LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Its the most wonderful time of the year for Foodies in Orlando! The 23rd Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is back with more than 30 global food and beverage marketplaces, a full menu of new offerings such as “Sunday Brunch with the Chef” series, and new fun for the entire family for 75 days from August 30-November 12, 2018.
The Epcot dine-around extravaganza offers guests the opportunity to enjoy great sips and bites throughout the park, but the festival has become so much more this year and I wanted to highlight some of the ‘can’t miss’ offerings!
Here are my nine ‘Must Do’s’ for the 2018 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival:
- The NEW Taste Track global marketplace featuring specialty croissant doughnuts (add gelato for an extra-sweet treat) joins dozens of popular returning marketplaces. For a fourth year, global marketplaces will extend into Future World to offer brand-new taste sensations. Disney chefs are in the kitchen whipping up delicious new bites like Butternut Squash Ravioli with brown butter vinaigrette, Parmesan cheese and pumpkin seeds at The Wine & Dine Studio; Charred Chimichurri Skirt Steak with smoked corn cake, pickled vegetable slaw and cilantro aïoli at Flavors from Fire; and New Brunswick Slider, slow-braised beef brisket “pot roast-style” on a potato roll with horseradish cream, crispy fried onions and pickled vegetables on the side at the Hops & Barley
- The NEW “Sunday Brunch with the Chef” series in World ShowPlace will kick off September 2 with Top Chef All-Star Richard Blais and continue on select Sundays through Nov. 11 with a lineup that includes Jamie Deen, Tiffani Thiessen, Masaharu Morimoto, Buddy Valastro, Art Smith, Geoffrey Zakarian, Carla Hall and Alex Guarnaschelli.
- Eat to the Beat concerts – 225 shows in all – will rev up the America Gardens Theatre stage three times each night with new musical acts including Vertical Horizon, Sheila E, 98 Degrees, MercyMe and Glass Tiger, along with returning festival favorites spanning a broad range of eras and genres from rock and pop to rhythm and blues.
- The grandest of the festival’s don’t-miss tasting events, Party for the Senses at World ShowPlace, will welcome acclaimed chefs and vintners September 22, October 6, 13, 20 and November 10 to showcase creative bites and palate-pleasing sips with sensational live entertainment.
- Families will want to check out all of the interactive offerings such as the themed playgrouds, Disney Du Jour Dance Party, Junior Chef Kitchen presented by Krusteaz, and Candy Sushi Presented by Skittles and Adventures by Disney.
- Popular TV chefs and other culinary icons will entertain guests and inspire their palates at festival seminars and other events. Just a few of the big names on tap are Robert Irvine, Maneet Chauhan, Jet Tila, Shaun O’Neale, Keegan Gerhard, Dan Pashman and Rock Harper.
- A “Ratatouille”-inspired adventure is back as Chef Remy encourages families to play together during Remy’s Ratatouille Hide ‘n’ Squeak scavenger hunt. This year Remy is hiding in all new locations!
- The complimentary Back to Basics weekend series offered in the Festival Center will share epicurean tips and tricks from the pros. Book and bottle signings by some of the world’s top vintners will be available, and The Chocolate Experience: From Bean to the Bar, hosted by Ghirardelli, will offer guest samples.
- Culinary Demonstrations and Beverage Seminars will offer daily learning and tasting sessions at the Festival Center. On select Saturdays, Cheese Seminars will be a fromage fan’s delight.
When you are planning your day at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival make sure that you keep in mind that while a large majority of the offerings are included with admission to the park there are a few things you will want to budget for during the day!
Included with Epcot Admission
Back to Basics series, book signings, Eat to the Beat concerts, Festival Passport and all attractions and park entertainment are included with regular Epcot admission.
Special Programming by Reservation
Party for the Senses grand tasting events, signature dinners and other special wine and culinary programs require reservations and separate event admission. Guests can call (407) WDW-FEST (939-3378) to make reservations and find more details at TasteEpcot.com.
Over the course of the 2018 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, icFlorida will be bringing you updates and more information so make sure that you follow @icFloridaEvents on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
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