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The Scoop on the 2011 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

posted on June 13th, 2011 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer

Details will continue to unfold between now and the start of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, themed “Passport to a World of Flavors,” but here are the early highlights for the 16th annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.

From Sept. 30-Nov. 13, Epcot World Showcase Promenade features a panoply of delicious tastes, wine and cocktail pairings and other drinks, live entertainment and special culinary fun. More than 25 international marketplaces feature tapas-sized portions ($3 to $8) paired with beer, wine and cocktails.

2011 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

What’s hot this year? Here are the headlines:

  • Hawaii, the Caribbean islands and Portugal all debut Marketplaces – look for Kalua pork sliders in Hawaii, ropa vieja in the Caribbean and calamari salad in Portugal.
  • The new Odyssey Lounge opens, where guests can check in with friends and family back home, play games and surf the web while enjoying a specialty cocktail or a glass of wine or beer. There’s even a charging station for mobile phones and other electronic devices.
  • Celeb chefs are back – top culinarians like Jeff Henderson, Cat Cora, Alan Wong, Gale Gand, Suvir Saran, Jamie Deen, Rock Harper, Celina Tio and more. All told, more than 270 chefs participate.
  • There’s always fun stuff at the Festival Welcome Center, from a wine bar to tasting seminars and free sessions with cookbook authors.
  • Eat to the Beat! Concert Series is back at America Gardens Theatre with first timers the Pointer Sisters, The Orchestra starring former members of ELO and Gin Blossoms. Taylor Dayne kicks it off opening weekend.
  • Also back are First Bites Opening Reception on Sept. 29 (one time only); Kitchen Memories (formerly Celebrating Family and Friends in the Kitchen); Mixology Seminar, and “3D” Disney Dessert Discovery. And of course the grand Party for the Senses!
  • A new Cranberry Bog display by Craisins tells the story behind the cranberry’s rich agricultural heritage.

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) for information and to make reservations for special events and programs (Aug. 16 is the date you can start booking). Check for ongoing festival updates.

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Filed: Epcot, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort



Michelle on June 13th, 2011 at 5:36 pm

Great! When will the schedule of events come out so we can plan travel?


Pam Brandon on June 13th, 2011 at 8:13 pm

Stay tuned, schedule of events coming soon!


juana on June 13th, 2011 at 5:46 pm

I am looking forward to attending my first Food and Wine Festival at Epcot this year. Will there be a variety of vegetarian selections?


Pam Brandon on June 13th, 2011 at 8:14 pm

Every year the chefs add more vegetarian selections–you should find plenty.


Kari Ann on June 13th, 2011 at 6:12 pm

What are the dates for the Dessert Discovery so we can plan travel? We went last year and it was an amazing experience. Also, will the food and wine seminars be posted soon as well?


Pam Brandon on June 13th, 2011 at 8:14 pm

Will post as soon as we have dates.


Denny from FL on June 13th, 2011 at 6:18 pm

Do you get the food AND wine for each $3-$8? Couldn’t figure out last year why the small portions were so expensive.


Pam Brandon on June 13th, 2011 at 8:16 pm

Food at Marketplaces is priced $3-8; wine is separate.


Karen from FL on June 13th, 2011 at 6:26 pm

Can’t wait, this is thee best event of the year!


Crystal on June 13th, 2011 at 6:41 pm

I have only attended the F&W Festival once, it was last year and it was so much fun! I was actually a cast member at the time, so we got in free. Yes, the portions are very expensive, as is every other part of Disney, but they are delicious, and most of what I sampled was cooked right in front of me so you know its fresh. My favorite thing on the menu was the Belgium waffles with berry compote, and a steak medallion with sweet potatoe puree, they were so delicious. Oh, and the scallops!


Grace on June 13th, 2011 at 7:01 pm

CAN’T WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!


Ben from TX on June 13th, 2011 at 11:29 pm

Can’t wait! Will be our 1st trip to the F&WF, 4th to Disney in the last 5 years. Please tell your Special Events friends to start the Osborne lights in early Nov too. Food, wine, lights…please!


Bonnie on June 14th, 2011 at 9:07 am

Yay! This will be my seventh Food and Wine Festival in a row, and my first time running in the Wine and Dine half-marathon! I’m so excited about the new marketplaces.


Carolyn from IL on June 14th, 2011 at 11:02 am

We go each year at this time of year and we are NEVER disappointed. Yes the food at times can be pricy but the food is so delicious and to experience 50 or so foods from around the world is lots of fun.

KARI ANN – each year this are all sorts of vegetarian and gluetin-free items to meet dietary restricted persons in your party.

One of my vegetarian gluetin-free Indian friends was in town fro a conference and met up with us at the Food & Wine festival. We downloaded ahead of time and circled all the places that had foods he could each. Rest assured the Chef’s and servers answered all his ingredient questions as well. He had a ball and he was able to sample tons of locations and plans on bringing his family this year.

Last year, my husband did the passport and collected the stamps from around the world. Afterwards we checked off all the foods we tried and shared. Now it is tucked away in my scrapbook with the collectible gift card we used from last year that had the 15th anniversary on it.

Can’t wait for this year. See you in September and look forward to more and exciting information to come.


jeff on June 14th, 2011 at 11:05 am

I love the food and wine wife and i have attended 6 years in a row now.but last year was so crowded that we didnt enjoy it that much.we were waiting in line 45 minutes for an appetizer.and everybody is jammed into the same small area in world showcase. I wish they could somehow spread it out and add more lines somehow.i hope they will address this in the future because its so much fun


Jami from TN on June 14th, 2011 at 8:50 pm

YAY! I can’t wait. We happened upon this little festival 2 yrs ago and we are now planning our 3rd trip. Excited for the demonstrations and all to be posted. Thanks for putting on such a great event each year!


Tammy from NJ on June 15th, 2011 at 4:40 pm

My husband and I love the festival. I am very happy to hear that the Odyssey will be open again. It was one of the nicest locations in Epcot to sit back, relax, and enjoy the view!


Matthew from FL on June 16th, 2011 at 7:31 am

Last year we very much appreciated that there was a “V” symbol next to the vegetarian options, so we didn’t have to hold up the line while castmembers ran off to find ingredient lists. I’m sure everybody else waiting in the lines appreciated that too!


Matthew from FL on June 16th, 2011 at 7:31 am

Very cool about Odyssey too – will it only be open for Food & Wine? Or will it be opening permanently?


Cheryl on June 18th, 2011 at 12:01 am

Totally a dessert person! “3D” Disney Dessert Discovery sounds so delicious!!! =D


Susan from TX on June 20th, 2011 at 6:27 pm

We did the “3D” Disney Dessert Discovery last year and plan to do it again this year. My husband still talks about it and I think it has become his favorite part of the whole Festival. We’ve been attending since 2003 and have only missed once in the years since then. This is our favorite time of year at Walt Disney World!


Lisa on July 11th, 2011 at 9:30 pm

How much does the event cost? Other than the Epcot entrance fee