They’re some of the hottest tickets in town, so get ready to dial at 7 a.m. on Aug. 13 when the phone lines open to book reservations for premium events for the 18th annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Sept. 27-Nov. 11.
The all-important number to keep handy: 407/WDW-FEST (939-3378). Some of the popular events sell out fast, and there are new events this year, too, during the 46-day fest. From the over-the-top Party for the Senses grand tasting experience on select Saturday nights to a new taste of Scottish cuisine, there are lots of opportunities. Price per ticket:
New Scotland: Land of Food & Drink (Sept. 28), $95 or $115
Additional events include Italian and French pairings and lunches, and a Mexican tequila lunch. Guests also can book special festival experiences including daily Culinary Demonstrations ($14), Mixology Seminars ($15) and Wine, Beer or Spirit Seminars ($14). Inside-the-park festival dining experiences as well as culinary and beverage programs require park admission fees. Event updates and details will be posted on the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Facebook page in August.
Look for classic Scottish dishes that are still in the development phase, but the cocktail of choice will be a Loch Lomond, a popular Scotch whisky martini that is simply Scotch and Drambuie. Scotland is just one of more than 25 ethnic and specialized marketplaces – and we’re happy that Brazil returns this year, a crowd favorite that was missing in 2012.
Hawaii is back with the fab pork slider, as well as the vegan Terra Marketplace that debuted last year.
Favorite celeb chefs are back. Look for Jamie Deen, Robert Irvine, Gale Gand, Art Smith, Buddy Valastro, Bryan Voltaggio, Warren Brown and others to make appearances at special events and on stage in the Festival Center. Wine tastings, mixology seminars, cheese seminars, live entertainment and the engaging Ocean Spray Cranberry Bog give guests of all ages plenty to see and do. More than 270 chefs and culinary stars from the U.S. will be there.
The 46-day festival runs September 27-November 11. You can start making reservations in August at 407-WDW-FEST (date to be announced soon)! Keep an eye on www.epcotfoodfestival.com for updates.
New acts coming this year include the Go-Go’s, Edwin McCain, The Manhattan Transfer, Wilson Phillips, Spin Doctors and Christopher Cross. There are also many returning favorites, including Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and Boyz II Men.
Check out the full schedule below:
Sept. 27-29 – Starship starring Mickey Thomas
Sept. 30-Oct. 1 – Go-Go’s
Oct. 2-4 – Air Supply
Oct. 5-6 – Sister Hazel
Oct. 7-9 – Sugar Ray
Oct. 10-11 – Edwin McCain
Oct. 12-13 – Manhattan Transfer
Oct. 14-15 – Wilson Phillips
Oct. 16-17 – The Pointer Sisters
Oct. 18-20 – Night Ranger
Oct. 21-23 – Boyz II Men
Oct. 24-25 – Survivor
Oct. 26-27 – 38 Special
Oct. 28-30 – Smash Mouth
Oct. 31-Nov. 1 – Spin Doctors
Nov. 2-3 – Christopher Cross
Nov. 4-5 – Hanson
Nov. 6-8 – Dennis DeYoung
Nov. 9-11 – Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Which group would you love to see? If you have a favorite, tell us in the “Comments” section below.
Art Smith, amiable chef-owner of one of D.C.’s premier dining spots, Art and Soul, will be on stage from 10 a.m. to noon this Friday. (He also was Oprah’s personal chef.)
Buddy Valastro, the famous “Cake Boss” from Carlo’s Bake Shop in Hoboken, N.J. , is cooking from 10 a.m.-noon November 9.
More than just a meal, the three-three-course lunch gives the chefs a chance to tell their own culinary tales of growing up. They’ll also show guests how to make an appetizer, main course and dessert, each served with a wine pairing and a sommelier to explain.
Both are in the Festival Welcome Center Chef’s Showcase. Cost is $110 or $160 with wine, plus tax, gratuity included. Epcot admission is required.
To make a reservation, call 407-WDW-FEST (407-939-3378).
Half the fun of the festival is discovering new dishes in the 29 marketplaces. But what’s your favorite?
That’s the assignment I had on my recent trip around the Epcot culinary world. Whether it’s the subtle seasoning of the Kefta Pocket at the Morocco Marketplace; the volcano sauce on the Spicy Hand Roll at Japan; a smooth, fine Merlot from France; Griddled Greek Cheese at Greece or the wonderful selection of ales and beers at the Hops and Barley Marketplace, there’s a lot to please every palate. Rob, our Concerned Bystander, also makes a cameo in this video, but it seems his tune has changed just a tiny bit.
So, after experiencing all 29 marketplaces in one day, what was my favorite dish?
The Kalua Pork Slider (the chutney and spicy mayo are an unbeatable blend) from the Hawai’i Marketplace takes the top spot in my (very) unscientific sampling. Although the White Corn Arepa (AREPA!) from the Florida Local Marketplace was a close second. With the famous sweet corn from nearby Zellwood, Fla., it’s a tasty treat. (And if you order it, please shout “Arepa!” and you might get a reaction just like I did in the video.)
The best thing is that I received a special stamp at the Festival Center for visiting all 29 countries. (Although I might suggest visiting Epcot a few times before the event ends to collect all of the marketplace stamps!)
Let us know in the comments if you have visited all 29 marketplaces, or if you have discovered your favorite from this year’s festival. Arepa!
See what’s happening at the 2012 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival in the posts below:
There’s still time to enjoy one of the real treats of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival – the Saturday night Party for the Senses, a feast of food, wine, beverages and entertainment that’s a true delight. And while the reserved seating is sold out, our favorite way to experience the party is to stroll and nosh (we never sit, but instead enjoy conversation with the chefs and wine experts, and compare notes with fellow party-goers). The final two parties for this year are on October 27 and November 3.
And while the cuisine changes each week, we always find something delicious at the tasting stations. A recent party featured everything from Peking-style braised duck (Kona Cafe at Disney’s Polynesian Resort) to Chef Paula Da Silva’s (1500˚, Miami Beach) buttery lamb belly and spicy tuna tartare cleverly wrapped in a crisp shell from Wolfgang Puck Café at Downtown Disney. All in all, there are nearly two dozen tasting stations with wine, beer and cocktails to pair. You won’t know until you arrive what you’ll be having, but the discovery is part of the fun.
I can’t get enough of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. I believe I have been around the world at least five different times this year! My favorite foods kiosks are Hawai’i, Australia and South Korea (hello, lettuce wrap!). A great place to start is at the Festival Center located in Future World next to Mission: SPACE. This themed area is home to food demonstrations, special activities, and an extensive merchandise location (which I previously discussed). If you enjoy fine art, there is a section within the Festival Center called “The Art of Food and Wine.” This store-within-a-store showcases artwork from several talented artists including Noah, Heather French, Patryk Poslednik, Liné Tutwiler, William Silvers and others.
Artwork from Disney Design Group character artist Brian Blackmore recently joined this section at the Festival Center. You may recall my conversation with Brian back in early September about his artwork found at the Italy Pavilion at Epcot. We recently introduced some canvas wrapped giclées based on that art. Brian also created one-of-a-kind original paintings based on his four designs. Each of these original works will measure 2-feet by 4-feet, and will be introduced starting October 26.
If you are headed to the Festival in the coming weeks, please stop by the Festival Center to meet Brian during these dates and times:
Friday, October 26 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, October 27 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 3 from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Sunday, November 4 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Join other fans of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival on the official Facebook page. On Twitter, join the conversation by using the hashtag #EpcotFoodFestival.
As regular watchers of HGTV (and I’m one of them) know, HGTV programs go beyond just home renovation and gardening. They feature ideas and helpful hints for party planning, catering and tons of other food and beverage topics, which makes them a perfect fit for our festival.
“HGTV Design Star” winner Danielle Colding will kick off this year’s HGTV presentations. Here’s a look at what to expect.
Keep your eye on the Disney Parks Blog for more information on the 17th annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.
For more 2012 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival news, check out the posts below:
Setting is the new Tutto Gusto wine cellar, where guests enjoy authentic Italian food paired with a variety of regional Italian wines from noon-2 p.m. It’s a wonderful way to escape the mid-day heat, leisurely dine and learn a little about Italy’s finest.
Lunches are every Wednesday and Saturday during the festival. Cost is $75 plus tax, gratuity included, Epcot admission required.