It’s almost here! The 22nd Annual EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival opens tomorrow, celebrating 35 years of EPCOT with 35 delicious marketplaces. This year’s festival is the biggest ever put on with celebrity chefs, culinary workshops, live music and special tasting experiences spread throughout the park. You’ll have 75 days to experience everything with the festival ending on November 13th.
With so much to see and taste we wanted to put together a list of the “don’t miss” experiences. When you first arrive make sure you stop by the Festival Center to pick up a schedule and a complimentary festival passport. You’ll need these to help navigate the festival.
This year 35 global marketplaces will include five new marketplaces to help celebrate 35 years of Epcot –they include Active Eats (sweet avocado crema with strawberries, cake and tortilla streusel), Coastal Eats (lump crab cake with slaw and avocado lemongrass cream), Flavors from Fire and Light Lab (smoked corned beef with crispy potatoes, pickled onions and Blonde Ale Beer fondue), all expanding into the park’s Future World area. The Almond Orchard (cauliflower risotto with pulled chicken, artichokes, spinach and Parmesan cheese), hosted by Blue Diamond Almond Breeze, is the fifth new marketplace located along the World Showcase promenade. You might consider a Tasting Sampler voucher ($65) for eight food or beverage items (some exclusions may apply). Plus you get a limited-release Epcot Food & Wine Festival trading pin.
Start your day Sunday, Sept. 3, with Chef Shaun O’Neale (winner of FOX TV’s “MasterChef”) first up for “What’s Cookin’ With . . .” held on select Friday and Sunday mornings in the Festival Center ($129). A cooking demo, breakfast and time for Q&A is all part of the fun. Look for returning favorites such as Alex Guarnaschelli, Buddy Valastro, Geoffrey Zakarian, Jamie Deen, Robert Irvine and more (schedule at epcotfoodfestival.com; reservations 407-939-3378).
Eat To The Beat Concert Series
Every evening during the EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival you can enjoy live music on the outdoor stage at America Gardens Theatre three times nightly. The first artist scheduled is Delta Rae, a folk rock band from North Carolina, Aug. 31-Sept. 1 (“Bottom of the River”).
Every day in the Festival Center (2:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 12:15 and 2:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday) you can meet a chef and hear stories and tips while they create a dish that everyone gets to taste ($17). Reservations recommended at epcotfoodfestival.com or by calling 407-939-3378.
Mix It, Make It, Celebrate It!
Chefs, bakers, mixologists and other pros show you the ropes ($49) with hands-on experiences. Opening day, it’s Chef Emily Ellyn mixing up fun with Cask & Crew Whiskey, and you get to play bartender and mix your own cocktail. (Mondays through Thursdays, additional hosts and topics are at epcotfoodfestival.com.)
Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak
Kids will enjoy this fun filled scavenger hunt that takes you all over World Showcase. It’s a great way to get kiddos involved in the culinary adventure.
Looking ahead, some of our favorite celeb chefs are coming up: Sept. 15, Stuart O’Keeffe; Sept. 17, Jet Tila; Sept. 29, Graham Elliott. And there are five Party for the Senses grand tasting events this year (Sept. 23, Oct. 7, Oct. 14, Oct. 21 and Nov. 11), an extravaganza of food, beverages and themed live entertainment.
The EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival begins August 31 and runs through November 13 for a total of 75 days. Back to Basics series, Eat to the Beat concerts, cultural adventures, Festival Passport and all attractions and park entertainment are included with regular Epcot admission. Party for the Senses grand tasting events, signature dinners and other special wine and culinary programs require reservations and separate event admission. Guests can book some events at epcotfoodfestival.com and call 407-WDW-FEST (939-3378) for all others.
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Source Credit : Disney Parks Blog