock band from North Carolina. They will be there from August 31st through September 1st.
- Culinary Demonstrations: There will be demonstrations held every day in the Festival Center. They will be at 2:30PM Monday through Thursday and then at 12:15PM and 2:30PM on Friday through Sunday. You will get to learn how to prepare particular dishes, hear stories and tips and then sample the food that was created during the demonstration. The event costs $17 per person to attend. You can make reservations by calling 407-939-3378.
- Mix It, Make It, Celebrate It!: We are definitely excited about all of these fantastic experiences. These are very hands-on experiences where you get to to work with chefs, bakers, mixologists and more to learn more about how to create your own culinary delights. The events vary throughout the duration of the festival, but on opening day Chef Emily Ellyn will be there mixing drinks with Cask & Crew Whiskey. You will get to be a bartender and mix your own cocktail. These experiences will cost $49 per person. This will be offered Mondays through Thursdays at the festival.
- Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak: This fun scavenger hunt event has returned to the festival for another year. This is a great way to engage kids in each of the pavilions and complete the hunt together as a family. You can buy a game board at various festival locations.
During each day of the festival the following are all included with regular Epcot admission and don’t require additional purchase: Back to Basics series, Eat to the Beat concerts, cultural adventures, Festival Passport and all attractions and park entertainment. Party for the Senses grand tasting events, signature dinners and other special wine and culinary programs require reservations and separate event admission (in addition to valid theme park admission).
Which of these events are you most excited about attending?
Photo and Source Credit: Disney Parks Blog