Epcot readies its earliest-ever International Food and Wine Festival
The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival kicks off at the Walt Disney World Resort on Thursday, for its earliest-ever start.
The 23rd annual event expands by nearly two weeks this year, running for 75 days through Nov. 13. To celebrate Epcot's 35th anniversary this year, the Food & Wine Festival will offer 35 "global marketplace" food and beverage booths throughout the park. The five new booths include:
- Active Eats (serving Loaded Mac ‘n' Cheese, Roasted Verlasso Salmon, and Sweet Avocado Crema with Strawberries, Yellow Cake and Tortilla Streusel)
- The Almond Orchard (Cauliflower Risotto with Pulled Chicken, Artichokes, Spinach and Parmesan Cheese and Aged Balsamic, Fire-roasted Tomato Hummus topped with Almond, and a Banana Almond Soft-serve Sundae)
- Coastal Eats (Lump Crab Cake, Baked Shrimp Scampi Dip, and Seared Scallops with Roasted Corn and Butterbean Succotash)
- Flavors From Fire (Roasted Pork Wings with Korean BBQ Sauce, Smoked Corned Beef with Warm Crispy Potatoes, Pickled Onions and Blonde Ale Beer Fondue, Sweet Pancake with Spicy Chipotle Chicken Sausage, Onion Jam and Maple Butter Syrup, and a Dark Chocolate Mousse with Cayenne Pepper, Chili Powder and Raspberry Dust)
- The Light Lab (Drinks — too many for me to list!)
Items are sold individually, though you can use Disney Dining Plan snack credits on many items, as well. Disney is selling a $65 Tasting Sampler for eight food or beverage items, plus a limited-release Festival trading pin.
In addition to the food and drink, the Festival includes plenty of live entertainment. The Eat to the Beat concert series will present 32 headline acts on the America Gardens Theatre stage during the festival, kicking off with Delta Rae this weekend and wrapping up with Squeeze on Nov. 12-13. The park will present additional bands playing throughout World Showcase, as well, including Suroit on the Mill Stage in the Canada pavilion, Musique Aramenco in Morocco, and Margret Almer & The Bavarian Band in Germany. Bodh'aktan takes over for Suroit in Canada on Oct. 2, yielding to Raffy on Oct. 23.
Why the early start? As I wrote in my Orange County Register column last week, with the school year starting earlier in many parts of the United States, what passes for the off season at Disney's theme parks is starting in mid-August now, instead of after Labor Day as in years past. So it makes sense for Disney to get going with its most popular off-season festival ASAP after the summer crowds begin to thin.
We invite you to post photos of your favorite Epcot International Food & Wine Festival eats and drinks to us @ThemePark on Twitter and to tag ThemeParkInsider on Instagram.
Rate and Review:
AKA: Get plastered at EPCOT.
Yes. Exactly. The only thing to do is get plastered at Epcot and this is the only reason for such an event. I am sorry the word wine triggered you to make that irrational comment. The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is much more than an opportunity to come on down and get drunk. If anything only the truly well off could afford to properly do so. I invite you to open your small mind and give it a shot.
Here here Barry. Anyway, guests can go "Drinking Around the World" even when the F&W Festival isn't going on (many drinking groups never make it past Rose & Crown with its plentiful taps). Even if you're an AP-holder, trying to get drunk at EPCOT F&W would set you back a week's pay, especially since they've trimmed back the number of spirits offered at the kiosks.
Crazy idea: Place bankruptcy lawyers and sobriety counselors around World Showcase, and let's see who gets the most clients by the end of the day.
Have you discovered any information regarding why school districts have opted to begin the school year in August rather than the traditional September after Labor Day start?
Jeez Barry lighten up, it was a joke. For what it's worth I've seen some pretty crude behavior during food and wine while waiting for Illuminations.
@188.8.131.52 - School districts have been moving up the first day of school for years now. Much of this has to do with the increasing number of holidays and additional teacher workdays needed throughout the year. Most states require districts to have 180 school days per year. When you take 10 days for winter break, 5 days for spring break, the 8 traditional holidays between September and June (Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving and day after, MLK Day, President's Day, and Memorial Day), somewhere between 5-10 "weather" days, and 4-8 teacher workdays, it takes more than 40 weeks to reach 180 school days.
Standardized testing is the reason to move up the school year. Schools want high scores - children starting school earlier have longer to prep. Common Core (called by many different names to hide the reality) is all about data mining children through more standardized testing AND moving that testing on-line.
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