Are you one of our Florida neighbors? Why not take a weekend trip and enjoy the annual Epcot International Food and Wine Festival at the Walt Disney World Resort? This year’s epicurean adventure is running now through November 13 and features much more than Epcot’s normal International flare. Demonstrations, concerts, topiaries and of course international foods and wines can be found throughout the park.
The main draw of the festival is of course the food and wine. This year you can find 35 different kiosks scattered throughout the park that each feature smaller portions of themed foods, beverages and deserts. Your adventure starts by picking up your free festival passport available at any of the kiosks around the park. This passport provides a list of all of the kiosks and their different offerings at the festival. Inside the passport are stickers to help mark off every culinary adventure that you experience on your trip. It’s a great take-away to guide you through the day and remember the event once you get home.
Before you start exploring the many different kiosks around the park, stop at the former Wonders of Life pavilion in Future World that is serving as the official festival center. Inside you can find official Food and Wine Festival merchandise and cooking tools to take home with you. Don’t miss some free take-aways from the show like a free Ghirardelli sample center at the Chocolate Experience and annual pass holders can also get a free button to commemorate the show. Kitchen basics demonstrations are also held in the Festival Center by some of the world’s top chefs. Scheduled book and bottle signings are also planned by renowned industry leaders. Daily cooking with world famous and Disney resorts chefs, wine pairing and even cheese seminars are held at various times throughout the show. This year, ABC’s the Chew broadcasted a week of Episodes from Epcot and reruns of the shows are being shown in a theater at the festival center in case you missed it.
All of Epcot’s normal world showcase pavilions are open and most of them even offer new samplings at special kiosks just for the event. You can sample special offerings at staple countries like a spicy apple margarita at Mexico, roasted duck bao bun at China, crispy calamari in Italy or even a small sampling of the famous Le Cellier wild mushroom fillet mignon at Canada. Special international kiosk highlights include countries like Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Greece, Hawaii, India, Ireland, Islands of the Caribbean, New Zealand, Scotland, Spain and Thailand. These countries aren’t normally part of the Epcot experience, but make a special appearance at the show.
Some other new experiences for 2017 include Active Eats, featuring action-packed offerings. Coastal Eats offers flavors from the oceans of the world. Flavors from Fire adds heat to your day with spicy food offerings and beverages. Light Lab helps you stay light on your feet throughout the day with a healthier and lighter mix of delicious foods. The Almond Orchard Hosted by Blue Diamond Almond Breeze features everything almond like banana almond sundaes.
Another notable culinary adventure to check out is the Odyssey Center. This seldom used building is passed by many park guests who wonder what the inside looks like. Now is your chance because to celebrate Epcot’s 35 anniversary, if features food and much more. While the assortment of local Florida craft breweries may be enough to draw you in, there is much more instore for true Epcot geeks. The Epcot Legacy Showplace offers foods inspired by Epcot’s past 35 years. Also inside are renderings and models of Epcot’s World Showcase that are interesting to see Epcot’s inception to present. You can also view renderings of the new France pavilion update coming soon.
With all the focus on the food, don’t forget that the International Food and Wine Festival also offers the Eat to the Beat Concert series with famous musicians performing their best songs. The American Garden Theater sets the stage along the shores of the World Showcase for these artists to perform free concerts nightly for Festival guests.
Whether it’s just for the evening or an extended weekend, the 2017 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival offers a great fall get-away. You can see more information and schedules on the festival at Disney’s official website: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/events-tours/epcot/epcot-international-food-and-wine-festival/