Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival is returning to Walt Disney World from Sept. 28 through Nov. 12 for a record 46 days. The culinary event, just named one of the Best Food and Wine Festivals by the Travel Channel, includes daily Eat to the Beat pop concerts, booths featuring samples of food from around the world and much more.
Fresh activities for 2012 include:
- Two new festival marketplaces: Terra Marketplace offers vegan menu items, including Trick’n Chick’n Curry with Basmati Rice and Chili Colorado with House-Made Chips and Cashew Cheese. The Florida Marketplace introduces fresh twists on regional flavors. There are more than 25 ethnic and regional marketplaces in all.
- Marketplace Chef Tours – each Wednesday, festival chefs host a walking-and-tasting tour around World Showcase with stops at several international marketplaces. You get to taste five marketplace dishes and five beverage items, like beer, wine and cocktails and learn a few culinary secrets.
- Newly crafted beverages are geared toward family dining – Children of all ages can try inventive new sips during the family’s marketplace dine-around. Child-friendly bites to pair will include beef empanadas and cheese fondue.
Returning activities for 2012 include:
- Eat to the Beat! Concerts – Featuring first timers to the concert series including pop acts like Smash Mouth (Oct. 11-12) and Javier Colon, winner of “The Voice” (Oct. 13-14). Full list below.
- HGTV sets the table – Superstar HGTV designers host home entertaining seminars every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
- Celebrity chefs – Renowned chefs like Robert Irvine and Rock Harper share their talents during culinary demos.
- Festival Welcome Center – Guests can make the most of complimentary Authentic Taste seminars. Culinary demonstrations and wine seminars feature new tastes and sips for a nominal fee.
- Reserved culinary events — Special culinary programs showcase a lineup of renowned winemakers, guest chefs and speakers participating in elegant dinners, luncheons, seminars and wine schools.
- More than 270 chefs – Disney chefs and culinary stars from across the country conducting culinary demonstrations and hosting dinners and tasting events.
- Complimentary Marketplace Discovery Passport – Stamped at each international marketplace visited.
- Party for the Senses – grand tasting events Oct. 6, 13, 20, 27 and Nov. 3 featuring bites from eminent chefs, more than 50 wines and beers and live entertainment.
Eat to the Beat Concert Series
Sept. 28-30: Night Ranger
Oct. 1-3: Sugar Ray
Oct. 4-7: Starship starring Mickey Thomas
Oct. 8-10: Boyz II Men
Oct. 11-12: Smash Mouth
Oct. 13-14: Javier Colon
Oct. 15-17: Air Supply
Oct. 18-19: Gin Blossoms
Oct. 20-21: Survivor
Oct. 22-23: Hanson
Oct. 24-25: The Pointer Sisters
Oct. 26-28: Sister Hazel
Oct. 29-31: Billy Ocean
Nov. 1-2: .38 Special
Nov. 3-4: Howard Jones
Nov. 5-6: Blues Traveler
Nov. 7-8: Dennis DeYoung
Nov. 9-12: Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Concerts will be held in the America Gardens Theatre at 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 8 p.m. All concerts are included with theme park admission.
The Party for the Senses grand tasting events and other special wine and culinary programs require reservations and separate event admission. Guests can call 407-WDW-FEST (939-3378) to make reservations. More information on the festival is available at www.disneyworld.com/foodandwine.