Epcot International Food & Wine FestivalKim Inman
written by Molly Schroader, specialist in Disney Destinations from St. Louis, MO
Without a doubt, one of my favorite times to visit the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando is in October. The weather is wonderful, the crowds are manageable, and October brings the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival.
Over 25 kiosks are set up in World Showcase to give guests the opportunity to experience cuisine and drinks from around the world. These include countries that have pavilions in World Showcase, like Canada and Japan; and countries that are there just for the Food and Wine Festival like Brazil, Australia, and Greece. New for 2013 is the kiosk from Scotland, and yes, Haggis is on the menu!
Le Cellier doesn’t have reservations available during your trip? Never fear, the Canada kiosk during the Food and Wine Festival features small servings of their Cheddar Cheese Soup, and the Wild Mushroom Filet for your tasting pleasure. Hops & Barley, a New England styled kiosk, has the always popular lobster roll. Two of my favorite kiosks are France, for their Escargots Persillade en Brioche, and Hawai’i for the Tuna Poke with seaweed salad. Interested in vegan dishes? Disney has you covered with the Terra kiosk featuring several vegan dishes.
Prices for most food items in 2012 ranged from $3- $7. Disney Dining Plan Snack Credits have been able to be used on food items in the past. Check the menu at each kiosk for the DDP Snack Credit emblem for items that qualify. This is a great way to use your snack credits!
The Food and Wine Festival has more than just kiosks to entertain during the month. Future World hosts the Ocean Spray Cranberry Bog- yes they bring in a cranberry bog- this is cool! Nightly entertainment is provided by the Eat to the Beat Concert Series, located at the American Pavilion. The Eat to the Beat Concert series features 19 bands over the festival period, including Go-Go’s, Sugar Ray, Boyz II Men, Smash Mouth, 38 Special, and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. The concerts are included in your admission to Epcot.
The Festival Welcome Center in Future World is the place to be for book signings, meet and greets with celebrity chefs, and seminars. Complimentary seminars include the Authentic Taste Seminars focusing on individual ingredients. Seminars with a nominal fee include culinary demonstrations that include tastings and beverage pairings, and Wine and Beverage seminars that include tastings. The gift shops at the welcome center and in World Showcase have merchandise specific for the Food and Wine Festival, including trading pins, posters, shirts, wine charms and the always popular Festival Cookbook!
Do you want to have a remarkable “foodie” experience? Consider making reservations for one of the Premium Events like the Sweet Sundays, Cheese Seminar, or the Disney’s Dessert Discovery. Culinary Adventures in Signature Dining takes the experience to another level. This event features 25 dinners throughout the festival dates at different restaurants on Disney Property. These dinners include the Chef walking you through each course, including ingredients, preparation, and wine pairings. The ultimate event during the Epcot Food and Wine Festival is the Party for the Senses. Held on Saturday nights during the festival the Party features Grand Tastings of food, wine and beer and has live entertainment. In the past performers for Cirque du Soleil’s La Nouba have provided entertainment. These events require reservations and separate event admission costs. Reservations can be made for these events now. Contact your Wish Upon a Star With Us agent, and they will be able to do it for you!
With everything going on, the International Food and Wine Festival makes Epcot the place to be in October!