Ready, set, dial! If you’re hoping to snag tickets for a coveted event at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, Tuesday is the opening day for reservations. To secure a spot at special culinary events and experiences, call (407) WDW-FEST (407-939-3378) or visit disneyworld.com/dining. Admission to Epcot is required for many of the events.
Foodies will love the First Bites Opening Reception on Sept. 29, a sneak peek at the food, beverages and entertainment for the festival. Me? I’m looking forward to sugary Sundays – Sweet Sundays in the mornings with a bounteous buffet, sparkling wines and notable chefs showing off signature desserts (like Cake Boss Buddy Valastro’s tiramisu on Oct. 9), and The Discovery of Chocolate on select Sunday afternoons with chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate with paired wines. Or, if you prefer your sweets at the end of the day, check out the “3D” Disney’s Dessert Discovery, lots of sweets with IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth as the finale.
Fantastic cheese seminars, Sunday afternoon wine schools, special eats at the Italy, France and Mexico Pavilions, and over-the-top dinners hosted in Disney resort hotels, it’s a frenzy of delicious food and drink. Paring down is the hard part.
Of course there are plenty of complimentary events too, like this year’s HGTV Home Entertaining Seminars on weekends at the festival center. And we’re happy sipping and strolling around World Showcase at Epcot – go early on a weekday if you want to sidestep the crowds. Our strategy: share and try lots of tastes. We can’t wait to try the jerk-spiced chicken with mango chutney from the new Caribbean marketplace, or the new fried kasseri cheese with honey at the Greece marketplace. And to go back for the lobster and scallop pie at the Ireland marketplace.
For a listing of events, go to Disneyworld.com/foodandwine. The festival runs Sept. 30-Nov. 13.
Do you have a favorite event you’d recommend?