2011 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival: The Top 5 Reasons to Go - PassPorter.com
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2011 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival: The Top 5 Reasons to Go

by AJ Wolfe, PassPorter Guest Contributor
Last modified 07-13-2011

PassPorter.com > Articles > Walt Disney World > Touring  

From now until November 13, 2011, there will be pretty much one main thing on my mind — The 2011 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival!

Over at Disney Food Blog we’re working hard to gather every piece of info we can so that folks can start planning, but sometimes you really need to be reminded what’s so great about the event in the first place!

Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival is a global tasting experience that’s included with your regular Epcot admission. (Of course, the food and wine have an extra cost.) If you just want to nosh and sip your way around the World, you’ll find the menus have nominal prices. Cooking demos, Meet ‘n Greets with Authors/Chefs, wine seminars, and other special experiences will entice foodies to linger all day and evening. Whether this is your first Festival or you are a seasoned Festival foodie, you’ll find plenty of reasons to attend this multi-week event. Here are our favorite reasons to go:

1. Tasting Food From Around the World: When most people head to a theme park, they don’t expect to get the chance to try any dishes other than the standard hot dog, burger, and fries. Well, maybe ice cream.

But at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, where food marketplace booths representing more than 25 regions around world form a semicircle around the World Showcase, exotic food becomes the focus! Guests have the chance to sample tapas-sized portions of dozens of different kinds of foods indigenous to the regions represented — all for the low price of just $2-$8 per plate! Re-visit favorites (Irish Fisherman’s pie, Canadian cheddar cheese soup) and try new dishes too!

Desserts Trio photo
Desserts Trio

Yummy desserts from Epcot's Food and Wine Festival - photo by AJW

This is a great way to introduce younger, picky eaters to new foods as well! What better place to test out your palate than in Disney World?

2. Taking a Wine Trip Around the World…In One Afternoon: At the Food and Wine Festival, wine-tasting becomes a team sport! Guests can choose to book the lower-cost wine seminars that take place almost daily in the Festival Center, or shell out for a full-blown wine pairing signature meal — learn directly from sommeliers each wine’s history and why it was paired with the food on your plate.

Prefer to pick and choose your wines? Head to the World Showcase to visit the regional marketplace booths, many of which will have imported wines local to specific countries and regions. Some of them may even be debuting at the festival, or not found anywhere else in the United States!

Don’t forget to find your favorite wine for purchase at The Cellar inside the Festival Welcome Center — sometimes you can even get your bottle signed by the company representative!

3. New Exhibits Every Year: No two festivals are the same! Even if you’ve been to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival before, what you’ll experience this year will be different from what you’ve ever experienced before! New chefs, new seminars, new dinners, new beverages — there’s always something to discover.

In 2011, look for Portuguese, Caribbean, and Hawaiian eats at the World Showcase Marketplace Booths, brand new chocolate seminars at the Festival Center, and new beverages throughout the festival with a focus on mixology!

4. Rock Out to the Eat to the Beat Concerts: Each evening, Eat to the Beat! Concerts in the American Gardens Theatre in Epcot’s World Showcase enhance digestion with live music from some of your favorite bands from the 80s and 90s!

With three free shows each evening, you’re sure to be able to catch Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Air Supply, Howard Jones, Taylor Dayne, Boyz II Men, Hanson, Starship, or another band that will bring back great memories of school dances and lovesick crushes… oh wait, maybe that’s just me. Anyway, be sure to work these into your evening schedule!

5. Meet Celebrity Chefs: The festival isn’t just about the food and wine, it’s also about the hundreds of celebrity chefs that grace Epcot grounds during those spectacular 45 days! The best part? You can meet many of them for free!

Over 270 chefs make the magic happen with food at the festival, and many of them preside over seminars and presentations during the days they’re there. If you’d rather not spend $10+ to see the culinary demonstration, most chefs do a meet and greet autograph signing after their events! Just ask a cast member where that will take place and head over there to be first in line!

Of course, you could always attend the demonstration and get a taste of one of their culinary masterpieces! I hope you can join me — and thousands of other Disney food fans — at the 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival (and at WDW Foodie Fest, the Disney Food Blog week of meet-ups). We’re covering the event closely, so feel free to visit our 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival page for the latest details and breaking news.

China_Menu_2010 photo

- photo by AJW

About the Author:
AJ has been a Disney parks fan since her first trip to Disney World as a wee one. Now she can’t ever decide between Disneyland and Disney World, and luckily lives in Texas, equidistant between her two favorite places. Her focus on Disney food started during a trip while in graduate school, when she was more excited about choosing restaurants than choosing rides. Today, she owns, writes, and edits the Disney Food Blog, which covers Disney food news and offers information and reviews on all things Disney food.

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