Each year, Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival continues to be one of the most anticipated special events for guests of Walt Disney World. Around World Showcase, kiosks are setup for the festival that feature food and beverages from countries and regions around the world. This year includes more than 25 kiosks with returning favorites, and new offerings from Scotland like the seared salmon, vegetarian haggis, and banoffee tart. The Scottish booth will also serve Innis & Gunn Original beer, which I recently discovered at the Grand Floridian, and what I may be most excited about, Scotch tastings from Glenfiddich with 12, 15 and 18 years included in the flight.
The kiosks will presumably, like in years past, take Disney Dining Plan snack credits for payment for most of the food and some non-alcoholic beverages. This is a fantastic use of your snack credits if you are on the dining plan as some of these individual items can often cost upwards of $6 or $7 like the lobster dishes at the Hops & Barley kiosk. The festival will definitely have me going back to some of my favorites including the escargot in France, Fisherman’s pie and cheese plate in Ireland, kahlua pork sliders and tuna poke from Hawaii, Florida shrimp ceviche, and Schinken nudel in Germany.
Another great thing about the Food & Wine Festival is that you get the opportunity to try some of the featured menu items from some of Epcot’s restaurants that you may not be able to get into very easily, like Le Cellier in Canada. For those not fortunate enough to get a reservation, don’t despair. You can sample the restaurant’s cheddar cheese soup and filet mignon with truffle sauce at this year’s festival booth.
In addition to the kiosks, the festival plays host to celebrity chefs and representatives from vineyards and other spirit companies. Many special events are offered over the festival’s almost two month span from September 27 through November 11 this year. Seminars and mixology classes along with tastings are among some of the more affordable extras that can start as low as $10 or so for some (occasionally passholder discounts are offered for select events). Other special parties, like the Party for the Senses, can go to upwards of $200 per person. Check out the festival page to see more details or call (407) 939-3463 to book.
One of the most fun parts of the festival is the Eat to the Beat Concert Series. This year new acts join some of the favorites that have been coming back for years. Last year I got to see both Sugar Ray and Boyz II Men put on great concerts. This year’s lineup (subject to change and courtesy of Disney) is as follows:
|9/27-9/29||STARSHIP starring Mickey Thomas||“We Built This City”|
|9/30-10/1||NEW! The Go-Go’s||“We Got The Beat”|
|10/2-10/4||Air Supply||“All Out of Love”|
|10/5-10/6||Sister Hazel||“All for You”|
|10/10-10/11||NEW! Edwin McCain||“I’ll Be”|
|10/12-10/13||NEW! The Manhattan Transfer||“Boy From New York City”|
|10/14-10/15||NEW! Wilson Phillips||“Hold On”|
|10/16-10/17||The Pointer Sisters||“I’m So Excited”|
|10/18-10/20||Night Ranger||“Sister Christian”|
|10/21-10/23||Boyz II Men||“End of the Road”|
|10/24-10/25||Survivor||“Eye of the Tiger”|
|10/26-10/27||38 Special||“Caught Up in You”|
|10/28-10/30||Smash Mouth||“Walkin’ on the Sun”|
|10/31-11/1||NEW! Spin Doctors||“Two Princes”|
|11/2-11/3||NEW! Christopher Cross||“Sailing”|
|11/4-11/5||Hanson||“Get the Girl Back”|
original member of the group STYX
|“Come Sail Away”|
|11/9-11/11||Big Bad Voodoo Daddy||“Go Daddy-O”|
Concerts take place in the America Gardens Theatre at 5:30, 6:45 and 8:00pm each night. Some of these performers can be very popular and guests have been known to line up hours in advance to try to get seats for the show. If there is someone that you really want to see, try to get there an hour or so ahead of time to give yourself the best chance to get into the theatre. If you don’t get in, rest assured, you can still see/hear the music and the band from elsewhere in the American pavilion.
I cannot wait for the Food & Wine Festival to start! This is one of my favorite events of the year, I often try to spread out my visits over three or four days to sample a few items each time. This gives me time to digest between booths and also to give my wallet a rest since you can literally spend hundreds to thousands if you were to purchase each item at each booth of the festival. I won’t be able to go for a few weeks, but I know many who are going this weekend.
Have you been to Epcot for the International Food & Wine Festival? If so, what are some of your favorite items? Have you done any of the special events or tastings? What are you most looking forward to? Let us know!Follow us for more updates: