The 18th Annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival will return to Walt Disney World this fall with exciting new flavors and entertainment options. This year your culinary trip around the world will include tastes from the Scotland marketplace and a return trip to Brazil as part of more than 25 total marketplaces around the world showcase. Five new acts have also been added to the Eat to the Beat Concerts.
- New marketplace debuts; favorites return – Traditional flavors with a twist will pair with beers, meads and Scotch at the new Scotland Marketplace designed by Walt Disney Imagineering. Scottish officials were so impressed with the hit Disney film, “Brave,” that they contacted festival planners about participating in this year’s festival. The Brazil Marketplace returns by popular demand with an exciting new menu following a one-year hiatus. Hawai’i is back with its flavorful Kalua Pork Slider, and Terra, which debuted last year, returns with vegan favorite Trick’n Chicken Curry.
- Fan favorites rock the house at Eat to the Beat! Concerts – “We Got the Beat” with the Go-Go’s (Sept. 30-Oct. 1) and four other musical acts are set to make first appearances at Eat to the Beat nightly concerts. Also new to the festival stage: Edwin McCain (Oct. 10-11), The Manhattan Transfer (Oct. 12-13), Spin Doctors (Oct. 31-Nov. 1), and Christopher Cross (Nov. 2-3) Nineteen bands are slated, with STARSHIP starring Mickey Thomas kicking off the concert series Sept. 27-29. Returning fan favorites include The Pointer Sisters, Smash Mouth, Boyz II Men, Sister Hazel, Air Supply, Hanson and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.
- Celebrity chefs cook and dish – Renowned chefs like Warren Brown, Paula DaSilva, Gale Gand, Jamie Deen, Robert Irvine, Dean Max, Rock Harper, Jeff Henderson, Art Smith, Buddy Valastro, Allen Susser, “Cake Boy” Eric Lanlard, Duskie Estes and John Stewart, Donald Link, Bryan Voltaggio and Emily Ellyn share their talents during culinary demos and premium events.
- Festival Welcome Center buzzes with activities – Guests can make the most of complimentary Authentic Taste seminars. Culinary demonstrations and wine seminars feature new tastes and sips for a nominal fee.
- Reserved culinary events draw foodies — Special culinary programs showcase a lineup of renowned winemakers, guest chefs and speakers like Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson as they participate in elegant dinners, luncheons, seminars and wine schools.
Other festival highlights include:
- More than 270 chefs including Disney chefs and culinary stars from across the country
- A complimentary Marketplace Discovery Passport to be stamped at each international marketplace visited for the perfect scrapbook souvenir.
- Party for the Senses grand tasting events Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26, and Nov. 2 featuring tempting bites from eminent chefs, more than 50 wines and beers and live entertainment.
- Premium events including “3D” Disney’s Dessert Discovery on select Fridays, Cheese Seminars on Saturdays and Sweet Sundays on Sundays.
Here’s the (near) complete line up for Eat to the Beat concerts:
Sep 27-29: Starship starring Mickey Thomas
Sep 30-Oct 1: The Go-Go’s
Oct 2-4: Air Supply
Oct 5-6; Sister Hazel
Oct 7-9: Sugar Ray
Oct 10-11: Edwin McCain
Oct 12-13: The Manhattan Transfer
Oct 14-15: TBA
Oct 16-17: The Pointer Sisters
Oct 18-20: Night Ranger
Oct 21-23: Boyz II Men
Oct 24-25: Survivor
Oct 26-27: .38 Special
Oct 28-30: Smash Mouth
Oct 31-Nov 1: Spin Doctors
Nov 2-3: Christopher Cross
Nov 4-5: Hanson
Nov 6-8: Dennis DeYoung
Nov 9-11: Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to trying some Scottish Mead while listening to The Manhattan Transfer or The Go-Go’s and trying not to feel really old, since both those groups pretty much defined my teenage years.