2009 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival – Sept. 25 – Nov.8

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Article written by Jeff Titelius from the Examiner

Are you ready to wine and dine your away around the world in a single day and sample delectable cuisines from over 25 nations? How about tasting lamb chops from Australia and Sushi from Japan? How about the perfect pairing of wine with that Italian pasta dish? If talk like this whets your appetite, then it’s off to the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival starting on Sept 25 and continuing for six weeks through Nov. 8. In addition to sampling the tastes and wines/beers from around the world, there are elegant dinner parties, wine pairings, cooking demonstrations, seminars and live entertainment. So grab your fork, knife and wine glass and follow me to the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival.

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Highlights include:

The Festival Welcome Center features a Champagne and wine bar, wine seminars, celebrity chef book signings and more.

More than 250 chefs from all over the nation including Disney chefs will host special dinners and tasting events. The final list is still being worked on so I don’t have details for this year however, I can tell you that last year’s event featured Rock Harper of “Hell’s Kitchen,” Jeff Henderson, Warren Brown, Iron Chef Cat Cora and other folks who know their way around the kitchen! Learn more about what’s going on at the Welcome Center.

In addition, there are a variety of other stops to make along your wine and dine journey around the world. Learn more!

My favorite special engagements are back as well however, keep in mind that each requires reservations and separate admission. For those who really want to indulge in the all the tastes of the world, attend the “Party for the Senses” grand tasting events featuring a variety to sumptuous food samples paired with more than 50 wines and beers plus live entertainment.

Exciting new culinary programs debut this year including “Celebration Dinners”, “Culinary Adventure Signature Dining” and “Celebrating with Family and Friends in the Kitchen.” Your favorite programs that are returning include the Epcot Wine Schools, the French Regional Lunches at Bistro de Paris (restaurant on second floor), food and wine pairings at selected Epcot restaurants, “Signature Dining,” “Sweet Sundays,” and others. Don’t worry; I will have all the details on each of these soon. For the time being, MARK YOUR CALENDARS because starting on August 11, you can call 407-WDW-FEST (939-3378) to book your reservations. Remember, these programs sellout quickly so don’t wait, especially for the “Party for the Senses”! See complete schedule.

After you’ve made your way around World Showcase Promenade and sampled delectable delights with perfectly paired wines, it’s time to kick it up a notch at the American Gardens Theatre. Evenings sizzle with the “Eat to the Beat” concert series featuring brand new and returning entertainers that will rock your world! Concerts take place three times each evening at 5.15, 6:30 and 7:45 p.m.

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This year’s entertainment line-up:

  • 9/25 – 9/27 Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, “You and Me and the Bottle Makes Three Tonight”
  • 9/28 – 9/29 Richard Marx, “Hold On To The Nights”
  • 9/30 – 10/3 Starship, “We Built This City”
  • 10/4 – 10/6 En Vogue, “Free Your Mind”
  • 10/7 – 10/8 Better than Ezra, “Good”
  • 10/9 – 10/11 Sister Hazel, “All For You”
  • 10/12 – 10/13 Kool & the Gang, “Celebration”
  • 10/14 – 10/16 Spyro Gyra, “Morning Dance”
  • 10/17 – 10/18 Jon Secada, “Just Another Day”
  • 10/19 – 10/20 Sister Sledge, “We Are Family”
  • 10/21 – 10/22 Vanessa Carlton, “A Thousand Miles”
  • 10/23 – 10/25 Taylor Dayne, “Tell It To My Heart”
  • 10/26 – 10/28 Boyz II Men, “Motownphilly”
  • 10/29 – 10/31 John Waite, “Missing You”
  • 11/1 – 11/2 Night Ranger, “Sister Christian”
  • 11/3 – 11/5 Billy Ocean, “Caribbean Queen”
  • 11/6 – 11/8 Los Lobos, “La Bamba”

Please note that final schedules of celebrity chefs and entertainment are still being determined.

Of the more than 25 international marketplaces offering a taste of their cultures, there is another element of the Food and Wine festival that features encounters with some of the world’s greatest authors, chefs, and wine experts all for the tasting — pun intended!  The specialty wine and culinary programs are the “icing on the cake”, literally!  Diverse in their offerings, these specialty venues offer pure epicurean euphoria through a variety of cooking demonstrations and wine tasting events by notable chefs and wine authorities from around the globe. With so many programs and details about each one, this article will serve as the main navigation to all of the programs offered. Just read below and click through those that tickle your taste buds and remember come right back to this page to lead your taste buds to a new tempting experience.

All of these programs have a substantial price tag attached to them, but they are worth the indulging.  Also, they require reservations to be booked far in advance and that date is approaching quickly.  Mark your calendars now because on August 11 at 7:00 a.m., the reservation lines open at 407-WDW-FEST (939-3378). Don’t give up if you’re put on hold for a little while; just stay the course and it will pay off. A lot of guests will be booking these programs and they have been known to sellout in a single day. Don’t miss your chance!

These are my absolute favorites and sure to be yours as well:

  • Sweet Sundays – Sunday brunch will never be the same.  Celebrate with desserts, pastries, confections, and more sweet treats!
  • Celebrating Friends and Family in the Kitchen – Learn from top celebrity chefs (Deen Bros., Patti LaBelle, Cat Cora, and others) the basics of preparing a 3-course lunch.
  • Epcot Adventures in Varietals, Wine Schools and Cheese Seminars – Learn about growing grapes, wines, and cheeses.
  • Party for the Senses – THE party of all parties. New this year is the “Wine View Room.”
  • Culinary Adventures in Signature Dining – Culinary collaborations take place at restaurants throughout Walt Disney World!
  • Food and Wine Pairings, Tequila, and French Regional Lunches

For more information, please see related links below:

  • Festival Overview
  • Festival Welcome Center
  • Festival Other Highlights
  • Eat to the Beat Concert Series – Live Entertainment!

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