The Epcot International Food and Wine Festival | Florida Sun Direct

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Florida: The Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Added: Sep 02, 2018
Category: Florida

The 2018 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival is taking place at a location dubbed the "happiest place on Earth".

Walt Disney World theme park plays host to the annual festival, offering visitors the chance to taste cuisine and wines from around the world.  Now in its 23rd year, it runs for an amazing 75 days, from 30th August until 12th November.  The spectacular celebration of global food also features music from around the world, so people can wine, dine and dance to live artists.

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival


Event History

The Epcot International Food and Wine Festival started in 1996, when it lasted for 30 days in the Epcot theme park at Walt Disney World, Bay Lake.

Visitors arriving at Epcot, which has been open since 1982, are greeted by its spectacular giant icon, Spaceship Earth - a massive silver globe.  This represents the park's dedication to modern American innovation.  Epcot welcomed around 12.2 million guests in 2017, making it the seventh most popular theme park on the planet.

It seems fitting that a theme park with a giant globe hosts a festival that reflects various countries from around the world.  Devised by Disney World Resort president, George Kalogridis, he has a long history with the resort, having started out waiting on tables in his youth in 1971 when the resort first opened, and working his way up through the ranks.

Still a popular attraction today, the first festival saw the launch of the miniature train display in the Germany Pavilion.

The event has grown over the years and today features more than 30 different marketplaces, offering international food, wine and beers – there’s something for everyone including children, families and adults without kids.


New this Year

The 23rd festival will entertain all the family with plenty of new events, including the Junior Chef Kitchen which will be taking place every Sunday at 11am at the festival centre.  A Disney chef will help kids to prepare, cook, decorate and eat their own pancakes in a 45-minute masterclass.

There will also be child-friendly candy sushi-making workshops every day at the Sunshine Seasons venue, where a Disney chef will guide youngsters as they make their own treats.

New this year is a festival play area near the Test Track, and a Disney du Jour Dance Party every Friday and Saturday at the Fountain View stage from 5.30pm to 9.30pm.  If you come across a stall displaying a strawberry symbol as you meander through the marketplaces, this denotes food that has been made with children in mind.


Different Cuisines

Epcot culinary director Gregg Hannon says there will be plenty of dishes for all tastes at this year's event.  He recommends the charred chimichurri steak being served at Flavors of Fire.  It comes with a smoked corn cake and pickled vegetable coleslaw.

The steakhouse blended burger is a speciality of Earth Eats, served with wild mushrooms, ground beef and cheese fondue, with a side dish of chips, finished off with a little blue cheese and truffle salt.

There will also be Moqueca (described as a Brazilian seafood stew) containing shrimp, white fish and scallops, in a spicy coconut lime sauce.  Food critic, Igor Cavalaro, who writes for Coisas de Orlando in Brazil, has personally tasted the Moqueca and declared it authentic.

There are 35 new dishes at this year's festival, such as the croissant doughnut from Taste Track, the New Brunswick slider being served at Hops and Barley, butternut squash ravioli at the Wine and Dine Studio and energy bar bites at Active Eats.

Around 65 wineries and more than 40 breweries will be serving drinks from across the planet during the festival.  Among the unusual beverages on offer will be Cherry Tart Beer from Titusville's Playalinda Brewing Company that will be served in the Light Lab near Future World.  Other unusual beverages include Kiwi Blonde from Tallahassee and Blueberry Golden Ale from Doral's MIA Beer Company.

Epcot International Cuisines


Celebrity Chefs

The festival attracts its fair share of celebrity chefs - in fact, it's like a "who's who" of culinary giants.  Among the top chefs demonstrating their talents this year are Buddy Valastro, the American celebrity chef and television personality, who owns Carlo's Bakery and is the face of Buddy V's Ristorante.

Famous for starring in the US reality shows, Kitchen Boss and Buddy's Bakery Rescue, he will be taking part in the festival's Sunday Brunch with the Chef series, where he will be joined by a multitude of celebrity chefs, such as American actress Tiffani Thiessen, the former star of the cult TV series, Saved by the Bell.  Tiffani has reinvented herself and is now famous for her mouth-watering cuisine. She runs her own cookery website and has starred in her own cookery series, Dinner at Tiffani's.

Other celebrity chefs include award-winning German pastry chef Keegan Gerhard, French chef and owner of the award-winning Miami-based French restaurant, Pascal's on Ponce Pascal Oudin, and many more.


Eat to the Beat

Visitors will be invited to "eat to the beat", with dining and music packages, such as palate-pleasers and a show under the stars, where you can eat breakfast, lunch or dinner and then watch performances by leading live acts.

Choose a meal from selected restaurants and have one seat per person guaranteed at an Eat to the Beat event.  Some of the venues taking part in the promotion are in the Norway, Germany, France, Mexico, Morocco, Japan and Italy pavilions, so there is plenty of culinary choice.

Pop, rock, swing, R&B, country, pop and new wave are among the diverse live music acts.  Artists include percussionist and singer Sheila E, 1980s Canadian rock band Glass Tiger, contemporary Christian band Mercy Me and 98 Degrees, featuring brothers Drew and Nick Lachey, of Dancing with the Stars, who sing some smooth harmonies.

Stars from the '80s will include chart-topping vocalist Tiffany and the legendary Billy Ocean.  There will also be stars from the 1990s including Hanson, Taylor Dayne and Everclear.  Swing band Big Bad Voodoo Daddy will be appearing.  There's quite literally something for every musical taste throughout the festival.

If you're looking for a luxury holiday home in Florida to enjoy the festival, Florida Sun Direct has some fantastic properties in Orlando. In fact, whether you enjoy active days out at the park, a round of golf, or relaxing on the beach soaking up the sun, we have the perfect holiday accommodation to suit your every requirement. Browse the selection of luxury properties on our website and start your exciting journey to your next vacation.

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