Photo source: Walt Disney World
The 2015 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival at Walt Disney World celebrates the 20th year of the annual event that draws visitors from all over the globe. The event runs from September 25 through November 16, 2015, and features a great line up of celebrity chefs, demonstrations, concerts and of course, lots of good food.
Purchasing a ticket for Epcot will grant you access to the festival, however several experiences require a separate admission fee, and food and beverage samples are not complimentary. Some of the separate admission events are quite limited so it's important to purchase tickets in advance if possible.
You'll find a wide selection of merchandise available, including breakables like commemorative wine and beer glasses. The best way to pick up all your favorite merchandise and still enjoy the festival? If you're not a local resident, ask to have the merchandise shipped when you check out. The shipping prices are reasonable and Disney Cast Members do a great job of packing fragile items and ensuring everything arrives in one piece after you get home from your vacation. Plus, you skip the overweight baggage fees!
If you've never attended a Food & Wine Festival at Epcot before, here are a few of the highlights for this years event:
Located in Epcots World Showcase, here you'll find over 30 different marketplaces, featuring various culinary delights everything from African to Norwegian specialties. In addition to booths showcasing different countries, you'll find specialty themed booths like craft beers, desserts, Champagne, a wine studio and even a cheese studio.
Eat to the Beat
If you're in the mood to catch some live music, check Walt Disney World's schedule for the line up for the "Eat to the Beat" series. Artists like Wilson Phillips, Christopher Cross, Sugar Ray, Smashmouth and Air Supply are just a few of bands performing at the 2015 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.
The Festival Center is one of my favorite places to hang out. Aside from the fact that it's air conditioned and the perfect place to beat the Orlando heat, this is where all the action is. The Festival Center opens at 9am and remains open until the park closes. Here you can pick up your passport to have stamped at the various marketplace booths, watch demonstrations, shop for souvenirs and meet culinary celebrities.
If you're interested in some of the separate purchase packages and demonstrations, you'll find a variety of options like food and beverage pairings, special dining adventures, and grand tasting events. Here are a few options to consider:
- Food & Wine Festival Tasting Sampler: Credit for eight food samples, priority seating for the Eat to the Beat concert on the day of your package and a commemorative limited-release 20th anniversary pin. $59 per guest.
- What's Cookin' With: Very limited availability on Fridays and Sundays to have a plated brunch with a culinary great. Scheduled guests for 2015 include Andrew Zimmern, Cat Cora, Robert Irvine and Alex Guarnaschelli. These chefs will share their favorite dish and have a question and answer session after brunch. $129 per guest.
- Japanese Food Pairing: Offered on Thursdays, enjoy three different types of Japanese cuisine paired with sake and Japanese craft beer. $100 per guest.
Demonstrations and Seminars
Throughout the course of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, there are scheduled demonstrations and seminars you can enjoy. Some of these require separate admission. Check the Walt Disney World website for scheduled demonstration details. You'll also find details and the full list of celebrity chefs appearing at the 2015 event on the website.
Don't let delays or mishaps ruin your getaway, be sure to get the right travel insurance policy for you!