Walt Disney World’s Food and Wine Festival

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Dates & Description

The 17th Annual International Food and Wine Festival takes place September 28th to November 12th in Walt Disney World. This year, the World Showcase at Epcot features nearly 30 international food kiosks. These kiosks represent the 11 permanent country pavilions along with nearly 20 additional countries. Sample Mongolian beef in China with the Fairview Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa while satisfying your sweet tooth with the dark chocolate mousse with chili and salted caramel from the Desserts and Champagne kiosk. The world and her finest foods, wines, beers and entertainment are at your fingertips with this exquisite celebration. Contact a Luxe Travel advisor to plan your trip around the world with just one flight to Orlando.

What to eat and how much to spend

While there is a lot to see and do at Epcot, let’s get straight to the heart of the festival, eating and drinking. Tonya Denmark, of Luxe Travel, recommends purchasing a Disney wristband gift card at the start of your day. These festival themed cards are available at any merchandise location inside of the park. Tonya says, “The convenience of these gift cards allow you to keep your wallet in your pocket and avoid carrying around a lot of loose bills. The card is attached to a bungee style wrist band and every receipt lets you know how much you have remaining.” There is no additional charge to purchase or use the gift card. Each appetizer sized serving of food, wine or beer ranges in price from $4-$8. Plan to spend around $200 for a family of four. You will likely skip both lunch and dinner that day. Don’t forget that admission to Epcot is required to attend the event.

With so many tasty offerings, where do you begin? The Cheddar Cheese soup in Canada is one of the festival’s mainstays and quite popular. Canada is the first country to your right as you enter the World Showcase, making it a convenient place to begin. Additional offerings will be scattered among the World Showcase. Be sure to pick up a festival map in order to find your favorites. And speaking of favorites, Tonya recommends her favorite, Ireland’s Lobster and Seafood Fisherman’s Pie. The lobster bisque base is creamy and chock full of lobster and scallops topped with an unlikely but equally delicious whipped potato topping. If you prefer beer to wine, the Hops and Barley kiosk is the place to stop. Sam Adams features eight different beers and lagers to sample. Purchase a flight to try more than one at a time. Disney’s International Marketplace lists the extensive food and wine offerings during the festival.

Specialty shopping & free events

The World Showcase is home to many sights and sounds to partake while you are enjoying your delicacies. Stop by a real Watermelon Patch or Ocean Spray’s Cranberry Bog. Try the Chocolate Experience by Ghiradelli. Wonder at the chocolate sculptures while learning about the origins of chocolate. Or sample wine at the Festival Center Wine Shop. If you are a fan of HGTV, be sure to check out the Home Entertaining Seminars. Each week a different HGTV star will give 30-minute talks on decorating and dining.

Original artwork is on display and for sale at various locations throughout the park. In addition, the Festival Center Wine Shop sells hundreds of wines featured in the festival. If you find a favorite, stop by and purchase a bottle for later. The shop will deliver to your room free if you’re staying at a Disney Resort. They can also ship worldwide.

The Eat to the Beat Concert Series features a mix of contemporary pop artists performing every night of the festival in the America Gardens Theatre, located just across from the American Pavilion. For a complete lineup, check out Disney’s Eat to the Beat Concert Series.

Special ticketed events

To immerse yourself in the Food and Wine Festival, be sure to check out one of the almost 60 different sweet and savory seminars and demonstrations. From wine to cheese seminars, desserts and delicacy culinary adventures, this is every foodie’s dream. Try the Mexican Tequila Lunch to sample different tequilas, learn its origins while feasting on fresh Mexican cuisine. If you enjoy Italian, the Italy Pavilion offers food and wine pairings, including an Italian White Truffle Lunch. Enjoy five courses each featuring white truffles directly from Alba, Italy.

The Party for the Senses is the festivals ultimate celebration of food. Start the evening with a reserved seat to the Eat to the Beat Concert. Then dine and sip your way through over 50 tasting stations while entertainment from Cirque du Soleil’s acrobats perform. The Party for the Senses only takes place on select Saturdays in October and November. Reservations are required and prices start at $145 per person. For reserved seating cost is an extra $25.

Where to stay

Tonya recommends staying at Disney’s BoardWalk Resort as the best place to complement the Food and Wine Festival. The BoardWalk is the closest of five resorts that are walking distance to Epcot. Entry from here places you at the “back” of Epcot, but right in the heart of the World Showcase, between the France and United Kingdom pavilions. Rooms at the BoardWalk range from garden and water view standard rooms to deluxe three-bedroom suites complete with a full kitchen. An active nightlife is also available. The ESPN Club features mega-sized screens for sports viewing while Jellyrolls provides a fun interactive sing along dueling piano atmosphere.

Disney’s Yacht and Beach Clubs and the Swan and Dolphin hotels are also within walking distance to Epcot. Each features its own blend of Disney themes and decadence. If you’re too tired to walk, a short boat ride will return you to your resort as well.

No matter where you stay, you’re sure to enjoy all that the International Food and Wine Festival has to offer. Contact a Luxe Travel Advisor today at 1-866-365-8747 or concierge@luxetravel.com. Come wine and dine with us!