Epcot International Food And Wine Festival Is A Must Visit

As fall settles in bringing with it cooler temperatures and pumpkin spice lattes, the season also ushers in the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. 

The park’s biggest festival of the year is taking place right now at Walt Disney World in Orlando. And I recently returned from an amazing trip with an awesome group of influencers who were all invited by The Mouse to explore and enjoy the festival. 

As a native of Orlando, I am ashamed to admit that this was my first tie experience the Food & Wine Festival.  However, it won’t be my last. 

The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is an 87-day culinary mashup of global cultures, gourmet innovation, irresistible bites and sips, entertainment and family fun. And eat and drink I did. I also got to get up close and personal with Mickey, Minnie & Goofy! That was indeed an added bonus! 

Epcot is known for its World Showcase, where park-goers can walk through pavilions themed around different countries and sample local cuisine from each. During the Food & Wine Festival, the menu offerings are expanded to include even more selections. Also, each country hosts pop-up food stalls serving all sorts of new and delicious dishes. 

30 Global Marketplaces At Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

New marketplaces include the Appleseed Orchard Marketplace, where guests can pair apple-inspired beers, ciders and cocktails like the Apple Blossom Sky while nibbling on Charcuterie and Cheese. Brews, ciders and wines will be offered individually or as flights, and kids of all ages can enjoy a deliciously sweet Frozen Apple Pie drink.

An added treat at the festival: several other countries that don’t have a permanent pavilion at the park are represented as well, making for a more comprehensive around-the-world experience. In all, there are 30 festive global food and wine marketplaces offering all kinds of delectables. 

 

New marketplaces include the Appleseed Orchard Marketplace, where guests can pair apple-inspired beers, ciders and cocktails like the Apple Blossom Sky while nibbling on Charcuterie and Cheese. Brews, ciders and wines will be offered individually or as flights, and kids of all ages can enjoy a deliciously sweet Frozen Apple Pie drink.

My Favorite Marketplace: Islands of the Caribbean

One of my favorite pavilions was the Islands of the Caribbean marketplace. The menu consisted of a few foods I absolutely love including jerk chicken and a twist on ropa vieja. You see, I don’t think I have met a Caribbean dish I don’t like, so this marketplace was a must-try for me. 

The jerk-spiced chicken was paired nicely with a roasted sweet plantain salad and mango chutney yogurt. DELICIOUS! The ropa vieja empanadas with tomato aïoli was a great mashup of two Caribbean staples and quite tasty. I finished this lite bite off with the fruity flavors of a white sangria.  

The food prices won’t bust your budget either. Prices for the small plates range from around $4 to $8. You can literally taste your way around the world with an endless selection of global cuisine and beverages.

Shimmering Sips Mimosa Bar 

What girl doesn’t love a fruity mimosa? Well, the Shimmering Sips Mimosa Bar, back for a second year, was a must-try. Here, you can sample an array of delicious and refreshing champagne mimosas including a key lime mimosa with Key Lime Sparkling Wine and Cranberry Juice. I went for the mimosa flight that featured 3 different drinks — the Tropical Mimosa, Key Lime Mimosa and Blood Orange Mimosa — for $13. All three were good, but the tropical, with its fruit juice infused flavor quite apparent, was by far the best. 

Shimmering Sips was definitely a hit with me and several of my fellow festival goers. For $6 per drink, these are some of the best and most affordable drinks at the Food and Wine Festival.

As my first experience at the festival, I have to give it a A+. There is so much to see, do and EAT that it is well worth the admission price of $125. However, there are several different admission price options depending on the time of day you arrive and the number of days you plan to visit. Click here for more information on ticket prices. 

Eat To The Beat Concerts Series

Also included in the price of admission is the Eat to the Beat concerts series (through Nov. 19 only). Its a star-studded lineup of entertainment from some of music’s hottest pop to country to R&B and jazz with live music excitement from top-name acts.

On this visit, we got to see an amazing performance by Memphis-based Southern Avenue band. If you haven’t heard of this soul, blues and jam band, you are surely missing out. The talented musicians and soulful vocals were simply perfection. 

We also got to front-row seats to a great performance by the legendary jazz saxophonist Kenny G. He was as outstanding as ever. Stay tuned for more details on Eat to the Beat in my next blog post. 

To say I enjoyed every bit of my time at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is an understatement. It’s definitely a must-visit if you enjoy all things food, wine and Walt Disney. It’s definitely catered to adults (although there’s a lot for kids to do) and leaves your palate satisfied. 

Get Up Close & Personal With Chefs & Mixologists

Check back later this week for more about the food and wine festival. I will be sharing a recap of our time enjoying the epicurean delights offered up at Party For The Senses. It’s a elegant private (and separate ticketed) event where acclaimed chefs serve up delectable eats at various tasting stations. More about Eat To The Beat, as well as Mix It, Make It, Celebrate It!, a hands-on workshop that gives guests an opportunity to work side-by-side with visiting chefs, bakers, mixologists and other pros.

The festival ends on November 21 this year. So you have a little over three weeks to check it out. You won’t leave disappointed, I can guarantee it.  In fact, I am already planning next year’s visit with a group of my best girlfriends.

A special thanks to my friends over at Walt Disney World for inviting me on this unforgettable trip. 

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