04 May 2011

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

The Epcot International Food and Wine Festival is one of my favorite special events to attend at Walt Disney World. Not only is it held in my favorite park, my favorite part of the park but it has to do with my favorite topic... food and drink.


This year marks the 16th year of the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. This event occurs starting either the last weekend of September or the first weekend of October and requires theme park admission. Most of the events take place in the World Showcase, featuring more than 25 Marketplaces with both food and beverage from those countries, costing from $2.50 to $9. There is a Welcome Center, which is located in the Wonders of Life Pavilion and houses seminars and demonstrations, costing anywhere from $8 to $14. They also have a wine bar, festival shop and host book and bottle signings there as well. There are also special events that go on like Party for the Senses, Food and Wine Pairings, Culinary Adventures in Signature Dining, Sweet Sundays, Wine School, Cheese Seminar and more for an additional fee, which you can purchase in advance. In the evenings you can be entertained by great music with the Eat to the Beat Concert Series, which is free.

* Book signing with Pam Brandon

*Steve McDonagh and Dan Smith - The Hearty Boys

I've attended the festival for the past four years... this year will be my fifth. It is absolutely worth the trip down just for the festival. The food samplings are small portions but they are delcious and it's a lot of fun to walk around and snack on different cuisines and try different drinks whether it be wine, beer or a cocktail. The past two years they have been charging for the culinary demonstrations and wine seminars. However, these are worth it. They are informative and you get a good size portion of food to taste. You'll receive the recipes and can ask questions. After the seminars you can get autographed books or wine bottles. Last year I had the chance to meet Dan and Steve - The Hearty Boys who won the first season of The Next Food Network Star. They were great to meet and their fried chicken was delcious. I'm not one for desserts, but I also did the culinary demonstration where they made my favorite dessert - Narcoossee's Almond-crusted Cheesecake. Absolutely amazing! One day I'll actually make the recipe.

*Taste of Spain from the Spain Marketplace

*Almond-crusted Cheesecake from Narcoossee's

One tip that I'll share is to wear a lanyard. This way you can put your Keys to the Kingdom (if you are charging to your room) or Disney Gift Card (which you can load with $5 to $1500) and on the other side your Drivers License. This makes it easy for you to access both of them when purchasing alcohol and paying for things without having to dig in your pocket, purse, backpack or whatever else you are carrying your wallet around in.

If you love food, drink, relaxing and enjoying yourself at a leisurely pace... this is the event for you. It's a foodies paradise! So if you've never been, plan your next vacation to visit during Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, you won't regret it. For those visiting, the best time to hit up the World Showcase for sampling is during the week when the local are at work. However, if you are looking to experience the special events, those do take place on the weekends but then you can avoided the crowded World Showcase and still get to enjoy all that the Food and Wine Festival has to offer.

*Eat to the Beat Concert - Night Ranger

Make sure to come back because as information is released I'll be posting about the events, when you can purchase tickets, what countries will be setting up Marketplaces and more.

Also, this year I've decided to host my first ever event at the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, a Cooking with Mickey Snack, Sip and Stroll through the World Showcase. I'll be hosting this on Tuesday October 18th at 1 pm. More details will be released once the Marketplaces have been announced. I'd love to meet everyone so please feel free to join this fun event.

*All Photos are by Kristen Hoetzel

Twitter.com/CookingwMickey
Facebook.com/CookingWithMickey
Cooking With Mickey


8 comments:

  1. What a great post - loved the video! Now you have me wanting to head back down in September! LOL

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  2. The F&W festival is soooo much fun. I think the highlights for me are the wine tasting seminars and cooking demonstrations. Course there's nothing quite like eating our way around the WS ;P Thanks so much for sharing. Looking forward to reading more about your F&W experiences.

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  3. That looks like a good time! I haven't been in October. I bet the weather is gorgeous for that event!

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  4. We went last year for the first time and absolutely loved it. The weather was great, the events were fun, the food was delicious. It could not have been a more exiting time for Mary Ann and I. Can't wait to do this again.

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  5. Sounds like so much fun! I've never attended but I hope to remedy that soon.

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  6. I would love to attend the Food and Wine Festival - and if I can pull it off, I'll definitely be attending your event! How insanely bored would the kids be at the Festival?

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  7. great info! We were in DL last year for the food and wine festival, but didn't participate due to time. I would love to go to WDWs and do the food and wine half marathon!

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  8. We visited the F&W Festival in 2008. I would like to say I was able to take advantage of all the offerings, but with the kids being 3.5, 2, and 10 months, we didn't get to spend the time we thought we would in Epcot. We'll be back this fall and now the kids will be 6.5, 5 and 3.5, so I am hoping for more success at tasting all it has to offer!

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