There’s still lots of time left to visit Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival if you haven’t already! This is such a great opportunity to try a wide variety of food from around the globe. The benefit is two fold: costs for the small tastings are much more affordable and it keeps you from having a whole meal you may or may not care for. Here’s some information on this year’s happenings:
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – A rockin’ after-hours street party and a premium food-and-beverage package for Walt Disney World Resort guests will debut during the 19th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival presented by Chase Sept. 19-Nov. 10, 2014.
Celebrated for its inspired flavors, high-energy Eat to the Beat concerts and premium dining events, the Festival kicks off a week early and runs 53 days until Nov. 10 – seven days longer than last year’s event – and features more than 270 chefs, including Disney chefs and culinary stars from across the country.
The Scoop on What’s Cookin’:
- The new Epcot Food & Wine Festival -Late Nights LIVE! street party will span the World Showcase promenade from the United Kingdom pavilion to World Showcase Plaza from 9:45 p.m. to 1 a.m. each Thursday. It includes six tastes (food and beverages) from select marketplaces, live music and entertainment for $79 plus tax. (Admission to Epcot is not required after 9 p.m. for guests who have purchased credentials to the event.)
- For Walt Disney World Resort hotel guests, plus Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin hotel guests, the Epcot Food & Wine Festival Premium package will debut at $199 per guest, plus tax and Epcot admission, and runs from noon-8 p.m. Monday through Thursday between Sept. 22 and Nov. 6. The package includes an in-room gift with wine for guests 21 and older, a festival wine glass, truffles and a credential for 10 VIP “premium package areas” around World Showcase promenade where marketplace items can be ordered and delivered to guests. The package also includes a festival MagicBand, a $50 Disney Gift Card and one admission to Late Nights LIVE! on Thursday night.
- A Patagonia Marketplace will debut with a menu featuring fresh, sustainable roasted Verlasso Salmon, Quinoa Salad and Arugula Chimichurri.
- A Farm Fresh Marketplace will dish up new home-grown offerings including Applewood-smoked Pepper Bacon Hash with Sweet Corn, Potatoes, Hollandaise and pickled Jalapeños. More than 30 new food items are on the menus of returning food and beverage marketplaces.
- Puerto Rico hits the mainland in a big way with a creative new marketplace menu and an experience that highlights the beauty and diversity of the “All Star Island.”
- New premium dining events include “Dining Through the Decades, a Tribute to Walt Disney,” a dinner showcasing Walt Disney’s culinary predilections; a foodie “Boot Camp Series;” and a Friday-morning celebrity-chef nosh-and-chat cookbook event, “Food for Thought.”
- Fans of the festival’s “Eat to the Beat” concerts, with performances three times each evening, can have their reserved concert seats and eat lunch or dinner, too, with first-ever Eat to the Beat dining packages.
Festival guests will be able to pair wines and beers with savory and sweet dishes from more than 25 ethnic and specialty marketplaces as they stroll the World Showcase Promenade and earn stamps on their complimentary festival “passport” souvenirs. Champagne, cocktails and “mocktails” also will be on festival menus.
And that’s just for starters…
Also Hot Off the 2014 Festival Event Menu:
New Eat to the Beat acts debut; fan favorites return to festival stage – Opening night through Sept. 21, new festival act Jo Dee Messina will rock the house at America Gardens Theatre. Other new beats on tap include Fuel (Oct. 9-10); Jim Brickman (Oct. 23-24); Los Lonely Boys (Oct. 25-26); and David Cook (Nov. 6-7). The Pointer Sisters (Sept. 22-23), Christopher Cross (Sept. 26-27) and other fan favorites will return to play the festival stage. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (Nov. 8-10) will close the event.
Celebrity chefs cook and dish – Renowned chefs like Warren Brown, Rock Harper, Jennifer Hill Booker, Erika Davis, Paula DaSilva, Gale Gand, Dana Herbert, Jamie Deen, Jerome Brown, Dean Max, “Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro, Allen Susser, Duskie Estes and John Stewart will share their talents during culinary demos and premium events.
Festival Welcome Center buzzes with activities – Guests can make the most of the new complimentary Back to Basics Festival Center weekend series featuring guest presenters with epicurean tips and tricks from the pros. Culinary demonstrations and mixology and wine seminars will offer new tastes and sips for a nominal fee.
Other festival highlights include:
- Party for the Senses grand tasting events select Saturday evenings showcasing tempting bites from eminent chefs, more than 50 wines and beers and live entertainment.
- Premium events including the back-by-demand “Parisian Breakfast” on Saturdays; new “Sunday Mornings with . . .” plated brunch starring an acclaimed pastry chef or baker crafting three favorite desserts for sampling; and a new “Boot Camp Series” interactive experience with epicurean challenges to hone your “inner chef.”
Included with Epcot Admission:
Back to Basics series, special book signings, Eat to the Beat concerts, cultural adventures, Marketplace Discovery Passport and all attractions and park entertainment are included with regular Epcot admission. Festival hours extend to 10 p.m. each weekend.
Special Programming by Reservation:
The Party for the Senses grand tasting events, signature dinners and other special wine and culinary programs require reservations and separate event admission. Information and reservations for select programs can be found at epcotfoodfestival.com. For additional bookings, including the new Epcot Food & Wine -Late Nights LIVE! guests can call 407/WDW-FEST (939-3378). Special event capacity limited. To book the Epcot Food & Wine Festival Premium Package, Walt Disney World Resort guests can call 407/939-1889.