I am thrilled that I will get to experience the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival again this year! I’m making a very short trip down to Disney for opening weekend with my friend and fellow Disney junkie, Toni. She and I will share lots of pictures live from the festival on my Instagram account so follow along if you aren’t already!
Here are some basics about the annual festival which attracts foodies from all over the world. Also read on to learn how you can enter to win a trip to the festival!
2016 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
Dates: September 14th through November 14th, 2016
Times: 11 am to park closing every day
Cost: You will need a theme park ticket for admission to Epcot, but there is no extra cost for admission to the festival. Special ticketed events start at $15 (more on those later).
What: SO much happens at the festival! Here is a breakdown of the main categories of events.
Marketplace Booths: The largest element of the festival are the 30+ temporary buildings set up around Epcot called the “Marketplace Booths”. You can purchase sample-sized portions of food and beverages at each booth that range from $3-$7. The food is inspired by individual countries or regions and there are usually between four to six items to choose from at each booth. Just sampling the food and beverages (which includes wine, beer, cocktails and non-alcoholic specialties) could take you many days!
Check out Disney Food Blog’s Marketplace Booth page for complete menus for each booth.
Free & Low-Cost Special Events: There are many other aspects of the festival that are free (i.e. included with Epcot admission) or low-cost. Here is an overview of those events and seminars.
- Eat to the Beat Concert Series: Pop stars from mostly the 80’s and 90’s perform three times each night at the American Gardens Theater in World Showcase. The showtimes are 5:30, 6:45 and 8:00 pm. The concerts are very popular and have no additional cost. Starship will perform when I am there so you know I’ll be singing along to “We Built This City”!
- Back to Basics Seminars: Top experts share their culinary tips and tricks at these free seminars. They are held at the Festival Welcome Center each Friday through Sunday of the festival at 1:15 and 3:15 pm.
- Remy’s Hide and Squeak Scavenger Hunt: You can buy a map and stickers for $7.95 at the Festival Welcome Center and complete the scavenger hunt by finding Remy throughout World Showcase. If you bring your completed map back to the center you will be rewarded with a pin.
- Beverage Seminars & Culinary Demonstrations: Tickets to these events cost $15 each and they are held throughout the day at the Welcome Center. The best way to find what is available during your visit is to search for a reservation on Disney’s site.
- Marketplace Discovery Passport: This a a free souvenir you can pick up at many locations around Epcot. It lists every item at each booth and you can collect unique stamps from the booths as you visit them.
Other Festival Special Events: There are hundreds of other special events that take place around Disney World as part of the festival. These incur significant extra cost (from $40 to $600 per event) and include special ticketed evening events, meals with wine and food pairings, concierge service at the festival, and much more. Check out the details of each event at this Disney Food Blog page.
Also take a minute to enter The Chew’s Magical Culinary Adventure Sweepstakes for a chance to win a free trip to the festival!
Anyone out there have plans to attend the festival? Please leave a comment below! Please meet up with me if you’ll be there September 18th!