The Epcot Food and Wine Festival is one of the most popular events at Walt Disney World, and with good reason. Who wouldn’t want to eat their way around the world? We asked Kelly Stilwell to share her strategy for fitting it all in, including a few of her favorite bites from the Festival.
From now until November 12, the Epcot Food and Wine Festival is the featured foodie attraction at Walt Disney World. With the Festival growing in size and offerings each year, epicureans from around the country flock to Orlando to try the latest and greatest creations from the Walt Disney World chefs.
Epcot Food and Wine Festival
2018 marks 23 years of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, and partygoers have 75 days to celebrate. And though tasting their way around the world is always the biggest lure, guests will also have the opportunity to learn about food, wine, and cocktails in interactive sessions, attend concerts from internationally acclaimed music artists, as well as take in the rides and other attractions Epcot offers year round. Even on a cloudy day, the view is spectacular.
New This Year at Epcot Food and Wine Festival
Food and Beverage Pairings are located at the Festival Welcome Center on Friday through Sunday at 2:30 p.m., where guests try new and unique dishes exclusively paired by Disney chefs.
The Festival Center is also hosting a Shimmering Sips Mimosa Bar and Craft Drafts.
Stop by the Festival Center Wine Shop, where you can taste and purchase The Disney Family of Wines.
Guests can learn how to brew the perfect cup of coffee during From the Grounds Up, hosted by Joffrey’s Coffee and Tea Company.
This year, for the first time, Taste Track has a global marketplace featuring those delicious specialty croissant doughnuts as well as a pancake milkshake.
With 35 new dishes and 70 new cocktails, mocktails, beers and wine, there’s a lot to taste! Check out one of the seven brews exclusive to the Festival.
This year also features the Sunday Brunch with the Chef series on select Sundays through November 11, where guests can actually dine with a culinary TV personality!
Nine new bands are featured in the Eat to the Beat Concert Series at American Garden Theatre, where a total of 225 concerts will take place during the Festival.
Attend a Glass in Session beverage class for your favorite wine, beer or spirit. There was a packed house for the tequila tasting seminar!
A peek at some of the new foods to try this year:
- Flavors from Fire – Chimichurri Skirt Steak
- Earth Eats – The IMPOSSIBLE™ Burger
- Hops & Barley – New Brunswick Slider
- The Wine & Dine Studio – Butternut Squash Ravioli
- Ireland – Guinness Baileys Shake
Am I making you hungry? The Grilled Sweet and Spicy Bush Berry Shrimp with pineapple, peppers, onions, and snap Peas served at the Australia Marketplace near the Refreshment Port is absolutely delicious! Pair it with the recommended Yangarra Shiraz from McLaren Vale. This region is famous for creating award-winning wines.
Stop by The Art of Pairing to try Disney Chef created food and wine pairings.
Epcot Food and Wine Festival Kid-Style
The kids will have plenty of things to do, too. The following events are complimentary.
- Pick up the game sheet for the Ratatouille-inspired scavenger hunt.
- Twice a day during the Festival, kids can create Candy Sushi presented by Skittles Adventures by Disney, located at Sunshine Seasons.
- Dance the night away each Friday and Saturday night during the Disney Du Jour Dance Party with a host of Disney characters. You never know who you might be partying with! You could meet Remy and Emile from Ratatouille, Nick Wilde and Judy Hopps from Zootopia, and more!
- An up-and-coming Radio Disney artist will be featured at each Disney Du Jour Dance Party. The day I was there the featured artist was Rayla.
- On Sundays, kids can join the Junior Chef Kitchen presented by Krusteaz, where they can make and eat their creations.
- There’s even a new playground for younger kids.
Of course, you’ll still be able to enjoy the cultural activities and entertainment regularly featured at the Epcot World Showcase. My personal favorite is Sahara Beat in Morocco. Add it to your list!
Exclusive Epcot Food and Wine Festival Merchandise
You won’t want to leave empty-handed with all the new merchandise available this year.
Taste Your Way Around the World
I love my Taste Your Way Around the World commemorative plate and wish I’d bought a dozen of them to have at parties. You’ll find other products in this section for your kitchen and home. There’s even a cork-inspired Ear headband! Great gift idea for those Disney-lovers and this is the only time of year you’ll find it.
Brews Around the World
Here you’ll find apparel, barware, and more to bring a little Disney magic to your home bar.
Exclusive Figment Merchandise
The purple dragon always has a special merch at all Disney World Festivals, and this year the apparel and drinkware are both really cute. I have a Figment lover in my house and picked up a few Christmas gifts!
There’s a lot to choose from in this Mickey-inspired collection for your kitchen.
Adorable aprons and kitchen and festive ornaments for Ratatouille Chef Remy fans.
TIPS for Epcot International Food and Wine Festival
Grab one of the wearable gift cards to make paying for your tastings easy. Trust me on this one. With your hands full of food and drink, it’s so much easier to just swipe and go.
Purchase a souvenir plate to use while your wining and dining. It has a slot for your glass to give you a hand free for eating.
As always, don’t forget sunscreen and stay hydrated!
I might try to make it back again before the Festival is over. Have you been? What was your favorite tasting? Share in the comments.
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Kelly Stilwell of Food, Fun & Faraway Places is an official Travelocity Gnational Gnomad. Gnational Gnomads is an exclusive group of high profile travel and lifestyle experts who offer tips and inspiration on behalf of Travelocity.
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