20th Food Wine

epcot food & wine fest

The 20th Annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is coming very soon to Walt Disney World – from September 25 to November 16, 2015 – and I’m very excited to experience all that this special event has to offer! It’s a foodie’s heaven and I personally just can’t wait to indulge in this year’s culinary delights. So what can you look forward to this year if you decide to go? Check out some of the highlights of this very popular event as it celebrates it’s 20th year of gastronomic sophistication in the World Showcase:

  • NEW this year, the Rockin’ Burger Block Party will be offered on 3 select nights: Friday September 25th, Thursday October 8th, and Friday November 6th from 7:00pm to 9:00pm, by reservation. Who doesn’t love a good burger? Enjoy the party music from a live DJ as you chow down on savory sliders and sip specialty cocktails inspired by recording artists! And only on October 8th, 2015, the stars of the Emmy-winning daytime hit show – ABC’s The Chew – will be your hosts for the evening! You can even party VIP-style by booking reserved seating in the “Nosh Pit” for $199 per person, plus tax. (Gratuity is included.) The standard rate is $99 plus tax, gratuity included. Please note that admission to Epcot is required to attend, but is not included in the pricing for this event.
  • The Eat to the Beat Concert Series has a great lineup of musical acts this year, performing at the America Gardens Theatre. I personally can’t wait to see Wilson Phillips perform “Hold On” on September 28th, 2015! Showtimes will take place each night of the festival at 5:30pm, 6:45pm, and 8:00pm – and you can even book Fastpass+ reservations for your desired performance time. Several returning favorites include: American Idol season 7 winner David Cook (Sept. 25-27), Smash Mouth (Oct. 5-7), the Pointer Sisters (Oct. 8-9), Rick Springfield (Oct. 12-13), Sugar Ray (Oct. 14-16), Fuel (Oct. 22-23), Boyz II Men – one of my personal favorites! (Nov. 2-4), Sister Hazel (Nov. 5-6), Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (Nov. 7-9), and more! There are also a few NEW acts this year: Tiffany (Oct. 24-25), Everclear (Oct. 31 – Nov. 1), Maxi Priest (Nov. 13-14), and Chaka Khan (Nov. 15-16). These mini concerts will last approx. 35 minutes per show, and with this spectacular lineup of popular recording artists, they are sure to be lots of fun! Remember these are FREE concerts – only Epcot park admission is required. But seats do fill up quickly, so arriving early and booking FP+ is highly recommended.
  • Do you love chocolate? Who doesn’t! Hosted by Ghirardelli Chocolate Company, you can find an interactive exhibit called The Chocolate Experience: From Bean to the Bar in the Festival Center. You can watch as the WDW pastry chefs create sculptures made of chocolate, explore the journey of chocolate from bean to bar, and of course, sample and purchase some of the finest chocolate treats for yourself – including gourmet drinking chocolate and selecting wine & chocolate pairings. It doesn’t get any better than that! The Festival Center, located in Future World between Ellen’s Energy Adventure and Mission: SPACE, also hosts Culinary Demonstrations daily at 1:00pm, 3:00pm, & 5:00pm. During one of these 45-minute sessions, you can get a lesson from a professional chef and sample each dish for only $15 per guest! For the same price, the Festival Center also plays host to a couple of beverage seminars: a Mixology session on cocktails daily at 6:00pm, and a Wine & Beverage sampling daily at 12:00pm, 2:00pm, & 4:00pm.
  • Remember earlier I mentioned that the hosts from ABC’s daytime talk show The Chew would be at the festival? Well, they won’t be just at the block party. For the first time ever, they’ll be broadcasting live and taping segments from all over the Walt Disney World Resort! They will be dishing out the healthiest food & family trends and tips, contributing their recipes to the official festival cookbook, and they’re even bringing us 2 NEW festival marketplaces! So be on the lookout for the eco-home-inspired ‘Sustainable Chew’ and the futuristic new flavors created in the ‘Chew Lab’, inspired by modern technology.
  • An all NEW dining experience, created exclusively for Chase Disney Visa Cardmembers, called Brews, Breakfast, & More will be offered the morning of September 28, 2015 from 8:30am-10:30am. This very special event will feature a 3-course breakfast with a focus on beer as both an ingredient and a pairing, as well as a tutorial on brewing processes dating back to ancient Egypt. There are 2 incredible things happening here – 1) a liquid-nitrogen-fried “smoking” s’mores cereal (OMG!!!!!!) and 2) the presentation of a beer created by the Florida Beer Company specifically to honor the 20th anniversary of the festival: Passport 20 Belgian Tripel Ale. It features 20 ingredients to celebrate Epcot Food & Wine’s 20 years, 11 of which represent each of the countries around the World Showcase, as well as 1 special ingredient representing Florida. Sounds amazing, right? The price is $89 per guest, plus tax. Chase Cardmembers can also enjoy complimentary exclusive access to the Chase Lounge anytime, located on the 3rd floor of the American Adventure pavilion, where you can sit & relax in the A/C while being treated to your choice of refreshing drinks, open daily during festival hours.
  • Last, but certainly not least, the incredible array of delectable food, fine wine, and craft beers at this year’s event will not disappoint. You can taste your way around the world at over 30 unique Global Marketplaces scattered around the Epcot World Showcase, featuring menus inspired by those specific countries and regions. It’s sure to expand your palate with new flavors as you travel and explore the different cultures. Be sure to remember to get your festival passport stamped at each stop, and use it to navigate your way around while marking your favorite dishes and drinks. It’s the perfect vacation souvenir! There will be several of my favorite eats returning: Australia’s grilled lamb chop with mint pesto & potato crunchies, Belgium’s waffle with berry compote and whipped cream, Hawai’i’s Kalua pork slider with sweet & sour Dole Pineapple chutney and spicy mayonnaise, and Poland’s kielbasa and potato pierogi with caramelized onions and sour cream. But the real treat will be to try all of this year’s NEW menus:
    • the aforementioned Sustainable Chew – offering pork spareribs with red wine, fennel, & cheesy mascarpone grits, vanilla panna cotta with fresh figs and pistachio brittle, & a frozen Chew-tini – and also Chew Lab – offering olive oil poached salmon with fresh corn, bacon, & pepper jam and liquid nitro chocolate almond truffle with warm whiskey caramel
    • Wine Studio – offering artisan cheeses and a variety of California wines – and also Cheese Studio – offering cheese fondue with sourdough bread and sweet goat cheese panna cotta with guava gelle among other selections
    • the Dominican Republic returns after a 7 year hiatus with pescado con coco: seared grouper, pigeon peas, & rice with coconut sauce and caramel flan with rum-roasted pineapple, plus 2 frozen libations featuring Ron Barcelo Blanco Rum
    • Farm Fresh will be debuting a new offering: loaded mac ‘n’ cheese – yum!

So what are you dying to try at this year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival? Tell me all your favorites from past years in the comments section below. If you’re interested in booking a vacation to Walt Disney World, please contact me at As an agent with World of Magic Travel Services – the preferred travel agency of Chip & Co. and Disney Addicts – I offer complimentary planning services so that all you have to do is show up and enjoy your magical vacation!

What can I look forward to at this year's 20th Annual Epcot Food & Wine Festival? 1

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