Every year, Epcot puts on incredible festivals to bring back many people into the park. We enjoy festivals in the spring/summer (Flower and Garden), festivals in the winter (Festival of the Arts and Festival of the Holidays), and we also receive one in the fall (Food and Wine). Conceivably the most attended festival and most anticipated festival of the year is the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. Last year (2018), the festival spanned 75 days total! The festival was celebrated August 30th and went until November 12th. As with each festival, there is so much to eat, do and see. That being stated, we here at Perf Shirts would love to assist you in preparing in advance for this years' festival. As such, we have produced this magnificent guide for you called The Passport to Food, Wine, and Fun!
The first thing you must grasp about the Food and Wine Fest is the Global Marketplaces. Now, if you are not into food, then do not even bother coming to the Food and Wine Fest as you will be disappointed. I mean, if you attend a festival with ‘food’ in the name, you better hope there is going to be food. In fact, food is a vast portion of the festival. The way this works is spread throughout the park, you will find locations known as ‘Global Marketplaces.’ These ‘Global Marketplaces’ will serve various appetizer-style dishes inspired or made authentically from nations across the world. Each item is À la carte meaning you can pick and choose to your heart’s content of whatever you decide you want to eat. The items can range anywhere in price from $3-$10. It completely depends on what item you purchase.
In total, there are 39 Global Marketplaces for you to try out. Based in 2017’s prices, if you were to eat at every single Global Marketplace and sampled one of every food item, youwould spend $635.56, give or take. Right now, that price does not include any alcoholic drinks you may want to try. If you sampled one of every drink at each of the marketplaces, not including any food, you would invest a total of $1,010.06, give or take. It is possible you are someone who wants to try every single drink and every single food item. If you did, you would be suffering a total of $1,645.62! Generally speaking, it is unrealistic to purchase every unique thing, unless that is you possess tons of money then, by all means, go right ahead.
If you’re interested in learning what each of the marketplaces entails, check out Disney’s official websitehere. Want to know a comprehensive breakdown of each marketplace down to the last dime? Clickherewhere you can find a detailed spreadsheet made that shows you just how much each marketplace will cost! You can even print it up! The most straightforward thing to do when it comes to purchasing food at the Global Marketplaces is to purchase a reloadable Disney Gift card. At the Food and Wine Fest itself, you can purchase a specially limited-edition Food and Wine Fest Gift card.
The benefit of having a gift card is so that A) you can reload it with more money, B) spend only what you have on the card without overspending, and C) when you purchase a gift card, you only make one charge on your credit card. If you pay by your credit card each time to purchase food, each purchase will then show up on your statement. Whereas, purchasing a gift card will show as one purchase. If you obtain a dining plan, most of the offerings at the Global Marketplaces are dining plan eligible. Each item regardless of how much it is, or if it's a food item or alcoholic drink, counts as a snack credit regardless of the dining plan you have.
After you munch and drink your way around the world, you may want to relax for a bit and attend an amazing concert! If you do, Epcot has the Eat to the Beat Concert Series which is a wonderful entertainment offering only at Food and Wine! The concerts are nightly every day at either 5:30 pm, 6:45 pm, or 8:00 pm. Their showtimes run for about 35 minutes each. Each concert is free to attend but if you’d like to have reserved, guaranteed seating, you need to purchase a dining package. Dining package prices vary depending on what restaurant you want to eat at. For a list of places and rates, clickhere. For a complete schedule of what artists will be at Food and Wine and when they will be there, clickhere. The concerts will be located at the America Gardens Theatre at the America Pavilion in the World Showcase.
At the International Food and Wine Festival, there is so much more to do than just eating, drinking, and listening to a concert! In fact, there is an offering called ‘Cheese Seminars.’ If you love cheese, then you’ll definitely want to attend one of these! According to Disney, in a Cheese Seminar, “guest cheesemakers will explain the major aromas, textures and flavor levels of popular cheeses—from Asiago to Zamorano. Attendees can sample artisanal selections paired with complimentary wines, craft beers, and other beverages while learning about the distinct nature of each featured region.” Cheese Seminars are $89 per guest and require advance reservations which can be madehereor by calling (407) 939-3378. Please do keep in mind though that the Cheese Seminars are only September 15, 22, 29, October 6, 13, 20, and November 10 from 9:45am-11: 15 am. Each seminar is about 90 minutes long.
Maybe you are someone who isn’t into cheese. Perhaps you’re someone who enjoys learning how to cook, and if so, you will want to attend a Culinary Demonstration! As according to Disney, at Culinary Demonstrations “renowned gourmets will impart years of kitchen wisdom while whipping up a memorable delicious dish. Attendees can collect tips and tricks to sharpen their skills, as well as savor the exquisite flavors at each presentation.” Culinary Demonstrations are $17 per guest plus tax and are only Mondays through Saturdays at 12:30 pm. Each Culinary Demonstration will last for 45 minutes. To book, you can make a reservation onlinehereor call (407) 939-3378. For a comprehensive listing of each demonstration and what chefs will be there, then clickhere. Culinary Demonstrations will be held at the Festival Center Stage in the Festival Center located at the old Wonders of Life Pavilion in Future World.
Cheese, cooking, and food are not everybody’s cup of tea. In fact, there are those that don’t like tea but like a little bit something harder. By harder, we indicate wine/beer. If that’s you, you may be interested in attending a Beverage Seminar! According to Disney, Beverage Seminars “put you in touch with your inner wine, beer or spirit connoisseur. Each day, sommeliers and other beverage experts will share their extensive knowledge at these deliciously informative presentations.” Beverage Seminars take place Monday-Thursday at 11:15 am and 2:30 pm, Friday and Select Saturdays at either 11:15 am or 4:30 pm, or on Sundays at 4:30 pm. Each Beverage Seminar is $17 per person plus tax and lasts for about 45 minutes. To make a reservation clickhereor you can call (407) 939-3378. For an extensive list of each seminar being held, you can look at the official calendarhere.
So, there are Cheese Seminars, Beverage Seminars, concerts, Global Marketplaces, and Culinary Demonstrations. What else is there to do? Well, there is still quite a bit to do! One of those things is the Mix It, Make It, Celebrate It! workshops! Essentially, Mix It Make It, Celebrate It! workshops are a variation of the Beverage Seminars and Culinary Demonstrations. The difference is in the workshop; you get hands-on experience while learning tips and tricks. As Disney describes it, you will be “Working side-by-side with chefs, beverage experts, and other kitchen wizards, rolling up your sleeves for an interactive lesson that teaches one of many different culinary and beverage skills. Each guided, interactive experience offers a multi-sensory smorgasbord—from whipping up sweet treats and savory sensations to exploring cocktails, spirits, and wines.” Sounds fun, right? Well, each Mix It, Make It, Celebrate It workshop costs $39 per person plus tax.
Mix It, Make It, Celebrate It! workshops are located at Festival Center Stage inside the Festival Center in Future World East! For the official event calendar of workshops, clickhere. Making a reservation for a Mix It, Make It, Celebrate It! is super easy to do. All you need to do is call (407) 939-3378 or book your workshop onlinehere. Each workshop is about 75 minutes long and runs from 4:30pm-5: 45 pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
With all the things we have already mentioned, there is still yet even more fun-filled things to do at this years’ Food and Wine Festival! In fact, new this year is a brand-new event called ‘Sunday Brunch with the Chef.’ It is a 2-hour breakfast/brunch buffet with a distinguished, gourmet chef. During this time you will partake of various dishes created by the chefs themselves, listen in on the wisdom they share for enhancing your culinary skills, and then, at the end partake in a meet-and-greet with the guest where you can get your picture taken with them! The event is only on select Sundays from 11:30am-1: 30 pm. The event is located inside of the World ShowPlace Events Pavilion which is inside of World Showcase. Reservations can be made onlinehereor can be made by calling (407) 939-3378. This event is $129 per guest, plus tax.
So far we mentioned two classes you can take that involve either food or beverage. But now what if you want a class that does both? Well, you can, in another new event this year called ‘Food and Beverage Pairings!’ According to Disney, in the event, you can “Pick up useful tips during this engaging collaboration between a featured chef and a beverage presenter, while getting to sample the dish and beverage pairing created during the demonstration!” This event does cost $25/person plus tax. It is held only Fridays through Sundays at 2:30 pm and will last for about 45 minutes. ‘Food and Beverage Pairings’ will take place on Festival Center Stage in the Festival Center. To book, you can do so onlinehereor book via the phone by calling (407) 939-3378. For a list of all the ‘Food and Beverage Pairing’ events, clickhere.
If you possess the money and are someone looking to enjoy the ultimate party for your senses, you may just want to partake in ‘Party For The Senses!’ ‘Party For The Senses’ is the ultimate foodie experience you can do during Food and Wine Fest! You may be pondering just what exactly is this event? As Disney describes it, you will “enjoy a feast that pays tribute to the sensory arts! Join acclaimed chefs, personalities and entertainers for Party for the Senses, an incredible night filled with food, fun, and friends. From the delectable menu to impressive entertainment, it’s the ideal opportunity for foodies to mark another year at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival with connoisseurs of all kinds.” This event is unlike any other and is actually relatively expensive.
‘Party for the Senses’ has two seating options; Reserved Seating or the Wine View Lounge. Depending on your seating preferences, it will determine the cost. The most affordable option is the Reserved Seating area which costs $229 per person. With it, you will occupy a reserved table on the main floor and get a specialty welcome cocktail. For Reserved Seating, you can check in at 7:00 pm the night of the event at the WorldShowplace Events Pavilion in World Showcase. Then, you have the Wine View Lounge Seating area. This seating area is the more expensive seating of the two. Per person, it is $349. At the Wine View Lounge Seating, you get a premium reserved table, premium bar service, along with some artisanal cheeses to go with your welcome cocktail toast.
With the Wine View Lounge Seating, you can also check in starting at 6:30 pm at the front of Epcot. Provided for you is transportation to and from the event. In the end, you will receive a special parting gift when you leave. The event starts at 7:00 pm and will last till 9:30 pm. Do keep in mind that there are only 5 ‘Party for the Senses’ events throughout the course of Food and wine. The events are on September 22, October 6, 13, and 20, and then on November 10. To book the Reserved Seating you can do so onlinehereor call (407) 939-3378. To book the Wine View Lounge seating, you can only do so by calling (407) 939-3378. For an official list of what chefs will be at what event and clickhere.
It wouldn’t be Disney unless it was family-friendly. That being stated, the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival is perfect for families! Even though we have mentioned many things that may not be kid-friendly, there are still more things to do will love! The Junior Chef Kitchen and the Wreck-It Ralph playground are two new offerings that are such examples. At Junior Chef Kitchen, kids ages 4-10 will learn to make their own pancake creations for free by a Disney chef. Junior Chef Kitchen will take place on Festival Center Stage in the Festival Center. You do need to register for it, but you can only do so either the day of or the day prior to in the Festival Center.
Junior Chef Kitchen will only be held on September 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30, October 7, 14, 21, 28, and November 4 and 11. Each Junior Chef Kitchen workshop starts at 11 am. In addition to the Junior Chef Kitchen, there are other things your kids will enjoy doing if they do not want to make pancakes. During Friday and Saturday evenings, at a designated location not yet announced, kids can dance the night away in the free ‘Disney Du Jour Dance Party.’ At the Du jour Dance Party kids will get to dance with some of their favorite Disney characters while an artist from Radio Disney will be giving a mini concert.
If your kids enjoy scavenger hunts, there is a fun little scavenger hunt you all can do! It is themed around to the movie Ratatouille, in where you have to help find Remy and the ingredients around World Showcase. It does cost $5.99 per scavenger hunt map, but overall, it is an affordable price. In the end, you even get a little surprise once finished! Lastly, at Food and Wine, there is the Festival Center Happenings. There, inside the Festival Center, you can discover various things to enjoy. You can find some Global Marketplaces, shopping, free seminars, take your paid seminar and even sample some Ghirardelli chocolate!
Overall, there is so much to do and see during Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival this coming year! In truth, there is something for everyone to do. You have multiple free experiences for those who do not want to spend money on extra things. Then you have the paid classes for those who want even more. And if you have young kids, there are even amazing things for your kids to do! In fact, even at each of the Global Marketplaces, there are kid-friendly food items for them to try! Hopefully, this thorough and complete guide can and will help you in planning for this year’s Food and Wine Festival! The Epcot International Food and Wine Festival starts August 30 and will be until November 12!
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