There is still time to attend this year’s Food & Wine Festival at Epcot. Festivities will run through November 16th. This is the 20th year for the event, which is held in the World Showcase portion of Epcot. I am going to give you 5 reasons to attend the festival (if not this year, then put it on your list for next year).
1)The Food & Wine Marketplace booths-
There are a total of 38 booths with several choices of food and wine/beverages. This year, there are 5 new marketplaces. Most of the food is priced between $4-8; as is the wine/beverage. The portions are small, but since the price is lower than most Disney food, you essentially can try 2-3 things for what you would pay for a “regular” Disney meal.
I am going to briefly list the 38 booths, indicating the new booths. Then I will make some personal recommendations from our experience at the Food & Wine Festival.
The booths are:
-American Adventure Coffee Cart
-Block & Hans
-Cheese Studio (NEW)
-Chew Labs (NEW)
-Desserts and Champagne
-Dominican Republic (NEW)
-Fife & Drum
-Hops & Barley
-Refreshment Cool Post
-Sustainable Chew (NEW)
-Wine Studio (NEW)
I personally would recommend the salmon with quinoa at the Patagonia booth. It was the best salmon I have ever had anywhere. The portions were decent and the sides were great too. Try anything at the Italy Marketplace or the Brazil Marketplace. Everything we tried was good and again had a decent portion size. The shrimp tacos was great in the Mexico Marketplace. In Ireland, the cheese plate was very good, as was the Steamed Mussels at the New Zealand Marketplace.
2)Events at the 2015 Food & Wine Festival Welcome Center-
The Welcome Center is in Future World East between Mission Space and the Universe of Energy. It is open from 9:00 a.m. to park closing.
Some of the things available are:
-Festival Cookbook- This is a collection of recipes throughout the last 20 years of the Food & Wine Festival.
-Merchandise Shops- many items available such as wine, shirts, hats, garden decor.
-Intermissions Cafe- has wine, cheese, sandwiches, and salads.
-Back to Basics- On weekends pros give cooking tips on Spotlight Stage.
-Culinary Demonstrations- tips and samples from chefs available daily for $15 at 1:00, 3:00 and 5:00.
-Mixology Seminars- for $15, learn how to make specialty cocktails daily at 6:00.
-Cheese Seminars- Learn about cheese and wine pairings from experts on Saturdays from 10:00-11:15 for &79.
-The Chocolate Experience- Hosted by the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company. There will be chocolate sculptures on display. More importantly, there will be chocolates available to sample or buy. This will be open daily from 9:00 a.m. to park closing.
-There will be book signings and even wine bottle signings.
-Seasons of the vine- This is a 7-minute film about wine making which will run continuously.
3)Premium Food & Wine Packages-
-Celebrity chef-hosted brunch with such notables as Jamie Deen, Cat Cora, and others weekly Fridays through Sunday from 10:00-12:00 for $129.
-Rockin’ Burger Block Party- for $99-$199 attend a dance party hosted by a DJ. There will also be specialty burgers inspired by Dave Matthews and specialty wines and tequila inspired by Carlos Santana.
-Party for the Senses with Disney chefs from Around the World- This includes reserved seating for the Eat to the Beat Concert. Afterward head to the World Showcase Pavilion and sample food at various stations from famous chefs from the U.S., Asia, and Europe. There is also 50 wine and beer choices. Prices are from $169-$319.
-Other paid events are: Italian Food and Wine Pairing, Mediterranean Food and Wine Pairing, Moroccan Food and Wine Pairing, Tokyo Food and Wine Pairing, Beverage Boot Camp, and others.
-Signature Dinners- This is a meal with a wine pairing with a host chef and a representative from one of the hosting wineries. Every week the dinners are at different locations such as The Flying Fish Cafe, ESPN Club, Yachtsman Steakhouse, The Hollywood Brown Derby, Le Cellier Steakhouse and many more. Some nights dinners are at more than one location. Prices vary between $90-$299.
4)Eat to the Beat Concert Series-
Performances are at the America Gardens Theater at the American Pavilion in the World Showcase at Epcot. Performances are at 5:30, 6:45, and 8:00.
Fastpass + will be available for this years concerts. Reservations can be made on the my Disney Experience app or website. There will be a line for people with Fastpass + reservations. Disney resort guests can make their reservations up to 60 days in advance while non-resort guests can make reservations 30 days ahead. There are the Premium packages mentioned above that will include dinner and will include reserved seating.
Each week-end will feature a different performer and will include such acts as: Wilson Philips, Christopher Cross, Boyz II Men, Starship, Smash Mouth, Everclear, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, 38 Special, Rick Springfield, and many others.
5)Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak scavenger hunt-
Pick up a map at the Food & Wine Festival Welcome Center or Pin Central or Port of Entry or World Traveler at the International Gateway. Booklets can be purchased for $7.95. It will be a hunt for little Remy statuettes throughout the World Showcase and comes with maps, stickers, and prizes.