It's the most wonderful time…of the year! No, not the holiday season, the return of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, this year celebrating its 20th year. Whether you are visiting on vacation or a local, this is always a great time to stroll through the park and enjoy some unique gourmet food items and specialty wines, beers and more. The 2015 Festival runs from September 25-November 16, with more than 30 global marketplaces to explore, including along the walkway toward Future World West.
There you can enjoy the new Artistry of Wine & Cheese festival area, which will feature the Cheese Studio (offering a cheese sampler served on an artist’s palette to pair with wines) and the Wine Studio with premium wines on tap. Near the Epcot Character Spot, you can discover the new Next Eats area, featuring the Sustainable Chew and Chew Lab marketplaces inspired by ABC’s Emmy-Award® winning lifestyle series “The Chew,” starring co-hosts Mario Batali, Michael Symon, Carla Hall, Clinton Kelly and Daphne Oz. Sustainable Chew will offer three dishes, and Chew Lab will show off hot culinary tech trends like a Liquid Nitro Chocolate Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey Caramel. Yum.
While many festival events are included in regular theme park admission, including the new Back to Basics series, special book signings, Eat to the Beat concerts, cultural adventures, Marketplace Discover Passport, as well as attractions and park entertainment, you can also look forward to over-the-top premium events, including:
- Rockin’ Burger Block Party – get a glimpse of the cast of ABC TV’s “The Chew” at this new premium event on Oct. 8 in World ShowPlace. enjoy specialty burgers and sliders inspired by top names in the music industry such as Dave Matthews and his Dreaming Tree Wines and Carlos Santana’s Casa Noble Tequila. (Two additional Burger Block Parties are set for Sept. 25 and Nov. 6.) This event includes VIP seating with a specialty cocktail toast, premium bar and more.
- Yelloween Masquerade Party for the Senses – This first-time event on Oct. 31 will be one in a series of popular Party for the Senses premium events. Experience an elegant, dance-the-night-away, gourmet tasting party with Champagne, wine, craft beers and specialty cocktails paired with food.
- Another Party for the Senses you won’t want to miss takes place Oct. 24, and features Disney chefs from the United States, Europe and Asia cooking their favorite cuisine that represents their cultures as well as the Disney Parks and Resorts they call home.
- Additional Party for the Senses dates are Oct. 3, 10 and 17, and each evening starts with a reserved seat at the Eat to the Beat concert series at the America Gardens Theatre. Following the show, you'll head to World ShowPlace for a sensational evening with more than 50 tasting stations, and performances by Cirque du Soleil
- What’s Cookin’ With… Begin the morning with a delightful plated brunch and sparkling wine toast. Culinary celebs will demo a favorite dish and then sit down with the emcee to answer questions from the audience and share secrets of their successes. The brunch happens every Friday and Saturday at 10 a.m. during the festival.
- Sept. 27: Andrew Zimmern
- Oct. 2: Amanda Freitag presented by Mylan
- Oct. 4: Bryan Voltaggio
- Oct.9: Jamie Deen
- Oct.11: Carla Hall
- Oct.16: Gale Gand
- Oct. 18: Cat Cora
- Oct.23: Allen Susser
- Oct. 25: John Ash presented by Verlasso
- Oct. 30: Robert Irvine
- Nov. 1: Erika Davis
- Nov. 6: Buddy Valastro
- Nov. 8: David Guas
- Nov. 13: Alex Guarnaschelli
- Nov. 15: Sarah Fioroni
Others premium events include the Mexican Tequila Lunch, Japanese Craft Beer Tasting and the new French Family Meal Traditions.
Will you be visiting Epcot this Food & Wine season? Contact your Mouse Fan Travel agent for a free no-obligation quote if you want to make sure that no plate gets left behind! See you at the Festival!