Make Plans Now for Epcot's Fall Food and Wine Festival
Photos courtesy of Walt Disney World Resort
Imagine a place where you can spend your days sampling food and wine from around the world. Imagine having famous chefs cook up their magic right in front of your eyes. Then imagine that it's all hosted by the Imagineers at Disney and you begin to get a clear picture of what the Food and Wine Festival will be like at Epcot.
Adults from across the globe make the journey each year during the fall festival, frequently sans children. And while all the usual Epcot attractions are still available, the entire park shifts its focus to food. This year's event runs from Sept. 14 through Nov. 14.
How it works
There is one main festival center, located in Epcot's Future World East, where demonstrations and some special events are held. But beyond the center there are kiosks scattered around the park selling sample-size portions of food, beer, and wine. Food samples cost between $4 and $8, while drinks are $3 to $6.
It's like being on a foodie treasure hunt as you make your way through the park. When you discover the Craft Beer Center, featuring some of Florida's best brews, you truly realize that this is not your kids' Disney adventure. That's not to say that there aren't activities for the little ones, but overall, you will find that the theme and the timing in the fall are a bit more conducive to adult food fun.
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This year's famous food personalities include: Jamie Deen, "Cake Boss" Buddy Valastro, Elizabeth Faulkner, Andrew Zimmern, Robert Irvine and Cat Cora. Learn the basics about cheeses of the world, get a grip on mixology, or enjoy brunch with your favorite chef. There are also themed dinners, food and wine parings, and live entertainment events.
Where to stay
Without a doubt the best choices are the Disney Resorts grouped around Crescent Lake, all of which are an easy boat ride away from Epcot's "back entrance" at the World Showcase between the pavilions of the United Kingdom and France. The Beach Club and Yacht Club Resorts and the Boardwalk Inn and Villas are closest to Epcot, with walkways that follow the waterway if you prefer that over the boat rides. The Dolphin and Swan resorts are just a bit farther away. The boats that take you to Epcot can also transport you to Disney's Hollywood Studios, making that a fun break from the Food and Wine Festival if you plan a multi-day stay.
There will be amazing food and adult beverage opportunities scattered throughout the two-month run of the festival. The complete schedule of celebrity appearances is online, beginning with Elizabeth Faulkner and Kenny Gilbert this weekend. Your Epcot ticket includes entry into the Festival Center and some demonstrations. Meals with celebrity chefs, food and wine pairings, and specialty meals are additional and require reservations.
More by Melinda Crow
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