Through November 16, Walt Disney World Resort guests will have the added bonus of being able to enjoy the 20th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Presented by Chase, the festival has expanded this year with new Future World marketplaces featuring fresh culinary concepts to pair with select wines, beers, cocktails, and other beverages.
ABC’s Emmy-Award winning lifestyle series, The Chew, will broadcast from the festival for the first time. The show is leaving its Manhattan studio for the first time in its history to tape five shows with co-hosts Mario Batali, Michael Symon, Carla Hall, Clinton Kelly, and Daphne Oz on October 7, 8 & 9, to air during the week of October 12-16.
Marketplace experiences at the festival now number more than thirty. New marketplace dishes like the Grilled Sweet and Spicy Bush Berry Shrimp (Australia), Pepper Bacon Mac ‘N Cheese (Farm Fresh), and Seared Venison Loin with Wild Mushroom Marsala Sauce (New Zealand) are tempting guests’ taste buds this year. The Dominican Republic Marketplace has returned with an all-new menu that includes Pescado con Coco–seared grouper with pigeon peas, rice, and coconut sauce.
Don’t be afraid that the old favorites aren’t back, either–Disney chefs have definitely brought back guests’ dining traditions like the popular New England Lobster Roll (Hops & Barley) and classics like the Canadian Cheddar Cheese soup.
Two 20th-year celebratory wines were created just for this fall’s festival: Napa Valley Festival Chardonnay and Paso Robles Festival Cabernet Sauvignon. Guests can taste both wines at the Chew Lab marketplace or buy a bottle at the Festival Center Wine Shop.
Four new acts will make their appearances in the nightly Eat to the Beat concert series this year–Tiffany, Everclear, Maxi Priest, and Chaka Khan. Popular acts returning to rock the America Gardens Theatre stage are Kansas City (Blue Springs) native David Cook, Air Supply, Wilson Phillips, STARSHIP starring Mickey Thomas, Fuel, Smash Mouth, 38 Special, Christopher Cross, Rick Springfield, Sister Hazel, Hanson, Sugar Ray, SOS Band, The Pointer Sisters, Dennis DeYoung (original member of STYX), Jo Dee Messina, Boyz II Men, and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. The concerts are included with admission to Epcot.
One of the most exciting new areas of the festival is called Artistry of Wine and Cheese. It features the Cheese Studio and Wine Studio marketplaces, where premium wines are available on tap and cheeses are served on an “artist’s palette” as part of a wine-and-cheese pairing.
Celebrity chefs and visiting culinary artists from six countries and twenty-six US States are participating in the festival at culinary demos, book signings, and special tasting events. Be sure to pick up a Festival map in the park so you don’t miss out on any of the special events.
The Disney World Resort site has more information about Festival events and the special packages containing perks designed to enhance your enjoyment of the Festival. Call (407) 939-3378 to book an Epcot Food & Wine Festival Premium Package.