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2009 EPCOT Food & Wine Festival Preview

The Food & Wine Festival returns to EPCOT this year September 25 – November 8 for the 14th time. As with last year the even is slightly downsized from the height of 30+ countries, but the flavor and experience is all there. During the six-week event, park guests can taste fine cuisine and wines from top “foodie” cities of the world and enjoy entertainment from musical acts that will bring back memories of yesteryear.

Festival guests can enjoy the flavors of more than 25 international marketplaces dotting the World Showcase promenade highlighting tastes from cities on six continents, including Bologna, Italy; Bangkok, Thailand; Wellington, New Zealand; Santiago, Chile; Marrakesh, Morocco; Shanghai, China; and, from the United States – New Orleans. Tapas-sized portions of regional specialties run $2 to $7 each, and recommended wines and beers make perfect pairings at each kiosk. Puglia, Italy, returns as a sponsor this year, presenting culinary demonstrations with regional chefs and showcasing Adventures of Pasta and Olive Oils.

I personally hope that this year’s festival will include more of a street food element. It is a trend in food service right now, and it works well with the ‘foodie’ cities theme they have this year. So I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Follow the jump for more festival highlights:

Festival highlights include:

  • Daily wine and beer tastings.
  • A series of special culinary programs featuring a lineup of renowned winemakers, guest chefs and speakers participating in elegant dinners, luncheons, seminars and wine schools.
  • New programs like Culinary Adventures in Signature Dining and Celebrating Family and Friends in the Kitchen.
  • Popular returning events such as French Regional Lunches at Bistro de Paris in the France pavilion, Epcot Wine Schools, Food and Wine Pairings and Sweet Sundays.

Some 250 chefs including Disney chefs and guest chefs from across the country. Guest chefs scheduled to appear are Warren Brown, Cat Cora, Jamie and Bobby Deen, Keegan Gerhard, Jeff Henderson, Robert Irvine, Art Smith, Jacques Torres, Alan Wong, Andrew Zimmern and many other culinary stars.

Weekly Party for the Senses grand tasting event with tempting bites from eminent chefs, more than 50 wines and beers and live entertainment – this year, for the first time, with a different theme each week.

Festival Welcome Center, with a Champagne and Wine Bar, educational wine seminars, celebrity chef book signings, and festival keepsakes including exclusive festival pins and an official festival cookbook.

Epcot’s live regional entertainment is scheduled throughout each day along the promenade and the festival’s signature Eat to the Beat! concert series kicks the party up a couple of notches – featuring acts from many musical genres including classic rock, jazz, R&B, funk and soul. Concerts are performed three times each evening at America Gardens Theatre along the World Showcase lagoon.

Scheduled to appear on the Eat to the Beat! stage this year are such hit makers as Richard Marx (“Hold On to the Nights”), Billy Ocean (“Caribbean Queen”), En Vogue (“Free Your Mind”) and Boyz II Men (“Motownphilly”). (Entertainment, performers, dates and times are subject to change.)

Included with Epcot Admission:

Samuel Adams beer seminars, Authentic Taste seminars and Authors without Borders programs with special book signings at the Festival Center, Eat to the Beat! concerts, culinary and cultural adventures, and all attractions and park entertainment are included with regular Epcot admission.

Special Programming by Reservation:

The Party for the Senses grand tasting events, Food and Wine Pairings at select Epcot restaurants, Signature Dining, Epcot Wine Schools, Sweet Sundays, and other special wine and culinary programs require reservations and separate event admission.

Guests can call 407/WDW-FEST (939-3378) for information and to make reservations for special events and programs. Festival details are available at

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