Insider Guide 24th Epcot International Food And Wine Festival
This perennial favorite offers guests a culinary mashup of global cultures and gourmet innovation will bring irresistible bites, sips, entertainment and family fun opening on Aug. 29 and continuing this year all the way through to Nov 23, 2019. This year, the celebrated summer-into-fall festival at Walt Disney World Resort has added a dozen extra days, expanding the foodie celebration to a delicious 87 days.
Epcot guests can begin with the aromas and flavors of 30 festive global food and wine marketplaces that extend from Future World to encircle the World Showcase promenade. Guests also can explore opportunities for special tastings and pairings, plus premium dining events featuring chef personalities such as Maneet Chauhan, Rick Bayless, Rock Harper, and Florida darling Art Smith. Reservations for special programming and premium festival events open May 15 and can be made by calling (407) WDW-FEST.
Back by popular demand, the Disney du Jour Dance Party in Future World will expand to seven days a week. Sundays through Thursdays, a DJ will lead the interactive fun. Fridays and Saturdays, Radio Disney stars will pump up the mix with live performances. Actress-singer Meg Donnelly, from the Disney Channel original movie “Zombies,” will appear opening weekend, and more weekend celebrity headliners will join the lineup throughout the festival.
Other family activities on tap are Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak scavenger hunt and the popular Candy Sushi interactive experience.
Throughout the event, guests can dish with their favorite celebrity and Disney chefs, and book seats for tasting and dining events in Mexico, France, Japan, Italy, Morocco, and other World Showcase pavilions. Guests can also get their gourmet groove on during the Eat to the Beat Concert Series that runs three times nightly Aug. 29-Nov. 19. Eat to the Beat Dining Packages, available at select table-service locations, will include guaranteed concert seating.
The first of five popular Party for the Senses events – each a delectable tribute to the sensory arts – will kick off Sept. 21 in the park’s World Showplace Events Pavilion.
More highlights from the 24th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival:
- 30 Global Marketplaces, plus additional locations across the festival, will present fresh flavors at a variety of marketplaces such as Africa, where the new Kenyan Coffee Barbecue Beef Tenderloin with sweet potato and corn mealie pap with Kachumbari slaw will tempt guests to return for seconds. At Earth Eats marketplace guests can dig into the new plant-based Cottage Pie with carrots, mushrooms and peas topped with mashed cauliflower and white beans.
- The back-by-demand Sunday Brunch with the Chef series in World Showplace Events Pavilion will kick off Sept. 1 with celebrity Chef Jamie Deen and continue on select Sundays through Nov. 17. The chef lineup includes Cat Cora, Carla Hall, Fabio Viviani, Andrew Zimmern, Buddy Valastro, Richard Blais, Robert Irvine, David Burtka, Graham Elliot and Aarti Sequeira.
- Three times nightly, the Eat to the Beat Concert Series – 249 concerts in all – will rev up fans at the America Gardens Theatre stage through Nov. 19 with the biggest musical menu of top talent in the festival’s history, including new acts Lauren Daigle (contemporary Christian), Kris Allen (pop, alt-rock), Sawyer Brown (country) and Boyce Avenue (rock, pop). Returning festival favorites spanning a broad range of eras and genres include Plain White T’s, Sugar Ray, Hanson, Sheila E. and Boyz II Men. Showtimes Sundays through Thursdays will be 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday shows are slated for 6:30, 7:45 and 9 p.m.
- Eat to the Beat Dining Packages will let guests choose their favorite restaurant for a delicious breakfast, lunch or dinner plus guaranteed concert seating that evening.
- The grandest of the festival’s hot-ticket tasting events, Party for the Senses at World Showplace Events Pavilion will welcome acclaimed chefs and vintners Sept. 21, Oct. 5, 12 and 19 (All Disney Chef Night!) and Nov. 9. This event showcases creative bites and palate-pleasing sips with sensational live entertainment featuring Femmes of Rock, who wowed guests last year with their blistering solos and innovative arrangements.
- “Mix It, Make It, Celebrate It!” hands-on workshops on select Mondays and Thursdays through Nov. 14 will offer new opportunities for guests to work side-by-side with visiting chefs, bakers, mixologists and other pros.
- Popular TV chefs and other culinary icons will entertain guests and inspire their palates on select dates at festival seminars and other events. Some of the big names on tap are Bryan Voltaggio, Kenny Gilbert, Maneet Chauhan, Jet Tila, Shaun O’Neale, Keegan Gerhard, Dan Pashman and Rock Harper.
- Book & Bottle Signings by some of the world’s top vintners and chefs will return on select dates this year, in addition to the popular The Chocolate Experience: From Bean to the Bar, hosted by Ghirardelli, offering guests samples.
- Culinary Demonstrations (available through 16) and Beverage Seminars (available through Nov. 17) will offer learning and tasting sessions select days throughout the festival.
- And don’t forget about the exciting new merchandise to commemorate the Festival! Chef Minnie will join Chef Mickey this year to bring a “sprinkle” of fun to the festival. This new merchandise line depicts them busily making cupcakes and other delectable desserts with ingredients that include rose-gold accents and a little sparkle. Chef Minnie will also bring her sense of style to a new cupcake headband and other festival apparel. Guests can also celebrate the Festival with returning favorites including the Taste Your Way Around the World, Brews, Figment, and Remy collections.
Don’t forget that you still have time to take in one last viewing of the nighttime spectacular, IllumiNations which will be coming to a close after a 20 year run on September 30, 2019 to make way for “Epcot Forever,” a new nighttime spectacular at Walt Disney World Resort, that will debut Oct. 1, 2019, on World Showcase Lagoon at Epcot. The limited-time show will be a celebration of the past, present, and future of Epcot, built around the magical soundtrack guests have come to know and love at the park.
The new show will feature fireworks, lighting, lasers and choreographed, special effects kites, accompanied by a stirring collection of songs that paints a colorful picture of Epcot. Disney Parks Live Entertainment is collaborating on the show with noted conductor and composer Don Harper, who is producing all-new arrangements of classic Epcot tunes to weave into the soundtrack of “Epcot Forever.”
Now more than ever, it’s time to head to the Walt Disney World Resort. From 87 days of the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival to the all-new “Epcot Forever” as well as all of your Epcot favorites, isn’t it time you brought the family to Walt Disney World, or back to Walt Disney World? What is your favorite part of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival?