Like a fine wine that improves with age, the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival celebrates 15 years in 2010. The fan favorite returns Oct. 1 through Nov. 14. 2010 with more than two dozen countries represented in a 1.3-mile stroll around World Showcase promenade.
This year, Disney and celebrity chefs are teaming with winemakers and brew masters from around the world to commemorate 15 years. During the six-week festival, guests will discover:
• Three new tasting marketplaces – Belgium, South Korea and Singapore – plus new menu offerings at popular returning marketplaces including Argentina, Chile, Poland, South Africa, Puerto Rico, Australia, U.S.A., Spain and others.
• Celebrity chef appearances like Warren Brown, Cat Cora, Todd English, Gale Gand, Robert Irvine, Art Smith, Andrew Zimmern and more.
• A complimentary Marketplace Discovery Passport to be stamped at each international marketplace visited.
• Daily wine seminars, bottle signings, author events and culinary demonstrations at the Festival Welcome Center.
Whether sampling steamed mussels with roasted garlic cream at the new Belgium marketplace or sipping the trendiest wines from South Africa and Chile, festival guests can make a day of grazing their way around the World Showcase promenade. Tapas-sized portions of regional specialties run $3 to $8 each, and recommended wines and beers make perfect pairings at each marketplace. To make grazing simpler and more fun, guests can purchase a festival-themed mini-Disney Gift Card that can be loaded and reloaded at several park locations. The card comes attached to a band that can be worn on the wrist and used for purchases at park marketplaces, restaurants and shops.
The Food & Wine Festival isn’t just a feast for your mouth, your ears will be able to enjoy the Eat to the Beat concerts from top acts each day at 5:15 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. at the America Gardens Theatre.
Oct. 1 — Oct. 3: Taylor Dayne
Oct. 4 — Oct. 5: Kool & The Gang
Oct. 6 — Oct. 8: Sugar Ray
Oct. 9 — Oct. 10: Taylor Hicks
Oct. 11 — Oct. 12: Air Supply
Oct. 13 — Oct. 15: Sister Hazel
Oct. 16 — Oct. 17: Howard Jones
Oct. 18 — Oct. 19: Exposé
Oct. 20 — Oct. 21: 38 Special
Oct. 22 — Oct. 24: Night Ranger
Oct. 25 — Oct. 27: Billy Ocean
Oct. 28 — Oct. 31: Starship, starring Mickey Thomas
Nov. 1 — Nov. 3: Boyz II Men
Nov. 4 — Nov. 5: Roger Hodgson, formerly of Supertramp
Nov. 6 — Nov. 7: Jon Secada
Nov. 8 — Nov. 9: Hanson
Nov. 10 — Nov. 11: Rick Springfield
Nov. 12 — Nov. 14: Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Other highlights include:
• New events that include 3D Disney’s Dessert Discovery and a festival preview night, First Bites Opening Reception, on Sept. 30.
• Popular returning events that include Celebrating Family and Friends in the Kitchen, Epcot Wine Schools, Mexico Tequila Tastings and Food and Wine Pairings.
• The weekly Party for the Senses grand tasting event with tempting bites from eminent chefs, more than 50 wines and beers, and live entertainment presented by Cirque du Soleil.
The Party for the Senses grand tasting events and other special wine and culinary programs require reservations and separate event admission. Guests may call 407-WDW-FEST to make reservations.
More festival details, including a downloadable guide and map are available at disneyworld.com/foodandwine.
Here’s a look at last year’s Party For the Senses:
Here’s fan favorite Big Bad Voodoo Daddy performing in last year’s Eat to the Beat concert series:
Read more about the past 15 years of the Food & Wine Festival in the Fall 2010 issue of Orlando Attractions Magazine.