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Some Favorite Ways to Experience Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Sept. 25-Nov. 16

Pam Brandon

by , Food Writer, Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort

We’re counting down the days and deciding the best ways to take advantage of all the food, wine, celebrity chefs, live music and more at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.

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Looking ahead, here are three ideas to maximize your fun. We love the idea of the new 20th Festival Tasting Sampler that gives you a credential (and a cool collectible pin) to taste your way around the fest. For $59 you get your choice of eight tastes of food or beverages at all of the 30 marketplaces plus priority seating at the nightly Eat to the Beat concert.

Your credential will include ideas for pairing a dish and a drink at the marketplaces – we’re excited to try some of the new dishes such as the pepper bacon mac ‘n’ cheese paired with a hard cider at Farm Fresh Marketplace (both new); lamb meatball with spicy tomato chutney and a pinot noir at New Zealand (both new), and the butter chicken with naan bread with a chenin blanc in Africa. There are 29 new dishes this year, and 72 new cocktails, beers, wines and ciders!

We’ve always had fun at Eat to the Beat, and this year’s dining package includes lunch or dinner at 13 different restaurants from Coral Reef Restaurant and The Garden Grill in Future World to France, Italy, Germany, Mexico, Japan, Morocco and United Kingdom. This is a nice “plan ahead” experience.

Price varies by restaurant, starting at $34.99 for lunch and includes appetizer, entrée, dessert and drink or buffets. And then you get guaranteed seating at the 5:30 p.m. Eat to the Beat concert for lunch reservations, and the 6:45 or 8 p.m. show for lunch or dinner.

Fan favorites are back on the America Gardens Theatre stage, including Wilson Phillips, Smash Mouth, The Pointer Sisters, Jo Dee Messina, Boyz II Men and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. And there are four new acts in the concert series lineup — Tiffany, Everclear, Maxi Priest and Chaka Khan.

For a really special treat, set aside a week for the Food & Wine Premium Package that gives you VIP treatment from noon- 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday at the festival. Eleven shaded “Premium Package” areas are reserved for a spot to eat, drink and relax, and you get to choose an IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party to attend, as well as a Festival Center culinary demo or beverage seminar.

Cost is $199, and you also get a gift bag with your own wine glass, a bottle of 20th celebration festival wine, a Food & Wine Fest-themed MagicBand and four food tickets for food or beverage from festival marketplaces.

For reservations, call 407-939-3378. Admission to Epcot is required.

Comments

  • The more I research and try to plan for our upcoming trip next month (Oct. 2015), the MORE CONFUSED I get! I consider myself a fairly intelligent person, but I’m LOST!
    MY QUESTIONS ARE:1.) the last time I was at WDW and went to the IFWF, each country had had it’s booth outside their country/restaurant where you were able to purchase a sample item. Is this OPTION STILL AVAILABLE or do you have to purchase a Food & Wine Premium Package?
    2.) IF the actual “samples are available at each country, what is the breakdown on how we can use any meal credits?
    I’M REALLY SORRY FOR what probably sound LIKE REALLY DUMB QUESTIONS! It’s been about 1-1/2 yrs. and there’s been so many changes & I’m just trig figure them all out. Thank you for your help!!!

  • Hello! Thanks for your post. When, where and how can I purchase the sampler? Or where can i get more information? Thanks.

  • Do all of the 8 tastings need to be on the same day as the concert you attend? Also, are all items at the booths eligible for the tasting credits or are there some exclusions? – Thanks!

  • Hi there – I’m quite confused about my Premium FWF Package as it seems as though the amenities keep changing. Is there a link as to what is included this year?

    Thanks!

  • Does the Disney Dining Plan work for Food & Wine Festival booths? Recent changes to the plan seem to let you purchase a single serving of any item for a Snack credit, and exchange a Quick Serve credit for three Snack credits. From this, I extrapolate that I can purchase three servings from a Festival Booth for one Quick Serve credit. Am I on the right track?

    • Hi Robert, The Disney Dining Plan can be used during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. You are correct, the recent changes to the Disney Dining Plan do apply to the Food & Wine Festival Global Marketplaces.

  • Hi! I was just wondering if the 20th Festival Tasting Sampler and the Food & Wine Premium Package can be combined. My understanding is that with the Premium Package you pay for your food in one of the eleven Premium Package areas and not at the marketplaces. Will the Premium Package areas accept the eight food/beverage credentials from the Tasting Sampler as payment?

    • Yes, Festival Tasting Sampler and the Food & Wine Premium Package can be combined. The Premium Package areas will accept the any of the eight entitlements from the Festival Tasting Sampler.

  • Hello…is the Food and Wine magicband only available as part of this package like last year? Or will it be available for purchase during the festival? Thank you!

    • Hi Tracey, The Food & Wine MagicBand is only available when you purchase the Food & Wine Premium Package, and is not available for purchase individually.

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