Walt Disney World Resort gets ready to mark 18 years of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival this Friday. The temporary Marketplace food booths have been set up around Epcot’s World Showcase and, on Sept. 23, Disney released its guide map to help guests as they attempt to “eat around the World.”
The annual Disney food festival is a celebration of international, regional and specialty food and drink. This year, Epcot International Food & Wine Festival (Epcot Food & Wine) runs Sept. 27 – Nov. 11.
Disney guests can take advantage of the following opportunities during the fall event's 45 days:
- Marketplace Kiosks, with more than 25 stops around World Showcase that feature offering tapas-sized nibbles and a variety of tasty beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic);
- Low-cost, hour-long food demonstrations and beverage seminars, including daily wine tastings and mixology seminars;
- Premium dining events, such as Sweet Sundays, Party for the Senses, Kitchen Memories and “3D”: Disney’s Dessert Discovery;
- Free Eat to the Beat concerts, held at America Gardens Theaters, and which include six bands that make their festival debut in 2013; and
- Culinary demonstrations by celebrity chefs like Cat Cora, Warren Brown, and Carla Hall, as well as a number of other professional chefs – including some of Disney’s own. More than 270 chefs will attend the festival.
Be sure to check out 18th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival guide map for more details on Marketplace Kiosks and events.
A brief taste of the 2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
In keeping with the focus on wine suggested by the festival’s name, Epcot Food & Wine is one of the first venues in Florida to serve wine on tap in kegs; a new Florida law allows wine to be served from sustainable stainless-steel containers. This year, Disney guests may try Cabernet and Chardonnay from kegs at the Festival Center or enjoy a Pinot Gris and a Pinot Noir at the Cool post.
As for the focus on food? Overall, Epcot Food & Wine will offer 40 new dishes and 80 new beverages, New to the 2013 Epcot Food & Wine is the Scotland Marketplace, which will feature such dishes as vegetarian haggis and neeps and tatties. Dole pineapple dishes and Dole Whip drinks, with alcohol, will be introduced at the festival as well. For those who want a non-alcoholic dessert-in-a-glass, the Desserts & Champagne Kiosk will serve Frozen S’Mores.
These new tasting adventures join two other relative newcomers, the Florida Local and Terra (vegan fare) Marketplaces that debuted in 2012.
Returning Marketplace Kiosks booths include Brazil Marketplace, with a new menu that includes a Seared Scallop with Ragout and a Crispy Pork Belly with Black Beans. At Hop & Barley, at American Adventure, will offer griddled lobster tail with garlic butter sizzles. And Africa offers a new dish, the Berbere-style beef with onions, jalapeños, tomato, okra and pap.
Epcot Food & Wine favorites won’t be showcased. Australia boasts the return of its grilled lamp chops, France offers the opportunity to snack on escargot, and Belgium showcases its waffles. Guests with a craving for Le Cellier’s cheddar cheese soup, but without the hard-to-get reservation for the restaurant, can sample it at the Canada Marketplace.
To help keep track of their tasting adventures, Epcot Food & Wine attendees can fill out their Marketplace Discovery Passport, complimentary “passport” that gets stamped at each location for a fun festival souvenir.
Many Epcot International Food & Wine Festival events are included with admission to the theme park, including the Eat to the Beat concerts. That said, many experiences require a separate purchase or a separate admission fee, including the Marketplace Kiosks, seminars and demonstrations, and premium events.