It’s finally here! One of the biggest events of the calendar year in Orlando, the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival kicked off on August 30. The event, celebrating its 23rd consecutive year, clocks in at a full 75 days, making it a long-standing annual tradition for foodies across the globe.
The multifaceted festival offers something for everyone. With individual food booths serving an array of global cuisine, daily demonstrations, splurge-worthy special events, and food-inspired exhibits, as well as nightly Eat to the Beat concerts, you’ll want to plan ahead to make the most of your time. Here’s a rundown of what’s new, what’s returning and what you shouldn’t miss.
Global Marketplace Booths
The hallmark of the beloved event is the Marketplace Booths—small kiosks, themed to different styles of food or by country, that are scattered along the World Showcase Promenade. Three years ago, the festival expanded the number of booths, and now you’ll find that they’ve trickled into Future World as well.
Beloved booths such as Canada return in 2018, with festival favorite dishes such as Canadian Cheddar and Bacon Soup, served with an irresistible Pretzel Roll. Or save your points for the Le Cellier Wild Mushroom Filet Mignon, topped with Truffle Butter Sauce, which has been a top seller at the festival year after year.
Looking for the latest and greatest? Then you’re in luck, because those crafty Disney chefs have introduced more than 100 new items to the lineup this year, included 35 new dishes and 100 fresh beverage options. New dishes range from better-for-you options such as Active Eats Energy Bar Bites, a mix of Chocolate, Nuts, Dried Fruits and Dates at the Active Eats Marketplace; to decadent desserts, like Croissant Doughnuts topped with Gelato and a Pancake Milkshake at the new Taste Track Marketplace.
The Epcot Food and Wine Festival also offers an array of lower-cost demonstrations, ranging in cost from $17 to $39 per person. These include Culinary Demonstrations; Beverage Seminars; Mix It! Make It! Celebrate It! Hands-On Workshops; and Food and Beverage Pairings.
The events take place at various times throughout the week at Festival Center. Be sure to check out the official Epcot Food and Wine Festival website for details on pricing, dates, and how to book.
Care to enhance your experience? A number of special events take place throughout the festival, including Cheese Seminars, food and beverage pairing events that take place in the restaurants throughout World Showcase and Party for the Senses.
New in 2018, attend the “Sunday Brunch with a Chef” and learn the secrets and stories of beloved celebrity chefs such as Art Smith, Carla Hall and Jamie Deen, among others.
Eat to the Beat
Popular nightly Eat to the Beat concerts return in 2018 as well, featuring a wide range of talent across musical genres and decades.
Eat to the Beat Dining Packages are a great way to plan dinner ahead and skip the lines. Guests who prefer spontaneity can also take advantage of a dining package at Liberty Inn, one of the Epcot’s counter service locations. Just visit the restaurant to determine availability for the day of your visit. Book reservations by calling (407) WDW-FEST or (407) 939-3378 or visit TasteEpcot.com for details and to see the full lineup of artists performing at the festival.