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All you need to know about the 19th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival starting Sept. 19

by Banks Lee

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

Get ready to send your taste buds into overdrive as the annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival returns to Walt Disney World this fall for its 19th year.

Celebrated for its inspired flavors, Eat to the Beat concerts and premium dining events, the Festival kicks off Sept. 19, 2014 and runs 53 days until Nov. 10 – seven days longer than last year’s event – and features more than 270 chefs, including Disney chefs and culinary stars from across the country.

Festival guests will be able to pair wines and beers with savory and sweet dishes from more than 25 ethnic and specialty marketplaces as they stroll the World Showcase Promenade and earn stamps on their complimentary festival “passport” souvenirs. Champagne, cocktails and “mocktails” also will be on festival menus.

A Patagonia Marketplace will debut with a menu featuring fresh, sustainable roasted Verlasso Salmon, Quinoa Salad and Arugula Chimichurri. The Farm Fresh Marketplace will dish up new home-grown offerings including Applewood-smoked Pepper Bacon Hash with Sweet Corn, Potatoes, Hollandaise and pickled Jalapeños. More than 30 new food items are on the menus of returning food and beverage marketplaces. Puerto Rico hits the mainland in a big way with a creative new marketplace menu and an experience that highlights the beauty and diversity of the “All Star Island.”

Five new Eat to the Beat musical acts join 17 fan-favorite bands to complete a genre-spanning lineup of pop hit greats during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Sept. 19-Nov. 10 at Walt Disney World Resort. Concerts take place at the America Gardens Theatre stage at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m. daily. The lineup includes:
• Sept. 19-21 – Jo Dee Messina
• Sept. 22-23 — The Pointer Sisters
• Sept. 24-25 — The Commodores
• Sept. 26-27 — Christopher Cross
• Sept. 28-29 — Hanson
• Sept. 30-Oct. 2 — Air Supply
• Oct. 3-5 — Starship starring Mickey Thomas
• Oct. 6-8 — Sugar Ray
• Oct. 9-10 – Fuel
• Oct. 11-12 — Sister Hazel
• Oct. 13-14 — Richard Marx
• Oct. 15-16 — Billy Ocean
• Oct. 17-19 — Night Ranger
• Oct. 20-22 — Smash Mouth
• Oct. 23-24 – Jim Brickman
• Oct. 25-26 – Los Lonely Boys
• Oct. 27-28 — Wilson Phillips
• Oct. 29-31 — Dennis DeYoung, original member of the group STYX
• Nov. 1-2 — 38 Special
• Nov. 3-5 — Boyz II Men
• Nov. 6-7 – David Cook
• Nov. 8-10 — Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

Fans of the “Eat to the Beat” concert series can have their reserved concert seats and eat lunch or dinner, too, with the first-ever Eat to the Beat dining packages.

The new Epcot Food & Wine Festival – Late Nights Live street party will span the World Showcase promenade from the United Kingdom pavilion to World Showcase Plaza from 9:45 p.m. to 1 a.m. each Tuesday and Thursday. It includes six tastes (food and beverages) from select marketplaces, live music and entertainment for $79 plus tax. (Admission to Epcot is not required after 9 p.m. for guests who have purchased credentials to the event.)

For Walt Disney World Resort hotel guests, plus Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin hotel guests, the Epcot Food & Wine Festival Premium package will debut at $199 per guest, plus tax and Epcot admission, and runs from noon-8 p.m. Monday through Thursday between Sept. 22 and Nov. 6. The package includes an in-room gift with wine for guests 21 and older, a festival wine glass, truffles and a credential for 10 VIP “premium package areas” around World Showcase promenade where marketplace items can be ordered and delivered to guests. The package also includes a festival MagicBand, a $50 Disney Gift Card and one admission to Late Nights Live on Tuesday or Thursday night.

Information and reservations for select programs can be found at epcotfoodfestival.com. For additional bookings, including the new Epcot Food & Wine – Late Nights Live, guests can call 407-WDW-FEST (939-3378). To book the Epcot Food & Wine Festival Premium Package, call 407-939-1889.

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