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New details fill in EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival

2011 EPCOT Food & Wine Festival Festival Center

It’s one of the most popular events of the year at Walt Disney World attracting wine lovers and food fans from around the world and this year, the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival runs 9 extra delicious days from Sept. 14-Nov. 14, 2016. This year the festival grows in scope with new culinary experiences and new marketplace flavors.

In addition to the 30 global marketplaces which will feature the food of 6 continent, Disney is offering a series of hands-on “Mix It, Make It, Celebrate It!” workshops at the Festival Center. They will offer guests a chance to learn a variety of culinary skills from chefs, bakers, mixologists and other pros. Even more Disney resort festival experiences are planned, with a new brunch, cooking school and other fresh culinary adventures.


For a second year, global marketplaces will extend into Future World to offer a wider range of taste sensations. Culinary icons like Cat Cora, Norman Van Aken, Masaharu Morimoto, Elizabeth Falkner, Buddy Valastro and Jamie Deen will entertain foodies and inspire their palates at new and returning premium events that include reimagined Party for the Senses grand tastings with new concepts and themes.

Festival guests can pair wines, beers and ciders with savory and sweet dishes as they stroll the World Showcase Promenade using their complimentary festival passports as a guide.

New marketplace menus debut and festival favorites return – Hard soda float, anyone? Guests can choose a favorite hard soda to mix with vanilla ice cream for a sweet treat at Desserts & Champagne marketplace. A savory vegan dish will debut at the Greece marketplace, and the popular Farm Fresh marketplace will showcase Florida’s bounty with new savory dishes.

Multiple new Eat to the Beat concert acts debut; fan favorites return to play 186 festival concerts, in all –Wang Chung (Everybody Have Fun Tonight!) will open the Eat to the Beat concert series Sept. 14-15. More new acts in the concert series lineup, including Delta Rae and Toad The Wet Sprocket – will rock their chart-topping tunes. Other popular acts, including Wilson Phillips, Boyz II Men and Jeffrey Osbourne, will return to the America Gardens Theatre stage this fall.

Celebrity chefs, wine experts and mixologists join the fun – Celebrities ranging from Rock Harper to master sommelier Andrea Robinson will share their food and beverage know-how during demos and premium events. At the new “Mix It, Make It, Celebrate It!” workshops, guests will put expert advice to use whether mixing cocktails, decorating cakes or using herbs to kick up a dish’s flavor.

The popular Festival Private Label California Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon are back and available by the bottle or by the glass.

Ratatouille returns — Chef Remy of “Ratatouille” returns with his fun-for-the-family culinary scavenger hunt.

Festival Center cooks on all burners –Festival Center highlights will include the complimentary Back to Basics weekend series featuring epicurean tips and tricks from the pros, book and bottle signings and The Chocolate Experience: From Bean to the Bar, hosted by Ghirardelli and offering guest samples.

Rest and recharge at the Chase Lounge – Chase debit and credit card members – including Disney Visa card members — will find complimentary non-alcoholic refreshments, a charging station and comfortable seating for a relaxing break at the Chase Lounge at American Adventure.

Party for the Senses

Plan for a premium adventure:

  • Rockin’ Burger Block Party and Party for the Senses grand tasting events will showcase creative bites and palate-pleasing sips from eminent chefs and beverage experts plus new live entertainment.
  • New resort premium events to book will include a Grand Floridian brunch with a twist and a new cooking school experience.

I always look forward to seeing what amazing creations Disney’s chefs can come up with for the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival, but some of the best experiences are those premium events. If you’ve never been to a Party for the Senses, you should definitely try to go.

What do you look forward to the most at the EPCOT Food & Wine Festival?

4 thoughts on “New details fill in EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival”

  1. I’m hoping that they do the Premium Package again this year. Reserved seating in the shade and food runners? Totally worth the price!

  2. Seriously John, the popular Festival Private Label wines? Their introduction was the single most disappointing thing at last year’s festival. A pure money grab by Disney. Did you know that at the beginning of last year’s demos they were still using the original labels? So we looked them up. Bottom line was they were selling so-so $17 wines for $25. Basically all they did was take an available wine, put a Disney label on it, and charge the unsuspecting $8 for the privilege. Private label? I don’t think so. I felt sorry for poor Pam Smith who had to push this. Several of the pairings were terrible.

    I did talk to one wine expert who has done the festival many times, she did tell me it was Disney’s decision to water down this aspect of the festival. Love the cooking demos and I am sure we’ll do at least 12 this year. Kudos to the chefs who put their foot down and insist that appropriate wines are paired with their food.

  3. Any idea when sales will begin? The past two years it has been 7/30 or 7/31 but with expanded dates for F&W in 2016, will they begin sales earlier?

  4. The food and wine festival has gone down hill the past few years. The lines are poorly managed and routed, leaving people standing for long periods in direct sun without shade, sometimes squished against each other.The portions have gotten smaller and more expensive, and once you get your $7 two bite snack you can’t find anywhere to go with it, not enough tables or benches.
    Then to top it off it has become more popular among the party/drunkards. The park last year and the year before was packed with people acting like fools, throwing up on the ground , falling on the ground and last year my husband took our son to the restroom only to find that two men were loudly having sex in the bathroom. They need to beef up security a bit so people will remember where they are, a family park, not a bar. So all in all, I’m very hesitated to go again this year.

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